Author(s): Jim Chalmers
The book asks how a nation with the developed world's best economy has a dimmer view of its performance than some of the basket case economies of southern Europe have of their own, and how a country that escaped recession and mass unemployment despite the biggest global downturn since the Great Depression got so down on itself. It is a Labor insiders' account of politics and policy in Australia during the global financial crisis, which finds in a lethal combination of right-wing hyper-partisanship and misaligned incentives in our politics the root causes of Australia's lack of confidence and its deficit of national self-esteem. It provides a unique perspective on economics and national identity, concluding that if we don't choose a future less consumed by the poisonous politics of recent years we will squander our tremendous national advantages and momentum, and compromise our ability to tackle the socio-economic challenges of the coming decades as successfully as we have navigated those just past.
Jim Chalmers is the Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre, following a long stint as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan. He has worked for the federal Labor Party in various senior roles for more than a decade, and was a key adviser from the first day of the Rudd Government in 2007 until his departure from the Gillard Government in early 2013. Dr Chalmers has also been a senior aide to Kim Beazley and Morris Iemma, and National Research Manager for the Australian Labor Party. He has a first class honours degree in public policy from Griffith University and a PhD in political science and international relations from the Australian National University. He lives and works in Logan City to the south of Brisbane, Queensland.