Should the government ban plastic bags? If reducing the number of plastic bags used is good for the environment, what might we be willing to sacrifice to avoid having them around? What would it cost us?
The Power of Equality
The narrative of the left is that inequality is rising because of the big bad policies of the free market. But what if it isn’t? A recent Treasury paper exploring a range of inequality measures shows that since the early 1990s inequality has been stable or declining.
The Harmful Digital Communications Bill David Seymour fears this will be another case study in bad law-making and outlines why he opposes this Bill here. You have some dramatic event, to which people rightfully feel something should be done. Politicians feel compelled to do something. Creating a new law is doing something. It’s easy to assume it’s the right thing to do.
A New Low for PPTA Up and coming reporter Jessica Roden of the Northern Advocate has revealed PPTA members black-balling a Whangarei Partnership School teacher from completing his placements at nearby schools. He has been teaching on the proviso that these placements will complete his qualification.
The OECD report on New Zealand last week noted inequality concerns – particularly equality of opportunity. The report said our education system is struggling to improve outcomes in poorer communities. True. ACT is working on this via Partnership Schools, but there is a long way to go. When you look around the world of education innovation, you see just how timid we are in NZ. Still, the opposition parties are apoplectic about our timid progress – they prefer stasis. But peek over the fence at Nevada!
Back Benchers A fun time was had by all last week, as Parmjeet Parmar, Jacinda Ardern, James Shaw and David Seymour sparred over a few issues. Consistency was gleefully tossed out the window as Jacinda segued from complaining that the sort of high calorie food you can buy at supermarkets is too cheap, to a moment later complaining about a supermarket duopoly making food too expensive. We think her point was that that cheap food should be taxed so that low income people are….er….healthier but poorer?
Prime Minister on NZ Superannuation
In the House last week the PM suggested we didn’t need to worry about NZ Super because it is only costing us less than 5% of GDP, compared with over 9% for the OECD average now. He added that on current trends in NZ it would only rise to 8% of GDP by 2060.
We Rate the Budget Speeches Free Press observed the Budget Speeches live. The media underreported the Government’s momentum and the opposition’s flat-footedness. It was one-way traffic as the opposition sat dumbfounded at National stealing their policies.
Capital Gains in Housing
After years of pointing out the problems with unaffordable housing, the government is finally moving - by tinkering round the edges. Opposition parties are exasperated as they had wanted to do the same tinkering themselves. We used to say that only the Labour party would propose a tax to encourage supply, we are revising our lines.
The Gen-Y Manifesto
Andrew Dean, a Rhodes Scholar, has gotten some press for his book, Ruth, Roger and Me. It is a plaintive cri de coeur about how bad people under 40 have things these days. Free Press doesn’t usually endorse books from the left, but Ruth, Roger and Me is short and worth a read.