Flat White

Government has never been so big – and yet so incompetent

1 October 2020

12:37 PM

1 October 2020

12:37 PM

In the history of Australia, never has government been so big and yet so incompetent in dealing with the problems that we face. 

The lost and hopeless soul of government is proving to be nothing more than an imposition on the way we live our lives, in the most intrusive way possible – lecturing us on how to look after ourselves. 

The idea of self-responsibility, in 2020, is so passé. 

Why wouldn’t it be? 

Look around at all the alarmist and, often, contradictory edicts government deploys. 

Only a table of ten allowed for a venue booking; but then you can go down the road to your local supermarket and walk wherever you like, among whomever you like, often amongst complete strangers – that is okay. 

And then the New South Wales government’s ‘COVID Safe Summer Plan’ says that beachgoers must “keep a beach towel length between you and anyone not from the same household.”

Only someone who relishes authority and control would script such a brain-dead rule 

How will this be enforced on a 45-degree day at Bondi Beach? 

Will the towel police be on horseback fining people while in the same state they will allow 40,000 people, half capacity, into the ANZ Stadium, a confined space, to watch the rugby league grand final?

I suspect that these spectators will catch public transport to the stadium precinct, go to the bathroom, queue up to grab a drink or food, pass one another in the corridor, again, all in a confined space. 

Am I the only person shaking my head? 

Mind you, the stadium should be at full capacity, 80,000 people and more. Open it up. If you believe you have medical vulnerabilities or are older and do not think it is wise to sit amongst a crowd of 80,000, then stay home. 

Billions of dollars are spent on the education of all Australians. I think we can work things out for ourselves. 

Like anything in life if you suspect there is risk, it is up to you — not the government — to assess that risk and work it out for yourself. 

Here is government, acting as if they are intellectual giants and, we, the hoi polloi, know absolutely nothing about taking care of our own health and the health of our loved ones. 

The classic example is face masks. 

In Victoria, face masks are mandatory and, being the intellectual minnow that he is, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has ordered them to still be worn all throughout summer 

Yet, ANU’s Professor of Microbiology, Peter Collignon, says, “If you have a lot of community transmission, masks make sense, but it is about five or six on the hierarchy of things which have benefits.” He goes on to say, “…masks would not have stopped Victoria’s outbreak.”

There are countless medical experts who have argued that there is no justification for restrictions, for border closures, for making masks mandatory or for fining people who go to a beach or park. 

But, governments push on and, in what can only be called brainwashing, the public seem to have surrendered to the lunacy of government. 

The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told her party room that, “Trust in the government has never been so high.” Hence why we have emails from Service NSW saying, “Having a gathering at your place? The rule is that you can invite up to 20 guests over, but we’re recommending you keep it to 10 people. If you break the rules… every visitor may be held responsible and given a $1,000 on-the-spot fine, not just the host. Remember to stay 1.5m apart, say ‘no’ to hugs, and wash your hands often.”

Do people seriously swallow this stuff? 

2020 is the year when the Liberals abandoned their traditionally held view of small government and fell into endless extravagant schemes which encroach on personal liberties and enterprise. 

The growing presence of dictatorial figures should worry us. 

This encroachment is everywhere. On the economic front, our level of welfare dependence is like never before due to JobKeeperJobSeeker and all of their first cousins. 

I am not opposed to such schemes, but I am opposed to the crippling economic conditions which government created, thereby making these schemes necessary. Let me be blunt. Governments followed one another, ripping up the economy, crippling the private sector, abandoning enterprise and, as a result, forcing people out of work. By any consideration, this is shameful stuff. 

Yet, no one in government has surrendered a single cent during any of this. 

I suspect the Federal Government’s Budget next week will be a front row seat to more interventionist style economics, a myriad of Keynesian policies and more propping up of, what are now, zombie businesses. I guess we will see more stimulus like the one-off $750 cash payment to pensioners during coronavirus, despite nothing being open to spend the money on and these pensioners are the same people who fall into the vulnerable age category, thus we are telling them to stay home. A stimulus only works if that money can re-enter the economy. Is this the best we can come up with? 

Meanwhile, Federal debt is quietly climbing to a trillion dollars. 

Before coronavirus, no Australian under the age of 45 had lived through a recession as a labour market participant and, therefore, the meaning of debt and deficit never struck a chord with these same people. Things were comfortable. 

But now, with government expansion like never before, economically, are we better off? 

Whatever the plan may be, it must encompass an attitudinal change. We must be free to prosper with our economic dignity restored. The ‘sit down and shut up’ money to workers from government needs to end. It is not brutal to argue that we must be the architects of our own futures. 

What has happened during coronavirus is that government has cultivated the view that it has all the answers and if it happens to get it wrong, which it has, government will look after us. 

We need to go back to first principles. Government has no money of its own, other than what it takes out of our pockets. 

And while we are talking about pockets, no one has a divine right to put their hand in someone else’s pocket and take what that person, by dint of personal effort, has earnt. 

If you are able-bodied and are prepared to roll your sleeves up, no one owes you a living. 

How appropriate that the British prime minister William Gladstone said well over 100 years ago“Budgets are not merely matters of arithmetic, but in a thousand ways go to the root of prosperity of individuals, and relations of classes, and the strength of kingdoms.”

Our kingdom is on life support due to the lack of knowledge by politicians which has led to decisions that, upon wider reading, cannot be justified. 

Maybe it is time we channelled the spirit of the Italians where, last week in a referendum, a majority of 70 per cent voted in favour of slashing the parliament by more than a third. 

If that happened here, may we ask, ‘cui bono’? 

The answer is, we do. 

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