by Brian Easton

Managing the government’s fiscal deficit need not mean cutting social expenditure.

An economic Austerian is someone who advocates cutting government spending, particularly social expenditures, in order to eliminate a government’s fiscal deficits. (The name is a portmanteau of ‘austerity' and ‘Austrian' from the neoliberal ‘Austrian School of Economics'.)

Do residential care workers deserve the big pay increase they are getting?

The recent historic pay equity deal for aged and residential care workers raises a tricky clash between quite different accounts of how the economy should work. Many people think that workers should be paid at a rate that reflects their social worth; others – mostly economists – think they are paid at their marginal product,  which I explain below.

The report of the Productivity Commission on the Tertiary Education Sector “New Models of Tertiary Education” is complacent.

The report observes that in the decade from 2001 to 2011, the ratio of non-academic and academic staff in the public tertiary educational system rose from about equal to six non-academics to five academics. In fact the number of academic staff has fallen slightly between 2005 and 2011 while non-academic numbers have risen.

If Jim Bolger now opposes Ruthanasia, why did he preside over its implementation?

I quite understand Jim Bolger’s rejection of neo-liberalism. Bolger is an active Catholic (as is Bill English); neoliberal ideology is a long way from Catholic social teaching.

Are Labour’s proposals for the changing the way the Reserve Bank operates sensible or nutty (as nutty as the current legislation)?

Section 8 of the 1964 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act stated that ‘monetary policy of the Government ... shall be directed to the maintenance and promotion of economic and social welfare in New Zealand having regard to the desirability of promoting the highest degree of production, trade, and employment and of maintaining a stable internal price level.’

Past policies of banging on about economic growth have failed. A new report argues we should strategise differently with more comprehensive goals.

The response by some regional leaders to Julian Wood’s Growing Beyond Growth: Rethinking the Goals of Regional Development while not unexpected was so typical of much public policy disc

Extracted from a paper delivered to Wellington South Rotary; 22 March

1. The US is No Longer The International Hegemon

Is the fiscal pact between Labour and the Greens a defeat for the left?

The parliamentary left seems cowed by the neoliberals if the fiscal pact between Labour and the Greens is anything to go by.

How do New Zealand’s university departments rank internationally?

Once a year the QS World University Rankings on individual subject areas are published. This reports on the 2017 rankings for 46 subjects. 

A recent government report projects huge increases in employment but at least 72 percent of those jobs are to go to immigrants.

I was a bit startled by a report recently released by the Ministry of Business Industry and Employment which forecast an extra 480,000 jobs o