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The Government’s finances are in very good shape

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, December 17th, 2020 - 66 comments

The Government’s finances are in remarkably good shape.  Who would have predicted that dealing properly with a global pandemic would have had better results for the economy than timidly dealing with it and trying to ensure that economic activity continued? But by international levels our Government debt is already low and maybe now is the time to spend on vital areas such as poverty, climate change and the housing crisis.

C’mon Grant

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, November 18th, 2020 - 51 comments

This government must demonstrate that it has the ability to lead the New Zealand economy where it has stated it wants it to go. It does not want more headlines like the average house in Auckland now being priced at $1 million.

How Covid-19 is smashing councils

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 26th, 2020 - 69 comments

Just as most industries in New Zealand are firing thousands of people to cut costs, local government is getting ready to do the same.

What we were doing wasn’t working.

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, April 15th, 2020 - 112 comments

After the lockdown, it is tempting to try and go back to what we had before. To the familiar and comfortable, especially for us that were comfortable. Forgetting that for so many, things were anything but, comfortable. That won’t be happening. “Before” no longer exists.

UBI Now, Please

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, March 25th, 2020 - 75 comments

Universal Basic Income is on the Government’s Covid-19 survival agenda. NZ needs it now, and NZ will need it tomorrow too.

Labour to relax fiscal responsibility rules

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 24th, 2019 - 72 comments

Grant Robertson has announced there will be a relaxing of the fiscal responsibility rules, although not until after the next election.

Government with a plan

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 22nd, 2018 - 46 comments

Labour and New Zealand First Ministers under the first term of the sixth Labour government sitting in the Cabinet office.

The polls are great. Top work. But I’m getting worried about the entropy of this government already. Matthew Hooten and Karl Marx agree with me.

Bridges believes in trickle down

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, May 14th, 2018 - 199 comments

Simon Bridges has committed the twin political sins of not only believing in trickle down but in publicly confirming his belief.

Tripling down on financial illiteracy with Amy Adams (and MMT)

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 8th, 2018 - 128 comments

A 500-million Mark bank note from pre-war Germany

Amy Adams won’t commit to $11.7b, but she too has now become the third person to fall down the imaginary fiscal hole. How can National claim to have any soundness on finance if they won’t admit their criticisms on the economy are unreasonable and unfounded? And besides, aren’t National actually worse fiscal managers if ordinary people tend to get paid less under their regimes? We dive into some theory to thoroughly dispute even Steven Joyce’s/Amy Adam’s secondary criticism of “fiscal tightness,” although concede that two of the Budget Responsibility rules are probably stupid in order to do it.

Delivering the Green New Deal

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, September 18th, 2016 - 3 comments

London-based macro-economist Ann Pettifor will speak on this topic at Wesley Church, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington, on Tuesday 20 September at 5:30pm. Ann is a member of the Green New Deal Group, whose proposition  is designed to power a renewables revolution, create thousands of green-collar jobs and rein in the distorting power of the finance sector while making more low-cost capital available for pressing priorities. All welcome; more info inside.

Quantitative easing for the masses

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, March 13th, 2016 - 136 comments

It seems that “serious economists” are discussing something called “helicopter money”. Would it fly in NZ?

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 79 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

A calculated feeding of the beasts within

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, February 5th, 2015 - 76 comments

The social democracy of my youth has radically collapsed into our current culture of individualism, privatisation and personal greed.

Doing what works

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, November 4th, 2013 - 88 comments

One of Steven Joyce’s favourite refrains is that Labour is trying to take us back to the 1970s. You know, those dark days when unemployment was near non-existent, wages were high, growth was strong despite external shocks, we had nearly no foreign debt, profits stayed here, were we one of the richest and most egalitarian countries. He’s not far wrong.

I know, how about a Jobs Summit

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, January 12th, 2013 - 150 comments

Today, Fran O’Sullivan calls Key out on his complete failure on jobs: “If I have one New Year’s wish it is that John Key returns from his Hawaiian summer holiday brimming with enough determination to challenge the nation’s employers – and himself – to tackle youth unemployment.” In fact, she is the latest of the rightwing’s pundits to conclude neoliberalism has failed.

Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, July 29th, 2012 - 1 comment

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring).  This week: hiding tax, growing up neo-liberal and Syria.

The austerity death trap

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, October 25th, 2011 - 89 comments

In response to tough economic times, Government austerity programmes do more harm than good.  It’s a pretty simple equation based on the debt / GDP ratio.  With an election coming up soon, NZ needs to look for economic competence and a willingness to try new ideas, rather than muddling along deeper into the austerity death trap.

Keynes vs Hayek debate at the London School of Economics

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 am, August 6th, 2011 - 25 comments

BBC Radio 4 in the UK has a very interesting debate pitting followers of Keynes vs those of Hayek

Expansionary austerity – fail

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 21st, 2011 - 32 comments

Expansionary austerity is the idea that cutbacks in government spending can stimulate economic growth.  Empirical evidence shows that it doesn’t work.  Current experience shows that  it’s not working in Britain, and it isn’t working here.  Like “trickle down economics” this favourite of the political Right is not so much a theory as a deluded fantasy.

Building our future

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 10th, 2011 - 69 comments

Facing a housing shortage in Auckland now and a massive rebuilding programme in Christchurch to come, the Government has announced the biggest public building initiative since World War 2. Thousands of unemployed young people will be paid to train as apprentices in building trades and contribute to their country’s future.

Institute for New Economic Thinking

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 3 comments

All those who think Keynes is dead (and those who merely wondered what happened to him) should check out the website of George Soros’s Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). A remarkable range of economic luminaries are presented on video and powerpoint, most or all of them arguing for a radical Keynesian solution to the financial crisis.

Treasury: peering into the dark with a broken torch

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 am, November 2nd, 2010 - 55 comments

I saw Labour’s press release yesterday about the latest Treasury monthly statements. Basically, Treasury says ‘the economy’s a whole lot worse than we expected but we stand by our growth forecasts in the Budget’. Odd, because the Budget forecast 1.6% growth so far this year and it has actually been 0.7%. How good is Treasury at forecasting?

Lest we forget

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, January 31st, 2009 - 49 comments

The New Republic has a good article on Keynes that points out the tendency for governments (specifically in the US) to flock toward Keynesianism during the bad times and ignore it when things pick up and to implement the facets of Keynesianism that suited their own agenda rather than the nation as a whole: If […]

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