Am I the only one who wasn't totally surprised that the election debate was dull, lacking in leadership, our supposed leaders lacking in vision? What do we expect these days – it's not a reality show. It's hardly Australia's Got Talent, is it?
But there are plenty of people with ideas and drive who are trying to move the debate and the country forward. I met many of them over the weekend at the annual Australian American Leadership Dialogue and while it's all off the record, a few themes did emerge which are worth mentioning.
In Australia there is uncertainty ahead but business does not want us getting too depressed by writing off the mining boom as writing off the whole economy and country prematurely. We still have plenty of good news ahead if managed correctly. However we do have plenty of big challenges and we need to address them all – from infrastructure to restructure of the economy in general.
On the American side, it was relatively positive. The green shoots in the economy are indeed cause for encouragement. Housing and confidence are on the way up and the biggest driver of growth is the revolution in cheap energy which the nation has undergone in only five short years. And of course the technological revolution which has transformed productivity; now there's something we can learn from.
There's much much more to the story and I'll be sharing the insights learned with you in coming days and weeks but the good news is there's no need to be too despondent. The world's largest economy is doing what it does best – picking itself up and powering ahead and taking the rest of us with it.
The bad news? US politics is still toxic and they are facing another debt ceiling crisis at the end of September and even the threat of a total Government shutdown on October 1 but I'll have plenty to say on that beforehand. That's for another day to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara.
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