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Passchendaele – Absent with Leave, a Soldier’s Story

By   /  October 14, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

John Alexander (his real name, but not his full name) – commonly known as ‘Jack’ – was 25 when World War 1 broke out. Jack was no war hero; nor was he an anti-war hero. No, Jack might best be described an anti-war anti-hero. Born as the ninth and youngest child of a South Canterbury […]

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Election Reflection

By   /  October 11, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  11 Comments

Let’s make the next decade about solutions, not about problems. Let’s apply more new thinking to what we are for, less to what we are against. It doesn’t matter who is Prime Minister. We can have a twenty-first century multi-party democracy, through which all good ideas can be placed on the table, and considered on their merits.

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Evolving a Multi-Party Democracy

By   /  October 4, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

Mainstream journalists continue to struggle with multiparty governance. And the amplified rhetoric resulting from their struggle creates doubts amongst the captive consumers of mainstream media. While we wait for the votes to be counted in our 2017 election, now is a good time to review the evolution of party-based government in New Zealand, and to consider the impediments to progress towards mature multiparty democracy.

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Why Jacinda needs to lose this election

By   /  September 19, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  91 Comments

I believe that there will be a financial crisis next year (see my recent ’New Zealand’s Cyclical Growth Contractions’, 12 Sep 2017), and that Labour at present is ill-equipped to handle such a crisis. Further, it may take a major financial crisis (with Labour in Opposition) to drag Labour into the present century, just as the 1930s’ crisis belatedly dragged Labour into the twentieth century.

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Economic Democracy

By   /  December 3, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

Universal Basic Income is neither an idea of the political left nor of the political right. The principles of liberté and égalité are not principles of partisan politics.

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Syria

By   /  September 30, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  18 Comments

The tragedy of Syria is unbearable for us to witness; albeit vicariously via the news media. It’s not an earthquake; it’s a war. It’s a situation that cannot be resolved by humanitarian aid.

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Immigration and Auckland Housing – why Unitary Plan is flawed and bubble burst prediction

By   /  September 22, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  41 Comments

A prediction. On the basis of the sluggish Auckland rental market, the end of the Auckland property bubble could be sooner rather than later. (I’m picking October 2017, a month or two after the 2017 general election.) The ‘correction’ will come when enough people who have bought in Auckland for capital gain realise that they will have to sell soon, or risk the consequences.

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MUST READ: Land and Shelter: Unpacking the Crisis

By   /  August 4, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  32 Comments

Shelter is a human right, not a privilege. Private ownership of land is a privilege, not a human right. The debate is framed about getting ‘first-home buyers’ on the ‘property ladder’. Framing this as a right makes no more sense than having a debate about how to get people onto the ‘sharemarket ladder’.

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Political Realignment in the Far Northwest?

By   /  July 17, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

The Brexit referendum means many things, only one of which is a requirement for Grand Bretagne (Big Britain; as distinct from Bretagne, Brittany) to leave the European Union. Most important, the outcome was the political equivalent of a magnitude five earthquake. It may have forestalled the magnitude eight earthquake that was otherwise coming to a politically comatose Europe.

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Political Marriage? Green, Red, Brown, Black and Blue

By   /  June 10, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

Last week’s memorandum of understanding between the Labour and Green Parties will prove to be a wise move if it helps the combined Labour-Green vote to reach 48% or more. It seems a hard ask though, even in the event that the economy tanks next year.

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MUST READ – A Greek-style Fiscal Crisis in Auckland?

By   /  June 2, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  42 Comments

The New Zealand government is trying to exploit Auckland’s housing crisis rather than to solve it or to ease it. Its agenda appears to be threefold: to unseat a non-compliant Council, to force the sale of productive assets owned by the people of Auckland, and to reward those who seek to financially profit by holding rural land.

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pre-Budget blog – Prioritising Public Debt?

By   /  May 26, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

Bill English has said that his fiscal policy priority is to reduce gross public debt to 20 percent of GDP. Is public debt really our number one economic problem?

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MUST READ: Mossack Fonseca and Global Tax Avoidance – Economist Keith Rankin

By   /  May 12, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

If we encourage others to legally cheat on their own people, and encourage our people to help them cheat on their people, then the global market system fails

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Gareth Morgan and Multiple Empty Houses

By   /  April 19, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  35 Comments

Our politicians will not address the empty-house syndrome. We can easily imagine why. Our mainstream media will not do so either; same reason. There are some issues that we, the middle 50%, have to raise – and keep raising – through other channels.

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The Past Future of Work: 1928 and All That

By   /  April 7, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

I didn’t once hear the words ‘Keynes’ or ‘Keynesian’ at the Future of Work conference. The issues we face today were all apparent and widely discussed in the late 1920s. The debate in 1928 was equally off the mark. Then, as now, we responded to a crisis of inequality and environment by, as individuals, trying to be more ‘competitive’ and arguing about immigration.

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Deflation and very low interest rates

By   /  March 17, 2016  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  24 Comments

The guardians of monetarism are flummoxed. With almost no evidence, but supreme faith, they believe that there is a direct and (more or less) proportionate relationship between the stock of money and the level of prices.

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