[LINK] End of the filter? Better off without a Stalinist, censorious, Labor government.

Birch, Jim Jim.Birch at dhhs.tas.gov.au
Tue Aug 10 13:56:13 AEST 2010

On 8/08/2010 3:52 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
> Every school has a typically over-priced, poorly considered,
> building inserted into its limited grounds, reducing the free
> space for children to play and exercise.  There was no proper
> consultation.

You don't get it.

The purpose of the stimulus was to stimulate the economy.  Getting
useful - if imperfect - additional school buildings was an significant
added bonus.  The stimulus is based on proven economic theory, although
disputed on ideological grounds in places.  Economies eventually recover
from recessions but every percentage point of lost production in a
recession is actually lost.  For individuals, this translates to
unemployment and real hardship, especially for the most vulnerable.  The
basic problem with consultation,  getting the best price, etc, is that
it takes time and doing so would have placed us in the less preferable
position of trying to climb out of a recession rather than preventing
it.  Timing was important.  (Australia had other positives apart from
the stimulus: especially, strong minerals export earnings driving the
economy, a budget near surplus that made a stimulus possible, and better
economic regulation instituted after previous much smaller financial

Every country wanted to have an economic stimulus but some were so
clobbered by the GFC that they couldn't afford it and they are now at
the bottom end of the performance scale.  In the USA the Republicans
successfully argued against a stimulus of sufficient size and they now
look to be copping the result, continuing high unemployment, economy
running well below potential, low government receipts, etc.

Some slightly overpriced, less than perfect school buildings was a price
of avoiding recession; the price of success, if you like.  I'm not a
one-eyed Labor/Kevin/Julia supporter but this is one they clearly got
right.  They could easily have dithered or done nothing.  The Liberals
argued that the stimulus was too big a cost at the time.  From what I've
heard from them since it's not clear to me whether this was due to ratty
economic thinking, ideology, or just strategic oppositionism.



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