Friday, 24 November 2017

How Immigration Works in New Zealand

One of those things you tend to notice about New Zealand is that a fair number of folks are immigrants. 

The easiest way to get the visa and be able to stay?

You offer up 500,000 NZD (roughly 343,000 USD) to create or buy into a business.  Then you show how you went and created three jobs.  No one is really picky about the pay-level of the three jobs....they could be strictly clerks, or delivery folks, or bar-staff. 

Unemployment in New Zealand?  Back in the spring....it was roughly 4.9-percent. 

This episode gets you a permanent visa, residency, and a stable lifestyle. 

Using capitalism to fill a void?  Well....yeah.  Most folks who immigrate into New Zealand....pick Auckland, or to a lesser degree....Wellington. 

Why does New Zealand appeal to folks?  After wandering around for almost three weeks, I'd tend to suggest that the slower lifestyle, lesser stress, stable economy, and safe landscape (meaning less crime)....is a magnet for people who've accumulated money and want a change of scenery.  Toss in the international airport, and open spaces, as 'cherries' on the cake.

The negative?  Well....Beyond Auckland, and five or six of the major cities of the isle....it's a bit remote.  Getting from point A to B?  Yeah, it takes a bit of driving.  Add on the fact that things aren't that cheap, and it might be fairly low stress...to the point, that you actually miss stress.  The turbo-charge of the economy?  Tourism.....so you can't complain about the number of tourists wandering around.

Likely to decrease?  No.  I think it's pretty safe to say that they will continue to see 30,000 to 40,000 every single year, for the foreseeable future. 

A Wisdom Moment

While on this trip to New Zealand, I spent a half-day on a wine tour.  The deal is simple....some guy picks up a dozen folks in a big van, and drives you around the Christchurch region where vineyards are in abundance.

You stop and have five or six 'sips' of wine (they never offer you a full-up glass)....just enough to wet your whistle and identify a fine taste.  Maybe you buy a bottle....maybe not.

I reached some vineyard (the last one of the day) where I needed to use the restroom.  Typically, I don't walk into restrooms with my camera....it's some kind of Bama rule....you just don't go to restrooms to take pictures.

But I sat down in this stall and then realized the rich white nature of the walls of the stall, and all of these fantastic moments of wisdom written upon them.  So I could not just avoid taking a picture of the wall.

Typically, on most bathroom walls....you don't get anything beyond some witty Brit poem, or a vulgar piece of analysis. 

In this case, several great bits of wisdom were offered up.  This picture?  Well, it's a bit of wisdom handed down by Plato...."Boys should abstain from all use of wine until their eighteenth year, for it is wrong to add FIRE to FIRE."

It's the kind of knowledge that makes sense and causes you to reflect upon youth, alcohol, and wisdom.  For me growing up in a dry-county (in Bama), they were helping me to prevent some great mistake in life (perhaps).

After a while, and having observed three of these wisdom moments from the stall....I came to this conclusion that it'd be a good thing in life if all stalls offered up Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle wisdom.  Course,  folks would get all confused about this and suggest it was a bad thing to offer wisdom in bathroom stalls. 

The odd thing here is that the only place on Earth where you might get this type of innovation?  It's in a vineyard wine toilet, near Christchurch, New Zealand. 

The Saudi Story

If you follow the page two Saudi news, which few journalists in the US are really discussing, we have this lego-like story brewing: the king bought off on corruption and money-laundering taking place.  The king agreed to arrest thirty-odd princes, accused of corruption, and put them into the five-star Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel.  The king (at least through his son running the investigation) has agreed to interrogate the princes, possibly torture them to get to the facts, and there is this suggestion that princes will have to turn over the bulk of their wealth....to exit or survive (probably into the 500 billion-plus range).

What really happens next?  I would offer this observation:

1.  While the thirty princes are being the chief target.....just about every other single rich Saudi is watching this play out and likely moving their money out of reach of the Kingdom.  Internal investment?  I'd suggest that within three months....there's going to be serious problems in Saudi banking circles.

2.  The families of the thirty princes?  I would suggest that all have reviewed options and might go to ISIS to hire up their thugs to come into Saudi Arabia and start a civil war.

3.  The Saudi ability to react to a ISIS threat?  Minimal.  They will have to ask for US assistance.  Trump?  He'll quote some outrageous price of a billion dollars a week, and the Saudis will have to pay it, or go to some outsider (the Russians for example).

4.  All of this is entertaining for the Iranians.  If you shut down Saudi oil sales during an ISIS civil war....Iran can make up for the sales and gain the profits.  Oil prices? Currently at $55 to $60 a barrel. With a crisis?  It'll go to $100 easily.....maybe $120.  Iran benefits from this. The Saudis hate this.

So, you might want to stand back and observe this development.  A change is coming, and you can't be sure who will be standing at the end.  Saudi Arabia as a nation....might not exist in two years.  ISIS might be the 'cure' for the Saudi woes.