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Guy Hatchard
Guy Hatchardhttps://hatchardreport.com/
Guy Hatchard PhD is a statistician and former senior manager at Genetic ID, a global food safety testing and certification laboratory. Guy's book 'Your DNA Diet' is available on Amazon.com.

Guy Hatchard: A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves

Sheep and wolves news

I owe the title of today’s writing to Edward R. Morrow, a revered American journalist who reported the issues of the common folk and championed the need for commonsense in the public interest. 

The reserve bank hiked the cash rate by 0.75% this week which is set to drive up mortgage rates and send many already beleaguered home owners to their bank manager cap in hand. Default and repossession looms for many next year.

The reserve bank says it is anxious to bring inflation under control. So how does pandemic inflation work and will high interest rates solve the problem? 

It certainly is Black Friday here in NZ, supermarket shoppers are in a black mood for good reason. In my local Countdown yesterday tomatoes were $23.60 a kilo and leg of lamb was $23.50 a kilo. In contrast at Sainsbury in the UK, tomatoes were at just NZ$4.26 a kilo and NZ lamb was on special at $13.00 a kilo (including the cost of shipping it halfway around the world). UK shoppers are complaining that the cost of food has rocketed, apparently they don’t know the meaning of it.

It doesn’t stop there, petrol retailers in NZ put up prices the minute they go up overseas, but don’t put them down promptly when international prices fall. Pump costs in the US have fallen steadily by a total of 27% since 10 June, but you tell me: have they fallen appreciably here?

There is a well founded suspicion that instead of playing the ‘inflation’ card, the reserve bank should be asking the ‘profiteering’ question. But here’s the rub, in my local mom and pop health food store, tomatoes were at an almost affordable $10.90 a kilo. So how are supermarkets able to charge so much? 

They have a virtual monopoly and an addiction to profit. Back in March, despite admitting that they were making $430 million in excess profits, the government’s Commerce Commission said it would be too hard to rein in our supermarket duopoly. 

So the government has put food costs in the too hard basket, and decided instead to squeeze home owners out of their last pennies. 

So where is the team of five million now?

The pandemic did put a strain on global supply chains, but that has virtually evaporated now. However some of our biggest retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers remain determined to hang on to excessive profits. Our NZ energy firms posted an increased profit of 21% in 2021, no change on the horizon in 2022. Overseas oil and gas firms are posting record profits and calls for windfall taxes have increased. So why aren’t we hearing similar noises from our government? 

It is too hard, silly. There are so many international conferences to attend and discuss the new world order, when in fact what they are actually delivering is local disorder by default. The current romantic involvement of the government is with big money, big technology, big ideas, and it is all happening in the unregulated global space outside of our national borders where anything goes. A sort of wild west of daylight robbery.

How does that work? Well you have to put on your efficiency cap. We currently export 80% of our timber logs to China. Up here in Northland we used to have a Carters wood mill turning out 2 by 4s for the local building industry. It was closed and manufacturing was centralised somewhere in the name of efficiency. In other words it is slightly cheaper to make it all in one place. Meanwhile the NZ building industry is experiencing a shortage of lumber and record prices. It is not expected to end anytime soon. We have a shortage of milling capacity. Does that make any kind of economic sense? 

Apparently it does to the captains of industry who have shut down milling capacity rather than expanded it, but not to you and me. The government meanwhile, not content with the rising cost of house construction, is responding by raising interest rates that directly affect homeowners, the very same ones who are struggling with rising construction costs and record supermarket prices. It is a triple whammy. Hurrah!

A visit to the local supermarket has become a sort of dreary, joyless, grey coloured outing, where we panic at the cost of items we used to love and add to our trolleys with satisfaction. Just reflect that our great leaders might have become a little clueless, distracted, and timid. They have been seduced by the great global reset and taken their eye off the local scene. They are busy adopting face recognition and digital currencies. And of course there might also be other factors at work which you are not allowed to mention on FB.

When an increasingly small circle of corporations can fix the prices of a growing number of necessities, it’s called a monopoly.

Don’t think that nothing can be done, history teaches us that at some point governments have to step in with antitrust regulations and laws which break up local monopolies. Government should similarly organise to curb the pervasive influence of international monopolies. This will take clear thinking and analysis. Overseas suppliers will not always have our interests at heart. Measures need to be put in place to ensure local manufacturing self sufficiency is not completely depleted. 

Government vision is out of focus. Governments all over the world have begun to see themselves as players on the global stage who are thinking the big thoughts, while local electorates are lesser folk with lesser concerns who don’t really matter.

So who is to blame? 

Not surprisingly in the words of that old traditional song: 

“It’s the same the whole world over, It’s the poor what gets the blame, While the rich gets all the pleasure, Ain’t it a blooming shame.”

Our foreign-owned banks are all set to make a record annual profit of $10 billion, but according to a Newsroom podcast with John Kensington, head of banking and finance at KPMG: “The main thing has been New Zealanders’ love affair with property”. Translation: we are foolish and the banks blameless.

In other words, we the people have had an absurd and ridiculous longstanding expectation of a leak-free roof over our heads. The banks meanwhile prudently expected that the pandemic would impact on our capacity to repay home loans (it didn’t) and accordingly supercharged profits to offset their non-existent losses. 

In summary, inflation appears to have a certain big picture inevitability to it that has little in reality to do with you and me, who, as always, simply need a home, health, and food on the table. Am I right?

Nations rise and fall on the back of the health, innovation, well being, education and happiness of their populations. Let that slip with a helpless gesture and a ‘what can we do?’ lament, as is happening now not just here but elsewhere also, then we have lost the plot and mortgaged our future. Edward R. Morrow would not have been impressed. He would have spoken up. So should we. I am planting tomatoes.

Guy Hatchard PhD was formerly a senior manager at Genetic ID a food testing and certification company (now known as FoodChain ID). Website: HatchardReport.com.

Guy is the author of ‘Your DNA Diet: Leveraging the Power of Consciousness To Heal Ourselves and Our World. An Ayurvedic Blueprint For Health and Wellness’.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of DTNZ.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The issues you raise have been there for a while now,caused by all NZ governments engaged in controlling the market place for the power it gives them and for the benefit of political party donors.Its just that high inflation ( also caused by govt by way of money printing) has exacerbated these issues.Also the current govt has used these companies to deflect blame from themselves

  2. “Don’t think that nothing can be done, history teaches us that at some point governments have to step in with antitrust regulations and laws which break up local monopolies. Government should similarly organise to curb the pervasive influence of international monopolies.”

    I doubt any of our political parties will do the above. Jabbie is a member of WEF and a brilliant solder “just following orders” – isnt that what many Nazis said at the Nuremberg trials. Someone also wrote recently that she is a member of other dark organisations that dont appear on any of her profiles.
    Luxon is alo a member of WEF. Is he a loyal foot soldier?
    Have a look at the videos of the G20 and see how many world leaders subscribe to the WEF ideology
    There has to be a revolution

  3. What Luxflakes Dave Holland doesn’t realise is that not having a properly stocked pantry, fridge, wine cellar and vegetable garden as he most likely enjoys wherever he goes, be it Guernsey, Italy, Geneva, Monte Carlo, Lausanne, Vevey, Remuera, Queenstown, etc etc can mean food insecurity. Food insecurity can mean hunger. Hunger can cause despondency, despair, delusion, distraction, depression, destabilisation, delinquency and the demographic destabilisation of decent communities, leading to all the things that he and Sam Underpants love to punish. Harshly. Little miss sunshine, also, laughs at ma and pa nz as they try to negotiate the experimental changes lumped on them by the pharmaceutical wurlitzer which plays any old tune as long as it’s her cousin’s dreary banter which she doesn’t really understand because she’s a popstar. I pity the Irish.

  4. Hi MNZGA, here is a link to the interview that Luxon did yesterday on ZB, here is the link

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/kerre-woodham-mornings/audio/christopher-luxon-national-leader-on-crime-policies-and-recession/

    go to the 26min 30sec mark and Luxon is asked whether he will follow the WEF agenda and the Great Reset, apparently he does not know who they are, some people out of Switzerland. What a lie and quite embarrassing for him. National will either carry on what labour has started with a slightly different colour, or total implode again to give labour another victory

  5. There is no law on much high the mark up can go. It is all in the name of freedom of trade/business. Buy for a dollar, price it 5 to 10 dollars, and offer a 20% off to 50% off, kiwis will be happy to get a “bargain”.

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