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Gillard fails private sector test
(letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 27 July 2012.)

Geoff Kitney points out that Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens and Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson are “puzzled over why the public mood is so bleak when the economic indicators are so good” (“Gillard needs a mood change soon”, July 26).

One possible explanation is that most people attribute Australia’s current prosperity generally to external influences (and sound monetary policies) and regard government utterances with disdain. This is particularly true of those policies and statements regarding government interventions in and criticisms of private enterprise.

Why, many in the private sector ask, isn’t the government encouraging us instead of constantly getting on our backs?

There is a parallel in the United States, where President Barack Obama has consistently attacked “the rich” and emphasised the role of the public sector. Former Fed Reserve governor Paul Volcker ( a Democrat) acknowledges that “we have a poisonous political situation” involving “division rather than coherent policy” (“Volcker says economic arsenal is empty”, July 26) and your Washington correspondent draws attention to Obama’s failure to connect with small business (“Romney hits back over Obama’s small business gaffe”, July 26).

Gillard here and Obama there would find a less bleak situation if they recognised that the driving force in their respective economies is the private sector.

Des Moore
Institute for Private Enterprise South Yarra Vic

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