Incentives to grow

We need a local government finance system that rewards councils that go for growth and punishes those that inhibit development. Our current rates system achieves the opposite – and that is what is wrong with rates. [...]

Friday’s Top 10

Okay, so economists disagree on complex questions. That’s bad enough. But what’s even worse about economic literacy is the fact that ordinary people do not even know basic economic facts. [...]

The value of global talkfests

Unless there is some intrinsic value in government officials, central bankers and their advisors talking to each other, there is precious little that our global economic diplomacy has to show for. At least one should not expect any concrete outcomes, or even growth creating outcomes from such meetings. [...]

Time for Key to define his place in history

Key has proved himself to be an exceptionally skilled politician, especially when operating with slim majorities. This term will show whether history will also judge him as one of New Zealand’s great Prime Ministers. If he is bold enough in his third term, it might even secure him a fourth term. [...]

Friday’s Top 10

Economic forecasts were, of course, only invented to make weather forecasters look better. And, as Churchill said, if you ask two economists you get two opinions, unless one of them was Keynes in which case you get three. With no shortage of jokes about economists and their ability to foresee the future, Callam Pickering asks why the profession does not do better – and why forecasts are still useful. [...]

Friday’s Top 10

This week, American airlines demonstrate how markets respond to changing scarcity levels. Due to unrest caused by drug cartels and flooding from heavy rains in Mexico and a drought in California, the price of limes had skyrocketed. Passengers would not need to know about these background developments but they might notice that there is something else in their drinks. [...]

Friday’s Top 10

As lawyers have known since Donoghue v Stevenson, producers should not add dead snails to bottles of ginger beer or they can be liable for neglecting their duty of care. As the Huffington Post reports, an American pimp serving a 100-year jail sentence is trying to add his own extended definition to tort law by suing Nike for US$ 100 million. Why? Because Nike failed to inform him that their shoes could be used as a weapon. [...]
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