Joe Stiglitz had a strange column last week where he was pushing the lazy lefty line that Australia simply emulates bad American policy.
For better or worse, economic-policy debates in the United States are often echoed elsewhere, regardless of whether they are relevant. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recently elected government provides a case in point.
As in many other countries, conservative governments are arguing for cutbacks in government spending, on the grounds that fiscal deficits imperil their future. In the case of Australia, however, such assertions ring particularly hollow – though that has not stopped Abbott’s government from trafficking in them.
This morning Judith replied to that nonsense:
Here’s a tip, pal: there is no evidence Abbott thinks that the American model, whatever that might mean, should be emulated. In fact, Americans should be asking us for advice. After all, we are entering our 23rd year of continuous economic growth, per capita income has grown strongly and unemployment is lower than in the US.
Ouch. While that should hurt – a lot – I suspect he’ll just carry on.