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ROB MacCULLOCH: Misuse of public money on Productivity Commission

Ardern's Government misused public money by instructing the Productivity Commission to pursue its own Social Agenda irrelevant to Productivity


The Head of the Productivity Commission, Ganesh Nana writes, "As the year ends, I reflect on the work of the Commission and am proud of what we have achieved. The completion of the A Fair Chance for All inquiry was significant. We ... made insightful recommendations recognizing the strengths of communities already addressing & successfully alleviating persistent disadvantage" and then he finishes with this: "I am proud of the way the team have responded to the news of our disestablishment – with dignity & professionalism".


Therein lies the reason why the Commission was wound up by the new coalition. It wasted taxpayer money. Its mission (& own name) was never about increasing fairness & alleviating disadvantage - it was meant to be about increasing productivity. The Ministry of Social Development writes reports about fairness & disadvantage - it was not the Commission's business. Its mission was to find ways of getting more output - more GDP - for given amounts of inputs, like hours spent working. The Commission's report has a huge focus on well-being, but NZ is ranked in the world's top ten in terms of surveyed measures of well-being, like "life satisfaction", and Māori levels are similar to non-Māori. The Commission's report confuses well-being with income.


Economics has long distinguished between efficiency & equity. Much of the subject is built on the principle that a trade-off exists between the two - namely that increasing equity by increasing taxes reduces the incentive to create wealth. The Commission's job was to focus on efficiency - it focused on equity instead. It "recommends" introducing a "Social Inclusion Act". Not its job. Ardern's government perverted the role of the Commission. Little wonder its legacy has been mistrust. Who'd not be mistrustful when the Productivity Commission became the opposite of its name? Namely, the Fairness, Inclusion and Equality Commission.



Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. Rob blogs at Down To Earth Kiwi

3,706 views121 comments

121 Comments


Good riddance to bad rubbish. The commission clearly lost the plot, and should not waste another dime from the taxpayers. Beeter not to have them at all, instead of pretending they are something they are not.

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Interesting to look at the numbers as the dust settles after my brief expose asking the question - should we allow thieving privately owned global banking cartel to be allowed to perpetually pillage billions from NZ society in terms of economic rent when our money supply could be created as a public utility? When I checked his morning there were 2848 views of the article and presumably a good portion of the comment string too. As I suspected there were a low number 'likes' of the core comment but nevertheless, it is a bit more than I would have anticipated. And the maths... 2848 divide by 8 = 0.356% approval. By the way, my writing has zero to do with seeking likes o…

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Too true Zeke - you summarised the situation beautifully. Generationally entrenched sinophobia and Russia-phobia are a millstone around the neck of Western 'civilisation'. We need to swallow our pride and learn from the successful models wherever they are located. The tragic irony is that most aspects of the PBS were invented by the West anyway - it's just that China and the Russian Federation borrowed them and took them to a completely new level of functionality. By contrast, the modern Western model is founded on financial rentier capitalism (as distinct from industrial capitalism). This is based on cronyism and neoliberal assets failing upwards in the halls of power - this was always inevitable because the casino cronies are rewarded at th…

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zekewulfe
zekewulfe
Jan 22

Whilst we have a topic pertinent to the financial scene why not hook right into the misuse of public money .... beginning with:


https://carnegieendowment.org/2023/12/05/difficult-realities-of-brics-dedollarization-efforts-and-renminbi-s-role-pub-91173


This is the world whereby an alternative system to the exchange of currencies would take place.

Not dramatically different to that of the existing system whereby world trade is undertaken, converted into dollars and a swap of wealth transpires. Which in turn filters down to the Reserve Bank of La La land and in turn gets distributed to whomever contributed the most .... and pigs might fly etc.

The major difference being is that the USA will no longer pull the strings so enabling them to extract a percentage from all those trading on the world…


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Interesting to see that the Productivity Commission was established in 2010 as a condition of the ACT Party supporting the National Party government on confidence and supply. Finance Minister at the time, Bill English, described the Commission as working "closely with and closely modeled on" the Australian Productivity Commission, which judging from their website appears to still be going strong. If I recall, a certain Rodney Hide was the leader of ACT at the time, so perhaps he could pen an opinion piece about where he thinks it all went wrong.

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A good attempt, but if correct, why didn't the new Government simply refocus the Commission. Put it back on track, to coin a phrase? The cynic in me says the average Kiwi voter does not give a stuff about productivity (more public holidays please) and does not react well to being told to mend their ways. The Commission was always ineffective and therefore always a waste of public money. So, now we have the precedent, lets get on with identifying the other candidates for extinction. Can somebody remind me what the Ministry for Women actually does.

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I'm not into Greek mythology, but wasn't it that fella midas that had the ability to turn anything he touched into gold? A fairy tale for you.

If that's so, does a similar Greek deity exist that has the unfailing and uncanny ability , everytime a bloody coconut, to turn to shit everything they touch? I know there's that bint with the snakes writhing out of the the bonce that could turn you to stone, but here in new Zealand, man we topped that. We had a woman ( queen J);that once ruled new Zealand, true as , she had teeth on her like a 45 degree arrass tool , and im talking being able to eat nuts t…


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🤣🤣🤣 gold .

Pure gold mate.

Cheers Aaron

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