Talking about blaming governments, I’m reminded of the two-part documentary series on ABC1 Whitlam: The Power and the Passion which ended last Sunday.

It was pretty good as far as it went. Many of the personalities and details were there, but one overpowering fact went missing. Why?  Nobody knew about it?  We all forgot? Written out of history by the powers that be, maybe?

The main reason the Whitlam Government became so unpopular has apparently been ‘forgotten’. Was it the Khemlani affair? Nup. It was that Gough Whitlam happened to be in government when the greatest real estate bubble in history (to that point at least) burst.

Lots of people were carrying big mortgages, and it hurt. They, and businesses, all got very grumpy as unemployment increased and, as usual, instead of blaming themselves for assisting to inflate the bubble, they blamed the incumbent government for all their financial woes.

The real estate bubble caused strife all around the globe: the whole world went into recession but, if we were believe the documentary on Whitlam’s ineptness, maybe it was the Whitlam government which generated it?

Did we hear one word about the real estate bubble in Whitlam: The Power and the Passion? No. We did hear of the OPEC oil crisis, however, but the real estate bubble had vanished.

Real estate bubbles usually do become invisible as time passes. How come?  When Australia’s delayed recession eventually sets in, it will most likely be ascribed to the decline in our iron ore trade with China – despite the trillions invested in Australia’s real estate bubble dwarfing our booming mining industry.

I remember pointing to the 1972 world real estate bubble on the Longwaves list in the late 1990s.  “No, that’s not right. The early-70s recession was a result of the OPEC crisis, because there was absolutely no real estate bubble, at least in the US ”, came a rejoinder.

Lucky I’d kept a copy of Time 1 Oct 1973 about the astronomical land price bubble?

Governments may be ineffective, but it is WE who generate our own problems by not challenging the 0.1%. We’ve just got to learn to admit it.

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You say we need more funds to tackle poverty, homelessness, health, the environment, education and infrastructure? I say instituting the Henry Tax Review is a BIG step towards solving those problems.


  1. Yes, Desmond, even the lesser parties challenging the mindless Lib/Labs have little idea about how to set economies on a sound foundation. Ignorance rules, and that’s a real worry.

    Georgism, the one idea the ignorant have all pooh-poohed–because they’ve not really troubled themselves to get their heads around it–is the only social system that reconciles people and the planet. And some day, they’ll have to admit it.

  2. Who are you, Bryan Kavanagh. How is it that I have been been so ignorant of you – and your writings.

    Fear not, I shall not overwhelm you with my out-of-the blue enthusiasms.

    13 years in the Greens have cured me of that: disappointing encounters with apparently well-informed, logical people who on further acquaintance turn out to be timid, unenterprising muddle-headed creatures. My enthusiasm repulsed them and my ambition chilled their timid little hearts.

    But for the moment, I find what you write extraordinarily good.

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