In the Dom yesterday, Hollow man star Richard Long was full of praise for the Key’s PR team, who managed the Jobs Summit. He was right to praise them, the media lapped it up – ‘cycleway!’, ‘packed lunches, and no cream for the apple pie, how thrifty!’ (since when did you get get cream, or dessert at a conference lunch anyway?), ‘twenty top ideas!’
Funny thing is, none of the media actually listed the top twenty ideas. Anywhere. I wondered why. I thought we would be poring over each one in detail. I mean these are the top twenty ideas from the “movers and shakers of NZ Inc” (sorry for using that disgusting phrase, just quoting Colin Espiner). There ought to be some good stuff in there. These people are the Atlases of our society; they’re the ‘wealth creators’. Surely, there would be heaps of great ideas.
Well, it took some doing but I got a list of the top twenty. [Update: Here is the only online source]
Retain and upskill with a nine day fortnight.
Intra-national migration to remove barriers between employers and seasonal workers.
Keeping people in education and creating jobs through education and training.
Improving matching of supply and demand for training
Redundancy and transition support for people who lose their jobs.
Enhance the use of Maori iwi assets.
Ensure government services reach Maori effectively
Urgently develop and implement new sources of bond funding
Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments
A return to big project fast track.
A freeze on rule making by government agencies and regulators
Boosting tourist traffic funding (guess this is the cycleway)
Accelerate energy, environmental and water initiatives for employment and productivity improvements
Streamline regulatory approval processes for major projects
Access to working capital delivered via an extension of the Export Credit Office
Level the playing field to New Zealand firms for local and central government procurement
Super-charge the debt market by streamlining reporting and disclosure requirements.
Develop a government/bank equity investment fund
Commitment by banks to provide capital to New Zealand firms.
Banks to significantly invest in financial literacy.
Some of these ideas are good, some are pretty evil stuff dressed in cute terms – “Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments” means removing air and water quality standards, seriously. But overwhelmingly, they’re just so mundane, so vague, so petty, so ineffectual at dealing with the problem.
I mean, if these are the top twenty, what didn’t make the cut?
21) Don’t fire jokers (unless you’re want to increase your profits)
22) Free frisbee every time you hire someone
23) Reintroduce slavery
24) Get this country moving again!