In which Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath takes his regularly irreverent look at some of the past week’s headlines.
- “Iacocca speaks out about carmakers' bailout” – Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler and developer of the Ford Mustang, offered some sage advice to the future bosses at his old company and at General Motors: Get the government out of your business as soon as possible. He almost had it right. Ultimately, it is better not to let politicians and bureaucrats into your business in the first place. Like me, Iacocca is impressed with the Ford Motor Company’s refusal (during the current economic correction) to take government loans, and its avoidance of bankruptcy protection. Another former basket case, Fiat, has taken over the reins at Chrysler, and can hopefully restructure the auto giant so it can trade its way out of trouble. But if a corporation such as General Motors finds that no-one will buy its cars, it should be allowed to fail, and its employees released to find meaningful work elsewhere. Otherwise their jobs become just more government make-work, with no relevance to the services and products that people actually want to buy.
- “Goff Mocks PM Over Employment Promise” – The man they call Leader of the Opposition (even though he and John Key sing from the same hymn book on most issues) dissed the PM’s nine-day fortnight scheme. And rightly so. What a load of bollocks it was - likewise the green cycleway. Now that 1100 people a week are becoming dole beneficiaries, the pathetic numbers of people kept in non-viable jobs through government interference is an embarrassment for the Key administration. The leaders of both major political parties would do well to heed the words of Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, who remarked in 1939: "We have tried spending money. We have spent more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. We have never made good on our promises. I say, after 8 years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot."
- “Harvey pushes for Matariki to be public holiday” – Helen Clark’s mate Bob Harvey wants another public holiday but doesn’t say who’s going to pay for it all. Employers spokesman David Lowe estimates such a holiday would cost employers over $270m, for a reduction in productivity. Easy for Bob and the Maori Party to suggest another holiday when it’s being financed by Other People’s Money, and in a time of recession. Poor old Bob also wondered yesterday whether King’s Birthday, if Charles becomes the British monarch, would be shifted to November. He doesn’t seem to realize that the current monarch’s birthday is in April. If I recall correctly, one of QE2’s predecessors shifted commemoration of the Sovereign’s birthday to June to make sure it fell during the British summer.
- “We’re Getting Richer, But The Gap Is Widening” – More fodder for the envoys of envy such as Jim Anderton, Sue Bradford and the editors of Salient and Nexus student rags. Yes, on average Aucklanders are getting richer, even the people in the lowest socio-economic groups. But those robber barons in the richest areas of Auckland are getting richer at a faster rate, so there must be something wrong. It’s the same old story - Jim and his mates want equality of outcome, regardless of merit, regardless of productivity, and regardless of the self-discipline and delayed gratification required to succeed in private business. What they fail to realize is that ultimately it is the capitalist system that lifts people out of poverty, and improves the living standards of everyone. Even when that capitalist system is corrupted by statist politicians via taxation and regulation, there is just enough freedom permitted so that people can prosper - provided they are willing to help themselves. That darling of the socialists, the “growing gap between rich and poor” is, to the average punter from North Korea, the gap between the very wealthy and the less wealthy. Of course, the difference between New Zealand and North Korea is that here, we enjoy smaller government, lower taxes, a semblance of property rights, and the rule of laws intended to protect individual rights. Though the Clark regime took us in the direction of North Korea, New Zealanders still have enough freedom to be able to improve their own lives by their own efforts. People like Anderton don’t seem to believe that’s a good thing.
See y’all next week!