The news that Australia's car manufacturing industry is doomed is a reminder that a commodity price boom is often a poisoned chalice.
The boom is now a decade old.
Over the latest 10 years the real value of household disposable income rose at an average pace of 4.2 per cent a year.
In the previous decade the annual increase was 3.4 per cent.
So material living standards, by this measure, have grown faster.
But that faster real income growth can be put down mainly to faster growth in income from wages, 6.5 per cent in the past decade versus 6.0 per cent in the previous 10 years.
The recovery from the early 1990s recession brought lower unemployment which, in turn, brought faster wages growth.
This is not to say there have been no benefits from the mining boom.
The real value of incomes would probably have been lower than they are now if not for the high exchange rate - typical of commodity price booms - making imports cheaper.
And booming mining stocks have boosted the nest-eggs of Australian investors, even though the mining sector is upwards of 80 per cent foreign-owned.
But there's been a downside.
The stronger economy has probably meant higher interest rates over the time of the boom than we would otherwise have had.
The main purpose of that was to restrict employment growth outside the mining sector, so total employment growth was not so fast it would lead to excessive wages growth.
Non-mining businesses have had their workers poached by cashed-up miners, and their competitiveness undermined by the soaring Aussie dollar.
And this does not mean just those firms competing directly with foreign businesses.
Your local plumber is competing for your cash against holiday resorts in Fiji and computer tablet makers in Taiwan.
Assessing the effect of a resources boom is not an easy when it's still going.
But the bigger question is what comes next.
Economists, in their fantasy world of theory, tend to imagine capital - the productive capacity of industry - to be like magic putty, to be moulded into whatever form is needed.
A recent example of that kind of thinking came from Victoria's agriculture minister, who suggested fruit growers hit by SPC Ardmona's closure should convert their orchards to dairies.
But the real world isn't like that.
The Ford, Holden and Toyota factories will not be converted to make solar panels or medical equipment.
That capacity, including the expertise of the workforces or those businesses, and those that supplied them, will be gone.
It's what more practically-minded economists refer to as the "hollowing out" of an economy.
Some of those practically minded economists work in the Treasury.
The 2010-11 budget papers included a lengthy discussion of "natural resource curses" and the "Dutch disease and de-industrialisation". (The Netherlands economy was battered by the North Sea oil boom in the 1970s.)
Those papers are still there on the internet, as an antidote for anyone who might thinks no one saw it coming.