Amplifying a theme raised by me and others in previous posts, I have an article in the November edition of Quadrant which is now on-line. At its basic, it shows how the way we have configured democracy brings an automatic expander in the size of the regulatory/redistributionist features of government, thus sapping nations’ abilities to increase living standards.
Peter Smith draws from it and expands the theme in an online article this morning. A cynic (and God knows they have much to justify their pessimism) would argue that the political parties have little separating them as far as fostering rather than consuming and reducing the nation’s wealth. Tony Abbott is apparently today signalling some movement towards a less wholehearted redistribution and wealth-sapping political approach. But actions in this direction, especially if specified well in advance, suffer from the normal disadvantage of alerting the losers to a diminution of their loot while not offering enough for the winners. The cure seems to require an obvious picture of decay, as in Soviet era Eastern Europe. However our experience since the velvet revolutions (and the Thatcher/Reagan reforms) indicate such radical reforms quickly regress into more milking of the beneficient producers.