Mar 22, 2011

Australia’s mixed economy — why health and education reform matters

When it comes to employment, Australia's is a mixed economy dominated by one employer -- the state.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

If the most significant aspect of the current shape of our workforce is the rapid expansion of the health sector, what it also reveals is how the state is the dominant economic force in Australia.

Where health services are not directly funded by government, they’re heavily reliant on government subsidies through private health insurance or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or other mechanisms designed to cap individuals’ exposure to health costs. Even outside the state-run hospital system, the health sector is dependent on government support. It’s a hybrid industry, operated by the private sector but controlled by  government.

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2 thoughts on “Australia’s mixed economy — why health and education reform matters

  1. Gavin Moodie

    I would be interested in what ‘reforms’ Keane thinks education needs.

  2. Michael

    “By 2020, it’s possible nearly a third of all workers will be directly or indirectly paid by the state.”
    And I wonder how we will pay the wages bill?
    I like your analysis, Bernard. And I like the direction you’re heading.
    I do look forward to the discussion on how we will be able to afford a 2020 Australia that is merely extrapolated from today. Cheers, M

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