Noted: major post by Jim Belshaw

07 Feb

This is not on his personal blog, so won’t appear in the Google Reader: More economics 101 – the economics of Malcolm Turnbull.

While my focus in this post is on the underlying economics, I should make my own views clear so that you understand where I am coming from.

There is some truth in Mr Turnbull’s comparison with the Whitlam Government. It has seemed to me that that Mr Rudd is in a rush for other reasons. I have suggested that we should take a deep breath – less haste, more speed. I have also pointed to what I see as specific weaknesses in Mr Rudd’s initiatives, weaknesses linked in part to current administrative and public policy systems that create delivery problems.

The international downturn has been faster and wider than I expected. The impact on domestic confidence has also been greater than expected, given the underlying strength of the Australian economy. For that reason, I have been inclined to support the Rudd measures.

I do not share Mr Turnbull’s stated concerns about the deficit so long as we do not create a structural deficit. I am also less worried about Government debt.

Overall, my view has been that the downturn provides an opportunity to do new things, to catch up on past neglects, thus laying the basis not just for future growth, but also for long term improvements in our social and physical infrastructure. Part of my argument for less haste, more speed i[s] to ensure that we get the best results.

Finally, I have argued that the various stimulus measures taken round the world will pull the world out of recession. As that happens, the Australian economy will boom again. However, I have also expressed the concern that the global stimulatory measures will overshoot, creating problems in the opposite direction to those we face as present.

Jim’s views are his own, as he makes clear in the disclaimer I have just quoted, but with his background in economics, history, and public administration they are certainly worth a look. See what you think. Clearly Jim has done a lot of work on this post, which seems to have caused him to set his personal site aside for the moment.

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Posted by on February 7, 2009 in Australia, Australia and Australian, current affairs, Jim Belshaw, Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Political, politics


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