Listen: Understanding Australia's Political Narcissism
"Have you often thought that are major political parties don't offer a choice? They just offer an Tweedle dum Tweedle day. Well, that's more or less been the case since the mid nineties when both labor and the coalition champion what's called the economic reform agenda, or as some of the critics deride the neoliberal consensus deregulation privatize -ation tariff cuts tax cuts leban- microphone all that. Well, my guess says those days are over the may eighteen election. He says could represent an audio logical shift in Australian politics, and that's a good thing. To teams palmesano is professor of practice at the university of Sydney, he's a former rice discrimination Commissioner he's worked as a library vase, and is the author of book called on height. Published by 'em UP, get item welcome to between the lines on now. In your recent Sydney Morning Herald column. Mm USA just quote out political Nassim of monitor Frances that could be coming to an end house. Oh, we're saying perhaps the most ideologically significant election for quite some time here. And it's because we have the lay the pioneer Bill shorten offering a forthright progressive social democratic platform. It hasn't gone about presenting itself as a small target in this election. It's put a quality registered bution back on the Genda. You say this in the fact that it's pushed for capital gains tax reform, negative, gearing reform pushed for higher wages, the childcare policy announcement during this election is another example. So what you're seeing here in some is a muscular rejection of market liberalism assigned that the state is back at least on the lie beside and that you'll you'll saying challenge to the idea that a marketing. Clemmie must also mean a market society. So long gone are the days when you had a lie bellator running for office. Kevin rod describing the stalling himself as an economic conservative precisely and that has been the template in many respects full libero position. Now who's reflect the thinking of a lot of people in the community just how has the power of market liberalism. How is that filed? Let's just look survey at from the global perspective with still saying the effects of the global financial crisis with seeing here. What is a transitional transformation from stable managed capitalism to speculative financial capitalism. And the legacy of this committee described as follows when not saying global growth in in any significant way, you might even say the global economy is in naming with saying ultra-low interest rates with seeing quantitative easing by many central banks, huge jumps in public indebtedness. Also significant increases in inequality and on top of that when not necessarily saying the market operate in the perfectly competitive foam that you would expect of market liberalism, think of the concentration of market power in the new digital Konami the enormous size and influence of organization such as. Google or Facebook, or Amazon, I think these are all signs that market liberalism is not working the way that and that exit Bill shorten is championing this notion of famous, but is income inequality really Rausing in this country. I'll turn to a productivity commission report last g got the quotes. He it found that sustained growth has delivered significantly improved living standards full the average Australian in every income group that the economic mobility is high and quote movements in inequality indexes a slot rather than series in other words, Australia. According to productivity commission is not locked US where we have seen real income inequality Nora, we lock Europe where growth has stagnated for decades. How would you respond to the productivity commission all the productivity commission report still acknowledges that income? Inequality has risen of the past three decades. It's suggest. And here is that they may be a question about the degree to which income inequality has risen. But also, the productivity commission is also clear that when you look at the ends of the distribution on income, it's become in their woods stickier. So you seeing less mobility in some pockets of distribution, and as they put it stickiness is indicative, some entrenched inequality. So thought wholesale repudiation of the rising inequality in some of this is also that up in methodology. So the methodology that the productivity commission us was to look at surveys conducted as part of the Hilda exercise, the household income and labour dynamics in Austria study that is very well regarded, but if you look at other methods of measuring inequality, for example, looking at national accounts, dotterel taxation statistics drawing on the methodology that people Thomas Pickety have developed measuring income inequality. Then does appear that income inequalities at historically high levels going back to nineteen forties or the mid twentieth century. We've not had income inequality at such levels in it straight. And that's based on research done by Andrew Lee. Mentioned Thomas Pickety who Thomas Pickety fringe economists? I think climbed to find on this issue of inequality, but opportune to people have been on this show over the last few Yee's team. Keisha Mahbubani from Singapore. Johan Norberg from Sweden Steven pinker from Harvard met really from London victim Putin in Melvin and nisi that market liberalism, including free. Tried has delivered the single greatest reduction in extreme poverty in human history effect, isn't it? Yes, it is. And imagine if the distribution will equal even see more people having been liberated from poverty or enjoying a rise out of hardship. There's no question about the absolute gains that come from market, liberalism and not rejecting the idea of market economy. We know that the market distributes resources in a much more efficient way than a centrally planned economy does. This is the lesson of the twentieth century in the listen of the failure of of communism. The point here is about whether we want to be a market society is will that we have the logic of the market being applied to conduct government and to add relations between between people see Mahbubani, nog- and Pinkett, they'd respond inside that government policies lie policies, if you like to force inequality down that would incur a cost in lower economic growth, and that would argue low living standards, not just in Australia, but across the world. Well, that would argue that and it's an it's an idea that I believe should be contested. I'm not arguing for a perfect equal distribution of resources. But if we believe, for example, when the idea of Aaquil opportunity, I believe you need to have some redistribution of resources for that to become realizable. No question that socialism is having some sort of resurgence. And you mentioned that in your recent Sydney Morning Herald article, certainly if you look in the United States, you see Bernie Sanders doing very well, politically, Jeremy Corbyn later of the party, and there have been plenty of polls. And we've had guests on this program talking about how socialism is becoming very popular, especially among millennials. Now, you say, quote, what those on the right to cry as the evils of socialism, a good number of us regard as decent common sense. But what about the terrible atrocities committed in the name of socialism in the twentieth century team. What about the? Abject failure of socialism everywhere has been implemented. Let's not get too blunt Tomei to when when when our third to run I refer to those on the right decrying was socially. I was referring specifically to the education minister Dantin criticising. The labour party's announcement recently on childcare policy as an example of socialism, if not communist or words that affects and I think that's a bit of blown somewhat exaggerated when I'm talking about social democracy. I'm talking about an ideology that still exists within the limits of multi-party, democracy, individually Berty and the rule of law that what social democracy means is that the state has a role in regulating markets and in redistributing resources, it's about elevating the value of community and the value of quality beside the value of freedom. Young people who are attracted to socialism. They also distrust government regulations, and they mar on Pinerolo and small businesses. They're disconnected between the two. No, this is this is precisely and it will strike of the point. I'm making about a mock economy. This is a market society. Millennia was understand perfectly. Well, the power of entrepreneurialism and the benefits of of the market what they don't accept is that the market must govern everything in society. What I don't accept his that the distribution thrown up by the market is is something that is necessarily desirable in all cases. So if you look at how millennials are experiencing, the housing market and housing affordability. If you're looking at how they experiencing work and the diminishing job security that they experience all the precarious nature gig economy that many of them are engaged in their frankly, not saying the benefits of of market liberalism market. But you tackling dance. You can't tax a loss. You can only tax prophet and"