Category Archives: Free Market

Who’s afraid of ‘radical’ politics?

As the 2017 election approaches the question has been asked of ‘the left’ in New Zealand – Is it time to ‘go radical‘? It’s a question especially relevant to the Labour Party given recent polling. But it’s almost exactly the … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Into the dark: Clinton vs Trump – A Black and White decision?

We live in ‘interesting times’ – as the mythical ‘Chinese curse’ understatedly put it. It’s almost unbearably ‘interesting. From environmental catastrophe gathering its inevitable head of steam to global ructions in the political world and outright wars in the geopolitical world there’s more … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Poverty | Leave a comment

When is bias no longer bias? When it’s everything.

Is Mike Hosking politically biased? I think the answer is ‘yes’. Is our media politically biased? I think the answer is also  ‘yes’. Is our society politically biased? That’s not quite so easy to answer. But for a more worrying reason … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Media, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Seven Sharp, Campbell Live and TV Ratings – The ‘Nudge’ Factor

University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein  wrote a generally well-received book in 2008 called ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness‘. It was an accessible assemblage of very well known work in psychology … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Adam Smith on the appeal of the iPhone

“How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it.” (Part IV, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, Philosophy, Political Psychology, Poverty, Welfare | 10 Comments

Adam Smith and the Left and Right of Moral Sentiment – A Christmas Tale

[I’m on holiday in a place with very limited and irregular cellphone coverage and access to the internet. That means I haven’t included links in this post but, when I’ve quoted from Adam Smith’s work, I’ve referenced the ‘Part’ and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, National Identity, New Zealand Politics, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

And to the victors, the spoils – ‘business as usual’ in Christchurch

[Warning: Very Long Post] The strangely mis-named Christchurch and Canterbury ‘recovery’ continues to unfold in highly predictable ways. Even Christchurch’s arsonists appear to have aligned their activity with the interests of the ‘recovery’ – or at least with the plans … Continue reading

Posted in Earthquakes, Economics, Free Market | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

‘Human capital depreciation’ and the Pike River Mining Disaster

There are moments when a few words can open up a vista on an entire worldview. The words shoot through the air for a few days like a rapidly fading spark on Guy Fawkes night but, every so often, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Labour, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Underneath the ‘underclass’

Joe Bageant died on the 26th of March last year. Apparently, he was sometimes referred to as an American ‘leftneck’ – which is not a bad label for him. Bageant’s book (and, more generally, his literary life) has been devoted to laying … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Education, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, New Zealand Politics, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Water, Waitangi, ownership and power

There’s a reason why we talk about property rights. Owning property without having any rights to it makes as much sense as having rights to something without owning it in some way. ‘Water rights’ and ‘water ownership’ are, in all … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Free Market, Freedom, Maori, National Identity, New Zealand Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment