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In 1983 Bob Hawke and his new Treasurer Paul Keating came to office promising to resist radical changes to Australia’s economic system. Hawke’s election pitch had recognised the economy was in bad shape, but he wanted to solve its problems by doing the same things Labor always liked doing: emphasising cooperation and boosting public investment in infrastructure and industry.
We all know what happened next. Confronted with a much worse set of numbers and trends than had been expected, the government turned rapidly to embrace economic liberalisation, radically reforming Australia’s economic system.
Why raise this now? Well, like 1983’s economic trends, 2016 brings with it a series of strategic trends which are increasingly negative. Like 1983 our politicians have initially approached this by doubling down on the ideas they’ve long favoured.
Read Australian strategy has a TINA problem by Dr Andrew Carr