Australia once wanted its allies to commit to full employment — what happened?

I want to tell you a quick story.

It’s about a federal government that had to rebuild its economy after a crisis.

The government knew its job would be easier if it worked with other countries.

It also had support from the voting public, which was happy to rebuild the economy on a different model because the pre-crisis economy was plagued with problems.

I like this story because it’s true.

And it reminds us the current way of interacting with the global community is never the only way to behave.

So let’s travel back in time.

An international plan for ‘full employment’

For the past two weeks, I’ve been writing about the way economic ideas from British economist John Maynard Keynes arrived in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s.

Here’s the first piece, and here’s the second.

Keynes’s ideas were put into practice by Australian policymakers during World War II (1939-1945).

They helped Australia use every available resource to fight the fascist regimes of…

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