Hide on solving poverty

Rodney Hide has written a much better columns for the NBR than the silly one in the Herald about trains. He begins with the prescription for ending poverty:

Ending poverty is easy: abolish income tax, remove all controls on foreign investment, eliminate welfare, get rid of the minimum wage and make employing someone simple contract law, i.e. no employment legislation, no Employment Court and no personal grievances.

The country would boom and there would be jobs for Africa.

Productivity would go through the roof.

Wages would skyrocket.

The majority of Parliamentarians know that’s true.

But they don’t do anything positive to assist the poor or to reverse New Zealand’s relative economic decline. Aaah, they explain, politics.

I could never figure out what that meant.  I was missing something. And I spent a great deal of time finding out what it was.

It’s this: there’s no cause-and-effect thinking in politics.

Deducing policy consequences requires a chain of reasoning that political reporters and most voters can’t be bothered with.  It’s requires thought and it’s hard.  I forgive the voters.  Their vote won’t make a difference to the world.  So why waste time thinking about policy impacts?



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  • Engineer

    So true, all of it.

  • Jman

    Very true. This is why tax cuts are always reported as how much they “cost” as in how much less tax the government takes in. They never report how much they “make” as in how much extra tax the government takes in through productivity improvements as a result of a less punitive tax system.

  • Richard McGrath

    Hide has just reiterated Libertarianz Party policy – abolishing minimum wage laws and income tax, allowing foreign investment, ending (public) welfare, abolishing the Employment Court. No other party, even ACT, had such radical policies. Good to see these ideas get some traction – which is what Libz have always aimed for, rather than representation in parliament (after all, who would want to spend long periods of time in the same rom as Trevor Mallard?).

  • Polish_Pride

    Ahhhh Right wing wealth redistribution in action.
    1.Remove labour law protection for workers.
    2.Get rid of income tax (all for that one),
    3.get rid of minimum wage – Refer to point one.
    The only thing missed is open the immigration doors. Flood the market with low wage workers. Thus further driving wages down.
    They have this in action in Poland (Wife has just come back from 2 months in Poland seeing her family)
    No minimum wage.
    They still pay taxes
    Yep they have labour laws but noone abides by them and if you complain you pretty much get blacklisted and will never get a job again.
    But even factory workers are just swimming in money with their $7.50 (read that as 7.50 zwarty or how ever they spell it but its the equivalent of $3.25 per hr NZD) per hour or less.
    If you injure yourself your employer cares so much about your welfare he asks you if you will be taking that as sick leave or leave without pay. Of course because you love your employer so much your only too happy to choose ‘leave without pay’. Of course theres also the fact that if you choose sick leave, your employer will have to ‘let you go’ as they will have found that in your absense they no longer required your services anymore.
    No worries though if your not happy about the conditions, lack of labour law enforcement or your $7.50 per hour, Your employer knows that there’s another 10 workers lining up to take your place.

    • landly

      Oh, what a shame. So has it occurred to any of these people to start a business of their own?

  • landly

    You talked to a senior respected press gallery journalist, impossible. Doubt there is one. She made a remark of unmitigated stupidity? She’s a reflector of the talk around her, no more, and that is what her sub-editors would be demanding. They are trained not to think, but to take in and push out.

    Rodney, if you get rid of the weasel Employment Court, I will demonstrate on the streets for you to be canonised.

    As to the rest of your column, strangely idealistic.