You have to laugh. Earlier in the week No Minister was rightly lambasting Michael Cullen for meddling with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund -- insisting that the Super Fund, which is supposed to relieve the need for taxpayers to fund NZers' retirement years, must "invest" instead in "long-term infrastructure bonds," bonds whose returns will be paid for by the taxpayer.
It's not just insane, but once you start the meddling any hint of it being an "independent fund" is gone -- and before you know it Minister for Tasteless Crap Sue Kedgley will be insisting it must "invest" in mung bean manufacturers and ethical bone carving.
Said National-supporting No Minister about Cullen's signalled intervention this leaves Cullen "looking more like Muldoon by the minute."
But now John Key is doing the same. See: National to legislate for at least 40% of NZ Super Fund to be invested in NZ.
This is bad. Crikey, even National man David Farrar thinks it's bad: "We don’t want MPs in charge of a $100 billion fund," he says. No, we sure as hell don't.
But Key does. Key is signaling here that he's a tinkerer. A meddler. An interventionist. In his facile way he thinks his laudable success in the world's finance markets qualifies him as a politician to be tinkerer in our local markets. It didn't work for Muldoon -- hell, it didn't even work for Greenspan -- and it sure as hell won't work for Key, or for us.
You have to laugh. if you didn't laugh at what they're all doing with our money, you'd cry.
UPDATE 1: Looks like No Minister aren't the only ones from the Blue Team who will need to give their Team Leader an uppercut. The stodgy fraud who calls himself Adam Smith wrote earlier in the week that "directing the so called ‘Cullen Fund’ to invest more in NZ for political reasons is worse than National reducing Kiwisaver contributions," and their assault on the independence of the Super Fund shows "Clark and Cullen seem determined to gain short term political advantage for themselves and the Labour Party at the expense of New Zealand and the New Zealand citizenry."
I look forward to his response now his hero has plumped for the same mess of short-term political advantage. [UPDATE: Good to see 'Adam' rightly upset, if a little muted: "No this is not a good idea." It's worse than that, mate.]
UPDATE 2: "This is a defining election issue," said No Minister's Adolf about Cullen's intervention. "Nothing is sacred for these greasy pricks. Remember the Kirk superannuation fund the demise ... has been widely vilified by people of all political stripes."
What do you think Adolf will say once he realises that "greasy prick" John Key is just as much an interventionist as the other "greasy prick" Adolf so despises?
UPDATE 3: Crampton comments:
I'm intensely disappointed in the commentariat over at Kiwiblog. The same folks who would be (and were) foaming at the mouth about the policy when proposed by Labour find all kinds of reasons to love it when proposed by National.
More evidence that Caplan's hypothesis in The Myth of the Rational Voter is right. For most folks, politics is just cheering for the home team, without any thought given to the content of policy.
He's right, you know.
UPDATE 4: Paul Walker has a summary of blog commentary on Key's capitulation to collectivism.