Thanks to all the people who commented on the post below about small business. Especially "Blade" whose grassroot honesty actually counts a hellava lot more than academic surveys, in my book anyway.
I've been in small business for the best part of 20 years and at the end of the day what counts the most is cashflow. It is impossible to "win" every day. You take the profits and losses as they are dealt but the pressure of meeting those weekly or monthly "nuts to crack" is huge. It is a risk that many people will now not take and we are a much poorer country for it.
How did we arrive at this point. In simple terms our political system has made the "takers" now equal to the "producers". This causes political stagnation, as both sides square off against each other, each vying for the huge no mans land. As Bernard Hickey points out in his excellent post the easiest option for the producers is to vote with their feet rather than stay and fight a against a "system" that is so bloated and virtually impossible to change. As he says we are being "hollowed" out.
Which is a bloody shame because NZ is a country of fantastic opportunity, natural wealth and peace but as a society we have set ourselves up to ultimately fail.
What really annoys me the most is the way politicians have no respect for the value of cash. $50,000,000 in their minds is justified as "it's only $10 each" whereas 95% of them wouldn't have a bloody clue as to how to create the wealth in the first place. They have no comprehension of the daily risks that have gone on in peoples lives so they can have that cash served to them on a platter, with a 10% penalty if it arrives cold.
We run the huge risk of becoming a country of takers rather than givers. And I don't want my children living in a hollow country.
Free speech at the University of Maryland is valued at $6500
41 minutes ago