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


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.


RSS 2.0

Talk it up 'Shrinkonomics'

By Dino Cesta - posted Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I’ve come to the conclusion that the world needs a new “onomics” label as a means to exhume ourselves from the current global financial and economic crisis. No, it’s not “Obamanomics”, nor “Ruddonomics”. It’s “Shrinkonomics”.

“Shrinkonomics” I define as restoring consumer confidence by using psychology to subconsciously implant into the minds of Australians the seeds of hope for economic prosperity.

The Federal Government’s panicked and war-style rhetoric in dealing with the economic crisis will do little to inspire public confidence and resurrect a deflated economy.


Australians have taken a psychological battering from the negative economic news stories transmitted into our homes. Rather than relentless gloomy rhetoric, leaders across political spectrums and the media need to somehow find a means to collectively lift Australians off shrinks’ consulting couches across the nation.

One facet of “Shrinkonomics” is where the government establishes a “war” style advisory cabinet inclusive of members across the political divide. This will require setting aside the ideologically drawn battlelines between Australia’s political combatants.

Economic downturns, including recessions, do not necessarily discriminate based on which political party is in power or their philosophical political or economic allegiances. And no one economic theory, whether it’d be Keynesian, Monetarism, or any other economic ideological prescription will offer an all encompassing cure. All can play a role in alleviating the economic ills and subsequently contribute to the next phase of economic and social prosperity.

To confront this globally induced crisis, the government should therefore leverage the knowledge, experience and wisdom of individuals with differing philosophical slants across political spectrums. This inclusiveness should particularly be the case of our former Prime Ministers and State Premiers, including the likes of John Howard, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Nick Greiner. Instead, Australia’s political system tends to have a predisposition in putting them out to political pasture.

The US has a greater level of respect and public affection for their past political leaders and puts them to more productive public use. It perhaps demonstrates a level of immaturity within Australia’s political system.

If our Prime Minster wishes to demonstrate true leadership for the nation and boost public confidence in the midst of this crisis, then there needs to be a public demonstration that the leaders of our nation are united in their endeavours to overcome this crisis. This apparently politically unpalatable proposition is the path down which we need to venture. This is what real bi-partisanship is. The present political posturing between the Prime Minister and the Opposition Coalition leader will not plant the seeds of hope for Australia’s future prosperity. Healthy debate yes, political gamesmanship no.


A second aspect of “Shrinkonomics” is demonstrating that while there’s plenty of sombre news around, we should be taking a half glass full approach rather than a half empty one.

We currently have an unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent, which also means 95.5 per cent of people are employed. We have an economy holding up better than many others, with the UK, the US and Iceland being cases in point. We have one of the soundest banking systems in the world, in which just recently all of Australia’s top four banks ranked in the top 20 of global banks. We now also have the lowest interest rates in decades which present great investment opportunities, for both businesses and consumers. And world governments are doing their best with traditional and new economic tools and levers to see us through this crisis.

So while we are inexorably linked to the fortunes of other economies, Australia, to date, appears to have weathered the storm relatively well. Moving forward, I believe there’s much to be optimistic about. We just need to be promoting the positives more actively than has recently been the case, and working more closely together to see us through this time.

  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.

5 posts so far.

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

About the Author

Dino Cesta is a freelance communicator of thoughts, opinions and ideas on politics, economic and social issues and public policy. Cofounder of the non-profit organisation Hand in Hand Arthouse, and the Newcastle Italian Film Festival, Dino graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Politics and Public Policy. You can follow Dino on View from the Obelisk or Twitter on @dinoc888

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Dino Cesta

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

Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy