CANBERRA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia's economic growth needs to be about "inclusion and justice" to avoid the same traps as the U.S., former Prime Minister Paul Keating has warned.
Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event on Tuesday night, Keating, considered one of Australia's best economists, slammed business lobby groups that he said have become obsessed with tax cuts.
"We can see in America today what the loss of these balances means, watching the extremes of income and wealth rip at the fabric of American society," Keating told the event.
He said that Australia's political leaders were failing to keep up with globalization and the nation's economy was slipping as a result.
The rate at which technology is improving and labour markets are changing will only increase the attention Australia must pay to those who are less well-off, Keating said.
"Large percentages of the population have been able to enjoy the benefits of trade and open competition, while others have suffered the brunt of the concomitant adjustments," Keating said.
"This effect, these trends, are likely to amplify themselves as the network economy moves large chunks of commerce into automation under the stratagem of artificial intelligence.
"The productivity surges with losses in employment have to mean that management of the economy has to focus heavily on inclusion. Large bodies of people cannot be left out or be left behind."
Keating served as prime minister representing the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1991 to 1996 during which time he lead Australia through the recession of the early 1990s.
On Tuesday he fought back against comments that his government began the age of neoliberalism in Australia.
"The government at the time was committed to market reforms, but uppermost in its mind were the economic and social imperatives of inclusion and justice," he said.