5 Reasons Harry Potter could manage the economy better than Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has claimed, while introducing his economic plan, that “you can’t run the economy like Harry Potter”. It’s unclear to me exactly what he thinks this means, but I’d like to contend that Harry Potter would, in fact, do a much better job of economic management than the current LNP government, for the following reasons:
1. He takes the advice of people who have more experience than he does
Harry is many things. He is brave and kind and honest. But he’s not a strategic visionary. He achieves great things, in part, because he is guided by skilled mentors with expertise. He is mentored by Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of his time, as well as Lupin, an expert in defence against the dark arts, and Sirius, an expert in risk taking and bold moves. He listens to Hagrid when he gives him advice about dragons, he listens to Dumbledore when he leads him on the hunt for horcruxes and he listens to Arthur Weasley about the inner workings of the Ministry of Magic.
This makes him more equipped to manage our economy than Scott Morrison, who has ignored the suggestion from economic experts at the Gratton Institute to implement a shared equity scheme, instead continuing to support negative gearing and other incentives that simply support the rich to own more investment properties. Harry Potter would listen to the experts and would support Labor’s shared equity scheme, which they developed from Grattan Institute modelling in order to support low-income owners by allowing them to get into the housing market for a much lower cost, and without further driving up the cost of housing.
2. He doesn’t bow to pressure from powerful people
Harry has a history of standing up to people, from Rufus Scrimgeour to Voldemort himself. He even gave some quality sass to Snape and Umbridge, at considerable cost to his own best interests. Harry does what is right, even if it is hard. He tells the truth about Voldemort’s return, despite pressure from government and the media to retract his statements. He refuses to become a poster boy for something he doesn’t believe in.
Harry would never cater to the needs of billionaires and the coal industry. He wouldn’t make preference deals with Clive Palmer or give tax cuts to big corporations. Harry would implement fair economic policy and invest in renewable energy to protect the next generation, even if it pissed off some rich people.
Harry has seen the hoarding of wealth that occurs at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and has also seen Arthur Weasley being undervalued and underpaid in a government job. He knows that trickle-down economics doesn’t work, and he would never adopt this neoliberal mindset that underpins Scott Morrison’s decision-making.
3. He has a strong sense of justice
Harry is treated unfairly as a child, and this informs his strong sense of justice and care for the underdog. We see this when he frees Dobby, when he warns Cedric about the dragons, when he shows empathy for Merope Gaunt and even when he has mercy on Wormtail. Harry is kind and believes in helping those who need his help. Harry would never forget that his role is not to look after the economy, but to look after the people.
For this reason, he would support initiatives that create jobs, and would understand that paying job seekers a living wage so that they can get back on their feet is not just good economic management, but also the right thing to do. He would support Labor’s plan to pay superannuation to people taking parental leave, because he would want to prevent older women from becoming homeless. He would also support their call for a Royal Commission into Robo-debt, because unlike Scott Morrison, Harry would never try to automate a ‘magic’ process and forget about the real people being affected by it.
4. He is surrounded by a strong team
It’s a fact universally accepted that Ron and Harry wouldn’t have made it past the first book if it wasn’t for Hermione. Sometimes we are bolstered by those around us. Harry would be well supported to fix Australia’s economy because he would have Hermione (who used her time turner to take Arithmancy and is the brightest witch of her age) and Ron, whose working-class roots would help provide a lens of empathy through which Harry could make economic decisions.
Hermione would be far better Minister for Defence than Peter Dutton. Harry would be informed by Hermione’s strong sense of social justice, and would therefore never waste millions of taxpayer dollars holding refugees in offshore detention, when they could instead be productive members of our society. The founder of S.P.E.W would never allow this to happen. Harry would never have a trophy in his office celebrating his exclusion of a group of people from society; his muggle-born bestie would remind him of the importance of diversity.
5. He understands Gamp’s law of elemental transfiguration
That is, Harry gets that when it comes to money, you can’t make something out of nothing (well, Hermione could explain this to him at least). Harry would never think that the working class could just magic their way out of poverty, because he has grown up seeing his best mate’s family struggle financially, and not once did he suggest that they just ‘get a better job’ (fun Joe Hockey throwback) or just magically get richer.
Harry would understand that creating a strong society means investing in education, as this will prepare our next generation to continue to build our economic and social wealth. He would never do what Scott Morrison did and give an extra 10 billion to private schools while public schools were under-funded. Harry fought Voldemort, so he understands the danger of an elitist ‘Magic is Might’ mentality, and would never support a system in which wealth dictated your educational options. He would also never try to lift caps on university fees or suggest that those studying the Arts should pay more for their degrees. Harry would increase funding to higher education because, as an aspiring auror, he knows that all you need to achieve your dreams is fantastic teachers who believe in you. Hogwarts was Harry’s home, and he would make sure that the economic plan prioritised quality education for every witch and wizard.
Harry Potter, unfortunately, can not be put in charge of Australia’s economy. But Scott Morrison shouldn’t be either.