What's the problem economists have with too much regulation? It can stifle innovation & long-term prosperity, hurting people way more than protecting them from injury right now.
Why can't people be free to do what they willingly want to do, if they know the risks before? Let the rest of the world regulate the fun and excitement and adventure out of life. Former United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson is all on for such risk-taking, arguing it should define his country. He quotes the immortal words of Captain Scott, just before he died from the Antarctic cold: ‘We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint...’
As Brexit Britain is still mired in red-tape and regulation as it simply shadows EU rules, Boris's dream of a low-regulation country looks lost. It is Kiwis who should be positioning NZ to embrace risk-taking & creativity, even when it can lead to things turning against us, in the name of innovation & prosperity & pushing the frontiers of knowledge. Our adventure tourism industry that began in Queenstown was built on risk-taking and Hillary would never have climbed Everest had he been scared of risk. We must throw off the shackles of our choking rules & regulations, exacerbated by Labour's nanny state approach to everything since the pandemic. That approach is not consistent with our history & culture.
Professor Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. He has previously worked at the Reserve Bank, Oxford University, and the London School of Economics. He runs the blog Down to Earth Kiwi from where this article was sourced.