View Full Version : Greed, Burglars, and a Big Mac

John B
03-25-2001, 11:44 PM
Half an hour ago I just had to pay $23.00 for my WB fix.
I don't mind paying for quality, but when some greedy little importer decides he's got a captive market and profiteers ,then my attitude starts to change. Don't get me wrong. I know that the problem is at this end and that our dollar is weak.

A big mac costs NZ$3.40 here. compared to US $2.43. How do you work out parity from that?

I know our $ is at around the .42 cent mark
which should put us at say $15 or $16 for Wooden Boat .

Even though I know what y'all are going to say ( subscribe, subscribe),I think we are getting (I just edited that word) treated badly.

[This message has been edited by John B (edited 03-25-2001).]

03-26-2001, 12:09 AM
John you are being treated badly. Big Macs should be banned from NZ!

But concerning the other question- I pay $5.50 at news stand price. Somehow I can't imagine the cost of shipping to NZ is $17.50.

Phil Young
03-26-2001, 01:17 AM
In Papua New Guinea there's no McDonalds. And you can't get WB. So I left.

Tom Beecroft
03-26-2001, 07:02 AM
The worst part is translating your antipodean wages to US dollars, and compare to your US counterparts. Very depressing, I don't know why I do it so often. WB as a percentage of weekly earnings is a really scary number in our part of the world.

ken mcclure
03-26-2001, 07:56 AM
Look at the bright side. WB prices will not be affected by hoof and mouth disease.

G. Schollmeier
03-26-2001, 09:44 AM

I'm afraid your price might be hard to beat. I checked the postal costs to Auckland from here. $15(US). I could save a years worth and put them on a freighter.(not the same) I guess life in paradise isn't cheap. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif


John B
03-26-2001, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I'm not quite as hot today as yesterday but don't forget that they don't post em here. I'm talking about issue #159.... You Know, ...Handy Billy and Scott Rosen. I tell you what, If a dedicated WB supporter like me is starting to balk then a lot of casual purchasers are going to drop by the wayside.

Foot and Mouth

Despite CNN's badly researched piece of misinformation, there is NO foot and mouth disease in Australia or NZ. Or anywhere else in this neck of the woods that I have heard of.
The nearest connection foot and mouth in the Antipodes and the CNN report has to each other is about 3 ft above the hind hoof.
They are both BS.
People like them can severely damage a small economy like ours with rubbish like that and it has caused quite a scandal here.

03-26-2001, 04:37 PM
It makes me nearly cry to hear the interviews on Public Radio with livestock owners in the UK who are loosing their entire flocks.

I thought Cleek and I were the only two people in the world that knew the correct name for this awful virus, Hoof-and-Mouth. Sheesh, foot-in-mouth is a human disease. But, before I went off half cocked I checked an encyclopedia:

Hoof-and-Mouth, see Foot-and-Mouth

foot-and-mouth disease

highly contagious disease almost exclusive to cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and other cloven-hoofed animals. It is caused by a virus that was identified in 1897. Among its symptoms are fever, loss of appetite and weight, and blisters on the mucous membranes, especially those of the mouth, feet, and udder. Discharge from the blisters is heavily infected with the virus, as are saliva, milk, urine, and other secretions. Thus the disease is readily spread by contact; by contaminated food, water, soil, or other materials; or through the air. Humans, who seldom contract the disease, may be carriers, as may rats, dogs, birds, wild animals, and frozen meats. 1
Quarantine, slaughter and complete disposal of infected animals, and disinfection of contaminated material, are prescribed to limit contagion. There is no effective treatment. With vaccines, introduced in 1938, and sanitary controls, foot-and-mouth disease has been excluded or eliminated from North and Central America, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, and Ireland; and occurrences have become infrequent in Great Britain and continental Europe. The disease persists through much of Asia, Africa, and South America. 2
See publications of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. 3

So what turned the stuff loose recently in the UK?


03-26-2001, 04:40 PM

Just saw a report on CNN designed to reassure the beef buyers here in the States. Its focus was the mad cow scare, but it included foot and mouth. Apparently the sale of beef is down here, and the corporate parents felt the need to buck up the populace. I know what you are saying, but livestock does move around. Though OZ and NZ seems far enough away from the contagion so as to make it unlikely infection would spread there, who knows? What are the import numbers over the last five years? Just had a flock of sheep destroyed for mad cow/sheep here in Vermont.

All politics aside, I was finally hit by the tragedy of what is happening in Britain yesterday when I heard that fully HALF the hooved animals there have been, or are, scheduled for destruction. The quarantines apply to the farm families, not just the animals, and some of the sheep stock is "one of a kind." Presumably, stock going back centuries.

"Old McDonald had a farm, ei ei o." Let's hope it is contained. Seeing all those animals being killed and burned breaks my heart, for the farmers.

Best, Jack

John B
03-26-2001, 04:53 PM
Yeah, you see the news, you think you take it in, but it's hard to realise just how deep the tradgedy runs. The beasts are one thing..... the farmers losing their livelyhoods and in some cases their lives over it...... thats the real heartbreaker.

Is the disease one that requires a particular climate? I'm no Farmer. I presume that it's possible for it to come here? Maybe not ? I think we have a better than even chance of keeping it out geographically alone.

Ian Wright
03-26-2001, 04:56 PM
Ever seen a farmer sobbing his heart out, real tears, real pain,,,,,? I'm a country boy and I never had, until last week. It's lambing time too,,,,,,
Not a good time for livestock farmers, at all.

John B
03-26-2001, 05:15 PM
You can be sure Ian, that a lot of people feel for your country in this .

on the misreporting subject I found this....

CNN retracts foot-and-mouth blunder

20.03.2001 7.26 am

The news organisation CNN has withdrawn a statement on its website that had infuritated agriculture officials in New Zealand and Australia.

In a March 16 report on the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, CNN stated: "Besides the United Kingdom and France, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India, and nations in South America and the Arabian Peninsula have reported or suspected cases of the illness."

Early this morning, CNN posted a retraction on its website, in which it stated:

"In a story published March 16, it was incorrectly stated that foot-and-mouth disease had been reported or suspected in Australia and New Zealand. CNN regrets the error."

Acting Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said New Zealand was fed up with its disease-free status being maligned by other countries.

New Zealand did not have foot-and-mouth and never had. Scrapie was eliminated 30 years ago.

CNN was not the only news organisation to incorrectly report New Zealand's freedom from foot-and-mouth. Its stablemate Time magazine reported in its March 12 edition that New Zealand "had largely eliminated" foot-and-mouth.

2001 New Zealand Herald Online

03-26-2001, 06:27 PM
One of the things I had trouble understanding is the refusal to use vacinations. Now, I understand that it is impossible to tell a vacinated animal from one that actually has the disease. Thus when moving animals and products around there is no test to determine if the animal is diseased or immune.

NPR reported that exports of kangaroo meet is up, I think they said, 30% or so.


Scott Rosen
03-26-2001, 06:29 PM
This is a terrible tragedy that leaves me wondering whether the destruction of all that livestock is necessary.

Has anyone else made the connection between the slaughter of bulls in England and the slaughter of bulls on Wall Street? In both cases, many people are going to lose their shirts.

03-26-2001, 06:53 PM
Norm asks a question which goes to the dark heart of modern times. Where did this outbreak originate?

I'll spare you any conspiritorial fodder, but where?

If I were...

In prayer, Jack

03-26-2001, 07:02 PM
Norm, It may be impossible to tell an unvaccinated animal from a vaccinated one, but that does not mean it cannot be done.......just tattoo the ear when vaccinating. Takes a bit longer, but identification is positive. If forgery of tattoos is the issue, implant a RF transponder under the skin. THAT technology exists today. It can be done with fresh stock, or existing stock can be vaccinated. Either way, there IS a solution to differentiating vaccinated stock from non.

Scott Mason
03-26-2001, 07:02 PM
Good question Norm. I'm not sure how this relates to the price of Woodenboat but ... according to the EU Commission on foot and mouth:

"Inactivated [foot and mouth] vaccines have been successfully used in many parts of the world. Although protected against disease, vaccinated animals are not totally resistant and can still become infected and shed virus. Resistance falls fairly quickly, so animals must be revaccinated at regular intervals (4-6 months) to maintain immunity."

So I suspect the reluctance to vaccinate is in part because it may not be totally effective, part cost, part stigma and part need to test before you export.

What is most amazing to me is how contagious F&M is. Laboratory studies have found F&M to be transmittable by artificial insemination. To me, this is most scary because semen importation to the US has become big lately because it avoids the need to quarantine the live animals and is a relatively cheap and easy way to add new blood to one's livestock line.

Ian Wright
03-27-2001, 05:53 AM
A report in todays Times quotes a government minister who has said that the first outbreak has been traced to illegally imported meat used by a Chinese eatery, the left overs were collected for use as swill feed by the pig farmer whose stock were the first victims,,,,,,,,,


[This message has been edited by Ian Wright (edited 03-27-2001).]

Alan D. Hyde
03-27-2001, 10:46 AM

The law here (last I checked) required all such swill to be thoroughly boiled prior to it being fed.

English law likely requires the same, does it not?

If so, and if that pig farmer failed to boil, then he ought to be fed to his own swine.


Ron Williamson
03-27-2001, 01:03 PM
The farmers around here are very concerned.
One of the worst problems is that Hoof and Mouth can live off the host and be transferred on clothing for up to 30 days.
A radio interview this morning spoke of this problem and reminded me that I'd had a customer from Germany show up at my shop.This was the same day that I was to install some cabinetwork at a large dairy farm. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif

03-27-2001, 01:20 PM
A note of interest. The protein fragment which causes mad cow disease (a prion, pronounce preeon) has been shown to survive a trip through an autoclave. It is now illegal to feed animal products to cows in the States, but it hasn't always been so.

Ian Wright
03-27-2001, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:

if that pig farmer failed to boil, then he ought to be fed to his own swine.


I suspect that might be the case,,,,,,,,
,,,,if it wern't for the fact that his stock were the first to be slaughtered.

[This message has been edited by Ian Wright (edited 03-27-2001).]

Tom Galyen
04-02-2001, 05:51 PM
This thread has gotten quite a far distance from the original subject, however may I partially guide it back by noting in the March/April issue of Water Craft magazine they announced that the "Boats in Water" in England has been cancelled for this year. The problem is the Hoof & Mouth virus. It seems that Beale Park where the show is, happens to also be a type of experimental livestock farm, and they cannot take the chance of the infection being carried in. So you see this has even affected the wooden boatbuilding community.

G. Schollmeier
04-02-2001, 07:12 PM
This just came to mind. Is the mag. world run by ludites. Why can't they digitise, send it around the world and have it printed by local press. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/eek.gif

04-02-2001, 08:44 PM
John B......stop your whining! A baby blake head costs about $1700 here(Defender Ind., a helluva lot more from Luke), kinda expensive for a potty. They are just a bit over $450 bucks in the U.K....what do you pay for them? it is all relative. Our stuff costs you extra...your stuff cost us like hell.......we're just trying to get even....

John B
04-02-2001, 11:19 PM
Paladin, the Pound is worse than the dollar for exchange rate. thats the point...... Classic Boat is about $12 NZ, WB $23 NZ. It's not Wooden Boat's fault, it's their distributer in this region who is stealing us blind.
Do I mind paying for quality.... NO
I just don't like people who say... We've got a captive market.... Let's stick it to them.
Did you try that website for NZ boatbuilders ,by the way?

John B
06-25-2004, 10:49 PM
Ok, this is John Greenspan here with the state of the big mac, $NZ and the cost of WB magazine.

Big mac is now $4.35 NZ and it was $3.40 then in 2001.
NZ $ is worth 62 c US compared to 42c back then

WB magazine fell from $23 to below $20 NZ ALMOST IMMEDIATELY after this post was posted.. Anyone would think that SOMEONE might have had something to say to the greedy beggars ( distributors)in Australia who were shoving it to us over here.
Unfortunately I have a habit of removing the price stickers so I ain't 100% sure on what I pay now. It's still around the $19 NZ mark. Classic Boat mag is $12.95 NZ

If I was an economist I could make something from that data.
unfortunately ,what it says to me is the same as a spreadsheet or balance sheet or table of offsets which is largely yadayadayada.

Ah well. I never said I was clever.

06-25-2004, 11:14 PM
"Watercraft" (which I like better than "Classic Boat" is $8 here. I think the GB cover price is Pds2.95. Shipping...

Bruce Hooke
06-26-2004, 08:02 AM
I'm not sure a Big Mac is that useful a comparison point because much of the cost of that Big Mac is local labor. Also, the local competition to it is almost certainly pretty much all local food and labor so that's what MickeyD's needs to set its prices to compete with. What would be more enlightening is to compare goods where most of the wholesale cost is from offshore in both the US and NZ -- say European cars, woodworking tools made in Europe or southeast Asia...

06-28-2004, 06:45 PM
bizzare John, I bought a woodenboat mag 2 weeks ago and was only charged $18.95, thats a smidge better than $23....? maybe you need to shop in Ponsonby more smile.gif

John B
06-28-2004, 07:10 PM
$23 back in 2001 Jase. 19.95 for most of the time since and $19 now. It was all about crossing thresholds and tolerance levels.

It's an old thread.interesting to look back though and as I said... scary how fast the price changed following this thread. Coincidence or intervention? :cool:

IIRC the theme came about because there was a parallel thread going about "The Big Mac Index" .Which I think is a bit of a tongue in cheek ,with some truth attached ,financial index as to how different countries currency compares.

[ 06-28-2004, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: John B ]