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How to end Australia's dependence upon population-growth driven financial speculation

The following letter was printed in The Courier Mail newspaper of Saturday 18 October, at the top of the first page of its letters section under the heading "No way to handle financial downturn". The last paragraph, which is not included here, was not included in the version sent to the Courier Mail in an effort to keep the letter as brief as possible. The letter was otherwise printed in full, and except that the "these speculation industries" in the second last paragraph was changed to "credit and construction" and some improvements in style. I have incorporated the latter.

The credit collapse shines a spotlight upon some obvious, but somehow commonly invisible travesties.

One is the hypocrisy of the free market idealogues, now put beyond doubt as they scurry and bay for public funds to bail us all out of the abyss that their unabated greed and ambition has plunged everyone into.

Another is the tragic condition of our National and State economy, now reduced to a rudimentary three-card trick of house-building, hole-digging and ad-hoc tourism.


... lazy politicians have ... divested us of nearly every industry that produced real things for real community security and benefit.

For decades lazy politicians have swayed to the narcotic tune of insatiable resource speculators and global free-marketeers. Resultant policy has divested us of nearly every industry that produced real things for real community security and benefit.

In replacement Governments at all levels have encouraged a storm of aspiration, debt and immigration to fill the sails of money lenders, land subdividers and retail conglomerators. To pay the interest on escalating urban consumption, including delivery of just a fraction of the needed infrastructure, we've handed our mineral and energy wealth to multi-national corporations for a pittance in royalties. They have then proceeded to rip it out and hawk it overseas for a fortune.

With the house of credit-cards now falling down, and global demand for our mineral wealth stalling, we are about to find out how awfully unproductive our economy has actually become.

Einstein famously said a problem cannot be solved using the same thinking that created it. Clearly there are no Einsteins in Canberra. We can only look in horror at a 'solution' that hands out elevated first-homeowner grants, thus investing public funds into further stimulation of the very debt-creation and property value pressurisation that is the nub of the problem.

Because these speculation industries do grossly dominate our economy, we can't collapse them overnight. However public monies must be used to develop genuine production, diversity and sustainable employment within our economy. Funds should not be used to artificially respirate a diseased status quo.


Local Councils also need to re-think their habit of turning productive land into debt-encumbered suburbs that offer no durable work or production to support the inhabitants.

Local Councils also need to re-think their habit of turning productive land into debt-encumbered suburbs that offer no durable work or production to support the inhabitants. If they let our mortgage belt get too big, we'll all get caught with our pants down. It's time for some real development initiatives that support local economy and local amenity.