Tax historian and tax politician Paul Goldsmith joins the podcast to talk about National’s tax cuts, his time writing books, and why businesses are going to need to lead the economic bounce back (with some guidance from the government).

Today, I’m talking with Paul Goldsmith, National Party’s finance spokesperson in NZ.

You could look at running a country as something akin to running a household, running a business, or an exercise in academic thought. Broadly speaking, you could say in NZ these are the main styles you get with the various political parties

Populism, or a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups, happens on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Either it’s the financial-elite, or the intellectual-elite that ‘ordinary people’ tend to rage against from time to time. As the increasing wealth-gap materializes, there’s a risk that leaders may exploit this to gain positions of power.

So a question for you to ponder – is populism taking hold in NZ already?

Leadership is one thing many of us focus on, but what the parties actually stand for is perhaps where we should be voting from. The government can influence how fast and how much wealth you, the everyday person, can create.

Paul Goldsmith has been getting plenty of media attention on the National tax plan recently and specifically, the mistakes made on the calculations, but very little of it on the policy details.

Thankfully, the NZ Everyday Investor podcast isn’t a space for ‘gotcha’ journalism, let alone any other type of journalism if I’m honest! People make mistakes, and until decentralised autonomous governance becomes mainstream in politics, we’re stuck with these analogue politicians, and the humanity that comes with it.

According to Goldsmith, “no one’s ever taxed their way out of a recession.

That’s not some vacuous rhetoric from another politician, either. Goldsmith was a historian in another life and is the author of the book ‘we won, you lost, eat that,’ NZ’s first and only history of tax.

If he was to submit a reissue 10 years from now, it would be very interesting to see how many chapters this particular era would take up in his book.

Unfortunately, Labour was the only political party invited that was unable to join the podcast, and believe you me I did try (and am still trying!) – so while we weren’t able to hear their side, it was interesting to hear the reasonably moderate approach from this country’s centre right party today.

What National proposes leans on the idea that by encouraging the private sector instead of leaning on government sponsored programmes, you can create the growth needed to power us out of this debt-infused, post-Covid world. If we can improve households through a small boost in the take home pay, and incentivise businesses to invest, then it will potentially allow for greater prosperity and long term jobs.

So In reflection of my time speaking to these political figureheads, one thing has become clear above all. Each of the major parties is interested in the same thing; a better, wealthier New Zealand. Some want to slice up the wealth and share it around better, some what to grow the pie, and some just want to clean the oven the pie gets cooked in.

We’re all equal at the polls, so let’s make it an informed one this year – governments can influence significantly, the speed at which we can create wealth, and the amount of wealth we can actually enjoy in our future. Hope you enjoyed these brief series!

Check out the YouTube video here:


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