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Treasury advocates own disbandment

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, February 2nd, 2012 - 100 comments
Categories: Economy, public services - Tags: , ,

At least, that’s what I read from their latest pronouncement.

Treasury – the government economic and fiscal agency that couldn’t forecast its way out of a paperbag – has blown the dust off its 1980s economics textbooks and offered the same failed recipe for growth that its offered for the last quarter century.

Any fool knows that education is the key to our future, yet these idiots want to cut education spending by increasing class sizes and put higher education out of reach of many by reintroducing interest on student loans. What will the savings be spent on? It starts with ‘t’ and ends with ‘ax cuts for the rich’.

Treasury also calls for a more efficient, cheaper public service. Now, who can name the one public service agency that has received at 15% funding boost in the past two years under National? That’s right: Treasury. And who can name the government agency that is universally panned by its stakeholders and offsiders as useless and stuck in outdated modes of thinking? Bingo: Treasury.

This is an organisation who has been offering the same prescription for 25 years, and every time we have accepted it the result has been economic stagnation, rising poverty, and growing international debt.

This is an organisation that, when their much desired National-led government came to office in 2008, projected that the next three years would see 7.4% economic growth. They said that we would currently be growing at 4%pa and creating 47,000 jobs this March year – and this is without the Chch rebuild!

What actually happened? 1.2% growth in three years, growth spluttering along at 1.5-2%, and just 5,000 jobs created so far this March year.

If your job was forecasting and you were out by 500% on growth and 840% on job growth, you would expect to be fired.

If the predictions you make determined how $70 billion a year of public money is used and you got it so wrong, you would expect to be locked up for gross negligence.

If you were the minister for such an organisation, you would be demanding answers and rolling heads (unless, of course, your one job before entering Parliament was at Treasury)

So, I suggest we ignore everything these idiots say. Apart from the bit about cuts to core Crown spending. I know where we can cut $75m of waste right away.

100 comments on “Treasury advocates own disbandment ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    At a guess, there’s at least one private sector forecasting agency with a better track record. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

  2. jaymam 2

    Have you seen how many highly paid people are in Treasury? What on earth are they all doing? Nothing of any use, since most people ignore them.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Stop the press!

    Treasury reports its forecasts aren’t as wildly inaccurate as some.

    Maybe some day soon they’ll make some graphs comparing their forecasts with reality…

  4. King Kong 4

    To be fair to Treasury, anyone who could accurately forecast global financial movements, sector performance etc is more likely to be found on their 100 metre super yacht cruising the Mediterranean whilst getting gobbed off by models than at 1 the Terrace.

    • lprent 4.1

      Doesn’t seem to matter how much they get paid (have you looked the wage increases in the senior staff?) because they give the same advice each time – tax cuts that do absolutely nothing for growth.

      What they should do is set something like 3% growth as an minimum objective and then tie the wage increases for senior staff to that value. They won’t get any wage increase until NZ hits at least that growth rate in the same fiscal year. I suspect that may cause the institutional fossils there to start to focus on what works and what doesn’t.

      Coming to think of it, the MED should have the same. But only outside of the main metropolitan areas. That would provide a counterweight to the treasury focus on the wealthy.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Steve Keen, who predicted the GFC, still works at a university in Aus and probably can’t afford a super yacht. Unfortunately, the people who caused the GFC (while definitely not predicting it) can and are probably cruising the Mediterranean.

      The thing that you RWNJs fail to realise is that we don’t live in a meritocracy but a kleptocracy. All those people with lots of money? Yeah, they stole it.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    This is an organisation who has been offering the same prescription for 25 years, and every time we have accepted it the result has been economic stagnation, rising poverty, and growing international debt.

    If your job was forecasting and you were out by 500% on growth and 840% on job growth, you would expect to be fired.

    Being wrong usually teaches people to do things differently. Treasury has been wrong for 30 years (They were promoting the free-market delusion before the 1st Act 4th Labour government started in 1984) and hasn’t learned a thing.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Disband Treasury and contract out the advice to contestable groups. If the Council of Trade Unions win the contract, well, that is the free market!

    • King Kong 6.1

      No it’s not.

      If there was a tender to provide forecasting to Govenment and my bid was the cheapest but showed that I was going to provide disproved ideological claptrap not forecasting then I wouldn’t win.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        If you don’t win the rest of us will.

      • Eddie 6.1.2

        The CTU’s Bill Rosenberg is worth a dozen Treasury forecasters.

        • TightyRighty 6.1.2.1

          No he isn’t. He’s actually worth about the same as one given how often he is incorrect as well.

        • Gosman 6.1.2.2

          So you would prefer that a Government department be staffed with political appointments to give you the advice that more closely meets your idelogical bias would you?

          • thatguynz 6.1.2.2.1

            Blah blah blah.  I look forward to the day that you actually post something that actually adds value to a discussion and smacks of at least a modicum of intellectual rationality.
            I suspect however that I may be waiting a while…

            • Gosman 6.1.2.2.1.1

              You do realise there are people out there in the wider world who don’t share your particular political bias don’t you?

              You do also acknowledge that there is more than one side to pretty much all political subjects?

              I’d suggest my views on this subject are pretty much reflective of the othewr side of the political spectrum on this matter. You might not agree with them, as I don’t agree with yours but I’d suggest you point out the flaws rather than act like an arse. If you want a giant echo chamber of your viewpoint you ain’t going to get it sorry.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m sure there is a competent conservative response to economic conditions, just as there is a competent socialist response, but the model you conservatives are using is patently flawed. It hasn’t worked anywhere, ever, no matter how much rhetoric you can muster.

                It it did work, you would be shoving the real world evidence up our noses just as we are shoving the Chicago School of Economic Failure up yours.

                If you don’t like it, stop whining, pull your heads out of Friedman’s arse and come up with economic policies that work as advertised.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The members of the Right Wing who hold influence today are not old style “small c” conservatives any more. As you have identified, they are actually neo-liberals.

                • Gosman

                  I’m just curious what you think a competent conservative response would be. I’m not asking you to agree with this position but I don’t think you understand the political divide at all.

                  So if we take the position that conservatives with a small ‘c’ still favour the employers over the workers what policies would they be following now that would be any different to what is being followed by the National led government?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Nope Gos, it’s up to you to work it out. I find it hard enough making sense of economics from a left-wing standpoint without trying to think like a Tory at your behest.

                    • Gosman

                      But that is the problem. Anybody who postulates an economic concept from a right leaning perspective is deemed not to have thought things though here. That is indicative of blinkered thinking in my mind. Essentially nothing would suffice unless you agreed that the left wing is the only way. I belive it is called intolerance.

                    • KJT

                      That is because, Gosman, economics from a right wing perspective is designed simply to transfer our wealth to a greedy few.

                      As we have seen, it does not work long term.

              • thatguynz

                I think you misunderstood me Gosman. I wasn’t taking you to task for which side of the “political spectrum” you are on. I was taking you to task for the way that you conduct yourself here. Your modus operandi (evidence would suggest) is to bait, troll, flame and prevaricate.

                Accordingly I really have no idea whether you do it simply for fun, whether you want to understand alternate viewpoints, or whether you are trying to change other peoples opinions to yours.

                • Gosman

                  I’ve already posted in the past why I post here but to give you a recap it is to challenge my own views by attempting to elicit a coherent argument against them. I also like to point out flaws in other people’s thinking so as to demonstrate that there is never one ‘right’ side of any issue. If you just want an echo chamber of opinions here then perhaps you could try and convince the owners of the blog to strengthen their moderation policy so that only those who are sympathetic to the posters are able to comment. I’d suggest this would be detrimental to the overall blog though as evidenced by other Blog’s fall in popularity when they followed such a policy.

          • eljaydee 6.1.2.2.2

            Obviously National does.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        But, we already get that and it’s not cheap.

  7. randal 7

    you would if you were a cheapskate chisseling tory bastard.
    are you?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    “Treasury – the government economic and fiscal agency that couldn’t forecast its way out of a paperbag….”

    Not that easy to forecast ahead. For instance, Treasury might make assumptions that include estimated tax income from agriculture for x number of years ahead. But, in those years that are projected ahead there might be a one in 100 year drought for instance. Also, factors such as whether or not an effective solution can be found for the European mess are unknowns that are difficult to forecast for.

    The best they can probably do is aim to give a range of scenarios based on their estimates for worst-case to best case outcomes, and then leave it to the politicians to make their plans based on this information.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Not that easy to forecast ahead.

      Yet all these talking heads and faux experts insist on behaving as if their financial forecasting is worth its wait in gold when in fact the belief in financial forecasting is extraordinarily dangerous and damaging. Leaving politicians to make plans for a nation based on this forecasting shite is like giving a child a loaded gun and telling them that its safe to point and shoot.

      So at least tell the people the truth i.e. “we don’t fucking know what is going to happen next, we’re in the dark as much as you are, and perhaps possibly worse than you are because we believe in all our own bullshit and mysterious degrees and certifications, its the only way we our conscience can accept our overinflated and otherwise unjustifiable salaries without causing serious self harm.”

    • Eddie 8.2

      “Not that easy to forecast ahead”

      very easy to forecast behind.

      If their forecasts are useless then we have a big problem, because all the government’s policies (and the oppositions) are decided based on those forecasts. The long-term sustainability, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness of huge parts of government activity are determined by the Treasury’s underlying forecasts.

      eg. How much of GDP will be spent on Super in 25 years time under different policy settings? The answer helps determine current Super policies now that will affect millions of New Zealanders for decades to comes. It’s Treasury’s numbers that are used to work that out.

  9. randal 9

    treasury recruits anal retentives from the provinces who will do as they are told until they are ready to become nashnil gubmint mp’s or work for the brt.

  10. Gosman 10

    “…universally panned by its stakeholders and offsiders ”

    Who are Treasury’s stakeholders and offsiders ?

    Isn’t Government a key stakeholder? If so I haven’t noticed too many Government members panning it.

    Doesn’t the Labour Party rely on the Pre-election fiscal projection to help in it’s costing? Why does it do this if it is so universally panned?

  11. millsy 11

    On a serious note, it seems to me that even a simpleton would recognize that students in a class of 10-15 pupils would do better than students in a class of 30-35 pupils. If it is good enough for Oxbridge, its good enough for the school down the road.

    • Gosman 11.1

      I’m sure having one teacher per pupil would also lead to excellent student achievement outcomes. If you would care to pay for this and suffer the economic consequences that come with having bloated government spending then go ahead and push for your policy to be adopted by the Government.

      • millsy 11.1.1

        So tax cuts and ‘small governments’ matter more to you than students getting a decent education.

        Glad to know where your piorities are….

        • Gosman 11.1.1.1

          I prefer to have a healthy functioning economy so that people who complete their formal education han be gainfully employed. Countries like France have massive problems with highly educated young people leaving to go to places like the UK because there is no jobs for them. If you can’t afford a better education system then it is irresponsible to try and pay for it.

          • millsy 11.1.1.1.1

            And what about the kids who fall behind because the teacher cannot get enough time with them to help them through their studies?

            Hard luck?

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny. I always thought that a good education system was a necessary ingredient for a growing economy, rather than an optional luxury.

              • Gosman

                Public education is always a trade off. As I stated it would be ideal if there was a one to one Teach/Student ratio. This is obviously unsustainable. Therefore you have to come to some sort of balance where the needs of the students and the needs of the wider economy are taken into account. What you can’t do is take this simplistic view that the lower the ration the better the outcomes. That is a recipe for economic disaster.

                • RedLogix

                  As I stated it would be ideal if there was a one to one Teach/Student ratio.

                  Not only unsustainable… but a completely unecessary. Anything below about 10:1 is probably subject to a severe law of diminishing returns. No-one would want to go there.

                  If you’re goint to put up straw-man arguments … at least try ones that have some semblence of reality to them… ie you can point to some historic precendent for something similar, or logically argue that this is a realistic possibility.

                  • Gosman

                    “Not only unsustainable… but a completely unecessary. Anything below about 10:1 is probably subject to a severe law of diminishing returns. No-one would want to go there.”

                    That is your view. The fact that wealthy people have employed tutors, (essentially a one to one Teacher/Student ratio), and continue to do so for their children would hint that perhaps there is a benefit for such a low ratio.

                    But it is good to see that you are employing some sort of logic in determining at what level of Teachers to Students is acceptable. The argument here is that there is little evidence that a ratio of 1 to 30 is any worse than a ratio of 1 to 20. I am sure there is evidence for and against this position. What you can’t say is it is unarguable that a lower ratio is always better.

                    • RedLogix

                      That is your view. The fact that wealthy people have employed tutors, (essentially a one to one Teacher/Student ratio), and continue to do so for their children would hint that perhaps there is a benefit for such a low ratio.

                      Fair point, although I was thinking in the context of a public education system. As for whether there is a strictly educational benefit in it… that would have to be a very qualified maybe.

                      That doesn’t negate the possibility that the very wealthy see other advantages in employing tutors. For instance I can imagine in some countries it may not be safe for the wealthy to expose their children to the risk of kidnap by sending them even to private schools. Other possible drivers come to mind as well.

                      But in the context of any mass public education system the law of dininishing returns must apply; no system I am aware of has even approached 10:1 or gone below it. In other words just not realistic.

                    • Gosman

                      There may be any number of reasons behind why a public education system doesn’t approach a 10:1 ratio. Cost would probably factor in there somewhere I would think.

                      This matter is far more complex than just the lower the ratio the better. Even if we take into account the law of diminshing returns in terms of education outcomes you have to agree there is also the opportunity cost of the money spent on teachers and additional classrooms not being available for other things.

                      As stated there are examples of places around the world where they have a really good quality education system but because they lacked investment in the productive sector the people who come through it can’t find jobs. You just end up with well educated unemployed people.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You just end up with well educated unemployed people.

                      Society itself would be better off if those people were employed and they could be. So why aren’t they? IMO, it’s our socio-economic system, a system that works to accumulate vast amount of wealth into the hands of a few, A system where employing fewer people rewards those few.

                      Having highly educated people isn’t a negative. Only educating people to carry out simplistic jobs is.

                    • felix

                      “You just end up with well educated unemployed people.”

                      Whereas we are ending up with poorly educated unemployed people.

                      Yay!

                    • Gosman

                      Who has a higher unemployment rate felix – NZ or Sweden?

                    • McFlock

                      Are you saying we’d be worse off if our economy mirrored that of Sweden?
                           

                      Their unemployment rate seems about the same as NZ. I’m not sure what you’re pointing at- perhaps their impressive GDP while Key’s twiddled his thumbs?
                       
                      And, do bring it back to topic, ourGDP changes lag behind Sweden’d even with treasury’s election promise sorry “projection” of a 4% brighter future.
                       

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Yeah funny how wealthy parents always push for private school class sizes of 18 or less as well as plenty of specialist teacher resources for their kids to do neat stuff like learn music, arts, crafts, literature, languages etc.

      Whereas the plebs kids can rote learn the National Standards shit which the posh schools are exempt from.

  12. Gosman 12

    Treasury employees must be the only public servants that many leftists feel comfortable, indeed feel the desire, to abuse for doing their job.

    I kind of enjoy the abuse as the people who do it don’t really realise that their logic allows the entire public service to be attacked on ideological grounds.

    • McFlock 12.1

      Only those parts of the public service that perform as badly as treasury. A rare beast indeed.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Isn’t it interesting that Gossie is here defending pathetically performing civil servants.

        • Gosman 12.1.1.1

          How is stating I kind of enjoy the abuse you guys are dishing out defending them? Care to explain that contradictory position?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      All I’m saying is that the work they do might be better done by Sir Bob Jones and a bottle of single malt, for example. If there is a private sector provider that consistently produces more accurate forecasts than treasury, then the treasury forecast unit is a waste of money and its own dogma says the work would be better outsourced.
      Of course they could also get better at it themselves…

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      Ah, Goose, they’re not doing their job. We know this because we can look at the fuckup of the GFC, look at the policies that brought it about and then look and see that Treasury is saying we should continue doing the same bloody policies.

      Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

      After 5000 years of failure you’d have thought we’d have learnt that capitalism just doesn’t fucken work.

  13. DH 13

    I idly wonder if we can start up a memo movement that regularly reminds Treasury most Treasury jobs can be outsourced to India & other low-wage countries. There’s nothing NZ specific in the economic theory they follow, low paid economists & beancounters from any country can easily replace well over half of existing Treasury staff. It’s funny how the ideologues eagerly advocate outsourcing other people’s jobs but never their own isn’t it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      If it’s as easy as that an algorithm will do.

      • DH 13.1.1

        I was thinking of it more as a strategy for dealing with these bureaucrats who keep pushing policies on us that we never get to vote for. A bit of reverse psychology might be more effective than direct confrontation. “Outsourcing? Sounds like a great idea, lets see you trial it first…”

        Imagine, if you would, if all the unions etc had gotten together & demanded that Treasury & other bureaucrat jobs be outsourced to India or the Phillippines. Big protests, street marches, advertise their jobs overseas etc… bet they wouldn’t be so keen on it then.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      I idly wonder if we can start up a memo movement that regularly reminds Treasury most Treasury jobs can be outsourced to India & other low-wage countries.

      You can go cheaper if you wanted. Just hook a random number generator up to a printer; that will do as good a job.

      EDIT damn 1AB beat me to it lol

      • Gosman 13.2.1

        So you would be happy for all core Civil Service jobs to be outsourced or are you only going to restrict it to Government departments you have an ideological problem with?

        • Bored 13.2.1.1

          Your comment is illustrative of the current narrative that economic rationalism must pervade all aspects of the public service (and probably life in general). People are neither rational nor consumption units, maybe the scope is far broader.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            People are neither rational nor consumption units, maybe the scope is far broader.

            Not to Gossie. Who follows the Thatcher idea that “there is no community” and that the only valid appreciation of all things is from that of financial and fiscal value.

            • Gosman 13.2.1.1.1.1

              “People are neither rational…”

              Yes I have noticed this from the many comments from leftists on this site.

              • Bored

                And there Gos you expose the vacuity of your world view. Or perhaps your intellectual limits? For ever condemned to trudge zombie the mechanistic corridors of rationalism. Sad but deserved.

        • felix 13.2.1.2

          Core Civil Service?

          Whatever. According to you lot it’s only the “front line” public servants that do anything useful, while “back room” bureaucrats are the lazy inefficient and unproductive ones who need culling and cutting.

          Treasury is the very definition of “back room”.

          If you’re going down the idiot’s road of applying theoretical consistency to real world situations you might want to set off from there.

          • Gosman 13.2.1.2.1

            Hey, I’m not the one who brought the idea of outsourcing the Core Public Service into this equation. It was one of your leftist comrades. All I am asking is if it would be okay to apply this to the entire core Public service or are we only applying the logic to the departments that people on the left disagree with?

            • felix 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Are you saying the NACT govt is wrong to draw a line between “front line” and “back office” public servants and allocate resources on that basis or not?

              Yes or no will do.

              • Gosman

                I don’t know on what context you are asking but my instinct is to state that they are wrong to do so.

                Do you think they are right to do so, and if so why?

                • felix

                  “I kind of enjoy the abuse as the people who do it don’t really realise that their logic allows the entire public service to be attacked on ideological grounds.”

                  Your words, not mine. I’m no slave to your brand of theoretical consistency.

  14. muzza 14

    Decrease the education spend = problem

    Public outry = reaction

    Privatise schools = solution

    No ?

  15. A few things:

    I’m all for a more efficient public service, if there are efficiencies to be found that don’t involve amputating it again. The money saved can go to improving or expanding services, or even to investments in the future, like education and infrastructure. We shouldn’t let running a good government become a codeword for cutting it in half.

    I’d probably get off-side with my father if this got back to him, but I think Treasury needs to be re-purposed a bit, not cut, (Economic forecasting is not what it really does best- it costs and advises on policy and provides nonpartisan (if obviously not apolitical) facts and figures. They should quit forecasting other than for the budget) and start basing its conclusions less on economic opinion and more on the observed effects of policies in various countries overseas that compare with ours in key areas. In short, Treasury needs to recognise that it’s somewhere between the government’s accountant and its policy workshop, and stop thinking of themselves as economists.

    And I know that you guys think Treasury is a complete National stronghold, but the truth is there are some (admittedly free-trade enthusiast) labourites in important positions in Treasury, and its biases are more to do with how economists think and are taught rather than a matter of partisanship.

    • Gosman 15.1

      Labour didn’t seem to have any major problem working with Treasury when they were in Government. Are you stating they have got worse since 2008? If so then how did this occur?

      • felix 15.1.1

        What does any of this have to do with Labour?

        • Gosman 15.1.1.1

          RedLogix didn’t seem to have a problem answering my question. Don’t know why you do, (although I have my suspicions).

          • felix 15.1.1.1.1

            Probably because I don’t see the relevance of it.

            What are your suspicions?

            • Gosman 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Another person did though, hence the reply. You didn’t but as I don’t post here just to get your opinion on matters that doesn’t worry me at all.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2

        Labour believe in the delusional free-market as well. It’s what makes them a right-wing party.

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Thanks Matt… actually between what you’ve said and Gosman trying to be smart as usual there is a good point; that Treasury is not so much a pack of partisan hacks, as a bunch of ideological ones.

      Steven Keen has long lamented the very narrow neo-liberal bias that is taught in University Economic courses. A bias that probably appealed because it could be dressed up in a ‘value-free’ mechanistic fashion… and thus pass itself off as more of a ‘hard science’ than the social science it really is.

      And in answer to Gosman, yes the last Labour government was still in many ways clinging to the neo-liberal orthodoxy for much the same reasons; credibility. No government can in reality stray too far from what the wider community will understand and accept, and during that period there were precious few voices willing to challenge the orthodoxy, let alone any with the stature to embrace change.

      So yes it is not at all surprising that the last Labour govt didn’t have major problems working with Treasury… they were both still able to find some common ideological ground. That doesn’t mean that that they spoke for the entire left in this country…

      • DH 15.2.1

        I think it’s more fundamental than that. Economic policy is something we vote for, it plays a huge part in every election. Treasury come along and try to influence economic policy; to change what we voted for. That’s none of their business, their job is to monitor & advise the Govt on how to achieve best results from the chosen economic direction.

        I’d suggest it’s the way Treasury constantly undermine our democratic choice that pisses people off. Their arrogance is offensive.

        • Well, ideally, Treasury’s job should be to help the government of the day make all of their economic and socioeconomic policies as successful as possible. The problem is that Treasury has a political bent to its analysis and thinks it already knows the answers, instead of trying to find them.

          • DH 15.2.1.1.1

            Thats much what I was trying to say. I expect Treasury to be flexible and without ideology professionally no matter what their personal bent is. If a Govt wants to emulate Keynes, Galbraith, Smith or whomever then I’d expect Treasury to give advice on how to get the best possible outcomes from pursuing that particular economic direction. Instead they promote their own economic agendas which are often in direct conflict with the policies we democratically voted for. There is a great deal of arrogance inherent in their actions.

      • Treasury was actually making quite an effort to get onside with Labour during that time, even though they still oscillated between being trade liberals (ie. right-wing labourites who think that the very selective “free trade” we are pursuing benefits workers) and neoliberals. It also helped that the previous secretary had some weak history with the Labour Party, having worked as a researcher for them.

        And actually, Labour had its issues with treasury, disagreeing with many of its findings, and it’s still not seen as a neutral arbiter by the left- which it ought to be. The thing is, it’s not Labour’s fault here, it’s that Treasury is very much stuck in what I think of as “the economist zone”, where they confuse political opinions based on unreliable models with verifiable facts. Treasury doesn’t need someone to reform it from within its paradigm, it needs a new one that focuses around truly objective policy and budget analysis.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      …and its biases are more to do with how economists think and are taught rather than a matter of partisanship.

      That’s because every single one of them is a trained “economist” and they do think that they’re there to be “economists” and to give an “economic” perspective to what government does. Unfortunately, nearly everything they were taught is wrong and so they’re giving the wrong advice.

      • Gosman 15.3.1

        To be accurate, you think that nearly everything they taught wass incorrect. I happen to think that lot’s of leftist teaching at University is incorrect as well. However that is just my personal opinion. Your problem is that not a lot of people in the mainstream agree with you. That is not to state you might not be correct. Just that it is unlikely anyone in key areas is going to agree anytime soon. But keep up the good fight DTB. Someone important might agree with you one day and your views will get a wider acceptance.

        • RedLogix 15.3.1.1

          To be accurate, you think that nearly everything they taught wass incorrect.

          Given their track record at predicting major economic events …like the GFC… you have to think that’s a pretty reasonable conclusion.

          The bigger picture is even less encouraging; the last three decades during which their narrow line of thinking has dominated has seen labour productivity double, triple or even quadruple in some industries, while ordinary incomes have stagnated or gone backwards.

          While the only group to have benefitted from their ideas has been a tiny, tiny elite of the top 0.1% of uber-wealthy.

          • Colonial Viper 15.3.1.1.1

            While the only group to have benefitted from their ideas has been a tiny, tiny elite of the top 0.1% of uber-wealthy.

            No these people aren’t elite, according to a post I just read at Zero Hedge. The SAS are elite. The soloist with the NZSO is elite. Astronauts are elite as are 3 star Michelin chefs.

            The financial ‘elite’ are typically just manipulators and ticket clippers who have no real skin in the game, they take no real personal risk; they are not elite, they do not deserve the label, they are simply parasites and predators.

        • Draco: Right, that was indeed my point.

          Gosman: No, their economic models are demonstrably broken, and all credible economic theory at the moment relies heavily on specialised behavioural models, which tend to eliminate right-wing biases in the assumptions of economic models.

          As for leftist education, what are you thinking of? All arguably leftist ideology I’ve seen in tertiary education either arises directly from the facts or can be directly derived from values right-wingers claim to support too, such as women’s rights or civil liberties.

  16. randal 16

    that was yesterday.

  17. Campbell Larsen 17

    Curious – Pete “friend to students” George has not yet released a statement on behalf of UF condemning any moves to reintroduce interest on student loans…..
    Oh wait, that’s right UF doesn’t have a policy position on student loans
    With friends like them enemies are superfluous

  18. randal 18

    treasury should get off its bum and put some of its staff onto looking for new economic opportunities instead of rehashing the same old shit year after year.
    they are supposed to be educated inteeligent people but their production of information sounds like the efforts of illiterate, insular boneheads

    • Gosman 18.1

      Why should they do that? It is not in their remit. You might as well state that the Ministry of Health should search for ways to make people live forever.

      • felix 18.1.1

        Why shouldn’t they though?

        Why are we funding them to play Deb-The-Psychic?

        Why not put their (supposed) skills to work for us instead?

  19. randal 19

    you should know why they should do that gosman.
    are you stupid?

  20. DH 20

    I just made the mistake of reading the full Treasury BIM, not the best way to end the day. The final indignity is not being able to wipe my bum with it, online PDFs take even the petty victory away from us. The morning dump just won’t be the same.

    … deep breath… I can’t find the right words. It’s depressing to think that fellow Kiwis can come up with this crap.

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