Accommodating disruption

Craig Emerson has a column on Ideas needed for next economic growth phase. Here are, according to Emerson, “five ideas that could make a material difference to Australia’s future living standards”. He is certainly right about that, but you would think he would want to see our living standards rise rather than fall. The five:

1. A very fast train.
2. Lift the asylum seeker intake.
3. Double teachers’ salaries.
4. Increase land tax.
5. Accommodate disruptive technologies.

The support for “disruptive” technologies I find revealing. Why doesn’t he just say support the market and encourage entrepreneurial change? It’s not ideas that cause change but commercialisation of the ones that will work by the private sector. Everything else is almost inevitably waste. See the NBN and the series of Desal plants scattered around the country for recent examples.

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