Jacinda’s Tassie Gal-Pal is Easily Impressed

It’s unsurprising that Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White keeps yapping at Jacinda Ardern’s heels. As I wrote some time back, both women are “young, inexperienced socialists”, both banking on moribund incumbents and an arcane electoral system to grease the skids of office. Like Ardern, White is fixated on virtue-signalling leftist fluff, such as “transgender rights”, rather than the hard work of economic management.

So, it’s no surprise that White is bouncing in her seat and slavishly aping Ardern’s already-discredited “Wellbeing Budget”.

Jacinda Ardern’s “wellbeing” budgets are spreading across the Tasman, with Tasmanian Labor Opposition Leader Rebecca White planning to adopt elements of the concept.

Ms White told The Australian she came away from a meeting with the New Zealand Prime Minister in Wellington on Tuesday impressed with the idea of focusing budgets on human wellbeing benchmarks, not just economic and fiscal indicators.


Well, she would, wouldn’t she? Fools are easily impressed with a bit of sparkle and fancy-sounding nonsense. Wiser heads are less easily bamboozled.

The greatest fallacy of this “wellbeing” palaver is that it is some radical, transformative idea.

[It] is far from clear that any government prioritises economic growth ahead of [well-being measures], or that an ‘economic’ approach to budgeting does not serve well-being.

It is a common mistake to say that economic indicators, notably gross domestic product (GDP), do not track well-being. The fundamental quantum of economics is utility, which is well-being broadly defined — not output, consumption or surplus. As any practitioner of cost-benefit analysis will tell you, a correct economic assessment of progress or policy will consider not just financial costs and benefits but also environmental and social ones, including distributional issues, because these things all bear on utility.


It’s presumably at this point that the eyes of the Rebecca Whites and Jacinda Arderns glaze over. There’s, like, so many big words, there.

White might also want to consider that even some of the media cheerleaders of the Ardern government are starting to edge away. Patrick Gower “who admitted he was ‘excited and hopeful’ at the time [of the Ardern election], has now revealed that that call was the ‘worst’ he has ever made”. But, hey, if a socialist can’t keep backing failed ideas, how could they honestly call themselves a socialist?