It’s easy for people who are - understandably - overwhelmed by the intricacies of politically contentious economic concepts to be as triumphalist as people such as the ABC’s Chris Yuleman in deriding non-mainstream economic ideas in his report on tonight’s 7:30 Report. Part of his report derided out of hand Senator Barnaby Joyce’s moronically titled “Net debt gross, public and private”. Joyce is no economic genius but Yuleman was a sheep in following the mainstream media’s universal condemnation of Joyce’s argument. The condemnation was largely due to the wording, in my opinion.
The fact is that foreign debt, incurred by both the public and private sectors, should be conflated. The only qualitative difference should be in the rate of interest paid on the debt. Just as if the government transfers, say major assets such as Telstra and Qantas, to the private sector, then privatisation means there is no change in the total level of assets in the Australian community, just a change in the distribution of wealth from the working class to those who can afford shares (minus the proportion of privatised wealth being sold to foreign interests).
So people shouldn’t dismiss ideas that are out of favour in the mainstream, especially if their derision is just a quick journalistic decision due to the wording of the exponent involved. The fields of economics and psychology are particularly susceptible to such treatment. Think for yourselves, people.