Friday, July 29, 2005

Poll Surge

Three recent polls show a significant swing in support to Labour. These polls are the first released since the announcement of the election, and don't on the whole take into account the full effect of any changes in support due to the student loans announcement earlier this week.

Importantly, the combined National/NZ First vote (in my view the only possible alignment of Parties that can see National reach the treasury benches) has fallen by around 8%

I suspect that these results have a lot to do with the renewed focus on international issues such as the Iraq war, and increasing irritation with Brash's flip-flopping on when he will release National's centre-piece tax policy, and what it will contain.

In contrast to this Labour has now released three of our key pledge card commitments, and they have all met with public approval. Ultimately the election will be won or lost on leadership, and good policies.

Although these results are a good sign that people are contrasting the leadership and policies of the two Parties, three polls don't make an election and I'm still of the view that this will be an extremely tight election. We will have to campaign hard for every vote right up until polling day.


spooks said...

27 July 2005 -- Finance Minister Michael Cullen today called for less spin in media exposure and more focus on the facts in the lead up to the election.

spooks said...

Labour's first two pledges, along with working for families, will result in up to a million new wealthy beneficiaries.

Too Right said...

Hey Mikey - your canvasing is working! You are carrying the day. It cannot be the rest of the lying, smirking, snivelling machine behind you. They are disemmblers, sophistrists and cheats. You alone are the clean and unblemished one. Well done. I hope you can continue to carry the mantle.

Progress to date is measured by the size of the bribe (what you call a policy). If it had anything to do with trust Helen would be down and out. Remember she was found to be prima facie a fraudster.

Don't let her have your letterhead - else we'll see plaintive cries from Nigeria offering to invest your $20Million.

spooks said...

Spending taxpayer money. Thanks for spending our money for us. Thanks for spending our money on education. But ... ...

Dear reader, if, out of the blue, you found Half a Billion dollars all of a sudden to spend on education, I wonder how many people would choose to spend it on university graduates. Personally, I would like to see this money spent on those at the other end of the socio-economic scale. Here we have a Labour government yes, that's a Labour government, spending Half a Billion dollars on the best educated, best paid people in the country. Here we have Labour spending Half a Billion on the wealthiest people in the country. Poor little university graduates, desperately in need of taxpayer money. But none of your constituents pay tax do they Michael, so you don't have to worry.

Dear reader, if YOU suddenly came by Half a Billion taxpayer dollars, would YOU spend it on the wealthiest people you can find? Who would YOU spend it on? Because your Labour team have decided that the wealthiest and best educated people in the country are the most deserving of YOUR hard-earned tax dollar.

Anonymous said...

To the contrary spooks, Labour's policies make sure it's more than just the children of the wealthy that can go to university.

spooks said...

Oh Dear ...

"Westpac chief economist Brendan O'Donovan today implored Labour not to make the proposal an election pledge. "

Is this what you mean by universal acclaim, Michael? I could have found a dozen quotes like this one today.

spooks said...

This policy does nothing to help the needy. It is a benefit being given to the best educated, best paid, most wealthy people in the country. How do you feel about handing over YOUR money, Nony, to the best educated, highest paid, most wealthy people in the country. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, dentists, engineers ... ... ...

spooks said...

Houston, we have a problem

The other day our host here, Michael, told us --

"The most useful figure to consider is the student debt per person, which went up under National, and has begun coming down under Labour's policies".

Our problem, Houston, is not a new one, in that we have already discovered that we cannot rely on things that Michael tells us. So here he is doing it again.

I knew in the current debate, that someone would in very short time give me the table I needed so verify (or not verify as the case might be) what Michael told us. And what do we find? You probably guessed it.

Lo and behold, the claim -- "has begun coming down under Labour's policies" -- cannot be substantiated. I was aghast at the discovery. Breathless I was. For safety purposes, please ensure you are sitting down as you read the revelation below. Such will be your shock and disappointment in our host.

I managed a cut and paste of the debt per person at 30 June each year, and it shows that debt has NOT indeed started coming down under Labour, nor under Labour policies, nor indeed at all --

1993 - 3,864
1994 - 5,524
1995 - 6,764
1996 - 7,734
1997 - 8,854
1998 - 10,206
1999 - 11,664
2000 - 12,413
2001 - 12,497
2002 - 13,232
2003 - 13,680
2004 - 14,242
2005 - 14,989

Cheezy said...

Wow, thanks for reprinting those figures Spooksy...

Look at the % by which student debt per person rose under National, as compared to the % rise since 1999. I'd guess that it would be much more damning for the Nats if you take it back to 1990 too...

Plus, I guess we should factor into the equation that there's been a much greater chance of a graduating student actually finding a job since the present government took office too. Very educational. Keep 'em coming, Spooksy...

Anonymous said...

Oh spooksy, you're trying very hard, but....

Take the six years Labour can be held responsible for: 2000 to 2005, (though whether it can be held responsible for 2000 is debatable).

Accumulative inflation of 15% over that six years would take the nominal value of $12 413 to $14 274. Inflation of 20% (probably closr to the mark given compounding) would take it to $14895.6.

And now the time a person takes to pay their loan will fall, as the compulsory repayments all go to principal.

Anonymous said...

Spooks, how does a loan one pays back constitute a "benefit"?

The policy probably is bad business news for Westpac, yes....

spooks said...

The fact is Micheal Wood said on this blog that "student debt per person, which went up under National, and has begun coming down under Labour's policies". This was patently not true.

This was patently untrue. The rest of what you have said, is inexplicably loyal, but blind loyalty nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

So spooks, it seems that you are happy for young people whose parents aren't wealthy to miss out on tertiary education because of the cost, and for often less bright young people to that access because their parents can subsidise them...

You also object to those young people from low to middle income homes getting a inflation-adjusted but interest free loan that they pay off by compulsory instalment upon working...

..Or, given your comment that

"if, out of the blue, you found Half a Billion dollars all of a sudden to spend on education, I wonder how many people would choose to spend it on university graduates. Personally, I would like to see this money spent on those at the other end of the socio-economic scale"

is that you actually want the money to be directed in the "benefit" form of student allowances to students from "the other end of the socio-economic scale", ie, low to middle income households?, who don't have to pay it back?

And as for those fee-charging professionals you list, who do you think they pass the cost of interest-bearing student loans on to?

spooks said...

Nony, you are wrong. The existing system, introduced by National, has already opened the doors to further education to anyone who wants it regardless of their socio-economic status. This Labour handout of an interest-free benefit to the highest paid, best educated and wealthiest NZers does not increase access to education.

The point you seem to be missing is that it is NOT a benefit to students -- it is a benefit to graduates. It is cynical vote-buying. Even the Greens are saying so.

(BTW, Nony, how can a loan be both inflation-adjusted and interest-free all at the same time?)

michael wood said...

A couple of points:

Firstly, I note that none of the righ-wing contributors have actually commented on the issue at hand - the recent shift in the polls.

Secondly, any suggestion that Labour is focussing on University eduacation at the expense of the trades is palpable nonsense. It was National who abolished the apprenticeship scheme in 1992, and Labour who re-established it in 2000. Our most recent pledge card promise will see an additional 5000 apprenticeship places funded. Additionally, we have placed tens of thousands more people in industry training and have a target of 250 000 by 2007.

Additionally, the interest free policy is likely to encourage lower income people into tertiary education (including both university degrees and practical polytech courses) as it is these very people who are most likely to be debt averse in the first place.

michael wood said...

Also, Spooks was correct earlier on when s/he pointed to the fact that nominal debt amounts have increased every year since the inception of the loans scheme.

My mistake for suggesting otherwise - sorry.

I was extrapolating from the fact that average repayment times have dropped that the average loan amount had also dropped, which is incorrect. The average loan repayment time has dropped from 14.8 years under National in 1999, to 10.3 years in 2002, and 9.3 years in 2004.

That's a big drop and it is courtesy of Labour policy on loans, fees, and allowances. The interest free policy will see this time cut even further.

spooks said...

Thanks Micheal, very gracious of you.

I don't recall you commenting when the polls showed National ahead, but you have set the new benchmark, and I look forward to your comments when it happens.

No comment I notice on Labour's new policy of Benefits for the LEAST NEEDY

Anonymous said...

spooksy the amounted owing will be adjusted upward by inflation every year, so yes you could conceive of a 2% 'interest rate' I suppose....

Anonymous said...

So spooks, do you think students should be receiving any financial assistance at all, and if so, do you think it should be in 'benefit' or 'loan' form?

Your comments of concern for the less well off suggest that you prefer the 'benefit'/grant form of targeted student allowances as opposed to a loan, which is odd considering the many other derogatory comments you have made about benefits and beneficiaries....

I suspect your argument, to the extent that it exists, is centred on the idea that students, given the return they might get on the degree in terms of future earnings, should be borrowing at commercial rates of interest as any business would.
Three things:
businesses can put the money they have borrowed to productive effect quickly, whilst students can't;

students in many of the professional courses whose future earnings probably will be high, pay a 'premium' of high varsity fees and tend to borrow the most unless their parents are well-off (as is often the case); and

many graduates do not actually have their earnings potential lifted that much by their degree.

That last point is not a problem: tetiary education is not about making money.
It shouldn't be 'free' in my view, but it should be accessible to all, and interest-free loans for compulsory later repayment square that circle well.

spooks said...

Nony, I repeat, you have missed the point. This is not assistance to students. It is a benefit to graduates. Very wealthy, very highly paid, very well-educated graduates.

We help students in many ways, most of which tend to be taken for granted. Students pay about 20-25 percent of the cost of their course. Taxpayers pay the vastly larger part of the course costs. Second, students get student allowances. And third, students may borrow for some course costs, and for some living expenses. I have no particular problem with any of these forms of assistance.

Think of it this way. If I were to ask the average NZer (outside the context of this blog, and this topic), what is their lagerst asset? Huge number would think of their house as their largest asset. Well guess what, for the people we are discussing here, their house will probably never become their largest asset. For the remainder of their lives, these people will have a much larger asset -- their qualifications. A graduate lawyer might have as asset immediately on graduation which an actuary might value at hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they have borrowed along the way, it inconceivable that the amount of the loan, could come close to the value of the asset gained. Most of the cost of it (apart from the effort of course) has been met by the taxpayer. I strenuously object to subsidising this asset rich person by allowing them an interest-free loan, at my expense. The messages are all wrong. The motives are all wrong. And it is wrong to have road workers paying the costs of wealthy executives and professionals. It's wrong.

Once again, this is not a benefit to students, it is a benefit to the country's most wealthy people - graduates. And that sucks.

Anonymous said...

Spooks said:
"Taxpayers pay the vastly larger part of the course costs....students get student allowances.....students may borrow for some course costs, and for some living expenses. I have no particular problem with any of these forms of assistance".

So you are happy with the current assistance provided to students - including 'benefit' style student allowances - but not the relatively minor provision of an interest-free loan to students. You prefer that they receive a 'benefit' in the shape of a student allowance (you must be happy with Labour's extension of eligibility for student allowances, then), and a 'false price signal' re. fees, than take out a loan they have to pay back, surely contradicting all of your arguments about personal responsibility, etc.

You insist that this policy is assisting graduates.
But what is the assistance?
Is it not an interest free loan?
And to whom is it provided?
A student. Loans are not issued to graduates, they are issued to students.

You are thinking this way because you are only conceiving of today's graduates, (as well as branding them exaggeratedly as all high income earners) and forgetting about future and current students.

Some of those future and current students will be the sons and daughters of 'road workers'.
Their access to tertiary education has been made less fraught by this step.
And I bet most road-workers know the centrality of tertiary education to their children's future and are right behind this policy.
Then when the qualified sons and daughters of road-workers are working they will pay the loan back - fast.

What is the issue here, spooks?

460 000 graduates will be benefiting from this - about 20-22% odd of the workforce - not quite the super high-earning, small elite you seem to have rigidly in mind.

spooks said...

Simple Nony,

I don't care how you try to nit-pick or manipulate the English language. You are only fooling yourself with the paragraph after paragraph of bullshit.

"Labour will scrap interest charges on student loans for New Zealand-based graduates" Helen Clark's words.

That's interest charges for graduates scrapped. That is a benefit for graduates. End of story. Don't care how you want to obfuscate, confuse, manipulate, spin, lie or whatever. It is a benefit for graduates. Plain English -- something you obviously don't understand. Define this, define that crap. Don't agree, Nony? Go and debate the terminology with your beloved and corrupt leader Helen and her politburo.

spooks said...

"460 000 graduates will be benefiting from this" The best qualified quarter of the workforce -- all on a benefit -- on average for ten years after graduation -- by which time they will have been climbing the ladder to be among the highest paid and wealthiest. All while on a benefit.

This alone will more than double the number of beneficiaries in New Zealand. Then you figure in another 300,000 Rates Rebates Scheme beneficiaries. And 300,000 Working for Families beneficiaries.

So you have the top quarter of the workforce on a benefit (plus their families), the needy on benefits (plus their families), families on benefits (including their children), wealthy property owners on benefits (plus their families). We are way over a million beneficiaries by now. Add spouses and children and it'll be over two million relying on taxpayer handouts of some sort or other.

We will have more people relying on some sort of government handout, than not. I have faith in the electorate to realise in the next few weeks the absolute ridiculousness of this. God Defend New Zealand. God Save us!

Anonymous said...

yes, you've bowed out of this argument, haven't you?...back to the spooks we know best, 'chocka' with hyberbole, abuse, wild assertion, prejudice, etc, etc...

You are funny.
We're quite fond of you.

Anonymous said...

So, spooks, you would rather that students were given 'benefits' in the shape of student allowances rather than loans they have to pay back?

spooks said...

Your words, not mine (as in your already well established habit). Not even a legitimate extrapolation of my words. Just another form of your incessant deceit, putting your words in other people's mouths. If you have to lie about it, what is the point?

spooks said...

This is why communism doesn't work. This is why there is a huge looming danger with, for example, the Cullen Fund. Billions of dollars sitting there for my retirement? Ha ha ha. I fully expect to see none of it. Some politician will come along and find a much better use for it - TO BUY SOME VOTES. Just like today's example of the student loan fund. Just couldn't resist turning that into a vote buying exercise, and to hell with the country, buy some votes. Exactly why Labour politicians can't be trusted.

spooks said...

Btw, Nony, I'm quite fond of you too, except for your dishonesty. Why do you lie so much? Why don't you use truth to defend your position? It is much easier, and much more convincing.

Anonymous said...

No, spooks, you have said you have no problems with student allowances which are grants given to students in 'benefit' form, which they do not have to pay back.

Student allowances are given to the students most in need and indeed, you have expressed a desire for resources to go to those most in need.
But for some reason you cannot conceive of loans also having been given to students out of need, as they most definitely have over the years and even with Labour's welcome extension of the eligbility for student allowances, will continue to be, esp. if students have to leave home to study.

What is puzzling given your general philosophical stance is why you are against someone having to repay a student loan, in all keeping with notions of personal responsibility, and favour their receiving a 'benefit' in the form of a student allowance.

"Your words, not mine (as in your already well established habit). Not even a legitimate extrapolation of my words. Just another form of your incessant deceit, putting your words in other people's mouths".

What I do, spooks, is point out the utter and frequent contradictions in your own completely oppositionally inspired words - and you can't handle it.

spooks said...

"Taxpayers pay the vastly larger part of the course costs. Second, students get student allowances. And third, students may borrow for some course costs, and for some living expenses. I have no particular problem with any of these forms of assistance."

What I actually said, as distinct from Nony's lies. And --

"If I suddenly found half a billion dollars to spend on education, I certainly wouldn't spend it on the wealthiest, highest paid, and best educated sector of the community. I would prefer to see it spend at the other end of the socio-economic scale."

You couldn't lie straight in bed, Nony, and it does not help your cause, lie after lie after lie. You even had Michael woods apologising for one of your lies yesterday.

spooks said...

" ... ... Spooks, why you are against someone having to repay a student loan ... ..."

Straight our lie, Nony. Never came close to saying that. Quite the opposite. Your words (lies), not mine.

Behave yourself!

spooks said...

Because you are just making this wonderful blog unreadable and trashy.


Anonymous said...

Yes, spooks thank you for confirming that you are happy with 'benefit-style' student allowances but not happy for students to get loans they are required to pay back - at the cost of your total philosophical inconsistency ...

....this when both student allowances and loans (though the latter were abused a bit more before Labour tightened up access to them by going to instalment rather than lump-sum) have both assisted students of need, ie, those students from "the other end of the socio-economic scale."

Too Right said...

Nony, surprised you can type as you clearly have both hands on it.

Spooks' argument is very lucid and very easy to follow. Tax payer subsidised education (call it a benefit if it fits your etymology) has a legimate place in our education scene. It is also universal and can only be accessed by attending a course. Stop attending or get kicked for failing and the benefit stops, along with the cost to the taxpayer. Making student loans free of interest after graduation provides zero incentive to pay the loan outside of the statutory payment schedule. This will ultimately reduce the total dollars available to the Government. Interest if nothing else ensures efficient decisionmaking by the lendee. The amount of loans and number of loans will blow out.

A simple example - the apparent turnaround in the polls since the loan announcement - at the individual level people are going whoopee...tell me they won't max out if they can.

I know you lefties think there is a money tree somewhere which grows dollars - for the umpteenth time Government's do not make money they expropriate it in the form of taxes.

If there is a minimal requirement to pay the loan back and no interest being charged the cost will grow like pinocchio's nose (if you will pardon the metaphor - which is apt anyway, when one considers the mendacious, dissembling, sophistry practiced by Clark, Cullen and Duck in telling the electorate two months the cupboard was bare).

Cullen knew there will be no money left for tax cuts - he was going to blow it all on graduate bribes.

Anonymous said...

What's the argument here, Too Right?

spooks said...

"students may borrow for some course costs, and for some living expenses, I have no problem with this"

Don't know how much clearer I can make it.

Nony the liar, proves yet again that Nony lives by fraud and lies. And drags every Labour person, including the host here, by association, into the lies.

spooks said...

27 July 2005 -- Finance Minister Michael Cullen today called for less spin and more focus on the facts.

spooks said...

And rumour has it that the lying person who can't lie straight in bed, and who repeatedly posts here as "Anonymous", is not only a Labour MP, but is a Minster of the Crown. I know which one, but for the moment I prefer not to reveal. (It's more fun not revealing anyway.)

spooks said...

Oops, correct that, seems it's a staff member of same.

Too Right said...

Argument is people will max out on the loan free for all. The blowout will prevent/restrict Government fiscal manoevring. This is just the 2005 version of Muldoon's Super promise in 1975. The day he put the universal Super in place the next generation of pensioners to be, stopped preparing for their retirement.

Same will go for students - they will pig out. No need to think about repaying the principle as quick as poss to reduce the interest. The cost will balloon way above $3ooM to a $1B plus.

Anonymous said...

But the time taken to repay will reduce through the compulsory repayments because there are no interest charges is compulsory repayments that the reduced repayment times have been calculated with reference to....

Anonymous said...

So, chaps, it's quite easy.
List these forms of student support in your order of preference.

a) 'benefit-style' targeted student allowances
b) interest-free student loans
c) interest-bearing student loans

My ranking's a-b-c.

Spooks' by the sound of it, is a-c-b, or is it c-a-b? - strange concoctations other way. But 'b' seems to be last.

Anonymous said...

Now spooks,

What I am interested in is why, according to you,(a) is okay - and I agree with you that it is - and (c) is okay, but what's in the middle - (b) - isn't?

You have said (a)is okay - yes? - and that (b) isn't - yes? - when I would have thought your philosophy would have led you to put things the other way around....

michael wood said...

Blimey, you guys are persistent when you get in an argument, I'll hand you that!

My Dr Phil-like pronouncement on the whole matter is this:

Right-wingers seem obsessed with the student loans policy, the evidence being that my original posting was about a different topic altogether, yet Spooks for instance has just posted 22 times on Student Loans here.

Older right-wingers of the kind who post here clearly have guilt issues relating to the fact that their generation had entirely free taxpayer funded tertiary education and a well developed industry training framework. It's time to move on with your lives and let todays young people have a fair go.

spooks said...

Oh, that's hideously ignorant.

We "oldies", for example, did not have student allowances, just for starters. FFS, guilt indeed. What a twerp.

Good God, and you want to represent us in Parliament.

Jesus, until this comment, I'd thought there were some brains there. Let yourself down badly on that one, Michael.

Ageism is the new sexism, btw. Just remember something next time you switch on a light switch, Michael. God didn't give you that. And next time you drive on a road. God didn't pave roads. You, you ungrateful little pig-ignorant little toddler, have inherited these and a million more things, from us "oldies". They didn't just happen by divine happenstance. Guilt trip indeed. You ignorant little piglet.

And for what it is worth, lamebrain, if I posted 22 times on student loans, consider how many tomes I had to reply to lies and misrepresentation of my position by your lying little inbreeds, that you have absolutely no concern about. Lying is par for the course for you and your lot.

Hopeless. Dishonest and hopeless. Damn, you deserve to get thrashed.

spooks said...


spooks said...

Micheal said of us "oldies" --

"It's time to move on with your lives and let todays young people have a fair go."

Michael, you forgot the last bit of your proclamation, which would be, "... ... You oldies move on, shut up and let young people have a fair go, as long as you oldies keep paying the taxes to pay for it"

You are a product of your times Micheal. When I was 24, and when I was 35, and even 44 for that matter, the concept that the Government OWED me, NEVER entered my mind. I mean NEVER. Be it daily, or weekly, or even yearly, I mean NEVER. And I was not unique -- it is the difference between our generations. You, and your generation, were apparently born hands first, palm up. The gimme, gimme, gimme generation.

Cheezy said...

Hey Spooksy, take a deep breath, pull the blanket back up over your knees, take a wee tot of medicinal scotch, ask nurse for a fresh pair of 'Depends'... and relax.

And, oh yes, learn some manners please, old fella...

It'll make you much more reasonable & rational & 'cuddly wuddly' advocate for your cause.

Ahhhh!!! You see? Isn't that better, Spooksy? You feel better already don't you? :)

Cheezy said...

"pig-ignorant" "little toddler", "twerp", "inbreeds", "piglet"...

Gosh, I really feel I'm increasing my vocabulary when I read old Spooksy's posts!

But honestly mate, you only humiliate yourself with that kind of talk - when you can see that Michael was still talking about the issues.

Disagree with him, by all means, but please cut out the potty-talk... or I'll get in my boy-racer car and start doing
'donuts' all over the nice grass of your local lawn-bowls club.

Cheezy said...

All joking aside now... I hope Spooksy isn't getting as angry and het-up as he sounds in his posts... It really isn't good for the health.

All Michael did was point out the benign and undeniable fact that previous generations had much more assistance from the taxpayer in getting educated to a tertiary level (than the current one does)... and it spawns that kind of invective.

Quite seriously now, if we can, let's have a chat about this without the rising blood pressure that I can kinda sense from Spooksy's posts...

Anonymous said...

Two things

a) a technical issue - there was actually a spooks comment in between my two 'a-b-c' comments which seems to have got lost.

b) I think spooks needs to acknowledge that 'in his day' - whenever that exactly was I am not sure - the state intervened in the economy to ensure people had jobs, not always extremely well paid but certainly secure. In that sense it was a more straightforward business being 'independent' of the state, even if the independence had as its base, the action of the state.

spooks said...

Michael Wood 2/8/2005 -- "It's time for older people to move on with their lives and let todays young people have a fair go, but we expect you older people to pay for our youthful indulgences."

spooks said...

Michael Wood 2/8/2005 -- "It's time for older people to move on with their lives and let todays young people have a fair go, but we expect you older people to pay for our youthful indulgences."

spooks said...

Michael, at what age should we put ourselves out to pasture? What is an "older" person, Michael? 27? 35? 42?

Others might like to help Micheal determine an appropriate "moving aside" age. Your thoughts, please?

Would you like us to hand in our driver licences at age 55? Perhaps we could confine ourselves to bed after 7.30pm? and thus stop using your resources. Perhaps baths only once a week, no showers, for the over 40s. Buses, not aeroplanes for us "moved on" people. Maximum 1500cc engines in our motor cars for those over 40, and over 45s not allowed on the roads during the 7.30-9.00am and 4.30-6.00pm peak hours. There could be compulsory child-minding quotas for grand-parents. There could be an upper age limit on gym memberships and beauty parlours on the grounds that if you are over 35 it's a waste of time anyway.

The mind boggles.

The mind boggles.

spooks said...

"Much more assistance for us". How pig ignorant is that.

You --

a) 80 percent of your course fees met by taxpayer.
b) Student loans, interest free, including for living expenses.
c) Student allowances.

Us -- 100 percent of course fees met by the taxpayer.

Thus -----

What we got that you didn't --

a) 20 percent of course fees

What you get that we didn't --

a) Student loans, interest free, including for living expenses.
b) Student allowances

Now what was that about "previous generations had much more assistance from the taxpayer"

God, you people not only have no idea, you are so damn selfish.

Anonymous said...

Yes, spooks is right in that student allowances were not introduced until some time during the 1970's, I think.
But prior to that the university bursary awarded with reference to secondary school results were relatively much more generous and took a student a lot further.

Also, there were far, far less students, meaning that summer work for each student was more plentiful. And it was often in industries that offered relatively unskilled, casual, labour-intensive work, and were often close to the city, eg, meatworks (for the boys), but which don't tend to exist that much today. And, with penal and other rates widely in place, it was often generously paid.

Helen Clark actually made more or less these points re. th 'old' student existence recently - she didn't see it as 'free' in the way that word is understood.

Students, on their bursary and a solid stack of summer work, could flat their way through the year, not work through the year, and study full-time. It's plainly not like that now. They are more often working quite long hours through the year, causing full-time study to suffer in quality (a hidden casualty of this), and often studying part-time in the process, (not that there is anything wrong with that).

It's always slightly surprised me how low the student loan figures are - I don't think today's students are any less hard-working or greedy, I think the costs of studenthood are simply less subsidised and higher, and student work less well paid and so, student loans needed and unavoidable.
Those without student loans will by and large have some parental reason for it.

But, in rare defence of spooks, I do think people today, students included, have higher material aspirations and are perhaps not always as inclined to live cheaply. But you cannot blame them for the society they now live in and the influences they are under.

One other small point on the grand themes of the student loan debate -access to student allowances is widening under Labour. Once a student receives a student allowance they can only receive a loan until the total amount received from allowance and loan reaches $150 per week. Therefore, widening access to allowances will systematically reduce loan monies handed out.

Cheezy said...

Spooksy: Regarding that 'quote' that you attributing to Michael... Where/when did he say this?

You wouldn't be in the business of changing a quote, before sticking quotation marks and posting it as if it was what another person said, word-for-word... would you???

That would be very bad form, Spooksy. Use the copy & paste function in future please. And then don't touch!

spooks said...

Taking my benchmark from the comments I read here, cheezy, particularly the comments and misquotes attributed to Spooks. Just wanting to fit in, and be like everyone else. As a visitor here, I follow the lead of the hosts. If they want to eat with their fingers, so will I. They lead, I follow on this one. You might as well join in. Who knows, it might be fun.

spooks said...

Example, Cheezy

"Older right-wingers clearly have guilt issues that their generation had entirely free taxpayer funded tertiary education. It's time to move on with your lives and let todays young people have a fair go"


"All Michael did was point out the benign and undeniable fact that previous generations had much more assistance from the taxpayer in getting educated"

Practise what you preach, Cheezy, pot - kettle - black.

Cheezy said...

Jesus, Spooksy...

It's a shame I have to explain this to you, but here goes...

You put quotation marks around a passage of text that you put Michael's name and even the date next to!!! i.e. you were saying that he said precisely that!

But he didn't. Nothing like it.

Although I neither quoted him directly, nor misquoted him (as you did), my interpretation of what Michael said is pretty close actually. They're both to do with older generations getting more taxpayer funding for education.

You really are struggling, Spooksy!

spooks said...

Bad luck. You reap what you sow.

Btw, how does this apply in the oral form of the language? Such as in the lethal vomit that Goff is spewing out at the moment. I don't see the coupled fingers of both hands venturing to approximately ear height, and going '""' '""'

And if you think what Micheal said, and your synopsis are pretty close, then I rest my case. Pot-kettle-black. The only way in which yours and his were close was in their inaccuracy.

You reap what you sow.

spooks said...

Let me try a little experiment with you, cheezy (and Michael).

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it being labelled sexist?

Now, how bad is it being labelled racist?

And now, same scale, ageist?

There, you have your answer to why I found your synopsis offensive and inaccurate.

Ageists have the potential to be very dangerous animals, and Micheal Wood is an ageist, as he has demonstrated here.

Cheezy said...

(deep sigh)...

...oh dear... I simply don't know what he's on about anymore... Any takers?

You see, I'm not a trained kindergarten teacher. I get very bored having to explain simple concepts, maybe that's it...

Ho-hum then. One more try...

If Michael had said what you quoted him as saying (along with full name and date of utterance), then yes, I would agree with you that he is ageist.

But he didn't say what you quoted him as saying. Because you lied about that, Spooksy.

(And quite what Phil Goff has got to do with this, I have no earthly idea...).

Bottom line: Spooksy tells porky pies. To paraphrase Michael Moore: "How will we ever trust you again?"

You can go on repeating the old 'Pot-Kettle' cliche or 'When in Rome' or whatever you like, till you're blue(er) in the face, it won't change the fact that you lied about this.

I read Michael's posts again. The paragraph that appears to have got your incontinence-knickers in a twist was, for a start, directed at a group called "older right-wingers" i.e. not elderly people as a whole. Not at all. And, indeed, the only advice Michael gave to this subset was "it's time to move on with your lives and let todays young people have a fair go".

It's hardly "Sit at the Back of the Bus" stuff, is it Spooksy?!?!?... despite your lame attempts to link it to sexism and racism....


I'm going off now to play with people of my own mental age - lest I be accused of 'intellectual paedophilia' for hanging around with the likes of you...

michael wood said...

Spooks, you have not only misquoted me, but you have demonstrated a thorough lack of understanding of New Zealand's political history.

My generation has in fact been brought up with a far smaller range of state assistances than either of the two before us. That's simply historical fact. To offensively suggest that young people today have been "born hands first, palm up" is bizarre.

My earlier comments were simply directed at the hypocrisy inherent in your arguments. You begrudge moderate measures like interest free student loans for todays young people when previous generations had virtually free tertiary education, universal family benefits, state assisted home purchase, a protected job market, and all of the other protections of a full welfare state!

Times have moved on from all of this and I accept that, but your moral indignation is frankly laughable!

spooks said...

There you go again. It was not free education. We did not get student allowances. Get it! We did not get interest free loans or anything else for living expenses. Get it! And where we got 100 percent of course costs, you got 80 percent. Get it! So cut the bullshit about us having "free education". Like hell. It is you who has it on a plate with 80 percent of course costs, living expenses and course expenses, and interest free loans. Next you will be asking us to pick you up and drive you to and from your courses, and to provide you with tea and scones in between lectures!

And if I have supposedly misquoted you, then answer the question. Do you expect the same "moved-on" older people to pay for "todays young people having a fair go".

You see, and feel free to reply although I expect you won't, I have no problem with you young people having a fair go. But why should I have to pay for it. Remembering the context in which you put these "fair go" comments. To me you were saying "fair go" at the dough. These 400,000 graduates that you are so keen to turn into 400,000 new beneficiaries, not only have an average of $15,000 in debts, but they also have an asset worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and which we have already paid for once. The richest, the best paid, the best educated people in the land, turned into beneficiaries.

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