Evidence-free policy on cars

His Tel­stra term has appar­ent­ly left Zig­gy Switkows­ki with a taste for Gaullist illog­ic.

He reck­ons that the absence of a ratio­nale — oth­er than rent-seek­ing — is not fatal to a pol­i­cy that sup­ports a “diverse” indus­tri­al pat­ri­moine.

It is very hard to make a con­ven­tion­al busi­ness case for sub­sidi­s­a­tion of (or, more fash­ion­ably, co-invest­ment in) car assem­bly activ­i­ties. There are too many sub­jec­tive assump­tions with which to pop­u­late the spread­sheets. And the cal­cu­la­tions can be tor­tured or inter­pret­ed to sup­port one’s pre­ferred out­come.

How­ev­er, this is not a fatal flaw …

Extract from Car indus­try is a spe­cial case | Z. Switkows­ki in The Aus­tralian

We no longer can our own peas, knit our own socks or make steam trains either! Our indus­tri­al gene-pool is dry­ing up! Hor­reur!

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