Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, July 22nd, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: articles, national/act government - Tags: 2025 taskforce, clippings service, don brash, gordon campbell, productivity, scoop, treasury
Gordon Campbell has a great piece over at Scoop about Treasury’s latest ideological outburst and the resurrection of Don Brash. He points out the futility of choosing a man who played a large role in creating our wage gap with Australia in the first place to head a commission designed to close it:
Brash wants to know why New Zealand wages are lagging behind those in Australia. How likely is it – do you think – that he will consider even part of this gap goes back to the industrial legislation passed in the 90s, the express purpose of which was to drive down wages, for the short term benefit of New Zealand employers? Isn’t it kind of ridiculous that the same National Party that deliberately set out to cut wages in the 90s, is now throwing taxpayer money on a commission to find out why our wages are now so much lower than in Australia? Keep in mind that Brash is getting this cushy sinecure in the same week that the rest of are being told to batten down the hatches and tighten our belts.
Is Brash likely to sheet home our low productivity levels to the past failure by the likes of Telecom and the various owners of NZ Rail to do much more than asset strip their New Zealand operations? Has the readiness of business to piss away its profits in dividends and repatriated profits (rather than make capital investments) got anything to do with our low productivity rates? What Brash and his mates in National and Labour did was create an economy where the few could extract monopoly or near monopoly rents from a captive population of consumers. Is that process likely to be critically examined by our new productivity police?
Moving right along .is business likely to be blamed for its failure to make capital investment in the new technology basic to any genuine and sustainable lift in our productivity levels? Is Brash likely to berate the private sector for its failure to invest in r&d, and for its ongoing parasitical reliance on the government to carry out r& d in this country as underlined by the scrapping of the Fast Forward Fund. Is Brash likely to condemn the investment flows out of New Zealand, and the contribution this makes to our current account deficit?
I think we know the answer to all of these questions. Treasury and Brash are blinkered ideologues, and always have been.
Full article here.