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MUST READ: The Government’s new ‘Employment’ Contract Existential Crisis

By   /  March 28, 2018  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  10 Comments

The government has got it badly wrong with the new Policy Targets Agreement, its contract with the Reserve Bank about monetary policy. Perhaps inadvertently, the emphasis is now on maximising employment, not living standards. Maximising employment is not the same as minimising unemployment.

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MUST READ: Thinking about Capitalism

By   /  December 20, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  20 Comments

While we don’t use the c-word ‘capitalism’ much these days, Winston Peters created a bit of a stir by mentioning it in his coalition announcement speech. And former Green MP Catherine Delahunty, on Backbenchers (television), said that we must address it. These days we sometimes prefer the putative synonym ‘globalisation’ when we want to make an ideological point about the capitalism that many ‘progressives’ see as driving us to economic, social and ecological ruin.

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Public Equity and Tax-Benefit Reform

By   /  December 17, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Public Equity is not a difficult concept to understand. Equity is about ownership. And equity is about equality. Equal owners own what they own equally. Two equal owners of a house own that house equally. Two people with equal shares in a business have equal equity in that business. In capitalism, we understand equity to represent a private property right. That’s why many of us distrust capitalism; the problem is that emphasis on the word ‘private’.

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New Zealand Democracy; looking backwards and forwards

By   /  October 21, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

The new government got off to a pretty good start – indeed a few minutes before it was announced – when Winston Peters indicated that its mission is no less than to humanise capitalism in New Zealand. This reminds us that Winston Peters is by far the most qualified person in this government to be Minister of Finance, and that it’s Finance Ministers that make or break governments.

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Passchendaele – Absent with Leave, a Soldier’s Story

By   /  October 14, 2017  /  Keith Rankin, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  8 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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