14 thoughts on “This time is different …

  1. John, as you are one of the few professors of economics who understands monetary sovereignty [Bill Mitchell said so] I think it behooves you to push the government into deficit spending its way out of the financial trouble that will just add to the mess. There is a lot of fiscal space and spending will not cause excess inflation but will add to whatever prosperity remains. How about It?
    Let’s not have a third catastrophe!

  2. Interesting article. I find the comments about the general unsustainability of tourism struck a chord. Maybe that’s just because circumstances haven’t allowed me to take many holidays.

    One ray of hope seems to be that the obvious question finally got asked recently – how much is it going to cost if we don’t limit climate change. I think the media is to blame for the last three decades of dereliction and incompetence because they were willing sucked in by the false equivalence of balancing BS artists with scientists slogging away at research.

  3. If tourist numbers drop bigly for the reasons explained in the article, then you’d expect to see the $A devalue bigly against other countries. That will make Australia more attractive to tourists. It’s all swings and roundabouts.

    More concerning is whether Chinese students, currently and for who knows how long unable to enter the country, decide that other countries like Canada offer a better deal. Without those Chinese student numbers, university revenues will be devastated. If the government doesn’t make up the dollars for them they will have to either seriously hike fees for domestic students or lay off staff on a grand scale.

  4. Is it worthwhile considering other natural disasters such as China in 2008 (earthquake followed by rain creating a natural dam), Chile 2010 earthquake+tsunami or Japan 2011 earthquake+tsunami?

  5. It is false economics to believe that tourism is a good. Mass tourism is now a very bad thing for the world; a clear social and environmental ill in a world of rampant inequality, dwindling resources and climate change. Tourism is extremely damaging to equality and sustainabilty. The more tourism collapses the better for the world in the long run. In the short run, people who depend on tourism for income, just like the workers who depend on coal mining for income, will have to be assisted into more worthwhile and sustainable industries and activities. Tourism like coal mining will have to be wound down at a managed rate. The biosphere cannot afford the excess consumption occasioned by tourism.

  6. Moz: so far, the answer from the government here is that they are not willing to kill anybody (with this virus). In fact AFAICT they haven’t put a foot wrong, not yet anyway. Shows what you can achieve if you listen to people who know what they are talking about.

  7. Hopefully Prof. Quiggin will not fail to do some quick calculations re the Darling, the drought and the relation of the situation there to what is amusingly referred to as “policy”.

    Perhaps also something about energy so-called policy in light of the Stephen Long (ABC) article blowing the lid on what the Morrison Berejiklian alleged initiative was really about including expensive Pilliga gas (fracking) and Exxon gas supplies diverted to north Asia.
    This country has become a joke.

  8. It’s a door that swings both ways – with COVID-19 making OS trips risky there could be a big upswing in local tourism, and perhaps locals will start to appreciate their home turf.

  9. Smith9: indeed. It’s good to know that our government *can* take expert advice. Hopefully the idea will catch on.

    I’ve had Nepalese students rent rooms off me, and they have been both poor and worked very hard (both academically and for money). They are also far more likely than Chinese or Indian/Bangladeshi students to try to socialise with English-speaking Australians. Which is good in general, but I’m not very social so I find it somewhat trying. OTOH, if we want immigrants who are very keen to learn how to be Australian my sample of three suggests Nepalese would be ideal 🙂

  10. It looks a bit like Covid 19 may become established as a version of the flu and everyone will end up getting it sooner or later. China messed up the chance to contain it, and now some other countries will mess up too . Italy did very badly. Australias island status has helped us avoid the worst of pandemics in the past but air travel means that advantage is mostly gone. I like the idea of national self sufficiency ,unrestrained globalisation leaves us vulnerable , I think its a mistake to assume that nothing really bad will ever happen again.

    Moz – I found my Indian neighbors to be very friendly (one of them got too friendly) .They miss the communal nature of Indian life and find the relative isolation of Aussie style living hard. Both on minimum wage and with two kids they eventually took the leap and bought a small house ,for a big price ,in Australias fastest growing region nearby (Tarneit). I visit sometimes and we will stay friends , they want me to visit India with them one day . Their kids were raised by relatives in India before coming out here to be with mum and dad. The kids are lovely – they are modest ,humble ,kind, generous and grateful – not like typical Aussie kids at all.

  11. Quote of the year re SARS2 (re-badged by the spin doctors as Covid 19):

    “It is almost as if nature itself has gotten fed up with the aged generational bulge that disgorged a misshapen world of bottomless greed. It’s decided to kill them off and liberate the young to finally buy it all on the cheap.” – Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism.

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