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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Henry Thornton, No. 72

Today is an excellent edition of The Australian’s ‘Inquirer’. I plan to pick the best snippets and hope this is of interest.

As usual, Paul Kelly was a wonderful contributor. He focusses on a large statement.

‘Australia faces the rich nation: a relative decline amid prosperity.’

‘This is a huge gamble. The week’s Intergenerational Report – projecting Australia’s future out to 2063 shows real incomes 50 per cent higher. But don’t be fooled. Economic growth will be slower, growth in incomes per person will be dismal, government spending will increase, taxes will need to rise, the budget will be in deficit for 40 years, Australia will remain a debtor country, the China income gift will die and productivity will dramatically diminished from earlier generations.’

‘This is the outlook faces – as documented by Labor.’

This is an excellent presentation and if you read Mr Kelly’s set of issues fails only in taxation. Necessary is the issue of greater taxation. ‘The IGR suggests bigger government is irresistible. The five big spending pressures are health, aged care, NDIS, defence and interest payments on debt. These elements rise from one-third of total spending today to about half in 40 years.’

But the spending pressures will need to be defined and implemented. ‘Tell us the options’ said the people but that has to wait, if indeed either government will be forced to do the deed. I do not (fortunately) expect to be around to see the ‘final extra funding’ which will eventually wheeled out, with interesting effects.

Greg Sheridan features ‘Xi’s age of stagnation’ which discusses ‘climate, peace, world order.’

His excellent article discusses the issues of each the relevant issues.

‘According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, China accounts for just on 30 per cent of global emissions. That is substantially more than the US and the EU combined. … ‘There will come a point in the next decade when China is not only responsible for vastly more emissions than any other nation or group of nations for more historic emission – that is , all the carbon accumulated in the atmosphere since pre-modern times’.

‘No one in the Australian climate debate even acknowledges this partly because to do so is just so depressing is you as just as if you are a committed climate change activist. In fact, if you really believe in net zero, you just have to look away from China’.

‘China is also the engine of military expansion in the world today. As Defence Minister Richard Marles told the recent ALP national conference ‘We are witnessing the single biggest conventional build up in the world since the end of the year 2000.’

(Read for yourself the rapid increase in nuclear submarines and warships. And nuclear warheads. And issues involving Taiwan.)

Thirdly, even if the Albanese government is ‘entirely successful in stabilising Canberra’s relationship with Beijing, that we, and the world, do not face fundamental challenges arising out of Chinese power, now newly and unpredictably complicated by the new turn in the Chinese economy.’

And in conclusion, readers will find several further excellent articles. Do not hold back.

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