Labor stimulus saved Australia from recession

Maxine McKew with Kevin Rudd greeted by well-wishers in the Eastwood Mall during the 2010 Election Campaign

Maxine McKew with former PM, Kevin Rudd, at the Eastwood Mall

It makes me so mad to hear people say that the reason Australia didn’t go into a recession was because of the strong mining sector or some other such reason. If I remember correctly, China and other major world commodity markets were in the doldrums so much of our precious resources weren’t going anywhere. There was also great concern that the global financial crisis would be long and protracted and as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression.

Given that real possibility of another great depression, stimulating the economy as the Rudd Government did, protected jobs and gave our economy a boost when others were falling over. The Rudd stimulus package was vital to keeping Australia out of recession.

Don’t just believe me. Recently the Nobel Prize-winning American economist, Joseph Stiglitz, visited Australia telling all and sundry that the Rudd Government’s stimulus package was an outstanding success. He told one reporter:

It was extradordinarily well-structured whith careful attention to what would stimulate the economy in the shorter term, the medium term and the long term. When I look around the world, I think, probable the best-designed stumulus program in the world.

On the incessant yapping of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, about the Federal Government’s waste, Stiglitz told Kerry O’Brien on ABC that some waste was inevitable – always is – but without the stimulus there would have been far greater waste. So enough about the phoney idea that the stimulus package was wasteful.

Peter Fitzsimons column on Sunday makes all these points. Peter adds that the said, notable learned economist also totally supported the proposed mining tax and was most disappointed that it had been eroded (due to the greed of mining executives – my words).

There is now more talk about a double dip recession with Europe in dire straits and the US not travelling well either. I only hope that the Labor Party is re-elected so that we don’t have the man who opposed the stimulus (Tony Abbott) running us into a deep recession – that would be severe depression.


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