Milking the Aussies - and Not Doing Anything In Return
Rising competition from other economies is one reality that Australia and its government have to grapple with seriously for the future. The media here is full of reasons and analysis as to why the nation is potentially facing its greatest economic crisis in 25 years - leading us on a merry go round of "oh, it is due to falling demand from China, the sad and significant fall in iron ore prices, etc., etc..."
What the country's politicians and economic experts do not sufficiently recognise is the lack of action required from within - and not external factors - to innovate, be more productive, change the mindset of economic action and to take more responsibility to find solutions, instead of continually reacting to events or just patch working with temporary solutions.
Fiscal discipline in the eighties had brought benefits and set the tone for the long years of economic prosperity and growth until the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. A rethink is required for the Government and populace to get off their bums and mesmerising comfort zone. Why rely so much on interest rate cuts or increases by the RBA to save the course of the economy? What about providing investment incentives; spending on training and the young to prepare for the future; utilising other monetary and fiscal tools; having a forward looking and liberalising tax reform; and acting on taking advantage of Australia's unique advantages?
It is not effective to fight off efficiencies from low cost competitors by relying on Government subsidy and protection, as Australia is not only no longer the Lucky County, but one that may no longer afford the continuing costs of providing support to less than productive sectors. The Government cannot afford to act like the old rich family next door, no longer being able to afford the high life and related expenditures, and keep on borrowing to maintain the facade from the past.
Is Australia forever going to be the supplier of raw materials, commodities and resources? When is the Government going to encourage investment in adding value, instead of happily and lazily selling the raw stuff and not harvesting the margins from developing products from raw ingredients?
If the country continues its laid back attitude in the management of its economic and financial affairs, foreign parties can continue to milk our cow, dig up our backyard and essentially beat us at the world economic stakes.