The Economy: No Elegant Solution in Sight

I’m guilty of political blasphemy in respect of my own beliefs but Winston has lightened Wellington’s dreary weather.  I can’t help feeling that National’s honourable ministers, devoid of economic analysis, should have advised John Key to have a cuppa with Winston.  The exchange rate could have plummeted without them taxing their dullard brains.  Our immediate problems lie in our overvalued exchange rate.  End of debate.

Winston will keep the media and public entertained, outraged, even excited.  Is there substance to his argument that the Overseas Investment Office delayed approving the Crafar deal till after the election?  Will National and Crown Law be humiliated for trying to stiff the cuppa cameraman for costs?

Winston’s costs are peanuts compared with the World Cup.   Apparently it wasn’t the economic windfall from the Cup that mattered, it was the morale boost.  Gambling ratepayers’ and taxpayers money’ on the outcome of a rugby game which we nearly lost is okay?  A cross section of the community enjoyed the partying but reviving the bread and circuses of olden days around a boozy boys culture has downsides.

‘Labour issued the invite’ sniffs National.  ‘And they sold farmland’.  Childish tit for tat is not a known solution for economic woes.   So state assets will be sold without mandate and more profits exported.   The sales might briefly bail out the sharemarket.  I confess I can’t get my head around this sort of insanity.

What then?  Austerity and slashing government jobs won’t increase the tax take.  Job insecurity and unemployment will see family breakdown increase.  And very possibly child abuse.  Costly surveillance is unlikely to work.   Jobs and a higher minimum wage might begin to redress the problem albeit very slowly.  So much damage has been done since freemarket dogma replaced the challenge of thinking and analytical discipline it is going to be a hard slog to re-humanise those thrown on the scrap heap since 1984.

We have been enthusiastically re-entrenching a class based society, not least by lowering taxes on the rich, getting rid of death duties and all the while failing to introduce a capital gains tax.  More on this unremarked development shortly.

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