The Inequality Machine

The widening gap between rich and poor that has disfigured and weakened our society over recent decades is widely deplored, but there is surprisingly little understanding of how that growing inequality has been brought about. For most people, it simply reflects the natural order; the rich have each individually taken their chance, as anyone would, […]

Unemployment Makes Us All Poor

Last Thursday’s jobless figures – the worst in thirteen years – show that the four years since the global financial crisis plunged the world into recession have seen New Zealand unemployment get worse, not better. And, as is always the case in a recession, the official figures inevitably understate the numbers of those seeking work. […]

Unemployment? It’s The Fault Of The Jobless Themselves

The latest figures showing higher unemployment may have dashed hopes that, in our fifth year of recession-induced stagnation, we have at last begun to recover, but we are still being offered the same old excuses. The problems arise, we are told, because of factors beyond our control – the Christchurch earthquake and the euro-zone crisis. […]

Cheap Imports Cost Jobs

KiwiRail’s problems with their Chinese-built rolling stock have provoked a predictable reaction, and not just from workers at the Hillside engineering works in Dunedin. That reaction will have intensified at the news that hardwood sleepers imported from Peru now constitute a safety risk. It is understandable that many will see this as poetic justice. But, […]

Austerity or Jobs?

Two issues – the turmoil on world stock markets, and the riots in English cities – have dominated news bulletins over recent days. Each is a significant news story in its own right, but the interesting question is whether they are in any way linked. What looks suspiciously like the global financial crisis, Part II, […]

The Lump of Labour Fallacy

Popular wisdom and what passes for common sense are not always the best guides to running a successful economy. That is why businessmen who have a good practical grasp of what it takes to run a successful business are often wide of the mark when it comes to making policy for a whole economy. An […]

Needless Casualties in the Economic War

On Anzac Day, we remembered the sacrifice made by thousands of young New Zealanders at Gallipoli – sent to their fate because those with the power to make decisions had neither the wit nor the courage to depart from a course that everyone knew was doomed to disaster. A day after Anzac Day, we learned […]