The post-COVID recovery: a snippet

There were some pretty stupid illustrations of the post COVID economic recovery. The people in this picture are also doing something pretty stupid. But they’re working for their living. They are not consultants, and they are not posing two scenarios, one called “Fortress Australia” and the other called “Enterprise Australia”. They’re still saying stuff like that. Srsly!

Doing a little pontificating in one of those surveys for the media on where the economy is going, the final question was whether I wanted to add anything. So I added this, very much in the spirit of thinking aloud. I’d be interested in others’ views.

There is little leadership on the question of what adjustments need to be made to our economy to get it to thrive again. We’ve lost a lot of national income, export demand will be down for some time. So I suspect we need to do something a little like was done in the early Hawke years. We should try to share the burden of relatively lower per capita national income with some notion of equality of sacrifice.

But the point of this would be to expand growth as fast as possible. Further, we don’t have the ‘real wage overhang’ that characterised the early Hawke years that meant that the burden of restraint should be in wage restraint.

To me this suggests strong fiscal expansion for some time, particularly directed to those on lower incomes and those with children with higher propensity to spend. 1 This should be paid for with higher taxation where it has least impact on consumption, which means those on higher incomes, though ideally one would phase this in as it became macroeconomically sensible over time.

These thoughts are tentative. I’d like to see them critiqued and clarified in a debate. But not only is no one of any political authority speaking like this. The likelihood is that we head in the opposite direction with tax cuts for those who are best off, and austerity to pay for it.

  1. Thinking of it now, some Green New Dealing would be useful here too and other investment (particularly human capital) as I suggested in an earlier post, but I didn’t add that in my survey question.
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1 Response to The post-COVID recovery: a snippet

  1. KT2 says:

    Bravo. “This should be paid for with higher taxation where it has least impact on consumption, which means those on higher incomes, though ideally one would phase this in as it became macroeconomically sensible over”

    It astounds me scotty from marketing is doing the opposite.

    Debate – you, quiggin, gigi +1 and icu researchers as scenario setters and moderators. They are the only ones at the coal face.. Politicians only allowed questions. Over 3 rounds. Asap.

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