Why we should be grateful to Labour
No, not the last Labour Government, the Lange / Douglas Labour Government of the 80’s.
We should be grateful that they made NZ more competitive and ditched subsidies for farming and manufacturing and lowered import tariffs on products.
Because imagine how those subsidised business would be doing right now? Imagine if a huge sector of our employment was based on subsidised businesses manufacturing products that were being sold on the international market.
We used to ‘make’ cars here, imagine if we were still doing that. What would GM and Ford (and Toyota for that matter) be doing about their plants in NZ if there were still here. They would be hot footing it down to Wellington for some taxpayer cash in order to ‘perserve’ the jobs at their factories, with the alternative being that they pull out of NZ leaving thousands of people unemployed. Can you see a National Government telling them to stick it? not likely.
All those businesses that left wingers of the Jim Anderton type wail about being wiped out in the 80’s that relied on taxpayer subsidies of one kind or another, would right now be lined up in front of John Key demanding rescue package involving sums of money that make Key’s current ‘bail out’ package look like a happy meal. Not only would we have been subsidising these businesses, but now we would have been borrowing money to prop them up just like the Americans are having to do with GM.
Least we forget, most jobs (excluding the railways which we now are going to have to prop up) in NZ are real jobs created by actual business, not by taxpayer subsidies and political expediency.
We owe Roger Douglas and the team that saved NZ from financial ruin in the 80’s a huge debt. Because without their actions we could be currently throwing millions of dollars borrowed on behalf of the taxpayer at those business that only survived because of taxpayer largess.