Sunday, June 14, 2009

How To Survive During A Recession

Be genuinely productive.

If I were Bill English, here's how I would shape Budget 2010.

I would put the country onto a 'war footing.' Yes, it is that serious.

That means an IMMEDIATE end to all government spending which might be nice but not necessary.


A previous post already has outlined the approach to spending on tertiary education but here are a few extra features:-

1.Undergraduates who fail to pass year one with at least a 50% average mark will be denied entry to year two.

2. Those who fail to pass the first two years exams with an average pass mark of 60% will be denied entry to year three. And so on.

3. In case dear readers think this is a bit drastic, these are the conditions upon which Adolf accepted entry to Lincoln University in 1967.

4. For as long as the country is running fiscal deficits, Universities will be instructed to accept no new entrants for courses in humanities, political studies, sociology or any other favorites of the non productive sector.

5. Rules 1 and 2 will apply to all existing undergraduates.

6. Student Union fees will be made voluntary.

Public Broadcasting

Radio NZ will be advised its budget will be reduced immediately by 50% until such time as the nation returns to fiscal surplus. It will be advised to play recorded music during the day and restrict its 'live content' to news broadcasts and genuine current affairs commentary from recognised observers. Thus, left wing talkfests masquerading under the grand titles of 'Nine to Noon' or 'The Panel' can be dispensed with. The nation will not wilt as a result.

TVNZ simply will no longer receive government funding. It will not be sold or privatised. It will either perform commercially or it will go broke. Which is as life should be and is for us ordinary folk who actually work for a living.

Social Welfare

Unemployment beneficiaries who have been on the dole for twelve months or more will be given six months notice of benefit cessation. Productive Task Force Green projects will soak up the labour of those who wish to work rather than starve. Even if it means grubbing gorse up behind Gisborne. Those under the age of thirty will be offered the option of military service and training.

Core Public Service

Government departments will be required to reduce their numbers of 'policy advisers' and 'communications advisers' within six months to 20% of the 2008 levels. All consultancy projects will require ministerial approval and none will be allocated to previous employees of the respective departments.

Education (non tertiary)

All schools will be bulk funded and teachers will be paid according to merit and performance.

Department of Conservation

Departmental budget reduced by 50%. Prioritise, chaps. Just learn to prioritise.

Parliamentary Services

All parliamentary expenditure will be bulk funded with actual expenditure pegged at 50% of the total expenditure for 2008/2009.

By hell, I've only just started and I've got us back into surplus by 2011.

Well, that was before Helen Clark's friend Barack Obama and his European mates clobbered our dairy industry with their selfish subsidies. This move alone will cost New Zealand well over a billion dollars and possibly two billion each year.

Adolf heard of the first farm suicide last week. A young dairy farmer with a family and too much debt for the prevailing conditions. He was fine just six months ago.

It really IS war. He and his family are the first casualties.

Federated Farmers should send the body bag to the White House.


Psycho Milt said...

The education suggestions are hilarious, given that the conditions you enrolled under in the 60s were dropped in favour of a mass drive for enrolments in direct response to a decision by a previous National govt that students should be paying customers - I've yet to meet an organisation that seeks to discourage paying customers from signing up, and universities are no exception.

As you can imagine, I don't favour the concept that an appropriate response to a recession is to seek a less-educated population. There are plenty of those in the Third World, and it doesn't seem to bring a whole lot of benefits with it.

You may resent your taxpayer dollars going on humanities students - it's a free country. I resent them going on business, accounting and law students, and people who should be doing apprenticeships. So what - for whatever reason, the govt doesn't fund universities according to our personal prejudices.

Oswald Bastable said...

ALL admission to tertiary education should be dependant on passing hard examinations!

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Milt, that's a typical lefty response. Just keep spending like there's no tomorrow.

Unfortunately they are not paying customers. They are spending customers - spending other people's money via your lot's interest free student loans on the never never.

So pray tell which third world countries have a less educated population because of a recession?

Freedom does NOT entitle ne'erdowells of limited intelligence to sit on their arses for years in universities, soaking up money while they indulge in political activism.

It is time for the country as a whole to 'harden up.'

Psycho Milt said...

"Incentives," Adolf - it may be Roger Douglas' pet term, but your lot seem to be more fond of it than most. National gave universities a massive incentive to enrol students, and gosh what a surprise, they've been doing it. Frankly, I don't enjoy having legions of thickos calling themselves university students either, but Labour didn't see fit to undo National's incentive, in fact they upped the ante. And now that they're back in power, National show no interest in stripping out either their original incentive or Labour's "improvements" on it.

We're not actually that significantly in disagreement, except over which students give our arses the ache. I'd also like to see much stricter entry criteria for university students, but that ain't going to happen while the govt is imposing a major incentive for universities to put bums on seats. If your answer is that the govt should just dictate what universities should teach, I think it's very much the wrong one.

Kevin said...

The farmers body bag should go to the bank who allowed reckless borrowing.

Psycho Milt said...

Re your question, I'm not saying Third World countries have less-educated populations due to recession - I'm saying they're not examples we should really seek to emulate. If there's economic advantage to be gained from having a less well-educated population, you'd think Sudan and Afghanistan would be topping the OECD lists.

KG said...

"Freedom does NOT entitle ne'erdowells of limited intelligence to sit on their arses for years in universities, soaking up money while they indulge in political activism."


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

My dear Kevin

At the time the loan was approved, the borrowing was not reckless.

Trading banks in NZ do not as a rule indulge in 'reckless' lending. They did prior to 1987 but the lesson was learned and since then they have been cautious. However, caution does not account for the reckless behaviour of countries which purport to support free trade while introducing subsidies which damage honest producers.

MikeG said...

"At the time the loan was approved, the borrowing was not reckless."

No - the bank and the farmer should have taken into account a probable worsening of conditions. If they didn't do that then it was reckless.

Kevin said...

Adolf...It must have been a finely geared financial arrangement. We all know the bank are fair-weather friends. Farmland/commodity prices do not just ratchet up forever, there is a cycle. Ask the farmeres who sell and buy back their farms several times...

Ed Snack said...

Oh nice, a young fool over committed financially, he's hardly the only one, and commits suicide, and you want to blame the banks !

So he was foolish enough to believe various pundits when they said that the dairy payout would go up, like it wasn't a commodity price that has fluctuated massively for decades. Nope, you want incentives and entrepreneurs, then the flip-side is failures, to weed out the incompetent.

Sympathasize all you like with his family, and it is appropriate to do that, but the decision was his, no one drove him to it. Has no one ever recovered from failure, ever before ?

Anonymous said...

Unemployment benefits should be tagged to past earnings..

No past earnings .. NO BENEFIT..


WWallace said...

The incentives should be on the would-be undergraduates to want to study to avoid the minimum wage. And if there were limited places in tertiary institutions, it might put more fire in their bellies to make an effort.

Excellent ideas.

But you haven't even started on disbanding the "dud" ministries!

I think that each time Parliament wants to pass a new law, they should find one to remove from the statute books. And each time they want to set up a new Dept, Ministry, SOE or Quango -- they should remove or sell off one of similar size.

Anonymous said...


All benefit expenditure to that ..

No proof of paid taxes. ( Apart from GST. )

No withdrawal.


Anonymous said...

Sunset clauses on ALL new laws passed.

That will keep the " Bastards " busy..


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it doesn't work this way.

A generation has grown up (like Milf) to only be able to pass their days in the bureaucracy or some other tax-payer funded work scheme.

All those people can't just be given nothing to do. What should probably happen is that over the next x years, their tax-payer handouts/salaries should reduce by say half and those who do something should have their tax rates reduced by half.

Unfortunately, this can't happen because over half the population depends on a small minority to feed and clothe them.

Maybe we are doomed.

Comrade MOT said...

For tertiary education, no 4, add commerce to your list. Contrary to your assertion in the post you link to, commerce, is not a very productive course. Even if the thousands of dollars of course fees and underutilized potentially productive work hours, are made up by the increased productivity post graduation. The only benefit is increased income, that will pay for its self. There can be no claim of public good. Therefore commerce should be 100% user pays.