NEW ZEALAND: Revolt of the Guinea Pigs

On election night in New Zealand, the flat voices of radio announcers reported the people's choice. The broadcasts came from state-owned radio stations; thousands of New Zealanders heard the news in the comfort of state-owned houses, and even the partially deaf listened with hearing aids provided by the state. Many of the welfare state's supporters and beneficiaries could hardly believe their ears: after 14 years of Socialist government, New Zealand had had enough.

A solid majority had voted against shrewd, able Laborite Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who had governed the country with the red-taped rod of compulsory benevolence. Into office,...

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