Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo / Getty Images
Muldoonism attracts a lot of people. The idea that New Zealand could become independent from the world by borrowing heavily for government-led projects.
Every time this has been tried it has led to disaster. Fat
Borrow, big bust. Vogel’s loans in the 1870s led to a prolonged depression.
“Illusions of History: How the Misunderstood Past Threatens Our Future” by Dr Bryce Wilkinson describes how the Bank of England was to save New Zealand from default after the first Labor government borrowed. Wilkinson shows how close the country had come after Sir Robert Muldoon’s reckless borrowing in the late 1970s. The research is must-read for current Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
Sir John Key is right when he says “you have to believe that the government can borrow a billion dollars every week just to hide that we are no longer making our way in the world”.
Most countries like to believe that we can borrow, as Paul Simon sings: “A man believes what he wants to believe and ignores the rest.
Most have not been financially affected by the lockdown. Pensions and benefits, central and local government salaries continue to be paid. Some even prospered because the government also gave money to the media.
Commentators report that the spending comes from the $ 50 billion COVID Response and Stimulus Fund. There are no funds. It is an accounting fiction. Everything is borrowed. Other countries are doing the same.
Our balance of payments is protected by the enemy of this government – the farmers.
The prices of milk, meat and wood are cyclical. When commodity prices fall we will find Labor swept aside 30 years of financial prudence.
We will also find that during four years of Muldoonism, there is nothing to show except debt.
A centralized solution to every job problem will fail. Studies of counties that have adopted a centralized health system show that this translates into transfers of funds from the regions to the capital.
The government’s three water reforms are the biggest theft in our history. The government takes over $ 35.7 billion in water assets from taxpayers and leaves taxpayers in debt.
Establishing a central Maori health authority and an IVI regime on the Three Waters will not solve the real problems facing many Maori.
Borrowing will not solve the education crisis. We now count as the last in the developed world for math and literacy. Once upon a time our best public schools were world leaders. Today, the results of the NCEA show that there is a growing gap between public and private schools.
The government’s solution to the disruption of the student education lockdown is to give the NCEA credit for work that hasn’t been done. This knowledge was crucial to the success of the university in the past. Why is this knowledge not important today?
Home prices are out of control. Inflation is on the rise.
The real number of people affected by the lack of MIQ places is several times higher than 25,000 who missed a place.
I’m not one of the 25,000, yet I have traveled abroad on business every year for the past 27 years. I ran a small telecommunications company. Once we could no longer travel, our business was no longer viable. Business was fun for me. For my partner, it was his livelihood. We are another unregistered victim of MIQ.
The reason for Muldoonism is that we are in lockdown. Labor turned the COVID response into a simple government project, except in the private sector. Who thinks the private sector may not have ordered vaccines on time? We could have been fully vaccinated by July – avoiding this lockdown.
The government previously blamed the vaccine supply, its own fault, and now blames anti-vaxxer sentiment as half the country has yet to be fully immunized.
This is refuted by the Ministry of Health’s own research. An August survey shows that 86 percent intend to be vaccinated.
Forty percent of those who do not intend to get the vaccine are not because of anti-vaccination sentiment but “don’t see the need”. A perfectly rational, albeit selfish, look to see if you believe Labor’s propaganda that the government will eliminate Covid.
If our Prime Minister accepts that the Covid is now endemic, research indicates that more than 90% will be vaccinated. Jacinda Ardern would never believe the Australian Prime Minister was right when she warned New Zealand might not end the delta version. To do this, we must recognize that this containment is one of the biggest failures of the government to date.
We would have been closer to collective immunity if the government had included the private sector, general medicine clinics and pharmacies in the vaccination program from the start.
COVID testing could become widespread and routine if the government does not ban the private sector from importing reliable and cheap saliva tests.
The government is the problem now. Borrowing a billion dollars a week took away that sense of urgency. It is Muldoonism that prevents New Zealand from opening up to the world again.
Richard Preble is a former leader of the Act Party and a former member of the Labor Party.