Advance Australia Fair: Looking for a new Australian settlement

John Spoehr

    Research output: Other contributionpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The radical neoconservative agenda being offered up nationally is a replay of a past policy failure – the infamous Fightback! package that came to be known as one of the longest political suicide notes in history (something that its advocate, former Liberal leader John Hewson, acknowledges today). The latest leap to the right by the Abbott Government is also deeply unpopular. What is the alternative you might ask? Well it is time to redefine what we mean by responsible and prudent government. The current obsession with generating budget surpluses shackles us to a neoconservative ideological prison door. It is a fiscal fetish that must be abandoned, as it perpetuates a myth that public debt is a great burden on us, and that harsh budget cuts are needed as the remedy. This is the great fiscal fallacy of the late 20th century, an era of policy malaise we must now move on from. In this century we need to return to a much more honest view about the role that government plays in capitalist economies, particularly the role that public policy and investment plays in generating growth and fairness.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherThe Adelaide Review
    Number of pages2
    Place of PublicationAdelaide
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


    • neoconservative
    • ideological
    • wealth
    • extremism


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