Lessons from abroad

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, October 8th, 2012 - 12 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

John Key likes to reference Singapore as a model for New Zealand. He’s meeting their PM today. Obviously, we can’t move New Zealand to the world’s busiest shipping route but what else can we do to emulate Singapore’s economic success? Singapore hasn’t sold its SOEs – it has built them into a massive investment fund. And it doesn’t let its currency raise to kill its exporters – it intervenes.

Seems like the only place where governments still ignore reality and leave it to the market is Planet Key.

12 comments on “Lessons from abroad”

  1. Paul 1

    Wonder if Stephen Joyce will them them their economic policies are ‘half-baked’ and ‘panicky’ – as he described the Greens’ proposals on RNZ this morning!

    • marsman 1.1

      Mr Potato-head Steven Joyce has done nothing positive for NZ but has handed out taxpayer money to Mediaworks and roading consultants and decreed the building of needless convention centres and spouted bullshit. He is a Hollow Man and his sole aim is to screw NZ.

      • Bob 1.1.1

        And had that loan paid back 2 years early at 11% interest, sounds like a bloody good deal for all of NZ to me!
        With regards to the Auckland Convention Centre, didn’t Helen Clarke once say “In Auckland, Sky City has pumped $140 million into its new Convention Centre, and Auckland City has rebranded and upgraded its convention facilities … Here in New Zealand it has been pleasing to see continuing investment in the quality of our tourism infrastructure”, did you think it was needless then? Or is it only needless now National have followed through with it?

  2. A foundation of the Singaporean model is a compulsory super scheme.

    A percentage of the super fund is invested in Government bonds for infrastructure purposes, instead of borrowing overseas.

    Probably a long term alternative to quantitative easing.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Or a softer, stealthier version of QE – eg an annuity paid out to investors based on the principal put into the fund can be a direct credit from the Government.

  3. marsman 3

    John Key will not emulate successful policies because those policies don’t enrich him and his rich chums. He will only implement policies that have already failed in the USA and England because that is what the Business Round Table demands.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    It’s important to understand what kind of inspiration Dear Leader is seeking out.

    Singapore. Key features:

    – flat tax (awesome! Perhaps a transaction tax instead?)
    – massive human rights abuses….this sort of goes with no minimum wage, and probably no eight hour day, sick leave etc. Sort of police state going on too.
    – outstanding banking system, and with smaller banks added privacy (thank you Simon Black)

    In the 1980’s NZ was ranked as a world economy where they are ranked now, I think 8th. Or I might have that wrong….sleep issues….damn memory….anyway we basically switched positions over this time period. Let’s hope Dear Leader isn’t too inspired by the lack of protection for workers….he does seem to be biased towards that direction doesn’t he? Anyway, best not think to hard about DL salivating over the details of how Singapore rapidly grew their economy.

  5. Dave 5

    Have a read of this (available from Auckland Public Library)
    The Singapore miracle, myth and reality / Rodney King.
    Inglewood, W.A. : Insight Press, 2008.

    Among other things author claims:
    – 30% live below the poverty line.

    -The amount Singaporeans must pay into the Central Provident Fund (the compulsory super scheme) often changes – with the employer percentage dipping whenever the government fears that too many MNC are going to take flight.

    – Most people have to draw from their CPF account to pay over inflated prices on state housing. Which for many means little is left to actually live on once they do reach retirement.

    – Neighbourhoods have ethnic quotas – so that racial percentages must reflect national totals. So for example if a particular neighbourhood already has reached its percentage for say Indians (9.2 %), then Indian buyers are locked out of buying into that neighbourhood.

  6. Rich 6

    I imagine the part of Singapore Key is keenest to emulate is the “corrupt police state” bit.

    • mike e 6.1

      Singapore has a capital gains tax as well!
      compulsory health insurance.
      Land tax high rents.
      money is made available for VC

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Shit loads of public transport and government provided housing. One of the most economically pro-active governments in the world, willing to put its money where its mouth is.

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