The headline told me that the economy hadn’t been this bad since 2000…
(It made me want to say: “Naughty economy! Stop it. Be good,” but I refrained…)
Now, some of you may remember a little thing called the Global Financial Crisis which didn’t really affect Australia because we didn’t go into recession so Labor never had to deal with it. But now, we should just be grateful that we have good economic managers like the Liberals in power…
Of course some of you will be thinking that it was the very fact that Labor was in power which enabled Australia to miss the recession that crippled the rest of the world, but you’re only thinking this because you don’t read the Murdoch papers.
Let me explain the economy for you. The economy is far too complicated for the average person to understand so we need to use analogies so that people can understand the nature of the beast.
At times the economy is just that: A Beast which needs taming. And when it’s calm and going well, it’s because the Coalition have made all the right moves and not intervened and allowed market forces to do what market forces do, which is get the Beast to respond to the invisible hand that controls it.
But, I hear some of you ask, if it’s market forces which control the Beast, how is that the Coalition claim credit for making the right moves when their argument is that the right move is doing nothing and letting the market solve all the problems?
That’s a very good question and in a spirit of non-intervention, I’m not going to answer it myself but I’m sure that market forces will eventually prevail and an answer will appear thanks to efficiency of the market.
Of course, the economy isn’t actually a beast and any attempt to portray it as such is merely an analogy and as such is limited. Consequently, if someone attempts to suggest that the economy is a wild beast that needs a strong hand to tame it, a Liberal Treasurer will immediately tell you that the economy isn’t a beast at all but rather a household budget and we need to simply get the fundamentals correct and once they’ve been adjusted then everything will return to normal and there’ll be plenty of jobs once we’ve cut several thousand public services workers and cut funding to various organisations which are just a drain on the taxpayer, like support for those suffering from domestic violence. It’s not that they don’t support support; it’s just that the support could be better targeted if they can withdraw it, have a think and then announce an increase in funding which takes the support back to halfway to where it was when they first cut it.
If someone were to point out, for example, that if we were really a household we’d surely be doing more to help the unemployed because no household would allow someone in it to be eating bread while others ate caviar. At such a point any Liberal Treasurer worth their salt would point out that the only reason their getting bread is because of our generosity and they shouldn’t expect to get bread indefinitely because they’re expected to put in and there’s plenty they could be doing around the house apart from looking enviously at the caviar. If asked exactly what specifically they should be doing, this is the time to look for another analogy regarding the economy such as comparing it to the weather.
Yes, there are storm clouds gathering for the economy. Everybody knows that we have no control over storms and the best thing to do is to take shelter and wait until it blows over. Not even emergency workers should be out in a storm and the Treasurer is certainly not an emergency worker. He too, needs to duck for cover and just point to the storm and say it’s pretty scary isn’t it? (I did think about put “He/she” but when have we ever had a female Treasurer?)
Some of you will be wondering how the various analogies reconcile to form a picture of the economy, but that’s just because the economy is so ethereal that it’s beyond our comprehension so don’t even try. Just be glad that it’s in powerful hands and remember that everything that happens under Labor is their fault unless it’s a good thing in which case it’s like a sunny day and thanks to the previous Liberal government. Similarly, a Liberal Treasurer has almost no control over things unless their good things and then it’s all down to the superior ability to control the Beast, household spending, the weather of whatever it’s being compared to in the latest attempt to make it clear that even though the debt has doubled and growth has stalled and we’re fiddling with how we judge success on the unemployment front, the Coalition Treasurer still had everything under control and the fundamentals are just fine.
What are the fundamentals?
They’re anything we can point to and say, “See that’s not so bad, is it?”
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