Economy

Two weeks out from the Budget, it's a good time to remember what is the means of economic management and what are the true ends

Those with a progressive agenda (and yes, I count myself as one) have been frustrated by our own inability and reluctance to engage head-on in the most important argument in political discourse – the role, function and objective of government.

Trump’s interactional strategy – such as it is – is leaving opportunities that others are filling.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, England was the world’s greatest economic power and led the greatest empire the world had to then experienced. What was not understood was that its supremacy was already being challenged. At the core of the Great War was the contest between the British Empire and Germany, already a bigger economy than Britain’s.

It’s time for opponents of the TPP to stop the gesture politics and answer some questions - like what is the alternative you propose? Do you really believe we can stay out of the TPP on our own? And do you want to pull out of the agreement after it is signed?

Despite a summer of opportunity to read every clause of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, opponents of the TPP have failed to produce a clause showing the agreement requires each of us to surrender our first born to the corporate masters of neo-liberalism, and nor have they discovered any other nugget that sustains their vilification of the trade pact.

One per cent of the world's population now control half its wealth. 

The concentration of more and more resources in fewer and fewer hands has actually accelerated since the global financial crisis. This is no accident. It is the outcome of policy decisions made – or avoided – by political leaders either unable to learn the lessons of the crisis or unwilling to act on them.  

Since 2008, “middle-class wealth has grown at a slower pace than wealth at the top end. This has reversed the pre-crisis trend, which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time.”

TPP can help lift incomes in New Zealand but to make a difference for people, there’s a lot more work still to do.

 

The TPP was never going to be the miracle that shot New Zealand to the top of the global supply chain. Neither was it ever going to be the Darth Vadar of deals where American corporations got to destroy the planet.