I just love to see Emmo, week after week, trying to put a positive spin on things. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, the answer is always the same: the government has a plan in place, the opposition has no plan and is negative, the benefits are just around the corner.
Today he took aim at people, including members of the opposition, who are talking down the economy.
Confidence is fragile and can be easily shattered by politicians, business representatives and commentators talking the economy down. Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey seemed to have this purpose in mind when he described the most recent Reserve Bank cash rate reduction as returning interest rates to “emergency lows”.
That term was used by Wayne Swan during the global financial crisis that caused the deepest global recession since the Depression. There is no such crisis now and for Hockey to seek to draw such parallels in the minds of consumers is inimical to business profitability, job creation and the national interest.
This follows Tony Abbott’s confidence-destroying scare campaign about the economic impact of the carbon price. The unrelentingly negative Opposition Leader has gone as far as to suggest that the economy is not growing at all.
We are now returning to more normal and sustainable economic times. This is not the bad news the Coalition and some business organisations are portraying.
But it can become bad news if they succeed in smashing consumer and business confidence for their own purposes.
For the sake of jobs and prosperity, the battle must be won against those who, with whatever motive, relish talking down the economy. The optimists enter that battle with a set of good economic developments in their arsenal. But, as always, it’s the pessimistic view that makes for good media stories.
Wow, if everyone can suspend their view of reality and become little Miss Polyannas, then everything would be OK, the economy would steam ahead and the surplus for 2012-13 would be achieve and more!
Is he having a lend? Does anyone in the business world really take much notice of what Joe Hockey says, let alone an assortment of random commentators in newspapers and elsewhere?
I’m afraid it is actually very ugly out there for businesses in quite a few sectors and even a chorus of Polyannas signing in perfect harmony will not make any difference.
On the point of emergency levels: if they were emergency levels then and we have returned to the same cash rates now, does Joe not have a point. I guess the dollar is higher and the banks are not fully reflecting the cash rate in their mortage and business rates. But even so, emergency is not far from the mark.
And did anyone notice Geoff Carmody’s excellent Fin piece that demonstrated that, in terms of per capita net national income, we have been in recession for nine months. Even Bob Gregory is predicting a recession, or negative growth in at least one quarter, in 2013.