Tony Abbott's bragging rights on Australia's wonderful economy

Sun, 08 Jun 2014  |  

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with US President Barack Obama and senior officials from the US administration, the economy is likely to be front and centre of their discussions.

With this being the case, Mr Abbott has a wonderful chance to show off just how wonderful Australian economic conditions have been, how adroitly economic policy has been implemented in the last few years and how that is showing up in an economic expansion and fiscal settings that people in the US could only dream about.

Recent data confirm the Australian economy into its 23rd year of unbroken economic growth. This is in stark contrast to the US which endured recessions in 2001 and of course in the period from 2007 to 2009. "Australian's have forgotten how to spell 'recession'", Mr Abbott could quip, such is our economic success. The fiscal stimulus measures taken in during the global economic crisis, Mr Abbott could highlight, were a critical factor stopping Australia diving into a nasty recession with hundreds of thousands of jobs saved, new jobs created and financial stability maintained during these troubled times.

Last Friday's US jobs data confirmed that, finally, the level of employment has returned to the peak prevailing just prior to the recent US recession. In other words, the US has seen zero net job growth over the last seven years. 

Cue Mr Abbott. He could note that over this time, employment in Australia has increased by over 11 per cent, which in US terms, is equivalent to approximately 17 million jobs. Get that, 17 million jobs! "I'm just repeating Barack, had the US had recorded the same sort of job creation as Australia over the past seven years, employment in the US would be 17 million higher than it currently is. How's that for economic management."

Mr Abbott could also note that unlike the US, Australia has a triple-A credit rating with a stable outlook from the three major credit rating agencies. Indeed, just before the US was downgraded, Australia got its third triple-A rating after agency Fitch noted the near policy perfection during the GFC.

Mr Abbott could also brag about the fact that government net debt is going to peak at a chicken feed 14.6 per cent of GDP in 2017 before drifting back towards zero in less than a decade as the economic cycle chugs along. Mr Obama and his official might be a little humbled to note that US government debt is currently peaking at 90 per cent of GDP and on a best case scenario, is unlikely to be below 75 per cent of GDP in 2025.

Linked to that, Mr Abbott could then note that even during the worst of times during the global crisis, when government revenue was smashed and the stimulus measures were showering money into the economy, the budget deficit had only one year above 4 per cent of GDP, and just two years above 3 per cent. Mr Obama might cringe, noting that in the US budget deficit was 11.6 per cent of GDP in 2009, 9.3 per cent in 2010 and will finally get back below 3 per cent of GDP in 2015.

The recent experience for the Australian economy remains a case-study for global policy makers and academics to learn from. What is best to do when your economy is on the cusp of recession. Australia managed to get through it in good shape. If Mr Abbott is smart, he would highlight this not just to show off, but to reiterate that Australia is a major player and has a lot to offer the world.


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Wed, 29 Jul 2020



Covid19 has opened a door for Australians to positively accept significant changes that will lead to a shared good. This rare opportunity enables us to achieve sustainable economic and social goals that create a new ‘normal’ as our way of life.

These Ten Steps are presented as non-partisan recommendations to the Australian Parliament in the firm belief that, if they embrace them, the Australian economy and society will be greatly enhanced after the Covid19 pandemic has passed.

*A job for you if you want one.
A significant increase in part time and casual employment can be created that will enable you to enjoy a more creative and peaceful lifestyle and to live longer and better. The traditional age at which you would have been expected to retire will become obsolete as a result. An access age for pension and superannuation will become your choice. This will enable you to remain in paid work for as long as you want to, on a basis that you choose, while boosting the productivity and growth of Australia.

*You will get wage increases that will be greater than your cost of living.
A demand for enhanced innovative skills at all levels of employment will be created as the economy grows in strength, thereby enhancing your stature in the workforce and enabling executive salaries and bonuses to drop to levels that are accepted as justifiable by employees, shareholders and customers.

The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

Tue, 07 Jan 2020

This article first appeared on the Yahoo Finance web site at this link:   


The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

For many people, the cost of the fires is immeasurable. 

Or irrelevant. 

They have lost loved ones, precious possessions, businesses and dreams and for these people, what lies ahead is bleak.

Life has changed forever.

As the fires continue to ravage through huge tracts of land, destroying yet more houses, more property, incinerating livestock herds, hundreds of millions of wildlife, birds and burning millions of hectares of forests, it is important to think about the plans for what lies ahead.

The rebuilding task will be huge.

Several thousands of houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure will require billions of dollars and thousands of workers to rebuild. Then there are the furniture and fittings for these buildings – carpets, fridges, washing machines, clothes, lounges, dining tables, TVs and the like will be purchased to restock.

Then there are the thousands of cars and other machinery and equipment that will need to be replaced.