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Affluent Christian Investor | August 23, 2017

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Australia’s Rejection of Kevin Rudd May Foretell Political Change in the U.S.

Kevin Rudd

With the victory of the Tony Abbott-led conservatives in Australia, we can see that the Anglosphere is now post-progressive. The English speaking nations of the world: England, New Zealand, Canada and now Australia are governed by conservatives. America stands apart from them as the sole remaining major leftist-governed power in the Anglo world.

If you’d like to throw India into the mix too, you find Manmohan Singh, who is pushing to deregulate foreign investment markets and has just appointed a monetary hawk, Raghuram Rajan, as the new head of the Reserve Bank of India . Canada entirely skipped the recent wave of progressivism which swept the Anglosphere, and under PM Stephen Harper has surpassed the United States in economic freedom. Our northern neighbor is now listed by both the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World as the most economically free nation in North America. Harper has been particularly diligent in cutting corporate taxes while the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world.

England rejected the hard-core labourite policies of Gordon Brown, putting the Tory David Cameron in power. New Zealand has a center right government in power as well. The English speaking peoples (to borrow Winston’s Churchill’s evocative phrase) tend to move in a sort of partial political sync with one another. Thatcher paved the way for Reagan, preceding him, anticipating him and inspiring him. Then we see the near simultaneous rise of Blair and Clinton, then the later hawkish Blair corresponds with Bush. Brown and Obama moved both their countries hard left in step with one another. And as of last year, England moved right under Cameron. In Australia, John Howard allied with and paralleled with his friend Bush, Russ/Gilliard tracked with Obama.

And in what could herald yet another political shift, this time back to the right, Australia just handed a decisive victory to the Liberal National Party (the Australian conservative party), and a decisive defeat to the incumbent Labour Party under Kevin Rudd. Why?

We shouldn’t over-emphasize the ideological side of this election. The incumbent party was deeply divided over a personality contest between Julia Gillard, and Rudd. Gillard was a member of Rudd’s cabinet who ousted him in a coup. Rudd then staged a counter-coup in which he came back and ousted her. On the other hand, the counter-coup helped Labor’s prospects given that Gillard had become deeply unpopular, and perceived as overly ambitious and disloyal to the likable Rudd. They party was perceived as chaotic and incompetent.

But it wasn’t all personalities, the philosophical differences were sharp. Green policies were front and center. Tax policy was important too: Abbott promised to cut business taxes. Monetary policy: Abbott argued against debasement of the Australian dollar in order to promote growth, and against competitive devaluation in foreign exchange markets. Social policy: Abbott, a practicing Roman Catholic (and former seminarian), opposed calls for same sex marriage, while Rudd argued for it, with awkward attempts to link the Bible’s opposition to homosexuality with its alleged support for slavery.

In short, their issues and our issues are quite similar and Australia may well be a portent of political change in the U.S. If not, as the U.S. lags the rest of the English speaking world in freedom, it will gradually lag the rest of that world in wealth and power.

 

Article originally published on Forbes.com.

Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.

Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.

Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.

Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.

Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.

Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest five of their seven children.

 

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