We're alright Jack. Doing fine in the lucky country. Digging up iron ore with our left hand and uranium with our right. Hell, can't dig fast enough. Building a desal plant here, rolling out an NBN there ... we're booming!
Whether we would have plummeted into the depths of hell without the cash for all, the useless buildings for every school, pink bats and whatnot, all thrown at us by the Rudd government is impossible to know with any degree of rigor, although superficial economic analysis has suggested we would have been fine. Arguably then, the Australian response to the GFC - go in early and go in hard - was over the top for our circumstances. Certainly, Australia does not suffer the economic, political and regulatory purgatory that is the US (where it all started), so common sense alone should have tempered the response here.
The ugly irony is that the one country that did not need to go in so hard or so fast did, while the countries that should have then, and still need to, haven't come to grips with macroeconomics 101: the paradox of thrift.
Contrary to a lot of bleating in the US and in Britain, very little money was thrown at trying to avert the worst ravages of the GFC in those countries. At best, the government measures were measly and useless. In the US, most of the money was thrown at propping up financial institutions, which, not unexpectedly, didn't create a single job or build anything. Both countries are now cutting and slashing like Edward Scissorhands and foregoing investment in infrastructure for recovery and future growth, thereby guaranteeing there will be none.
A lot of countries are still struggling, or will never recover fully (hell, Iceland no longer has a bank to call their own). Japan, on the downward slide for a decade prior to the GFC, continues to build stuff no one wants or needs, abandons things half way, and slides ever more.
Those with crystal balls claim that it will take ten years for the US to create the jobs lost during the GFC; just to get back to where they were in 2007.
The GFC supposedly wiped out the previous twenty years gain in wealth across the world, and even little Aussies would largely agree with that sinking feeling, thanks to our enforced superannuation funds. Bizarrely, the one area that did not by-pass Oz - the drubbing of every financial investment - is the one that Rudd, then, and now Gillard, is going to force us to risk more of our dollars. We have no control over how our money is invested, other than a tick a box, and the collective investment, prior to the GFC, was fast heading to a trillion dollars, yet Rudd/Gillard will make us risk 12% instead of the still nerve racking 9% being mandatorily stashed into a crap-shoot.
This is our security for the future, so we can all retire in self sufficiency and comfort.
America goes dark
Britain reels as austerity cuts begin
Housing woes - let the market fall
Developing nations leaving rich ones behind
The end of the tunnel
Hey, small spender
Long recovery looks like recession
Japan - the never ending decline