Big government

21 04 2008

I was pondering the 2020 summit and the following observation hit me. From meeting many ordinary Australians over the years, I came to believe that most hold very low opinion of their politicians. They don’t really trust the polies and often describe them as the “useless pack of bastards” and such.

Yet at the same time many Australians naturally gravitate towards big government solutions. Middle-class welfare, large government spending, enterprise bargaining agreements and government subsidies to prop up inefficient private enterprises with taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are all part and parcel of Australian political narrative.

There seems to be a genuine disconnect between people’s belief that on one hand they are governed by untrustworthy bastards, while on the other hand surrendering more and more control and influence over their everyday lives to the very bastards they loathe.

The 2020 summit was especially stark as the orgy of big government solutions in which the government was omnipresent and individuals non-existent. It presented an unflattering portrait of Australian urban elites as a special class of people with big government prescriptions for the great unwashed, a sweet vision of the corporatist nanny state.

I think the time has come for the red-bloodied Aussies to reassert self-reliant spirit of the frontier and wake up to the fact that governments cannot solve all our problems. Why do we think we can outsource control of our lives to the “pack of bastards” we don’t actually trust and expect something good to happen in return?

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