It is encouraging to see some intelligent debate emerging on the state of Australia’s productivity. The business forum in Canberra on April 12, the comment on the speech and scary graphs Don Argus presented a few weeks ago, and just in the pub, despite the objections of the CFMEU.
The productivity challenges we face can only be addressed at the Macro level by politicians, individual management can only do so much in their enterprises limited as they are by regulation, funding and their markets.
Our political leaders have a few very hard choices to make. Do they continue the mindless populism of short term expediency, or make the investments in the community that will not pay off immediately, but that have a long term benefit, not cashable at the ballot box for many elections?. They must decide between the long term prosperity of the country, and their short term prospects of re-election.
Governments have a portfolio of spending, and need to prioritise those investments that no individual or enterprise can make for themselves, public infrastructure, education, health services, defense, police and the judiciary, and a few others.
The motivation for the vote has re-directed billions into non competitive, unproductive investments driven by political expediency. It has to be reduced by the electorate understanding that governments just spend our money on our behalf, they do not produce anything.
Joe Hockey’s speech in London last week to the Institute of Economic Affairs seems at odds with the continuing determination of the opposition to give more away, without divulging the source of the largess. Selective use of some of the facts aside, the principal of less government and more self reliance is one we should aspire to before we all go the way of Greece, Spain, et al.
Luckily we have the resources to make those choices ourselves, at a pace that we can absorb, rather than having them thrust upon us , without any opportunity to mitigate the adverse impacts that will emerge for some.