Who’s progressive?

The Sand Pit

While we at The Initiative have been pretty happy with the hearing our report on zero percent loans has received, some of the partisan responses have been more than a little depressing.

It would have been surprising if Labour would have said, “Yeah, you know what, we messed that one up. Shouldn’t have done it. Oops.”

Here’s Chris Hipkins:

Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins takes that a step further and says taking away interest-free student loans “reinforces inequity”.

“It would make inequity worse because those on the lowest incomes would be penalised the most. It’s an incredibly regressive system.”

Hipkins said the think tank was taking a “narrow view of the value of tertiary education”.

“This is exactly the type of ideological right wing clap-trap i’ve come to expect from the successor to the business roundtable.”

“They assume it’s all personal benefit, they don’t look at the fact we put significant…

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Jean-Baptiste Say: Grandfather of French Political Economy

Kuo's Gulch

Say’s law is an influential idea still being controversial amongst contemporary economists, the law derived from his magnus opus A Treatise on Political Economy (Or the Production, Distribution and Consumption of Wealth). The volume is divided into 3 books, the first one concerns production. Say discussed the nature of production which is to generate goods and service for sale, thus creating demands. He then distinguished between, productive use of capital, industry and property vs unproductive usage. He shattered many early misconceptions such as economics is a zero-sum game, money is lost through trading and government as a means of production. Say’s law derived from the first volume where he stated:

As each of us can only purchase the productions of others with his own productions – as the value we can buy is equal to the value we can produce, the more men can produce, the more they will purchase.

He also…

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Zero Percent

The Sand Pit

Every year, the New Zealand Government writes off hundreds of millions of dollars from the value of the loans it provides to tertiary student borrowers. It has been doing this for a decade now. Ten years on, it looks like the scheme has done nothing to improve access to tertiary education, to reduce student debt, to reduce debt repayment times, or to discourage Kiwi students from heading abroad. Instead, students leave university with more debt that they take longer to pay off, more overseas based borrowers have outstanding debt, and tertiary enrolment rates have dropped.

What are we doing?

Last week, The New Zealand Initiative released its report on our Decade of DebtWe there argue that the government should reinstate interest on new lending, from 2018. The savings should be put toward measures that improve real tertiary accessibility, like better tertiary preparation at secondary schools with little history of…

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