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The Greens are OK

Entry 230, on 2005-09-28 at 15:07:03 (Rating 3, Politics)

There's a lot of discussions going on here at the moment regarding the Green Party's policies and how they might affect business. There has been a smear campaign against the Greens since before the election (mainly through pro-business pressure groups), something they claim reduced the number of votes they got.

The Greens met with business groups yesterday to attempt to explain how their policies aren't quite as scary as some people are saying. But the Auckland Chamber of Commerce chairman has said he's even more against them since the meeting. He says that its insulting that the Greens don't think business understand their policies, and in fact that its the Greens who don't understand business.

But does this stack up to critical examination? I don't think so. Of course, we expect business to say that they care about the social and environmental outcomes of their activities, but I don't think they are high priorities in most cases. Look at the actions of business where there is insufficient control: sweat shops, corrupt deals, environmental destruction. Its only through legislation and public opinion that business is kept under control.

Now, I'm sure not every business person is an exploitative monster, but most of the successful ones are, at least potentially. That's why it is so important that we have parties like the Greens to give us some balance and original thinking outside the pro-business straight-jacket we have designed for ourselves.

OK, some Green policies might slow growth according to some of the traditional indicators, but there are other considerations that need to be made. We need solid, long-term, balanced growth, and simple free-market capitalism doesn't deliver that. I think the whining business leaders need to get used to the fact that they aren't going to get everything their own way any more and accept that we should pursue a more balanced agenda for progress in the future.

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