More of National’s Secret Agenda Revealed

National Party tertiary education spokesman Paul Hutchison said students should be able to decide for themselves whether they wanted compulsory membership of student associations.

“I’m aware there are concerns by some that say there isn’t strong accountability for the money they get,” he said.

“All the time, I hear murmurings of there being inappropriate usage of student levies by the unions.”

It was important that accounts were “absolutely transparent” to show that each student dollar was being spent well on students, he said.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4707318a6530.html

Dr Hutchison has stated three times this year that he wants to see Students’ Associations become voluntary. Yet it is not a National Party Policy.

For the record Dr Hutchison and National:

  • Students’ Associations are incorporated.
  • They are required to be externally audited.
  • They are required to be registered with the companies office
  • They are required to hold AGMs and keep their books open.

So where is this inappropriate use and mismanagement? The reality is there isn’t any. If there was there would be lots more cases of fraud. Which there isn’t.

Can you cut tax much more?

http://www.thestandard.org.nz/what-will-you-do-with-your-tax-cut/

If your annual income is over $14,000, your tax will decrease by $12 to $28 a week from Wednesday. That’s a reduction of up to 26% on the income tax you pay. By 2011, people will be paying up to 31% less income tax. With boosts to Working for Families, many people with children will be paying no net tax (already the average tax paid by a single earner family with two kids is only 2%).

Funny, then that the actual amount of cash seems a little underwhelming to those on comfortable middle-class incomes. Funny because we’ve had nearly a decade of National basing its entire political argument around the need for tax cuts. Yet, now we have tax cuts, no-one seriously thinks they will be the panacea that National has made them out to be. National’s argument, of course, is that we just need to cut more, specifically for the wealthy (they have ruled out cutting the bottom rate any further). But if $1.7 billion worth of tax cuts this year, rising to over $3 billion a year by 2011, isn’t the cure to all our woes why would more make all the difference? It wouldn’t, of course. Tax cuts are not a solution to low wages, they are not the difference between people leaving NZ and staying, they are not compensation for inflation, and they never can be. And every dollar spent on tax cuts is a dollar that can’t go on health or education or, in the case of National’s cuts, a dollar that has to be borrowed on the turbulent international credit market.

A bit of a different perspective.

Selfishness

Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. – Philippians 2:3 NLT

1/5 Failing NCEA vs Easy Exams

This is currently one of the new National Party billboards:

The question I have about this is that is it acceptable to make the exams so easy that anyone can pass. Isn’t the point of study and exams so that you can demonstrate that you know what you have studied? One could argue that the exams are too hard but if that is the case then why is the PPTA claiming the exams are too easy? (http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4683842a6442.html)

Who do you believe? The National Party or the teachers?

Here is an example of year 11 maths exam questions. A seven year old should be able to answer them all not a 16 year old.

1. 5 boys share a bag of 55 lollies. How many lollies does each boy get?

2. There were 60 cows inside a shed. 18 walked outside. How many cows were left inside the shed?

3. 38 x 6 = ?

4. David has 35 stamps. Bruce has 70 stamps. How many stamps do they have altogether?

For these ones they could use calculators:

5. Write these percentages as decimals: 34% 52% 8%

6. Write these decimals as fractions: 0.5 0.03 0.95

7. Betty got 13 of the 20 questions correct in a biology test. What percentage did Betty get?

8. Gary ate 25% of a cake. What fraction of the cake did he eat?

And my answers (all without a calculator):
1. 5 boys share a bag of 55 lollies. How many lollies does each boy get? 55/5 = 11.

2. There were 60 cows inside a shed. 18 walked outside. How many cows were left inside the shed? 60 – 18 = 42

3. 38 x 6 = ? 6 x 8 = 48 for the ones column, and 6 x 3 = 18 for the tens column, so 48 + 180 = 228

4. David has 35 stamps. Bruce has 70 stamps. How many stamps do they have altogether? 35 + 70 = 105

For these ones they could use calculators:

5. Write these percentages as decimals: 34% 52% 8% –> 0.34, 0.52, 0.08

6. Write these decimals as fractions: 0.5 0.03 0.95 –> 1/2, 3/100, 95/100 = 19/20

7. Betty got 13 of the 20 questions correct in a biology test. What percentage did Betty get? 65%

8. Gary ate 25% of a cake. What fraction of the cake did he eat? 1/4

Green Party Billboards

Yesterday the Green Party launched its billboards for the upcoming election. I particularly like this one:

The problem however is that New Zealand is not on the centre of the earth. It must be!

So in setting out on resolving this problem I decided to be inclusive of all and therefore put the entire globe, spinning behind it. And viola!