Need and social goals

by Richard Denniss in Dissent Magazine
Originally published in Dissent Magazine on July 1, 2009

Australia is a wealthy country. Although the current slowdown in the rate of economic growth has had a substantial impact on the government’s finances, the fact is that much of the ‘boom’ preceding this downturn was squandered through round after round of tax cuts. This occurred to such an extent that, despite the fact that GDP has almost doubled in the past 20 years, we still hear our governments say that we lack the resources to invest in indigenous health, to educate our young, to care for our elderly or to protect ourselves from climate change. Tackling these problems does not require complex policy solutions; it simply requires the political will to do so. Unfortunately, judging by the first two Rudd Government budgets, that will does not currently exist.

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