Friday, May 12, 2006

LAND OF OPPORTUNITY

It is a developed country that enjoyed faster economic growth than the US over the past decade. Yet it also offers universal healthcare and other social welfare benefits that the US does not. Unemployment is similar to America’s, but without the glaring income disparities that characterise US growth. It is a country that seems to have achieved a sweet spot, combining the vigour of American capitalism with the humanity of European welfare, yet suffering the drawbacks of neither. And it manages this while keeping a consistent budget surplus.

Where is this magical land, this land of opportunity?

That country, rolling into its 16th year of uninterrupted growth...


Australian Flagis Australia.

Tim Blair noticed this article in the Financial Times and had to share it with his Aussie readers. They responded:
....combining the vigour of American capitalism with the humanity of European welfare, yet suffering the drawbacks of neither.
What a load of sweaty monkey bollocks. He’s never tried to start a business among the morass of over-regulation that infests this nation, or had to fund the burgeoning ranks of the idle and feckless.

The Sweden of the South, that’s fortunate enough to have natural resources that are fetching record prices coming out it’s flabby arse, otherwise it would be Un Zud’s lazy, workshy cousin.

have a read of Janet Albrechtsens piece from Wednesday’s Oz for a comparison between a supposedly free market conservative country and one run by an old school interventionist socialist.

JWH is a very skilled RWDB impersonator.
-by Habib


could just as easily be NZ...except that unemployment is at 3.5% which makes it lower than...not similar to that in the USA
-by Mike A


Habib,

Albrechtsen’s piece was more critical of state government bureacracy than anything the Feds do. It is a festure of the Federal system that states can still make life difficult for business with too many regulations.

Things could obviously be better, but business is still do reasonably well at the moment. And a good economy, even on the back of mining booms, creates opportunities.
-by The (WHMEDCM) President


The article seems to give some credit to Hawke and Keating, as well as Howard, for our economic success:

“The partnership of Bob Hawke, prime minister, and Paul Keating, his treasurer, turned out to be a case study in the political management of a dramatic programme of reform. The Hawke-Keating years were followed by a conservative government led by John Howard, who pressed ahead with another wave of economic modernisation.”
-by borofkin


Oh!God! Stand by to repel the flood of “asylum seekers”, they’ll be coming by the boat load, the plane load and camel load.
Whoever wrote that hogwash should be hung by his unmentionables.
-by waussie

It is a developed country that enjoyed faster economic growth than the US over the past decade.

Excellent. Rock on.

Yet it also offers universal healthcare and other social welfare benefits that the US does not.

Well, you can’t be perfect.

I would quibble that “universal healthcare” and “social welfare” are dubiously characterized as “benefits.” The precipitous deterioration of those beneficial effects in societies in Europe and northern North America should serve as a potent example.

Unemployment is similar to America’s, but without the glaring income disparities that characterise US growth.

“Glaring?” Anyway, I’d like to point out that lamenting “income disparity” is a violation of the Tenth Commandment. I personally like income disparity; I can’t think of anything less “fair” than the idea that everyone should earn equally, although perhaps Mssrs. Marx and Engels would disagree with me on that.

It is a country that seems to have achieved a sweet spot, combining the vigour of American capitalism with the humanity of European welfare, yet suffering the drawbacks of neither.

With the possible exception of spawning the same smug, Euro-style critics, with their self-sanctification for being so much more “humane” than all those cut-throat Gordon Geckos over in AmeriKKKa.

And it manages this while keeping a consistent budget surplus.

Good on you and God bless all of you for keeping the Man of Steel in power for so long. But I’d like to just point out that as far as the “social welfare” component of Australia’s economic golden age-it’s a bug, not a feature.

But seriously, you guys deserve the accolades.
-by DrZin

but without the (USA’) glaring income disparities

Unsubstantiated opinion masquerading as fact.

If you look at the percentage of total income (for a country) that the top ten percent of all people recieve, you will find in the USA its 30.5%, while in Australia its 25.4%. Hardling glaring.

If you look at the percentage of total income (for a country) that the bottom ten percent of all people recieve, the difference is small, 0.2%.

Incidentally, the country in which the poorest 10% are best off (relative to the average) is Belarus.

Of course, Average per capita income in Australia is much lower than the USA and the poorest 10% of Americans are substantially better off than the poorest 10% of Australians. Somewhere between 20% and 30% better off.

So America is the place to be pooor.

http://www.nationmaster.com
-by PhilB

the humanity of European welfare

Waiting years to get a hip replacement under our universal healthcare system is humane?
-by ArtVandelay


Right there next to Peter Hartcher’s piece (lifted from FT) in the Cut and Paste section in today’s Australian is a more critical view from the Wall Street Journal (Asia) which slams Peter Costello for failing to slash taxes:

All you need to know about Australia’s new budget is that the Labor Party thought it was pretty good. If only that were true. Instead, Canberra skirted politically unpopular, long-term structural reforms necessary to bolster future economic growth in favour of short-term giveaways. If Treasurer Peter Costello can’t push through real tax reform in good times, we wonder, when can he?

Not a word was said about significant income tax cuts or simplification to the code itself, which is sorely needed. It’s been estimated that more than 80 per cent of Australians use accountants to do their taxes. The 2005 TaxPack ran to 140 pages. And that excludes the supplement, which is another 70 pages.

Good grief. Good grief indeed. The big picture might look good but growing red tape makes the place a f*cking mess for the people at the coalface actually stumping up the money for the government.
-by ilibcc


I don’t know about all the statistics, but it’s for sure that you Australians have a great country. But do you think it would be any different if, for example, you shared a border with Indonesia instead of being separated by an ocean? It might make that “universal health care” look a little different. Suppose you spent a few hundred billion dollars every year patrolling the world, trying to keep people free or at least keep them from killing each other? I think that “sweet spot” might not seem so sweet.
But, it’s true: you do have a lot to be proud of.
-by Frank the Yank


I’ve learned to grab my wallet and run to ground whenever I hear anyone use the word “humanitarian”.
-by saltydog


Oh that’s what I meant to say, we can have our cake and eat it because we don’t spend a significant segment of our GDP supporting a global military police force. The worthless, parasitic eurotrash could do the same if they weren’t a bunch of commie serfs addicted to the ample cash-nipple of their flaccid welfare state.
-by Amos


Yes, Mr. Macenroe, and Frank the Yank…

We do not have to spend all that much on defence, ‘cos the yanks have got the bombs. Without the US, Australia could not be in the “sweet spot” that it currently lives in.

This is a fact often overlooked and taken for granted by the softheads of Australia.

On a different but related note: I do find it confronting to see homeless people and beggars when I visit the US. If someone is begging here in Oz (and it is really rare compared to major US cities), then I can happily and guilt-free never give them a cent, knowing that their basic need are taken care of by welfare, and that if they need to beg it is almost certainly for drugs.

The same is not true in the US, where there is a good chance the individual really is doing it hard.
-by closeapproximation


To all of our friends in Oz - good on ya. Continued prosperity.

To those in Oz who would use this to make scurrilous comparisons with AmeriKKKa - believe me, we’d love not to have to spend billions to be the world’s cop and disaster-relief quarterback.*

(* which takes nothing away from Oz’s much-appreciated and invaluable assistance in these areas.)
-by DaveS


oh yeah its really great down here

even after the changes

The man on $150 000 will still be paying $1200 and the $40 000 man will be paying $183 approx per week.
He earns three times the salary but pays six times the tax.
-by knuckleheadwatch


Louis Nowra

The Land of the Sweeping Plain has nothing to the Sweeping Generalisation of the Apocalyptic Moonbat:

- Howard stands for values that are ‘no longer relevant’.
- Aussie battlers are ‘second-generation ethnic families, people he knows little about.’
- internationally Australia is ‘merely a piece of interesting driftwood in the tidal eddy of world history.’
- ‘Australians ... have increasingly passe notions of what constitutes our values and national icons.’
- Gallipoli is only a ‘human slaughterhouse’.
- we have a ‘huge and growing underclass’.
- ‘some towns’ are ‘overrun’ by drugs.
- globalisation is ‘fostering tribalism’.
- ‘pornography, homosexuality, S&M and so forth has become mainstream.’
- ‘This generation has to face something no other generation has faced: the burden of the future.’
- ‘This new Australia scares many people ...’
- ‘there is no longer one Australia, but many Australias.’

And Nowra would like to warm his hands beside his imagined funeral pyre. There’s a mixture of sourness and relish here that is a little nauseating. Like eating too many of those salt and vinegar chips.
-by Inurbanus


It is disgusting how Hartcher can gloat about the Australian economy and the rest of you stand around applauding like performing seals while up to 50% of Australians live in conditions that are below average.
-by Margos Maid

I couldn't tell if this person was being sarcastic or not but it seemed like a fun place to end. There are many more comments, but all in all I have to say "great news, Australia, imagine how good you'd be doing if you dumped all that eurosocialist trash!"



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