The Western Lines

August 20, 2008

Craig Emerson speaks

Filed under: Uncategorized — ralphbuttigieg @ 6:58 am

The Hawke/Keating Labor government was fortunate in having a several free market reformers. They privatized Qantas and the Commonwealth bank, deregulated the dollar and generally tried to make Australia more competitive. The Rudd government seems to have very few. They seem much more interested in protection and anti-competitive regulation. (think Fuelwatch). However they do seem to have at least one, Small Business Minister Craig Emerson.

But now mysticism and superstition are making a comeback. Their revival began in the ’80s with attacks on economic rationalism. Rational economic thinking was condemned in favour of economic irrationalism: ongoing protectionism, deficit financing by printing money, maintaining airlines and banks in public ownership and expanding the role of the state in the commercial world through clever devices such as WA Inc and the Tricontinental merchant bank.

By the ’90s, economic irrationalists had declared competition as the new heresy, attacking the Keating government’s National Competition Policy which is estimated to have increased household incomes by $3500 per annum. Twenty-first century mysticism and superstition is finding expression in the big environmental debates. Deep green extremists yearn for a return to a pre-industrial society, before the Enlightenment when faith and dogma prevailed over rational thinking and evidence-based science. In this gentle agrarian society (absent environmentally destructive hard-hoofed farm animals), human beings are tolerated, as long as they leave no carbon footprint. These deep-green crusaders have declared their opposition to coalmining even if emerging technologies were to reduce its emissions to zero, since coal is regarded as an ugly reminder of an industrial society.

Well worth reading in full, to bad he has no real influence on the governments’ direction.

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