In Australia’s case, on all generally accepted measures of development—economic size, per capita GDP, literacy, life expectancy—Australia qualifies as an affluent Western, educated, industrialised democracy. Moreover, it’s getting its own nuclear submarine capability. What’s not to like? Often, it’s the slower, deeper trends and behaviours that shape our future more than the fast-changing, ephemeral items that compete for our attention in the news and social media. Let’s consider a few that may constrain Australia’s posture and ability to compete.