Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Aspiring to Become Average


New Zealand used to lead the world in so many things: GDP per capita, education, being the most equitable society, environmental stewardship, child health and welfare, human rights, the least corrupt society...  However the world moves on and other countries have caught up and passed us over the last forty years. We are now the fastest growing inequitable society in the OECD, we have dropped from 1st to 15th in environmental management, we have one of the worst records amongst developed nations for child health and welfare and while we used to be in the top four for education achievement I now hear us being described as in the top 7.

Obviously there are many who are concerned that 25% of our children are suffering from poverty and 80% of our lowland rivers are polluted through intensive farming and are making their concerns known. This Government and their many supporters are enthusiastically defending our decline and the damage to our 100% pure brand by emphasizing the fact that there are others much worse off than us and nothing is wrong with being average.
  • Our rivers may be polluted but at least they are better than the Thames (possibly a dangerous claim).
  • We don't have real child poverty when you consider Africa, until we have children roaming the streets naked with stick like legs and distended bellies (no shoes and no breakfast is nothing to worry about) we don't have to act.
  • If other countries aren't taking action on carbon emissions why should we (we actually have one of the worst emissions per capita in the world) therefore we should pull out of the Kyoto agreement and join China the US and Russia. 
  • We have one of the fastest growing levels of Government debt in the OECD but we are still not as bad as Greece. 
While it appears to be unacceptable to be other than first in the world for Rugby and we need to spend $36 million of taxpayer money to be competitive in the Americas Cup, this Government is determined that in all other areas aspiring to be average, or at least not the worst in the world, is a reasonable goal.


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