The failing policies of the present
Now here's an economist doing what economists do best: economist Paul Walker, who posts at the Anti-Dismal blog (as in, anti "the dismal science"), summarises a post by economist Frederic Sautet at the Austrian Economists blog looking at productivity growth in New Zealand.
Sautet has looked at New Zealand's productivity growth over the last decade for labour, materials and capital (so called multifactor productivity), and for labour alone, and what he's discovered is that ... growth in both crucial yardsticks is going backwards.
Like all decent economists, he seeks a reason for this shameful outcome of a decade of Hard Labour government and has little trouble finding it and pointing it out -- it's government failure, he says:
The current Labour-led government has criticized the "failed policies of the past" (i.e. the reform period and the deregulation of the 1980s and 1990s) for not delivering enough. Instead of continuing to improve the institutional context for socially-beneficial entrepreneurship, Prime Minister Helen Clark decided, among other things, to increase government spending (and the number of government bureaucrats), re-regulate the labor market, increase taxes (i.e. distort the tax structure, thereby rejuvenating the tax planning industry), intervene in utilities markets, provide more welfare, reintroduce corporate welfare, and renationalize businesses. All this is surely reflected in the weak growth in multifactor productivity...