Keith Rankin - Latest News [Page 1]

Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's

Friday, 13 May 2022, 1:37 pm | Keith Rankin

Modern 'western' governments are known as 'liberal democracies'. While each political party in a liberal democracy has a 'policy agenda' which it would like to implement, only single-party governments have a realistic opportunity to fully implement their ... More >>

Problem Of Price Increases: 'Cost Of Living' Versus 'Inflation'

Thursday, 21 April 2022, 10:10 am | Keith Rankin

The new (though not unfamiliar to older New Zealanders) crisis of 2022 (and most likely beyond) has become, alternatively, a 'cost of living' or an 'inflation' crisis. The public discussion treats these two 'enemies of the people' as one and the same ... More >>

Global Warming: Considering The Lesser Evils

Thursday, 7 April 2022, 2:16 pm | Keith Rankin

Earlier this week the final report from the IPCC ( press release ) on climate change was released. While it indicates that it is still technically possible to limit global warming to 1½ degrees; such an outcome is both unlikely and may require more than ... More >>

Nature: Friend Or Foe?

Monday, 28 March 2022, 1:33 pm | Keith Rankin

One of the major themes in my life, as a baby-boomer growing up in the 1960s, has been the relationship between 'man' (aka humankind) and 'nature'. Science – especially applied science, and western philosophy – was presented as a progressive economic ... More >>

Borrowing Hurdles:Unintended Consequences Arising From Wilful Blindness

Wednesday, 23 March 2022, 12:56 pm | Keith Rankin

On 1 December 2021 the CCCFA (Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act) entered Aotearoa New Zealand with more stealth than the Omicron BA2 variant. It resulted in unintended consequences that were (and are) entirely predictable. There are two ... More >>

Rising 'Cost Of Living' And Inflation

Wednesday, 16 March 2022, 4:45 pm | Keith Rankin

The big new story in the news cycle – in New Zealand but not only in New Zealand – is the rising 'cost of living', which is usually conflated with 'inflation'. These topics – together and separately – are, like Covid19, devolved to 'social ... More >>

Fighting An Unclear War

Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 3:01 pm | Keith Rankin

The war in Ukraine possibly represents the most dangerous episode in the history of humanity in historical times; especially but not only because it comes on top of two other overt global crises – climate change and pandemic – and another ... More >>

Cancelling Disabled Children

Monday, 7 March 2022, 11:36 am | Keith Rankin

I watched the very short movie Forgive Us Our Trespasses on Netflix last weekend. Set in Germany in the 1930s, it starts with a schoolteacher giving an arithmetic lesson to a class of children. The question posed was that the cost of caring for ... More >>

Omicron Covid And Political Narrative

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 4:28 pm | Keith Rankin

The mainstream political narrative that emerged in late March 2020 was a 'narrative of fear' which set up the Covid19 coronavirus as a 'tricky' enemy that was out to get us by finding ways through our defences; and that we had to build collective ... More >>

Russian Ambitions? Transnistria And Kaliningrad

Wednesday, 23 February 2022, 11:22 am | Keith Rankin

Having watched Vladimir Putin's somewhat rambling speech on Al Jazeera yesterday, I think we can be sure that he does have a clear ambition to create an empire based on the ethnic concept of the Viking 'Rus' (refer my recent Living with Ambiguity ... More >>

Geopolitics, Russia And Ukraine: Living With Ambiguity

Tuesday, 15 February 2022, 5:02 pm | Keith Rankin

Why is Russia encircling Ukraine with what looks very much like an invasion force? The first principle in answering such a question is that one should never take the simple media-reported statements of any of the major protagonists at face value. ... More >>

Nations, Territories, And Conflict

Monday, 14 February 2022, 4:44 pm | Keith Rankin

At the heart of the present geopolitical conflict centred on Ukraine is a divergent set of views at to what constitutes a 'nation'. Rival Views of Nationality Firstly, 'nation-states' as we know them today arguably date to the 1645 Peace (or Treaties) ... More >>

Unemployment Insurance?

Thursday, 10 February 2022, 4:22 pm | Keith Rankin

The government's latest scheme is a form of government unemployment insurance. Interestingly, both the anti-poverty groups and the neoliberal New Zealand Initiative think tank see this scheme as problematic, very much as a 'solution looking for a problem'. ... More >>

Visualising A Way Out Of The Pandemic

Tuesday, 21 December 2021, 4:05 pm | Keith Rankin

Public policy has a number of biases. One is that certain real or alleged emergencies require (or seem to require) an urgent policy intervention. The result is a consortium of elected politicians, bureaucrat officials, and expert technocrats get on board, ... More >>

Science, Scientists, And Scientism

Monday, 6 December 2021, 9:13 am | Keith Rankin

Science, in the not-so-recent-past, has often had a bad press. It's been personified, particularly by the political left, as Frankenstein, as agents of capitalism, classical liberalism, colonialism, sexism (yang over yin), eugenics, and god-like pretension. ... More >>

Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights

Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 12:37 pm | Keith Rankin

"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers , 'Context ... More >>

Bulgaria, The Balkans, And Distrust

Thursday, 25 November 2021, 12:17 pm | Keith Rankin

Yesterday morning I awoke to this story about a bus crash in Bulgaria: Dozens killed in Bulgaria bus fire, including children . I thought immediately about how unusual it is in New Zealand to hear a story about Bulgaria. In the context that Bulgaria ... More >>

Who's The Thief?

Tuesday, 23 November 2021, 2:31 pm | Keith Rankin

Cartoon Strip 1 Imagine a two-panel cartoon strip. Each panel has an apple tree and two people. In the first panel, the tree has eight apples, all low-hanging. In the second panel, the apples have all been picked. One person (A) has one apple in ... More >>

'Influenza' Pandemics In New Zealand's Past

Thursday, 18 November 2021, 2:24 pm | Keith Rankin

On Tuesday (16 Nov) I was concerned to hear this story on RNZ's Checkpoint ( National distances itself from ex-MP after video with discredited academic ). My concern here is not particularly with the "discredited academic", although no academic ... More >>

Covid19: Vaccine Hesitancy And Distrust, By Governments

Friday, 12 November 2021, 12:12 pm | Keith Rankin

While governments are now mandating many people to take Covid19 vaccines, government hesitancy towards vaccines and vaccination – much of it seemingly due to overprioritisation of perceived 'cost' issues – remains a problem of significant consequence. The ... More >>