Wednesday, 22 September 2010

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Canterbury Corporatism, Garrett’s Impending Strikeout, & Our Declining Economic Freedom

_richardmcgrath Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom.

This week:  Canterbury Corporatism, Garrett’s Impending Strikeout, and Our Declining Economic Freedom

1. - DOM-POST: “Workers get $6m in wage subsidies after quake disruption: The government has paid out $6m in wage subsidies to 7000 workers hit by the Canterbury earthquake… the government has set aside $15m for the grants but Mr Key said it could cost up to $100m.”

The problem: At the current numbers of people subsidized, this is $2.4m a week corporate welfare for Canterbury small businesses. That money has to come from somewhere. The govt either prints it (thereby eroding the savings of New Zealanders), borrows it (saddling our children and grandchildren with debt) or extorts it from the very people it is meant to protect from arbitrary predation. In any case, lower-income workers are being fleeced to subsidise businesses and employees who were quite capable of purchasing disaster or income protection insurance for themselves. Poorer people are being taxed to fill the pockets of the rich.

My suggestion: The money to help Canterbury small businesses should come firstly from the owners of those businesses and their insurers, and secondly from people willing to donate money to them. But if it is felt the money for this corporate welfare has to be extracted by force, using threats of asset forfeiture and incarceration, the first victims of this should be the people of Christchurch City, Canterbury and the adjoining and surrounding provinces. Wonder what that would do to the chances of re-election for Bob Parker and John Key?

2. - NZ HERALD: “Anyone except Douglas, says Key: Prime Minister John Key has said he could work with anyone as leader of ACT – except Roger Douglas.”

The problem: John Key could sit quite comfortably in government with Rodney ‘Super City’ Hide and David ‘Jackass’ Garrett, but not with the man who delivered New Zealand from the Polish shipyard of Muldoonism. Anyone with lingering fears that John Key was hiding a free-market agenda behind the smile and wave will be vastly relieved to find that there is nothing there. Meanwhile it appears Mr Garrett, a lawyer, may have perjured himself in an affidavit in 2005. Hey, wait a minute, David, wouldn’t that be your third strike?

A question: What would you consider a sensible sentence, David, if you end up wearing a conviction for perjury?

3. - OTAGO DAILY TIMES: “NZ third in economic freedom survey: New Zealand ranks third in the Economic Freedom of the World 2008 survey.”

The problem: Keeping in mind that the year examined was the final year before the fall of Helengrad, we can draw some interesting conclusions about the last NZ government from the Fraser Institute’s analysis of economic liberty. It appears that our overall economic freedom diminished under Helen Clark (our rating slipped from 8.64 in 1995 to 8.22 out of 10 in 2008). In five out of five parameters, we were worse off after nine years of Helen and Michael. The most telling statistic was Size of Government, which score slipped from 7.46 to 6.14 out of 10 over the same thirteen years, even as the size it measured increased out of bounds. But that’s what happens when you bloat the Labour-voting public sector by 30%.

My suggestion: Like an engorged leech, the state sector bleeds this country. It should be gently but firmly prised off the body politic and told to make its own way in life under its own steam.

And look: Countries “liberated” through Marxist rule (Angola, Venezuela), Islamic theocracy (Algeria, Iran) and totalitarian dictatorship (Myanmar) don’t do at all well. What a surprise. Cuba, adored by Michael Moore, wasn’t even rated. Wonder why.      

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the government
fears the people, there is liberty.
- attrib. to Thomas Jefferson


  1. I can definitely say I won't be voting for Act or National next election. A vote for libertarians may be 'wasted', but when there's little difference between any of the parties likely to get into Government...

  2. Richard McGrath22 Sep 2010, 12:09:00

    David, a principled vote is never wasted. People that hold their nose and vote for a mainstream political party don't look any different in the statistics than the party faithful who would vote for a trained monkey (and often do).

    A vote for Libz tells those in power that they have seriously pissed off another voter.

  3. Pissed-off National Voter22 Sep 2010, 12:14:00

    I am fed up with National and ACT. I am going to vote for Winston Peters. If the Libz can convince me before the election that I should vote for them, then I'll give them my vote, otherwise, I agree with David that voting Libz may be wasted.

  4. If you desire to be ruled by some despot authoritarian then by all means go and vote for any of the established moochers out there.

    So what, you cross out ACT and fill-in the latest political flavor of Winston Peters.

    I am sick of being ignored and you know what. It is my own fault. I voted strategically. My next vote is Libertarianz. You can put money on that.

    On that note, count on me making a statement on the Auckland emperor elections too. I'll vote to show I am not lazy but I'll tick none of the boxes.

  5. Vote Nga Dave, he's the only one who won't attempt to do anything and make it worse.

  6. Richard McGrath22 Sep 2010, 13:25:00

    PONV - can you elaborate on why you are fed up with National and ACT?

  7. "It should be gently but firmly prised off the body politic..."

    Personally I think that attitude will get more traction for Libz with more voters than the more idealogically pure but difficult to implement slash and burn policy usually put forward.

  8. Richard McGrath22 Sep 2010, 15:59:00

    @twr - you could be right, though slash and burn worked for Dodger Rugless from 1985-87.

  9. Briefly, yes, but

    a:he got stopped in his tracks eventually and ever since we've been slowly going back to Muldoonism,

    b:he only got to do it by not shouting the agenda from the rooftops before he was voted in,

    c:it was as a result of Muldoon who was very upfront about his socialism (without calling it that) whereas governments since have been more devious about what they've done,

    and d:the left have managed so successfully to paint Douglas as a demon with their lies that Mr Smile and Wave has to completely rule him out of any meaningful role in government in order to appease the hoi polloi.

    I think a policy of a slowly sinking lid on the public service of say 10% per year would be an easier sell than the usual Libz budgets which obliterate everything in the first year or two and punish some of the people whose only crime was to take what jobs were available, which happened to be with a government who made private sector jobs unviable.

  10. Richard McGrath22 Sep 2010, 16:43:00

    @twr: If I'm reading you correctly, you think it's the Libz party's transitional policies and the speed thereof that might frighten potential supporters?

  11. Yes, I do think that would put people off. I think some people might be able to see how the policies themselves could improve their lives, but they might not see the transitional proposals as workable. Personally, if I worked for the government I'd wonder how I'd pay my bills in the interim period while the economy reset itself to support private provision of services.

  12. At the moment I see a vote for the Libertarianz party more as a slap in the face of the established parties.

    Although I fully support the libertarian ideas, I have no illusions as to what can be achieved in this political climate.

    So for me the transitional policies are hardly relevant.

    In in Europe (The Netherlands and recently also Sweden) there is a swing to the right. I read this as a swing away from the establishment. Maybe people are finally sick of the way things are done in politics and revolt.

  13. as twr said i think a slow transition would be a good idea especially given all the government regulations and bureaucracies.

  14. Roger Douglas only got to do what he did because Labour will go along with any policy that comes from within Labour. They are too economically inept to have a meaningful internal debate. Lange only put the kybosh on Douglas because his socialist girlfriend told him to.


  15. I have to agree that the most off-putting thing about the Libertarian party is the speed of their 'transitional' policies (second only to the rabid/religious objectivism of so many of its members).

    I think the Libz would do well by simply focusing on just these two issues: taxes and 'nanny state'*.

    *Good examples would be things like not being able to legally add onto your own house without ticking a mountain of check boxes, or being forced to get some bureaucratic inspector to check your shop's automatic opening door..

    Anything more than promising this is unnecessary, because there is NO other party in NZ promising lower taxes and less nanny state. At least no party with any credibility..

    Best to keep it simple. Most people aren't that smart.

  16. Peter, with all these shananigans, I think it is important that a list of the Clark regime's scandals needs to be kept posted and referred to often. Do you know of a good one, like this one only complete?


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