Regular readers will know that this blogger's arch nemesis is Ross Gittins!
As a member of Generation X, some of that enmity arises from the naturally hostile posture one should adopt towards ones baby-boomer betters.
But, in all honestly, this blogger cannot hold himself entirely responsible for his Gittins! rage. The man himself must take some of the blame. The superior tone, the inconsistent positions, the selfish optimism, are all a part of a world view fogged by a contented, asset-rich lassitude that ignores all later generations.
One can only surmise that Gittins! shares the same intergenerational horror, only in reverse.
Anyway, as readers The Lorax and Chris B. point out, today Gittins! has outdone himself with a piece that is so utterly insensible to risk that it cannot pass without comment.
On to the smoking room prattle:
If it exercises my doctor's mind I imagine it occurs to a lot of people: are we a stuffed nation living off our mineral wealth? The thought that we're making a lot of our income merely by digging stuff out of the ground and shipping it overseas seems to worry a lot of people. Is that the best we can do?
Considering the fuss politicians, economists and the media are making about the resources boom, you could be forgiven for thinking mining had taken over the economy, but it isn't true. A lot of people think a nation makes its living by selling stuff to the rest of the world. That isn't true, either. Roughly 80 per cent of all the goods and services Australians produce (gross domestic product) is sold to Australians, not foreigners. Similarly, roughly 80 per cent of the goods and services Australians buy is bought from Australians.
In other words, our economy is roughly 80 per cent self-sufficient. At a pinch, we could make it completely self-sufficient, though this would involve a significant decline in our standard of living. Why? Because we'd be denying ourselves access to all those goods and services that other countries produce better or more cheaply than we could.
Gittins! "pinch" would be the greatest economic calamity in Australian history. This blogger notes the affected distance, the false sense of control, the belittling of epic suffering and just wonders why? What is the point of this optimistic straw man? Gittins! might just as well have written: "Depression: It's all good". And left rest blank.
(No Gittins!s were harmed in the writing of this post).