The issue of what is a "good economic manager" has been clouded by the hysteria of recent years and what has generally been an unquestioning dogma on what economic policy is all about. Let’s start at the end.

At a macroeconomic level, if policymakers in Australia can deliver annual GDP growth at 3%, inflation between 2-3%, an unemployment rate at 4-5%, and preside over rising living standards, this is almost perfect. It is as good as it gets. For all credible economists, this is the unquestioned, universally agreed end game for policymakers.