Politics vs Policy The political environment is one where the popularity of the Prime Minister is the most critical factor Good public policy and popularity do not always make for peaceful bedmates However a popular PM can also change opinion on an issue However he is more likely to do with people calling for him to do so The media now will never ever advocate for an issue such as minimum youth rates – at best they will report on it or repeat other’s arguments.
Blogs and Minimum Youth Rates Kiwiblog – 25 times Interest.co.nz – 8 times Eric Crampton – 49 times Crampton’s work has been cited around 100+ times
Is it having an effect? In 2009/10, Government voted against a bill restring youth rates even going to select committee Since then National MPs and Labour MPs often get peppered with challenges to bring back youth rates when they talk youth unemployment National has acknowledged the campaign persuaded it to reconsider the issue They also know the campaign won’t stop, unless youth unemployment drops significantly 50/50 on whether National will change policy Treasury have gone “soft” and say evidence is mixed Missing the point that the debate should be over when minimum wage is high compared to median wage
The media is failing with regards to public policy NZPA has closed – stories not sexy enough More and more stories on process not policy No fact checkers Celebrity journalists No push back against outrageous assertions – 40% carbon emission reductions and now “eco-cide”
Opportunities One can’t push multiple issues – need those of like mind to identify at most three priorities where we want policy change from the Government For my 2c education reform is vital and should be one of those Coalition Meetings, as done by Americans for Tax Reform – perhaps monthly A Fact Check site done by a neutral institution A Taxpayers Union that focuses 100% on wasteful spending in local and central govt, and reduced spending