Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A "rock star" economy?

So, some bank economist thinks that New Zealand will be the "rock star" economy of 2014. They're very excited about the economic "growth" from the long-delayed Christchurch rebuild, and of course the housing bubble. You can argue about whether either of those are in fact Good Things (and I think the evidence is strong that they're not). But more importantly, look at what they're not talking about: jobs. in this "rock star" year, Treasury is projecting unemployment of 5.9%, and is projecting it to remain above 5% until 2018.

National economies should be judged not on their abstract statistics like GDP, but on whether they deliver jobs and higher living standards to their ordinary citizens. And on that measure, ours is a failure. It delivers wealth and growth to the uber-rich, and nothing to anyone else.