Successive Australian governments are directing our economy into the eye of a perfect storm. It should be avoidable, but due to their failure to consider fundamental economic principles, it has become inevitable.
Australia entered the Covid pandemic period in early 2020 well placed economically.
The unemployment rate was low at 4.9 per cent, interest rates were down to 1.5 per cent base rate, wages were high by comparison to most first world countries with the average weekly wage over $1,000 per week, and we had (what we thought was) a fiscally responsible government in its first full year in office. This meant that stability in the economy was almost guaranteed. On one view we could have been the envy of the world.
In March 2020, that stability came to a crushing halt. The World Health Organisation decreed that the world had entered a pandemic so Australia, like many other countries, lost its stability. We were told the economy could no longer function as before on a predominantly market-based capitalist structure.
International and national border closures prevented the economy from functioning smoothly. Internal lockdowns became widespread, and the private sector took the major brunt of federal and state government measures designed to save us all from the pandemic.
Businesses closed, people could not work, and children were locked in their houses with their families. Hospitals were put on high alert, emergency health orders were enacted in most states, and the constabulary were used to enforce draconian laws.
In order to prevent a revolt, the federal government provided massive stimulus packages to businesses and the population at large. In doing so, it borrowed enormous sums of money on top of an already existing budget deficit. In addition, the federal government spent more money on double vaccines for every individual, on Covid testing, and on booster shots.
The deficit has now increased to $78 billion dollars and is still going up.
The next logical step after coming out of the pandemic is to direct the economy to stabilise again and steer clear of anything that might have an inflationary overtone.
The Australian government, however, has no such intention. It is committed to a climate policy that will have no effect on the climate but will have significant inflationary overtones.
The government is fixated on Green new energy policies which are obsessed with unreliable renewables such as wind and solar powered energy. This policy coincides with forced closures of fossil fuel plants, coal mining, attacks on petrol consumption, and a range of policies that makes energy (in general) much more expensive. This will lead to increase costs on every product and generate what economists call ‘cost push inflation’.
The fact that Australia has a new government is irrelevant, as the previous government was also committed to the Holy Grail of ‘Net Zero emissions’.
The folly of chasing the fool’s errand of Net Zero could not come at a worse time after the business sector was blatantly impacted by the pandemic is nothing short of criminal negligence.
Hence the perfect storm.
We are moving from one economic disaster to another, both of which are a direct result of government policy.
The economic plan during the pandemic could partly be explained by the fact that it was new ground. We were going through something that existed and had not been seen before in modern times so mistakes were bound to be made and they were.
Nothing, however, can excuse an economic policy that is destined to obliterate a vulnerable economy at the very time everything should be done to allow the business sector to heal and flourish.
The United States of America is demonstrating to the world that new green energy policies have upward pressures on the cost of fuel and therefore on the cost of everything bought and sold by the average American consumer. The same will happen here, and after the pandemic fallout it will be much worse.
The government’s economic advisers must see the Biden administration adopting the same policies. Does the Australian government intend to adopt the same suffering from terrible economic conditions? America’s inflation rate is at 8 per cent, a 40-year high, their average petrol prices are $5 per gallon, and they are suffering a horrendous supply chain problem that restricts basic products on their supermarket shelves.
That is exactly what will happen in Australia.
Should our petrol prices reach $5 per litre that will create havoc with the Australian economy and they are already at $2.39 per litre.
These economic suicide policies all have one thing in common; they are Climate Change policies.
The thought that from Parliament House in Canberra, a small group of people can end (for all time) climatic disasters around Australia and consequently save the planet from extinction, is laughable. The fact that the government is making policy about it is ridiculous and the fact that they are prepared to impoverish an entire country over it is just criminal.
The new Australian Labor government under Anthony Albanese is watching the United States navigate headlong into the eye of a perfect storm of economic oblivion and following along the exact same path.
What a terrible way to thank the Australian people who have given you an opportunity to govern after nine years in opposition.
John Andriano is a self-employed lawyer in Sydney with an economics degree and a keen interest in the political environment.
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