Some people are embarrassing themselves on this one.
Ms Stringer said selling the assets had been likened to selling the family silver.
But she said it was more akin to “selling off the family cow … or eating your last chicken”.
“You might get one or two meals, but no more daily eggs. What intelligent farmer would do that?” she asked the committee.
Outside of the fact that the government isn’t planning to sell the stake at a cut price, and isn’t selling the majority of anything, that makes perfect sense. That is to say, it makes no sense at all.
The submissions heard so far today were all against the plan.
David Clark, Labour MP for Dunedin North, said: “I’ve certainly not heard a submitter who supports the bill.”
Apparently the people who support the sales are under the misguided impression that the election had some say in the matter.
Retired schoolteacher of economics and accounting Lindsay Carswell said the Government’s desire to push through the mixed ownership model was “ideologically driven.
He said it was not in the best interest of ordinary New Zealanders to sell the profitable companies, pointing to recent reports showing the four firms generating returns “well in excess” of what it costs the Government to own them.
In other words, they’re making a profit. Wow.
As for the “if they’re making a profit, don’t sell them”, someone better inform the NZX!
The Government has argued that ordinary “mums and dads” will be able to buy shares in the partly privatised power companies.
But Labour List member Clayton Cosgrove asked Mr Carswell if average Kiwi “mums and dads” would be in a position to “rush down to their share broker to buy shares they already own?”
He agreed that they wouldn’t be able to, adding: “Utilities are great companies to own because of the profit – the cash flows are enormous and the big wheeler dealers would snap them up very quickly and mums and dads will be pushed aside.”
Clayton Cosgrove appears to be missing the slightest hint of how markets work. He seems to think
enormous cash flows = more valuable = more expensive = only big boys can own
The reality is that
enormous cash flows = more valuable = more shares issued for same price = more owners
Basically, most of the opposition to asset sales seems to be based on the assumption that the government will sell something valuable for a fraction of what it’s worth. That might have been the case historicially when government assets were badly managed. That bad management meant that work had to be put in to turn them to profitibility.
But by the submitters own admission, that is not the case here. There is no reason outside of ideological bias to believe that National is going to screw the government’s books to sell these assets cheaply.