Bryce Wilkinson writes at the NZ Initiative:
Last week everyone in The New Zealand Initiative was amazed to read in the Otago Daily Times, recycled in The New Zealand Herald, that in effect we advocate the decimation of New Zealand’s welfare state.
This ludicrous assertion was attributed to a Brian Roper at the University of Otago. Here is the full quote:
”If you look at the New Zealand Initiative, which is the successor to the Business Roundtable, they want government expenditure reduced to 20% of GDP or lower, which would be the lowest level percentage in the OECD. That could only be achieved through the decimation of New Zealand’s welfare state.
”There is no end-point to their demands.”
This was news to me also. I’ve followed the Initiative since they were established and have never known them to demand government expenditure by reduced to 20% of GDP.
Naturally we contacted this sage for clarification. It turned out that he could offer no New Zealand Initiative statement whatsoever to support his assertion.
None. Zero. Zilch. It would be hard to conceive an emptier assertion.
The pathetic best he could do was to claim that anything that the New Zealand Business Roundtable had ever written and we had not explicitly disowned must represent our position!
Well we have some news for him. It doesn’t. The same applies to statements made by The New Zealand Institute. (These two organisations merged to form The New Zealand Initiative and they did not have the same views.)
So Roper is using something written by a previous organisation 20 years ago, to support his assertion.
Perhaps we should add at this point that Brian Roper happens to be an associate professor in the political science department. According to this piece of staff information on the University’s website he “has been a political activist for more than twenty years, and has been involved in a wide variety of progressive struggles and campaigns”. Apart from politics his listed research interests include; social inequality; gender and feminism and Marxism.
OK, doubtless many readers will be thinking “Say no more. What else could you expect from a Marxist ideologue? Move on.”
That reminds me of the research in the US which found eight times as many Marxist professors as Republican ones!