Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turning things around

We're not the only ones who have had to:
New Zealand’s per capita income in the period prior to the late 1950s was right around number three in the world, behind the United States and Canada. But by 1984, its per capita income had sunk to 27th in the world, alongside Portugal and Turkey. Not only that, but our unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, we’d had 23 successive years of deficits (sometimes ranging as high as 40 percent of GDP), our debt had grown to 65 percent of GDP, and our credit ratings were continually being downgraded. Government spending was a full 44 percent of GDP, investment capital was exiting in huge quantities, and government controls and micromanagement were pervasive at every level of the economy. We had foreign exchange controls that meant I couldn’t buy a subscription to The Economist magazine without the permission of the Minister of Finance. I couldn’t buy shares in a foreign company without surrendering my citizenship. There were price controls on all goods and services, on all shops and on all service industries. There were wage controls and wage freezes. I couldn’t pay my employees more—or pay them bonuses—if I wanted to. There were import controls on the goods that I could bring into the country. There were massive levels of subsidies on industries in order to keep them viable. Young people were leaving in droves.
RTWT about how they turned around everything. If anyone from the Stupid Republican Party happens to read this, please forward it to your Grand Idiots Party Leadership. There's a crisis of governmental legitimacy in this country, and as Rahm Emmanuel would say, never let a crisis go to waste.

Twice as hard, baby. Twice as hard.


Keith said...

Oh my, Look at New Zealand's works and weep!

Borepatch said...

Keith, they did turn things around. Pretty impressively, too. I didn't excerpt that part of the article, but it's worth a read.

Keith said...

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I meant it in the way of the Smith & Shelley Poem, that we should look upon NewZealand's success and weep at our own countries continuing errors:

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand." The City's gone,
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
—Horace Smith

Keith said...

It's one of those days. Here's what I meant to paste:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair"

Borepatch said...


I think I even posted that poem in the last couple months, Keith. :-/

Anonymous said...

This should be required reading for *everyone*.


Keith said...

You did?

Sorry, I must have missed it. It's a personal favourite.