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blue piggy on the grass 1

Election year Budgets, illusions and conjuring tricks

On television early yesterday evening I saw a well-known presenter give Budget 2017 an 8 out of 10 for massaging the electorate. A subtitle read “something for everyone”. Really? Can shuffling the same deck of cards improve everyone’s hand? That would be a conjuring trick. Election year Budgets are first and foremost about taking and spending voters’ money. They don’t create more money. They reshuffle it. Billions more dollars are to be spent. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
26 May, 2017
economy newspaper1

Competition matters

The Commerce Commission is nothing if not clever. While it kept everyone busy watching for its rulings on media mergers, it quietly cornered the market on competition policy conferences.I wonder whether it’s time to break things up a little.The Commission’s 2017 Competition Matters conference has a stellar line-up – and a price that more than matches it.The Early Bird price for the two-day conference is $1175, with a $1295 fee for later registrations. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
12 May, 2017
economy newspaper1

What is your labour really worth?

It is too easy to take prices for granted – in part because nobody invented them. If somebody had invented prices as a way of making sure that goods, services, capital and workers wind up, for the most part, getting to the places where they are most needed, that hero would have commemorative statues everywhere. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
28 April, 2017
blue piggy on the grass 1

When government messes up, we all bear the costs

Businesses that fail as badly as government does would go bankrupt. But when government screws up, it gets more power instead. And that makes for some depressing dynamics.New Zealand is getting a new pay equity regime.As the Regulatory Impact Statement for the new Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill explains, pay equity concerns are most substantial where an occupation has a dominant funder - typically, government. Elsewhere, competitive forces help ensure fair pay. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
28 April, 2017
pennies

Stay on target

You may be in a spot of trouble if you ever really wind up having to kill two birds with the throw of one stone. It is a tricky shot to pull off. We shouldn’t put the Reserve Bank into that situation. Labour’s Grant Robertson proposes expanding the Reserve Bank’s mandate to include unemployment. Last year, Robertson speculated about widening the Bank’s mandate even further, to consider the exchange rate, employment, wages and ‘the overall health of the economy’. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2017

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