Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Don't cry for me South Australia

By Malcolm King - posted Friday, 3 October 2014


I have a fantasy that Juan Peron takes over South Australia, gets rid of the Liberal and Labor parties and turns the Advertiser into a newspaper. I picture him and Evita on the Town Hall balcony in King William Street, addressing the crowd.

It's a lovefest. Juan's uniform, tailored by an old SS officer, is showered in Coopers Ale, Beerenberg jam and frog cakes. Our savior!

Unfortunately, Argentina's problems of the 1950s bear no relationship to what is happening in Crow Land today. South Australia's economic issues are far more serious.

Advertisement

The state's share of the national economy has shrunk over the last 24 years from 7.3 per cent in to 6.1 per cent. It currently exports just 4.3 per cent of Australia's goods and services. State GDP growth is languishing at 1.3 per cent per annum, down from 1.8 per cent in 2012/13. The economy is regressing.

Real unemployment - not the ridiculous ABS methodology - is around 12 per cent and climbing. In the some parts of Adelaide's northern suburbs, real youth unemployment is close to 40 per cent. In the southern suburbs its about 25 per cent and 20 per cent in our regional centres.

There are some parallels though between SA now and Argentina's neighbor, Uruguay, in the 1950s and 60s. Uruguay's economy boomed until just after the Korean War, due to expanding beef and wool exports. It created a strong welfare state in which the government redistributed wealth and protected workers. Think of the Don Dunstan years. Many lefties can think of nothing else.

After the Korean War, no one wanted Uruguay's beef or wool. The economy crumbled. There was mass unemployment and inflation, manufacturing collapsed. The bills went up and the standard of living dropped. The government employed one in every five working Uruguayans. Nepotism ruled. Sounds like Adelaide today.

Then came the Tupamaros – revolutionaries who were young, groovy and politically 'right on'. They robbed banks, gave money to the poor and made love with beautiful women. It's unlikely a guerilla group would ever get up in the 'City of Churches' – sleep with beautiful women? 'What's in it for me?' they'd ask.

The Tupamaros were the polar opposite of the SA legislature who in the main, are graveyard zombies straight out of Stephen King's Pet Sematary.

Advertisement

Have you ever noticed that when the fecal matter hits the fan, it's the poor who cop it in the neck? In SA they have company – the middle class. This is something new in our history.

It's also one reason why the local media is dedicated to creating external enemies (Al Qaeda, ISIS, housing trust tenants, single mothers, etc) or 'mythologies' that enforce the status quo; or stories that are so banal and absurd, you wonder whether Dada is making a comeback.

The real reason is because the elites are scared because they can see this getting terribly out of hand. We are looking as massive levels of unemployment in SA in both the working and middle class over the next 30 years, and the government has all the kinetic appeal of a Myer store window dummy.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

31 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Malcolm King works in generational workforce change. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University. He also runs a professional writing business called Republic.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Malcolm King

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 31 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy