Thursday 15 November 2012

An endorsement

Forbes repeats what I've been arguing here for rather a while.
New Zealand ranks first on our list of the Best Countries for Business, up from No. 2 last year, thanks to a transparent and stable business climate that encourages entrepreneurship. New Zealand is the smallest economy in our top 10 at $162 billion, but it ranks first in four of the 11 metrics we examined, including personal freedom and investor protection, as well as a lack of red tape and corruption.
I wish that their rankings on personal freedoms were more granular; NZ and the US both get a 1st place ranking. On average, I'd put NZ a fair bit higher than the US, though recent referenda in Colorado and Washington State may yet wind up changing that.

I used to say that personal freedom cannot be the most important thing to you if you live in the US and haven't tried emigrating to New Zealand. It's fine to trade personal freedom for income, but not to do so while claiming the paramount importance of freedom. But if your bundle of freedoms includes marijuana, you're now better off moving to Washington State or Colorado.

I hope that New Zealand looks hard at marijuana legalisation, with regulated markets like those for alcohol. We can't be the outside of the asylum if America gets more sane than us on drug policy.


  1. Perhaps some of the equivalent rankings on personal freedom is due to the difference between NZ and the US on things like self defense, gun ownership, etc. IIRC, there is no such thing as a castle doctrine in NZ, and the ability of civilians to carry personal protection devices (even including things like pepper spray) was basically non-existent.

    Though even considering those particular issues, I live in California, so moving to NZ would be an improvement on aggregate.

  2. I am always surprised by Thais who can speak English, eyes wide open, they say New Zealand, you have no corruption there, no politician payout, good for family, not too many silly regulations; and then I start my diatribe about the Christchurch City Council, the taxi drivers eyes are rolling now , Wan says don't worry he's always like this

  3. The gun ownership regs here are better than many US states though! Otherwise agreed.

  4. It is also nice to see a "good for business" ranking that doesn't translate as "bad to be an employee"