22 June 2012

Barr summons the ghost of Ricardo to savage Seselja in front of the Property Council

| johnboy
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Andew Barr has published his speech to the Property Council.

It’s a handy recap, if you haven’t been keeping score, of what the ACT Government has been trying to achieve on the economic policy front.

As usual the zingers are in the tail:

Before concluding my remarks today it would be remiss of me not to touch on the forthcoming Festival of Democracy that is the Territory Election.

I have always held the view that elections should be about ideas, about competing priorities and agendas for the future.

There is no doubt that the ACT Labor Government has a considerable policy agenda for economic reform, growth and development.

It stands in marked contrast to the alternative. Tony Abbott’s man in Canberra, Zed Seselja, runs a negative and reactionary agenda.

Policy isn’t his strong point. 1343 days have passed since the last election without anything meaningful being released.

From what we do know though, it is fair to say that the Opposition Leader draws more policy inspiration from BA Santamaria and Sarah Palin than Adam Smith or David Ricardo.

With only 120 days to go now, the Opposition appears to think it can coast into office off the back of a few cheap slogans.

I think this community expects and deserves better than that. I look forward to the policy debate ahead.

Society being broadly defined between those who understand comparative advantage and those who do not it will be interesting to see if we get any interesting ideas out of Zed.

(If you understand comparative advantage you are free of the negativity of zero-sum thinking, it’s very powerful albeit with limits)

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HiddenDragon12:15 pm 23 Jun 12

Adam Smith and David Ricardo – yes, I’m sure the good folk of Canberra will be speaking of little else for months to come. More likely, they’ll be reaching for their baseball bats and hockey sticks when they get their next rates notice and power bill.

Perhaps if AB, and the masterminds behind his “reforms”, gave as much attention to the spending side of the budget, we wouldn’t have such problems. A good start might be to explain, really loudly, really clearly, really often, that a bonsai-sized jurisidiction such as the ACT, with a pitifully shallow, narrow base of economic activity cannot go on heavily subsidising the health care (particularly) and other services for the people of south eastern NSW. Serious, objective scrutiny of the money spent on duplication, reinvention of the wheel, and various follies, frolics, hobby horses and indulgences would also be most useful.

Adam Smith would be spinning – to the point of incandescence – in his grave, at the thought of being associated with this treasurer in this government – they have turned regulation and, now, taxation into a high art form.

In the circumstances, a more appropriate Ricky to refer to would have been Ricky Ricardo ‘ Katy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

No, I’m not a Liberal staffer/member whatever – just a voter and a taxpayer.

I live in Macgregor5:51 pm 22 Jun 12

Nice post johnboy. The whole Treasurer’s speech is a great read (yes for those that may not know I am a biased ACT Labor member and vocal proponent) but I did appreciate your expansion on the Ricardo reference with an explanatory wiki on comparative advantage.

One huge advantage of internet-based news is the provision of explanatory links and first-source information and news and its great when it is used well.

Anyway, as you stated… “will be interesting to see if we get any interesting ideas out of Zed” (or his advisors and shadows)…. or their Abbott Liberal mentors for that matter.

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