Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

been accomplished in certain aspects. In particular, a critical 
analysis of the Australian public debt, with reference to its 
reproductive capacity, both absolute and in relation to the 
public debts of countries in a similar stage of development, is 
urgently needed ; and until such a survey is made it is difficult 
to compute the extent to which the burden of overseas debt is 
being felt by the community as a whole. An attempt will be 
made in the later chapters of this book to indicate the tendencies 
shown by national productivity in relation to the increasing 
interest burden; but the statistical analysis of the effects of 
loan expenditure, of the relative weight of indebtedness in the 
different states, of the incidence of that burden upon the factors 
of production, and of the effects upon distribution of income, 
comprises a task for the co-operative effort of experts spread 
over a term of years. Until that task is completed dubious 
sstimates of ‘untapped’ taxable capacity, and of the rapidity 
with which the public debt might be extinguished, must remain 
largely in the realm of conjecture. But it is obviously the bed- 
rock of any investigation into the effect of borrowing upon 
productive efficiency, and upon prosperity in general.

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