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Trade-offs: high street taste on a jandals budget

Auckland Council Chief Economist, Shane Martin
Auckland Council Chief Economist
Publication date:  


  • Economics is, among other things, the study of how to make people and society as well-off as possible given the limited resources available.
  • Human behaviour demonstrates that generally we want the best of everything and would prefer not to pay for it.
  • But because individuals’ resources (finances, time, clean water and so on) are limited, we have to make trade-offs.
  • Trade-offs are also real for government, like Auckland Council, where property rates and user charges cannot feasibly be at a level where everyone gets everything they’d like.
  • We are left to trade off the resources we have for the best societal outcomes we can achieve. This requires us to use the best tools available to make economically-sound decisions.

October 2020