Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yet another cheerleader for mediocrity

Another apologist for being a second rate country and economy. Garth George in today's NZ Herald dismissing the Taskforce 2025 report as "full of absurdities";

But perhaps the biggest absurdity is the proposition that New Zealand can and should catch up with Australia. Apart from the fact that Kiwis and Aussies speak the same language and have a historic affinity for each other, there is just no comparison between the two countries.

Australia, for instance, has five times our population and 32 times our land area, an almost entirely different climate and is immensely richer in mineral resources.

So how is it that in the past NZ ranked higher than Australia in per capita incomes?

According to economist Brain Easton,

New Zealand’s GDP per capita was just ahead of Australia through the 1950/1 to 1966/7 – by around 5 percent. In effect the two economies were growing at the more or less the same per capita rate, the minuscule difference of New Zealand growing .2 percent a year perhaps being due to measurement error.

In 1973 NZ joined the OECD. In 1974 NZ ranked 6th out of 26; Australia ranked 7th. The respective incomes were $6054 and $6020. But by 1984 Australia had pulled ahead by 8 percent;1994, 23 percent and 2004, 34 percent.

As for the idea that a bigger population and land mass confers greater wealth per capita, tell that to the Chinese, the Indians, the Malaysians and Nigerians. Now that idea truly is an absurdity.


Berry said...

The real problem is of course that Garth George's particular kind of imbecility is shared by an all too large number of keewees. The simple reality of Donkey's continued popularity and the factthat Nick Smith hasn't been lynched yet support that contention. If you move to Australia, can you take your cats with you?

Shane Pleasance said...

Bravo Lindsay! The daily squandering of our great nations potential leaves me bewildered. Get the government out of the way, along with our dependence on, and deference to it.

Anonymous said...

How this imbecile Garth George managed to get his article printed?

I guess the Huruld is full of similar crap.

KG said...

So--is Garth-idiot-George suggesting that the relative sizes of the two countries didn't matter in 1974 but somehow they matter now, or is he suggesting that the two countries were roughly the same size in 1974 but NZ shrank in the wash and became poor as a result?

KG said...

You can take the cats Bez--we just checked. ;-)

Berry said...

Thanks for checking KG.

Mark said...

Yes, someone might want to point out to Garth George we had a much smaller population the last time we equal OZ.

Go figure.