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Australia's lonely stimulus

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Much has been made of the fact that the government has acted to shield the economy from the impact of the crisis. The Rudd government's response to the global financial crisis was to 'Go early, go hard, go household.' Since September 2008, two stimulus packages worth $52.4 billion have been announced. As can be seen from the figure, Australian government spending as a proportion of the stimulus package is the highest in the world, while measures likely to provide greater bang for buck -- such as tax cuts -- are small.

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Environment                       demonstrated any nutritional             for organic food, food miles
                                  benefits from organics, but              and sustainable fish are neces-
organic without                   even these benefits were                 sary for us and the planet. But
redemption                        insignificant.                           their claims rarely live up to
Tim Wilson                              Unsurprisingly the lat-            the benefits of the latest fad
                                  est report on the deficit of             diet in a women’s magazine.
It’s official—you aren’t be-      organic food has growers and             Organic foods have now
ing harmed by supermarket         their friends angry. The UK              rightfully taken their
food. In July the UK Food         Soil Association has trashed             place next to the
Standards Agency released         the report and the Organic               all-cheese diet.
a commissioned report that        Federation of Australia has
found there are no additional
                                                                                           r
                                  simply dismissed it.
health benefits from organic            For years green
foods.                            groups and activists
      The research found only     have been pro-
a third of all studies com-       claiming that
pleted in the last fifty years    campaigns


      Economic policy
      australia’s lonely stimulus
      Sinclair Davidson


     M
                  uch has been made of the      That includes the spending on school                      them. It is clear that the government
                  fact that the government      halls, iPod docks, sheds and the vari-                    panicked, and not only went in too
                  has acted to shield the       ous cash bonuses used to top up credit                    hard, but it also got the policy mix
     economy from the impact of the cri-        cards and pay for tattoos, strippers,                     wrong. The Rudd government has
     sis. The Rudd government’s response        pokies and plasma televisions.                            spent too much money on too many
     to the global financial crisis was to           While there is nothing wrong                         projects that will produce too little
     ‘Go early, go hard, go household.’         with these sorts of things, it is not                     economic value.
     Since September 2008, two stimulus         clear the taxpayer should pay for                                                                                   r
     packages worth $52.4 billion have
     been announced.
           It is an open que
								
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