Shaun Carney does the political sums for Kevin Rudd's government using the current future of the motor vehicle industry debate - a long-running serial in Australia.
Going back to the days of Hawke and Keating, the Productivity Commission provided the intellectual muscle for economic deregulation and those governments generally followed its advice.
Yes, they did. So in subsequent years, the argument very simply became, "we need more deregulation." Only a little bit more here, a bit more there, and we'll be OK.
It's a seductive argument all right.
The trouble is, it's undermined by common sense because it rests on an assumption that there's a single correct answer to any question and that answer is always the same. Doesn't make sense, eh?
The argument goes that without protection, we stop doing things that don't add up economically and we will specialise in the things we do well.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the answer.
Now, this mob is extremely good at what they do, of that there is no doubt.
The question is: can we, as a nation, get by on this skill set?
(*) Kris Kristofferson, it seems.