Looking at the leaders for the Fabians seminar on Sunday, it looks to me like it is going to be quite interesting because it is likely to focus more on incremental rather than radical methods. One of the major issues to me with the existing ‘debate’ on economic matters has been the level at which it is ideologically driven rather than based on the actual economy.
The lack of pragmatism about how to move the economy has been particularly apparent recently with some of the hysterical mutterings of the disappointed dry right, not only in the media and blogs, but also amongst politicians. There were and are similar ideologically restricted people on the left. In both cases they seem to wish for radical restructuring of the economy rather than incremental. That is a course that causes major dislocation in the short and medium term and should be reserved for actual emergencies.
The fiasco over the restructuring of Auckland demonstrates yet again the failure of the radical approach. This is our biggest city, and a economic hub. Any benefits to ratepayers from the restructure are likely to be decades away, and all indications are that it will increase costs in the short-term to medium-term. There don’t appear to be any significant benefits to the business exporters based in Auckland that help drive the non-farming income for the country.
The overall costs of doing a radical restructure are likely to be far higher than the more incremental version that the Royal Commission recommended. It will also cause a decade of political turmoil in Auckland as local politicians have to wrest control back from the Wellington egos that have forced this change on Auckland.
What we don’t see in the overall debate in this country is where we should be moving towards, and the incremental steps that we need to do to get there. Hopefully seminar series like the one that the Fabians will provide a forum for getting ideas about direction that aren’t driven by noisy impatient radicals with their half-arsed plans.
The seminar leaders are listed below.
Bold Choices for a Better Future is the provocative first seminar in the Resilient Economy Series, entailing a pragmatic 360Ëš view of the economy, its problems and their possible solutions.
Ganesh is well known for his media commentary on New Zealand’s economic options, based on the in-depth research provided by BERL Forecasts. Ganesh will proï¬le our economic reality in simple everyday language, point to poor policy decisions from the past and contrast them with potentially better policy options that have been adopted elsewhere.
As a business journalist, Rod helps companies, not-for-profits, government agencies and other organisations capitalise on seismic shifts in global economic, environmental and social trends. He was named the Landcorp 2009 Agricultural Communicator of the Year and he is a finalist in the 2010 Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards.
John as a seasoned director and founder of several New Zealand companies (and the CEO of the Manufacturers and Exporters Association) will explain the board room needs and concerns of our fragile tradable economy, why this sector is so critical to New Zealand and what policy settings will lead to increased investment in this sector.
Selwyn, from his perspective as a company builder and recent inductee into New Zealand’s prestigious High Tech Hall of Fame, will talk about New Zealand’s past economic investments, their impact and how it could have been. He will put these issues in the context of how they have and continue to affect, the real economy.