As the country grapples with its worst economic crisis since the 1930s, many are wondering what they can do to stem the damage.
The answer: learn a little bit about economic theory.
The Australian government recently released the first in a series of comprehensive textbooks, which should help guide Australians in the long run.
The textbook, entitled How to Win a Great Society, provides an in-depth look at how Australia’s social safety net works.
“I think what we need to be doing is rethinking how we’re looking at the economy and how we think about the social safety nets,” the book’s author, economist Dr. Peter Morrison, told Business Insider in an interview.
“We need to think about how the social welfare system, how we structure the social insurance system, what we’re going to do about income insecurity, and so on.”
The books are part of a broader push to modernize Australia’s welfare system after years of being mired in the Cold War, a period that saw the country’s first post-communist government fail to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population.
The country’s economic growth is largely driven by population growth, but the country also experienced massive increases in poverty rates and welfare dependency rates between 1980 and 2012, according to the OECD.
While Morrison sees the social stability that comes from a stable and thriving economy as important, the Australian government has faced growing criticism for not doing enough to combat poverty and inequality.
Morrison is not alone in his concern.
A recent study published by The Australian Institute of Economic Research (AIE) found that only about 1.7 percent of Australians are on social welfare, a figure that has been steadily declining for decades.
In the UK, the figure is only 1.3 percent.
According to the report, about 7 percent of the population lives in poverty.
The report’s authors suggest that social welfare benefits could be better targeted to the poor, but they also pointed out that there is no universal measure of poverty.
In order to prevent the erosion of social welfare support, the AIE also called for a “rebalancing” of social security benefits across the country.
They also want to see more emphasis placed on “determining what is fair” in the way welfare is awarded.
As a result, the government is introducing a number of measures to ensure that social security funds are properly distributed.
Some of the reforms include: