Comments on David Hetherington “Labor wins vote of confidence on economic management”, 7/04/2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/labor-wins-vote-of-confidence-on-economic-management/story-e6frg6zo-1225850657938
One must be wondering if Hetherington is doing an advertisement for the government or on the government's behalf!
He attempts to rationalise what the government has done and sugar coat them. He states that
"Labor has built its claim to economic competence on three pillars: first, its response to the global economic crisis; second, national infrastructure investment to lift productivity; and, third, the use of market mechanisms to deliver public goods and services."
He then used cash handouts for the first pillar, $16 billion for BER and $5 billion for social housing for the second and a number of policies for the last.
But do they hold any water? Firstly, cash handouts are inferior to a cash subsidy to consumption purchases, because people save part of them. Secondly, the Australian has exposed many rorts with the BER that suggests 20-30% of it may have been wasted. Social housing, look at what has happened to the NT Indigenous housing program. Lastly, market mechanism, where is it, apart from Rudd government's big government approach and big welfare spending?
Hetehrington must have forgotten what Rudd's essay in Feb 2009 was about, or he has conveniently hidden it under the carpet!
Then I realised that Hetherington is the executive director of Per Capita, a progressive think tank!
No wonder he is singing high praises!