There are different views on The Standard about growth and whether we really need it. I’m all for environmentally-, socially-sustainable growth, and I’m a programmer, so I’m in a fairly “weightless” part of the economy.
But here’s one bit of growth that really seems pointless to me: that achieved only by increasing the number of people.
While there should be better ways of measuring our economy and success than anything GDP-based (Robert Kennedy: “it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile”), it seems a simple fix to at least make it GDP-per-capita, while we’re working out the complexities of those other measurements.
Because if we’re only increasing GDP by increasing the number of people, as we are currently, we’re loading up the environment and we’re not even individually getting any richer for it. Thanks National.
If you look at 64,000 immigration last year – 1.5% of the population(!) you’ve got to wonder whether it’s socially sustainable as well. I love the super-diversity of Auckland, but that’s a lot to swallow in a year. With about 40,000 of that immigration being to Auckland – a city that’s already got a massive house shortage and struggles creating enough infrastructure – you’ve got to wonder: what’s the point?
You can see all the Auckland Council’s pain as they need to make more dense housing, but don’t have the roads / schools etc to cope with it.
And up we go to 4th equal most expensive housing.
I’m surprised immigration hasn’t become much more of an issue. Germany taking 1% of its population in a year of refugees was seen as astounding – we seem to get 1.5% new immigrants and it’s seen as “standard”, even though nowhere else in the OECD has those sorts of figures. Even NZ First seem to be struggling to get any traction on it.
Where’s the government’s plan? We all know they haven’t got one. Laissez-faire, set the conditions “right” and it’ll all come good apparently*.
*except when they need to intervene for their business mates…