ImperatorFish: The Round Institute Of New Zealand Business Tables?

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 3 comments
Categories: thinktank - Tags: , ,

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here


The Round Institute Of New Zealand Business Tables?

I am somewhat surprised to read that the Business Roundtable and New Zealand Institute are to merge.

The theory behind the merger appears to be that the country isn’t big enough for two economic think-tanks. But I just can’t see how the merger can work without one organisation swallowing the other.

The two organisations have traditionally looked at the economy from completely different perspectives. The BRT’s prescription for our ailments has typically been to promote a small-government low-tax minimal-regulation environment. Its neoliberal economic outlook harks back to the 1980s. Many people would argue that the current state of the world economy is proof that neoliberalism has been a total failure and that a new model is required.

By contrast the NZI’s reports on our economy have tended to be more focused on looking at the “big picture” stuff, like innovation, skills and economic development, but without assuming the answer lies in only one direction.

It would be tempting to think that the failure of neoliberalism has made the BRT unsustainable as an organisation, and that with the passing of Roger Kerr the think-tank is now prepared to look at other ways to grow the economy besides cutting taxes and bureaucracy.

But I suspect it will be difficult for the neoliberals within the BRT to throw away their religion that quickly.

3 comments on “ImperatorFish: The Round Institute Of New Zealand Business Tables?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Tempting, but unwise. As the facts mount up against them they will cling even more strongly to their faith, and their rejection of the facts will become even more strident and myopic.

  2. Doug 2

    The drift of the NZIER towards Chicago has been noticable for some time. Economic rigour has been replaced with ideological posturing.

    The days when Alan Bollard was head of the Institute are long gone. At that time the Institute contained economists that held a range of economic views.

    • Ari 2.1

      Yes, let us reminisce of the bygone days when being an economist was a serious thing and not an excuse, in most cases, for right-wing ideology.

      I’ll pretend I was born back then! 😉

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