John Key – growth – bankrupt or cynical?

Interesting article in the Sunday Star Times, business section. The Key to it is that Key has been eyeing off the potential private profits to be made from public infrastructure, for some time.

It’s a bankrupt philosophy – not just socially (which it is) but in real terms. He sees it – and I quote – “where I think public-private partnerships can play a really big role is in the property sector, in areas like prisons, schools and hospitals, and I think that could be a really big growth area”.

Think about that. Growth for who(m)?

The need for schools and hospitals should be a societal decision, and a societal cost. When you introduce profit as a motive, you introduce a ‘more’ mentality. This inevitably overshoots demand, and the cost is screwed from the users of the infrastructure. Prisons are a little different – where Key is going, you create a huge underclass, and have to lock them away.

What his comment shows clearly (as do those from Mark Weldon) is that they are actually up against the limits of exponential growth-meets-finite opportunity.

Which makes the approach a bankrupt one. The only other possibility is that these folk know quite clearly that the limits are there, and are making very sure they end up in select hands.

Probably irrelevant. As with Kiwirail, we can get it back, and probably at fire-sale or legislated prices. All the funds will inevitably stagger from here on, and caveat emptor to those who think they can screw profit out of a stressed society.


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