Time to start talking up the Wagga economy: opinion

IT WAS the three-word campaign slogan credited with changing the countours of an election campaign.

“The economy, stupid”, used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign against George Bush, has become a snowclone repeated often in election campaigns. Its power is in its simplicity, and its political truth.

The phrase holds even more resonance today, quarter of a century after Clinton’s historic victory.

The other swirling political debates in Australia – gay marriage, climate change, leadership tussles and others – are mere atmospherics compared to the state of the economy.

What matters to people, especially in an increasingly selfish and materialistic society, is how much money they have leftover every week. It’s a point worth remembering out here in far-flung Griffith.

The media – and almost every single newspaper is guilty of this – so often fixates on the negative; the fatal car crashes, the crime, the council scandals.

Rarely do we celebrate the resilience of the local economy.

We should never forget Griffith and the surrounding region remains a relative island of calm and prosperity compared to many parts of the globe.

The economy is propped up by government jobs and our housing affordability is far stronger than the major cities.

Our wealth has always ridden on the back of the farming and business sectors, and both are in a promising place.

A report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, released last week, predicted the nation’s broadacre farmers were about to enter a golden period – the best season in two decades.

An exceptional spring, a bumper grain harvest and soaring livestock prices have pushed Australia’s anticipated average broadacre farm income to $216,000 for this financial year.

Confidence is the crankshaft of a healthy economy. But consumer positivity is the most powerful currency, and we have plenty to be positive about.

It’s certainly time we started to recognise our strengths and realise we can continue to build on the solid economy we have. It’s essential we do this. If city’s like Griffith don’t have confidence in themselves then why would other businesses want to come to town?


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