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Parliament

Social bonds neither right wing nor left wing

Resistance to the social bonds pilot has essentially boxed Labour and the Greens into a corner. Social bonds (or Social Impact Bonds as they are known internationally), after all, have traditionally been introduced by left-wing governments.I understand that the role of the Opposition is to oppose. And there is potentially much to oppose in the execution of social bonds. But opposing social bonds in principle leaves fewer options for addressing entrenched social problems.For those who have forgotten, social bonds are an innovative way... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
3 March, 2017
robots

A Robo-tax

Microsoft founder Bill Gates copped a lot of criticism for demanding an income tax for robots. That is unfair. If anything, his proposal did not go far enough.Mr Gates is obviously right to note that robots are replacing human beings in the workplace. Some experts predict almost half of all jobs may be made redundant by technological progress. Indeed, that was the motivation for Labour’s ‘Future of Work’ inquiry.But a blunt income tax on robots is, of course, pure nonsense. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 March, 2017
newspaper headlines

Productivity costs of reading news

You probably shouldn’t tell your boss you are reading this.If the Initiative’s newsletter regularly gets you worked up, agitated or argumentative then you might be better off comforting yourself by looking at cat pictures.You see, it turns out that the regular consumption of political news might be leading to reduced productivity in the workplace. Full disclosure: I read the article while at work. The point of the piece is that in these turbulent political times, we’re all reading a lot more... Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
17 February, 2017
pohutukawa trees

What should it take to become a Kiwi?

I am married to an immigrant. It is not something I often need to confront. Sure, there are the annual visits by my much-loved mother-in-law, but you don’t need to wed a foreigner to enjoy that privilege. And as a young English lawyer, my wife seemed to assimilate easily enough with the locals. She quickly became one of us. Yet shortly before Christmas my beloved’s alien origins took centre-stage. Literally. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
10 February, 2017

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