Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The "pie-eaters"

In my earlier post I commented on an item by Paul Sheehan in which he wrote of the six "gut issues" working in Labor's favour. His sixth was;

The pie-eaters. Finally, we get to the most structural and disturbing aspect of the election, the growing primacy of the pie-eaters. As the recent British election showed, when sections of a country become addicted to government spending (Scotland and Wales), the electorate will vote out of self-interest and vote for the party of big government. That is, vote Labor, no matter how bad the record.

Voters are expecting more from government on healthcare, education and social security and expectancy creates dependency. One in four Australians now depends on the government for the bulk of their income. Another one in four Australians depends on government spending, directly or indirectly, for their jobs. That's half the electorate depending on tax transfers.

The "one in four" Australians dependent on Government for their income includes all the aged pensioners. It has been the aged pensioners that have brought the budgets in Greece, Italy and Spain to their crippling levels. In Australia we have a medium term solution to that problem - it is called compulsory superannuation. It now runs at 9%. It was introduced by Labor (Keating) with the aim of getting it to 15%. Howard stopped that. In the current campaign illard is proposing to again increase it - it is part of the plan from the Mining Tax.

Labor is the party that has a plan for not having to rely on large Government transfers in the future. The presumption that the Liberals stand for small government is also false - Government expenditure as a proportion of GDP grew under John Howard despite the rhetoric.

Sheehan shows the traditional technique of a right-wing commentator - never let the facts get i the way of an argument.

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