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What the Oz thinks of the Howard Government's economic management

"...we [The Australian] have attacked the Howard Government for its lack of credibility on economic management. We have adopted a rationalist position, criticising the Government for giving too much money to special interest groups in the quest for electoral advantage at the expense of good policy. Against the reforms of the Hawke and Keating years, the Howard Government can be justly accused of being weak on economic reform... for a government that argues its strongest virtue is economic management, the real economic achievements of the past 11 years are slim pickings."

- Editorial, The Australian, 20.3.07

It's not often that I agree with The Australian on matters politic, but they're on the ball with this one. The Howard-Costello line that they have brought good economic management to Australia is a crock and panders to the selfish, while overlooking the many economic failures of the past eleven years.

Consider just a few points:

  • Australia's interest rates, even at their lowest, were much higher than in most of the other major industrialised nations;
  • our lack of competitiveness in the global ICT industries, partly because of preoccupation with the privatisation of Telstra, and partly because of the muzzling of New Media interests to protect Old Media interests;
  • the Howard government's failure to utilise our "economic prosperity" to eliminate poverty among our indigenous compatriots