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Knowledge Wave Not Even A Ripple

Knowledge Wave Not Even A Ripple

Rodney Hide -- Speech Notes: Self-Medication Industry Association Biannual Meeting -- Hotel Du Vin, 11am 9 September 2002

The Government's much-vaunted "Knowledge Wave" launched with much fanfare has proved not even a ripple on the marketplace.

The reason is simple enough. The Government's "hands on partnership" approach to the economy is at loggerheads with making use of the knowledge that entrepreneurs have in their heads.

Present Government policy provides neither the freedom nor the incentive for entrepreneurs to capitalise on their knowledge in a fast-shifting economic world.

Put aside the rhetoric, and the Government's approach to the "Knowledge Wave" is one of laborious committee, government reports and government say-so. The Government's failure is to believe that it can concentrate all the knowledge and entrepreneurial insight into the centre with Jim Anderton sitting atop it all like some economic potentate.

Meanwhile in the real world, real wealth creators battle punishing tax rates, crushing red tape, and government officials who have no conception of what it is to have to turn a dollar.

The "Knowledge Wave" is now a sick and empty political joke.

The way to ride the "Knowledge Wave" is to have real economic policy - not warmed-over 1970s University Socialism.

Real economic policy means two things: economic freedom and incentive.

We need again to reaffirm the importance of private property rights - not rules and regulations about what we can and can't do - and we need the incentive of keeping more of what we earn through less government spending and tax cuts.

Our demand should be for a Government that does a little but does it well. We can find our own business partners, thank you. We don't need Jim Anderton busting his way in. Government could start by concentrating on just two things: keeping our homes and our streets safe, and roads.

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