Friday, December 06, 2019

Graph of the Day


Update: Sharp-eyed reader points out that the part labelled "profit" isn't all profit either. It's the 'importer margin' - The importer margin is the gross margin available to fuel retailers to cover domestic transportation, distribution and retailing costs in New Zealand, as well as profit margins.

I could be wrong but I heard the CE of Z being interviewed and I think he said the profit was 7% or thereabouts. Not an area I'm very au fait with the point remains. If anyone is fleecing us its the government.

Warnings about welfare: Blast from the past

Some quiet time to enjoy surfing through old newspapers, the following snippets caught my fancy. The first is a letter to the editor regarding Michael Savage's promised social security:


The second is a warning from the President of the Methodist Church regarding the same:


And finally a response to Mr Copeland:


How prescient was that remark?

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Kidscan: Are you sponsoring a child or a horse race?

I make no secret of my interest in horse-racing and that I have a very small share in a pacer. Yesterday I noticed this from the Pukekohe meeting:

If I was a sponsor to this organisation I'd probably be miffed.

I'm not because I disagree with the idea of sponsoring New Zealand children when the government already redistributes so much to their parents. We have a heavily-dependent parent population and Kidscan arguably makes them more reliant by assuming their responsibilities. For nearly three decades I've sponsored African children who are in rather more desperate communities where putting in irrigation, sanitation and schools is my idea of constructive charity.

Kidscan has been criticised in the past. I understand the arguments for charities getting involved in entertainment activities to lift profile and they may have had a marquee for supporters to thank them. It was probably a Xmas meeting where corporates traditionally lay on functions for clients, businesses host parties for staff etc. There may have even been an arrangement whereby some of the the day's prize money was donated back to the charity.

But if you are giving a dollar a day to support a New Zealand child through this charity are you happy to see it diverted in this way? Did you sponsor a child only to find you were sponsoring a horse-race?

Monday, December 02, 2019

Prisoners voting - letter to Leighton

Like the two commentors on my last post Leighton Smith is opposed to the reversal of National's blanket vote on prisoners voting. I sent him the following:

Hi Leighton

Prison serves three purposes: to protect the public, to punish the offender, and finally, to rehabilitate the offender.

Victims matter. We don't want more of them. Hence rehabilitation is vitally important. Those serving three or fewer years are amongst the most salvageable of prisoners and we expect them to leave prison, find jobs and contribute to society in the near future. It is therefore consistent and useful to reinforce that expectation by according them a say in that society.

And it will matter to some inmates. Prison is a very boring place where pecking orders are established and privileges sought. Those who get to vote will feel different from, perhaps a tad better than those who, by their worse crimes, have relinquished the opportunity. That too will enhance their potential for rehabilitation.

So based on successful reintegration into society being the most important function of prison for those serving three or fewer years, I am happy with the reversal of National's relatively short ban on all prisoners voting.

Best Wishes


He subsequently invited me onto his next podcast to argue my position. Which I did. Possibly not very well but I won't relinquish it. Will put up a link when the podcast goes public.

December 4 Podcast here