Welcome to Ted's Political Page


My politics and my Vision are closely linked.

I have committed to standing for ACT New Zealand in the Kaikoura Electorate in 2008 click here to see why.

I could most closely be described as a classical liberal.

I believe in maximising individual freedom by granting individual responsibility.

I believe that this is most effectively done by personalising the "means of production", as is detailed in my vision above.

I believe that we need a more effective balance of co-operative and competitive forces than a pure free market supplies. Where I have a major point of difference with the Labour Government and the National opposition is in the need for law and regulation. Some laws and regulation are certainly needed. I believe these are best kept to the absolute minimum, with people being encourged to exercise their judgement responsibly, and also being rewarded for exercising that responsible judgement. Less laws, more common sense!

I believe that private control is stable in free markets, but not in monopolies. The degree to which a market is free is a function of the number of existing players, and the barriers to entry of new players. I do not believe that creating private monopolies (as in utilities such as water, power or communications) is necessarily better than public ownership. Short term benefits often give way to long term costs.

The natural tendency of any free market is to merge into a monopoly, so that monopoly rents can be extracted. These monopolies (or proto monopolies) then lobby for laws that give high barriers to entry (thus protecting the monopoly from competition) (but always on some other grounds - such as public safety, or international law).

Where there is active competition, or the real threat of it, free markets perform very well in service delivery. But even here there are major limitations.

A free market will never service the needs of the very poor - it simply isn't economic. Thus it is a responsibility of government to ensure there are no very poor. This requires that we adopt an absolute definition of "very poor" and not a relative one. The current government has adopted a relative measure of poverty (as a % of the median wage) and as such can only eliminate it by keeping the median wage low (a very unsatisfactory outcome for most people). Defining poverty in absolute terms incentivises government to encourage growth in the distribution of incomes, as well as achieving a general growth for all. Any system responds to the incentives put in place to govern it - we need to be very conscious of perverse outcomes such as this one, when bureaucracies are given performance measures.

I am a stand for rewarding social responsibility, and reducing the costs on ordinary people.

A stand for low tax, high growth, and a robotics program to supply everyone with the basics of a good life, at no cost (social, economic or environmental).

A stand for a clean green environment through use of advanced technologies.

Authorised by:

Ted Howard,
Ph (+64) 27 442 4281 AH/Fax (+64) 3 319 6797
Physical/Postal: 1 Maui St, Kaikoura, NEW ZEALAND
Location: 42°25.123'S 173°41.626'E
email: ted.howard@act.org.nz