Tuesday, February 01, 2005


So, Katherine Rich is gone. How many moderates is that sacked or departing since Brash came to power? Rich, Scott, Te HeuHeu, Sowry... they really seem to be driving out anyone who isn't willing to bow to Brash's hard-right ideology - and in the process undermining any chance of National holding government in the future. As Jordan said, people didn't like the Fourth Labour Government or Ruth Richardson for good reason; trying to resurrect that ideology is likely to be as popular as leprosy with the electorate.

Still, National pursuing policies with a natural constituency of 2 - 3% can only be good for the rest of us...


I understand the real fight within National is over time limits on benefits. They've doen the numbers and realise they can't afford to cut taxes to the rich without stopping welfare altogether to a significant part of the population. A starving workforce will also do wonders for productivity. The real shame is that Labour is soft-pedalling its way towards cutting welfare, too. It's up to the middle classes to decide whether they want social justice or flat screen plasma TV sets/holidays in Queensland/SUVs/etc.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/02/2005 09:54:00 AM

A starving workforce will do wonders towards keeping wage costs down, but won't really help productivity. Real productivity increases come from working smarter - through capital investment or better training - rather than simply throwing more proles onto the production line.

The 1990's move to a low wage, low skill economy is one of the things that reduced real productivity growth during that decade.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/02/2005 10:25:00 AM

I think the issues of wages has never been addressed adequately by either party. The spending power of individuals has been decreasing over the last 20 years or so as wages have not kept pace with inflation so that there is an increaing number of working poor. This means less money for people to save and less taxable income for the Government to spend of policy initiatives.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/02/2005 10:46:00 AM

And less ability for people to pay for privatised health, education and superannuation rather than rely on the government.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/02/2005 11:18:00 AM

If you want an incentive to get people off benefits, then increasing the gap between benefits and wages by increasing wages (rather than benefit cuts) would make employment more attractive than the "benefit lifestyle" that National is so fond of promoting.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/02/2005 03:44:00 PM