AUSTRALIAN INSIGHTS

I flew from Athens to Milan yesterday. I had the good fortune to be seated next to a woman of beauty and intelligence. She was from Australia.

The young lady is a public servant. Civil Service type for the Australian government.

I obtained significant insight from our chat.

From the 1990s into the early 2000s, Australia was on the verge of an economic crisis. Jobs and cash flow were needed. The two political parties running the government got together. They passed laws appropriating monies for infrastructure. Jobs were created, money flowed. The stimulus plan worked. A financial crisis was avoided.

Note that the two Australian political parties worked together. Politics in Australia is as adversarial as in the United States. However, when the chips were down, the parties joined together to do the necessary.

The United States needs an infrastructure stimulus program. Obama pushes it. The Republicans reject the idea. When will country over politics reign in the United States?

Australia biggest export customer is China. They export more goods to China than any other country. China needs everything. They are buying. Australia imports Chinese goods, also.

Obviously, no balance of trade problem between Australia and China.

Why does the United States have one and not Australia? What is the United States doing wrong with regard to its China trade policies? Why can’t the United States and China work together as Australia and China are?

Australia did not experience the bank problem we have had in recent years. The reason is that Australia required the banks to have more liquidity. Higher surpluses and reserves.

United States banks have not been held to the same high standard as the Australian banks. Probably because Australia’s leaders are less prone to favor banks over the electorate. I have a feeling corporate/banking lobbyists do not have the same influence in Australia that they do in the United States.

It is interesting that a democratic nation similar to that of the United States appears to operate more intelligently and effectively where economics are concerned. Perhaps it is the air they breath on the other side of the world.

I was shot when I arrived in Novara late yesterday afternoon. First time I have really been tired this trip. I was in bed asleep at 7. Woke at 4. Stayed in bed till 6. Feel a hell of a lot better this morning.

I have started working on next week’s KONK Life column. The Beggars of Athens. From Diogenes to present day. Guaranteed interesting!

Enjoy your day!

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