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The Forum > Article Comments > Finding ways to build a better future > Comments

Finding ways to build a better future : Comments

By Graham Cooke, published 8/8/2013

The question is what, if anything, can replace mining as a main driver of Australia's future growth.

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< The question is what, if anything, can replace mining as a main driver of Australia's future growth. >

NO IT ISNíT!!

The question is; how do we go about balancing supply and demand and doing it in such a manner that it can be maintained ongoingly, so that we donít have to forever be struggling to increase economic growth?

Really Graham, this notion of yours, which is shared by practically all economists, business people and politicians, is so incredibly wrong-headed.

The key point is to GET RIGHT AWAY from this blind pursuance of never-ending rapid growth which basically means addressing the supply side of the great economic equation while doing NOTHING about the demand side, other than increasing it as well as part of our mad obsession to increase growth!

One of the fundamental necessities of building a better future is to STOP forever chasing growth and instead start chasing a balance between supply and demand, and doing it in a sustainable manner.

The winding down of the mining boom is a damn good time to start seriously thinking about this.
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 8 August 2013 10:28:58 AM
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The reality of the situation (whether here or overseas) is that capitalism has reached its use-by date! Shock. Horror!

We can't keep pumping out consumer goods to those in rich nations because their homes are already stuffed to overflowing with useless bits of blaring technology. And poor countries can't afford them!

The Capitalist Titanic is sinking and soon it will disappear beneath the surface of the real world and good riddance to it.

People are going to have to readjust to the new reality, lower their demands and expectations, perhaps grow some of their own food, drive older cars or use bikes, get used to part-time work, etc.

The dream of endless consumerism is over. Get used to it!
Posted by David G, Thursday, 8 August 2013 11:03:38 AM
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Well David G, if the Capitalist Titanic does sink, we, all except perhaps a few fools, know where it will land.

It will land four square on top of the socialist & communist models that sank to the bottom quite some time back.

What we actually need is to eradicate the ratbag green movement, & return to our natural advantage of cheap power. It really is time to cut our costs, including the huge welfare spend, & start manufacturing products from our vast resources, fueled by our own coal power. Rather than importing cars & appliances, produced with our raw materials, we have to make things ourselves.

It is time to tell oil companies & Coles & Woolworths that if they want to sell fuel in Oz, they have to refine it in Oz. If we let our refineries continue to close, when we do start harvesting our own oil reserves, we will end up exporting raw crude, & still importing our fuel.

It is time to stop exporting iron ore, & alumina. It is time to export finished cast iron, steel & aluminum products. It is time to produce, not import cheap cars & appliances.

Building more houses, or office blocks to house people doing make believe work is just a recipe for bankruptcy, not prosperity.

One last requirement to fix things, anyone who has ever studied law, or worked in the public sector, including education & health, should be banned from standing for election for anything, & from being appointed a judge or to any commission.

Shut down this career path, & people standing for office will have to have some experience in the real world..
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 8 August 2013 12:17:21 PM
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Ludwig: "The question is; how do we go about balancing supply and demand and doing it in such a manner that it can be maintained ongoingly, so that we donít have to forever be struggling to increase economic growth?"

If you are a Green, you could promote the stated wish of Bob Brown and other high profile environmentalists to adopt a totalitarian world government
Posted by Raycom, Thursday, 8 August 2013 12:59:20 PM
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Well, first and foremost, we need infrastructure.
Very rapid rail would be a very useful place to start, and can be virtually self funded by rezoning and reselling some of the resumed corridor, as new urban; logically, around intended/planned stopping points.
These brand new communities would quite massively boost the housing industry, be largely self sufficient, with the own power generation and water supply.
The latter could be a combination of tanks, recycled grey water and reliable (rechargeable) aquifers?
The NBN together with the build of rapid rail, would boost the economy and the largely languishing steel industry.
Moreover, exporting raw minerals has had its day and must be replaced by some value adding.
The latter requiring cheap energy, which can only come from Govt as the supplier of first choice.
The options include the widespread application and or manufacture of endlessly sustainable, and extraordinarily cheap biogas!
Plus or, cheaper than coal thorium and copious natural gas.
It might also include total self sufficiency in portable fuel, if we give ourselves permission to explore and exploit our own native oil reserves, regardless of where they lay!
Simply put, traditional Australian sweet light crude leaves the well head as a virtually ready to use naturally occurring diesel.
The only preparation required before use, is a little insitu chill filtering.
The lack of any real need to refine, let alone double refine, means, 75% less total carbon production, with this fuel type.
Explorers are getting all excited over the possibility of 3.5 billion barrels in central Africa?
Why not get excited over 5 billion plus barrels in the Townsville trench, or the much larger potential a little further out; or, the possibly world's largest hydrocarbon reserves to our immediate north.
Cheap energy will secure our future, not green intransigence or misinformation!
That means both dams and very local nuclear power (thorium) need to be on the table!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 8 August 2013 2:05:35 PM
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Dear Graham,

I donít understand why such eminent journalists even bother to publish on this site, when they have such a feeble grasp on how the world really works.

I spent 30 years as VP for a multi-national corporation; we held quarterly reviews of our global management, including myself. Quite frankly, had I presented such guff as yours to my president, I would have been fired on the spot.

Starting with a false premise is quite frankly, commercially infantile. << There is now general agreement among politicians, economic forecasters and business leaders that Australia's mining boom is over >>. Rubbish.

The mining and resources sectors in Australia, which are mostly global entities, have simply switched to investment phases. This means that they are currently not extracting and shipping as a priority, rather they are investing in the infrastructure needed to capitalize on volume and diversified market opportunities outside China once they are relieved of the tax burden on production.

As a reporter you have a responsibility to get at the very least, a basic grasp of economics, industries and marketing before commenting. Sometimes journalists rely heavily on plausibility; you donít even have that going for you, that makes you dangerous.

You may well drag along with you the ideologically vulnerable who will share with you their unrelated ideological tendencies, but in the end you have to stand on your own credibility.

If you canít present something a little more real, get some qualifications and experience in the topics upon which you pontificate and stop proselytizing ideaology.
Posted by spindoc, Thursday, 8 August 2013 3:39:51 PM
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