Documents why austerity failed and its disastrous economic and social effects in Europe and North America and highlights why Australia should not adopt these policies. Government debt continued to increase, reduced demand intensified the recession, negative or weak growth prevailed and the private sector failed to invest. The cost of lost output, reduced wealth, mass unemployment and government intervention runs into trillions in any currency. Austerity advocates were equally committed to embedding neoliberalism in the public sector and the welfare state and reconfiguring the role of the state. Prepared for the Don Dunstan Foundation and Public Service Association of South Australia and published by the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, University of Adelaide.