I really, really hate the phrase “NZ Inc” and would not be said to see all those who use it uncritically fired into the heart of the sun.
We’re not a corporation. We’re a fucking sovereign nation.
(Damn, that should be the chorus line of an epic anti-neoliberal rap. If only I were vaguely talented in that particular oeuvre.)
But the thing about the classic righty propaganda about “balancing a budget being just like balancing a chequebook” is that it says so much when they can’t even measure up to their own framing.
Anyway, Russel Norman said it better in a piece over at RadioLive. Warning for the obnoxious use of black background/white text.
If the New Zealand economy was a business; the management team that has a business plan to increase losses to $17 billion a year while selling some of our best earning assets would be treated as rogue traders.
And yet that is what the National Government is doing to the New Zealand economy.
Through the efforts of its highly paid spin doctors and friends with vested interests, it manages to portray itself as “sound economic managers”.
But the facts just don’t back that up.
Finance Minister Bill English is depicted as predictable and safe. Yet the CFO of NZ Inc has been recklessly borrowing money. He started borrowing the minute he took on the job and hasn’t stopped since.
On top of this National gave pay rises (tax cuts) to the wealthy. NZ Inc couldn’t afford this dividend to wealthy investors at this time. It was seriously bad management.
The only fly in the ointment, and the truly depressing thing about all this, is that this is pretty normal business practice in many parts of the NZ private sector. Look at Solid “oh shit, where did all this debt come from?” Energy. Look at every collapsed, taking-out-your-life-savings-with-them finance company.
So I guess that the Nats really are running government the way they would run a business. We just should have double-checked what kind of business.