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Non-Commercial TV

Entry 987, on 2009-04-14 at 20:15:19 (Rating 3, Politics)

It seems that the National government is starting to show its true intentions when it starts making decisions such as shutting down the review of broadcasting regulation. Of course we should never be surprised that National would ignore the greater interests of New Zealand to further its ideological agenda of decreasing regulation and giving foreign corporations even more power than the already have.

If you vote a right-wing party into government then you are going to get right oriented policies. A center-left party like Labour would have probably taken a different approach and that's also to be expected. I'm not saying National shouldn't have done this because its in line with their political philosophy. New Zealand voted for them and now they will end up with a foreign owned company (Sky) becoming a virtual monopoly at the expense of easy access to New Zealand culture on TV (especially sporting events). After all, people get the sort of government they deserve!

If you read this blog much you will know I don't have much confidence in pure capitalism. If you want quality TV programming then you need to throw out private companies because they will always follow the quick profit for minimum effort model (there might be a few exceptions but this is overwhelmingly true).

We cannot expect a purely commercial model to produce good TV. It hasn't worked before and all the better TV produced overseas seems to come from organisations which aren't purely commercial, like the BBC.

The plan suggested by some people for turning TV1 into a non-commercial state broadcaster would have been the best idea I think. Why do so many people assume that every service has to be delivered through a purely commercial model? Wasn't that the sort of philosophy we had in the mid to late 80s and early 90s? Did it work then? No, it didn't, and it never will because pure commercial pressures are almost always contrary to variety, quality, and originality.

In the end it might not matter so much because the Internet is changing the way people view media. Ironically, the National government's plan to provide high speed Internet will help make traditional broadcasting far less important. Its interesting to note that their Internet plan is not based on a purely commercial model because private enterprise has totally failed to provide decent Internet services in New Zealand just like it has failed to provide any decent services here.

So it looks like TV will just continue to get worse but I hope the excellent plan this government has to create a fast Internet network will make up for that failure of imagination. Note to the government: forget about using Telecom's Internet connection to the rest of the world. They are deliberately providing a substandard, expensive service there (another failure of the free market). So you need to plan for a fast international connection too!

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Comment 33 (2178) by SBFL on 2009-07-06 at 10:12:51: (view earlier comments)

Hmmm, let me clarify. Saying "having a leg to stand on" meant that they might have more oomph to their argument, a far cry from me conceding "it might turn out to be a good thing".

I don't have the numbers on Telecom's employment numbers over time, but if they have reduced numbers to be more efficient, more competitive, then that is fine for me. Holding pointless, redundant jobs for the sake of NZ's employment level is a road to ruin, and then everyone loses. The number of employees must fit reasonably and rationally within their scope and size. Waste is never a good thing.

"Are you sure its not you who can't see the simple logic in this situation? - sorry not sure which situation you are referring to here? Foreign investment? Loss of jobs? Anyway I refer you to above paragraph.

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Comment 34 (2180) by OJB on 2009-07-06 at 11:52:57:

You're arguing minor points of semantics now. We agree the price was too much and I think we agree some good may come of it in the long run (I'm more optimistic than you though).

First you say foreign investment brings extra employment to the country then you defend Telecom for laying off most of its skilled and (previously) loyal employees. You also seem to be saying that whatever employment level Telecom chooses then that's OK.

That's not only a circular argument and you also seem to be saying that foreign investment creates employment but when its shown it doesn't that's OK too. Well it either increases employment or it doesn't. Clearly it doesn't, so you should stop using that argument.

I was referring to the printing and redistributing money argument you criticised me by claiming I didn't understand above.

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Comment 35 (2182) by SBFL on 2009-07-07 at 07:02:32:

No that is not semantics, that is clarifying my intent. Significant for me as I felt I was misinterpreted. You don't mind me setting the record straight, do you? Honestly, I don't think any good will come of the govt buy-out, but a better price means a smaller negative return on equity.

I stand by everything I said. To be honest I am not sure how much foreign ownership in Telecom, then and now, but my preference is for privatisation and being efficient. Of course more money into NZ means more jobs generally speaking, but the jobs must be real ones for any company to compete and survive. No patsy jobs. Waste is bad. I believe you and I differ in that I take a longer term view than you, and I don't say that in a derogatory sense (by the way).

Okay I have read further back but still don't really follow that comment of yours. I mentioned that investment creates wealth in multiple areas. I think you said beforehand that they didn't.

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Comment 36 (2183) by OJB on 2009-07-07 at 14:17:10:

OK, so you have stated no good will come of the buy out. I wonder how we could establish whether you are right or wrong in a year or two? I guess you would want to measure the success or otherwise based on simplistic measurements like profit, where I would want to look at the bigger picture, so it seems unlikely we would even agree on a way to measure success much less whether it has actually been achieved or not!

Your preference is for privatisation, mine is for getting the best outcome for the country. I wonder which of us is right? You want efficiency which usually means less staff (and poor service) but you cite more employment as a reason for foreign investment. Do you see where I think you are being inconsistent?

You take the longer term view? Really? I would say that since I take into account social issues, the long term effect of shipping billions in profit overseas, and the ability of the government to shape our services for the good of the country where you look at the profit at the end of the financial year its me who has the long term view. And I do mean that in a derogatory sense!

I really can't even remember what the last comment was about now so let's just give up on that one!

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Comment 37 (2197) by SBFL on 2009-07-11 at 11:53:49:

Well even if I used only a simplistic measure such as profit, at least it is more defined than "look at the bigger picture". Seems to me you are more ideologically based rather than results based. Symptomatic of the left.

"getting the best outcome for the country" - another mean-nothing quip. And do you assume that privatisation and "getting the best outcome for the country" are mutually exclusive? Of course, I don't.

Why does less staff equate with poorer service? I spoke of removing waste. Waste means no value was being generated in the first place, so therefore no service is lost. Investment (foreign or otherwise) creates jobs. Have spoken on this already. Investment needs people to grow it. People = jobs. Pretty simple stuff really.

What social issues? If money comes in (investment) and money goes out (profits) than what's the problem? You can't have your cake an eat it too. If there is no reward for the risk then no money will come in. Obviously then you want no money to come in. If your ideology is so great why isn't everybody doing it? Isn't it somewhat small minded to be discriminate on mere international borders? Please also remember that government services are reliant on taxation, and taxation comes from income, and income comes from investment. Less investment = less jobs = less taxation = less services. Again, pretty simple stuff really.

You really shouldn't be so racist when it comes to foreigners wanting to put their money into our country. It benefits us. Just look at Ireland from the mid-90īs onwards, compared to Ireland of the 80's and earlier. Foreign investment works and everybody wins. Creating wealth and growth is good for 'the man on the street', it lifts people out of poverty because jobs are created. These people with their new jobs spend their income, creating more jobs. A government can never do this alone, as their (tax) income begins at ideas that become investment (domestic or foreign). Governments should stick to governing.

If I didn't know better, I would say you're a communist at heart.

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