Sir Bob Jones

The virus epidemic has brought in its wake an even bigger epidemic of stupidity, epitomised by an outbreak of “Buy New Zealand Made” pleas.

This advocacy is world-class stupidity. What if every nation adopted that line? The effect here would be poverty of starvation proportions in our cities as we shrink back to a late Victorian style economy.

The only growth activities in such a scenario would be breeding horses and making carts and coaches for them to pull, plus promoting socialist ideology, the standard cop-out by the desperate for someone else to ease their plight.

On that note, the incoming World Bank chief economist Professor Carmen Reinhart has issued a warning against the current Covid epidemic causing an ill-considered call by nations to be economically self-reliant.

The Professor’s credentials include expertise on historic government financial follies in times of crisis and she warns we’re on the cusp of a second great depression if this self-reliance anti-globalisation plea is not quickly nipped in the bud.

As an export-reliant nation we must scorn these ignorant Buy New Zealand cries. As I’ve written before, the greatest service ever done for our poor, outside of the first Labour government’s establishment of a European style, civilised welfare system, has been Sir Stephen Tindall’s creation of the Warehouse chain. It provides quality incredibly cheap necessities, all imported. I wish it had existed when I was a child.

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Bob Jones
Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon. While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.