Latest posts
  • Time to un-Grinch

    From a policy perspective, New Zealand’s 2018 was not quite as eventful as most observers predicted. The (now no longer) new Government established so many inquiries and working groups that we saw less policymaking and more policy preparation. [...]
  • A continent on the brink

    No matter where you look, Europe is facing serious challenges. The past two or three years after the end of the Greek crisis were a welcome respite for the troubled continent. But the next storm is not far away and it is likely to be worse than the ones before. [...]
  • Centralism attacks Tomorrow’s Schools

    In one area of public policy, New Zealand is much devolved: education. Since the rollout of Tomorrow’s Schools in 1989, our schools have enjoyed relative autonomy and self-governance. That may end if the Government implements recommendations from the Tomorrow's Schools Review taskforce. [...]
  • If house prices go up, it is a scandal. If house prices go down, it is a disaster. That must be the logic by which the media reports on the ups and downs of the property market. [...]
  • No matter what Britons voted for in the 2016 referendum, no-one can be happy with the draft Brexit agreement. [...]
  • Besides, the construction of 9,000 homes is more than 26 times the number of buyers who have qualified for Kiwibuild so far. It’s a pity that complex finance initiatives do not make for great photo opportunities with the Prime Minister. [...]
  • Towards Trump 2020

    09/11/2018

    Few outcomes of the US midterm elections could have been predicted with certainty. Except that President Trump would call the result a “tremendous success” no matter what. And he did just that. [...]
  • The way it is going, Germany’s chancellor in early 2019 would no longer be called Merkel but Merz. That may sound similar. They even belong to the same party. But it would be a markedly different government. [...]
  • Tricks and treats

    02/11/2018

    Halloween is a strange feast in our calendar. Nobody knows what is celebrated and why. But that, I would argue, makes it the perfect candidate for New Zealand’s next public holiday. We need more nonsensical feasts to guide us through the year. [...]
  • The current political landscape leaves classical liberals not just alone but genuinely isolated. Their positions, which they once assumed were shared widely, are now exclusively theirs. [...]
  • When the waka jumping bill went through Parliament last month, National had objected to it based on high principles. By not invoking this monstrosity of a law even as it would benefit them, National showed it believes in those principles. [...]
  • The world economy is undergoing fundamental shifts – and these transformations could dwarf the things we fret about. [...]
  • German leader Angela Merkel rose from obscurity with no clear ideological platform thanks to a skill at jumping on and off bandwagons, but her run of luck is over. [...]

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