Monday, September 24, 2007

New Zealand and Rolling Back Government

"No Subsidies? No Problem" is a front page story in the JS today about New Zealand's 17-year success story without subsidies. If you click on my archives dated 7/20/05 you will find excerpts from an article written by a former New Zealand cabinet member titled "Rolling Back Government: Lessons From New Zealand." The author Morris P. McTigue said the basic question of "What did we get in benefits for the expenditure of this money" is always asked in the private sector but has not always been the norm for governments."

The article describes the successes of the private sector in running New Zealand's Department of Transportation; 5600 public workers reduced to 53; Forest Service, from 17,000 to 17; the Minister of Works (or public works, construction and engineering) from 28,000 to 1, the saving over a billion dollars per year but gaining a billion dollars per year in revenue and taxes.

Sheep farmers getting 44% of their income from subsidies went to 0 dollars subsidies in one year. They were putting more and more money into education and yet the system was failing. Sound familiar? New Zealand made some drastic changes and seventeen years later the system appears to be working very well.

Anyway, if interested in how we can more effectively run our government, click on my 2005 blog. What New Zealand is doing on a smaller scale, we could do here. But probably not until people get tired of the government taking more and more of our income every year and giving it back in huge subsidies to a select few wealthy "farmers" (landowners) and their lobbyists (and all private entities who are wrongly subsidized) who are laughing at most of us who work hard for what we earn. Most of us do not ask the government to subsidize us and protect us from failure. All most of us ask is to compete on a fairly level "playing field".

The more we ask others to bear our responsibilties and protect us from our own failures, the more we continue our slide to socialism and the more we become a welfare state.

I visited New Zealand approximataely 20 years ago. Maybe someone who knows more about the current situation will comment on this site.


1 comment:

AdamB said...

Yeah, the subsidy problem is totally out of control here, and I say that as someone partially paid by the NSF.

Though I'm not sure "socialism" is a big problem anymore. It's 2007, not 1967.