The Politically Incorrect Show - 02/08/2001
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday August 2, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
The first country in 50 years to lose its "developed" status. That is what New Zealand is at risk of, according to one of the participants in the current group-grope talk-fest in Auckland, Catching the Knowledge Wave. Professor Robert Wade, of the London School of Economics, himself a New Zealander, says we have had one of the slowest economic growth rates in the developed world since 1985, & are in danger of dropping out of it altogether. Actually, the growth rate prior to 1985 was nothing to write home about either. Actually, too, growth had hit 6% in 1996, but was torpedoed by the Winston Peters spend-up when New Zealand First went into coalition with National. Now, however, such genuine reform as there has been since 1985 is being blamed for the ongoing mediocrity of New Zealand's economic performance. The fact of the matter is the more things changed in that period, the more they remained the same.
Rob Muldoon ran a "command economy" that was often likened to Polish shipyards. Clamps - along with artificial props - were everywhere, taxes were high, initiative was stifled. Roger Douglas removed some of the clamps & props, but imposed new ones. He slashed income tax, but introduced GST, the provisional tax regime, the Fringe Benefit Tax, the Entertainment Tax & God knows what. GST enforcement led to the Inland Revenue Department's Reign of Terror. The tax take as a percentage of GDP went UP by 6%. The apartheid gravy-train was converted into a juggernaut. The RMA, which effectively nationalised private property, was conceived, & later enacted. Political Correctness was unleashed in state schools, making it "uncool" to be ambitious & "cool" to be dumb. For some reason that still eludes me, all of this was depicted as a "free market revolution" which is now deemed to have failed. Free market revolution? Was this, overall, any less of a "command economy" than before? And is it not still a "command economy" now?
Professor Wade says we should all have a sense of national emergency, the response to which has to be led by the government. The antidote, in other words, must be identical to the poison. On cue, the Prime Minister unveiled an "innovation framework" at the same talk-fest. Here's one innovation it didn't include - getting the government out of the way, freeing the economy from the shackles of the state.
The current government's associate-Minister of Revenue recently likened taxation to plucking a live goose. "The object is to extract the maximum number of feathers for the least amount of hissing." David Lange likened it to slipping your hand into someone else's pocket without being noticed. As long as politicians operate with this sort of mentality - & as long as voters endorse it - we will continue to have a "command economy" & little or negative growth. The goose will eventually die from all the plucking, for want of freedom.
The politicians & every other variety of bludger will then have to confront a stark fact - dead geese lay no eggs.
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