Professor Peter Saunders
Capitalism lacks romantic appeal. Arguments in favour of private property rights and free market exchange do not set the pulse racing in the way that fiery speeches about socialism, fascism or environmentalism can. Capitalism can justifiably boast that it is very good at delivering the goods, but increasingly in countries like New Zealand , this fails to win hearts and minds, for we have come to take our affluence for-granted. We want something more than just comfort to believe in.
WHAT kind of welfare state should New Zealand have in 30 years? If the trends of the past 30 years were to continue, we could end up with more than a quarter of working-age adults living on benefits, a huge retired population relying on a hopelessly overstretched pension and health system, and younger workers struggling under a massive tax burden as government soaks up almost half the nation's gross domestic product to pay for it all.
Australia has been going through an unprecedented and unbroken period of prosperity. The economy is booming, employers are complaining of labour shortages, and real incomes are higher than they have ever been. Yet rates of welfare dependency are still rising.