Don't let the spooks decide our trade policy with China

I have no doubt that China does spy. We can't know for sure whether it is using Huawei to spy. But what is really happening is that we are being used as pawns in the US trade war with China. Huawei is a soft target. The US says to China: "Play by our rules, because it would be a shame if something bad were to happen to Huawei." Then they lean on us: "Ban Huawei or we will kick you out of Five Eyes."

So the right response is not to roll over when we hear our masters' voice, but to weight the relative advantage. The Trump administration's attempt to blow up the global trading system, reintroduce tariffs and use bogus security concerns (apparently our steel and aluminium exports are a security threat) as an excuse should embolden us as a small trading nation to say, "Thanks for your advice, but we'll make our own decisions about what to do about Huawai."

Josie's op ed in the Dominion Post

Progressive politics & populism

Josie's op ed in the Dominion Post:

"As economist Simon Wren-Lewis wrote in October, the interests of people who have what economists call 'human capital' (that is, knowledge, or education) are different from the interests of financial capital and people with no capital at all. They are more likely to want to replace traditional class-based networks and replace them with meritocracies. Because education generates an income, they will be less supportive of tax-based redistribution than workers.

It's no accident that when Progressives Activists are asked what they are willing to compromise on, they are more likely to nominate taxes than identity issues.

If parties of the left become less interested in representing working people, it becomes easier for parties of the right to capture the working class vote, especially when those voters feel exhausted by strident polarisation, a culture of outrage and offence-taking, and inability to compromise.

The only way to beat that appeal is to rediscover economic policies that help working people."

Read more here.

Fundraising challenges for aid agencies

Josie was on RNZ's The Panel, where she talked about challenges for fund raising in the international aid and development sector.

Listen here.

Response to the Budget


Josie was on TVNZ's Q+A, rescinding to the Government's budget.

Watch here.

Budget preview

"The tax debate that matters is about redistribution and the proportion of our economy that is transferred through the tax system to reduce inequality or at least reduce poverty. Given the double-whammy pledges not to introduce new taxes and also to run surpluses, the Government's only options to reduce inequality are to reprioritise spending, use its capital rather than its "grocery" budget, and to be bold in reforming social spending."

Josie's New Zealand Herald preview of the 2018 budget is here.