Making us poorer
Does anyone else find it ironic that in the same month that John Key has pledged to borrow $1.5 billion to install broadband in their homes (that's a cost of about $2000 per home, the cost to be borne by the taxpayers who live in those homes), the government has told Canadian investors who wanted to voluntarily give shareholders a similar amount that they won't be allowed to?
In other words, Key wants to take $1.5 billion out of capital markets to build a network that in the current regulatory environment is going to lose money (and if it weren't going to lose money, private investors would already be doing it), while shareholders and those capital markets from which those funds will be taken have just been denuded by a similar amount because of government regulation.
In other words -- and given that greater productivity comes about from ever greater application of capital to the job of producing wealth -- government regulation is making us poorer twice over.
UPDATE: Just to restate the point:
The more capital invested, the better equipped are our places of work; the better equipped a plant is, the more the individual worker can produce within a unit of time; and the more the individual worker can produce within a unit of time, the higher is what the economists call the marginal productivity of his labor and, thereby, the higher real wages he gets. [ref Mises: 'Wage Earners & Employers']
Or to restate the point in even simpler terms: The more capital a country invests productively, the higher are the real wages in that country. If you want higher real wages, then you need more and more capital invested productively, not consumed destructively.
And since these two measures between them take around $3 billion directly out of NZ's capital markets, and indirectly suggest to offshore investors that their money is unwelcome here and their investments are insecure, I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to suggest what effect this has on real wages.