Cost of Living, Interest Rates, and Now Jobs Cuts

Essential Workers - We Thank You

On 10 April the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand agreed to hold the overnight interest rate, known as the Official Cash Rate (OCR), at 5.5 percent. The knock-on effect on retail borrowing will be the persistence of high interest rates. For example, Westpac offers a 2-year fixed mortgage rate of […]

Inflation Crisis: This is Class War

Price inflation

The jury is out on whether in Aotearoa, and around the world, an economic recession will be the sequel to the period of high inflation we are experiencing at present. Monetarist economic orthodoxy is being deployed by the government to engineer an economic slowdown. In Aotearoa Gross Domestic Product shrank fractionally in this year’s March […]

Inflation Crisis: This is Class War

Living standards are being driven down by cost of living increases, sub-inflation pay rates and declining public services, notably health services. All this is being done in the name of tackling Aotearoa’s inflation crisis. At no point in this period of high inflation since the second half of 2021 can it said that pay has […]

Controlling Inflation, or Class War?

The Reserve Bank is tasked by the government to keep inflation low, in the range of 1 to 3 percent, while supporting “maximum sustainable employment.” Having regard for maximum sustainable employment was added to the bank’s remit by Labour in 2018. National’s policy is to abolish it. So is the maximum sustainable employment policy a […]

The Wizards Who Delved Too Greedily

Polyhedral Dice

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is, unfortunately, a commercial product owned by for-profit company Wizards of the Coast LLC (WotC) and therefore by that company’s owners: Hasbro Inc. We say unfortunately because D&D is also an experience, a source of joy, and a source of community for a lot of kids and adults alike. From fantasy […]

The cost of living crisis: workers must not pay for capitalism’s failures

Reserve Bank of NZ

A series of articles for this website since last August have tracked the developing cost of living crisis and how in Aotearoa some groups of workers have responded. A clutch of recent economic data demands an update.  Inflation In the US the annual rate of increase in consumer prices rose to 8.5 percent as of […]

The Inflation Threat

Official price inflation figures were released on 27 January. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) registered a 5.9 percent increase for the year 2021. Inflation is now at its highest since 1990. Everybody in work whose pay rate has not risen by 5.9 percent over the year has fallen behind the cost of living. That will […]

The Struggle to Defend Living Standards

At the beginning of August, before the current COVID-19 outbreak, I penned an article for this website, Rocky Times Ahead, which noted a rise in consumer prices and predictions of rising interest rates. I concluded that workers would have to be on their mettle to defend their living standards. Then came the COVID outbreak and […]

The Stock Market Is a Game That’s Rigged

In the last week of January something peculiar happened. The press was alight with reports of ‘meme stocks’ and the stock market being ‘broken’ by an internet forum. Gamestop is a gaming retail store that has been struggling since digital game sales now dominate the gaming market. During 2020, as Covid-19 ravaged the economy, things […]

Rising Tides, Raging Fires: the Capitalist Climate Crisis

This talk about the capitalist roots of the climate crisis was presented at Victoria University of Wellington on 3 March 2020. ISO member Emile Wilmar gives a historical account of how the environment has been exploited under different forms of class society and how capitalism, by its very nature, brings us to the brink of […]