Labor made a huge political error by the timing of its stimulus package that saved Australia from the Global Financial Crisis that decimated the rest of the Western world, writes John Dickson.
Labor made a huge tactical and political error when it started its stimulus package in the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis. By saving jobs with the stimulus, thousands of people with jobs kept them.
You would think this would help the Labor Government, but if you don’t lose your job, you don’t know that you were one of those who would have lost your job (without the stimulus package’s positive effects).
If the Government had waited another six months or so, and/or even started some austerity measures and cut some public service jobs (like the Europeans did), then 500,000 people may have lost their jobs in Australia (like happened in many European countries). Then, by introducing their stimulus package, instead of the “mere” 900,000+ that they have actually created, the Government could have “created” 1,400,000 (500,000 + 900,000) “new” jobs while in office!
Of course, no-one would suggest that this is what they should have done — but if they had, they would be in a much better political position than they are now. Those who lost their jobs, then gained one back because of the stimulus package, would all be more likely to vote Labor now, and the general public would also realise just how effective the stimulus really was. Saved jobs are not as obvious as jobs created (or re-created)!
Because Australia avoided the main effects of the GFC, many people here don’t seem to believe that it actually happened (and still is). The comment “What GFC?” falls into the same category as “What Global Warming?” Both are real, but the current Government hasn’t been rewarded ‒ or even acknowledged ‒ for succeeding to have a very positive effect on both.
The result may well be Australia having to suffer under a Liberal Government for many years to come, and a decent Labor Government being relegated to the Opposition benches that they don’t deserve.
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