If you believed the propaganda coming out of the Labour Government and its army of spin doctors, then we have never had it so good. Apparently we are all in jobs, making good money and the All Blacks never lose.
This was a message that the tame corporate media have accepted uncritically.
There have been a few lone dissenting voices. One of those has been economist Keith Rankin. He has consistently written that the Labour’s ‘low’ unemployment figures are statistical hogwash. He says that the real rate of unemployment is something like 160,000 and not the 70,000 are so the government claims.
After all the government figures are so dubious that if you work for just one hour a week you are counted as ‘employed’.
Additionally the figures disguise the phenomenon of ‘under-employment’, Many New Zealanders simply cannot enough paid hours.
It’s another indictment of our media that no-one has bothered to ask why in these ‘prosperous times’, food banks and charities are reporting increasing numbers seeking assistance.
Similarly, in these so-called ‘prosperous times’ why is that 45 percent of working New Zealanders earn less than $30,000 a year?
The trickle-down theory hasn’t worked – the money has mostly stayed with the corporate fat cats, the well-heeled bureaucrats, the property developers, the ‘media personalities’, the finance sector, the politicians. The very same people who have been telling us we live in ‘prosperous times’.
But times are getting tougher and the ‘boom time’ message is getting harder to peddle against a backdrop of high interest rates, increasing prices, company closures and more and more New Zealanders exiting the country for Australia.
There is an economic crisis looming but that is intertwined with a political crisis – the crisis of a political system offering more of the same failed economic policies.