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Dissecting the 21st century’s Great Untruths

It had to take an evolutionary psychologist and a lawyer to dissect (some of) the craziness of modern society and polity. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s new book The Coddling of the American Mind is required reading for anyone wishing to understand 21st century politics, not just in the US but globally. [...]

The EU’s reverse Annie Hall problem

“I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member,” says Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall. With the European Union, it is the other way around: The EU would reject new members as anti-democratic as itself. [...]

Still the lucky country

Australia has demonstrated that reality can easily keep up with the fiction of House of Cards. Frank Underwood’s Washington seems almost civilised against the snake pit that is Canberra. [...]

“House of Cards” in Canberra

Im letzten Jahrzehnt hat Australien demonstriert, dass die Wirklichkeit mit der Fiktion von “House of Cards” problemlos mithalten kann. Gegen die Schlangengrube von Canberra wirkt Frank Underwoods Washington nachgerade zivilisiert. [...]

Why the Old Continent still matters

It is a daring experiment for Newsroom to let me explore the state of Europe. And it is ray of hope in our media environment to dedicate more space to international affairs. [...]

Bridges’ right to travel

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have absolutely no problem with Simon Bridges’ expenses bill. Except that it was leaked and that some other politicians are trying to turn it into a scandal. [...]

Freely speaking

Since New Zealand just had to discuss the meaning of free speech, perhaps it is worth defining what free speech is. And what it is not. [...]

Is it 2008 again?

If the business community believes that our policy direction is so bad it makes them feel like it is 2008 again, New Zealand has a problem. The Government must act quickly to address legitimate concerns and dispel misplaced ones. [...]

Economic literacy and the housing debate

At my next housing discussion, I will not mention I am an economist. Instead, I will demand that houses grow on trees, that infrastructure funding falls from heaven, and that people stop charging each other for products and services. Kumbaya, kumbaya. [...]