Friday, July 27, 2007

Bracks resigns ! Goodbye one thieving bureaucrat.. Hello another.

Steve Bracks has resigned for that oft-used reason - "family reasons". Whilst Steve was a fairly well spoken, polite and civilized man, I have nothing but contempt and disgust for his professional record as Premier of Victoria since 1999.

Somehow, the ALP got elected because of Jeff Kennett's so called arrogance and accountability issues. Since then, the ALP has spent tens of millions on its own advertising campaigns, on private jets and five-star hotels, on dozens of committees and investigations and reports and media monitoring groups, and has managed to grow the size of government into an absolute leviathan whose tentacles intrude into our lives more than ever.

The roads are patrolled and regulated at a ridiculous level now, where doing 43km/hr in some zones is a crime. The size of the public sector has doubled, and the number of people who work for the government apparatus at one level or another has surged. This creates a massive class of rent-seekers who depend on a big government that will continue to pour billions of dollars, at an ever increasing rate, into their clumsy and inefficient bureaucracies. At election time, this makes it very difficult for a small party that promises to restore liberty, property rights and reduce spending, because there are literally hundreds of thousands of individuals who receive privilege from the system the ALP has created. Public teachers, politicians, economists, police and traffic enforcement, policy advisers, public transport workers, hospital staff and nurses.

All of these jobs are not created out of thin air. They are certainly not driven by market demand though. They are created artificially by the stroke of a politician's pen, who seeks to gain publicity and win re-election. They are paid for by every tax-payer, and the cost massively outweighs the benefits of those jobs created. The tax system, after paying for massive administration costs (the ATO is 4 times the Australian Army in personnel, Centrelink is probably 20 times), distributes some money to what we believe are important jobs - police, firefighters, teachers and nurses.

But so much wealth is destroyed in the process, the result is a net loss. More jobs, higher salaries and better value would be provided by free markets and private firms than the status quo. We would have better hospitals in many ways. They would manage costs instead of gladly spending their annual budget. They would recruit only the amount of staff needed to serve patients, but they would recruit enough staff to serve and treat patients who approach them. Hospitals would compete against each other in terms of providing higher standards, and undercut each other to deliver best prices. The same applies for any complex institution, such as nursing homes, schools, tertiary institutes, police departments and emergency rescue services.

But we never got to see this benign market mechanisms work. People are barely allowed to keep enough of their incomes, property and wealth to pay for the basics - cars, food, clothes and energy. As we can see, the costs of energy are set to skyrocket thanks to the governments socialist environmental policy which has stopped private firms from increasing the supply of dams, drinking water, nuclear stations and cheap electricity.

Bracks never offered a single tax cut until this year when he made a token cut on stamp duty rates. The amount of GST collected and given to the Victorian government to spend has skyrocketed, and spend they did.

This is a textbook example of why big government doesn't work. This is what happens in times when the economy has been booming. Do we really see the slightest improvement in standards in police, health and education ? Or have we created an army of public servants who depend on the state to continue spending big budgets into "the system" ?

Private school teachers and private hospital staff have to earn their money. They must meet the demands of parents and patients respectively, in order to earn their salaries. Public sector employees only need to lobby the media, lobby political parties and convince enough people to vote for a party which will continue to throw money in their direction, no questions asked.

Forget the spin that the politicians put. The Liberal party doesn't fare much better than the ALP. Its not about good government, clever politicians or wise management by government at all. Its about the very size and scope of government itself. If the mechanisms of socialist government, big budgets and heavy regulation worked, our public transport would be punctual and not overcrowded, as well as not running unneeded empty services at night, our hospitals would be cutting costs and improving standards, our schools would be innovating and managing costs too, ambulance and police response times would have improved, and there would be no issues for households to obtain cheap and abundant water and energy.

Bracks has destroyed wealth for 8 years. The Liberals refuse to identify the problems with big government. So the only choice is to support the party of small government - the LDP.