Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Good News

"The Welfare State We're In" is soon to be published in paperback AND the Sunday Telegraph will be serialising it. What we need is a New Zealand version.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

We do and you are the person to write it. So?

Sam Vilain said...

No doubt the New Zealand version would simply be somebody parrotting the UK version under the assumption that things here are just the same, because the problems that motivated the original author to compile such a work are considerably less.

Despite the common roots between our countries, the political and socioeconomic climate is sufficiently different that you can't just read books like this and then just blindly assume that the things it says apply in New Zealand, just because NZ and the UK both have welfare systems.

In the UK, employment law is stacked in the employer's favour. Tenancy law is stacked in the landlord's favour. In New Zealand, it's the other way around on both of these counts. The succession in the UK was one of overt conquest, in New Zealand we have the Treaty (ok, perhaps that argument is quite contestable). This is largely attributable to victories by worker's Unions in NZ's past.

"Welfare State" is one of those terms which are probably best avoided; it covers too many countries and has too much of a vague meaning to be useful.

Sam Vilain said...

(ps if you do decide to work in the area, I wish you all the best in developing your argument in a way that shows up my presumptions to be the cheap sniping from the sidelines from an unqualified amateur to politics that they are)

(pps also I hit publish rather than preview, I meant to revise that third paragraph to attribute the justifications for the Tenancy Law being the way it is, and I apologise for tone in the first paragraph. Sorry for littering your blog with half-baked posts ;) )

James said...

Human beings are human beings no matter where they are and the same incentives and disincentives to action are universal.

Lindsay said...

Sam, not considered "litter":) I'd been looking at the NZ system for a few years before reading Welfare State We're in.
But I've read many very dry books, from various countries, about welfare. When I picked up this one it proved to me it's possible to bring the subject alive and make it more accessible and relevant. That is why it is going to be serialised in MSM. There is a gap in the NZ market.

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