No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment

Making progress with Progressivism

It’s a bog-standard feature of every Labour government that the state will expand, not just in terms of money spent, but people employed.

So I’m not surprised to see this information from a recent post by Don Brash, Do We Need So Many Bureaucrats?:

  • Land Information New Zealand, 25.5%
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 30.7%
  • Ministry of Education, 32.4% (not teachers)
  • Ministry of Defence, 35.3%
  • Ministry of Primary Industries, 36.7%
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 38.9%
  • Oranga Tamariki, 40.7%
  • Ministry of Transport, 40.8% (not including NZTA)
  • Ministry for the Environment, 41.0%
  • Public Service Commission, 42.6%
  • Ministry for Women, 45.8%
  • Ministry for Maori Development, 69.8%
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples, 81.1%

As Brash points out, this would not be so bad if there was evidence that the government was getting stuff done with all these extra people. But as is increasingly obvious to anybody who ignores the NZ MSM, it’s not.

A person at the polar opposite end of the political spectrum from Brash, Danyl Mclauchlan, has noticed the same thing:

Which raises an awkward question. If policy is developed by ministerial staff and implemented by DPMC, what do all of Robertson’s ministerial colleagues and their thousands of highly paid advisers do all day? Because the description of the Implementation Unit sounds an awful lot like the current role of a ministerial office.

Given Adern’s lightweight nature, it’s not surprising as to where this idea came from:

The Implementation Unit is a Blairite idea, as the Stuff journalists point out. He called it “the Delivery Unit”, inventing it in his final years in Downing Street to try and overcome what he perceived as the failure of both the civil service and his junior ministers in achieving his policy ambitions. Blair’s critics disagreed, arguing that Blair’s tendency to grandstand in the media by announcing visionary, aspirational goals without figuring out how to deliver them was the deeper problem with his administration.

Helpfully the Stuff article reminds us that Jacinda Ardern once worked for Tony Blair.

Chuckle. Danyl also takes a shot at other Lefties who have been banging the drums for a 21st century Ministry of Works, by quoting a senior government advisor that he knows:

“It’s the same mistake National made with MBIE. Let’s build a new entity to do the economic transformation the rest of the government can’t deliver. And how’d that work out? Imagine you’re a Labour minister and you decide to fund a Ministry of Works to deliver all these projects that NZTA and HUD and Kāinga Ora seem unable to do. You’re going to spend two years and, I dunno, a couple hundred million setting it up. You’re going to end up staffing it with people from NZTA and Kāinga Ora, because who else are you going to get? But once it’s built you’ve just replicated these same dysfunctional organisations. So it’s not going to build anything and your political career will be over.”

You could also add the ACT Party’s dopey idea to establish a Productivity Commission. How’d that work out?

That and the MBIE, plus all this other stuff, really go to the heart of the problem, which is not just the mindless acquisition of new bureaucrats by Labour but the fact that National and ACT refuse to shut down a lot of these useless government departments and worse, create new ones themselves. It’s Public Choice theory on steroids.

Speaking of which, let’s recall this blog’s namesake, as well as one of the key writers who seemed to well understand that theory as he wrote delicious lines like this for a show that seems ageless:

Perhaps it’ll all be okay. As I have said before, having a government that’s useless beats one that’s actually doing stupid shit. I just wish they could do all this nothing for much less money.

Besides, the new National-led coalition government of 2026 will freeze those numbers at that year’s level and hold them there until they lose power 2-3 terms later.

The idea of abolishing a bunch of these ministries, starting with the last three on that list, will be rejected as “too extreme and divisive” – plus Woman, Maori and Pasifika political activists and “journalists” who will never vote National, will tell National that they’d be awful people if they did such things.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Tucker Carlson strikes the right note

Last week I made the following point about dealing with the coronavirus, COVID-19:

With regard to a recession, there will be negative life impacts resulting from an economic slowdown forced by overly-zealous containment procedures. People who lose their jobs, watch their savings evaporate, and struggle to keep their homes will suffer from anxiety and depression, and not in spikes but over time. Unemployment carries especially harsh consequences for such things, even aside from the external impacts, and the longer a person is unemployed the worse it gets. Suicide rates rise as unemployment rises and drug abuse is twice as likely as for someone with a job. Add divorce to all this as each factor feeds on the other.

So I was pleased to see Fox News’s Tucker Carlson making a similar point. Your can also read the transcript here.

Carlson’s viewpoint is well argued and well-balanced:

Our first obligation, everyone agrees, is to keep our people safe. If we can prevent Americans from getting the coronavirus, we should do that. At the same time, though, we need to protect our economy, and that is not just something that Wall Street cares about, to be totally clear.

Economic decline is dangerous for everyone, especially at the bottom of the economy. It’s a legitimate human concern. It’s not just financial, it’s about families.

People keep focusing on Wall Street, but that place is often not fully linked to the “real” economy, as was shown by the 1987 Wall Street crash, which had many people hyperventilating about the recession that would inevitably follow in 1988.

Some went further, looking at how closely Black Monday – with a 22.6% one-day drop – matched the 1929 Crash and predicting a full-blown Great Depression II.

It never happened, thanks largely to the lessons learned from 1929 as to how to keep things moving and not fall into a spiral: don’t cut government spending, don’t raise taxes, use Central Bank credit creation to allow for a temporary flood of liquidity.

By early 1988 there was no sign that the event had had much of a negative impact on the economy at all. That was not the cae in 2008 because that crash was directly linked to the problems with trading of mortgage bonds and more exotic financial instruments all directly linked to an everyday economic item: the family home.

But locking down the everyday actions of an economy is something very different to both of those events.

Here’s the problem. We’ve got two imperatives and they often conflict. So if you ask an epidemiologist what we ought to do next, the answer is simple: Shut it down. Close every public space until the virus passes. Hospitals would get a pass, of course, but restaurants, bars, hotels, movie theaters, airlines — everything.

From a public health standpoint, that makes sense. But what would be the consequences of doing that? Millions and millions of people would lose their jobs, some of them for good. We’d enter a severe recession with mass unemployment, and it could get worse from there.

You would see an awful lot of people in poverty in Middle America and that poses its own kind of public health risk. Poor countries are never healthy countries. If you want great health care, you’ve got to pay for it, and you have to have money to do so.

Thankfully most Western governments seem to understand this and have either announced or about to announce various financial support mechanisms, and although most central banks are still not back where they should be in terms of interest rates, with rates so low it’s hard to see them going lower, they will act in their classic manner of lender-of-last-resort as they did in 1987 and 2008/9.

Carlson discusses the various ideas of directly helping people:

Some of the professional class have suggested a guaranteed basic income as a response to this threat. Mitt Romney has suggested sending every American a monthly check for $1,000. That’s likely a well-meaning idea. A lot of smart people are behind it. But it’s also decadent and foolish.

Name a place that’s become happier and more prosperous under a scheme like that? Indian reservations? The inner city? Rural areas where half the male population gets monthly disability checks? Or for that matter, if we’re being honest, how many happily idle, inherited money people do you know? Rich people? None. They’re all drunk. Of course they are.

But he suggests one idea from Germany that he thinks has merit:

The German government runs a program called Kurzarbeit. It means “short time.” Employees are encouraged not to lay off their workers but instead place them on reduced hours. The government then steps in to compensate some of those missing wages to help the companies with payroll.

Now, it may cost taxpayers more than Romney’s grand a month program, but critically, it keeps people in their jobs. It’s also straightforward, unlike so many of the double-secret backward tax rebate programs the geniuses in Congress are always coming up with and telling you, you should love and be happy with. But you don’t ever understand them, and neither do they. 

And that model has some solid and recent history of success:

During the 2008 financial crisis, Germany’s economy shrank by a higher proportion than ours did in America. Yet, at the same time, Germany’s unemployment rate actually fell. Labor force participation rose.

That’s pretty damned impressive. We should try that here in New Zealand as well, crisis or no crisis.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 18, 2020 at 1:04 am


talking up ‘her’ wellbeing’ budget while back here unemployment numbers rocket to 4.5%.

And all this is Labour’s own doing.   Makes a bit of a nonsense of well-being doesn’t it … how long before well-being joins Kiwiflop as something akin to scab in Labour’s lexicon?

Written by The Veteran

July 18, 2019 at 8:40 am


The unemployment rate in the December quarter increased 0.4% to 4.3% and while one should be a little cautious in reading too much into this one quarter result the PM has really excelled herself with her throwaway comment that the additional 10,000 on the ‘dole’ did not represent any actual increase in unemployment numbers but rather comprised the already unemployed who, for what ever reason, hadn’t bothered to sign up for the dole and that getting them to do so was a success story for her government.

If you believe that then you clearly also believe that Kiwiflop is on track (subject to some ‘minor’ recalebrating) and that a 100 million trees are going to be planted this year (by Shane Jones’ cuzzie bros getting off the couch).

Brings to mind the quote from Conan O’Brien … “When all else fails there’s always delusion”.  Clearly St Jacinda takes us for fools … we’re not.   Instead she embarrasses herself and her office … yet again.

Written by The Veteran

February 10, 2019 at 9:02 am


Stats NZ have reported that unemployment rose in the last quarter to 4.5% reversing five quarters of falls (with three out of the five dating from when National was in power).

Just how can that be under a Labour/NZ First government?

Hint … the removal of sanctions requiring beneficiaries to actively seek work work might have something to do with it.

It is reported today a major construction firm has gone into receivership.    Expect more of this in line with the latest ANZ Business Confidence Survey showing business confidence at a low not seen since the GFC. 

Labour/NZ First ain’t working (pun intended).  Expect the unemployment rate to rise.

Written by The Veteran

August 1, 2018 at 12:12 am

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