Published in Insights, The New Zealand Initiative’s newsletter, 21 August 2015
Dear Insights readers,
Last week we published a piece of mine on the alleged Vehicle Management Act in Insights. The article suggested that banning car imports, increasing the costs of servicing cars and an outright prohibition on vehicle manufacturing in New Zealand would be a good way of increasing car prices. In this way, we could all feel wealthier – just as rising house prices may make us feel wealthier, too.
Pity though that this would also reduce our country’s mobility, make it harder for people to own their own car and would have to put up with outdated and less energy efficient cars over time. But then again, the very same negative side effects are also present in our housing market that it is increasingly becoming unaffordable.
The article was so over-the-top and the proposals so ridiculous that I believed it would be obvious it was meant to be a satire. Sadly, I was wrong.
Over the past days, we received a few comments back on my interesting proposals and were asked for further information. Probably because we have become so used to silly pieces of law and regulation, even outlandish and satirical ideas can be confused with reality.
Before any politicians stumble across the idea of a Vehicle Management Act and try to introduce it into parliament, let me just make it clear that this was never meant seriously. We Germans do have a sense of humour, you know. Sometimes it is just a little harder to pick up.
So with apologies for any inconvenience caused, I hope you will enjoy this week’s edition of Insights. We reserve the right to run humorous pieces as we did in the past. Perhaps next time we flag them more strongly.