In the 19th century, Australians had the highest standard of living in the world.
The Tragedy of Government and Administration in
By the early 20th century, the Americans lived better but the Europeans and Japanese were still a long way behind.
By 1945, the Americans were still ahead but Europe was in ruins and Japan devastated. From Australia's bounty it helped bail out Britain and doled out aid all around the world.
Forty years later, how things have changed.
For many years, Australia has been going downhill relative to other old rich and even some newly-rich countries. The economy has failed to diversify and mature, trade has slipped, debts have grown and Australia's future economic stability is uncertain.
Now it is only vast financial support from overseas that enables Australia to maintain its living standards.