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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

strange times indeed « Previous | |Next »
May 29, 2012

It's strange times that we live in. Australia's economy is booming compared to Europe and the US and yet most Australians have been persuaded by the Liberal Opposition's doom and gloom narrative that we are all going to hell in a bucket. The world is going to end in the sense that Australia is becoming like Greece or Spain.

We live in an inverted world in Australia and few notice the inversion. Even though young Greek and Spanish professionals are coming to Australia to look for work and to brush up on their English, or the rest of the world sees Australia as a winner from globalisation because of mining, Australian's are miserable and unhappy. They are angry and full of sob stories, even though the interest rate, the unemployment rate and the inflation rate are all less than 5 per cent.

PettyBAustralia.jpg Bruce Petty

What is causing the ruination, decline or unhappiness? Why the mining tax. And the carbon "tax". Bad industrial relations. And a minority government. Too much red and green tape. Expensive housing. These are damaging our economy big time.

The arguments in support of the doom and gloom thesis are thin. One popular one is that Greece went downhill because of government debt, Australia has government debt, therefore Australia is going bad. The evidence? These are the worst economic conditions in decades, nay in living memory. How so? We are in debt. The credit cards are maxed; mortgaged repayments are high; house prices are flat; consumers aren't spending; too much money is being spent on the welfare state rather than reducing taxes.

The Coalition is asking for a mandate to undo all the Rudd/Gillard policies that have bought about Australia's "decline". They seek their mandate through a campaign of unremitting negativity designed to show the minority government is causing all the chaos through its reforms. Chaos means political uncertainty--a government lurching from crisis to crisis exemplified in backbench rebellion. The impression is that everything is a crisis.

Big Business says it lacks confidence and can't invest. It won't until there is a majority government from an early election.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:59 AM | | Comments (10)


"Australia's economy is booming compared to Europe and the US..."

Well, parts of Australia's economy are booming. Other parts aren't:

That's what is called a two speed economy. While the mining boom makes National statistics look good, when you disaggregate State by State, it's not so simple. And most Australians don't live in the mining States.

even in the non-mining states (Victoria, NSw, SA, Tasmania) things aren't as bad as they are Greece or Spain.

You are not suggesting they are, are you?

According to Essential Media Communications research Coalition voters are three times as likely to say the economy is in the pits even as they are still spending big at a personal level.

I have lived in a NSW industrial centre all my life. And I have seen first-hand the decline of manufacturing sector in recent years. In fact, I seriously doubt I will have a job in 3 years.

But.... the Australian public has to grow-the fuck-up!!! Stop being to self-absorbed, willfully-ignorant and juvenile. Not just about the economy, but about a bunch of other "issues" as well.

Jessica Irvine's article went some way to explaining my frustration...

The OECD and the IMF's economic reports rank Australia at or near the top of the global economy for economic prosperity, standard of living and personal wealth.

Yet Australian's believe that the economy is on the brink of recession and the government is to blame for everything. They have a big sulk mentality.

The decline of manufacturing in Australia and its implications are now on the table for all to see.

Apparently that is due to the Gillard Government for allowing the dollar to rise to parity with the US dollar.

Oh wait, the exchange rate is a floating one and the high dollar is due to the demand for the Australian dollar. That is because Australia's good news economy and the never-ending mining boom makes the A$ dollar such a good investment for the global speculators and investors.

No matter.The miners are the genuine wealth creators and the Gillard Government is engaged in class warfare in re-distributing the Big Miners wealth. So the Gillard Government is bad because they hate wealth creation and are in bed with the Greens. Big Miners loath the Greens. They will wreck the never-ending boom.

That's an example of how things are twisted to blame the Gillard Government for everything. The Big Miners have it both ways. They push optimistic growth plans and gigantic investments in order to exaggerate royalty payments ( ie., Australia benefits), and then talk down the boom big time when it comes to environmental impacts and green regulation (they are going offshore).

No, Mary, even in the non-mining States there are few places as bad as Greece or Spain. So? I hope you don't mean that unless things are that bad, everything's fine!

The unemployment rate here on the gold coast would be closer to 10% than 5 gary. The unemployment rate in another qld town called emerald is 2% so based on averages I guess that means things are great here.

Again... seems to me that Gary is NOT saying that life is glorious right across this wide browned-off land.

His comment explains that "...the Coalition is asking for a mandate to undo all the Rudd/Gillard policies that have bought about Australia's "decline". They seek their mandate through a campaign of unremitting negativity designed to show the minority government is causing all the chaos through its reforms..."

But Australia is not going to collapse like Greece or Spain. Fair comment, I thought.

Peter S Stock is interestng here. The unthinkable: a breakdown of the Australian nation itself, as a coalition of big right wing miners, media magnates and banks as well as off shore interests coalesce to play the "resources states" off against "parasitic" rust-belt Australia.