I WROTE a letter to my main bro' John Key about his rock star economy a while ago, and the reality of the regions mostly being about a rock and a hard place.
He never answered, but one of the best definitions of what a rock star economy actually means was an online comment by a Marc M. "Just wondered, by 'rock star economy' do you mean it's likely to play a few choice tunes, trash a few hotel rooms, go on a drug binge then end up in rehab only to disappear into relative obscurity?"
Hilarious and accurate.
We've been hearing the choice tunes of neo-liberalism since the 90s and although the singers change, the lyrics of choice and freedom remain the same.
Tell the people sleeping in garages, despite their two jobs and three children, that they have chosen this.
Guilt keeps people subdued.
I'm big on self-responsibility, but I don't like to set people up for utter failure and expect them not to be angry once they wake from under the rock where they've been carefully buried and from which they cannot escape without the use of force.
Your choice to not own a home. Your choice to work a minimum wage job where your rent takes 70 per cent of it.
You are free to move to, I don't know ... Timaru, (but then you'd have to compete for jobs with illegal migrants on dairy farms) or Libya, I hear Isis has jobs for those of limited education and financial means.
While a few rock stars of the neo-liberal age like to use the word "free" a lot - "free" markets, "free" trade - they know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, especially not for school children who might need one. It's the parents' choice, after all.
Freer immigration processes that could be reined in in an afternoon if the Government wanted to means that the rule of supply and demand and a free market with tax-free capital gain, reigns.
If you've been to Hong Kong recently - as some of my family members just have - and hung out in apartments that here would be in the million-dollar bracket -and note that in Hong Kong the same apartment would not give you any change out of $12 million - you'll realise just how cheap the Auckland housing market is if you have complete global freedom of movement for a wealthy elite.
You'll also note that the people in Hong Kong want to get out because of the disorder they see on the horizon.
Is this how Brexit happened or why the disgruntled and narrow-minded might start to think that Mr Trumpy-pants is going to be their saviour?
Complete freedom leads inextricably to inequality and, eventually, disorder.
The neo-liberal anthem of "Liberty" has forgotten the rest of the lyrics to a democratic song that has served us well for more than 200 years.
Which rock stars and economic policy will pick up the words to forgotten songs of "Equality" and "Fraternity"?
For more articles from this region, go to Northern Advocate