I’m in despair. The days of good economic reform are long behind us with no prospect for a return. Australia is drifting, with complacency ruling the roost, while our citizens have no capacity for introspection. We are rudderless, with useless governments and parliamentarians across all levels of government. Every time there is a problem, there is a shout for further government spending and regulation. Only a small minority of citizens are interested in balanced budgets, government debt, government spending, taxation, and economic reform. Instead they spend their time focusing on social media and reality television. Homo sapiens are evolving along the lines of the telephone sanitisers in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We are like the citizens of Nauru, throwing away our wealth in the pursuit of comfort and luxury but deskilling along the way.
The prognosis for Australia is poor. There is a cure and a remedy, but we are unwilling to take the tough medicine. Our destiny is therefore inexorable decline. The settlement experiment since 1770 has ended, we will revert to Hobbes’ description of life being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. It makes no sense to save in this environment; best to join in the narcissism and enjoy the moment. Spend today for there may not be a tomorrow. That’s the optimistic scenario. The pessimistic scenario is that there is nothing to spend today.