We were told that this was a boring campaign contested by unremarkable rivals who could not or would not concentrate on real political issues.We were also told that this was an election characterised by substantial convergence on policy and stances. It was true, of course. And yet this was also an election fought by two resilient rivals over essentially incompatible visions for Australia: one envisages a country primarily based on mineral extraction; the other aims to diversify its productive capacities. Taxing resource extraction promotes high added value production; not taxing it depresses high added value production. We could call them the Norway and Saudi Arabia models – both rely on resource extraction but tax profits differently. This contradiction has both geographical and generational elements: geographically, it is a contradiction between peripheries and industrial cores; generationally, it pits those who rely primarily on their investments against those who rely on their salary. I find the contradiction between rent and production compelling, not boring.
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