Now, I know we make a big deal of how Australians make more than we do. However, it doesn’t matter how well or how poorly a country is doing – when policy is made it should be on the basis of evidence and costing, not ideology per see. Redistribution and social goals are essential – but we should ask why we are going for them, and what is the best way to achieve them, rather than throwing ourselves around at selling points.
On that note Agnitio sent me this article. The TVHE team is discussing it at the moment. In the interest of having a post up today, I will put up my first response to the article.
Not fact checking properly was a pretty big fail on the part of the Economist to be honest – but I noticed that the Labour guy did not rebut, or explain why, the cost of the Australian project was 10x higher … especially given that he said the speed of the system would be the same.
And the justification may be that Aussie is much much larger – but in that case the marginal benefit associated with providing the service to low density areas would be pretty low. It is useful to use a market mechanism in help figure out what the underlying value really is.
And that is where the Economist article was probably right with its “right-wing dogma”, and where the Australian government keeps messing up – along with setting maximum calorie counts on meals, and forcing power companies to pay above the price they can charge to households selling back to the grid 😉
If the Australian government is determined to keep implementing poor policies that directly lower the welfare of their citizens, then we probably won’t have to worry about New Zealanders continuing to flood over there will we.
Note: I believe that a number of the reasons why Aussie is more affluent than Australia stem from their sheer advantage in terms of scale, their earlier TOT increase, the fact they are closer to their markets, and the fact that average tax rates are in fact lower over the ditch. Given all this, I don’t see why catching Australia should be a goal for policy – simply making the best society we can, given what the members of society value, appears to be the only sensible target for policy right?