When Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former strategist, described Australia on Your ABC as the “canary in the mineshaft”; that it would wake up one day and find that all its economic assets were owned by another country, he was reflecting on the sale of Australian assets to a foreign nation, viz, China. In the context of China’s one belt one road policy, it was a useful warning.
As I’ve previously explained in a couple of articles, the federal government’s (read Scott Morrison’s) economic policy has been tied umbilically to an immigration policy which allows almost everyone of any age and any language (except English-speaking, transgender US military personnel) to come, live and invest the zillions in this country. There can be no argument that this influx of money from new (mostly from non-English-speaking, northern Asia) arrivals have propped up a large part of the economy.
Without it, the housing market would probably still be stuck at semi-affordable 2006 prices that almost anyone with a job (not the six per cent hopefuls) and every tradie’s wife could afford; Aussie domestic manufacturing (bricks & mortar, beer, wine and bread) would still be growing and keeping South Australians and Tasmanians employed and weed production in the Griffith area (together with rice (?) and wheat) would be pungent but far from stagnant. Unfortunately, university education would only be available for the elite, thus saving most of our children from the lunacy that passes illiteracy and certain transgender inklings off as education.
While it has given Australians a short-term economic boost, the policy is politically short-sighted. Immigration at the levels we have recently experienced, not only leaves us vulnerable to economic blackmail by our largest trading partner but undermines the fundamental Western democratic character of this nation. That was essentially the premise of Bannon’s comment.
However, we have gone much beyond what he was warning about by also selling domestic assets to immigrant residents whose allegiance to their foreign homeland is on-going and whose age makes integration into Western ideas impossible – even if they could speak English. The whole economic policy of the last thirty years has been a globalist dream. Even Marx couldn’t have wished for better. In the process, a succession of Commonwealth governments have actually sold out our political independence. With apologies to some long-dead, white, privileged male poet: with inky blots and rotten parchment bonds we have allowed a shameful conquest of our selves.
We are now unable to limit the penetration of imports into our country in order to encourage investments in manufacturing and employment as Trump has done for the United States when, with the touch of the pen, the Chinese government could send our economy backwards. A policy that ransoms domestic economic growth to immigration is not new. It was the lightning rod that attracted both Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter in the nineties, even if they could not see the link to the economy for looking.
In a sense, the Treasury embrace of immigration-led economic growth is not dissimilar to the Commonwealth’s moral attachment (at least until recently) to global warming and the Andrews government’s attachment to brown-outs rather than brown coal.
All of these policies are the progeny of university theorists who trust mathematics more than common sense in practical matters. It is just sad to see economics writers in such a sensible journal as The Australian taking a similar theoretical view of such important things.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.