The Sunday Star-Times editorial of October 22 sees the New Zealand economy as a sort of self-regulating machine, like a self-driven car that operates on only one highway. The editorial view thus indicates unquestioning support for neoliberal capitalism which, not surprisingly, strongly rewards people with ample capital – at the expense of those with little or no
capital. The transfer of wealth evident over the past nine years is evidence – super-wealth for a few, ‘‘just about managing’’ for most and extreme poverty for a growing minority.
The editorial further states that our new government must not indulge ‘‘in a nostalgic rail trip into yesteryear.’’ Neo-liberalism is exactly that, except the ‘‘yesteryear’’ is the 19th century, when a small proportion of the population held most of the wealth and the majority lived in poverty.
After World War II, Labour governments in both New Zealand and Britain intervened in the economy, empowered ordinary people and thus increased the economic, social and intellectual wealth of those two countries. The then full employment, comfortable homes and ready access to education and health services is a ‘‘nostalgic rail trip into yesteryear’’ that may yet recur with the political change of direction that New Zealand is about to experience.
Ian J Taylor (Dr), Hamilton