I have a piece in Quadrant on interest groups and economic advice.
Read the whole article and see if you agree with the its conclusion, which is as follows
Business group now constitute an unlikely source of policy guidance – and their lack of finance means in any event they have very few resources to develop new approaches. Then there are trade unions and environmental activists, neither of which can offer anything other than interventions that would force down living standards, and government agencies, the universities and “think tanks”.
Today’s leadership in the reform debates largely stems from one-man-band outfits and their contributors in Quadrant, Catallaxy Files, the Spectator, the Menzies Institute as well as the Bolt Report.
Sadly, Fairfax Media and government funded institutions like the ABC are still pulling towards greater corporatism and stultifying political correctness. Much the same goes for most of the work coming out of universities. The public service, even nowadays Treasury and Productivity Commission, which in the 1980s reform era were leading advocates, have retreated from deregulation to promoting an enlarged role for government.
We can only hope the torchbearers for smaller government advocates prevail. The Trump victory, together with some promising rollbacks in Eastern Europe, offer comfort.
There is however a possibility that the tax and regulatory dependent class has now grown so large that reform involving elimination of waste and reduction of the government take from earned income is an ever-receding prospect. The futuristic novel The Mandibles portrays a US where the ‘leaners’ require 78% of GDP and form an unassailable voting block that ensures terminal economic decline.
Though government spending in Australia is presently only half that share it is proving impossible to reduce and has, in reality, been growing as a result of regulatory impositions.