10 June 2016
by Victoria Rollison

They missed it… again!

Yesterday Bill Shorten laid out his economic plan for the next 10 years. I’m sure you can guess how political journalists reacted?

Did they report that finally a leader is looking ahead further than the next election? Nope.

Did they explain the vision Shorten outlined to invest in the economy for the benefit of future growth? Nope.

Or, did they simplify the economic plan down to a competition about who will get to surplus quicker, whilst not actually listening to what Shorten said, and proved yet again they are incapable of any analysis above ‘debt and deficit bad, nothing else matters, this is two horse race, it may as well be a football game with the surplus as the winning margin’ bullshit that we get served up every time a political leader opens their mouth to talk about economics, whilst criticising this plan for not including budget figures when it’s clearly not a budget, any 5 year old can see that? Yep. This is what they did.

I was listening. One statement stood out most to me and had me high-fiving the nearest person, doing a little happy dance and replaying it back a few times to get the words down to share with all of you. In case you missed it. This was the best bit:

Equality of opportunity is always good economics…A stronger economy and a fairer society. Labor’s never signed up to the false choice between growth on one hand and fairness on the other. We know that growth and fairness are not enemies nor strangers. Each depends on the other. Each reinforces the other. Fairness is not a dividend of prosperity. It is a foundation for sustainable growth.

This is the biggest idea in politics at the moment and the media completely missed it. This is what Bernie Sanders is fighting for, this is what world-famous and respected economists Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz have been talking about for years and now even the IMF and the World Bank are on board. Here we are, in little old Australia, with a political leader who gets it, and is running with it, and is advocating this as the best way forward and the Australian media JUST DON’T GET IT! Inequality is bad for the economy. Anything the government does to reduce inequality is good for the economy. Investment in education, in health, in childcare, in infrastructure, in anything that reduces inequality, IS GOOD FOR ALL OF US! A fairer society is a better economy.

While the Liberals continue to claim corporate tax cuts will trickle-down to create economic growth, and political journalists keep refusing to look at the reality of this situation, which has been comprehensively proven to be a complete and utter con, whilst also not recognising that Labor is offering something very different, they fail all of us. They continue to fail all of us.

Tonight on ABC’s 730, Turnbull said the prosperity of Australians relies on the prosperity of the business they work for. There I am, in my living room, screaming ‘tell him that is wrong Sales! Tell him the prosperity of businesses relies on the prosperity of Australian consumers!’ Alas, yet again, the opportunity was missed. Because they don’t get it.