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  • rmacculloch

Several months ago, DownToEarth Kiwi published a video that I did with the founder of well-being economics, Richard Easterlin. The Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, subsequently posted a link to the interview on his Beehive website:

In two minutes, the video summarizes why Labour are almost certain to win the forthcoming election. The two chief concerns on people's minds the past six months have been maintaining their health and keeping their job. On the first, the dominant view is that the virus has been largely successfully kept of NZ. On the second, the wage subsidy scheme greatly lessened most people's fears about losing their job.

The National Party had to argue that on these two crucial issues, namely health and jobs, they had the better plan. It could have been done had some thought gone into it.

  • rmacculloch

One of my former economics students, Emma Mellow, is running as a candidate for Auckland Central this coming election. She was an outstanding student and expect would make an outstanding Member of Parliament, not to mention one of the few in Parliament who have studied economics.

The Prime Minister has a Bachelor of Communications; the Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, a Bachelor of Political Studies; David Seymour, the ACT Party leader, a Bachelor of Engineering; Judith Collins, the National Party leader, a law degree; James Shaw, the Green Party leader, a MSc in "sustainability and business leadership" whereas Winston Peters, the NZ First Party leader, studied "history, politics and law" at university.

The extent to which most politicians went out of their way to avoid studying economics when much of their day-to-day job is about economics, not only in NZ but in many other nations, never ceases to amaze me. Instead law is a common qualification for politicians, particularly in the US. Presidents Clinton and Obama are both lawyers, as is Joe Biden who wants to be President. Abraham Lincoln was also one. They likely make better debaters than economists. Meanwhile in the UK, Winston Churchill never went to university, which didn't stop him winning the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".

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Robert MacCulloch

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