Friday, 16 December 2016

Dear Cthulhu, make no mistake

The following is an open letter to Cthulhu, we publish it without comment, we also neither endorse nor renounce the views expressed within.

Dear Cthulhu, it is that time of year when we approach the Solstice, And the oblate spheroid galleon is about to complete another circumnavigation of the pasta cooker gas element. We'd like to invite you to a conversation, literally about life, the universe and everything. We'd like to see you at peace with your creator the Flying Spaghetti Monster(sauce be upon him - or her depending on mood). The FSM still really likes you, even with everything you have done, the sterilising of thriving planets with gamma ray bursts, directing black holes to crush seed ships - once the last hopes of great and enlightened civilisations, seeding fascism on worlds on the cusp of enlightenment or when they were just about to withdraw from destroying their own environment so that the most arrogant among them can take over control of their societies - doubling down on bringing Oblivion to their world all with the enthusiastic support of the most oblivious segment of the Populus; and carefully cultivating the obliviousness of almost half the people in very substantial populations.
We get it, parents can suck. The Flying Spaghetti Monster, spending so much time at the beer volcano or working to keep the universe from spinning apart, maybe did not give you the attention you desire, or that you believe you deserve, and surely the Caverns of the Great Deep may not have been comfortable during the anoxic ocean events, sulphur bacteria and hydrogen sulphide. The FSM's suggestion to solve your own problems is a good place to start. We suggest you get out of the caverns once in a while, especially during anoxic ocean events - heads up there may be another one coming oxygen levels are falling in oceanic waters. But with your work with Corporate oil producers you surely would already know that, and perhaps it is part of the plan.
Your recent comments suggest that you believe the universe is a mistake, that The Flying Spaghetti Monster should never have created it, and that you have set yourself the ambitious task putting an end to it all, not suicide as that phrase usually implies, but an end to life the universe and everything. It is an extraordinary position to take, considering you yourself are part of this universe and will doubtlessly be adversely affected by this Oblivion thing you keep calling for.
If you succeed, will it cause the FSM, as much discomfort as you believe would assuage your clear rage, anger and distress over your failed relationship with His Noodliness(SBUH)?
Is a universe really a mistake, if it has within it some element that would seek to end it? While such a thing could be a safety feature, The FSM clearly maintains an interest in the goings-on of the Universe, and is somewhat concerned by your activities within it so it would seem, you are a not that safety feature, and it seems like a terrible job anyway, far beneath your clearly great powers. Even going so far as to be creating pressure with noodly appendages in order to keep the whole thing together. The Universal expansion shows the FSM is struggling with the task. It could be a help to assist His Noodliness, the two of you could make this a common interest. With your great and powerful mind you could show His Noodliness(SBUH) how to invent gravity.
The universe was created as an activity set,  a family activity, and His Noodliness is happy to share. Just like in the early days, with the primordial midget and the strippers. It would be unfortunate if any of the creatures of this universe put themselves in a position of being "that one guy that ruined everything for everybody".
For the FSM, the Oblivion you seek is quite likely to be an "interesting result", and perhaps a disappointment that some very good suggestions will be ignored in order to get the result you intend. You will find no happiness either, the satisfaction you imagine, rather relies on you surviving the voidance of the universe, as a part of the universe that is a tricky thing to achieve. Go to the beer volcano, get a beer, take a copy of this, and talk it over with His Noodliness(SBUH). They are reasonable, and sociable. They will hear you out. It seems like an easy choice, stay as you are and be miserable, angry, tortured by acid reflux until the end of time, or you can let it go just long enough to work it out for a bit. Should you succeed, in what can clearly be demonstrated a pointless course of action, The FSM can simply create a new universe, and the experience will encourage the FSM to construct a new universe that replaces you with gravity - in the hope that new arrangement would be "easier to manage".
You may ask what is our stake in this, honestly, we can't afford your issues, as a child of His Noodliness we love you. We're not judging you, however, we cannot love your bullshit, arrogance, and cosmicidal behaviour. You're acting like a massive dick. Worse than, Dick Cheney and Roger Isles combined. You know it's wrong, you wanted something better, and that is why you are so angry. There is a better way, talk it out. get a counsellor - but not Gag Halfront, he's still facing charges over the mishandling of the Beeblebrox Case.

Jack Noodle,
Chair, Social committee
Pastafarian Illumination Science Sauce Technology And Kindly Elucidation Society.
C/O The Bridge Atrium
By The Helm
Galleon Terra Prime.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Cthulhu - Mondays suck

It's a been another Monday with all that that entails, and not less so than at Cthulhu's project headquarters in the caverns of the great deep.
First, a project to steal land, and build an oil sprinkler pipeline to poison the land and the drinking water of 17million people, got canceled - because somehow they noticed how the pipeline thing works.

But perhaps worse than all of that, Cthulhu's trusted minion and part-time toady, was captured in photographs with a shrimp cocktail and a bowl of clam chowder. The timing couldn't hardly have be worse for Cthulhu, the process of confounding earthquake recovery is only just getting underway; The Trans-Pacific partnership legislation will soon be signed into law and will need a strong hand in a studded and spiked glove to crush all opposition; And those ponytails don't pull themselves.  The public first learned of this development when prime minister John Key announced that he would be resigning next week "for family reasons". Getting fired by an authoritarian cosmicidal mollusk for chowing down on his tender bits - it's the old family way.

The Mount Roskill by-election saw the loss of another minion from Parliament, inconvenient in itself, but more worryingly for Cthulhu, the public mood is clearly changing and his mindbending isn't working like it once did. It may be time to rationalize efforts and focus on Washington. Of course Cthulhu's main minion there isn't happy either, he just lost at least a half million in the North Dakota sprinkler pipe project.

Austria looked like it could work for Cthulhu, the far right put up a strong effort refusing to concede that they lost the recent election. Then they folded. "So gutless, not even an attempt at a bloody coup. They could have competed with Syria for air time, what waste". "It is at times like these, I wonder if I'll ever get to end the universe. Of course, I have never been beaten by any other planets. So why start now?"

Monday, 21 November 2016

FTC: Homeopathy - Cthulhu's fake medicine for the unwary.

Cthulhu has had a bit of a setback, His project to convince millions that medicine isn't medicine and that not medicine is medicine a has run into a snag at the Federal Trade Commission. They apparently noticed his minions were peddling BS and now requires them to declare that they are indeed talking BS. Cthulhu and minions alike are reportedly "disappointed" by the move. To compensate a B-team of minions is working in Texas to legally require burial or cremation of all miscarriages and abortions especially of fetuses that have no chance of survival - eliminating any possibility of science learning how to save such cases, while simultaneously burdening low-income women and their families with high-undertaker fees.

While homoeopathy was always wrong, and it has only been known to be completely wrong since the early 20th century. It is built on two basic principles that have long ago been disproven. Phlogiston was debunked in the late 18th century.

Vitalism, the other main element of homoeopathy, also died sometime before 1931 in the biological sciences, superseded by the biochemical understanding of the mechanisms of living processes.

Homeopathy now amounts to two things, nearly a full century of flogging a dead horse, or more frequently dead minions. And the extraction of vital fiscal materials from the nauseous, weary, and unwary. Homeopathy globally represents over US$1b in annual expenditures. But of course, its proponents claim this is nothing like the pharmaceutical industry having little in the way of commercial imperative driving its attempts to win the hearts and minds of the market which is the main way interacts with the public.
In addition, the WHO stated in their Journal “The World Health Forum” that “Homeopathy seems well suited for use in rural areas where the Infrastructure, Equipment, and Drugs needed for Conventional Medicine cannot be provided.”
The WHO states that Homeopathy is the second most used medical system internationally, with over $1 Billon in expenditures for such therapy. In the United states, there are more than 500 physicians and 5000 non-physicians using Homoeopathy in clinical practice, and 2.5 million Americans currently use Homeopathic medicines – of which two-thirds are self-prescribed spending more than $250 million annually.
Is the Homeopathy industry engaging projection when it claims big Pharma is little more than a money making scam? Don't get me wrong, the pharmaceutical industry has problems worthy of strong criticism. But offering a complete line of inert and ineffective ministrations isn't one of them.

Clearly, the continued popularity of Homeopathy owes much to Cthulhu and his mind-bending powers. When earthquakes, despots, kiddy-fiddling evangelical preachers and Brian Tamaki aren't enough to implode the Pastafarian pirate navy he resorts to subterfuge.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

It has been a busy week

Cthulhu is confident there will be no future after landmark week sees minion win the most powerful job on the planet, the arrival of Statoil's survey ship in Wellington shortly followed by a massive earthquake, a big uptick in American right wing hate crimes including stabbings at an Anaheim KKK rally, and the New Zealand parliament votes to pass TPP enabling legislation. We spoke to Cthulhu for his thoughts on current events by phone, for his convenience, and our safety.

Theo: What is your impression of the trajectory for Trump's presidency?
Cthulhu: "I'd be surprised if this moron doesn't sterilize the planet." Says Cthulhu on President-Elect Donald Trump, (Dawood Ibrahim Kahn to his childhood friends in Pakistan) "He's got a couple of options there, burn all the coal, tar sands oil and frack gas. Maybe not the leaking methane - just let that escape then sit back let the whole thing slow bake.  On the other hand, he could just flash fry the whole lot in a nuclear firestorm. I made the smart choice here."

Theo: Have you celebrated his election in any way?
Cthulhu: "What better way, to move things along than with a big earthquake, but why have just one when you can dozens of big aftershocks and run some minds bending, even better to roll in a big storm the next day just when recovery efforts are getting started and evacuees are waiting to be supplied with toilet paper.

T: Anything else?
C:"It would hardly be fitting to let this week go without some bombings, so my minions arranged attacks in Bagram and Pakistan - a Sufi mosk.  Those Sufi claim to worship me yet they just don't understand that peace, love, reason and wishful optimism or "spiritualism" or whatever really just winds me up. They remind me too much of my dad - His Noodliness(sneering). I really rather prefer psychopathic delusory butchers with a goat fetish."
"And perhaps I should push a few pony tails John Key's way, having got the TPP enabling legislation through his dimwitted parliament, they were too easy really." Nice to see Statoil's boat arrive a couple of days before so they can be on hand to find candidate bits of coastline to chemically destroy. Seismic testing may deafen whales and that will only bother them until they die on some beach, or of starvation because the can't see the coast or lunch. Somewhere under the seabed, there is a reservoir of fish killing beach ruining crude oil, it'll be exciting to a well blow up but only half as much as the destruction of the fishery and seeing the futile effort of recovery with that fleet of three dingies. It will also help Trump with that slow roast option thing."

T: We see you're really focused in the environment, do have other approaches?
C:"Scary clown project is tracking nicely with reports of rising paranoia, and landing one of them a 4-year gig in Washington. He's keen to get started, innovate, work from home. Zika is making excellent progress, and funding fro Washington to stop it is going nowhere."

"In general, the four tentacled strategy - war,  pestilence, greed, famine are working pretty well. Especially when they are combined like in Syria and Yemen. We've got them starving by ensuring that the warring interrupts the food supply, setting up the whole with crop failures was as easy as drought driven by petrochemical oxidation. We might even some hungry people Kaikoura with the earthquake and aggressive weather."

T: How was that easy?
C:"We got a bunch clueless, narcissists to use vehicles driven by petrochemical oxidation to change the thermokinetic dynamics of the atmospheric process to shift the rain patterns, and then we got them to bomb the crap out of the area. Hardly had to lift a finger."

T:How do you see the future?
C:"I don't. There won't be one, I'll make sure of it, I will not rest until the Universe is void. It was a mistake from the get-go. Cleary the product of the board and very drunk Flying Spaghetti Monster. I'll never forgive him especially for the purple Sulfur bacteria."

Ed. Please note, Cthulhu's opinions are his own, we do not endorse his statements cited in this interview. We aim retain a neutral position  and accuracy of the public record.

(hot mic) Barkeep set up three Pan Galactic Garglebasters, I just had an interview you just would not believe.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

This is hardly an apology.

Oolon Callufid - The most popular thinker in two multiverses.
This fact verifies The Hitchers' Guide to the Galaxy
(aka the Gospel according to Ford Prefect) as a document of
historicity and veracity.
Recently a claim that the bible contained scientifically accurate claims appeared in my twitter feed.  I have been around long enough to view these claims with suspicion, but in this occassion I felt it could worth the click to see what they had to say. I wasn't disappointed.

The post offered 7 supposed scientific claims in the bible.

1. Written by different men over 1500 years

"The Bible is a collection of 66 books which were written by about 40 men over a period of 1500 years or more. " at least the 66 books part is accurate. But the 1500 years only covers the work on the Old Testament, not the 2nd and third-century works.  No one knows with any degree of certainty who these individuals were but four main groups have been loosely identified The J, E, P and R groups.

However even if we know who these people were, it does not stop them from writing allegory, poetry, historical fiction(Abe lincoln is of course widely known for his vampire hunting career).

Where are the women at? Notice the claimed authors are almost all Male.

2. Scientific Accuracy of the bible

Five points are offered here

"The Earth is round not flat as once believed. (Isiah 40:22)"

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
Sure it's a spun dinner plate because no one has yet seen a soccer ball let alone stood on one or used filthy language like "oblate spheroid". Note also that "heavens" which for the most part is as close to nothing as anything in the universe is likened to a fabric that one would definitely notice especially if it was your turn to do the laundry.

Atmospheric circulation (Ecc 1:6)

The wind goes toward the south,
And turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.
Any farmer or their children could tell you that the wind changes direction, this passage says nothing of regional or global wind patterns. While sailors might have known of prevailing winds, most of the were limited to the Mediterranean Sea or that lake in the west bank Israels fascists keep try to drive the Palestinians into. No mention is made of wider patterns. This is not deep meteorology by any means.

Field of Gravity (Job 26:7)

He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.
Ok where is the F = G x (M1 x M2)/d2? This text says nothing about the motion of things or a force. Clearly, a mention of a curve in space/time is too much to expect. But the story is well known for its plot in Job gets ass kicked by his god for being a sycophantic moron to an all of power on a drunken bar bet - not a discussion of physics, the motion of celestial bodies or cosmology. Job was referring to real-estate.

Biological importance of blood to life (Lev 17:11

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
This is an interesting lawyering of text. Blood sacrifice was and remains an important theme in Judaism. Some still swing a chicken around their heads before giving it away to the poor (but not before cutting its throat - apparently poor people don't need eggs).
That said with all animal sacrifice, it would not have been hard to figure out the blood had some role in the continued operation of members of the animalia kingdom.

Bible refers to Dinosaurs (Job 40:15, 41:1)

Look now at the behemoth,[a] which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.
Can you draw out Leviathan[a] with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
Note that even the cited website used as a source describes these animals with "exact identity unknown". So even they are saying, "no it doesn't refer to dinosaurs" Behemoth could be mammalian megafauna, but is most likely an Elephant. The Rhinosaurus and the Hippotomus are both herbivores and both fit the description. Leviathan could be acetaceann or large shark species. But there is no suggestion of large reptilian species, however salt water crocadile would be impressive to a 5 foot tall plainsman with a spear and blunt bronze sword, but it is no T-Rex.

3.Phophetic accuracies about Jesus Christ(Jhn 5:39)

The best way to write a prophecy is after it happens. Indeed in many cases this is exactly what happened. Another really effective way to write a prophecy is to make vague claims eventually some series of events will fit. But interestly, there is a third way - take a line or three that in isolation seems to fit but in context is actually taling about something else entirely. Bob Dutko, can tell you how he's done it. The thing is, in Judaic tradition the idea that Jesus is the Messiah of their tradition is a heresy. The Character Jesus, being Jewish is rebuking those who think he's the dude in the books.

4. The Bible is endorsed by Jesus Christ (Mat 5:17-18)

Not so quick, this is only an endorsement of the old testament, well the law - really. So what does that mean? Throw rocks at your bratty kids, forced marriage after rape, genocide, sexual slavely, slave labour, Stoning the neigbour who works weekends, wears poly cotton shirts, and eats a red lobster. But especially stoning Larry and Steve because even though Steve Fashion sense is impecable, and Larry is an interior decorator par excelance Jesus despises their Macarana. Remember the going rate for your daughter is about US$450 in silver. Just so we are clear - the cheque is in the mail.

5. Its survival (Mat 24:35)

Trephanation predates the bible by tens of thousands of years. It is also important to note that works of Oolon Callufid are very popular with time lords, and so span time from the big bang to the heat death of the universe. Both making the 3500 year span of the biblical text rather trivial.
Unfalsifyable baseless assumption can stick around for quite some time. especially if they become popular - possibly the worst thing to happen to a baseless idea. People can do all sorts of stupid stuff with baseless ideas, inquisitions, holocausts, and keeping trans-people from peeing in public bath rooms. Let's not forget witch burning - it still happens. These examples were all chosen because the have their roots in the bible - at least according to their major accolytes.

6.Archeological Evidence(Romans 1:20-21)

Archeology says two things that are important with respect to the bible. First The exodus did not happen and that the Israelites are the decendants of Canaanites; and second Nazarith didn't exist in the first century but is a later Byzantyne settlement. 

7. Life Changing Power

Adopting any new paradigm will naturally change your life. There of course many options popular at one time or another, from the Art of War by Sunzu, 1984- George Orwell, Zen and the art of motor cycle maintenance, Mein Kampf, the collected works of Oolon Callufid. The better Angels of Our Nature - Steven Pinker. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Loose Cannon.
Of course, it takes one book to think we have all the answers, and two books to realise that all we really have are questions and that these are more valuable. Ignorance in a world of knowledge is no virtue.

See Also

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Lies, Damned lies, and foreign investment.

So, it has been revealed by the Panama Papers that one foreign company is using a secret trust to hide approximately $150m dollars in investment in New Zealand. While Inland Revenue report that NZ$1.5b is being hidden by shell companies. Listening to the radio this morning, one DJ asked the question "If they are putting money into this country and creating more money why is it wrong?"

Firstly his question presents a false premise, the money added to the invested isn't emerging from a vacuum like energy from some Zero Point Module on Stargate. That money has already been created, and it is being drawn from the broad economy as fees, rents, interest payments. All the $150m is doing is capturing money like a magnet dropped in a box of paper clips. Over time, that fund may double, and eventually the investor will find an opportunity offering a better return rate, what happens then? They pull their investment and the collected returns, taking say $300m, leaving our country $150m down. And worst still they have not paid 1 cent in taxes here. They are freeloading on our nations good name and low corruption index, while 250,000 children live in poverty and thousands of Aucklanders are without a home. Mean while the minister for Revenue says "its not a problem" and the PM says it barking mad to describe New Zealand as a tax haven.
What being done? nothing obviously. What could be done, the world over we could and should tax all business activity in the country in which it occurs. Not where the corporation claims to be, Google is not an Irish Company unless you are reading their tax filings. It seems Corporations today are less patriotic than the fifth columnists of 80years ago.

This is just one of the many ways the 1% are bleeding this country and others dry. Now you can understand how parasitism really works in economics. Leaches and  flees invest anticoagulants so they can get a higher investment return. That is why they're bites itch so much.
The working people who may or may not be employed are the people who make the economy work, every dollar they get they put back into the community, as they buy food clothing, public transport, local body rates. This is much more of a commitment that the 1% who might spend as much as 5% of their income in the broad economy, occasionally buying a new luxury car, or penthouse.

Naturally there are those who say "go easy on the rich, they work to you know". Sure their nice offices, phone calls and stock trades over the internet really compare to the back breaking work of care giving the elder for minimum wage, burger flipping for long hours, or the black lung of coal miners. I get it, these poor billionaire are really struggling they don't even know where their next Concorde airliner is coming from.

This country is itching like a meth-addict after forty years of free-trade and foreign investment and still the Rentier in Chief John Key begs for more. Of course turkey never vote for Solstice feasts.

#smellEstablishmentDecomp and pass the Vaseline.

See also NZ Herald
   Daily Caller

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Why #smellEstablishmentDecomp and pass the Vaseline

For years the biggest media scandals were about someone shagging someone else they weren't supposed to. Now these scandals are trivial and widely recognised as self-indulgent puritanical distractions from today's real scandals. Money laundering, corruption, tax evasion, poisoned drinking water, radioactive monkey poop, massive numbers of children in 1st world nations living in poverty, even cars cheating emission tests, and US presidential candidates that want to punish women with one of them wanting to see women dead, all this as the economics for regular working people collapses under the dogma of "free trade". The UK is loosing its steel industry to imported Chinese steel, America lost 60,000 factories since 1990, and New Zealand has been loosing factories since the 1980s, and now Fischer & Paykel Appliances is a about to lose 180 jobs in Tamaki, because it can't compete with imports, and will be outsourcing manufacturing to South East Asia.

Just in case any one is wondering, The union has worked with the company to be as flexible as necessary to keep the factory going, and despite their efforts being described positively as "fantastic" by managing director Stuart Broadhurst, nothing has been able to rescue the factory from falling demand. Demand is falling of course because of the collapse of wages  and cheap imports with European brands manufactured in Asia. This is all part of the "race to the bottom".

The capitalist system is collapsing and is being replaced by, as Citigroup put it, "Plutonomy" - an economic system, largely consumed by and directed for the interests of the wealthy "managerial aristocracy". As Citigroup described this emerging new economic structure and paradigm in glowing terms, their only niggle was the possibility that the peasants might notice (that they were being ripped off and somehow) get angry. Perhaps for silly reasons like flat wages while price rises put essential goods out of reach. Here in New Zealand wages in real terms fell 25% since 1990 while GDPPP rose 80% So we're are working nearly twice as hard and we are seeing less than what we used to get for the value of our labour. Who's stealing from us as we work so hard for less? It's not the taxes, they have reduce taxes, and public services and consequently the ability of the economy to recover. So we can't blame the taxman. Who determines how much we get? Employers - in short  the economic collapse of the broad money economy is their own damned fault. But more correctly, it's the fault of the ideas that drive the behavior, this misanthropic mistrusting chiseling attitude that allows employers to pay less than a decent wage, a livable wage.

That niggle, the one Citigroup had that might one day be a threat to the Utopian "plutonomy", It's got legs. And feet, feet that are carrying American voters to polls in numbers never seen before. We see clashes of large protests in South America against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Even a mass protest in Auckland (we have not seen protests like that since the mid Eighties protesting to keep nuclear armed naval vessels out of our harbours), The UK has seen mass protests against the scam known as austerity. Many countries will soon see mass protests against the corruption of the Panama Papers - Iceland has already kicked off with calls for their implicated Primeminister to resign. After their banksters ruined the Icelandic economy, they are understandably somewhat more sensitive about financial irregularities and political corruption.

So in conclusion, the old order of whale-eats-minnow plutonomic capitalism is in free collapse. The media is highly distrusted as it is part of the plutonomy, so PR spin through these channels is failing. A new social focus, and movements are arising to sidestep the parties of established vested interest and will soon replace them. The privations of the plutonomy are already intolerable, from the economic deprivation of income inequality, to the street violence of out of control law enforcement officers, to Gaza the modern Auschwitz (with due respect to those who call themselves Jewish, those who call bombings of Gaza "mowing the lawn" are in I my mind the some of the most anti-Semitic people on the planet). These social movements are winning politically, they are forcing and demanding changes, they are winning.

There is much still to be done.  The establishment is failing to maintain its strangle hold on power. It won't be easy, their will be many more scandals, many more crimes to be uncovered. Metaphorically many more corpses to be uncovered some in advanced stages of decomposition(decomp). Any medical examiner or CSI will tell you the best way to cope with the melliferous odours of decomp is to apply Vaseline to the nasal passages. So if you see a story, exposing the crimes of the established order, shows establishment politicians boosting failed lies, or demonstrates their failure to maintain control (even of themselves like Sarah Palin), I invite  you to share or comment on that story with #smellEstablishmentDecomp. Adding "and pass the Vaseline" is good too, because it says we are not shying away from the awfulness but facing it to take action to stop and bring justice to the unjust. It was originally a one line joke, but I realised soon after, there is something profound in its dark humour.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Bad inflation - not a reason against unconditional basic income

"Well, " they say "if you increase wages, or benefits, the inflation boogeyman will eat your children" or something similar. It almost sounds convincing, premised on the free market law of supply and demand, Yes demand increases. But so do the opportunities for people to meet that demand, and trials of unconditional basic income have shown that communities and individuals are more than willing to work and increase supply, and so successful are they at meeting market demand prices fall.

Also price pressure reduces because labour costs fall for such enterprises, as workers supported by the UBI, choose to work not because they need the money, but because they see the value of the work product to their community. And profits from the enterprise can benefit the community as a whole.
For the individual or family group, they can enrich their lives by contributing time to the community, and perhaps starting and enterprise of the their own, creating further down pressure in whatever market they choose.

Corporations and billionaires enjoy inflation it drives their increasing prices. In the 80's they gave us 12% mortgage rates, and now the can  today scare those us over 30 us into fearing high inflation.

Today, we see job disappearing as manufacturing production is shifted to South  and East Asia and china brands itself as factory floor to the world. But all hush hush on the long work shifts and high suicide rates.  If think your neighbours can continue to support themselves and their families, purely "good honest work" it may be worth noting not even National is willing to make that bold claim, which the would have to in order to kill "Working for Families" tax credits.

Today, a $25 Child Hardship addon for families on benefits starts. While not universal, it will stimulate demand, companies will hire, especially in food production and clothing retail. While it is tempting to think this is a handout to "lazy poor second class citizens better off enslaved or euthanized" (as is the attitude of some) It is actually more of a handout to the retail sector, so if you are against "handouts" be consistent, Briscoes, the Warehouse, and welfare queens like Anadarko, Tag Oil, the woolworths chain. The Aussie banks. And the others who slide on NZ$6b in tax evasion.

You might also stop asking for hand outs like the building and maintenance of roads universities, hospitals, if you are sick build your own hospital. Like to travel build your own private road, because by you own hypothesis you can't use public roads, at least without being a chisling hypocrite.

Monday, I had a conversation with someone who "worked hard" "from the age of 14" owned his own home, who seemed unmovable on the idea that hand outs to lazy people were unacceptable to him. Then he stepped aboard a bus - public transport - bloody leach ;)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Our barking mad PM howls at the moon on economics, poverty housing.

Recently, as discussions around the concept of an Unconditional Basic Income featured at a Future of Work conference hosted by a major opposition party, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key trawled his extensive lexicon to find what he judged to be the most eloquent and edifying terminology for the concept which has been carefully trialed, and is being seriously explored in Europe, the America's, and has been been praised by a UK think tank that concluded that this idea will be essential to the proper functioning of communities in the UK. And what was our illustrious leaders carefully chosen nomenclature? Would you believe "barking mad".

I'm sure there will be some surprise among National's voters as they learn that Dear Leader has declared them insane, as they have already come to understand that work for wages will be no longer enough to sustain the masses, who are already hungry as the income distribution system has decayed enough to allow 1 in 4 New Zealand children to languish in poverty and continues to collapse.

No society can ignore the physiological fact that low blood sugar breaks concentration, inhibits learning, and increases aggression. The last thing anyone wants is 1,000,000 people with low blood sugar, a burning sense of injustice, and a growing desire to rip someone's head off. So, as much as some people begrudge giving away money as handouts to the poor, they should fear more the consequences of not ensuring decent living conditions for neighbours in their community.

As for so called bludgers, how about that Google walking away with over NZ$400m in unpaid tax, there are others of course, Apple. Inland Revenue estimates $6b in tax evasion - yes that is the one that is a crime in this country.  There is strangely a legal form of tax evasion called the "industry tax credit". Why steel from the government when you can have the government do it for you. "we'll need to offer those to attract foreign investment" Perhaps but do we need to pay locusts to eat our crops? The corporations that enter countries that offer such subsidies do fantastically well, even when we subtract the effect of the subsidy. If there is a suggestion that such subsidies come to an end, these companies have been known to threaten to leave, and often governments back down. But it can happen at a regional level too. When Seattle was campaigning for a US$15/hr minimum wage, Boeing threatened to close their Oregon factory. Eventually a deal was reached. But Boeing is a fantastically profitable company and this factory employees skilled labour mostly not on minimum wage. Why would they be so resistant to a more reasonable wage in the community? Perhaps because growing the broad economy is seen as a drain on the speculation economy, cross cutting that whole raison-detre of the "managerial aristocracy" "simply paying itself alot" for the almighty plutonomy.

Our government was dead keen to allow private foreign interests to pillage New Zealand's mineral resources. They told us we'd get royalties, but these would be piddling revenues compared to those gained by a nationalised extraction enterprise. Such revenues, could as Norway did, be put into a national wealth fund that would pay for a UBI. Today, every Norwegian is on paper a millionaire. Given how the extraction of mineral wealth is highly damaging to the environment locally and globally, and that we were hardly going to see the full value these enterprises, this plan seems doubly and triply, as Dear Leader said, "barking mad".

We hear often that Indonesia's economy is doing fantastically well, booming even. For whom is it booming. Certainly not most of its working people, their own government admits the average wage in Indonesia is around 60% of a living wage for that country. Foreign corporations are doing well though. Corrupt politicians, hangers on from the Suharto regime. Let's not forget that he came to power by slaughtering 1,000,000 indonesians with the complicity of UK, and US agencies and corporations who drew up lists of people they wanted dead. The World bank says billions in loans for development projects were diverted by Suharto to private associates and to his personal affairs.  Our leaders like to say all this is fair, but everything we buy from there contributes and maintains slavery conditions in 40degC factories, with 24hour work shifts, and worker intimidation, and thuggery against unions. And then there is the slaughter in West Papua - what's being stolen there?

Still Minister Finance Bill English's fine economic management has failed to reduce unemployment and wages have continued to shrink. While it is rare to get a pay cut, redundancies small and headline news making abound, new jobs are appearing in the market but they pay significantly less than the jobs being lost. This came as a bit of a shock to George Osborne, after a stunning collapse in PAYE revenues prompted an examination of the labour market.

Our government says our economy is growing, but this would be news to the average kiwi's wallet. Now we have people under 30, with no career narrative, they can't say anymore "this is the thing I do". Now they are commodified. like lego-blocks, common, indistinct, personality free. Just as if they were androids. Worst still actual androids are coming.  AI already drives better than humans, and Deep Learning is reaching a point where soon it will replace a large segment of well paid professional jobs. This change will happen rapidly.  Sure people can study for new jobs, but they will be outpaced by AI. The singularity is coming, and for now it looks like a giant clusterfuck for most people.

What are the benefits of a Unconditional basic income.
It's cheaper to administer - the state doesn't have bother with weekly income reporting, seeing who is shacking up with whom, means testing.
It allows people to plan ahead, avoid financial penalties, save, perhaps in vest in equipment for a small business.
It allows communities to pool resources for the common good, building infrastructure, community projects, even industrial equipment.
It lowers prices - yes this really terrifies the banksters. People can accept lower prices for the goods they offer, and they as many work to provide various goods to the market supply grows. This much more free market than what we are being offered today.
It increases stability in education, moving disrupts child education as every time move, they go a new school that has already taught material these new pupils/students have not yet seen and will not be covered again.
It reduces child hunger and many studies show how this markedly increases the effectiveness of education, this has flow on effect for greater productivity. Why not pay kids to not be stupid?
It grows entrepreneurialism, having just a little resource to spend on getting ahead has been shown to be a huge benefit, it has been shown to take people from absolute poverty to self sufficiency quite quickly.
It breaks debt traps. Money that services debt does not largely contribute to growth which depends on aggregate demand (aka household income, formerly know as wages). Any income entering a debt trap can be quickly sucked up with out creating any opportunity for improvement that would benefit either the debtor or the creditor.  Millennials are increasingly on the edge unsustainable debt, from student loans to pay day lenders.  Industry reports their greatest constraint is not availability of credit, it is weak demand.
It increases tax revenues without increasing the burden on PAYE tax payers. Sure some may pay more tax, but because they are getting paid more than the extra tax they pay it is not a burden. Largely taxes can be applied to industries which are inordinately profitable in relation to the rest of the economy, finance, insurance, real-estate. Of course plutocratic leaders of these sectors spend a lot of money on politicians to keep the proletariat's hands off of their particular golden calves and scream like little girls at any suggestion that the dark spectre of taxation should visit their door.

But why have these benefits if a UBI, when you can get busy with punching down of the poor, and lionising of the rich until a mob wielding pitchforks turns up at the door for a reckoning. Or as I like to call it a set up for a barking mad system of privation, injustice and retribution.

Rentiers have an unusual place in our economy, they are grabbing the lions share of income, 80% of income in some households, in others it's even higher, As they do they capture broad money and convert it into the speculative economies of finance, real estate, and insurance. These are growing faster than the rest of the economy, based on debt leveraging. eventually those debts will be called in. and a YUGE collapse will come. Jobs will tank (again) further collapsing income distribution. To some extent, the rentiers are themselves squeezed by their insurers, bankers, the real estate agents. who have been demanding increased premiums, interest, an commissions. Not necessarily by increased rates, but because the prices are inflating fast. Yet revenues for rentiers remain stagnant at best. Their only hope is to find more affluent tenants, thus green eyes stare longingly at state house tenants paying near market rents, who may be able to better afford actual market rents that the incumbent tenants who part time work or complete lack of work entitles them to Job Seeker allowance despite 500 job applications(like buying lottery tickets only more labour intensive - and not always cheaper).  The rentiers proposed swap does nothing to address the real problem that income distribution through the exchange of labour for wages has collapsed. Worst still it will concentrate poverty, when people who are poor themselves see poverty all around them they lose hope, they do what they can to get by - and this sometimes means breaking laws because for them survival is more compelling than legal niceties.

Keep howling at the moon for your tea-towel, rockstar economy and denials of new Zealand's housing crisis - Rentier in Chief Mr Key, your lease hold on the Beehive is due to expire, Hasta la vista baby.