“Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and a poor uptake of the responsibilities required for a fully democratic society.
To solve this we need all those who need them good paying jobs. And so
“A rock star economy requires rock star training, rock star R&D, rock star jobs… and rock stars”
New Zealand’s primary schools are ringing with the voices of thousands of mini-rock stars. But by the time those rock stars hit college, and then the job market, the chorus is somewhat diminished.
The problem is not a lack of rock stars, it’s a lack of opportunity for those rock stars to develop their talents and then to express their talents through fulfilling, productive, well-rewarded work.
Economic policy that focuses solely on growing the economy, or even the job market, without considering the nature of that work, will fail to solve poverty, or inequality, and will fail to achieve the kind of economic growth New Zealand, and New Zealanders, are capable of.
We must get people into skilled jobs by creating more jobs in high-employment fields, dedicate more research and development spending and create more skills and trade training. We must provide our young singers with the real chance to grow into the rock stars we so badly need.