CTU Economic Bulletin

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  • April 2011

    The government’s 19 May Budget is a fateful one. It could push New Zealand back into deeper recession and unemployment, or it could give us a chance to pull out of three years of stagnation.

  • March 2011

    It’s common sense isn’t it? In hard times like these, just as you and I have to cut our spending to balance our budgets, so must the government. The government is just like any household or firm. It must urgently reduce its debt and return to a budget surplus.

  • February 2011

    Just as both life and geology in Christchurch seemed to be stabilising from the September earthquake and 5,000 aftershocks, the vicious 22 February quake has hit with terrible human pain and physical destruction. It would be hard to show more starkly how inadequate standard economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are to measure our progress and welfare. It does not measure the loss of life or searing physical and emotional pain, nor the huge loss in quality of life and leisure as people struggle to obtain life necessities such as shelter, food, water, and power. Neither does it measure the enormous destruction of homes, commercial buildings, water pipes, roads, power lines, environment, historic buildings and much more.  We are long overdue for adopting better measures of welfare and meaningful progress – and for economic policies (and theories) that take them into account.

  • January 2011

    This is a new-look Bulletin with changes made as a result of the review we polled you on last year, and a lot of thinking on our part. You’ll see the difference in the information section following the commentary. It’s designed to be easy to skim read, but with links you can click for further information if you want to dig a bit deeper. As always, we’re interested in comments. We will develop the concepts further as we go on. I’d like to thank Andrew Chick who has done most of the work on this, and will be continuing to update it.

    I hope you had a restful and refreshing break. There’s a big year ahead with many uncertainties. In New Zealand the election is already in politicians’ minds with battle lines being drawn around asset sales, taxes, savings and economic development. The economy is important in most elections, but it will dominate it this year. More than that, the economy could eclipse the election if it turns bad.