To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them. “The Crowd” by Gustave Le Bon
The market is the best information processor the world has ever known. In its perfect form, aided by government to the extent of its needs, it has led the western world to prosperity over the last 50 years. This perfect form is achieved through neoliberalism.
This is the story that champions of the market have sold to us.
I am not describing the world of laissez-faire capitalism and small government. We moved on from there after the Great Depression. If you’re over 40 today, you knew an anomalous period before neoliberalism gained a firm grip on society.
During this time it was easier, comparatively, for people to pay off a home and build a nest egg or six in the form of investment properties, share portfolios and superannuation. For most young people today, the only share they know is accommodation, super is weak and the door to home ownership has been slammed shut.
A few months ago I came across a 2009 interview between the Chaser’s Julian Morrow and Peter Meakin. I wonder how many people outside of the media know who he is. Meakin is currently Executive Director of News and Current Affairs at Network Ten after filling similar roles at the Seven and Nine networks. To use a Chris Uhlmann term, Meakin has been a “player” in our politics for 45 years. He became the producer of “A Current Affair” in 1973 when Mike Willesee employed him directly to produce the show.
This was an interesting time. Business wanted action to ensure it received the respect it deserved. We needed a business led revolution and our corporate leaders were going to give us one. It was, in short, the start of neoliberalism in Australia.
JULIE BISHOP’S FOREIGN AFFAIR
The average Fijian family lives on A$150 a week. They’re probably not paying Sydney housing mortgage or rental prices but they’re unlikely to be living it up. The great news is that for just $4,997 the head of the family or one of their bright kids can learn all about leadership from our very own Julie Bishop in this five day retreat.
Relax. Worried about a robot taking your job? Find something else to worry about. They’re going to be our friends. This is the advice contained in a recent report released by lead author David Rumbens of Deloitte Accesss Economics. It’s the latest in the company’s “Building the Lucky Country” series. Surely, this is what you’ve been waiting for; a future mapped out by a leading financial organisation. I spent an exhilerating afternoon reading this page turner late last week and I can’t wait to share my findings.
SUPER FUND RESTRUCTURE
The great news is that with the election out of the way we can clear up some of those nasty super funds with their fees for no service. Where to start? Surprisingly, despite the Finance and Banking Royal Commission’s general approval of the union funds’ stewardship, that is where our restored Federal Government has its sights. Plans are to “liberalise” appointments to industry boards. Only friends and family need apply.