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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

3 December 1982. Thought for the Week: "The world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes"
Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister

SELECTIVE RESTRAINT

Stripped of all the jargon, the "wage restraint" policy being promoted by Federal Treasurer John Howard and his colleagues is a proposal that living standards should be reduced. The smug, self satisfied Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Mr. Macphee, has at least been quite frank about this, stating in a recent television programme that the government was advocating "a reduction in standards of living". When asked about this admission being a novel way to campaign for the Flinders by-election, he replied, "Yes, it is a novel way, but it's honest."

Mr. Macphee and his colleagues do not propose to extend their "honesty" to include a reduction in their own standards of living. At least during the depression of the thirties, when the financial witch doctors were preaching that Australians "had lived beyond their means", reductions in wages included everyone. But today there is no suggestion of "restraint" by the politicians.
It is argued that the standard backbench salary of $38,000 a year is not excessive compared with the incomes of middle executives in private enterprise. But executives in private enterprise do actually play a major role in running their enterprises, and they do have to accept a high degree of personal responsibility. It is a complete myth that backbench politicians even have a say in how the economy is "managed". In general they are expected to "sell" policies they had little part in taking. Their main role is to be faithful party backs and say "Aye" when required by the party machine.

Few if any can truthfully say that they study and thoroughly understand the flood of legislation upon which they vote. If the politicians were receiving only their salaries, they would be in a comfortable situation. Ministers' salaries are excessive by any reasonable standard. But Mr. Fraser, Mr. Anthony, Mr. Sinclair and Mr. Nixon, for example, all have incomes from private activities. That great apostle of "restraint", Mr. Doug Anthony continues to pay off his Canberra home bought with a long-term loan and an interest of only 4.5 per cent. And then there are those "extras", extravagant electoral allowances, the infamous travelling allowance, to which Cabinet Ministers have been helping themselves in the most blatant manner. At the end of all this the retired politician can look forward to lavish superannuation payments indexed against inflation.

We are not aware that the present advocates of "restraint" urged such a policy in August when Parliamentary salaries were increased by another seven percent. We have seen no suggestion that parliamentary salaries be "frozen" for at least twelve months. The manipulation of travelling allowances, particularly by Ministers, is a sickening example of that greed which ordinary wage earners are charged with displaying. Consider the case of Minister for Defence Sinclair, who headed the list this year with a tax-free allowance of $21,314, for domestic travel. Add this to his $20,000 a year tax-free electoral allowance, and Mr. Sinclair obtained a total of $41,614 tax free in 1981. That is $800 a week or the equivalent of a taxable income of $104,000. But Mr. Sinclair also receives a salary of $69,300.

If the advocates of "restraint" at Canberra wish to be taken seriously, they could start by reducing their own standards of living. Foreign aid programmes, which further bleed Australian taxpayers to finance pro-Communist gangster regimes, should be halted, as should the financing of immigration policies designed to bring increasing numbers of non-Europeans to Australia.

What is urgently required at present is a display of integrity. Obviously little can be expected from most of the present politicians. Electors can however, start to provide an example of integrity by making it clear that their votes cannot be "bought" at the next elections, and that they cannot be blackmailed into voting "for the lesser of several evils". Regeneration for Australia will have to start back amongst the people. Such regeneration will eventually eliminate the rot so prevalent in government.


FRASER GOVERNMENT ADOPTS KEYNES

The essence of the Keynesian financial theory is that governments must periodically "stimulate" the economy with "pump priming" deficit budgets. The deficit budgets require the creation of new money. Keynes admitted that this policy was inflationary, but that this was the price to be paid for expansion. But Keynes argued that inflation could also be "controlled"'. The control of inflation is in reality the control of the people. That is why all the better-informed Marxists welcomed Keynesian policies as a means of advancing government control over the individual.

The calls of the Keynesians are currently strong throughout the world, demanding that governments resort to expansionary credit creation in an attempt to alleviate the deepening recession. Former President Richard Nixon, allegedly a conservative Republican, made the famous comment when he was resorting to deficit financing, "We are all Keynesians now".
This is what the Fraser government is now also admitting, although the Deputy Prime Minister, in a frightening example of genuine stupidity, still babbles away about how he is opposed to "creating money". The poor chap apparently does not realise that the growing deficit "blow out", now greater than the deficit advocated by Labor' leader Hayden in August, and destined to go even higher, is being financed out of creation of new money. Unfortunately it is being created at an interest bearing debt and used in such a way that there is no genuine benefit.

The Keynesians are gloating that the "monetarist" policies of the Fraser government have failed to bring either price stability or halt rising unemployment. Much as they may deny it, the Fraser government is now openly committing itself to the type of Keynesian programme advocated by the Labor Party. The proposal that the government deliberately "makes work", something strongly condemned until now, is a further concession to a creeping socialism.

No realist is concerned about money creation, anymore than he is concerned about ensuring that there are sufficient numbers for all the pages of a book. It is the purpose and method of the money creation, which is the core of the problem now threatening society. New money can be created to keep forcing prices up, requiring still greater money expansion to finance higher wages, or it can be used to reduce prices and eliminate the necessity for wage increases.

It is elementary if Sales Tax were abolished completely; the total price of a wide range of consumer goods would be reduced by approximately $3,000 million. That would be an extra $3,000 million of increased purchasing power in the pockets of consumers. And where would the government get the $3,000 million to offset the loss in Sales Tax? From the same place that it is getting it now. And the money could be created as a credit instead of an interest bearing debt. But such a simple constructive policy will not be adopted until there is an enlightened public opinion. And the most bitter opponents of this policy are all the Marxist revolutionaries.


BRIEF COMMENTS

The gradual encroachments of "reversal of proof" legislation, and regulations, are gratifyingly now being exposed by the Senate, which appears to be playing its intended role of watchdog. It was intended to be, in particular, watchdog for the States. A Senate committee has called for the rewriting of 220 laws, which now force the accused to prove innocence; a reversal of the traditional principle in British Common Law that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. Worse still, as The Australian (November 26th) commented there are "non-elected and irresponsible statutory authorities which also reverse the traditional onus of proof standard."

These Young Liberal types are ambitious hopefuls. We well recall that one of their numbers, some few years ago, had the "bright" idea of adopting an attack on sex discrimination as a coat hanger. This particular "whizz," thought it a wonderful idea that women's age pensions be paid at the age of 65, not 60. Then there were a spate of letters in the print media: why not - better still - pay men's age pensions at 60, not 65. Someone must have told the "whiz" the facts of political life; we didn't hear any more of it. Now Mr. Mark Birrell, the present Federal President of the Young Libs. wants the Commonwealth Government to act against the Tasmanian Government over the Gordon-below-Franklin dam. This Wilderness issue is an emotive one, and perhaps rightly: no one wants to see beautiful country ripped about unnecessarily. Still; do the people of Tasmania have the right to say what goes on in their own State, or not?! Next we'll be having some power happy political animals calling for the United Nations to overrule the Commonwealth Government. This isn't as wacky as it sounds, because it has already happened, thanks to our "new" High Court's validation of the Racial Discrimination Act, based as it is on a Declaration of the United Nations.

So now because of those horrible world economic realities the most recent G.A.T.T. meeting has dissolved in inconclusiveness: even "Australia's own" Doug Anthony, our Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Trade, couldn't pull a rabbit out of the hat. Now that we are likely to see dumping of primary and manufactured products on a large scale (to the further detriment of general employment) we were nodding our heads as we read Michelle Grattan' s comment in The Age (Melbourne, Nov. 29th) viz..."The Fraser Government has for years failed to practise domestically what it preaches internationally. However, despite the all round failure of the G.A.T.T. meeting, if Mr. Fraser allows this tide to sweep over his Government it will be a breathtaking example of hypocrisy.''

VALE JIM HOBSON
It is with deep regret and the sense of a great loss that we record the recent death of Mr. Jim Hobson of Brisbane. Backed by another veteran Brisbane supporter, Mrs. Peg Fox, Mr. Jim Hobson was responsible for the establishment of the Conservative Book Shop in Brisbane and maintained an active interest in it right up until the time of his death. A product of rural Queensland, Jim Hobson reflected the values of a way of life, which has unfortunately been eroded. He was an intensely practical and commonsense man. Although a blunt speaking man, Jim Hobson was a gentleman. Following the loss of his wife ten years ago, Jim Hobson made his home at Chermside a League Centre, extending warm and generous hospitality to all who came. Although dogged by failing health, he never let up, maintaining a keen interest in a wide range of activities. It can be said that he went about doing Good. Jim Hobson will be missed. But his memory will be an inspiration to all those who knew him.

Marxist Economist Warns
Professor "Ted" Wheelwright, of Sydney University, addressing the Marxist Forum Seminar ("Tribune", November 24th, Communist weekly) said the world is now set for the second great economic collapse of the 20th century. He said that the crisis would not go away if inflation disappeared tomorrow. He said that over the past decade the investment boom had been replaced by massive debt creation. He stressed that Australia is facing no ordinary recession: most jobs won't come back. We, ourselves, are forced into basic agreement with Professor Wheelwright. Read The Breakdown of the Employment System by C.H.Douglas, this being an address to the Commercial Staffs' Association (U.K.) in 1923. What Douglas said in 1923 is happening NOW. Price $1.00 posted from all League offices.

From Hansard
Senate: November 19th: Senator Don Chipp (Australian Democrats)
"…. I was forced by a blunt question from the editor of The Australian as to whether I agreed with retrospectivity to come out on the issue. I said no…I hope that Mr. Fraser and the Liberals can live with their consciences because during that campaign they won hundreds of thousands of votes by saying that under no circumstances would they have a bar of the Labor Party's proposal to introduce retrospective taxation to catch tax avoiders."

Senator Teague:
I didn't say that

Senator Chipp:
Senator Teague allowed his leader to say it. He should not hide behind the thunderous cloak of silence that he puts around himself to evade responsibility. When his leader said that the Liberals would not have a bar of retrospectivity, as a candidate for office the honourable senator should have risen up and said, 'I don't agree with Mr. Fraser'.

Senator Missen:
"When did he say that?

Senator Chipp:
"I will give chapter and verse at the conclusion of my speech, also the relevant news cuttings. It occupied page 1 of The Australian for many days. I wonder where these people were at that stage. Why is it wrong? I do not trust politicians: that is why it is wrong. I do not trust politicians to legislate retrospectively. One of the few protections, which the ordinary citizen has, is that he knows the law. If he abides by that law he knows he is safe from prosecution and safe from the instruments of politicians, namely, the police. He knows exactly where he is.
"Good heavens; give politicians the chance to legislate retrospectively and we will open a Pandora's Box. I find that quite frightening. On this occasion a Pandora's Box is opened in the excuse of catching the filthy people who cheat on tax. It is done for a noble purpose, one might say, and I agree. But I have never been one to subscribe to the view that the end justifies the means. That sort of proposition leads one down a track, which is fraught with disaster. That is the track that Adolf Hitler went down. It is the track that every tyrant in history has gone down - that is, to make illegal today something which was legal last year....
"Tax evasion is not and never will be legal, and the present law will catch offenders. I agree with the honourable Senator. But why have prosecutions not been launched under existing legislation? Why has the Senate not been given the documents that Senator Evans, the Labor Party, and the Democrats want to see if prosecutions were possible? I am told that there are at least three legal opinions in those documents, which the Senate has been denied, which state that prosecutions were possible and should have been proceeded with. Why can we not see those opinions? If the Senate is to be denied that kind of information upon which it must base its judgment it is almost a waste of time for the Senate to be sitting. If this lofty Parliament in the national Capital introduces retrospective legislation we will be amazed - heed this warning - at how quickly the retrospective concept will be copied around the nation.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159