The Letter - 14 April 2014

14 April 2014

 

Be careful what you wish for

If a Labour/NZ1/Green government really bans Chinese from buying houses, takes land under the public works act for housing, builds 100,000 houses and puts on a capital gains tax it really could collapse house prices.  Their house is most families’ greatest asset.  Such interventions will cause great distress. Home owners will not be able to sell without taking a massive hit. Homes will be worth less than the mortgage.  Banks will foreclose.   A home owner can only vote Labour if they think the housing policy will not work.

 

Communal strife

New Zealand’s good race relations are in part the result of a decision by politicians not to play the race card.  History is full of examples of countries who thought they had good race relations who then experienced communal division once the politicians played the race card. A community that feels attacked is slow to forget or forgive.  National ran anti-Pacific Islander cartoons in the 1975 election and while in office the Police conducted dawn raids.  Despite having conservative social values, few Pacific Islanders vote National. Labour has still not recovered the Maori vote the party lost from passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act. The Chinese community know the ban on foreigners buying houses is aimed at them and the practice of Chinese parents buying apartments for their children studying in New Zealand.

 

Incredibly lucky

You will need some luck to buy a copy of Don Brash’s new biography.  It is selling out.  According to the media it is all about sex, which is less than 0.1% of the book.  What it contains is one of the best critiques of the reasons for and the history of New Zealand’s recent economic history.  Don tells us he is putting an electronic version on Amazon.

 

National’s spending spree

Don Brash has made the most telling criticism of this National government’s timidity in tackling the country’s economic and social problems.  Don points out that Bill English is still spending more in real terms than any year of a Clark government.  National promised to close the gap with Australia but the gap has widened.  The corporate tax cuts were largely negated by changes in depreciation.  New Zealand’s tax rates are now uncompetitive with both Asia and Europe.  Despite record earnings from milk the trade deficit is getting wider.  Don puts the case for an alternative economic program that looks a lot like ACT’s.  It is a shame Don Brash is not, as he admits, a politician. 

 

Burglary Up

Violent crime is down, in part because ACT’s “Three Strikes” law is working.  Property crime which is the crime that affects most people numbers 50,000 offences annually. Many burglaries go unreported. In 2013 less than 15% of all burglaries were resolved by Police, less than 5% resulted in a conviction and less than 2% resulted in a term of imprisonment. 

 

Qual-Boards

ACT has always had very good polling.  When ACT was formed all the New Zealand polling companies already had ties to media or political parties.  ACT was forced to engage the Republican Party pollster Gene Ulm.  Ulm has brought state of the art polling to ACT.  The growth of cell phones has made traditional telephone polling difficult.  Gene has just conducted what we believe to be a first for this country - a poll using the internet. This technique, which he calls qual-boards, enables the pollster to have a conversation with those polled over four days.  The qual-board gives rich data such as voter motivation that is not available in conventional polls. 

 

What Ulm found

ACT is the most trusted party on the rule of law.  Voters know ACT believes in holding criminals to account.  The Three Strikes policy is popular especially among woman voters.  ACT is also known as the low tax party.  Voters understand that ACT believes in personal responsibility.  Rather encouraging.

 

Most encouraging

Gene Ulm asks a question no public poll asks: “What party would you support as your second choice?” The question is important because in MMP voters get two votes.  MMP elections have shown New Zealanders like to use both votes.  ACT is not just the second choice of National voters but also of many NZ1 voters, which was a surprise.  The explanation is NZ1 voters are not happy with either of the two major parties.  ACT is the second choice of some Labour voters.  Labour voters who do not like the Greens but will never vote National.  Amazingly a few Green voters say ACT is their second choice.  It will take very little for ACT to do very well.

 

Most challenging

 The qual-board poll confirms that it was ACT’s internal feuding, not its policies, that was the reason for the voter disengagement.  Voters are aware Jamie Whyte is the new leader.  The challenge is that voters have concluded that ACT needs a strong leader to be effective and they are waiting to see if Jamie is a strong leader. 

 

Moment of truth

Potential ACT voters know the importance of Epsom.  David Seymour is getting a good response from his extensive door-knocking campaign.  The ACT Board has commissioned a professional poll of Epsom.  We shall keep our readers informed.

 

No more cups of tea

There will not be any cups of tea with National in this campaign.  This year ACT is going the whole way.   John Key has agreed to be the guest of honor at an invitation-only fund raiser for David Seymour’s campaign for Epsom.       

 

Hone-Com Party

Or is it the Con-Hone Party?  Dot-Com is facing the biggest IP theft case in New Zealand’s history.  Hone was elected to oppose Labour’s grab of Maori land.  Now Hone is supporting the party he was elected to oppose and is going into coalition with a collector of Nazi memorabilia.  Imagine trying to govern when you must rely on support from the Dot and Hone show.     

 

The Letter - 14 April 2014

14 April 2014

 

Be careful what you wish for

If a Labour/NZ1/Green government really bans Chinese from buying houses, takes land under the public works act for housing, builds 100,000 houses and puts on a capital gains tax it really could collapse house prices.  Their house is most families’ greatest asset.  Such interventions will cause great distress. Home owners will not be able to sell without taking a massive hit. Homes will be worth less than the mortgage.  Banks will foreclose.   A home owner can only vote Labour if they think the housing policy will not work.

 

Communal strife

New Zealand’s good race relations are in part the result of a decision by politicians not to play the race card.  History is full of examples of countries who thought they had good race relations who then experienced communal division once the politicians played the race card. A community that feels attacked is slow to forget or forgive.  National ran anti-Pacific Islander cartoons in the 1975 election and while in office the Police conducted dawn raids.  Despite having conservative social values, few Pacific Islanders vote National. Labour has still not recovered the Maori vote the party lost from passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act. The Chinese community know the ban on foreigners buying houses is aimed at them and the practice of Chinese parents buying apartments for their children studying in New Zealand.

 

Incredibly lucky

You will need some luck to buy a copy of Don Brash’s new biography.  It is selling out.  According to the media it is all about sex, which is less than 0.1% of the book.  What it contains is one of the best critiques of the reasons for and the history of New Zealand’s recent economic history.  Don tells us he is putting an electronic version on Amazon.

 

National’s spending spree

Don Brash has made the most telling criticism of this National government’s timidity in tackling the country’s economic and social problems.  Don points out that Bill English is still spending more in real terms than any year of a Clark government.  National promised to close the gap with Australia but the gap has widened.  The corporate tax cuts were largely negated by changes in depreciation.  New Zealand’s tax rates are now uncompetitive with both Asia and Europe.  Despite record earnings from milk the trade deficit is getting wider.  Don puts the case for an alternative economic program that looks a lot like ACT’s.  It is a shame Don Brash is not, as he admits, a politician. 

 

Burglary Up

Violent crime is down, in part because ACT’s “Three Strikes” law is working.  Property crime which is the crime that affects most people numbers 50,000 offences annually. Many burglaries go unreported. In 2013 less than 15% of all burglaries were resolved by Police, less than 5% resulted in a conviction and less than 2% resulted in a term of imprisonment. 

 

Qual-Boards

ACT has always had very good polling.  When ACT was formed all the New Zealand polling companies already had ties to media or political parties.  ACT was forced to engage the Republican Party pollster Gene Ulm.  Ulm has brought state of the art polling to ACT.  The growth of cell phones has made traditional telephone polling difficult.  Gene has just conducted what we believe to be a first for this country - a poll using the internet. This technique, which he calls qual-boards, enables the pollster to have a conversation with those polled over four days.  The qual-board gives rich data such as voter motivation that is not available in conventional polls. 

 

What Ulm found

ACT is the most trusted party on the rule of law.  Voters know ACT believes in holding criminals to account.  The Three Strikes policy is popular especially among woman voters.  ACT is also known as the low tax party.  Voters understand that ACT believes in personal responsibility.  Rather encouraging.

 

Most encouraging

Gene Ulm asks a question no public poll asks: “What party would you support as your second choice?” The question is important because in MMP voters get two votes.  MMP elections have shown New Zealanders like to use both votes.  ACT is not just the second choice of National voters but also of many NZ1 voters, which was a surprise.  The explanation is NZ1 voters are not happy with either of the two major parties.  ACT is the second choice of some Labour voters.  Labour voters who do not like the Greens but will never vote National.  Amazingly a few Green voters say ACT is their second choice.  It will take very little for ACT to do very well.

 

Most challenging

 The qual-board poll confirms that it was ACT’s internal feuding, not its policies, that was the reason for the voter disengagement.  Voters are aware Jamie Whyte is the new leader.  The challenge is that voters have concluded that ACT needs a strong leader to be effective and they are waiting to see if Jamie is a strong leader. 

 

Moment of truth

Potential ACT voters know the importance of Epsom.  David Seymour is getting a good response from his extensive door-knocking campaign.  The ACT Board has commissioned a professional poll of Epsom.  We shall keep our readers informed.

 

No more cups of tea

There will not be any cups of tea with National in this campaign.  This year ACT is going the whole way.   John Key has agreed to be the guest of honor at an invitation-only fund raiser for David Seymour’s campaign for Epsom.       

 

Hone-Com Party

Or is it the Con-Hone Party?  Dot-Com is facing the biggest IP theft case in New Zealand’s history.  Hone was elected to oppose Labour’s grab of Maori land.  Now Hone is supporting the party he was elected to oppose and is going into coalition with a collector of Nazi memorabilia.  Imagine trying to govern when you must rely on support from the Dot and Hone show.     

 

The Letter - 7 April 2014

7 April 2014

View from abroad

The Letter was in Australia last week.  We have come home to see commentators wondering why New Zealand First is on 7%. It is the fallout from the Minister of Justice going at taxpayers’ expense to China to have talks with the company that has made her husband a director.  Because it was China Winston Peters is the beneficiary.

 

Crusher Collins crushing National

We looked up Judith Collins husband’s CV to see if he had a background in food or exporting.  He is a former policeman who has a law degree.  Would he been appointed a director of a company trying to export milk into China if his wife was not a minister?       

 

That photo


The timing of the Prime Minister’s visit to China and the Collins scandal could not have been worse. What the public saw was yet another National Minister visiting China.  Then they saw the photo of the Chairman of Orivida playing golf with the Prime Minister and learnt he paid money to the National Party for the privilege. The feedback to ACT canvassers from National supporters has been very strong.  It has stirred up anti-Chinese feeling.  

 

Crony Capitalism 

It comes on top of a growing feeling that there is too much crony capitalism.  The Auckland Convention Centre contract will not go away.  Labour could make much more of the issue if the party had not just released its own crony capitalism scheme on steroids for iwi and the forestry industry.  The Greens want subsidies for solar power.  Winston Peters is worse. He supports taxpayer assistance to horse racing.  ACT is the only party opposing crony capitalism. Once politicians start picking winners such as roads of National significance it is a slippery slope. When a road is built just because the minister thinks it is a good idea then why not an underground railway?  Crony capitalism does not become right just because “your party” does it.  Crony Capitalism is always wrong.

 

Let him prove it 

David Cunliffe has announced Labour in its Industrial Policy will pick winners.  Jamie Whyte has challenged Cunliffe to set up a small investment fund, do some stock market picks  and show us he can pick winners.  See www.act.org.nz

 

How to get Kiwis to come home? 

On our trip to Aussie we met many talented Kiwis.  They are very conscious of the fact that they pay the same taxes yet get excluded from government programs.  The prices of housing in Sydney makes Auckland look cheap.  They all said they love New Zealand but not one was planning to return.  Every election for 30 years the Opposition says that their policies will attract home well educated Kiwis.  Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a form of madness. To get Kiwis to come home we have to do something different:  Lower taxes, less red tape, more freedoms and more opportunities than Australia. 

 

The Auckland City Council is right

The Auckland City Council is right to oppose the government’s proposed earthquake code that will cost Auckland over a billion dollars and in a thousand years may save a life.  If the earthquake code is correct then the road speed should be 15 k an hour.  How can a life lost in an earthquake be worth more than a life lost in a road accident?  The new code does not make sense not just in Auckland. Our local garage provides a wonderful service.  The local council has advised that his one story wooden garage will need to be earthquake strengthened at ruinous cost. Insurance cost will see at risk buildings being strengthened without the government needing to do anything. What is the point of voting National if they impose this sort of red tape?

 

Pre budget speeches

The Letter has yet to see a pre-budget speech where Ministers say “This year it’s a lolly scramble”. It looks like we are going to see a giveaway budget.  National has averaged $250 million of new spending each year and this year it will be four times higher.  John Key is in effect saying “We are going to spend it all.  If Labour spends a dollar more the Reserve Bank says interest rates will go up”.  Did National ask the Reserve Bank “If we cut spending will interest rates go down?”  Labour in its last four years of office went on a spending spree.  National has kept nearly all the poor quality spending like family support. If National had just taken spending back to what it was in 2002, hardly slash and burn, income tax could be a growth promoting flat tax of just 18 cents.

 

Three strikes and the maximum

We see the National Party is claiming credit for the drop in violent crime because they say they are “tackling the causes of crime”.  Oh – name one cause the government has tackled?  How is it property crime has risen 14%?  A few individuals do most of the crime. There are 21 people who are sitting on two strikes. Soon one of these dangerous violent men will do their third crime but there are much fewer of them than the soft on crime brigade predicted.  Three strikes and then you get the maximum prison sentence is working.  Burglary is the crime that affects the most people. One burglar can do 600 robberies! Three strikes and the maximum jail time would put the professional burglars out of business.

 

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The Letter - 7 April 2014

7 April 2014

View from abroad

The Letter was in Australia last week.  We have come home to see commentators wondering why New Zealand First is on 7%. It is the fallout from the Minister of Justice going at taxpayers’ expense to China to have talks with the company that has made her husband a director.  Because it was China Winston Peters is the beneficiary.

 

Crusher Collins crushing National

We looked up Judith Collins husband’s CV to see if he had a background in food or exporting.  He is a former policeman who has a law degree.  Would he been appointed a director of a company trying to export milk into China if his wife was not a minister?       

 

That photo


The timing of the Prime Minister’s visit to China and the Collins scandal could not have been worse. What the public saw was yet another National Minister visiting China.  Then they saw the photo of the Chairman of Orivida playing golf with the Prime Minister and learnt he paid money to the National Party for the privilege. The feedback to ACT canvassers from National supporters has been very strong.  It has stirred up anti-Chinese feeling.  

 

Crony Capitalism 

It comes on top of a growing feeling that there is too much crony capitalism.  The Auckland Convention Centre contract will not go away.  Labour could make much more of the issue if the party had not just released its own crony capitalism scheme on steroids for iwi and the forestry industry.  The Greens want subsidies for solar power.  Winston Peters is worse. He supports taxpayer assistance to horse racing.  ACT is the only party opposing crony capitalism. Once politicians start picking winners such as roads of National significance it is a slippery slope. When a road is built just because the minister thinks it is a good idea then why not an underground railway?  Crony capitalism does not become right just because “your party” does it.  Crony Capitalism is always wrong.

 

Let him prove it 

David Cunliffe has announced Labour in its Industrial Policy will pick winners.  Jamie Whyte has challenged Cunliffe to set up a small investment fund, do some stock market picks  and show us he can pick winners.  See www.act.org.nz

 

How to get Kiwis to come home? 

On our trip to Aussie we met many talented Kiwis.  They are very conscious of the fact that they pay the same taxes yet get excluded from government programs.  The prices of housing in Sydney makes Auckland look cheap.  They all said they love New Zealand but not one was planning to return.  Every election for 30 years the Opposition says that their policies will attract home well educated Kiwis.  Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a form of madness. To get Kiwis to come home we have to do something different:  Lower taxes, less red tape, more freedoms and more opportunities than Australia. 

 

The Auckland City Council is right

The Auckland City Council is right to oppose the government’s proposed earthquake code that will cost Auckland over a billion dollars and in a thousand years may save a life.  If the earthquake code is correct then the road speed should be 15 k an hour.  How can a life lost in an earthquake be worth more than a life lost in a road accident?  The new code does not make sense not just in Auckland. Our local garage provides a wonderful service.  The local council has advised that his one story wooden garage will need to be earthquake strengthened at ruinous cost. Insurance cost will see at risk buildings being strengthened without the government needing to do anything. What is the point of voting National if they impose this sort of red tape?

 

Pre budget speeches

The Letter has yet to see a pre-budget speech where Ministers say “This year it’s a lolly scramble”. It looks like we are going to see a giveaway budget.  National has averaged $250 million of new spending each year and this year it will be four times higher.  John Key is in effect saying “We are going to spend it all.  If Labour spends a dollar more the Reserve Bank says interest rates will go up”.  Did National ask the Reserve Bank “If we cut spending will interest rates go down?”  Labour in its last four years of office went on a spending spree.  National has kept nearly all the poor quality spending like family support. If National had just taken spending back to what it was in 2002, hardly slash and burn, income tax could be a growth promoting flat tax of just 18 cents.

 

Three strikes and the maximum

We see the National Party is claiming credit for the drop in violent crime because they say they are “tackling the causes of crime”.  Oh – name one cause the government has tackled?  How is it property crime has risen 14%?  A few individuals do most of the crime. There are 21 people who are sitting on two strikes. Soon one of these dangerous violent men will do their third crime but there are much fewer of them than the soft on crime brigade predicted.  Three strikes and then you get the maximum prison sentence is working.  Burglary is the crime that affects the most people. One burglar can do 600 robberies! Three strikes and the maximum jail time would put the professional burglars out of business.

 

Please feel free to forward this letter to your friends and colleagues

Click Here to Subscribe The Letter.

The Letter - 24 March 2014

 

 

24 March 2014

 

Policy not politics


 
“If only the media would give coverage to policy” says Labour apologists.  No one could accuse us of being a gossip mag so we have examined Labour’s latest policy release to see why it has been almost totally ignored.  On examination we agree that the policy deserves much better coverage.  

 

Apartheid; no whites apply


 
“Forestry and Wood Products: Economic Upgrade” is a boring title for a policy.  We have a new title “Only Maori can apply”.  See, you are already interested.  (We are not making this up.  Labour proposes a tree planting programme costing $20 million a year that is only open to Iwi).

 

Anti-New Zealand Steel ?
 

“Labour is pro-wood” says David Cunliffe.  Boring!  Why not say “Labour is anti-steel framed houses?”  Now we want to know why.  Does Cunliffe know that much of the steel framing for housing around the world is made in computer driven mills invented and manufactured in New Zealand?  New Zealand has three steel frame mill makers and they dominate the world market. The steel used in New Zealand buildings is manufactured in this country too.  
 

More leaks 


 
Labour could have got far more coverage for their forestry policy by saying it is Labour policy to force up the cost of home building.  If the country had used more steel framing the leaky homes scandal would have cost less.  Steel framed homes are now being exported to the islands because they are easier to erect and have less maintenance issues.   But surely what material you use should be your choice ?

 

Policies have consequences 


 
The biggest loser from the leaky building scandal is the Ministry of Education.  It is going to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to fix all the leaky schools.  The fault is not the use of wood but a government policy to accept the lowest tender.  The worst leaky schools were designed by the same cheap architect.  Requiring all government building four stories or less to be built of wood will have unintended consequences like a five storey school because it is cheaper to build.  
 

Increased petrol prices 


 
Buried in Labour’s “pro wood” policies is a proposal that companies needing to buy offsetting carbon credits must purchase 50% of their carbon credits from New Zealand forestry owners.  It is called global warming for a reason.  A New Zealand carbon credit is no better for the environment.  Labour admits New Zealand forestry owners will increase the price of ETAs but then say “COST: This measure will be revenue-creating rather than a net expenditure”.  That is like saying a tax increase has no cost because it raises government money!

 

Some goss

 
Where does this nonsense come from?  The transfer of the Central North Island forests to iwi has made Maori the nation’s biggest forest owners.  A new generation of Maori leaders whole work experience has been that wealth comes from the government.  How to increase the value of their forests?  Get the government to change the rules to force the country to use wood.  Iwi have lobbied Shane Jones who has been the driver of this potentially multi-million dollar gravy train.

 

Forced Consumption 


 
Jamie Whyte in his daily blog put the issue rather well.
“Yesterday my 10-year-old told me she had a brilliant idea to boost economic growth. She had learnt at school that much of the money earned in New Zealand comes from the food industry. So, she figured, if the government just forced people to buy more food, then even more money would be made from food and we would all be richer.
Only joking. My daughter isn’t that stupid. But apparently David Cunliffe is. On Wednesday, in a speech to ForestWood 2014, a gathering of the forestry  industry, he began by observing that forestry is a big part of the New Zealand economy. He then claimed that he could make it an even greater source of wealth to New Zealanders by forcing us to buy more wood. He would do this by using taxpayers’ money to build government offices and 100,000 “affordable homes” out of wood. 
Many of the assembled wood growers must have been thrilled. How delightful to hear a politician’s plan to force people to buy your products! But I hope that at least a few of them were disgusted. Mr Cunliffe’s policies are not merely a path to national economic decline. They appeal to immoral and anti-social urges: vote for me and I will prey on others for your benefit. 
Benjamin Franklin said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Mr Cunliffe should be ashamed of confirming this cynical view of his job.”   www.act.org.nz 

 

Fairfax media thinks ACT will do well


 
The Dominion last week ran a beat up that John Thompson, the president of ACT, has a conflict of interest because he is a Kiwi fruit exporter who supports the opening of the export market.  The story only makes sense if you believe ACT will hold the balance of power.  Actually it still does not make sense. The President of the Labour Party is often a trade unionist.  Labour was founded by trade unions to promote their interests.  The Fairfax papers have never claimed Labour having a trade unionist as their president is a conflict of interest.  Someone needs to tell the Dominion that ACT is a free market party. 

 

Govern Alone?


 
Maybe the Fairfax media is right that ACT will do exceptionally well.  In the  Herald poll ACT has gone from zero to .8%.  As a percentage increase that is an infinite increase.  Projected forward at that rate of increase ACT could govern alone.  That statement is no sillier than the commentary the Herald has run on its poll.  We are not trumpeting ACT’s spectacular rise because the margin for error in the poll is 3.5%. so ACT might already be on 3%. 

 

 

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The Letter - 24 March 2014

 

 

24 March 2014

 

Policy not politics


 
“If only the media would give coverage to policy” says Labour apologists.  No one could accuse us of being a gossip mag so we have examined Labour’s latest policy release to see why it has been almost totally ignored.  On examination we agree that the policy deserves much better coverage.  

 

Apartheid; no whites apply


 
“Forestry and Wood Products: Economic Upgrade” is a boring title for a policy.  We have a new title “Only Maori can apply”.  See, you are already interested.  (We are not making this up.  Labour proposes a tree planting programme costing $20 million a year that is only open to Iwi).

 

Anti-New Zealand Steel ?
 

“Labour is pro-wood” says David Cunliffe.  Boring!  Why not say “Labour is anti-steel framed houses?”  Now we want to know why.  Does Cunliffe know that much of the steel framing for housing around the world is made in computer driven mills invented and manufactured in New Zealand?  New Zealand has three steel frame mill makers and they dominate the world market. The steel used in New Zealand buildings is manufactured in this country too.  
 

More leaks 


 
Labour could have got far more coverage for their forestry policy by saying it is Labour policy to force up the cost of home building.  If the country had used more steel framing the leaky homes scandal would have cost less.  Steel framed homes are now being exported to the islands because they are easier to erect and have less maintenance issues.   But surely what material you use should be your choice ?

 

Policies have consequences 


 
The biggest loser from the leaky building scandal is the Ministry of Education.  It is going to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to fix all the leaky schools.  The fault is not the use of wood but a government policy to accept the lowest tender.  The worst leaky schools were designed by the same cheap architect.  Requiring all government building four stories or less to be built of wood will have unintended consequences like a five storey school because it is cheaper to build.  
 

Increased petrol prices 


 
Buried in Labour’s “pro wood” policies is a proposal that companies needing to buy offsetting carbon credits must purchase 50% of their carbon credits from New Zealand forestry owners.  It is called global warming for a reason.  A New Zealand carbon credit is no better for the environment.  Labour admits New Zealand forestry owners will increase the price of ETAs but then say “COST: This measure will be revenue-creating rather than a net expenditure”.  That is like saying a tax increase has no cost because it raises government money!

 

Some goss

 
Where does this nonsense come from?  The transfer of the Central North Island forests to iwi has made Maori the nation’s biggest forest owners.  A new generation of Maori leaders whole work experience has been that wealth comes from the government.  How to increase the value of their forests?  Get the government to change the rules to force the country to use wood.  Iwi have lobbied Shane Jones who has been the driver of this potentially multi-million dollar gravy train.

 

Forced Consumption 


 
Jamie Whyte in his daily blog put the issue rather well.
“Yesterday my 10-year-old told me she had a brilliant idea to boost economic growth. She had learnt at school that much of the money earned in New Zealand comes from the food industry. So, she figured, if the government just forced people to buy more food, then even more money would be made from food and we would all be richer.
Only joking. My daughter isn’t that stupid. But apparently David Cunliffe is. On Wednesday, in a speech to ForestWood 2014, a gathering of the forestry  industry, he began by observing that forestry is a big part of the New Zealand economy. He then claimed that he could make it an even greater source of wealth to New Zealanders by forcing us to buy more wood. He would do this by using taxpayers’ money to build government offices and 100,000 “affordable homes” out of wood. 
Many of the assembled wood growers must have been thrilled. How delightful to hear a politician’s plan to force people to buy your products! But I hope that at least a few of them were disgusted. Mr Cunliffe’s policies are not merely a path to national economic decline. They appeal to immoral and anti-social urges: vote for me and I will prey on others for your benefit. 
Benjamin Franklin said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Mr Cunliffe should be ashamed of confirming this cynical view of his job.”   www.act.org.nz 

 

Fairfax media thinks ACT will do well


 
The Dominion last week ran a beat up that John Thompson, the president of ACT, has a conflict of interest because he is a Kiwi fruit exporter who supports the opening of the export market.  The story only makes sense if you believe ACT will hold the balance of power.  Actually it still does not make sense. The President of the Labour Party is often a trade unionist.  Labour was founded by trade unions to promote their interests.  The Fairfax papers have never claimed Labour having a trade unionist as their president is a conflict of interest.  Someone needs to tell the Dominion that ACT is a free market party. 

 

Govern Alone?


 
Maybe the Fairfax media is right that ACT will do exceptionally well.  In the  Herald poll ACT has gone from zero to .8%.  As a percentage increase that is an infinite increase.  Projected forward at that rate of increase ACT could govern alone.  That statement is no sillier than the commentary the Herald has run on its poll.  We are not trumpeting ACT’s spectacular rise because the margin for error in the poll is 3.5%. so ACT might already be on 3%. 

 

 

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The Letter - 17 March

 

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Xenophobia
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Someone must have called an election.  First David Cunliffe says Labour is going to change the rules for foreign investment.  Now Winston Peters is sure foreigners are stealing our fish.  The Letter suspects if it was not election year and Judith Collins had been meeting with an EC civil servant Labour would not be claiming “scandal”. 

471,711
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The 2013 Census reports there are half a million Asian New Zealanders.  The Number of Maori is over stated as a person only has to say they have a tiny fraction of Maori blood to be recorded as Maori even though they may regard themselves as being of another ethnicity.   (There are people who are less than 1/200th Maori. They are known at universities as “quota” Maori).  Commentators opined last week that the Maori seats may decide the election.  Unlikely.  The reality is the Asian vote will be decisive.

Strategic mistake
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Chinese New Zealanders have no doubt who Cunliffe and Peters are attacking.  John Key’s public reluctance to be in coalition with Peters is very good politics.  The Asian community has taken note.  Asian leaders have also noted with alarm Cunliffe’s statements that Labour would like to be in coalition with NZ First.  Labour to quote President Obama “is on the wrong side of history” and could in 2014 suffer a reverse in the immigrant vote that could damage the party for years.    

Most popular NZ Chinese politician

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The best known and most popular Chinese politician is Kenneth Wang .  Kenneth was an ACT MP.  We have attended Chinese functions with Kenneth Wang and seen how well he is regarded.  Kenneth has recorded the highest electorate vote by any ACT candidate outside of Epsom and Wellington Central.  He is the reason ACT does so well with the Asian vote.  The party is keen for him to take a senior position in the campaign.  If Kenneth accepts,  ACT could become the natural party for New Zealand Chinese and be a major barrier to a Labour/NZ First government.  

Innumerate
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Nobel Prize winner for economics psychologist Daniel Kahneman says most people are poor at statistics.  When we were on the African Savanna we needed to be able to spot lions and hostile humans so no computer can match our human face recognition.  We did not need to know probabilities to know it was time to run.  This inability to do numbers is Kahneman’s theory why many of us make bad economic decisions like having Lotto as our retirement scheme.  The evidence seems to be mounting that David Cunliffe is innumerate.  We do not know if he can add or not.  The evidence is he does not know what figures mean.  He just does not understand the meaning of census data or overseas investment.   A person who knows what figures mean could not have made his mistake in the baby bonus speech.    

Figures sing to him
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
You only have to read an article by Dr. Jamie Whyte to realize figures sing to him. In one article he quotes the BMA (British Medical Association) saying “Anorexia nervosa affects about 2 percent of young woman and kills a fifth of suffers”.  (The Times 30 May 2000).  Does something in that statement seem wrong to you?  Figures have meaning to Dr. Whyte so he knew it could not be right.  As he says “There are three and a half million British women between the ages of 15 and 25.  If 2% of them suffer from anorexia nervosa, that is 70,000.  And if a fifth die from it, we should expect 14,000 young women to die from it a year”.  Jamie Whyte says he thinks the public would notice an epidemic.  Just 855 young women died in 1999 and only 13 from anorexia nervosa.    

In the land of the blind

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Jamie Whyte is going to be devastating in parliament.  Most MPs could not balance their cheque books.  Many have difficulty realizing the difference between their money and the taxpayer’s.   Once there are more than 5 zeros their minds mist over.  Jamie Whyte is giving us a taste of what he will do as he has begun posting critiques of politicians’ speeches.  David Cunliffe’s  latest effort according the Herald was to establish his economic credentials.  Jamie Whyte’s analysis shows David Cunliffe has made a fool of himself.  Cunliffe has actually got the effects of devaluation around the wrong way. It makes great reading.   www.act.org.nz

No disclosure

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The Letter revealed that David Cunliffe was not the only Labour leadership contender to receive $1,500 from a prominent businessman.  The MP concerned has not outed himself.  Under parliament’s lax disclosure rules the statements did not need to be filed until 1 January and then follows three months when MPs can remember “gifts” or simply change their declaration. The Registrar has ruled that MPs who are not trustees but simply beneficiaries of trusts need not disclose gifts at all.  The filings are not public until 1 July.  You would have to be arrogant and reckless to think that you do not have to disclose that your leadership primary was financed by big business.  Does that sound like someone we know?    

More leaving 
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Usually reliable sources say two more National Party MPs have indicated they are going to retire.  Regardless of the election result National will have significant renewal.  Only Ross Robertson has announced his retirement from Labour.  Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and or Annette King are not going anywhere.  But David Cunliffe says "We don't need to go through a culling process to get renewal; it is going to happen naturally through the swing of the pendulum."  Yeah Right.

 

Monday 17/03/2014

 

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The Letter - 17 March

 

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Xenophobia
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Someone must have called an election.  First David Cunliffe says Labour is going to change the rules for foreign investment.  Now Winston Peters is sure foreigners are stealing our fish.  The Letter suspects if it was not election year and Judith Collins had been meeting with an EC civil servant Labour would not be claiming “scandal”. 

471,711
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The 2013 Census reports there are half a million Asian New Zealanders.  The Number of Maori is over stated as a person only has to say they have a tiny fraction of Maori blood to be recorded as Maori even though they may regard themselves as being of another ethnicity.   (There are people who are less than 1/200th Maori. They are known at universities as “quota” Maori).  Commentators opined last week that the Maori seats may decide the election.  Unlikely.  The reality is the Asian vote will be decisive.

Strategic mistake
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Chinese New Zealanders have no doubt who Cunliffe and Peters are attacking.  John Key’s public reluctance to be in coalition with Peters is very good politics.  The Asian community has taken note.  Asian leaders have also noted with alarm Cunliffe’s statements that Labour would like to be in coalition with NZ First.  Labour to quote President Obama “is on the wrong side of history” and could in 2014 suffer a reverse in the immigrant vote that could damage the party for years.    

Most popular NZ Chinese politician

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The best known and most popular Chinese politician is Kenneth Wang .  Kenneth was an ACT MP.  We have attended Chinese functions with Kenneth Wang and seen how well he is regarded.  Kenneth has recorded the highest electorate vote by any ACT candidate outside of Epsom and Wellington Central.  He is the reason ACT does so well with the Asian vote.  The party is keen for him to take a senior position in the campaign.  If Kenneth accepts,  ACT could become the natural party for New Zealand Chinese and be a major barrier to a Labour/NZ First government.  

Innumerate
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Nobel Prize winner for economics psychologist Daniel Kahneman says most people are poor at statistics.  When we were on the African Savanna we needed to be able to spot lions and hostile humans so no computer can match our human face recognition.  We did not need to know probabilities to know it was time to run.  This inability to do numbers is Kahneman’s theory why many of us make bad economic decisions like having Lotto as our retirement scheme.  The evidence seems to be mounting that David Cunliffe is innumerate.  We do not know if he can add or not.  The evidence is he does not know what figures mean.  He just does not understand the meaning of census data or overseas investment.   A person who knows what figures mean could not have made his mistake in the baby bonus speech.    

Figures sing to him
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
You only have to read an article by Dr. Jamie Whyte to realize figures sing to him. In one article he quotes the BMA (British Medical Association) saying “Anorexia nervosa affects about 2 percent of young woman and kills a fifth of suffers”.  (The Times 30 May 2000).  Does something in that statement seem wrong to you?  Figures have meaning to Dr. Whyte so he knew it could not be right.  As he says “There are three and a half million British women between the ages of 15 and 25.  If 2% of them suffer from anorexia nervosa, that is 70,000.  And if a fifth die from it, we should expect 14,000 young women to die from it a year”.  Jamie Whyte says he thinks the public would notice an epidemic.  Just 855 young women died in 1999 and only 13 from anorexia nervosa.    

In the land of the blind

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Jamie Whyte is going to be devastating in parliament.  Most MPs could not balance their cheque books.  Many have difficulty realizing the difference between their money and the taxpayer’s.   Once there are more than 5 zeros their minds mist over.  Jamie Whyte is giving us a taste of what he will do as he has begun posting critiques of politicians’ speeches.  David Cunliffe’s  latest effort according the Herald was to establish his economic credentials.  Jamie Whyte’s analysis shows David Cunliffe has made a fool of himself.  Cunliffe has actually got the effects of devaluation around the wrong way. It makes great reading.   www.act.org.nz

No disclosure

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The Letter revealed that David Cunliffe was not the only Labour leadership contender to receive $1,500 from a prominent businessman.  The MP concerned has not outed himself.  Under parliament’s lax disclosure rules the statements did not need to be filed until 1 January and then follows three months when MPs can remember “gifts” or simply change their declaration. The Registrar has ruled that MPs who are not trustees but simply beneficiaries of trusts need not disclose gifts at all.  The filings are not public until 1 July.  You would have to be arrogant and reckless to think that you do not have to disclose that your leadership primary was financed by big business.  Does that sound like someone we know?    

More leaving 
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Usually reliable sources say two more National Party MPs have indicated they are going to retire.  Regardless of the election result National will have significant renewal.  Only Ross Robertson has announced his retirement from Labour.  Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and or Annette King are not going anywhere.  But David Cunliffe says "We don't need to go through a culling process to get renewal; it is going to happen naturally through the swing of the pendulum."  Yeah Right.

 

Monday 17/03/2014

 

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The Letter - 12 March

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We Are back
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Nine years ago The Letter retired to Lake Rotoma. A general election has been called for 20 September so it is time to return from the pleasures of the Lake and ask “where is the money coming from for all these election promises?

 

Election is a tossup
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The first TV poll of election year showed National at 51%, Labour at 33% and the Greens at 8%.  National can govern alone say the commentators.  That was election 2011.  The first TVNZ the poll for this election year National is again on 51% and the Greens 8% but Labour is up 1%.  More ominous for National their coalition ally ACT was on zero.  In the 2011 election National received 47%.  This time National strategists think the party might get 45%.  Without a revival of ACT National will struggle to form a stable coalition.

 

What now for ACT?

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The Letter’s advice was blunt.  “You have a good product and a blown brand.  The party needs new leadership”.  With the election of a new leader and a new candidate for Epsom,  ACT’s membership and fundraising have surged.  ACT is the “new” party for the 2014 election.

 

Cometh the hour
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Dr. Jamie Whyte is a dream candidate for ACT, lecturer at Cambridge University and international expert advisor on “risk” to global banks.  The Global Financial Crisis showed the cost of getting risk wrong.  The left say the GFC proves that unbridled capitalism does not work.  Jamie Whyte points out every one of the banks that failed were regulated.  The GFC was a failure of regulation.  Dr. Whyte warns the new regulations will not prevent a future crisis.  New Zealand must prepare for new global shocks. 

 

Unhappy campers
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Only Labour insiders knew David Cunliffe had two secret trusts.  The leak came from within Labour.  Who are the secret donors?  Mr. Dotcom and Owen Glenn would have outed themselves.  It has to be donors whose names would shock.  Was David Cunliffe’s primary funded by American businessmen he met when he was a “capitalist” at Boston Consulting?  It is illegal for a foreigner to give over $1,500 to a political party though not to an MP.  The speculation will not stop until Mr. Cunliffe fesses up.  Offering to pay it back is as useless as a bank robber saying he is giving the money back.

 

There is more to come

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The Letter has learnt that another candidate for the Labour leadership also received a significant donation from a businessman.  We do hope the MP remembers to declare it or would he like us to do it for him? 

 

He is a wrecker

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 Matt McCarten’s appointment as Labour’s chief of staff is very significant. He is a hater.  Matt has fallen out with everyone he has ever worked for.  If McCartten decides David Cunliffe is the stooge of the nameless businessmen who funded his primary campaign Matt will lead the coup. On second thoughts, Matt does not need a reason to plot a coup. It is what he does    

 

Parliamentary Services Concerned
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Parliamentary Services has issued strict instructions that parliamentary staff are employed by the taxpayer to assist MPs and must not engage in party political campaigning.  All commentators agree McCarten has been hired for his campaigning skills.  No doubt the Commission will be sending a please explain letter. 

 

Why appoint McCarten?
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Labour believes that if only the “missing one million” who did not vote last election had gone to the ballot box they would have won.  McCarten has been employed to get out the non-vote in South Auckland.

 

Will it work?
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Maybe voters stayed at home because they like John Key.   McCarten ran the Mana Party campaign last election and they failed spectacularly.  Matt thinks everyone in South Auckland is a homeless out of work Maori or Pacifica.  Actually South Auckland is diverse; most people have jobs and their own home.  Most Labour voters think McCarten is an extremist.   For every vote McCarten gets Labour will lose two voters.

 

Lonely Hone
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Under McCarten’s campaign direction Hone Harawera has found he is leading a “class war” party.  Hone is so irrelevant in parliament he rarely bothers to attend.  Now Matt is directing the campaign to defeat the Mana Party.   Hone must wonder why he left the Maori Party.    

 

Independents
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The fastest growing group is people who call themselves independents.   When ACT stayed on the cross benches the party’s vote went up in every election.   When ACT appears to be just an adjunct of National the party’s vote has fallen.  ACT is not having any cups of tea this election.  ACT is campaigning for David Seymour to win on his own merit as a good “independent” MP for Epsom.  

 

Women friendly
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
ACT has a new generation of women candidates.  The party is wooing Dr. Kim Douglas.  She is Roger Douglas’ niece.  If elected she will create history.  Her great grandfather, grandfather, father and uncle have been MPs.  She has a doctorate and a degree from Oxford, has worked in the Treasury and internationally as an engineer.  If she agrees to stand it will be a real coup.

 

Can New Zealand pay more tax? 
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The Left say their promises can be funded by more taxation.  The rate of tax can be increased but will it result in more revenue?  In the nineties the treasury commission Dr. Patrick Caragata to do modeling on the growth maximizing tax rate.  The model showed that investment growth and jobs were highest when tax was between 16 and 25 percent of GDP.  Dr. Sully, one of the international academics on the project, said his model showed that the Government is taking such a large proportion of GDP that the New Zealand economy cannot generate more tax revenue.  Any increase in the rate of tax will damage the productive economy so that total tax review will fall.

 

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The Letter - 12 March

http://client.minervamail.com/images/theletter/theLetter.gif

 

We Are back
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Nine years ago The Letter retired to Lake Rotoma. A general election has been called for 20 September so it is time to return from the pleasures of the Lake and ask “where is the money coming from for all these election promises?

 

Election is a tossup
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The first TV poll of election year showed National at 51%, Labour at 33% and the Greens at 8%.  National can govern alone say the commentators.  That was election 2011.  The first TVNZ the poll for this election year National is again on 51% and the Greens 8% but Labour is up 1%.  More ominous for National their coalition ally ACT was on zero.  In the 2011 election National received 47%.  This time National strategists think the party might get 45%.  Without a revival of ACT National will struggle to form a stable coalition.

 

What now for ACT?

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif

The Letter’s advice was blunt.  “You have a good product and a blown brand.  The party needs new leadership”.  With the election of a new leader and a new candidate for Epsom,  ACT’s membership and fundraising have surged.  ACT is the “new” party for the 2014 election.

 

Cometh the hour
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Dr. Jamie Whyte is a dream candidate for ACT, lecturer at Cambridge University and international expert advisor on “risk” to global banks.  The Global Financial Crisis showed the cost of getting risk wrong.  The left say the GFC proves that unbridled capitalism does not work.  Jamie Whyte points out every one of the banks that failed were regulated.  The GFC was a failure of regulation.  Dr. Whyte warns the new regulations will not prevent a future crisis.  New Zealand must prepare for new global shocks. 

 

Unhappy campers
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Only Labour insiders knew David Cunliffe had two secret trusts.  The leak came from within Labour.  Who are the secret donors?  Mr. Dotcom and Owen Glenn would have outed themselves.  It has to be donors whose names would shock.  Was David Cunliffe’s primary funded by American businessmen he met when he was a “capitalist” at Boston Consulting?  It is illegal for a foreigner to give over $1,500 to a political party though not to an MP.  The speculation will not stop until Mr. Cunliffe fesses up.  Offering to pay it back is as useless as a bank robber saying he is giving the money back.

 

There is more to come

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif

The Letter has learnt that another candidate for the Labour leadership also received a significant donation from a businessman.  We do hope the MP remembers to declare it or would he like us to do it for him? 

 

He is a wrecker

http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif

 Matt McCarten’s appointment as Labour’s chief of staff is very significant. He is a hater.  Matt has fallen out with everyone he has ever worked for.  If McCartten decides David Cunliffe is the stooge of the nameless businessmen who funded his primary campaign Matt will lead the coup. On second thoughts, Matt does not need a reason to plot a coup. It is what he does    

 

Parliamentary Services Concerned
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Parliamentary Services has issued strict instructions that parliamentary staff are employed by the taxpayer to assist MPs and must not engage in party political campaigning.  All commentators agree McCarten has been hired for his campaigning skills.  No doubt the Commission will be sending a please explain letter. 

 

Why appoint McCarten?
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Labour believes that if only the “missing one million” who did not vote last election had gone to the ballot box they would have won.  McCarten has been employed to get out the non-vote in South Auckland.

 

Will it work?
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Maybe voters stayed at home because they like John Key.   McCarten ran the Mana Party campaign last election and they failed spectacularly.  Matt thinks everyone in South Auckland is a homeless out of work Maori or Pacifica.  Actually South Auckland is diverse; most people have jobs and their own home.  Most Labour voters think McCarten is an extremist.   For every vote McCarten gets Labour will lose two voters.

 

Lonely Hone
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
Under McCarten’s campaign direction Hone Harawera has found he is leading a “class war” party.  Hone is so irrelevant in parliament he rarely bothers to attend.  Now Matt is directing the campaign to defeat the Mana Party.   Hone must wonder why he left the Maori Party.    

 

Independents
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The fastest growing group is people who call themselves independents.   When ACT stayed on the cross benches the party’s vote went up in every election.   When ACT appears to be just an adjunct of National the party’s vote has fallen.  ACT is not having any cups of tea this election.  ACT is campaigning for David Seymour to win on his own merit as a good “independent” MP for Epsom.  

 

Women friendly
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
ACT has a new generation of women candidates.  The party is wooing Dr. Kim Douglas.  She is Roger Douglas’ niece.  If elected she will create history.  Her great grandfather, grandfather, father and uncle have been MPs.  She has a doctorate and a degree from Oxford, has worked in the Treasury and internationally as an engineer.  If she agrees to stand it will be a real coup.

 

Can New Zealand pay more tax? 
http://client.minervamail.com/images/act/linesmall.gif
The Left say their promises can be funded by more taxation.  The rate of tax can be increased but will it result in more revenue?  In the nineties the treasury commission Dr. Patrick Caragata to do modeling on the growth maximizing tax rate.  The model showed that investment growth and jobs were highest when tax was between 16 and 25 percent of GDP.  Dr. Sully, one of the international academics on the project, said his model showed that the Government is taking such a large proportion of GDP that the New Zealand economy cannot generate more tax revenue.  Any increase in the rate of tax will damage the productive economy so that total tax review will fall.

 

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