… but never mind, we’re good at rugby and it’s a great place to bring up kids.
Those are good points, except that hundreds of thousands of those kids are brought up in Australia. New Zealand’s economic goose has been gradually cooked by half a century of poor political decisions and short-sighted economic policies. Sadly, like the proverbial frog in the slowly heating pot, most New Zealanders aren’t yet aware of the seriousness of the problem. We’re teetering on the brink of third world status.
Here we’ll look at some results of that decline.
In 1836 the richest man in the world developed an abscess. If that happened to you or to me or to the poorest person in New Zealand today, we’d be prescribed a course of antibiotics and the infection would very likely be stopped in its tracks. Unfortunately for Nathan Rothschild, there were no antibiotics in 1836, so the Baron, who was powerful enough to fund both sides in the Napoleonic Wars, became very ill very quickly and died. Owning nearly 1% of the world’s biggest economy didn’t help him one bit.
In many vital ways, every New Zealander alive today is richer than the good Baron was in 1836.
Being hard up can be lethal and we’re working on making that state apply to ever increasing numbers of Kiwis.
The people of Liechtenstein produce more than four times as much as New Zealanders do per person. They’re doing quite nicely. Liechtenstein is a quarter the size of Lake Taupo and has 35,000 people—a smaller population than Whanganui. How can they earn so much with negligible natural resources?