Nanny state spread crushes liberty, spirit

Nanny state spread crushes liberty, spirit, by Chris Kenny.

One of the most worrying aspects of our pandemic over-reaction has been the growth of government; the unsubtle intrusion of government into every aspect of our lives and the massive economic expansion that has millions of people and businesses now reliant on government payments. …

Having closed businesses or destroyed their viability, governments shovel money to their staff — sit-down money — to keep zombie enterprises alive. If this does not work, ever-expanding governments will have killed their golden goose, destroying their revenue sources. …

This year there will be hundreds of thousands of workers and small-business owners who will have received welfare payments for the first time. Many of these people will have prided themselves on never requiring government assistance and will take this turn of events as a blow to their self-esteem — they should not do that, of course, but we know that will be the mindset.

Others will have been on the margins of embedding a work ethic, building a career or moving into full-time employment for the first time. For them, the additional JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments might have stymied employment prospects and aspirations.

The pandemic, and the big-government responses, are keeping people’s heads above water, sure, but they will also be dragging people from the cusp of self-reliance back into the dead-end street of welfare dependence. Each day this continues will do damage. …

Teach a man to take welfare:

People can be killed with kindness. Every government payment, service and directive takes something away from individuals.

Robert Menzies talked about lifters and leaners, unashamedly looking to govern for the lifters. There is probably a little bit of both in most of us, and government policies can encourage one aspect over the other. …

Small government is out. Modern monetary theory is in (“run the printing press until something busts”) .

The small-government agenda has taken a beating for decades. Perhaps its greatest recent exponent was John Howard but even he brought in family tax benefits to target families who could not benefit sufficiently from income tax cuts.

Just over a decade ago Labor used the global financial crisis to boost payments and services, establishing a range of failed schemes and the landmark National Broadband Network and National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Coalition struggled to make inroads against this trend and now, in the COVID response, has given up for the time being.

The left have capitalized on covid beautifully to grow government.

The global right missed its big opportunity to close borders and limit immigration, especially in the US. Instead they boosted China’s propaganda by arguing that covid is scarcely worse than the flu and so should be allowed to run free.

As has been observed many times over the last few decades, the US Democrats are the evil party while the Republicans are the stupid party.

hat-tip Stephen Neil