Saturday, February 28, 2009

Summit or nothing?


I've been reading the commentary and reports concerning yesterday's Jobs Summit.
And I have to say, some of the ideas presented seem stupid and bizarre.
As if a cycleway running from top to bottom of New Zealand will really work?
Did the Greens gatecrash with some of their wacky backy?
There again, giving some of the unemployed some picks and shovels might be a better use of their talents than having them at home watching SKY TV.
And a nine day fortnight too? Sounds bureaucratic and wasteful to me.
The idea of easier loans for business has merit, as does setting up an agency to help the young start their own business.
David Farrar cheerleads for the government and Fran O'Sullivan is also enthusiastic, though raising the issues, outside the summit that really matter; issues like tax and regulation.
There's issues like public spending, including the size of the bureaucracy, as raised by John Armstrong here.
Indeed, Treasury was present to raise some major issues. Alan Bollard spoke of the billions destroyed in the credit crunch, showing what influence the New Zealand government might have, will be minor compared to what happens internationally.
And I guess this is the message we all need to learn, including those who seem to think John Key can wave a magic wand and make everything lovely.
Realistically, it is too soon to tell how successful the summit has been.
The government will need to wade their way through all the submissions and ideas and see what might work. And as I say, there will be other issues outside the conference agenda that will have a better impact.
Alas, we have been here before.
As a journalist, I recall the Knowledge Wave Conference at the turn of the century. New Zealand was to be saved by a knowledge economy, all to be promoted by our then glorious leader Helen Clark, and her wonderful caring Liarbour government.
Well, we all remember what happened. The journos and participants had a good feed, it gave the government a few decent headlines, and after that, well absolutely bugger all!

1 comment:

WAKE UP said...

I know a librarian in the non-public library area (government, local government etc) and she assures me that the reports from ALL such ventures as this end up supporting shelves and propping open doors.