Travel

Bridges’ right to travel

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have absolutely no problem with Simon Bridges’ expenses bill. Except that it was leaked and that some other politicians are trying to turn it into a scandal. The opposition leader spent too much money on travel, mainly on Crown cars. But that is just another way of saying he was doing his job. Over the past months, Bridges did what we would expect new opposition leaders to do. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 August, 2018
Globe2

Suffering from the Dagg Effect?

Travelling to New Zealand will be a tremendous shock to the system, a couple of my peers tried to convince me before I left home in Zurich. It was - but not for the reasons everyone told me.   The travelling was super smooth. Changing planes in one of the eastern hubs was a piece of cake and and for the first time in years, I read a book straight from beginning to end (The have and the have nots... Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
17 August, 2018
Ink and feather

In praise of tax as love (with apologies to William Shakespeare)

My Insights article, Low Tax Fantasy, on 27 July rebutted the claims that New Zealand was a low-tax country by global standards and that tax is love. The article struck a chord with a number of readers, one of whom said it reminded her of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets about love. With apologies to that most sage of bards, here is an unfaithful rendition of the sonnet she had in mind.Let me not to the marriage of true mindsAdmit impediments. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
16 August, 2018
Agreement3

Hiring refugees works for business

Mohammed Alsahani once had an upholstery business in Damascus. But when civil war broke out in Syria, he and his family were forced to flee. Read more

Guest speaker Philippe Legrain
The National Business Review
11 August, 2018
France

The other French revolution

Last month France celebrated the storming of the Bastille, an assault that became a flashpoint for the French Revolution. As a fortress and prison, the Bastille was emblematic of the French monarchy. Its fall triggered the events that would lead to the formation of the First French Republic. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
10 August, 2018
Economist

Treasury and opportunity costs

Treasury is the heart of economic expertise in government. But it is more than that. Lots of Ministries have economists on staff – even Chief Economists. Treasury’s unique role is to run a straight economic ruler over policy initiatives proposed by other Ministries and to provide advice to its Minister about which government policies pass muster, and which do not. Government has limited resources and it is important that every dollar go where it can do the most good. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
3 August, 2018
Cash2

Is it 2008 again?

Many of us will remember those gloomy days in late 2008 when the Global Financial Crisis peaked. Stock markets around the world crashed, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the world’s financial system was on its knees. This was the last time that New Zealand business confidence was as low as it is again today. This week, ANZ released its latest Business Outlook Survey. It revealed that “a net 45 percent of respondents reporting they expect general business conditions to deteriorate in... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 August, 2018
Straw

Say no to saving turtles

Whenever a bartender enthusiastically asks me whether I want to save the turtles, I like to look them dead in the eyes and without hesitation say “no”. Don’t get me wrong, turtles have never done anything to offend me personally. But I know ‘saving turtles’ is code for saying no to plastic straws. And I cannot jump on this bandwagon. There are practical reasons to celebrate plastic straws. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
3 August, 2018
Tax

Low tax fantasy

This Sunday Bridget Williams Books is holding a panel discussion on the infantile proposition that tax is love. Really? Who fantasises about paying more tax?Unlike love, tax is force. In 1993, Charles Adams, a US tax lawyer qualified in history and philosophy, published a history of taxation, for good and evil, across civilisations.As he observed, the essence of a tax is taking money, property, or services by government without paying for it.Love does not feature in this history, episodes of... Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
27 July, 2018
World

Our open world is under threat

New Zealand has blazed a trail in many areas – not least in opening up its economy to the rest of the world. In the 1980s reforming Labour governments axed the thicket of protectionist tariffs and subsidies that penalised consumers and cossetted – but ultimately held back – Kiwi farmers.By throwing open the economy to global competition and foreign investment, they started a trend for what is now known as globalisation: the huge – and hugely enriching – expansion of international... Read more

Philippe Legrain
Insights Newsletter
27 July, 2018
Beer

Not so youthful rebellion

Back in 1986 the Beastie Boys released what would become one of their most well-known songs. While (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) captured the imagination of young people, parents, politicians and society at large began hand-wringing about all the partying, drunken antics and teenage rebellion. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s not the youthful Millennials fighting for their right to party… it’s their grandparents. Read more

Ben Craven
Insights Newsletter
27 July, 2018

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