There is a wide spread perception that Australia’s economy is being run into the ground. If you listen to Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, Australia is is dire straits and the current government is ruining us into the ground in a terrifying, incompetent way.
What utter rubbish.
Our economy is in excellent shape. Yes, we have some issues (SOME), but compared to the rest of the developed world, WE ARE KILLING IT! Have you noticed that when the Libs talk down the government they don’t provide statistics to support their claim? They use hyperbolic language to create a false idea for political gain.
AND IT’S WORKING!
If you buy into this, please read on and be open to changing your mind. If you still disagree at the end, please provide me with some evidence to back up your claim or don’t bother engaging me in a fruitless debate, I’m not a fan of those.
What makes me so frustrated about this whole thing is that so many people are buying into this crap! If we did a survey, there would be a huge percentage of people who actually believe that Labor is screwing up our economy. If you ask them to explain how, there would be vague things about the carbon tax and no actual facts. Because it’s simply untrue.
Let’s talk about the truth.
Australia is beating out almost all the other big developed countries in terms of its economic bounce-back from the GFC. Our debt is TINY! Yes, we have debt, but we are tied to other global economies and are effected by them. We have protected ourselves astoundingly well. Let’s look at some data.
Our real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is on the rise. We have had years of uninterrupted economic growth in real terms (over the last four governments actually). Only two quarters in the last 10 years have dropped, and those were nullified by annual groupings. You might see that there are periods of growth below the 10 year average, but overall we are always growing, nothing dips below 1%. Notice the dip at the time of the GFC and our incredibly fast recovery, back to and above our 10 year average. AND we were still actually growing during the GFC!
Compared to other nations we are doing incredibly well! It’s not just how well we’re doing in comparison to our own previous economic performance; compared to other nations we rock (the technical term for our economic performance).
This growth is a reality for most households, as demonstrated by the fact that our savings are on the rise. This is a real sign of people’s economic behaviour, regardless of their perception. You can’t save money you don’t have. The perceived pressure of living costs are just that; perceived. I’m not saying no one is doing it tough, I’m saying that on average, we’re doing better than ever. Stats back this up. If we were actually struggling that much, we wouldn’t be saving like this. The reason for this is that our average wages are growing faster than the rate of inflation. We have literally never been better off as a nation. Once again, the Liberal political rhetoric would have us believe otherwise.
As stated before, our national level of debt is utterly tiny! Looking at our debt as a percentage of GDP, we have nothing to worry about. Yes we owe money, but we had to spend money to prevent our economy suffering further ramifications from the GFC. I’m not pretending the Labor party are brilliant and flawless in the way they spend our money, but they’ve done a great job. Look at this:
That’s right, that’s us near the top. 3.2% of GDP is our debt. Nothing to worry about. Nothing. The worst thing the Labor party did was promise a surplus and make it a political issue. Who cares?! Yes, it’s great to be out of debt, and we will be in time, but cutting spending to the bone just to get back to surplus is not a good thing for our nation. We’d be better off getting back to surplus slightly later rather than slashing services just to reach a magical target. Now the government looks incompetent because they didn’t control the dialogue around debt properly, not because they are mismanaging our money.
One of the other things that frustrates me about this whole situation is that the Labor party are buying into the hyperbolic language and fear mongering. They are responding to the fact that so many people have bought into the lie that our economy is in bad shape and we’re all struggling. We’re not. We may not have enough money to live in giant houses, all have pay tv and send our kids to swanky private schools whilst taking overseas holidays every year, but that doesn’t mean our economy is struggling. I hate that this has become part of our collective psyche. It’s simply untrue.