THERE is an economic slur from the 1970s that has returned to haunt us: crowding out. In the decade of stagflation, it described the over-reach of Gough Whitlam, when the federal government choked national activity by getting too big too quickly at the expense of the private sector.
This time, the crowding out is occurring at two related levels.
John Howard started the process of politically targeted spending and a politicised public service in 1996. Labor has merely adapted his regime to its ends....
He quoted Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark:
"Enormous amounts of money are being poured into a couple of things, then other things are being shrunk and I can't see any evaluations, or no evidence necessarily that you ought to be doing one thing or the other. I'm not even aware of public debate on this, or what the process even would be for having this conversation."
10 March '20 Peter Hartcher chimed in
(Morrison) has not shown the early commitment and determination of his tenure in immigration. So far, he is showing signs of the same reluctance and excuse-making that shocked the world in his leadership failure on the fires.
Australian Governments have shown they do not have the systems in place to analyse investment opportunities, measure the merits of options and alternative scenarios, and spend wisely. They do not have robust "infrastructure pipelines".
The sports and other rorts, including the Congestion Fund, waste money, break hopes, and worsen contexts. It is economic illiteracy to argue that low interest rates should accelerate dumb projects: that would increase dysfunctionalities (general economic costs as with degradation of the Bradfield system) as well as neuter better ideas.
The Australian media have not properly surveilled and deciphered governmental errors that arise from distorted Budget and gifting streams. In some cases, they have refused to do so - a prime example being the ABC/The Age/SMH Cabinet leaks over Berejiklian's deceits (such as banning transit in the consideration of a south-east freeway corridor in Sydney). They refused, to a pernicious degree, to include the systemic factors as revealed through this and related websites.
The following charts indicate the areas in which "stimulus" was reversed - negatived and worse - into sucking oxygen out of productive investments, into whacky capricious gifting. PM Morrison might do better through general fiscal stimuli but he is to be shamed for locking away $3,500,000,000 (and more) for a Western Sydney stub metro that will not be built, and useless if it is. Add the gravy train offered to consultants for some 13 "fast train" investigations that are simply bullshit, smashing the confidence of a Geelong that is trying to recover from industrial contractions.
How much stimulus will come from indulging Blue Suits?