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Life, Liberty and Property

December 2nd, 2013 by admin

George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921, wisely said:

The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.

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CREATING UNEMPLOYMENT in the Kingdom of Good Intentions

December 2nd, 2013 by admin

By Viv Forbes December 1990. First published in Business Queensland in 1990.

An economic and social tragedy called unemployment is now rolling over Australia like a toxic smog. Generated in the poisonous hot air rising from every Parliament in the land, this murky soup of legislative and bureaucratic stupidity will suffocate the productive life of many businesses and their workers. Most of the victims will be unaware of the cause of their problems. Bosses will blame workers, and vice versa, while the real culprits cavort the world on fact finding trips or debate irrelevancies in the Industrial Relations Club.

The majestic and relentless progress of this tragedy is recorded like epitaphs on numberless tombstones in each day’s headlines.

Just one day last week produced these four headlines – “Jobless Queue Grows”, “Business Denied Tax Relief”, “Builder in Receivership” and “Recession no Excuse for Pay Cuts”.
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Planning and Prosperity

July 5th, 2013 by admin

By Viv Forbes, November 1990.

Every year, on the first cold snap of autumn, my wife gets out the electric blanket and ties it back on the bed. This year she got things a bit mixed up so that I had her control switch and she mine.

She likes more heat than I so she turned her control to 3 and I put mine on 2. It felt a bit hot to me so I turned mine to 1. She felt a bit cold so she turned hers to 4. A bit later I turned mine off and she turned hers to 5. About midnight, we discovered the problem – crossed wires in the feedback system.

Most Government Planning and Control systems operate like this.
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The Road to Homelessness

June 24th, 2013 by admin

By Viv Forbes, October 1990. First published in Business Queensland, 1990.

Those who drive forever on the road to hell must surely get there.

For over two decades, governments from both sides and at all levels have kept the housing industry on the road to homelessness. More people can now see the park benches at the end of this road. Changing speed on the same road will not help – what is needed is a swift U-turn in housing policies.

Few industries have had more interference from politicians than housing. Local, state and federal governments have enlisted expensive mercenary armies of bureaucrats, clerks, planners, officials, consultants, experts, committees and task forces whose mission is to plan, zone, regulate, investigate, inspect, prohibit, condemn, tax, subsidise, licence, register, encourage and discourage the housing industry.
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The New Federalism

June 24th, 2013 by admin

By Viv Forbes, October 1990. First published in Business Queensland, 1990.

The last major item on Bob Hawke’s secret agenda of unfinished business is to arrange for the funeral of federalism. He has already chosen the dirge – it is called “The New Federalism”.

In a world which daily reveals the political depravity and economic bankruptcy that follows the centralised command of society, too many in the ALP still cling to the out-dated vision of “Wagon-wheel Australia” where everyone prostrates daily facing the billion dollar Parliamentary Palace in Canberra.

Australians have inherited two destructive dogmas from our convict and colonial past.

The first is that governments should enforce equality, irrespective of considerations of liberty, justice, or property.

The second is a fear of markets and of non-conformists and a naive belief that centralised regulation by politicians will achieve a better result than decentralised decisions by diverse market operators.
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More Damn Boat People

May 19th, 2013 by admin

A Draft written by Viv Forbes for John Singleton For an address of welcome to Endeavour II, Sydney Cove, 2000.

Note from Viv Forbes: I have no idea whether John Singleton ever used these words.

We are here today, like so many Australians before us, to gawk at yet another load of strangers arriving in wondrous vessels from distant lands.

While Europeans were still living in caves, dressed in animal furs, the first boat people arrived here in log canoes at least 40,000 years ago. They found a land of plenty, populated by mobs of giant birds and marsupials, trusting and tasty, which they proceeded to slap on their barbeque fires. A few of these fires got away, and this proved such a useful hunting aid that the firestick became one of their main tools. Without bothering to get Environmental Approvals from anyone, these first boat people remade Australia ‑ they ate the slowest marsupials and changed the landscape into one that could survive the annual bushfires.

But the first Aussies did not get it easy. More waves of boaties arrived, some friendly some not. Bands became tribes and, like men everywhere, started to fight over territory. Winners left their marks on cave walls and losers disappeared quietly, or fled south to cold unattractive places like Melbourne and Tasmania.

About 3,500 years ago, one lot of boat people brought a stowaway destined to make his mark on Australia. The dingo had arrived. He proceeded to dispose of any slow marsupials that had survived the spears, boomerangs and bushfires.

Then these shores started to see the first tall sails on the horizon. Nosey mariners from Portugal, Spain, Holland and Britain saw the smoke haze over Australia. Some landed and decided that the place was barren and the natives were backward. Others saw a wondrous land with endless plains of grass, strange animals, trees full of parrots and relaxed contented nomads who paid no taxes and spent their lives hunting, eating, sleeping and chasing women ‑ undoubtedly with a higher standard of living than those back in their cold hungry homelands.

Then came the greatest mariner and navigator of them all, James Cook, an ex collier captain from the North Sea. He was sent to find the great southern continent. Instead he found New Zealand and Hawaii, and eventually stumbled on the Great Barrier Reef as it poked through the keel of The Endeavour into his cabin.

From this moment on, the big island became part of the known world and the destiny of the boat people depended on events overseas.

For example, the defeat of the Red Coats by a bunch of undisciplined American coon shooters forced Britain to find another penal colony. An invasion fleet of soldiers in funny red clothes and convicts in rags arrived here in 1788. They were watched with mixed feelings by the locals. Like the observers of all previous invasions of boaties, had they known what was in store, they would have met the newcomers in the breakers with a wave of spears and boomerangs.

The local hunters were happy with some of the newcomers and quickly developed a taste for the slow and stupid woolly jumbucks. The dingos also loved the bunnies that arrived on another boat. But the rabbit invaders multiplied and pushed aside both the sheep and the marsupials. So another boat brought foxes which, instead of cleaning up the bunnies, developed a liking for lambs, chooks and bilbies. More boats came and more local people, animals and plants were displaced.

None of us here today is responsible for the sins of our ancestors. Our differences are skin deep. Black, white or yellow, we are all descended from boatie invaders. We all started as timid strangers in a strange land, but soon became possessive landlords determined to control “our land”. We must bury past hatreds, erase all legal distinctions between all the boaties of Australia, get rid of all racially based legislation, hand over freehold title to all current landholders, black and white, and get on with life. Not “sometime” ‑ tomorrow, cold turkey.

The alternative is to squabble among ourselves, trying to freeze or rewind the video of history. In this case it will be our destiny to be replaced by some future boat load of more cohesive and competitive invaders.

Most generations fail to learn from history. Australia’s history is one of continuous invasions by aggressive boat people with new weapons, animals and germs.

I have learned from history, so my message to this latest load of boaties in Endeavour II is: “Push off mateys, we were here first”.


28 May 2000

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The Gun and the Sandwich

March 11th, 2013 by admin

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Government by Enquiry

March 1st, 2013 by admin

Viv Forbes
Written 1991

Gough Whitlam once boasted that he had a hundred expert committees hard at work on Australia’s problems.

This probably represented the high water mark of Government by Enquiry.

However the Goss government looks set to challenge Gough’s record.

Expert committees are already at work on the QIDC, Fraser Island, the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation, the ports, the financial institutions, land tenure, daylight saving, road safety, economic development and over-regulation.

Getting named to head a royal commission is a sure way to fame and wealth in Australia. Names such as Jackson, Crawford, Campbell, Vernon, Matthews, Costigan, Coombs, Henderson, Rae, Muirhead, Fox, Woodward, Williams, Sackville and Wilenski are remembered more for their enquiries than for anything else.
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Inflation, the Secret Tax

March 1st, 2013 by admin

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some… Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920

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Poisoning the Waterholes

March 1st, 2013 by admin

Viv Forbes
Written 11 April 1990

The threat by the Goss Government to legislate against voluntary employment agreements is a blot on an otherwise promising first semester report.

The ALP were rightly critical of cronyism in previous administrations. They cited cronyism in awarding tenders, provision of cheap finance, drought relief and rezoning of land. Naturally, all charges were vigorously denied.

Cronyism occurs when a trustee provides favours for friends at the expense of those he supposedly represents. Where payment is made for the favour, cronyism becomes bribery.

The threatened attack on VEA’s looks more like favours for friends than actions in the public interest. The essence of a VEA is a voluntary agreement negotiated in complete harmony by employer and employees. This allows both parties to choose that unique package of wages, working hours, overtime, and other conditions which maximises their satisfaction. It allows both employers and employees to regain some control over their lives instead of being subject to the dictates of distant arbitrary strangers.
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