Saturday, January 23, 2010

Business as usual

You've got to love the good folk at National Business
Review, whose first issue for 2010 should be required
reading for students of homo economicus, a doomed
species that once ruled the Earth but that now, like the
woolly mammoth, can only stumble blindly forward in
the wrong direction, incapable of fresh thinking and
barely cognisant of its surroundings. Connoisseurs of
the absurd will love the biggest headline in the issue
and if you need to practise your eye-rolling, try this:

New Zealand's first-world status is at risk unless
the government makes major policy changes to
improve economic performance, say the nation's
business leaders.

Well, they would, wouldn't they. You could write a
small book unpacking the coded assumptions in that
sentence—start with 'risk' and 'improve' before
getting stuck into the whole baggage train of
'economic performance' and 'first-world status.' How
often has this kind of drum been beaten in order to
scare governments into enacting policies that, by a
remarkable coincidence, benefit business companies
and big investors at the expense of the rest of us?
Remember the Wizard of Oz and make like Toto. The
curtain is there to be torn down.

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