Saturday, April 11, 2020

Australia versus NZ in Covid cases

Interesting graph from Michael Reddell's Croaking Cassandra another of the blogs I follow, just more spasmodically:

I'm away to take in the excellent Easter racing coming in from Royal Randwick in Sydney this afternoon featuring some of New Zealand's best horses and jockeys.

Nothing to watch in this country.

New Corona Virus Assistance Announced

Due to the current upset situation caused by the Corona Virus in the economy, the Government has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early, mandatory retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment. This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to the Government to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as the Government deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by the Government.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. The Government has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)

PS - Due to recent budget cuts as well as current market conditions, The
Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

At least the blogs aren't in lockdown

The bloggers I read daily have sprung to life over the last two weeks. People never short on opinion have provided me with much needed entertainment and solace.

My favourite female blogger, the arch contrarian, Cactus Kate, who I would gladly adopt if she ever becomes orphaned, the epitome of everything Jacinda tells us not to be, is off the leash and utterly unrestrained.

Tribal National farmer Ele Ludemann writing from the Home Paddock is altogether more pragmatic, sensible and measured - to be taken in smaller doses. At least she's not a leftie. And she quotes Thomas Sowell frequently.

The assorted old codgers at No Minister produce some startlingly good insights but regular trolls turn the response room into a biff and bash session where quite thoughtless and stupid things are said by people who I suspect aren't usually thoughtless and stupid. That may be overly charitable on my part.

Over at Kiwiblog the comments are far more interesting than the posts (gems from David Garret especially). But new parents... they lose it for a while.

Being a libertarian slacker now made to sit up ramrod-straight by unprecedented government 'interventions' (Ele would approve of my restraint) I go to Not PC for my obligatory objectivism lesson (I don't often reach the end of them shhh).

Bob Jones needs no intro from me. He promising a big reveal on Easter Monday. How droll.

And my Pahiatua friend has presented us with a window onto Main St seen through his particular sometimes perverse lens.

At a time when the locked-up, who are losing the will to live, are being commanded to be gushingly thankful to those who still have jobs and incomes, can I say I am genuinely grateful to the bloggers who make me laugh out loud.

Friday, April 10, 2020

COVID knocks off Wahine Day acknowledgement

I thought I'd wait till well into the day to see if the media were going to do the usual Wahine Day remembrance. Zilch.
The Wahine heavily listing shortly before sinking in Wellington Harbour on April 10, 1968. Lifeboats are just visible on the left.
It is April 10. But COVID obsession overrode recall of New Zealand's worst ever maritime disaster.
The day and date is etched on my memory.

I don't get it

Apparently our leader is a great communicator. She spells stuff out really clearly. For example 'Stay home' and 'Act like you have covid 19' and 'Be kind'. All unambiguous instructions.

But it isn't easy to follow instructions if you don't understand why. Here's a simple analogy. I'd never used a clothes drier before. I was told it was important to remove the fluff from the container where it accumulates. Because I didn't know why it was important I always let it build up. Then one day I was told you need to remove the fluff because it might catch fire. SAY WHAT? Now I remove it regularly.

So, the great communicator hasn't told me why I have to follow her clear instructions.

1/ To stop the hospitals being overrun?

They are currently at around 50 percent capacity apparently. Casual staff are redundant. How long can that state of affairs persist?

2/ To eradicate the virus?

So our borders will be permanently closed thereafter? That makes no sense whatsoever.

3/ To wait for a vaccine?

We're in lock down for a year or more? Anyway the flu kills more people and I've never had a flu jab. Along with thousands of others.

I'm not a massively smart person. My attention  span leaves a lot to be desired. But I don't get it.

And everyone else seems to because they just keep saying 'look at Italy, look at the US'. Yes? And we have nothing like that happening here right now. Touch wood the numbers are trending down even.

Yet every day that passes the government persists with more wealth destruction and more borrowing.

And more messages about 'staying the distance'. But still no explanation about why.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Second-guessing the economy

Many commentators refer to the Global Financial Crisis and the unemployment rate peak of 6.7% in September 2012 as a reference for how high the rate might go in the next few months.

There are two earlier periods which we will probably surpass.

"... in September 1933 almost 80 000 men were registered as unemployed or were working in subsidised employment; that figure—at about 12 percent of the work-force—does not include boys or men who did not register because they were not eligible for relief."

Then after the eighties recession unemployment reached 11.1% in March 1992.

There is an entire industry, tourism, which accounts for one in 12 workers or 8% of the workforce which has died for the mean time. There are thousands of retail workers who won't resume because spending power won't allow it. Many small businesses will survive but with a straitened structure and fewer employees. The tertiary education sector which relied so heavily on overseas students will struggle. Media is shedding badly. Forestry stalled. Etc.

In December 2019 unemployment sat at 4%.

The rate is measured by surveying a sample of the population continuously (while refreshing that sample.) The next figure due for report is the end of the March quarter. That will only provide a preliminary number.

Apparently Grant Robertson has been promising up- to- date data on benefit numbers, also not due to be released until late April. Maybe we will see something today. Paul Goldsmith has rightly been putting the pressure on.

Expect increases across all benefits but obviously and especially on the Jobseeker benefit.

I will make a prediction with all the confidence that I try to pick the score in an All Black match at the TAB.

At end of March 2020 an unemployment rate of 8 percent rising to over 12 by the end of the June quarter.

A rise in Jobseeker numbers from 147,000 to over 200,000 at the end of March rising to over 300,000 by the end of the June quarter.

Watch also for the Sole Parent Support Benefit to climb as couples decide they are either psychologically and/or financially better off 'separated'. And the Supported Living Benefit to climb - but to a lesser degree - as people with psychiatric and psychological conditions increase, and elective surgery is delayed.

These numbers are very conservative.

1/ Some made redundant will have earning parents and partners which will mean they cannot qualify for a benefit. Families can and will absorb albeit their discretionary dollar will vanish.
2/ The wage-subsidies will also suppress numbers temporarily.
3/ New Zealanders will take up the jobs that can't be filled by overseas workers
4/ And we have one major difference between now and the Depression , and even the early nineties. Credit availability.

It is nevertheless entirely reasonable to expect that half a million people will be on benefits by mid winter. The thought chills me. I'd love to be proved wrong.

Update: Report from the Epidemic Response Committee. A tad over 1 in 25 applications granted? Must be a typo. (Since checked with reporter and it was a typo.) But even 25,000 in one week is one hell of a lot of applications.

Sepuloni said that as of the end of March, there had been an 8.2 percent increase on a year ago in people receiving the main benefit, and revealed a 15 percent increase in people receiving Jobseeker support. 

But Sepuloni clarified that the data only goes up to 27 March, so it doesn't cover the entire March period, and Upston said because of that, it doesn't even reflect the scale of the crisis. 

"What's been happening since 27 March?"

Sepuloni replied, "You can expect an increase, that's for sure."

She said last week MSD received 250,000 benefit applications, but siad some of them were duplicates and some applications may not be eligible, so it's not an accurate reflection of how many people have been approved since 27 March. 

Last week, 10,700 benefits were granted, the majority of which were Jobseeker benefits.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

We are not all in this together

The feminization of society isn't  the overlay of feminist values. No. It's the overlay of natural feminine tendencies. Don't tell me they don't exist. Most females become mothers. They are biologically designed to nurture. To bond through touch and soft murmurs. To provide their bodies to their babies (and lovers) as cushions and warmth. They placate, they adjudicate. They practice kindness with reasonable ease because that is at the core of the jigsaw puzzle piece they are.

Mine is a traditional but organic view of what a women is. She is not less than a man. And she is not more.

Now we get state-sponsored kindness shoved down our throats ad nauseum. It's unnatural. And it isn't what everyone can or should be expected to show.

Each of us has their own very personal ways of contributing not necessarily recognized as conventional kindness.

Right now some of those ways have been stolen from us. A man shows his care by providing what his family needs to function. That's his demonstration of commitment. He may not particularly like what he has to do to 'bring home the bacon' but there is some reward in the knowledge he keeps the family going and together.

Yes, this is my own overlay - hopelessly old-fashioned given so many parents both work; sometimes only the mother works and the father does most of the daytime parenting.

But I speak here about the essence of what still lies at the core of the male/female differences. And always will.

The new mental health campaign in the middle of the Covid 19 lock up is terribly nice in its messaging but it is going to make as much sense to a redundant male as Arabic on the back of a bus. Worse, it'll piss him off.

He didn't get sacked because he did something wrong. He lost his job, his source of self-esteem because the government shut down the economy.

Now the head of that government is telling him to 'wave to people and say Hi', that 'You are not alone'.

Cut off from the very people who would normally laugh off this smothering feminization of society he's never felt more alone.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Thank you Adrian Orr

Apart from my musings about Winston's end, this too made me smile. More, it made me laugh out loud:
"Support each other, think beyond just the next six months, and visualise the role you can and will play in the vibrant, refreshed, sustainable, inclusive New Zealand economy.
He para i te huarahi ki tua – To carve a path forward into the future."
 PC pap on steroids.