Farm lessons for Finance Minister

Farmers tend to be financially conservative because they know many of the factors which impact on their businesses are out of their control.

No matter how good they are at what they do on farm  they are always to a greater or lesser extent at the mercy of the weather, the markets, the value of the dollar and other off-farm factors.

That’s why they use the good years to prepare for the bad, making and storing supplementary feed and investing in things which will make their farms more productive, efficient and better able to withstand the bad years.

Michael Cullen isn’t a farmer but he was a historian so he ought to have known that the good times never last and been prepared for a downturn.

He should have made sure we had hay and silage to spare, soil fertility at its peak, stock in good health, repairs and maintenance up to date and money in the bank for contingenices.

But instead he’s overgrazed the paddocks, made only a little hay, ignored the need for fertiliser, bought toys instead of tools, painted the fence posts but let the wires sag, and employed too many people who are decorating the office and not enough working in the fields.

The country’s books are being opened as I type this and they’re expected to be in the red.

He can blame the drought, international commodity prices and the credit crunch, and he’ll be right. But only partly right, because had he not squandered the good times we’d have been far better equipped to deal with the bad.

He’s been a fair weather Finance Minister. He failed to make enough hay while the sun was shining so we can’t trust him with the farm now it’s raining.

6 Responses to Farm lessons for Finance Minister

  1. stef says:

    Ahh otherwise known as keynesian economics are you sure you are in the right party hp? ;-p

    I seem to remember not so long ago that we were being told that New Zealand’s budget surpluses were too high and we needed tax cuts/more social spending depending on which color you preferred your cupcakes.Now what was the answer to the question?

  2. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    Superb punchline.

    He failed to make enough hay while the sun was shining so we can’t trust him with the farm now it’s raining.

  3. homepaddock says:

    Stef – The National Party has a range of views 🙂

    I see a big difference between spending which divides the cake and that which makes it bigger.

  4. Perhaps we need a good farmer to run the fed. Anyone would be better than this bozo.

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