The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PM: "catastrophic global costs of markets focused on profit but devoid of responsibility"

Quite remarkable quotes highlighted by Steve Kates over at Catallaxy from PM Gillard:

"The grand paradox of this lean season for social democracy is that it is occurring when the catastrophic global costs of markets focused on profit but devoid of responsibility have never been more evident…It falls to us to analyse and understand this contradiction of our age."

Kates responds with some justification:

"In a single sentence we find everything bundled together in what makes Labor Party policy just what it is. The great problem of our age, the fundamental problem they are going to save us from, is the market economy.

We live in a world of fantastic wealth, unimaginable even a mere hundred years ago, that has vastly increased the material wellbeing of the working class in every capitalist economy. The kinds of want and deprivation common a century ago have all but disappeared.

Governments now worry about really important things instead, such as whether there are fast enough internet connections and whether they can be accessed in every part of the country. Or whether people are eating the wrong foods and growing too fat. Or whether there are newspapers being published that might not portray the government in a sufficiently positive light...

But the true enemy, as the Prime Minister has kindly revealed, is the market economy itself. The market that brought the internet to out homes, that brought us an abundance of affordable food, that brought us cheap sources of energy. It is the market we are being saved from by the Government, bless its heart."