Australians are now reaping the economic fruits of two decades of reform and structural change. But they are being asked to turn their backs on egalitarian values once considered untouchable. This article examines key changes and applies two tests: first, could Australia have achieved broadly the same economic benefits with less equity sacrifice; and, second, did the shift in policy values towards individualism and materialism adequately reflect the community's own preferences and priorities? The article suggests that the economic and social policy revolution of the last two decades does not fully meet these tests. The policy trade-offs could have been managed better.
|Australian Journal of Public Administration
|Published - 2004