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Family

Faking a wellbeing focus?

The government is hyping Budget 2019 as a world-leading “Wellbeing Budget”. The December 2018 Budget Policy Statement proclaims the government’s key focus on improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Do the public have any real evidence of any substance behind such froth? It appears not. Government policies can be expected to improve overall community wellbeing if an authoritative analysis demonstrates that the benefits will exceed the costs to those affected, in some overall sense. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019
Newspaper

News that isn’t news

Scroll down your news feed, what do you see? Trump’s latest dumb tweet, an update on the crisis in Venezuela, maybe something on Brexit? Unless you’re on the Economist, probably not. If you jump on any mainstream news website, you’re more likely to see something about the latest drama on Married at First Sight (MAFS), unruly tourists, or the latest limited-edition Cadbury or Whittaker’s chocolate bar. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019
Reports

The poverty of inequality reports

Everything has its season. The slow January news period brings Oxfam’s annual condemnation of wealth inequality and calls for redistribution. And every January, economists go through their figures to show that, once again, Oxfam has played fast and loose with the numbers. Oxfam combined Credit Suisse data on the decline in wealth for New Zealand’s least wealthy with Forbes data on the only two Kiwis who made it onto the Forbes list of billionaires. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
25 January, 2019
Bull

Expurgating our inner animal

We have to take the flower by the thorns and cut the animalism out of our everyday language. That is the message this week from PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Good on them. More ethical treatment of millions of humans in totalitarian countries would be a good thing, too. So when you want to motivate your colleagues to real action, PETA does not want you to talk about taking the bull by the horns. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018
Help

Letting us help

Community sponsorship helps Canada accept far more refugees than the government’s quota could accommodate on its own. And it looks promising for New Zealand as well. But scaling the programme to its full potential may require sponsoring communities to pick up a greater share of the cost.During the 2015–16 Syrian refugee crisis, Kiwis wanting to help were stymied by restrictions on the number of refugees allowed into the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
7 December, 2018
Time age

The final frontier of self-determination

Life is unfair, especially as you get older. That is what Dutchman Emile Ratelband must have thought when the court of Arnhem rejected his request to lower his age by 20 years.Arguing that being 69 was a disadvantage on online dating site Tinder, he wanted to reduce his official age to his ‘felt’ age.To no avail. The judge ruled that the grey-haired TV personality, motivational coach and former politician could feel as old as he likes. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
7 December, 2018

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