Watching TV reports I saw oil sitting at $41 to $44 per barrel and that the kiwi was 53 cents in the US dollar while the refinery's profit was up 5 per cent (a reporter stating the plan for higher profits was on track).
I read in the Waikato Times that the price of petrol was up, in total, by about 15 cents with the refinery claiming costs were up (is profit of 5 per cent too low?).
I read foodbanks are overwhelmed with desperate people, church missions have more people calling and more individuals are going bankrupt from inflation on personal costs not from poor management.
Superannuation cannot keep up with food prices, electricity hikes and so on (as it runs two years behind standard income). Assets are sold to cover living (while clothes come from op shops, food from damaged goods baskets), pushing more into poverty.
Comparing with September 2008 when oil was about $135 per barrel, percentage wise we are paying more at the pump for $44 per barrel.
It is time the Government seriously investigate the price fixing monopoly holding New Zealanders to ransom. (Abridged)
Meaning of recession
The Waikato Times (January 26) reported that Hamilton Mayor Bob Simcock is proposing a 5 to 5.5 per cent rate increase for Hamilton City Council ratepayers.
One wonders what part of the phrase "financial recession" he does not understand.
Just in case his command of the English language has missed this meaning and consequence, it is: going backwards, no growth, individuals cannot pay, small businesses closing down, bankruptcy, receivership, family and business incomes reduced, redundancy, job losses, financial stress, no money.
As usual, the individuals being paid to plan and administer city affairs on the ratepayers' behalf are disconnected from the real world. Private business has to find its customers and income source through good business practice, whereas councils receive their income from ratepayers through the law without any accountability or consequence.
This council practice of securing money is an easy option in today's economic downturn. This unjust practice secures councillors' and staff income, and they are not impacted by the consequence of companies going bankrupt and the ratepayer under considerable financial stress.
While on the subject of rates, the regional council Environment Waikato has trebled its rates in the past five years. (Abridged)
Past and present governments seem to think they can spend their way out of economic problems.
Unnecessary government spending just to create employment or supposedly to promote economic growth is a delusion.
We all know that as individuals when we spend more money than we have, we end up poor. It is no different for our governments who are slowly making us poor.
All taxes do is discourage production.
What politicians don't seem to grasp is that every dollar they spend comes from taxation and every dollar we lose to taxation is a dollar less we have in our pockets.
We all accept that taxation is needed to supply the services we expect but the real economic secret is to reduce government expenditure and taxation so we have more money to spend.
This in turn promotes economic growth.
However, it is impossible for us to control our Government apart from once every three years at an election. We do not have political democracy like the Swiss, for example. They have the mechanism through binding referendums to make politicians listen and have used it to make wise economic decisions for over 130 years.
Freedom of choice
I find it patently absurd that the writers of two different news items criticising the public funding of complementary alternative medicines (Waikato Times, January 17 and Dominion Post, January 23) both considered it necessary to quote the opinion of New Zealand Skeptics chairwoman Vicki Hyde.
Surely it is a given that Ms Hyde will be (predictably) sceptical.
The underlying theme of both articles was that CAM treatments were pretty much a waste of time and therefore a waste of public funding, while mainstream medical treatments had proven effectiveness and were worth every cent we spent on them.
My own experience with ACC and mainstream medicine is a joke.
After injuring a knee while tramping, I visited a medical doctor who took a brief look at my knee and pronounced it incurable.
He said no amount of physiotherapy would help and merely recommended painkillers.
He ushered me to the door.
So I went to an osteopath who diagnosed that my hip was out and I had compensated for it by twisting my knee.
I walked out pain-free after one session subsidised by ACC.
I have been tramping ever since.
I, for one, would like to continue to have that freedom of choice in my life. (Abridged)
The Queenstown Tennis Club is celebrating its centenary year over the 2008/09 summer season and would like to extend an invitation to all former members to join its celebrations, which will take place on the evening of Friday, March 6, 2009.
The organisers would particularly like to hear from any members who have old photographs of the club or interesting stories and anecdotes of the club's history.
There will be a special exhibition match, a variety of entertainment, corporate boxes available, food and beverages, and everyone is encouraged to dress as their favourite tennis player from the past 100 years.
Further details and contacts are available on the website:
Bob Morton, Hamilton (4); Dennis McLeod, Hamilton; Ken Weldon, Hamilton (2): Too soon after last letter. Christine Gavin: No home address or phone number.
- Waikato Times