Gareth Hughes preaching some heavy truth…

40 years on, it’s time to reboot the economic system that got us into this mess

Enough time has passed that we can now state that poverty, inequality and pollution aren’t bugs – they are in fact features of the system.

With our own election less than 100 days away, is anyone questioning this broken “business as usual” economy and proposing to install a new operating system?

After leading the revolution in the 1980s and early 1990s, Labour and National pivoted to become its guardians.

Successive governments saw their role as guaranteeing low government spending, low government debt and low taxes, without upsetting an economic apple cart built on high house prices, high migration and high emissions.

By and large they achieved, and have maintained the status quo at the expense of all of us.

Even with a once-in-a-generation parliamentary majority and the spark of reformist zeal, real change was constrained by the post-1984 operating system.

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Experts were asked what would end child poverty and the bare minimum was done rather than tax wealth.

Reviews and reports were delivered instead of modern water infrastructure, light rail or getting Wellington moving, to keep debt below an arbitrary limit.

Reorganisations in health, water, polytechs and public broadcasting bureaucracies were pitched as drives for cost-saving efficiencies and marginal improvements rather than transformational changes that would significantly improve health, clean water, education and access to New Zealand stories. Is it any surprise they had so few enthusiastic backers?

Unfortunately, the lesson Labour took from plunging polling was that the public was tired of change full stop. I think the real message was that people were frustrated with hearing about poverty, a housing crisis and a climate emergency without seeing change.

…Gareth is 100% right.

We voted Jacinda in for transformative change, yes Covid happened and over turned the apple cart, but Labour’s innate caution and refusal to step out of the neoliberal economic straightjacket and actually reform NZs capitalism has failed.

Time and time again, from the Housing industry, the drainage industry, the Supermarket duopoly, we are not regulated capitalism in a way that creates real change, innovation and dynamism.

Labour didn’t expect to win 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020, so they’ve had no real 100 day legislative agenda to ram through and as such have been stymied ever step by the Wellington Bureaucracy who are beholden to the Professional Managerial Class consultants who ensure the big part of town always have the upper hand in the market.

Instead of proper investment from revenue created by taxing the rich, Government has spent more money on social engineering media campaigns and a re-arranging of the Bureaucratic structures behind the Ministries to direct funding rather than actually funding the Ministries properly in the first place!

Chippy’s attempt to drag Labour out of ideological virtue signalling cul de sacs to focus on bread and butter issues is admirable, but meaningless if no one can afford the bread and butter!

If Labour refuse point blank to regulate NZ Capitalism properly, the big boys will continue to rule at the expense of small businesses.


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