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In recent decades, the Australian economy has undergone significant structural changes as the manufacturing and agricultural industries have declined and services industries have taken their place. Simultaneously, Australia has been divided into two countries, with one comprised of the elites and the other of mainstream Australians. These shifts, both economic and cultural, have undermined the Australian way of life.

This paper introduces the framework of ‘Talkers’ and ‘Doers’ and explores how the rise of the Talking class has changed the structure of Australia’s society and economy. It establishes a new theoretical framework to explain the relationship between the rise of the Talking class and declining productivity in recent years, and provides empirical evidence of this relationship in Australia.

Talkers are those who are not directly involved in the production of goods or services, who oversee companies or organisations at a high level, or who literally talk for a living. Doers are those who are directly involved in the production of goods and services, along with those who are very closely related to this production process.

The rise of the Talking class is not a benign shift, or a necessary component of the services-based, knowledge economy. The rise of the Talking class has reduced Australia’s productive capacity and come at a significant economic and social cost.

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