Thursday, October 26, 2017

Don't like the government? Blame the National Party

For the second time in over 20 years of MMP, the left has got, pretty much, what it wanted in a government.  This time, a Labour Party led by a complete neophyte (Jacinda has never sat in Cabinet, never been a junior Minister), with a caucus inhabited by unionists and ex.public servants, with the Greens (led by an ex. Marxist student activist - yes I remember him at university) and Winston the country's leading political whore-monger (look how he , will lead a leftwing government.

This government is already opposed to capitalism (although mind-numbingly can't work out what system means New Zealanders produces goods and services that get exported or sells services to tourists to pay their way in the world).  It is keen on identity politics and not only believes that climate change is damaging New Zealand, but that New Zealand reducing its emissions will make a difference to it.  This is pure scientific nonsense, but there's more.  This government believes that child poverty can be solved by giving people more of other peoples money for having children they can't afford to raise, and that it is not up to people to be responsible parents.  This government doesn't even realise that the biggest problems it campaigned on in the election, such as housing, healthcare, education, river pollution and welfare, are almost nothing to do with capitalism, but rather government intervention.

The problem with housing is primarily due to local government, applying the Resource Management Act, to constrain the supply of housing, in part to meet the new urbanist ideological objectives of densification that is the dominant philosophy of urban planning departments in major cities (not just in New Zealand, but also Australia and the US cities with the most expensive housing).  

The problem with healthcare is that there is little relationship between what consumers want and what they are able or willing to pay for, as politicians, not the market, drive the supply of healthcare.

The problem with education is that it is centrally driven and only recently has been opened up to additional competition, so that it can be innovative and meet the diverse needs of students and parents.  The new government is completely beholden to the producer interests of the suppliers of health and education, who in education in particular, are completely uninterested in being rewarded on performance.

The river pollution problem is a failure to apply private property rights, which could be applied to adjoining land owners including Iwi, to provide a framework to control water quality based on the self interest of multiple private owners of the rivers.  However, this government wants to kneecap one of the country's leading industries, even wanting a debate about "how many cows" there should be.  Why would anyone think they would know how many cows there should be, when they don't know how many of anything there should be, when it should be a matter of supply and demand?

The child poverty problem is a failure of the welfare state, which has never been so generous to people who want to have children, but can't afford to pay for them.  It is also the failure of policies that inflate the cost of living, primarily for housing (see above), but also the regular increases in GST, fuel tax and tinkering with the energy market (albeit not on the disastrous scale seen in Australia and the UK).  

Yet what real difference will be made?  Nine years of National saw little done in any of these areas, housing belatedly had some movement recently, charter schools were a start that was far too little too late, and National just fed the middle class welfare addiction that Helen Clark started.

This government wont do much different from National (yes you'll see uneconomic railway and tram line built instead of motorways), the difference is this lot actually believe in what they are doing.

You see the National Party has been a very poor promoter of the free market, private enterprise and individual freedom.

After leading a courageous government that started tackling welfarism and waste in government, Jim Bolger lost all sense of courage to do what is right and for no sound political reason whatsoever held a referendum on electoral reform that would obviously make it more difficult for one party government (and certainly was being backed by the left because they thought MMP would give them more power, and they were right).  He then led a chaotic government for two years with Winston Peters, before resigning and the final year limping on with Jenny Shipley.  Jim Bolger, remember, cut his teeth in being a Minister under Rob Muldoon, the most economically socialist government to date.

John Key got elected on a platform opposing the high tax, big government philosophy of Helen Clark and spent more, and how much really changed?  Was the welfare state reduced?  No.  Did the state's role in education get scaled back? Hardly.  Was the planning system liberalised?  Only for the government building roads.  Did corporate welfare get scaled back?  No, the opposite.  Yes there was some partial privatisation, but the fundamental causes of the housing crisis were barely touched.   John Key with Rodney Hide's help implemented Labour's local government policy on Auckland, creating a behemoth of a bureaucracy, with more employees than the councils it replaced, spending more.  Of course National also funded the multi-billion dollar underground rail fetish in downtown Auckland, which will never make a single dollar of operating surplus to pay for it.

What New Zealand now has is a government that believes in something, most of it is at best misguided, at worst destructive and ignorant, but it IS driven by philosophy.  A philosophy of "we know best" of "problems are best fixed by throwing money at them" of "climate change can be changed by whatever we do, and if you question it you're evil" of "a person should be judged by their identity group/s and intersectionality of them, not what they actually do, experience or think" of "you are a means to an end".

National only offered a diluted version of this, a half hearted "it's all going well" belief that "we're entitled to rule".  It didn't offer anything different, anything new and never challenged all of the assertions on poverty and the environment spouted by the left.

So while Bill English might say he is leading a "strong opposition", what is he actually opposed to?

The new government is just National with the courage of the philosophical convictions in implementing essentially the same policies, on steroids.

Do you really think National would reverse anything Labour is about to do?


Sean Fitzpatrick said...

Well said Scott.

twr said...

They didn't last time.