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April 23, 2017

You can be sure he’s heard the snarky jokes and mockery about his nomination to be ambassador to New Zealand, but once again Scott Brown has outsmarted his detractors. In his new post Ambassador-designate Brown will be watching over at least one vital American interest.

First let’s dispense with the small-minded stuff. Upon hearing of Brown’s appointment, the New Zealand Herald News ran this headline:

The Herald News also quoted an expression of admiration for Kiwi culture from America’s future representative: "I've always wanted to go to New Zealand or Scotland or Wales and just ride 100 miles, hit a pub, drink, eat, sleep, do some exploring, and then get up, ride another 100 miles, do that for a couple weeks."

A little snarky maybe but not worse than this AP File Photo run by the Boston Globe:

Laugh if you will Massachusetts Democrats but New Zealand is absolutely essential to a key national interest: it is the land where many of America’s wealthiest barons have purchased safe havens in case it all goes to hell here in the land of the free.

According to a story in The New Yorker titled Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich, New Zealand is a favored locale for extremely wealthy Silicon Valley investors and New York hedge fund managers to purchase some “apocalypse insurance” - safe getaway homes. And what are our betters seeking to get away from? Us. “The fears vary, but many worry that, as artificial intelligence takes away a growing share of jobs, there will be a backlash against Silicon Valley, America’s second-highest concentration of wealth. (Southwestern Connecticut is first.)”

In other words once the rabble figures out this inequality thing, libertarian Trump pal Peter Thiel and friends are screwed (Thiel owns a secure facility in New Zealand, according to George Packer in The Great Unraveling). Foreign purchases of land in New Zealand shot up in the early days of the Trump Administration, too. What do these really smart people know that we … well okay we know it too, we just can’t afford a hardened silo and underground bunker in New Zealand.  

So New Zealand is a vital diplomatic location. Ambassador-designate Brown will get to pal around with America’s visiting super-rich, give them the royal treatment, and set himself up for the day his ambassadorship ends and he returns home.

If there is any home to return to.

 

Brown, Scott

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