The Dim-Post

November 30, 2009

Poetic irony

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 5:34 pm

Funnily enough Brash does (inadvertently) point to one of the main reasons we’re falling behind Australia; his task force was based on the Australian Productivity Commission, an independent body reporting to the Treasurer.

The difference is that the Australian body has bipartisan support and is staffed by a spectrum of widely respected economists, business leaders, unionists, politicians and entrepreneurs. Ours is run by a deluded gaggle of irrelevant right-wing fanatics. The Australian commission enjoys public confidence and informs policy for both parties, ours is so reviled that even if they do come up with a good idea the source is so toxic the government will be reluctant to implement it. If the government is serious about catching up with Australia it needs to sack Brash, Caygill et al and appoint a new task- force with serious people that will produce serious proposals.

If our main opposition party wasn’t such a tasteless joke they’d be calling for Brash’s head and a bipartisan replacement ‘for the good of the country’; this would also (incidentally) be good politics, forcing a wedge between National and ACT. Instead Labour have announced that the report proves National has a secret right-wing agenda, a talking point they’ve repeated every twelve hours (or so) every day for the last four years, thus far to no effect.


  1. Funny – I was reading the Aus commish’s report earlier (it’s linked to from the taskforce’s site) and thinking “Fuck! Compare this with what ours came up with and weep…”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 30, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  2. So the Aussie report was Australian and our one was Austrian?

    Funny how they engage with the unions over the ditch and are more productive and wealthier from it.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — November 30, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

  3. To be fair to the Labour party, this report proves what a fucking massive bullet, in the form of an extremist right wing agenda, we were all lucky enough to dodge in 2005 by rejecting Brash.

    Key’s certainly rejecting Brash too, but seemingly mainly because the current gov made a bunch of election promises. The second term has been flagged since before the last election as the start of the asset sell offs for instance. In other words: the swing to the right has been flagged for some time. But whether anyone will listen to labour’s dire warnings before key’s 3rd term is a moot point.

    Comment by taranaki — November 30, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

  4. “Funny how they engage with the unions over the ditch and are more productive and wealthier from it.”

    I’m trying to find comparative employemnt data for the two countries without sucess. My failing memory tells me that since the 80s reforms kicked in, our rates of unemployment have been consistantly lower than Australia’s. Not sure about Austria, but Germany always seems to keep wages high by pricing workers out of the market, too.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2009 @ 3:44 am

  5. Meant to say, your point Danyl is very valid: the productivity of the Productivity Commission would be much greater, if constituted differently, folk would listen and consider. Of course, the reconstituted commission’s output would be full of “training” blah blah, which is code for taxpayers doing some of the employers job.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2009 @ 3:48 am

  6. So the right-wing approach of keeping wages low and unions weak may have seen our productivity and therefore our incomes drop rapidly relative to Aus and other OECD countries, but it’s worth it because we’ve had lower unemployment? I recall “low unemployment” was a common feature of nostalgia for the DDR among east Germans when I lived there – didn’t seem persuasive, somehow.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 1, 2009 @ 4:49 am

  7. @Fist

    The ‘Austrian’ bit was about was about Ludwig Von Mises and Freddie Hayek, not the country.

    Chile is a good comparison to NZ, minus the guns and murder.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 1, 2009 @ 6:04 am

  8. “If our main opposition party wasn’t such a tasteless joke”

    Quite right. The trouble started when Clark stopped running Labor as a political party but turned it into some sort of cult. It will take a few years for the poison to leave the system.

    Comment by Simon — December 1, 2009 @ 7:12 am

  9. A nice bit of theatre from the Nats. Nick Smith is out there on his own with an ETS and Key not interested in attending Copenhagen to support Nick or the other world leaders desperate to get cover for an increasingly dubious bit of science.

    Rodney gets his “additional MP” report on the books to shore up ACT’s credentials and is now suitably relegated to irrelevancy and nice Mr Key gets to determine the immediate future with his new playmates in the MP and UF.

    Basically we now have the Nats nicely positioned at the net with ACT and the Greens on the baselines trying to blast each other out of the court whilst Key and Turia pitty pat the ball just over the net.


    Comment by JC — December 1, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  10. Key’s certainly rejecting Brash too, but seemingly mainly because the current gov made a bunch of election promises.

    Abso-fucking-loutely outrageous! 🙂 So, now the latest proof of the Secret Extremist Right-Wing Agenda ™ is a report that the Government rejected before it was even formally released? If that’s Labour’s smoking gun, I’d respectfully suggest it might want to point it somewhere other than their foot. No, Phil, not at your head! Away from your body…

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — December 1, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  11. Finally! A real idea on how to catch up with Australia:

    Comment by david c — December 1, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  12. Andy @ 7, yes I did know that, it was a weak attempt at a joke on my part.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

  13. @Fist

    Me too, those economics jokes always get the laughs 😦

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 1, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

  14. “Labour have announced that the report proves National has a secret right-wing agenda,”

    Bullshit. Bullshit Bullshit Bullshit.

    Goff said the exact opposite of ‘secret agenda’:

    “The taskforce has been a waste of time. National will never accept the proposals in this report, and taxpayers need to know why it is persisting with the farce,” Phil Goff said.

    He says the taskforce is “a sham designed to cover up the fact that National has done nothing to help hard-working Kiwi families struggling to make ends meet now”

    I think you get the ‘secret agenda’ line from the comment that “the government was simply using Dr Brash as a stalking horse for other ideas that would look less extreme by comparison.”

    But does anyone seriously doubt he’s right about that? Why else set the Brash committee up?

    This is the second time in a row you have made up what Labour is saying, and ignored the facts. You did it last week on Goff’s speech too.

    Comment by cowpat — December 3, 2009 @ 11:10 am

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