by Alan Thornhill
With reports of lay offs filling our television screens almost every night, it is hard to blame Australians for lacking confidence in the economy.
“Him today, me tomorrow?” is a very natural thought.
Yet, when the Nobel prize winning US economist, Paul Krugman, visited Australia, a few months ago, he admitted he was puzzled by the gloom he found here.
He saw that the Australian economy was performing so much better, on key indicators, than the US. and most other western nations.
That hasn’t changed.
But why aren’t we more positive?
Wayne Swan blames the media, saying it pays far too much attention to gloomy forecasts, produced by prophets of doom, like Access Economics, the forecasters who are predicting that Australia’s mining boom will be over in two years.
In this, Mr Swan is echoing an earlier Treasurer, Paul Keating, who habitually dismissed that group of serious, mostly ex-Treasury types, by repeatedly calling their venture “Excess Economics.”
With European debt issues still far from resolved, Mr Swan knows he is pushing uphill in his campaign to convince Australians that the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, is right.
Mr Stevens said Australia’s economic glass is well and truly “half full,” at least.
Mr Swan will push that barrow, once again, on Wednesday this week, when he delivers a memorial speech in Melbourne, for a former Industry Minister, Senator John Button, who died in 2008 (corrected).
We are able to tell you a little of what Wayne Swan is planning to say, then.
His central declaration will be : “ Our proven track record and our healthy fundamentals should be cause for optimism.”
That is, Mr Swan will say, we, too, should be “seeing the glass as half full.”
He’s been saying that for some time now.
But the Treasurer will add: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we have a constructive debate about our economy, rather than descending into damaging rhetoric that talks down our prospects and sells our country short.”
Mr Swan will say, too: “ With the right policies and decisions, we can create an Australia where all citizens share in the benefits of our prosperity, not just the fortunate few.”
Watch for it.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Thursday December 5
The Dow Jones index fell 24.85 points to 15,889.80
The Federal government and the Greens have reached a deal, under which the cap on Commonwealth debt will be abolished
Qantas warns of another 1,000 job cuts, over the coming year
East Timor’s prime minister says he is shocked by the Australian Government’s decision to authorise raids on a lawyer and whistleblower who were set to provide evidence against Australia in The Hague.
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|Nat. Bank Fpo||33.870||-0.510||-1.48%|
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