A couple of years ago, TAFKAS was listening to the radio. It was the Steve Price show on 2GB and his regular evening guest was Andrew Bolt. It was the call-in part of the show.
TAFKAS can’t remember what the theme or essence of that day’s show was, but this is what TAFKAS can remember.
A woman rang up complaining that she had not been on holidays for a while. She said that taxes on high earners should be increased and her taxes cut so that she could go on a holiday. It was only fair. The caller said that those high earners would not notice a few less thousand dollars, but she certainly would.
Unsurprisingly, Bolt shot the caller down quick as a flash. But this seems to be the essence of the “fairness” debate. It’s not about Government creating the conditions so that anyone who wants to prosper can prosper. It’s about envy. Those fat cats from the big end of town have things that we don’t and it’s not fair.
It was even the essence of Dr Richard Denniss’ oped in the AFR last week when argued that it was actually good for Australia to “soak the rich”.
But here’s the thing. The further a nation goes down the “left wing” path, the harder it is to course correct. It only leads to one place – Venezuela Land.
In their 2002 research, Rafael Di Tella from Harvard and Robert MacCulloch from Princeton found evidence that:
governments in poor countries have a more left wing rhetoric than those in OECD countries.
The empirical pattern of beliefs within countries is consistent with this explanation: people who perceive corruption to be high in the country are also more likely to lean left ideologically and to declare to support a more intrusive government in economic matters.
Perhaps this works in reverse also. If you make a rich country poor (through de-industrialization and through destroying large swathes of employment and production), left wing rhetoric and policy becomes more appealing.
If only the Labor Party was more patient. They should have first gotten into Government, destroyed the economy and only then made Anthony Albanese leader.