Brian Easton

L is for Labour, L is for losers

Richard Harman snuck into the back of a Fabian Society meeting and found out that there are some on the left-wing dealing with unpalatable truths.

The Labour Party party is failing because it lacks vision.

That near heretical proposition was put to a Fabian Society meeting in Wellington last night by one of the left’s icons, economist, Brian Easton.

Even more provocatively, he argued that the Key-English Government had simply fine tuned the Clark Government’s economic policies and done little to reverse them preferring to promise to run the existing system better.

Out of this, he concluded that social democrats ?in New Zealand had long lacked a political vision and that was why they had been unable to counter neo liberalism.

And because of that, the current Labour Opposition lacked a narrative to apply to its critiques of the current Government which might resonate with the electorate.

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Left-wing economist backs TPPA

You know Labour’s position on the TPPA is doomed when hard-left economists like Brian Easton come out in favour of the deal.

Richard Harman writes:

The veteran centre-left economist and long-time Listener columnist, Brian Easton, has come out saying New Zealand should sign the TPP.

In a blog, Mr Easton says that New Zealand achieves international trade successes such as its recent win by having the World Trade Organisation abolish agricultural subsidies because it has international credibility on trade agreements.

?That trust arises from the way we behave in other trade negotiations, including the TPP,? he said.

?The implication is that if we defaulted on the TPPA we would damage that trust and our ability to function effectively in a wide range of other international negotiations we care about, including on climate change.

?That puts us in an extremely invidious position over the TPPA.

?Sure, we could turn it down, losing both its benefits and its downsides.

?Were we to do so, however, we would compromise the trust our international activity depends upon, especially the possibility of other trade deals which would open up markets currently restricting our exports.?

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Coddington flays academics

Deborah Coddington has had a couple of good weeks. Today she flays a couple of pinko academic rent a quote types:

Why bother with inquiries into disasters when, say noted economists Brian Easton and Geoff Bertram, everything is Roger Douglas’ fault: “Pike River, leaky homes, finance companies – costly in both money and lives – is seen as the belated price New Zealand is paying for chucking away its rulebooks in the late 1980s.”

Easton blames Rogernomics for Pike River’s 29 miner deaths and, furthermore, suicides by owners of leaky homes.

Why? Because Sir Roger’s Government was “too hands-off” with regulations in these areas, Easton said last week.

Bertram reckons New Zealand is “a laughing stock in many overseas jurisdictions. They look at our regulatory arrangements and roll their eyes.”

So that’s why immigration officials wipe away tears of mirth and pick themselves up off the floor every time I enter a foreign country and hand over my passport for stamping.

Complete bollocks. Deborah gets stuck in.

But Easton and Bertram are quite right. All this choice and freedom is killing us. We should repair to Nanny Muldoon’s policies with haste.

By law, only four trading banks were permitted. They opened at 10am and closed at 3pm. There were no ATM machines. If you wanted cash for the weekend, you withdrew money on Friday before the bank closed. Interest was set on savings accounts at 3 per cent.

To send money overseas you bought money orders from the Post Office. Above a certain amount “about $5 a day” you applied to the Reserve Bank. Same for international magazines – you filled out a form, sent it to the Reserve Bank, and got permission from Nanny to send funds offshore.

No lives must be risked in the spending of this money. And marginal tax rates will go back to 66 per cent, kicking in at $30,000.

People forget those days of state control over almost every aspect of our lives. People also forget that Labour increased its vote from 1984 to 1987 because they loved the freedom that Rogernomics brought to the country. The sad fact is though that Labour helped re-write history, along with plonkers like Brian Easton and Geoff Bertram.

Rogernomics should be blamed for the 25 drivers killed while using their cellphones. These are weapons of mass destruction. Douglas liberated telecommunications.

In 1985 the state-owned Post Office stockpiled 2000 spare desks and chairs, and a two-year supply of dial phones nobody wanted.

Before you got a new phone you had to prove the one you had was beyond repair – but that was okay because nobody died and the phones didn’t leak.

When the state owned our assets, the Post Office landed 13,000 faulty telephones, and a further $30 million of PABX equipment stayed in storage until someone felt like fixing the software. The numbers of people on waiting lists for telecommunications services nearly doubled in the three years to 1985, from 8000 to 15,000. But nobody overseas laughed at us.

This is what happens when government departments run things, we wold do well to remember those days. This is what Labour acolytes now pine for. Their MPs even post videos about it.

How comforting were the arms of Nanny, pre-1984, when she decided what we could and couldn’t buy. Government chose who could have import licences, and which local manufacturers should be protected.

It doesn’t matter if New Zealand families can’t afford cheap clothes and shoes for their children. That’s not the point. It’s Nanny’s job – as these two erudite economists will happily point out – to protect the privileged, not the consumers who want to shop around, or go online, for cheaper goods.

Competition hurts producers, manufacturers, banks, supermarkets – goodness, even those selling milk and vegetables. Here, let Nanny put a plaster on it.

Thank you Deborah Coddington for reminding us what Labour would take us back to.