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  • rmacculloch

The Race for Auckland Central

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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