Picking Regional Winners

The government can’t pick winners. Some regions are seriously under-performing, but should the government “do something”?

Not necessarily, because “doing something” is often the beginning of the end for grass roots solutions to emerge in struggling areas.

Relative prices contain a lot of information and people will end up making choices that are in their best interests eventually.

A lot of the technology boosters haven’t got their heads around the fact that teleworking isn’t going to happen for a non-trivial proportion of the labour force.

The mirage of potential benefits that technology could bring to the regions is just that – a mirage.

I think we’re at the beginning of an even more aggressive urban consolidation. You can see in the media how people are being softened up for significantly higher levels of immigration without clear enunciation of the compensatory gains in raw after-tax dollar terms that will end up in their pocket.

It’s pretty basic labour economics stuff that most of the gains from migration accrue to the migrant themselves. My concern isn’t with immigration – it’s with how those “left behind” outside of Auckland and Wellington will be even more marginalised and ignored than they are now.

Let’s fix the problems we already have first. There are many of them in our own backyard. Step outside of the bubble you live in. Think about people instead of regression results. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, ask, “And then what happens?” when people are trying to sell you one solution to an extremely complex problem. Cui bono?