For all of Judith Sloan’s righteous ranting against Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, her piece essentially boils down to this: Joseph Stiglitz is American, Australia is doing better economically than America, and so therefore Stiglitz should shut up and go home.
A pretty babyish position to have.
Still though, taking Sloan at her best, what she’s suggesting has a pretty fundamental problem. It’s been true for the past two decades that Australia is doing better economically than America. But it’s also true that Australia is an economy with more government intervention than America’s.
It’s a pretty fundamental truth that Sloan is pretty eager to ignore. These kinds of comparisons are superficial and don’t tell us much, but since Sloan thinks it’s good argument to use them, I could just as easily suggest that that reason we’re doing better is because we have a much better mix of government intervention, and that going backwards on that is likely to worsen our problems.
People who regard themselves as commentators should be above this kind of crap. Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence that Sloan will improve on this front anytime soon.