As the cover of the sixth edition <of The Lucky Country> says, “the book was a wake-up call to an unimaginative nation, an indictment of a country mired in mediocrity and manacled to its past”. It described Australia as ‘a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck’.
A 2015 United Nations report rated progress toward sustainability using a range of economic, social and environmental indicators. It ranked Australia 18th out of the 34 OECD countries: below New Zealand, Canada and even UK. We’re among the worst of affluent countries on such indicators as our per capita resource use and waste production, greenhouse gases released per unit of economic output and our obesity rate. We’re also well below average on social indicators such as average level of education, gender pay difference, parental leave provisions and percentage of women in elected office, as well as economic indicators such as the poverty rate and the degree of inequality… We also get a relatively small fraction of our electricity from renewables, as confirmed by a recent study finding we are twentieth in the world for the share of power coming from large-scale solar. We should be ashamed to see that cold, wet Britain ranks third…Interestingly, the top four countries when ranked by progress toward sustainability were the Scandinavian nations of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The USA ranked 29th – ahead of only Greece, Turkey, Chile, Hungary and Mexico…We should be using the Scandinavian approach as a model for our future, rather than copying the much less successful US approach by selling our public assets and eroding the public provision of essential services like education and health care.
Horne called for a revolution in economic priorities, moving away from being what he called ‘a stupid country’ that exported minerals and farm produce, by investing in education and science so that we would be better equipped for the world of the twenty-first century. Instead we have further run down our manufacturing base, mainly by opening up our markets to cheaper imports produced by cheap labour.
Note – much more could be copied from this ABC show, strongly recommend you buy the book, antidote for John Howard wheedling about non-event Menzies
>more> ABC_RN Ockham’s Razor