There’s nothing like a history
lesson and economic masterclass from Paul Keating, and PJK has been in
fine form at the Sydney launch of George Megalogenis’s book on
treasurers, prime ministers and economic reform, The Longest Decade.

is hard enough to get any history right, even if one was a principal
player; it is even harder to get it right when one is an observer,”
Keating said – referring to his own four and a bit years as prime minister, not the 13 years of Labor rule. What decade?

The huge reforms that occurred in the life of the Keating
government, as distinct from the Hawke-Keating government, are the ones
which have underpinned the fifteen year expansion.

  • the opening up of the labour market with the abandonment of centralised wage fixing
  • the complete opening of the product markets with the 2000 “end game” tariff cuts
  • the setting up of superannuation as the country’s only mandatory and primary savings vehicle and,
  • the turbo-charging of Australia’s capital market by the lock in of superannuation with the equities market.

Hopefully, in the end, the facts speak for themselves. The facts that is, devoid of spin of the political or journalistic kind.

Keating’s full speech is up on the site here.