Lindsay Perigo: Cullen's Kremlinomics
*SOLO-NZ Press Release: Cullen's Kremlinomics
**May 6, 2008 * The Labour-led Government's buy-back of New Zealand's rail and ferry operations is the latest evidence that Michael Cullen, who calls successful folk "rich pricks," still gets his economic thinking from *The Communist Manifesto,* says SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.
"160 years ago, in that document, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels proposed 'centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state,' Perigo reminds us.
"The Soviet Union and its satellites tried this and it worked spectacularly well if maximum inefficiency and brutality were the goals.
"Comrade Cullen's enduring admiration for this model is notorious. Yesterday must have been like a wet dream for him. First, Air New Zealand renationalised outright. Then, Telecom renationalised *de facto* via regulation. Now, the railways renationalised outright.
"His fantasy is a popular one, too. NZ voters, stupefied by decades of socialist indoctrination, expect the government to own everything (including them) and do everything.
"He also knows that National's appeasel-weasel, Neville Key, won't undo his latest act of Kremlinomics.
"There's just one snag. Comrade Cullen now has to emulate the network's erstwhile private operators and make the thing profitable. Even Toll couldn't do it without subsidies. It'll take more than punitive petrol taxes and idiotic carbon regimes to drive enough people back onto trains and Michael's having to rethink those anyway in his and Helen's desperate bid for a fourth term.
"When he first took office, Cullen acknowledged the lesson of our times, that it was folly for governments to control the 'commanding heights' of an economy. It's a shame his visceral hatred for freedom and capitalism has now reclaimed him.
"Rail should have been left to rise or fall in what should have been an unmolested marketplace," Perigo concludes.