A number of youth suicides in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand has raised fears of a possible 'mass teen suicide'. The government or police have of course discounted that possibility; though of course they would say that. We might wonder if there are any reasons for people to commit suicide. The simple answer is that - 'life is a value; and there is no value in death', and no prospect of 'turning it around'. The problem of course is that if you have a generalised state of disappointment for your disposition; this is going to manifest in some pretty tragic assessments of your future. What is a person to do, given that:
1. The poor state of education - Yes, John Key says NZ has the 4th best education system in the world. Yeh right, and what are you comparing NZ to---26 OECD countries with the same poor system? Academic relativism is not a very sound basis to assess an education system. Also consider the likely disconnect between wealthy private schools in the cities and rural schools with less aspirational cultures. i.e. Consider that Masterton, the location of this suicide 'pool' or 'pact' is a rural location, and you have some reason for youth to consider the quality of their preparation for life.
2. Job prospects - Here are kids who were probably itching to get a car, get their own job, escape autocrat parents; but they can't because they have no skills or job experience to get traction in the workforce, and even less hope of going to Australia.
3. Complete political denial - Of course we have government in an absolute state of denial; looking to cut costs rather than spend more money. Not that its solely about money; its about values, and pragmatic John Key is a man who can create a corporate spreadsheet, but he is not too good when it comes to personal psychology. Why would he, 'there's no money in it'. Don't expect any better from Labor.
4. Population stagnation: If you want to retain your party control of the economy, then you can't reasonably expect to have a monopoly. You at least need a pretense of choice - a 'two party democracy'. It seems to fool everyone. The price of centralised control of course is slow-paced decision-making. Universal suffrage makes it every harder because there are a lot of scared people in the country, and its easier for politicians to just pander to their every whim, rather than educating them. This kills productivity of course; so you have to look for 'artificial stimulus'. The problem for John Key is that Helen Clark already ran the economy into the ground, driving debt to the ceiling means the country can no longer 'pay it forward'; and no one wants to immigrate to NZ, so the debt per capita just keeps growing. It's a tough gig for a PM. Everyone keeps talking about Australia.
John, I'd get those constant voices checked out mate 'Australia's growth phenomenon', "Australia's growth prospects', 'Australia's $700 billion in planning mining investments'. I swear this is going to his head because he was utterly deluded this past week. In Wanganui, I swear he said NZ's growth was stronger than Australia's in this past quarter. Of course, Australia did have state-wide floods and softer metal prices, but it did not stop him from ignoring a decade of stronger economic data from Australia, and far better productivity. Way to go John!
But John is not a fool. He does listen. For over a year I have been constantly talking up the prospect of an oil discovery saving the country. Finally he is listening, and is encouraging oil exploration. Personally, I would be throwing $50 million a year of government money at grass roots exploration, and then placing all title in a state enterprise; and I'd be encouraging wealthy people to buy stock in projects floated off. Certainly, you don't want government owning such assets, but since there is a concept of 'national sovereignty', NZ may as well retain the value of such oil potential, rather than too readily surrender it to international and local executives, who just profit at the nation's expense. I think I know why these youths are killing themselves. Maybe they just didn't learn at school how to become an overpaid oil company executive. Kids today! They have such high expectations. In my day, we had to drill for our own water supply.
The good news is that - if NZ discovers a large pool of oil....in 20 years NZ might just have a $US1 trillion investment fund to spend up big time. That's a lot of money for 4mil people. Rest assured other people will love NZ a lot more by that time. We just tend to think positive thoughts. You know, like those thoughts for 'good governance' you have been having since the 1840s that never get answered. You know; those hopes that drove people to crusade for universal suffrage, allowing every idiot to vote.