We’ve heard about what under 30s should or shouldn’t eat for breakfast – but this confected ‘beltway’ baby boomer outrage deflects attention from a bigger problem – which is that those young avocado toast eaters are not getting a fair go from Parliaments which baulk at sensible spending control.
You’d have to turn your back on a lot of avocado toast to come close to tackling the public sector spending binge that has driven many Australian jurisdictions into serial debt and deficit.
Even worse, as the Menzies Research Centre Shepherd Report and 2017-18 Budget reminded us, there is a difference between good and bad debt and some of our governments are borrowing to pay the day to day ‘recurrent’ expenses – like bureaucrat wages.
This ‘bad debt’ is like borrowing money to go on an overseas holiday or pay a parking fine.
It’s one thing to borrow money (within limits) to build infrastructure or even services (like quality, effective education) which deliver economic value and financial return. Much like buying a house, investing in efficient business equipment or systems, or studying a new useable skill, ‘good debt’ will produce revenue and earnings in the future to pay back the debt and build more wealth.