Federal election 2016: complacency is the enemy

Federal election 2016: complacency is the enemy, by Maurice Newman.

Our nation’s future is at stake. … we should be searching for a Schumpeterian disrupter in our own body politic who will reverse the inexorable slide into socialist conformity and mediocrity.

Welfare is the modern opiate of the masses and there is no shortage of pushers among our political elites. Dependants grow daily but the rich (constantly redefined lower) have been mugged too many times. A declining 20 per cent of taxpayers already contribute 84 per cent of the tax while 50 per cent of voters rely on welfare for income. With personal tax increases meeting audible resistance, the savings of wealthy, self-funded retirees are the latest target. Death duties will be next; anything that avoids cutting welfare and shrinking government.

Yet cutting welfare is inevitable, for the current level of welfare was built on the tax take from an unrepeatable bubble of money manufacture, and indeed we, like the rest of the world, now face the inevitable downside of that bubble. See the graph in one in two Australian voters is fully reliant on public welfare.

Policymakers turn a blind eye to Australia’s total debt, claiming relatively low government debt gives them room to keep spending. Yet the US subprime crisis and the 1980s Japanese property collapse were the consequence of private, not public, debt excesses. … Australia’s personal debt is the highest in the world.

Yet Australians are running on empty. A recent ME Bank survey found only 46 per cent of households were able to save each month. Just 32 per cent could raise $3000 in an emergency and 50 per cent aren’t confident of meeting their obligations if unemployed for three months. Home ownership is the bedrock of the household balance sheet and our banks have the most exposure to housing loans in the world. Any sharp fall in values could have dire consequences for the economy and markets.

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.

Notwithstanding, both parties are more obsessed with gesture politics and promising whatever it takes for re-election. In the name of fairness they confiscate assets and freedoms. They protect and pander to the established elites and oppress the unorganised, the aspirational and the self-reliant.