Politicians Give Their Ideas For Growing Our Wealth
In this vital election year of 2008 we find New Zealand drifting down the OECD and World Wide Wealth tables. We have established this web site to help improve our understanding of why we need economic growth and how we might go about obtaining it.
Many politicians understand this problem and have answers. I have asked a number of them across all parties whose names you might recognise to answer the question: "How can we become a country of wealthy people instead of getting steadily poorer as we have been since 1950."
If you want to know what they said then click on their name under Politicians Speak Out in the index to the left. They are placed in the order in which I received their response.
The actual email I sent is shown here in full:
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"Hi M Politician,
We would like you to share your views on economic growth with our readers.
Since 2003, there has been increasing interest in what we, members of the Foundation for Economic Growth, have being saying about ways to boost economic growth in New Zealand. Now we are starting up a “Politicians’ Corner” on our website www.feg.org.nz where any politician (or aspiring politician) can give their point of view. We think it is only fair that you should have the chance to address this question on our site.
We notice that wealthy countries can afford better facilities for their citizens, however those may be provided, and that the poor of members of the OECD are much better off than the poor of third world countries. In fact people in the lower half of the income bracket in wealthy countries are vastly better off than the Kings and Queens of 1000 years ago – or even 300 years ago. All this has been brought about by economic growth.
Yet New Zealand has been in a 60-year decline of wealth relative to other countries. In 1950 we were number three in the world and now we are number 40. Not good. This means that our citizens are not enjoying all the fruits of first world nations like Australia and the USA. We can no longer afford to pay our professionals a first world salary and so they leave for Australia, Britain and elsewhere. We can no longer afford to provide full first world medical services to all - Herceptin being just one example. And so it goes.
A wealthy government with poor citizens does not make a wealthy country.
During the course of our study of this problem, we have found many examples from around the world of countries that have embarked on a wealth-producing venture and have successfully produced wealthy citizens. No doubt you are aware of which countries have achieved this goal and which countries have not. It is becoming rather obvious!
If you would like to participate in our “Politicians’ Corner”, we will reproduce your email response, exactly as received.
We think our readers want to know what your party will do to improve our growth rate, what you as an individual think about economic growth and what you will be doing to promote growth. We did think of providing a list of questions but on reflection we thought you might find this rather limiting. So we are happy to accept broad philosophies as well as particular remedies.
The opportunity is yours. We are intending to advertise widely in the hope that more citizens of our fine country will see that there are indeed valid answers and that other countries have succeeded in achieving what we are losing.
I look forward to your response.
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I sent this email to the following parliamentarians:
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May 22, 2008, 16:29