Last night, Back Benches broke with convention and invited more than just politicians, adding Charles Finny of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Phil O’Rielly from Business NZ to the conversation. Politicos included our very own Sue Bradford and Labour’s Trevor Mallard.
The topic on tap was JOBS. The jobs summit, the global recession and government bailouts/stimulus packages. When asked about the recession, Sue said it was pretty bad and would last a while. Kiwiblog poked fun at her for this, but failed to mention that everyone else on the panel agreed with her that we are in for some seriously troubled waters.
Phil O’Reilly even agreed that economically, it could be as bad as the Great Depression, but that fortunately we have a better social safety-net this time. The business folk tried to spin it as not so bad, but they didn’t disagree with her.
Meanwhile, back in reality, the NPR posted this article:
In his “Daily Notes on the Global Economy,” Carl B. Weinberg of High Frequency Economics notes Japan’s drop in exports last month — down 45.7 percent from the previous January. The bold and italics are his:
We have never seen anything like this in a major developed market economy.
Weinberg goes on to write that without a quick turnaround, half the Japanese jobs involved in making goods for export are at risk.
The reality is that this thing is bigger than any of our business elite are willing to talk about. Nor is the government willing to talk plain for fear of spooking the horses. While we’re making light of the gloom and doom, did you know that a single copy of the New York Times is now worth more than a share in the company?
So watch the Back Benches episode, (linked at the top), and see if you think we are getting a rose tinted view of the economic situation.