This was always going to be the problem elevating Don Brash to the position of leader of the ACT Party...he was always destined to be another unthinking libertarian as opposed to the philosophical type. I agree with his sentiment when he wants to drop the minimum wage. The problem is not that there is a minimum wage, but that its too high. i.e. It exists as a form of welfare support. The positive aspect about a minimum wage is that it avoids abuse; whether of immigrants, the disabled, or even the long term unemployed, who are not worth $1/day, but maybe they are worth $6-8/day in terms of the economic surplus they can produce; as opposed to sitting on welfare. Of course there are other ways to regulate these issues, but being a 'unthinking' type libertarian, there is tendency to detach oneself from the interests of people who have been raised under this system. Just as you don't turn your back on a 'spoilt child', you don't turn your back on a 'spoilt' welfare recipient. i.e. Your system created their welfare dependence; it serves no one to cut them off without reasonable conditional education to get them back to being productive persons.
These are however the right type of statements that Brash ought to be making, and they will resonate with farmers. But unless he pulls his finger out and considers the impact of government on these welfare abusers, then he is setting himself up for a fringe group of farmers, and he will not have a big impact. Don't think because you have a unthinking libertarian and an unthinking conservative deciding the fake of NZ that you will end up with good policy - you won't. You will merely end up with a compromise between two bad policies. The implication is that the context will be dropped.
Brash is making the same mistake - or will be perceived as making the same mistake - as the Sir Roger Douglas. It would not be an unreasonable expectation given that they come from the same party. The danger is that they will engage in their economic rationalisation and dispense with context. Call it rationalism, compartmentalisation or dogmatism; NZ'ers will snub them if they keep this up. They will get 3% of the vote instead of 10-20% they could if they were deeper thinkers. Well, maybe they have run out of time.