Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

off to NZ « Previous | |Next »
March 27, 2009

I'm off to New Zealand for a quick holiday. By all accounts NZ is taking a hit from the global economic recession---its current account deficit is widening---9% of GDP--- and the economy is looking to be pretty vulnerable. So much for the rhetoric about endless growth from the spinmeisters of capitalism.

Unemployment is rising ---it is the highest in five years--- consumer and business sentiment is gloomy and pessimistic and households are debt ladened. Interest rates have been cut, income taxes will be reduced and infrastructure spending will be be accelerated. It is the same situation everywhere. Only some countries are being hit harder than others at the moment. The NZ aim is to stimulate the economy to restore growth and then to hope to continue pretty much as before. Just like Australia. Will they make the turn away from the notion of a globalised world as failed countries like Ukraine and Latvia are already beginning to do?

As in Australia there is little talk or strategic policy about making the transition to a low-debt, low carbon economy and society. It is all about jobs--protecting jobs in old industries and not jobs in new industries.

Like Australia the New Zealanders are dependent on the G20 doing something positive. Will the summit next week of Group of 20 leaders down as the turning point that helped the world pull out of the great recession of 2009 and engineered a historic shift in global economic governance?

It is more likely that the global crisis will deepen due to the failure of the global economic elite to develop the right instruments in order to to govern the global economy. Nation states cannot do it on their own---they need to work together in a co-operative manner.

Guy Rundle in The Age observes:

As was clear to some at the time, and is now obvious to all, this new economy was based on fictional capital — credit extended on assets that were themselves abstract bundles of other assets, their value vastly inflated by the process of bundling, and subsequent trading. While the cunning plan worked, a group like the G20 was adequate to the task of twiddling the knobs of free trade, intellectual property and financial non-regulation. Now that a systemic problem has emerged, the organisation and its participants are well out of their depth.

He adds that one way or another, sooner or later, the local, the regional, the particular, will be making a return against the compulsorily globalised, the flattened out. There isn't any alternative to that — the only real choice is whether it will come in a benign and creative form, or once again wrapped up in the myths of nationalism and worse.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:17 AM | | Comments (3)


Yes and the large numbers coming here at the moment are making our situation worse.

Hope you enjoy your holiday anyway Gary. There are things to see and experience other than the economy.

The hotels in ChCh wanted $33.50 for 24 hours of internet access.No free hot spots cafes as there are in Adelaide, even though Ch CH is buzzing with international tourists. No sign of a global financial crisis at all.

I'm in Arthurs Pass in the South Island and the wireless in the building is not working. So I am on a kiosk machine.