Regular readers of this blog know that one of its non-food interests is the continuing train-wreck that is Fairfax economics columnist Jessica Irvine. To bring newcomers up to speed, Irvine is a woman for whom no experience from losing weight (it’s, like, really hard!) to planning a wedding (it’s , like, really expensive!) goes untapped in her attempt to explain the world to us mere mortal readers through the prism of Irvine-nomics.
Today, however, she’s published her most revealing column yet. It’s not about her latest “it’s happening to me so it must be important!” drama (choosing a puppy is, like, difficult! They’re all so cute!) so much as it is a furious rant, written with all the smug self-righteousness of a high school newspaper essay about injustice and human rights and curfews.
Only in Irvine-world, it is in fact we who are the teenagers:
I’ve figured it out. I’ve figured out how Australia’s economic vital signs can be so good – low joblessness, low inflation, trend growth – and yet Australians can remain so resolutely miserable.
Consumer confidence figures out this week confirm Australian consumers remain in the doldrums, with sentiment lifting just 0.8 per cent to remain below its historical average, despite a supersized interest rate cut and a federal budget promising goodies for middle- and low-income families.
A separate survey by Boston Consulting Group found sentiment in Australia ranks even lower than that of some crisis-torn and debt-riddled European countries.
There can be only one answer: we are, as a nation, chucking a full-on, all-screaming, all-door-slamming teenage temper tantrum…
Outside a Greater Union multiplex, it’s difficult to find so much projection. Now the mere fact that a lefty economics writer for a newspaper group like Fairfax should see the electorate as a bunch of petulant children who need to suck it up and do what they’re told because she and the Labor government know best is not surprising.
This is funny because for quite some time, Irvine, her stablemate Ross Gittins, and the rest of the Left have been telling us that money doesn’t buy happiness and that our consumerism is killing ourselves, our communities, and the planet.
Yet when middle-class Australians finally get the message, stop buying McMansions and plasma TVs, and put away the credit cards to save for a rainy day, Irvine spits the dummy, runs upstairs screaming “I wish I was never born in this stupid bogan country!” and slams the door so she can post a lot of frowny-faces on her Facebook timeline.
So you hear that people? Get out there and spend, and get those consumer confidence numbers up! This Labor government ain’t gonna save itself, you know!