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  Reply # 551354 29-Nov-2011 11:08
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oxnsox:
NonprayingMantis:
oxnsox:
NonprayingMantis: (as an aside, I did actually vote, but not because I thought it would make any difference or because I want the right to complain, but rather because my wife was nagging me to do it and we happened to be in the area. Happy wife, happy life!)

Come-on... man-up here and take some responsibility.
It's one thing to argue your obtuse reasoning for why your vote doesn't count... but now you're making your wife responsible because you did. 

My vote makes no difference to the outcome, so I don’t vote based on some misguided belief that it will.  But I want to keep my wife happy so I did what she asked and voted.  What’s wrong with that?


It’s the same reason I make the bed in the morning.  I don’t think it is something that has any intrinsic value whatsoever (do you re-tie your shoelaces after you take shoes off?), and I wouldn’t do it except for the fact that my wife will have a go at me if I don’t.

Given that your wife is clearly the decision maker in your family.... perhaps we should actually be having this discussion with her.... 


Hehe.   The secret to a happy marriage is not being afraid to have a free and open debate with your spouse about any disagreements…. and then doing whatever she wants.

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  Reply # 551430 29-Nov-2011 13:10
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John2010: Sweden ... is a country I have worked in several times and they strike me as not being a very happy bunch (dour even, especially in winter).

To add another anecdote, I haven't found those I know to be especially unhappy, not always exuberant but pretty content.
They seem to do OK when sampled en masse e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index , http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ , http://www.prosperity.com/ ,

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  Reply # 551455 29-Nov-2011 14:00
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rhy7s:
John2010: Sweden ... is a country I have worked in several times and they strike me as not being a very happy bunch (dour even, especially in winter).

To add another anecdote, I haven't found those I know to be especially unhappy, not always exuberant but pretty content.
They seem to do OK when sampled en masse e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index , http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ , http://www.prosperity.com/ ,


Is your "anecdote" based on having been there among them working, on a tourist visit or just ones you have met in another country?

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  Reply # 551477 29-Nov-2011 14:48
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KiwiNZ: ...edit...
Maybe for these persons an Abstain choice should be offered on the Ballot papers so they can avoid the ridicule for their political choice . After all in a representative Democracy citizens are free to vote according to their conscience,  free of undue influence or prejudice for their choice. Once you make voting compulsory you have taken a step back from democracy.

If you're not happy with any of the options you need only to 'spoil' your voting paper by marking it incorrectly (vote for 2 or more people, or select 2 or more parties). That way you registered as voting but your vote really (@nonprayingmantis) didn't count.

You don't need a special 'abstain' option, you just need to vote in a way that registers as a true protest. It is a waste to vote on an option that has no chance of being recognised  as any sort of dissatisfaction with the available choices (say voting for Legalise Cannabis Party).  But by 'spoiling' your vote it will be seen by  all-parties as voter dissatisfaction and will be measurable.

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  Reply # 551510 29-Nov-2011 16:04
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Kyanar:
jeffnz: 
Interestingly Sweden, the country most thrown up as the example of a good welfare state, is/has sold of part of thier SOE's, I wonder why they did that!


I'd have to look into it, but I strongly suspect that Sweden likely also has extensive regulation of their natural monopolies (electricity, etc).  However in NZ we have a deregulated market, and a right wing government that laughs in the face of regulation (especially price controls!)

Provided there is regulation to ensure we don't suffer unbridled price increases like the last time they deregulated and privatised things, and controls are in place to ensure that "private equity firms" (Blackrock, etc) cannot get enough shares to influence the company's operation, I guess it could work.  But definitely not if it's going to cost us more than just borrowing the money instead (while still depriving us of future dividends).

I strongly believe this is the type of thing that should be put to a binding referendum, with all the information on it presented upfront.   That the government can declare that they will not release their reports and projections of the proposal on "commercial sensitivity" grounds is an abomination - no individual company's "sensitivity" should override the public interest.


 

From the small amount of reading I have done, your example of Electricity shows that it was deregulated in 1996 and since then prices have fallen, one could argue due to free market.

Anecdotal evidence would point to prices becomeing cheaper with competition and more expensive when tightly regulated. The last major power hike was from memory due to the farcical ETS which is nothing more than money gathering and has little or no effect on cutting carbon emissions.

This is hugely off topic but has been informative for me




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  Reply # 551537 29-Nov-2011 17:08
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jeffnz: From the small amount of reading I have done, your example of Electricity shows that it was deregulated in 1996 and since then prices have fallen, one could argue due to free market. Anecdotal evidence would point to prices becomeing cheaper with competition and more expensive when tightly regulated. The last major power hike was from memory due to the farcical ETS which is nothing more than money gathering and has little or no effect on cutting carbon emissions. This is hugely off topic but has been informative for me 
 

Keeping to the off semi off topic theme Smile.  

As far as I know Sweden has always had a lot of non government owned generation (as well as government) and that included some of the nuclear plants. That at least back to the beginning of last century but maybe some gaps along the way not known to me - perhaps nationalised or controlled in some way during wartime, but I am just thinking that as a possibility and am not about to spend time checking . So there was privately owned generation about a century before NZ (1996 here, from memory).
 
Working from memory as to the exact years but within months of the following - in 1996 the event that you mention distribution was separated from generation so a SOE similar to Transpower here was created. The electricity market in Sweden commenced in 1992 so that was a number of years before NZ.

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  Reply # 551549 29-Nov-2011 18:23
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John2010:
rhy7s:
John2010: Sweden ... is a country I have worked in several times and they strike me as not being a very happy bunch (dour even, especially in winter).

To add another anecdote, I haven't found those I know to be especially unhappy, not always exuberant but pretty content.
They seem to do OK when sampled en masse e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index , http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ , http://www.prosperity.com/ ,


Is your "anecdote" based on having been there among them working, on a tourist visit or just ones you have met in another country?


Not working among them - I presume you're saying that people aren't a bundle of fun when they're at work in winter, I doubt the Swedes would be alone in this?

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  Reply # 551743 30-Nov-2011 11:07
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rhy7s: 
Not working among them - I presume you're saying that people aren't a bundle of fun when they're at work in winter, I doubt the Swedes would be alone in this?


Where did you spend time in Sweden?

Like most people they are friendly etc when visiting them in their homes , etc in private situations but just a general hung jaw attitude in public, hotels, etc. I am not the only one who has noticed it, just one example I had another NZ'er with me on one trip and he had not been there before - we were out shopping and wandering through a mall and he suddenly blurted out "God, they are an unhappy lot aren't they." He was immediately struck by it.

Not criticizing them at all, was always well treated over there, just as an example that the socialist thing didn't put a grin on faces - more like a grim. Guess just comparing them to the likes of the USA (where generally super happy especially in the likes of the mid west where everyone wants to have a chat if you give them half a chance), Australia, etc, even some third world places where welfare is non existant (maybe there life is too short to spend it frowning).

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  Reply # 551888 30-Nov-2011 16:05
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jeffnz: 
From the small amount of reading I have done, your example of Electricity shows that it was deregulated in 1996 and since then prices have fallen, one could argue due to free market.

Anecdotal evidence would point to prices becomeing cheaper with competition and more expensive when tightly regulated. The last major power hike was from memory due to the farcical ETS which is nothing more than money gathering and has little or no effect on cutting carbon emissions.

This is hugely off topic but has been informative for me


Fair enough.  I'm more than happy to concede when presented with info without the bad attitude that people like John2010 have (you can stick the attitude John, no-one appreciates it and it doesn't help your cause). 

So I guess the impression that electricity is more expensive is more due to the effect of inflation outstripping salaries and wages then?  I can definitely say that inflation is outstripping the salary and wae growth of everyone I know.

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  Reply # 552127 1-Dec-2011 09:32
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Kyanar:
jeffnz: 
From the small amount of reading I have done, your example of Electricity shows that it was deregulated in 1996 and since then prices have fallen, one could argue due to free market.

Anecdotal evidence would point to prices becomeing cheaper with competition and more expensive when tightly regulated. The last major power hike was from memory due to the farcical ETS which is nothing more than money gathering and has little or no effect on cutting carbon emissions.

This is hugely off topic but has been informative for me


Fair enough.  I'm more than happy to concede when presented with info without the bad attitude that people like John2010 have (you can stick the attitude John, no-one appreciates it and it doesn't help your cause). 

So I guess the impression that electricity is more expensive is more due to the effect of inflation outstripping salaries and wages then?  I can definitely say that inflation is outstripping the salary and wae growth of everyone I know.



Well lets no ignore the ETS and its affect on power prices as it increased them by 3 % last year and is going up again in 2013. Also the ETS extracts more money from fuel with 3 cents a litre put on last year and another 7 cents from Jan 2013 so this impacts directly on households.

Be nice if one of the brains on here could explain how this helps cut back emissions but think that should be its own thread

As a footnote to Sweden. I see they also privatised thier hospitals and pension funds. Whilst they have soem of the best welfare in the world they also have the highest tax as well to pay for it (some don't realise that there is a trade off for all this)  VAT (GST) is 25% with food at 12% and publications,admission tickets and local travel 6%. Corporate tax is 28% (which will be the same as here) inividual tax is 28.9-59% for top earners. I'm not sure the actual breakdown on that but is certainly higher than NZ for both upper and lower incomes.

I suppose out of all this  one can see that, yes you can have great welfare but it has to be paid for somehow by everyone not just the top earners as there simply isn't enough. The old adage of ' everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die' is apt in this case.




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  Reply # 552156 1-Dec-2011 10:50
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jeffnz:
... Well lets no ignore the ETS and its affect on power prices as it increased them by 3 % last year and is going up again in 2013...



...and the near 1% from the Electricity Commission charge introduced a few years back, as well as issues predominantly to the fore since late 1999, some of which are -

Costs of catching up replacing neglected Transpower infrastructure

Costs of the Resource Management Act - costs due to delays caused to building new infrastructure (leads to higher power price) and the costs of the process. The time needed to go through the process also has another cost many do not realise - people say just plan ahead further, but as one is forced to rely on plans further out into the future the risks associated with reliability of the forecasting increase leading to increased costs on the outputs in order to cover the risk.

Decreased availability of natural gas (the cheapest generation method)

Environmental blocking of coal fired stations (next most cheapest method)

Environmental blocking of hydro  (the next most cheapest generation).

The trend to more expensive "renewables" (for NZ predominanetly geothermal and wind of which wind is the dearest) 

The trend away from economies of scale for generation
 
If one thinks these are warranted then one cannot complain that prices go up as it is all of our own making.             

  

       

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