For anyone interested, here is the link to my discussion with Prof Steve Keen on Jim Mora’s show on Radio New Zealand yesterday morning. Despite the RNZ headline, the trans-Tasman travel “bubble” idea wasn’t any sort of focus, although Keen and I have quite different views on the issue beyond the very short-term. The thrust of my policy prescription post-Covid is outward to the entire world as much as we can, on the basis that there is no credible alternative path to a more productive and prosperous future. Keen, by contrast, favours a future in which New Zealand and Australia together trade as little as possible with the rest of the world. It seemed like a pretty bleak future to me, but at least he was honest enough to acknowledge that his preferrred path is one in which as nations we would be materially poorer in future, for the environment.
Sadly, the discussion did not get to Keen’s “modern debt jubilee” proposal that I discussed in a post last week.
The Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE) project is a collaboration of university researchers in a number of countries, including (in New Zealand) Canterbury University’s Anne-Marie Brady. Here in New Zealand, the initiative seems to encourage research and debate on a wider range of issues than the programme title itself might imply, and they have a page of contributions on a range of policy issues from quite a range of authors, under the heading “Pop-up Think Tank“. Anne-Marie has launched what she calls a Commission for a Post-Covid Future, and invited various people to contribute short papers.
As her tweet says, mine is apparently the first such paper to be released, in an abbreviated form on The Spinoff this morning. (The fuller version should eventually be on the SSANSE site, but here it is as well
(UPDATE: More nicely formatted on the SSANSE site here)
From the first page
and from the body
Macro policy has a big part in getting back to full employment
And longer-term, there are bits my friends from the market-oriented right will like
and a bit many of them will deplore
ending this way
For anyone doubting that “we haven’t done well” bit in the last few lines, I refer you to the charts in my post on Saturday.
Oh, and the allusion to the once-upon-a-time campaign promise to “restore New Zealand’s shattered economy” was conscious and deliberate. They had good intentions too, even did some useful reforms, but they wouldn’t embrace the outward-oriented market-led approach that the situation really demanded. In many respects, our starting position now is quite a bit worse than it was then.