Today marks the public launch of the Labour party's kiwi saver scheme, the superannuation scheme uses a combination of employer contributions and tax credits to entice New Zealanders to save for retirement. With an ageing population low savings and a current account deficit all of this seems kind of prudent. But the kiwi saver scheme has one fatal flaw, the money put into the scheme is being put into the stock market by investment firms. So along comes a protracted recession triggered by peak oil resource wars or whatever and bang the savings of hundreds of thousands of people disappear over night. The world economy relies on perpetual and increasing growth to continue, any long term recession will cause the stock market to collapse. What are the chances that the world economy can continue to grow for another few decades while facing the costs of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and resource wars?
Its pretty clear the Labour government haven't taken the looming environmental apocalypse into account, but I have :) . As any graph showing long term population trends for the globe makes obvious we are in overshoot, with estimates of the carrying capacity of the world varying between 500 million and 2 billion. The ability to feed the world without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides is probably halve our current production and declining daily. Agriculture destroys soils turning fertile topsoil into desert this process has been carried to completion throughout the former fertile crescent and is well underway across the American Midwest, much of Africa and most of Australia. So how does this relate to kiwisaver? Well if you believe that the worlds population and economy is likely to collapse in the next 10 - 100 years this affects ones savings choices dramatically.
I believe that the best investments one can make at this present time are in this order
1 Permaculture/Gardening/Useful skills
So if I was in power this is what I would be encouraging New Zealanders to do in terms of planning for retirement. Coincidentally all of these would encourage a transition to a sustainable economy with skills for interdependence, land to grow food on and restore and local control of the currency all promoting a local interdependent country.
Note This post is only semi serious the author takes no responsibility for the savings of anyone following his advice.