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Burning down the house

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, October 15th, 2019 - 28 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Donald Trump, national, Politics, same old national, science, uk politics, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

Recent social media from National suggests that there is a business confidence problem and that the solution is to incinerate regulations, lots and lots of regulations.

Is there a business confidence problem?  Sure there is.  I am pretty cautious and my confidence for the future of my business is low.  There is this madman in charge of the United States who is that inept he managed to give Turkey the greenlight to attack the Kurds and undermine the fragile peace that existed in Syria and the Middle East.  And by doing so he managed to free lots and lots of ISIS terrorists.  That takes a lot of skill.

There is this other idiot in the UK who thinks that the unnegotiated withdraw from the EU will somehow be a good thing.  It will if you are a venture capitalist.  There will be lots and lots of failing businesses going cheap.  For the ordinary Brit the Government is promising there will be enough food and medicine.  That is not very assuring.

And there is this third idiot who is the ruler of the country across the ditch.  His Government is that bereft of humanity that it torments refugees for political gain.  And he and his government have this strange obsession with coal.

Something else they have in common with the acting leader of the opposition in New Zealand?  They all have pyrotechnic obsessions with regulations, including the leaky home avoiding sort.

It is something that Trump campaigned on:

One of Trump’s campaign pledges was to cut 75pc of regulation in a bonfire of red tape to help small businesses. This first step of this was his executive order, which mandated that for every new rule brought in by a government agency, two must be cut. The cost of any additional regulation must be completely offset by by undoing these existing rules.

And the British conservatives have been engaged in a similar rhetorical battle.  From the New Statesman:

The Daily Telegraph has launched a campaign to cut EU red tape. Its editorial they decried the “vexatious regulations” that “hinder business and depress growth”, demanding that we ‘throw regulations on the Brexit bonfire’.

Such demands are not new. Beyond immigration, regulation in general and employment protection in particular has long been one of the key drivers of frustration and fury among eurosceptics. Three years ago, Boris Johnson, decried the “back breaking” weight of EU employment regulation that is helping to “fur the arteries to the point of sclerosis”. While the prospect of slashing employment rights was played down during the campaign, it has started to raise its head again. Michael Gove and John Whittingdale have called on the CBI to draw up a list of regulations that should be abolished after leaving the EU. Ian Duncan Smith has backed the Daily Telegraph’s campaign, calling for a ‘root and branch review’ of the costs of regulatory burdens.

And Australia is also getting in on the rhetoric although Scomo does not know whether to use fire or digestive metaphors.  From the Newcastle Herald:

So what is a poor conservative party in Aotearoa to do?  What else but plaigarise?

Conservatives are so simplistic.  The use of inappropriate metaphors and the blaming of some really important laws on their own inability to run things properly is clear evidence of this.

But this serves a political purpose and gets sections of the public frothing with hatred for laws that in many cases actually serve a purpose.  Which is why the conservatives use it.

28 comments on “Burning down the house ”

  1. Gosman 1

    And yet the polls show them within striking distance of taking power again…

    • McFlock 1.1

      And yet the polls show them within striking distance of taking power again…

      so, still losing.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      If you found out that saying something atrocious would get you political support but you knew it was wrong would you still do it?

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        I love trick questions 😉

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        Much of politics is not so black and white as you make out. There is a valid case to make that NZ has imposed extra regulatory costs over the past 20 or so years which has meant business activity is slowed for no major benefit. We can argue whether this is the case but that is the purpose of politics.

        This is no different to trying to argue poverty and inequality in NZ have reached crisis levels. The left does this for political effect despite the proposition being highly debatable.

  2. Poission 2

    2500 years ago the great master of the school of rhetoric argued quite succinctly for the constraint of legislation by better education on morals (and against lawyers)

    "But in fact, they thought, virtue is not advanced by written laws but by the habits of every-day life; for the majority of men tend to assimilate the manners and morals amid which they have been reared. Furthermore, they held that where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed;1 for it is in the attempt to build up dikes against the spread of crime that men in such a state feel constrained to multiply the laws.

    Those who are rightly governed, on the other hand, do not need to fill their porticoes1 with written statutes, but only to cherish justice in their souls; for it is not by legislation, but by morals, that states are well directed, since men who are badly reared will venture to transgress even laws which are drawn up with minute exactness, whereas those who are well brought up will be willing to respect even a simple code "

    Andrew Haldane in one of his wonderful essays,on over regulation argued that it was regressive ie over regulation rewards the rich,and restricts the less well off.

    "Regulatory and legal frameworks share common roots. Both are complex, evolutionary systems, shaped by history. They are the result of a set of well-intentioned historical actions by technicians charged with filling cracks, creating certainty, shaping incentives for the common good. Both legal and regulatory frameworks have many of the characteristics of a classic public good.But the cumulative consequences of even well-intentioned actions may not always deliver outcomes which necessarily serve society well. That is because such actions are typically a response to events and circumstance. The resulting frameworks have a history of path-dependence (David (1985)).This history-dependence may “lock-in” sub-optimal technologies, such as QWERTY keyboards and VHS video-recorders. "


    The overall complexity of over regulation, is reducible to a single word.


    • Ad 2.1

      The people who try to reduce regulation to a single word are known by the minimised descriptor: moron.

      It's happened many times from the Act end of the spectrum, and the results over the last 20 years have sown nothing but chaos.

      If you want to show how kinds of New Zealand regulation harms the worker and benefits the elite, you should make the case. Go for it – I'm sure it's worthwhile, and there are many fields to choose from.

      • In Vino 2.1.1

        I agree with Ad. Let's take just one area and say:

        The result of under-regulation is reducible to pairs of words:

        Leaky homes

        Pike River

      • Poission 2.1.2

        Still don't get the argument.The problem is complexity (which increases entropy.)

        In chch for example,the most damaged houses were architecturally designed complex houses.The simple standard houses (state house weatherboard) were the least damaged.

        Complex new commercial buildings (built to existing EQ standards ) in wellington following the Kaikoura event have been demolished such as defence and statistics,

        • Dukeofurl

          The Design standards were to allow the buildings to suffer damage but remain standing and protect lives.

          Thats what happened. Unrepairable was also that outcome. Reinforced concrete means that often you cant tell what else is wrong. And as we now know the standard of construction wasnt high …but thats been known even for old RC buildings that have been demolished that had been built in the 1930s.

  3. I feel love 3

    I watched the "men who built America" series the other day, made in 2012, in it Trump says he always does well business wise when the economy is tanking, it's a good time to buy things cheap, slim down costs like labour etc.

    • Macro 3.1

      As if you can believe anything that trump says – he has been bankrupt more times than he let's on so much so that no major bank in the US will lend him a dime.

  4. Thieves and charlatans universally despise the rule of law and fair dealing. The consequences of corner cutting are plain to see. Hundreds of lives lost in Christchurch and Pike River, increasing biosecurity threats, casual destruction of NZ fisheries, $47 billion squandered on leaky homes, and another disaster brewing in our frenzied construction sector.

  5. Deregulation – phasing out of social services replaced by mumbles – a pocketful of promises.

    The council's chief executive Peter Reynolds says incidents like this aren't uncommon because of a lack of learning support staff nationwide.
    "Because of the pressures on the system, because of the restraints on the availability of learning support, unfortunately it's not entirely surprising."

    "There've been all sorts of supports [reports?], some commissioned by the Ministry of Education, about the state of what used to be called the special education system, and it's now called learning support – it's not up to scratch, and it does leave both services and children in a vulnerable state in many ways."

    Four-year-old Masua Tusa – or Sua as his mum calls him – has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

    While he was at Manurewa West Kindergarten last Wednesday he suffered extensive facial injuries – including deep grazes where large patches of skin have been scraped from his nose, forehead and cheek.

    The police and Ministry of Education are both investigating.
    His mother Milly Tusa told Checkpoint she only heard her son was injured when she went to collect him as usual and was told by staff he'd tumbled down some stairs while strapped in his wheelchair.

  6. feijoa 6

    Deregulation is a very strong right wing idea. Essentially deregulation allows the law of the jungle to operate, and the strong bullies will preside over the weak and vulnerable. So there is much more of a winner and loser effect. This increases inequality. And all the multiple societal effects of inequality. I could go on. Leaky buildings are a classic example of deregulation. We (mostly) accept regulation in many areas – eg traffic rules, as we understand it would be chaos otherwise

    I really wish Labour and the Greens would step up into a role of educating the public about these type of issues. Jacinda is a very good communicator and she should use her skills to build her own narrative. This would be a good place to start,

    • In Vino 6.1

      The cooperation of the mass media would be needed. Fat chance. The media are owned by the enemy.

  7. Wensleydale 7

    Basically, can you trust businesses to operate ethically without being compelled to by legislation? Think hard about that for a moment, and perhaps contemplate all those skeevy corporates who have been caught shafting their workers, customers, the tax man and anyone else they feel inclined to disadvantage in order to line their own pockets. How many companies are quite content to stiff some hapless client until their misdeeds are plastered all over social media, or their CEO is being pursued through surburbia by Hannah Wallis from Fair Go? As soon as you let the hounds off the leash, they inevitably insist on savaging someone. It's sad, but the best incentive to operate with integrity and consideration for the wellbeing of others is frequently a bloody big stick.

  8. Sacha 8

    Regulations are protections. It's a more useful way to think of what removing them actually means.

  9. aom 9

    But hang on, isn't NZ one of the easiest places in the world to do business?

  10. Ad 10

    We're in for nasty weather






    A Way

    Burning down the House!

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