The word is in from the students – ESSA’s inaugural Q&A was a resounding success. Featuring some of the University’s most famed economists (Max Corden and Neville Norman) and some of the nation’s leading economic commentators (George Megalogenis, Stephen Koukoulas, Stephen Long and James Paterson), it was an event, from my perspective, full of high-spirited discussion and insightful analysis about where Australia is as a country and as a world-leading economy.
Watch it all here!
Amid quips of whinging farmers, painful two-speed bicycle analogies and “slavery” at the IPA, the panel, consisting of James Paterson, W. Max Corden, George Megalogenis, Neville Norman, Stephen Koukoulas and moderator Stephen Long, gave the ESSA Q&A audience quite a few insights into the immigration and two-speed economy debates currently embroiling Australia.
George Megalogenis’ quarterly essay titled ‘Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the end of the reform era’ highlights the worrying lack of political leadership on both sides of the parliament in the aftermath of the 2010 Australian federal election. It argues that political short-termism and party politics has become the order of the day, leaving proper policy debate and detailed analysis out of the picture. It means that governments are focussing on winning the next 24-hour news cycle, or the next opinion poll rather than focussing on creating an enduring economic reform agenda that builds on our prosperity in Australia. Many prominent Australian journalists, including Megalogenis and Annabel Crabb of the ABC, have vowed not to discuss opinion polls to reflect their distaste of the current political atmosphere.