When policy lacks nuance

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review
Originally published in The Australian Financial Review on October 16, 2012

The faith of Australian policymakers and business leaders in communist China to keep delivering record growth is touching. Just as they assume the sun will rise tomorrow, so too do they believe those responsible for setting China’s exchange rate, making five-year plans and running their vast state-owned enterprises will keep doing a great job. When it comes to Australian economic policy, of course, their faith in China’s ability to centrally plan is replaced with the certainty that only unfettered market forces can deliver growth and prosperity for Australia. While public ownership of strategic assets and strict control of the banks may work a treat for China, the opposite is apparently the case here. Only by privatising government assets, deregulating labour markets and lowering taxes, we are told, can we deliver good outcomes for Australians.

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