Wednesday, 5 January 2005

The Gloomocracy


One thing that always rankles me about New Zealand is the way New Zealanders emphasise the negative side of everything. Sometimes it's because complaining will push someone's selfish agenda. Most of the time I think it's just a national habit of whining, and reporting on whining. It's intensely annoying. It's also actually harmful to the country and its people.

I just saw a particularly good example. The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal did their 11th annual ranking of countries' "economic freedom". Roughly they're measuring how much government intervention there is in the economy. (It's a conservative think tank, so more is necessarily bad.) New Zealand was ranked fifth most economically free in the world, behind only Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg and Estonia, and hence ahead of countries such as the United States, Australia, Japan, etc etc. So what was the TV headline for this impressive performance?

NZ SLIPS IN ECONOMIC FREEDOM

Because last year we were third in the world. Sigh.


4 comments:

  1. I don't think you should let the media get you down Roca. No matter where you are they'll put a negative spin on things just to make it sound more 'tragic' or 'devastating'.
    Bad news sells more papers!

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  2. Roc,
    I urge you to come to Germany for some time. Then you'll see that Germany probably far outranks New Zealand in terms of your so-called "Gloomocracy".

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  3. Did you know that pessimistic people are actually the more realistic ones?
    Apparently the New Zealanders are extremely realistic. ;-)

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  4. I remember hearing a Swede complain that life is really tough over there because their estate tax is so high...

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