Offering a uniquely Australian perspective on the US Presidential election

Having a Lend

Having a Lend

Friday 11 March, 2016
Felicity Farthardly, Friday Mash’s Director of Research Services, elicits a response from this week’s focus group on one of the most controversial questions of our time ‘Does the economy matter?’
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FridayMash Focus Group

“Tell me Thelma” said Felicity “does it concern you when Australia’s economy isn’t performing well?”

“Look I do get a bit edgy sometimes” replied Thelma “especially when Malcolm or someone comes on the telly and talks about financial crises and tightening our belts but thankfully it soon seems to pass”

“Why do you think that is?” asked Felicity

“Because the independents in the Senate keep blocking the government’s financial crises” replied Wilf “If it wasn’t for them we’d all be in the poorhouse by now”

“Do you believe the recent succession of budget deficits” asked Felicity “has been a bad thing for the country?”

“Of course not” replied Charlene “budget surpluses have gone out of fashion since Howard and Costello. I think they still have them in China but only because they’re getting our iron ore on the cheap”

“But surely” suggested Felicity “there would be some advantage for us in achieving budget surpluses”

“I don’t think Italy has ever had a budget surplus” said Neville ‘and they seem to do alright. I think it’s just a question of attitude, they see deficits as merely accounting issues whereas we see them as the inevitable legacy of Treasurers like Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey

“Well I regard budget deficits as an absolute scandal” announced Greta “and I blame them on Labor and the unions. They want to have their cake and eat it and then get a refund for it at Woolies”

“Aren’t you concerned” asked Felicity “that continual budget deficits in Australia could eventually lead to a financial meltdown like Greece?”

“That’s all a myth perpetrated by politicians” said Charlene “the whole Greek thing could be solved overnight if the EU stumped up enough cash”

“But if the EU gave them the get-out-of-austerity money they’ve been demanding” asked Felicity “wouldn’t they just go and spend themselves back into it?”

“Probably” replied Neville “but that’s the way their economy works. They shouldn’t have to change their whole financial model just to suit the EU”

”But let’s be clear” said Felicity “if all governments continually ran budget deficits the world would come to a shuddering halt”

“That can’t be true” said Thelma “I think you’re confusing it with climate change


About this Series
No politician who is serious about acting in Australia’s best interests would dream of taking a key decision before first checking with Felicity Farthardly who is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading experts on the public’s political needs and attitudes. She’s the researcher who can always be relied on to ask the right questions provided she’s been briefed beforehand on the right answers

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