When I left for the States in 1976, Australia had 15 million citizens who enjoyed the ninth highest per capita income in the world. The nation’s wool, meat, and wheat provided the largest share of export earnings followed by mineral ores and coal, both of which were firmly controlled by multinational corporations.
Today the population is 25 million and Australia is fifth in the world rankings of Gross National Income per person (the US is eighth). Minerals and carbon-based fuels dominate export earnings, just ahead of tourism and educating foreign students, while agricultural production has shrunk due to competition from low-wage regions of the globalized economy. Global finance, meanwhile, has moved in, led by Goldman Sachs and American Express, and so have the internet behemoths Google, Facebook, and eBay. All these mega corporations are expert tax avoiders, though none surpass News Corp, the propaganda empire run by Rupert Murdoch, who has dudded his fellow Australians out of untold millions in taxes.