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Synopsis

We think we are the lucky country, but what we really have is dumb luck – too much luck, more than we know what to do with.

In Too Much Luck, Paul Cleary shows how the resource boom, which seems a blessing, could well become a curse.

We have never seen a boom quite like this one. Under-taxed and under-regulated, multinational companies are making colossal profits by selling off non-renewable resources. New projects are being rushed through weekly, but who is looking out for the public interest? As the boom accelerates, it will drive the dollar higher and higher, and force up the cost of doing business for everyone else. Industries that involve many jobs, such as tourism and education, will fade away. What happens if commodity prices suddenly collapse, as they have in the past? Or worse, when the resources run out?

Many countries before us have been caught by the resource trap: a heady period of boom and growth, followed by a painful bust. Paul Cleary maps out the pitfalls, counts the human and environmental costs, shows what has worked overseas and suggests a better way forward – one which would turn this one-off windfall into a lasting legacy.

Shortlisted, 2012 Queensland Literary Awards

‘Paul Cleary argues that the resources boom is being classically mismanaged, indicting both federal and state governments for failing to regulate and tax properly the multinational corporations flocking to Australia to extract nonrenewable resources … [a] fierce, concise book.’ —William Finnigan, New Yorker

‘A timely and provocative analysis of some of the risks and opportunities associated with the present resources boom.’ —the Monthly

‘A powerful and passionate case for more sophisticated management of our mineral wealth.’ —Canberra Times

‘A rousing and and valuable wake-up call that every Australian should read.’ —Fiona Capp, Saturday Age.

‘This may be the most distressing book you read all year’ —Sydney Morning Herald

‘A very timely and important book.’ —Australian Options

Paul Cleary is a prominent Australian journalist who has documented the politics and economics of resource extraction for more than a decade. He served as an adviser to the government of East Timor on resource-sector governance and negotiations, and has a doctorate from the Australian National University. He is the author of Too Much Luck, Mine-Field and Trillion Dollar Baby.

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