Official: Australia’s living standards decimated

by DAVID FLINT – THE news that the Paris-based OECD has confirmed that Australia has suffered the biggest drop in living standards in two decades would be unknown to most Australians, including the voters in the recent Dunkley by-election. 

Nor would they be aware of the expert view that there is little hope of an early recovery. 

Australians were the world’s second-richest people. This wealth was shared more equally than in most countries. We’re now the 20th, our ranking in constant decline.

From a world leader two decades ago, we now underperform comparable countries in the OECD by close to 8 per cent.

This is not just bad luck.

This is the result of the agenda of the political class and other elites who first handed over manufacturing to Beijing, and who are now targeting both agriculture and mining.


They will never be satisfied until, as a result of their efforts, we follow Argentina into third-world status.

At Federation, Australians were, per capita, the world’s second-richest people. This wealth was shared more equally than in most countries. We are now the 20th, our ranking in constant decline.

Contrast Singapore. From an impoverished colony within living memory, Singaporeans are today more than twice as wealthy. With low taxes and widely available housing, their disposable income is double ours.

But instead of such truly crucial news, Dunkley electors and Australians at large, were informed in excruciating detail about Taylor Swift.

And how she was watched from a free place by a dancing prime minister, who then flew on a CO2-emitting RAAF jet to an exclusive concert by Katy Perry in a Melbourne billionaire’s mansion, before flying back to Sydney to decide whether to appear at Sydney’s Mardi Gras.

Nor was there much in the news about funding terrorism or the careless handing out of visas to potential supporters of terrorism and even terrorists. and The Australian Financial Review excepted, there was even less news about the collapse in living standards, a matter unconventional economist Leith Van Onslelen discussed in detail on ADH TV on the Thursday evening before the election.

The election campaign also coincided with the news, played down in the political world and much of the media, that the climate catastrophist chickens have at last come home to roost, at least in relation to our nickel industry.


As our leading geologist Ian Plimer pointed out recently on ADH TV, whenever he has asked science apologists for learned articles proving CO2 causes global warming, now “boiling”, he has never received them, not once.

Net-zero is unattainable and pointless.

The news which exposes the futility of adjusting for climate boiling, which does not exist, came from Indonesia.

It would seem that their politicians are smarter than Australia’s.

Through a clever operation of banning exports until investment was attracted into the nickel industry and by using high-quality and cheap Australian coal to produce electricity for the extensive necessary processing, the Indonesians have effectively replaced our entire nickel industry.

The major reason for ours becoming un-economic is the Albanese-Bowen policy of burdening Australia with probably the Western world’s most expensive and unreliable electricity.

That buyers will pay a so-called “green premium” for this the sort of infantile fiction pushed by Albanese and Bowen.

The reasons people buy goods or services are quality, efficient delivery and price.

When Australians realise that because of the elites’ agenda our GDP is falling towards a mere proportion of what it was, let us hope they do not seek salvation in some Juan Peron as the Argentinians did.

While electing sound people rather than career politicians, let us hope they require fundamental reform to make our politicians accountable 24/7, just as they are in Switzerland.

As Ian Plimer jokes, the best politician is a frightened politician.

In the meantime, Leith Van Onselen points to a range of factors which explain Australia’s declining living standards and associated poor labour productivity.

Australia, he says, is unique in that it pays its way in the world primarily through the sale of its fixed mineral endowment.

A drover’s dog would realise that importing huge volumes of people through immigration distributes these mineral riches among more people, resulting in reduced wealth per person.

That is exactly what the Albanese government is now doing.

In fact, Australia’s population has “ballooned” by 8.1m people (43 per cent) this century alone, with business investment, infrastructure investment and housing and hospitals failing to keep pace.


Like so many NSW and Victorian State politicians, rather than standing up to Canberra, NSW Premier Chris Minns is acting as its lackey, planning to ruin Sydney by turning vast parts into canyons of high rise slums with hopelessly congested transport, roads, schools and hospitals.

Another factor is that the Reserve Bank, having kept interest rates very low, has significantly increased them in a highly concentrated mortgage market now more sensitive to such changes.

(There was a time when, with the presence of, for example, mutually owned building societies and government-owned banks, there was some protection against Reserve Bank variations.)

Leith Van Onselen argues that the biggest cost consequence of concentrated markets is in the energy market, especially on the east coast, which operates through a cartel which exports 80 per cent of the gas.

There is little effective regulation over this and, unlike Western Australia, there is no domestic gas reservation policy requiring a certain amount of gas to be sold at fixed prices.


As we all know, we cannot depend on the much-vaunted so-called renewables, when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun is not shining.

We need a backstop. And gas has the great advantage that it can be turned on very quickly.

So without a sensible reservation policy, when the international gas price goes up, Australians’ electricity prices go up and this is why we’re seeing such massive increases in household bills.

Among other factors for our declining living standards are the amount of bracket creep in personal income tax which is not indexed, as well as the increased excise on petrol and diesel.

This is notwithstanding the specially designed cosmetic change to taxation for the by-election, which involved the Prime Minister breaking innumerable promises.PC

David Flint

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen. (courtesy The Guardian)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on March 9, 2024. Re-used with permission.

8 thoughts on “Official: Australia’s living standards decimated

  1. To potentially reduce global CO2 emissions by up to just 1%, our Minister for High Energy Prices, Chris ‘Blackouts’ Bowen and his Labor-Greens government are putting all of us through totally unnecessary personal hardship as well as costing our economy trillions of dollars; money that could be better spent reducing our cost of living as well as on critically important defence and national security materiel like drones and missiles.
    It’s all about virtue-signalling on the part of politicians and money-making when it comes to billionaire industrialists like ‘Twiggy’ Forrest.
    His rant the other day against nuclear energy proved what many of us have always thought about him – that he cares little about Australia and is only interested in increasing his own personal wealth.
    This is the man who made his money digging iron ore out of the ground to supply Communist China with what it needed and continues to need in order to build its economy. It’s no wonder he sucks up to China at every opportunity.
    He doesn’t support an alternative energy source like nuclear because it would compete with his ridiculous pipe dream plan to produce pure ‘green’ hydrogen, so he disparages it with claims that are totally false.
    According to the left-wing World Economic Forum, China is the largest producer of hydrogen globally, but less than 0.1% is produced using renewable energy sources.
    Crackpot ‘Twiggy’ thinks he can produce hydrogen – with an economic price tag – using 100% renewables!
    And, of course, the biggest joke is the fact that the greatest beneficiary of Bowen and ‘best mate’ Albanese’s net zero crusade is Communist China.
    While they lead us down the path to energy chaos, Xi Jinping just laughs at our country’s futile attempts to prove how virtuous we are in relation to what is simply a perfectly normal cyclical climate change period of mild global warming.
    Meanwhile, we are pouring millions of dollars into China’s coffers that helps their military build-up and planned goal of achieving world domination by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
    And we Australians become poorer as a result of this government’s chaotic socialist policies!

  2. We should start a GoFundMe for Noel Jones so he can pay to get his head examined – a complete crackpot! But keep it up Noel – you’re always good for a laugh!

  3. To think that during the Howard Coalition Government terms 1996 to 2007 based on OECD rankings Australia was 8th as compared to when Labor were previously in government and Australia was 13th.

    I suppose that every Australian is aware of the bans on coal, gas, uranium, oil exploration and extraction primarily imposed by the State Governments. Our abundance of natural resources places our country near the top of the global list of known natural resources.

    Soon after the worst recession for 60 years that began in 1990, Labor called it the recession we had to have trying to blame international influences, but it was mostly a home grown recession caused by the deregulation of banking and finance and lending and spending resulting that over heated the economy. Labor created no specific industry watchdog department after deregulating the banks, the Howard Government established APRA in 1998.

    I attended a budget breakfast meeting by invitation from one of the leading national accountancy firms and the guest speaker was a senior mining executive who warned that Australia was becoming unattractive to foreign investors because of government regulations, interference, land rights and sacred sites claimed by Aboriginal activists and generally roadblocks everywhere. He pointed out that it takes years to establish a new mine and begin to earn revenue, but as foreign investment disappears Australians will not notice the declining standard of living related to national prosperity for maybe a decade or two.

    Has the Lucky Country finally run out of luck that Donald Horne described as being despite politicians?

  4. Hey Flint, why have you been so quiet on your precious royal family?
    You must be aware of the utterly ridiculous farce over the dead/ divorced/ abducted Middleton, yes?
    Does it make you proud?
    Do you still think a foreign monarch is all Australia deserves?

    1. You are not an Australian Noel?

      Australia is a Constitutional (laws) Monarchy, but I won’t bother to try and explain that to you again.

      1. What, where you bare faced lie about the constitution?
        Where you somehow claim that the monarch’s representative does not answer to the monarch?
        Go, tell us a few more lies.

        1. By Sir David Smith
          Sir David Smith was Official Secretary to five Governors-General from 1973 to 1990. He was an appointed delegate to the 1998 Constitutional Convention; and a member of the No Case Committee for the 1999 Constitutional Referendum. Since his retirement he has held appointments as a Visiting Fellow in the Political Science Programme of the Research School of Social Sciences at The Australian National University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Law at The Australian National University. He is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Law at The Australian National University.

          The Queen plays an important role under our system of government as Queen of Australia, as does the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative and as the embodiment of the Crown in Australia. These separate and distinct roles are carried out without detriment to our sovereignty as a nation, and without detriment to our independence. Republicans argue that the Queen is our Head of State and that the republic would give us an Australian as Head of State. Constitutional monarchists argue that the Queen is the Sovereign and that the Governor-General is the Head of State.

          The Australian Constitution does not contain the words “Head of State”, nor was the term discussed during the constitutional debates which resulted in the drafting of the Constitution and its subsequent approval by the Australian people. In the absence of a specific provision in the Constitution, we need to see who actually performs the duties of Head of State in order to determine who is the Head of State.

          As discussed in this paper, these duties are performed by the Governor-General, and the Sovereign’s only constitutional duty is to approve the Prime Minister’s recommendation of the person to be appointed Governor-General, or, if the need should ever arise, to approve the Prime Minister’s recommendation to terminate the appointment of a Governor-General. Although the Governor-General is the Queen’s representative for the purposes of exercising the prerogatives of the Crown in Australia, when he exercises his constitutional duties as head of the executive Government of Australia he does so in his own right and not as a delegate of the Queen.

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