For Mr English to cut government debt in the difficult economic times of the GFC and its aftermath was a big challenge. That he achieved it without much, if any, resistance from his own party, and little from the political left, will mark him out as an especially successful finance minister.
Cutting social spending to the bone to gloat about your financial housekeeping ability is no achievement. It’s a greedy and criminal subversion of the very purpose of democratic government.
All it shows is that the NZ Labour Party is washed up ideologically and their chances of a comeback in 2017 are minimal.
There’s very little to find in their policies that is new and in line with current debate internationally on the left. Labour needs to find the courage to clearly and decisively turn it’s back on Neoliberal economic thinking and push social policy suited for a rapidly evolving technological world. Capitalism in the technology age will grind to a halt if it’s management and regulation remains rooted in the goal of full employment.
The goal of technological advance is directly opposed to the idea of full employment, it’s ultimate happy aim is full unemployment. Our technology will do the work. We can concentrate on and share the things we like to do and are into.
The Good Life, if we let it.
We urgently need to reorganise capitalism or there will be no customers, no earnings, no tax payments, no government expenditure and no social services.