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Saunders vs Saunders

October 25th, 2002

I can’t resist baiting from Ken Parish, even when he shifts the blame by heading his piece Bettina baits Quiggin. He’s referring to an article describing the debate between the two Peter Saunders whom I’ve mentioned previously. I’ve responded to the main arguments of the “New” or “CIS” Saunders here. I’ll just note the end of Arndt’s piece where she observes ” the huge gulf between the two men on the extent of poverty in Australia – Saunders the Old claims disadvantage is increasing, while the New cites evidence to show it remains constant ” (note, BTW, the use of “claims” vs “cites evidence to show”, a typical pundit trick)
In other words, after a decade when we have been told incessantly that Australia’s economic performance is ‘miraculous’, ‘world-beating’ and so on, the best that the advocates of free-market reform can claim is that poverty has remained constant.
Update Yet another comment thread that dwarfs (is this still a PC verb?) the original post in length, thoughtfulness and erudition. Be sure to read it. I plan a lengthy post covering the issues raised here, but I’ll have my work cut out.

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