Growth is good, but it’s no call to action

In The Australian today:

“Ever since the first G6 summit, held outside Paris in the wake of the 1973-74 oil shock, economic summitry has been condemned to a cycle in which initial enthusiasm degenerates into stage-managed ritual. With the raptures that greeted the formation of the G20 now a fading embarrassment, the weekend’s gathering of finance ministers and central bankers did little to rise above a footnote in the annals of international relations.”

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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8 Responses to Growth is good, but it’s no call to action

  1. Blogstrop

    Gives them a chance to swan around, sort of like … I guess synchronised swimming?

  2. Token

    …has been condemned to a cycle in which initial enthusiasm degenerates into stage-managed ritual.

    What would a bunch if big government types who want the gubbermint leviathans growing know about growing private enterprise to grow an economy.

    They all believe printing more money, kg of legislation & higher taxes are the only solutions.

  3. Alex Davidson

    While the platitudes about growth were meaningless, not so when it comes to tax. From point 9 in the communique:

    “By the Brisbane summit, we will start to deliver effective, practical and sustainable measures to counter BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) across all industries, including traditional, digital and digitalised firms, in an increasingly globalised economy.”

    And this:

    “We expect to begin to exchange information automatically on tax matters among G20 members by the end of 2015”.

  4. John Montgomery

    Yes, Alex they are intent on taxing wealth, productive investment and value creation. Go the G20!

    The problem is that most of them are wedded to ne0-Keynesianism and Sado-Monetarsism, seemingly unaware that macro-economics is really the problem! These people actually believe they can create growth by government spending and/or mucking about with interest rates….sigh.

    In the beginning God made morons… Then he got down to the task of making complete imbeciles…He placed a group of people on this planet who shared the profound belief that wealth could be created in a vacuum. Robert Beckman, The Downwave

  5. danger mouse

    A little less cynically, an agreement at the G20 may provide national governments especially our own with some political cover to make some necessary structural changes.

    Anything more ambitious than a growth target is probably unachievable at this forum, so perhaps Hockey is being astute in managing it this way.

  6. .

    A pro growth agenda can be good.

    A committment to:

    balanced budgets
    abolition of payroll taxes
    abolition of tariffs
    capping income tax rates and steps
    capping the estimated costs of regulation, particularly occupational licensing
    agreeing to have spending and regulation preferenced or justified on utilitarian grounds

    by treaty, sort of like a formalised new Washington consensus.

    I’d support that.

  7. john montgomery

    I’d support that too Dot, but i don’t think that is their intent. Maybe i’m getting too cynical…….

  8. .

    Yes, they just want to maximise tax revenue, the greedy shits…

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