Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Scoop Feedback: Keith Rankin Demand Versus Supply

Dear Sir or Madam

Concerning the latest Keith Rankin column, Demand Versus Supply, the interesting description of the economics of prostitution seems marred somewhat by the following passage: "An efficient economy was an economy in which supply was responsive to changes in demand. By that definition of economic efficiency, the pre-1985 economy was efficient. Almost everybody participated positively, choosing careers that offered both personal and financial rewards. On the other hand, the post-1987 economy, with its considerable misallocation and non-allocation of labour, became quite inefficient".

In rather obviously pushing for what he describes as a "genuinely free post market economy" Mr Rankin seems to have crudely edited New Zealand history to suit his argument. Anyone who can describe as efficient the pre-1985 economy with its imports, exports, labour force and taxation 'controls', is away with the fairies. Back then many of us journalists came to believe that we were getting the worst of two possible worlds...we had neither an efficient government centrally run economy nor the benefits which can come from competition. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favour of a savage marketplace because that basically gives participants encouragement to create artificial monopolies in goods or labour and squeeze them for all they're worth. But somehow, enlightened self interest and energy has to be harnessed for both the individual and common good.

Using the single consistent (if not necessarily the best) measure of unemployment going back years (Registered Unemployed), some of us older journalists remember unemployment becoming 'endemic' or 'intrinsic', about 1976/77, reaching its first peak about 1984 before falling back a little in 1985 and then resuming its climb to a peak in 1991 before falling again.

Perhaps a closer look at New Zealand's economic history might help Mr Rankin introduce a little more sophistication to his admittedly interesting analysis, a la Rifkin's "The End Of Work".

Regards, Bill Alexander

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>

Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>