Posted on Dec 01, 2011
Another election has come and gone - this one notable for both how little disruption it caused to economic activity, and for the low voter turnout. In percentage terms it was the lowest turnout in 120 years. We can certainly empathise with the attitude that by ignoring politicians we hope they will go away. Unfortunately for as long as we allow them to suck on the teat that is the public purse, we are stuck with them.
It may not be an overwhelming majority that National won, but it is a majority. We hope that John Key uses the mandate he has been given to get stuck in and make changes. Regrettably National wasted the last three years. They were successful at remaining popular. And we are all aware of the arguments that we have witnessed the "worst financial meltdown in our lifetimes". But they did little of what needs doing. The inevitability of the political cycle is that after another three years in power the public appetite for National will be waning, as it does for any party after a period in power. Therefore if there ever is a time for them to make reforms - it is now.
The culture of entitlement is rampant in this country. There are almost as many takers as there are givers - albeit somewhat reluctant givers. Breaking the cycle of that culture has to come sooner or later. If the opportunity to change not only the fabric, but the structure of our welfare society, is not taken now, who knows when it will arise again?
2011 has been a challenging year for us all. The lingering impact of the GFC and various sovereign debt crises has meant a general uncertainty in the business community. This has translated into excuses not to act on property and other investment matters. Enquiry levels dropped to almost zero during the Rugby World Cup, and then immediately the final whistle blew it was if the tap was turned on again. Past election campaigns have seen business stop, but his one was different. Perhaps because the election was announced so far in advance, or the result was a forgone conclusion, or that the World Cup preceded it, but this election campaign has seen more action in the business sense that any we can remember.
Globally we continue to be astounded by what idiocy people are prepared to accept as normal in the world. In the USA, "bankers" flog products to people they know can't pay, and then sell the debt internationally in a fancy package. With a bow and a ribbon. Their greed is rewarded by massive bonuses, and then after they have brought the global economy to its knees, governments everywhere guaranteed they won't go broke, and reward them with even more bonuses. As Homer Simpson would say, "Doh!"
In Greece, no-one pays tax, they retire at about 55, and even when in a job are either on strike or so over-staffed they don't have any work to do. And the rellies get EC handouts because their farms are too small to be economic.
And we haven't even started on Italy...
All the while the Germans manage to work only 35 hours a week, with 6 week holidays, and still manage to be productive enough to prop up all of Europe. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans still can't accept that their culture of entitlement no longer exists - no matter how much they think it does. If the Chinese do bail them out then it will come at a major cost.
And so we move into our Festive Season...
We wish all our partners in the industry a happy and sober Festive Season, and best wishes for a prosperous 2012.
The team at Expedio will be finishing up for the year on the 23rd December 2011 and returning to the office on the 9th January 2012. During this time we'll be looking at how we can perform even better in 2012. We will be somewhere in the bush, on the beach, or out on the water.
However we will never be far from our email and mobile phones. So if you do have a client needing space, feel free to email or call.