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Podcast #16: How to think about cannabis legalisation, with Dr Eric Crampton

On this week’s New Zealand Initiative podcast, Kiwis are set to vote in a referendum to legalise cannabis on September 19.It’s a controversial topic for some, but chief economist Dr Eric Crampton says thinking about cannabis from an economic perspective can help clear up many misconceptions and worries.Understandably, he says cannabis legalisation is a fairly new path for most countries that have already passed it, so there is not a lot of solid data about how it affects society. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Nathan Smith
Podcast
26 June, 2020
Trump cards

Card games in a post-truth World

When in the US earlier this year, I came across many souvenirs mocking the country’s leader, including a card game called, Trump Cards: The Wackiest Game of Fake News. It looked like a fun party card game in which players tried to pick out 'Fake News' from real quotes by President Donald Trump. A player receives one point for a correct answer and zero for incorrect answers. So, let’s break out the card game and test your abilities. Read more

Insights Newsletter
26 June, 2020
Dollars

The price for overcaution

It says a lot about this economic crisis when a forecast of -4.5% annual growth is regarded as good news. Yet that was the forecast the International Monetary Fund released yesterday. Unfortunately, it was not for New Zealand but for Australia. In New Zealand’s case, the IMF kept its 2020 forecast at -7.2%. That is worse than Australia and the global GDP forecast at -4.9%. At least it is better than the -10.2% predicted for the Eurozone. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
26 June, 2020
DHB

Playing politics with the Public Health

The public health system is a political football. Every change of administration is an opportunity to boot the ball at a different set of goalposts. Occasionally, all it takes is a change of Minister. Professor Robin Gauld, director of the University of Otago’s Centre of Health Systems and Technology, has published at least two books and a substantial academic article on the structural instability of New Zealand’s healthcare system since the 1980s. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
26 June, 2020

Media Release: New research project shows what is really happening with cannabis legalisation in the US

Wellington, 25 June 2020 - The US experience with cannabis legalisation is as diverse as its many models – each state runs things differently, according to a new research project by the New Zealand Initiative. The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill referendum is booked for 19 September, and all sides of the cannabis debate will want to pick examples that best fit their position. The New Zealand Initiative has produced a primer on the US experience, highlighting the policies and... Read more

Media Release
25 June, 2020
protestors2

The West in a new cold war with itself

The Cold War is mainly history today with more people remembering the spies than the ideological warfare. But at its heart, it was an ideological battle, which makes comparisons with today’s tensions between China and the West natural.Superficially, this makes it an appropriate comparison for today’s tensions between China and the West. However, the differences between then and now is that rather than confronting the Eastern challenge, Western liberal democracy is mainly at war with itself.The old Cold War was... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
NZ Herald
23 June, 2020

Media Release: New report suggests NZ’s ‘rainy day fund’ could help solve economic pain of Covid-19

Wellington, 19 June 2020 - To plug the fiscal gap created by Covid-19, the Government must rethink its retirement income policies, according to a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. So far, the Government’s primary responses to the challenges of Covid-19 appear to have focused on spending more money to help New Zealand’s lagging economy. Alarmingly, this means public debt is expected to skyrocket from 19% of GDP in 2019 to nearly 54% by 2024. Read more

Media Release
19 June, 2020
Aircraft2

Safety first

New Zealand’s border is its first line of defence against Covid-19. The gross failures exhibited this week cannot be repeated and require a complete reversal of the Government’s border procedures. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
19 June, 2020
Policy Point Borrowing to Save Retirement Income Policy After Covid 19 3

Policy Point: Borrowing to Save: Retirement Income Policy after Covid-19

The Government’s response to the economic challenges of Covid-19 has primarily focused on new spending which will balloon public debt from 19% of GDP in 2019 to 30% in 2020 and peak at nearly 54% of GDP by 2024. It is only expected to modestly fall to 42% of GDP by 2034.A clear choice has been made to defer paying the costs of the Government’s economic response to the Covid-19 crisis into the future, either by lower levels of public... Read more

Dr David Law
Policy Point
19 June, 2020

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