Archive for December, 2015

What Turnbull can’t control is the way too large army against innovation, collectively known, euphemistically, as the Public Service. Canberra of 400,000 will be supported by Turnbull’s GST tax hike and in turn the independent GBEs (government business enterprises) will prosper by obfuscation, perpetuating rule by regulation and ensuring the feather bedding continues unabated. Couple this with bloated local and state governments overseeing, as characterised by the Economist, about the tightest land use rules in the world, and you do not have the fertile ground to grow anything. Trouble is we seem to love having our big bureaucratic security blanket, grumble about all the wasting idiocy of it but won’t be rid of it. Good luck Australia.

Cultures are not all equal. We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.”

I disagree. Cultures are of course different but to quantify them into some sort of ranking is, with respect, a task that would require so many subjective judgments as to be practically impossible.

Few would be ahead of me in a yearning for a truly free society based on the rule of law with private property rights as one of the other bedrock principles to which we should aspire to in the pursuit of happiness and social harmony. I disagree with superstitious beliefs of any stripe, these beliefs teach people not to think. I am vehemently against the death penalty.

But to the point, free speech in mind, your statement would have been acceptable to me were it framed thus;

‘Cultures are not all equal. We should be ready to proclaim the (UN recognised) principles that have been shown to produce the best outcomes for the citizenry of countries that embrace the rule of law, including punishments for criminals commensurate with the proven crime.”

Claiming that a whole culture is superior to another is to raise many unanswerable questions, for example is it the culture that imparts judicial fairness or is it more of a learnt fact of life? After all our ‘culture’ used to kill in the name of a god. Too much depends on interpretation and in any case whose culture is it? Are the principles that we would espouse those of ‘culture’ or of practical law?

As you know I am involved in trying to revive General Aviation. Those of us in the industry see the decline of GA as a significant failure of government policy. Governance is, in my view, far more complex than can be entertained in the term ‘culture’, whatever culture means, perhaps very different things to different people.

You make a good point that government seems to be talking much about increasing revenue by increasing taxation, but little about reducing spending. I agree wholeheartedly with your consideration in this respect. It seems to me that we are hampered by the view that as subjects of the Crown we look to government as the superior being. Certainly in law as I understand it, we cannot truly own real estate because all is owned by the Crown. We can hold land ‘freely’, therefore freehold but this can be reversed at any time by law enacted in the name of the Crown. This might be called a cultural impediment to society achieving individual freedom because of this mindset that government is rightly the overarching power beyond that of individuals. This mindset goes to explain the living of 400,000 Canberra citizens living on a former sheep station many of whom are engaged in maintaining or growing the power of the so-called government business enterprises, GBEs that are certainly not businesses nor enterprising except in ways to accumulate more power and money. GBEs are monopolies not even subject to the Public Service rules and have become self serving and hugely expensive to both taxpayer and the industries they are supposed to serve.
Without fail they regulate to the nth degree so much so that we are now ruled by regulation and regulatory bodies rather than by law. Over regulation is costing our democracy dearly and we would be well advised to examine the direct and indirect costs to us all before we proclaim our cultural superiority.

Thanking you for your stimulating opinions and the great work of IPA.

Kind regards,

Sandy Reith