Category Archives: Political Economy & History

What Happened to Egalitarian New Zealand?

Bob Scott Lecture Series on Inequality, 25 June 2019. (See also Have We Abandoned the Egalitarian Society?) What I want to do this evening is examine egalitarianism. In particular, New Zealand is a less egalitarian society today than it was when I was growing up in the 1950s. Why? How? The structure of the paper…
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Brexit: A View from Down Under

This was submitted to a British news publication in late December, but was not published.  Brexit is a great puzzle to New Zealanders. Britain and New Zealand are affectionate cousins with common ancestors back in the nineteenth century. We have gone our own ways; even so we have views of the other’s ways. New Zealand’s…
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Maori have been trapped in a poverty cycle

Dale Husband | May 15, 2018 This was published in e-tangata. Brian Easton is a 75-year-old economist, statistician, academic, historian, columnist, and author. For much of his career, he’s made a specialty of explaining to New Zealanders what’s going right and what’s going wrong in our economy. In his latest book, Heke Tangata, which was commissioned…
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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Paper to the Fabian Society, 12 October, 2016   While we continue to chew over the carcass of the Fourth Labour Government – the Lange-Douglas one – we pay little attention to the subsequent Fifth Labour Government. Yet the Clark-Cullen one is greatly shaping the current Labour Opposition and the current National Government. It will,…
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WITH OR WITHOUT BRITAIN

The EU remains central to New Zealand’s destiny   Pundit: 23 December, 2014.   Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Political Economy & History;   Suppose Britain exited the European Union of 28 countries. I am not recommending it; they would probably be worse off economically. Nor am I predicting it, although sometimes politics produces odd outcomes….
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HOW SUSTAINABLE IS NEW ZEALAND?

One of the biggest issues missed during the election campaign was the sustainability of National’s economic, environmental and even social policies. So what do you do if the government’s not thinking long-term?   Pundit: 29 September, 2014.   Keywords: Environment & Resources;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; Social Policy;   Behavioural economics is…
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LABOUR AND GREENS VOTERS ARE MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT

  If voters can see the commonality between Labour and the Greens, why can’t political analysts?   Pundit: 22 September, 2014   Keywords: Political Economy & History;   Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever,…
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AND THE WINNER IS …

In the economic contest between communist China. and democratic India what matters is people.   Listener: 9 August, 2014   Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Political Economy & History;   The debate in the 1950s was whether the Chinese economy would do better than the Indian one. Both countries had become independent in the late 1940s,…
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RISING TOP INCOMES

This was not published: 22 May, 2014.   Keywords: Distributional Economics; Political Economy & History;   Thomas Picketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century ‘has transformed our economic discourse; we’ll never talk about wealth and inequality the same way we used to’. So said Paul Krugman explicitly and ever so many other eminent economists implicitly…
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IS JOHN KEY FLAKY?

Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History;   In the Saturday 17 May 2014 issue of “The Dominion Post Weekend” Vernon small wrote an article. “English emerges smiling from global meltdown: Finance minister one of a string of highly competent money men, New Zealand has been ‘lucky to have’.” In it he quoted me….
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Launch of “But Is it Fair?”

But is it Fair? Faith Communities and Social Justice edited by Neil Darragh and published by Accent Publications (Launched at Connolly Hall, 6.00 4 April, 2014).   Keywords: Political Economy & History;  Social Policy;   I am not sure an economist should be launching this book. While economists are often treated as today’s secular theologians…
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Business of Office

It’s much easier to be environmentally pure in opposition than in government.   Listener: 27 March, 2014   Keywords: Environment & Resources; Political Economy & History;   Last year, a blogger argued that the Green Party did not need to engage with business interests while in opposition since whatever it did, it would win no…
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