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26 July 1974. Thought for the Week: "Tradition is not a tomb in which to hide from progress. It is a rich ground, well tilled and warm with the sunshine of hope for an even greater future. Into it we drop the seeds of our aspiration for a better world and from it they grow strong and bear fruit and become a new tradition to oust others as time passes.
A PRESCRIPTION FOR REVOLUTION
"We are heading for an inflation rate of 20 per cent. Nobody can deny this any more, even those who would like to...And once we hit 20 per cent, a savage syndrome is likely to set in. Inflation will keep going up and up and only a massive world recession, one that will send many of us to the wall, will bring it down.. .Somehow the Government has to convince us, and we have to convince ourselves, that we can't continue to have it so good." - Editorial, The Australian, July 22nd.
Commonwealth Treasurer Frank Crean reacted to the 4.1 percent increase in the consumer price index for the June quarter; by stating it "was disappointing that the improvement for the March quarter figures had been so quickly and so markedly reversed." The fact that Mr. Crean was disappointed indicates just how much he is out of touch with reality. When the Labor Party used the March consumer index figures before the Federal Elections to bolster a blatantly immoral campaign claiming that it was successfully reducing inflation, it either was deliberately lying, or it was demonstrating an appalling ignorance concerning finance-economics.
As seasonal conditions affecting food prices are often cited as a major cause of inflation, it is important to note that while food prices increased by 3.7 per cent the big increases for the June quarter were in clothing, housing and household goods. Clothing and drapery rose 7.3 per cent, hardly convincing evidence that lower tariffs, a flood of foreign imports, and bankrupt Australian textile organisations, have proved anti-inflationary. Housing rose by 5.1 percent, the biggest increase on record. Household supplies, including power, fuel, appliances and furniture, rose 3.5 percent, the highest since March 1952.
Short of a major economic disaster, during which collapsing business organisations might for a short period subsidise prices by selling below cost, strict adherence to present finance-economic policies inevitably means continuing inflation. The supreme crisis situation we have predicted for years is now fast developing. The arithmetic of the crisis is inexorable; financial costs are being created at a faster rate than they can be recovered. The most obvious proof of this is accelerating debt, both public and private. Higher interest rates intensify the problem, as every businessman knows all too well. Municipal power, water and transport organisations must increase charges in an endeavour to recover higher financial costs.
When The Australian says that "we can't continue to have it so good", it is echoing the ignorance of all those "experts" who know nothing about the realities of the production system. Freed of all artificial restraints, the Australian free-enterprise production system could readily produce a regular flow of high-quality goods and services adequate for the requirements of all the Australian people. Of what Australia cannot readily produce itself; it can easily obtain from other countries, paying with its own surplus production.
Strikes, go-slow tactics, "feather-bedding", built-in obsolescence are all features of an economic system perverted from its true purpose to serve financial purposes and totalitarian political objectives. Mr. Frank Crean says that the Government would not "recoil from taking steps necessary to curb inflation." It is certain that a continuing credit squeeze, high interest rates, and still higher taxes, will be just as futile in the future as they have been in the past. Dr. Jim Cairns is waiting to step in when Mr. Crean has proved just how hopeless he has been as an anti-inflation Treasurer. And all the while the Opposition does nothing but content itself by trying to score political points.
We have not seen one original constructive anti-inflation step put forward by Mr. Snedden and his colleagues. There has been nothing but a re-hash of what was attempted in the past, with such disastrous results. But a little light is starting to emerge in a few places.
Sales tax reductions and consumer discounts were advocated two years ago by the well-known Queensland consulting economist, Mr. W. H. Herbert. Ten days after Queensland Premier J. Bielke-Petersen took his two-point policy of a drastic reduction or elimination of sales tax, and consumer discounts, to the Premiers' Conference, Dr. D. Ironmonger, Deputy Director of Melbourne University's Applied Economic and Social Research Institute warned in The Australian of June 17th that it was urgently necessary for the Government to tackle inflation with a mixture of radical measures...the Government must ease the credit squeeze now, cut indirect taxes and also provide extra subsidies in the forthcoming budget to keep prices down."
As shown in our brochure, "Down The Inflation Road To National Socialism", it would take less new financial credit to finance the abolition of Sales Tax and a substantial consumer discount than required to continue financing increasing inflation. Australia is fast moving towards a revolutionary situation. If the Opposition will not take up the obvious alternative to inflation then it is as guilty as the Government for what is going to happen.
IS MR. GRASSBY BECOMING UNBALANCED?
He (Mr. Grassby) warned that any Australian Ministers of State, public servants, or Government workers would be sacked immediately if they sought to promote discrimination on the grounds of color, race, or creed." - The Sun, (Melbourne) July 23rd.
Mr. Grassby typically, was "on stage", during this speech, at the University of Santo Tomas in Manilla. It has been said that our very much "ex" Immigration Minister is a frustrated vaudeville trooper; and we have been forced to admit there is more than a grain of truth in this. We wonder if his heavy defeat at the recent Federal Elections was more than his considerable ego could cope with.
After receiving a citation for his "work" (what work?) in "abolishing" racial discrimination at the national and international level, our Mr. Grassby let fly with some wild threats. Even Ministers of State must now "watch it" otherwise Mr. Grassby will sack them forthwith. Would some kind person please inform all the Public Service Boards of Australia that if any officer behaves in what Mr. Grassby believes is a "racist" manner; then that officer's services will be terminated forthwith. We are ignorant of the legal machinery, by use of which all these stern measures are to come about; but no doubt Mr. Grassby believes it exists; or will exist. Perhaps Senator Murphy; always eager to hatch high-sounding Bills that will restrict rights and freedom, will come to Mr. Grassby's aid. Unfortunately, Senator Murphy's "Human Rights" Bill does not appear to have a ready solution to Mr. Grassby's "problem"; which probably Mr. Grassby does not recognize himself.
Section II, sub-section (2) of Senator Murphy's "Human Rights" Bill states that "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression, including freedom to speak, receive and impart information of all kinds (our emphasis regardless of frontiers whatever that means) either orally, or in print; in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."
Our simple reading of this clause of Senator Murphy's Bill conveys to us that anyone can say or write anything he likes. This won't help Mr. Grassby; he must want legislation to prohibit people from saying what they wish to; at least on racial matters. The whole thing is absurd. Attitudes and opinions in the community simply cannot be formed or forced by any legislation. This sort of thing has been tried in the U.S.A., with disastrous consequences for American society, industry and commerce. We could give hair-raising reports of all manner of misfits, unemployables, dropouts etc., etc., being so placed on Government and private sector payrolls to avoid charges of "discrimination". The immense cost of all this in ineficiency and waste, is being paid for by the American taxpayer-consumer. Higher taxes to support astronomical Welfare programmes: and higher prices of goods and services as a direct result this inefficiency being costed into such prices.
Mr. Grassby is still squealing about his electoral
trouncing (will he ever stop?). Rhodesia is the villain of the piece
now, as Rhodesia according to Mr. Grassby is apparently supplying funds
in the hope of isolating Australia (from what? Ed.) and enlisting her
support. Such evidence was provided by Mr. Grassby's electoral battle
and defeat. So it was not really the decision of the Riverina electorate
that Mr. Grassby be given the Order of the Boot; it was rather a horrible
hoax, perpetrated on a misinformed and misguided electorate; manipulated
by a malevolent Rhodesia, supplying method and money. Now we know!
ENGLISH EDUCATIONIST TALKS COMMONSENSE
"Children should be given work breaks before they left school, an English educationist said yesterday." - The Sun Melbourne) July 19th.
The rationale of this assertion is that school-leavers should be eased into work, rather than pitchforked into it. There is no doubt some merit in this; if for no other than that the adolescent will have more of an idea of his true vocation. One of the less commendable aspects of our modern industrialised society is that our government-subsidised universities and colleges of Advanced Education are churning out too many square pegs to fill round holes. In today's exhausting "rat-race" to get on, get ahead, get education - far too many young people if they are ambitious, and most are more or less forced to pursue higher qualifications for which they are not temperamentally suited - and/or are not sufficiently mature to acquire.
Human beings develop and mature at differing rates, and it is fundamentally wrong that all young people enter a trade or profession at a definite age, otherwise lose a scholarship or studentship. Professor Swan, of Monash University, has recognized this anomaly; and has stated that universities should allow students one, or even two years "grace", before they set to, and take up their studies. We are sure that a large minority, perhaps even half of such young people, would not take up tertiary studies at all, but "shop around" for a couple of years; mature, and slip into some vocation for which they are more suited. Very many young people are not really suited for tertiary studies at all; but undertake same for the sake of financial gain. We feel that such students do not generally make good doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. etc., because of basic frustrations within themselves.
A few years ago an annual inflation rate of 8 per cent was regarded as disastrous. But the conditioning process has been so effective that the Washington Administration is quite excited that the American inflation was down to an annual rate of 8.8 per cent during the second quarter of 1974. The White House predicts that the inflation rate will be down to 7 per cent by the end of 1974. This prediction will go the way of many other Government predictions.
Mr. Kevin Cho, senior lecturer in public administration at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, has advanced the view that without the Prices Justification Tribunal, Australia could well see angry mobs throwing bricks through windows of supermarkets in protest against rising prices. "Consumer groups can now demonstrate their opposition to price rises by actually taking part in the tribunal's inquiries," says Mr. Cho. But opposition cannot be described as effective unless it prevents prices from going up.
Melbourne concert supporters have successfully resisted Mr. Whitlam's arrogant attempt to make them accept a new National Anthem. The ABC was forced to conduct a poll amongst those attending its Melbourne concerts, and the voting was two to one in favour of dropping "Advance Australia Fair". "Whitlam's Choice" has now been dropped. But, unfortunately "God Save The Queen" was not reinstated.
The Victorian branch of the Returned Servicemen's League decided at its recent annual conference in Melbourne to support the retention of "God Save The Queen" and to urge the Prime Minister to conduct a referendum before either the National Anthem or the Australian flag is changed.
French farmers do not appear to believe in the "miracle" of the Common Market. Hundreds of farmers protesting against falling living standards have brought their pigs in to run free in towns while they have brought in manure to throw. French police have had to use tear gas.
Red China has come out strongly against the Portuguese Government in Lisbon and urging "independence" for Portuguese territories in Africa. Welcoming a delegation to Peking from Niger, Chinese Vice-Premier Teng Hsiao-ping said that the Chinese Government "considered it their internationalist duty to support the struggles of the African people." This means that the Peking Communists plan to take over Angola and Mozambique as soon as practicable.
Dr. Henry Kissinger has indicated that the Soviet Union would permit a greater flow of Russian Jews to leave in exchange for further American trade concessions. The unfortunate Russian Jews, most being sent to Israel, are but pawns in the game of detente being played between Moscow and Washington.
The Psychology of ScarcityAnything that is in short supply or is in danger of becoming short, is sought after. During wartime, when ordinary household commodities were rationed, either by the Government, or by shopkeepers; little items, which are normally taken for granted, were coveted. We always accepted our ration, even if it were not needed at the time, simply because we never know when the supply might be cut off. So, even when people appear to have enough money to enable them to be honest and generous in their business dealings, and compassionate towards those worse off than themselves; it is subconscious, ingrained fear of future insecurity, which makes them grasping and cautious. Even more important than the gain in value of a scarce commodity is the fact that the person who holds it gains power over those who want it. Is it not true, that the more money one has, the more power one has?
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