Supersize NZ

I had forgotten about this, but a while back CIS released a booklet with a few essays on “how to supersize NZ” (as in make the economy bigger, not supersize in the McDonalds sense).  It was called Supersize New Zealand:  A collection of essays on how to improve New Zealand’s public policy.

Of course I’m linking to it because I got to write one of the essays (with the editing help of some other blog authors – thanks Agnitio, Goonix, Rauparaha and CPW).

I wrote on how we shouldn’t forget productivity when looking at social welfare policies – as at the time we had a Labour government in that was determined there was no trade-off between efficiency and equity and therefore determined that we should focus on equity.

However, by the time it was release we had a National government who believe there is no trade-off between equity and efficiency and so we should focus on efficiency.  They do this under the catch-cry of productivity, which lead me to write things like this.

There is no contridiction.  Ultimately, I just want politicians to face the trade-offs associated with policies and wrote articles that, at the time, illustrated the costs they were missing.

  • http://publicaddress.net Keith Ng

    Explaining trade-offs require complex sentences and equivocation. These are (I say in all seriousness, from first hand experience in the heart of the beast) often considered too complex as political messages.

    The entire concept of trade-offs imply that policies have to be considered from multiple perspectives, and that it’s not simply “good/bad”. It also implies that these alternative values should be considered and weighed. That means you’re telling people to think carefully about what your opponents are saying. Heresy!

    Sorry, but our system of political communications cannot parse anything that’s not in a simple sentence. “Emissions reduction costs too much!” “increase productivity good!” “na-na-na-nanny state!”)

  • http://www.tvhe.co.nz agnitio

    “Contributors: Gareth Morgan, Roger Kerr, Don Brash, Matt Nolan and Phil Rennie”

    You are such a rockstar Matt:P