Australia 2.0

Welcome to Australia 2.0.  Where the government will give you everything you want in exchange for everything you have.  Ok.  That’s only half true.  The government will take everything you have and give you what it wants from what is left.

This brings to mind the 1939 observation of Albert Nock :

like all predatory or parasitic institutions, (Government’s) first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity.

Labor or Coalition.  There is no longer a fundamental difference.  The direction is the same, it is only the speed that varies.

John Roskam wrote a great, but sadly too accurate piece in the AFR today:

In essence, Labor and the Coalition accept an ever-increasing role for the government in the economy and in people’s lives. While Labor is proposing the part-nationalisation of the salaries of childcare workers, the Coalition wants to part-nationalise lending for residential property.

Significantly, at this election neither Labor or the Coalition are suggesting there’s any area of public or private activity in which there should be less government intervention. Similarly, the idea the role and responsibililities of federal, state and local government should be clearly delineated has gone out the window. All politics might be local, but when federal politicians start promising the replacement of cricket pitches on local council sports grounds its time to ask whether the concept of federalism needs to be reconceived.

Taking their lead from New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who recently said

(there is) plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.

both major parties will make sure to take from the wrong and give to the right.  You can see it in the language.  They fund schools and hospitals and roads.  To hell with students, parents, patients and citizens.

In his wonderfully eloquent obituary to Bob Hawke, Troy Bramston wrote:

The economic reforms were groundbreaking: the float of the dollar, deregulating the financial system, slashing tariffs, introducing universal superannuation, overhauling the tax system with big reductions in company and personal tax rates, and privatising assets. These changes laid the basis for three decades of economic growth. The budget was structurally repaired, and spending cut in real terms, which produced four surpluses — the first since the 1950s. An Accord with unions moderated wage claims in return for social wage benefits.

This is election has highlighted the new normal in Australia.  And it is not pretty.  In this new normal, reform is not about privatisation but nationalisation.  It is not about tax cuts but tax hikes.  It is not about spending cuts but spending rises.  The definition of reform has taken a new meaning.

If Bill Shorten wants to be the heir apparent to Hawke and Chris Bowen wants to be the heir apparent to Keating, they need to first read some history, because they are currently on track to be their heirs to Gough Whitlam and Jim Cairns.

But that’s ok.  Scott Morrison is not really the heir apparent to John Howard but more accurately to Graham Richardson … whatever it takes.  Whatever it takes.

Elections used to be about change.  Whomever wins tomorrow, there will be no change, there will be the same at different speeds.

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25 Responses to Australia 2.0

  1. Behind Enemy Lines

    Australia 2.0
    Posted on 2:25 pm, May 17, 2019 by The Artist Formerly Known As Spartacus

    This is election has highlighted the new normal in Australia. And it is not pretty.

    Truer words never written.

  2. Pyrmonter

    Significantly, at this election neither Labor or the Coalition are suggesting there’s any area of public or private activity in which there should be less government intervention.

    This simply isn’t true. The Coalition is proposing tax cuts that reverse a measure of past and expected bracket-creep. It isn’t much – far less than this fan of Fightback! wishes – but it’s a full length better than is on offer from Shorten, whose policy proposals have about them the sense of a simple social choice exercises: without anyone mentioning that ‘voting yourself someone else’s money’ involves shrinking the pie.

    My enthusiasm for them has dimmed; there are many problems with the personnel, and those problems are neither unique to, nor will be solved by, factional combat; but the Coalition are the best available viable option for government; leavened by LibDems in the Senate they might yet improve.

  3. Some History

    Unfortunately, that’s a reasonable appraisal.

  4. Infidel Tiger

    In essence, Labor and the Coalition accept an ever-increasing role for the government in the economy and in people’s lives.

    Hard to be critical of this.

    The people are demanding more and more government. Both parties are listening.

  5. Tim Neilson

    big reductions in company and personal tax rates

    True, but the tradeoff was a substantial broadening of the tax base including but not limited to CGT.

    I’m not passing judgement about whether the overall result was good or bad, just pointing out that Hawke (and even more so Keating) shouldn’t be lauded as some sort of friend of civil liberties.

  6. Fred

    The Hawke & Keating governments reduced the company tax rate from 49% in 1988 to 33% in 1993.

    The Liberals should have been hammering Labor about that every day of the election campaign, instead they are mute about Labors claim of an $80 billion giveaway to big business and multinationals.

  7. Bear Necessities

    Hard to be critical of this.

    The people are demanding more and more government. Both parties are listening.

    Factcheck: True.

    Even after all the government failures, inefficiencies, corruption most will still vote for a big gov party. People complain that they aren’t getting ahead. The irony is that they are voting for people who are actively trying to stop that occurring.

  8. Entropy

    I just had a Friday lunch with a bunch of my junior staff. It’s true. Moar Government is regarded as the solution. Also, Twitter is truth if it has a blue verified tick. Much more truthful than the Courier Mail. Not a high bar, admittedly.

  9. min

    when many think that the government can control the climate how do you argue against this belief?
    Moreover, considering that at the same age as my granddaughter , we had a mortgage and our first house how can she? She is a doctor ,a resident, works long hours and half her salary goes in tax and HECs . She has to run acar to get to work , no public transport and still at home to help save.
    I still think we did it a lot tougher back in the 60s made my clothes and the kids, curtains bedspreads etc and did not go out .

  10. Beachcomber

    The people are demanding more and more government.

    This is the dominant, insistent public discourse in Australia as driven by the Marxist Stream Media and eduction system. The media in Australia have not been exposed as the corrupt leftist partisans they are. We need a Trump or Orban or Bolsanoro, or a Brexit, to do this. Until that happens we will continue down the road to Venezuela.

  11. duncanm

    A depressingly correct summation.

  12. Squirrel

    “This is election has highlighted the new normal in Australia. ”

    Sadly true.

    Neither side is offering economically sustainable policies, so for the future of the nation, a modest Labor win which limits their scope to claim a strong mandate and steamroll the Senate, whilst still being held accountable by the punters for all the pigeons likely to come home to roost in coming years, and for the failure of their policies to stop droughts etc., might be a good outcome. Even better if the Coalition spends its next stint in opposition somewhat more usefully – from a policy development perspective – than its last.

  13. Roger

    Whomever wins tomorrow, there will be no change, there will be the same at different speeds.

    You’re clearly not familiar with Labor’s social and gender policies and promises to further curtail freedom of religion and speech, to the point of preventing religious schools from teaching traditional sexual ethics.

    Neither, it seems, are most voters.

    If Labor are elected tomorrow, Australia will be sleepwalking into a cultural Marxist dystopia.

  14. Percy Popinjay

    t an ever-increasing role for the government in the economy and in people’s lives.

    If you are not resisting this with every fibre of your being, you are a parasitic z-grade quisling dirtbag and very much part of the problem.

  15. Everyone has a moral duty to utterly minimise their net tax liability.

  16. Karabar

    “The people are demanding more and more government. Both parties are listening.”

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken

  17. Dr Fred Lenin

    We must form a resistance ,like the decromats did in the USA against Trump . Our resistance will be mch more effective than theirs ,we wont have any communists or gangrenes in it ,only sensible people ,we can white ant the global communist plotters ,doesnt take much to improve on them . We can all it u.n.exit,getting out of the u.n. plot b defunding them entirely ,no OPM no socialists
    UNEXIT RULES !

  18. Leo G

    The people– but only those to whom the respective parties listen- are demanding more and more government. Both parties are listening.
    FTFY

  19. Megan

    I wandered off to do my early voting duty yesterday afternoon and I have to say it was, without any doubt whatsoever, the most depressing vote I have ever been compelled to make.

    For all the reasons given above and then some. The cloud of terminally dumb is expanding exponentially.

  20. Leo G

    Everyone has a moral duty to utterly minimise their net tax liability.

    Net taxes are taxes on production less subsidies received, which takes into account transfer payments (transfer payments being redistribution of income, wealth or services made without receipt of corresponding goods or services).

  21. JohnL

    The best you can say about Bob Hawke is that he was a very good drinker.
    You can not say even that in praise of present leaders – on both sides.

  22. classical_hero

    https://youtu.be/chFaesfO7fQ

    The Simpsons are accurate again, even if they are talking about the US political system. Another quote I like from that episode is: No matter which way you vote for the planet is doomed.

    Well it will be limited to our country, no matter what the alarmists say.

  23. Jonesy

    If Shorten does win, can Australia survive the ensuing rising tide of extreme leftist violence against ANY perceived conservative? First eggs, now stabbings!

  24. Iampeter

    The government will take everything you have and give you what it wants from what is left.

    I take it from the tone of your post you oppose this? I ask because you don’t really say. You never really say anything clearly.
    I assume you must’ve now agreed that tech companies should have the right to ban whoever they want and that people should be able to move and live where they like and that trade shouldn’t be restricted, etc?
    I mean, since you’re opposing the government running our affairs completely.

    Labor or Coalition. There is no longer a fundamental difference. The direction is the same, it is only the speed that varies.

    That’s pretty much all I ever post about here and get a lot of hate for it.
    I wonder if you actually know what a difference to both Labor and Coalition would look like, or if you’re just saying boilerplate stuff that everyone knows doesn’t actually mean anything.
    Pretty sure if you understood what that difference was, you would go running back to the Coalition at full speed. You like things exactly as they are, with maybe a few minor fiddles.

    Elections used to be about change. Whomever wins tomorrow, there will be no change, there will be the same at different speeds.

    Deep stuff.

    Here’s a fun question: what do YOU propose a government should look like in Australia 2.0 and why?

    How much do you want to bet that whatever answer you give it will amount to something best summed up as, “the government will give you everything you want in exchange for everything you have.”

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