Successive governments in New Zealand and around the world would have us believe that globalisation is both inevitable and desirable and that it has produced better economic and societal outcomes than we would have otherwise seen. However, is this really the case? In The Democracy Sham, Bryan Gould explores both the New Zealand and British experience of the global economy and details the way that international corporate power has tightened its grip over the past 25 years or so. He looks at both the dubious economic benefits of globalisation and the serious erosion of the ability of voters to influence what their governments do, as they buckle under the pressure from global corporations to implement monetarist economic policies. Gould argues for a rational and reasonable adjustment to the current orthodoxy and for a new generation of political leaders that will recognise what has gone wrong and have the courage to remedy it, a view that stems from his belief that it is the role of all politicians to identify and counteract concentrations of power that threaten the functioning of democracy. The Democracy Sham is an important book.
It provides a clear and succinct critique of New Zealand economic policy since the mid 1980s, and offers a highly informed perspective on what can be done to loosen the grip that big business and the global economy have on our economic policy, our political system and indeed our daily lives.