Last week, the newly installed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd challenged Tony Abbott to a debate about public sector debts and deficits. If it goes ahead, it would likely be a rare respite from the slogans that have haunted Australian public debate for the past few years.
But the debate that we should be watching is one between the retail sector and the mining industry about what they each think constitutes good macroeconomic policy.
We all know the miners want the mining tax and the carbon tax abolished, but do the retailers? Would they really prefer to see consumers pay higher income taxes and the foreign owners of 83 per cent of Australian mining operations pay less?