Friday, May 30, 2014

Karl du Fresne on Big Government

 Writing in today's DomPost:
Big Government is now so all-pervasive that many people find it hard to imagine life without it.
That was evident from a recent minor party leaders' debate on TV3's The Nation, in which ACT leader Jamie Whyte was treated as some sort of freak or traitor for daring to suggest that New Zealanders don't need constant intervention from the state in every aspect of their lives. This is clearly a dangerous heresy.
Only days later, Whyte got a similar going-over from Guyon Espiner on Report. It seems we've all become so accustomed to the smothering influence of Big Government – even to the extent of deciding whether to have children – that we can't comprehend any alternative.
Whyte, of course, believes the state should get out of our lives, save for a few essential functions.
It's an idea worth exploring, but you get the impression that for a lot of people, it's just too scary.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whyte, of course, believes the state should get out of our lives, save for a few essential functions.


well of course it is because less than 10% of Kiwis pay for almost everything for every one else - and basically that's the only "nonessential" function of the state.

So for 90% of Kiwis, dropping nonessential functions means that they will be worse off. No question. Look back at '91, or Thatcher in the 80s; entire generations thrown on the scrapheap - and the economy only started recovering when they had died off.


It's an idea worth exploring, but you get the impression that for a lot of people, it's just too scary

It's too scary for Whyte - which is why his party's policy leaves all redistribution and welfare untouched - not to mention double counts cuts and relies on dynamic scoring. SO even if there is a National+ACT govt, ACT won't have a mandate for much.

Whereas a "1% cut in top marginal tax rate for ever 1% of the party vote" is absolutely clear and would lead to such a cut straight after the election.

thor42 said...

Big Government is stupid, anti-freedom, expensive and just plain ridiculous.

The smaller we can make government (and the more self-reliant and independent people can become), the better-off people and the country will be.

John B said...

As a self-supporting freelancer, I am all for encouraging people to become more self-reliant and independent.

Unfortunately, what I do, they just can't do. Karl is right: "it's just too scary."

Like hang gliding, which is my passion, I realize that although I can be self-reliant and independent, most people depend on others extensively, and will fight tooth and nail to continue that dependency.

It's the way of the world.