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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

Those who ask for and take a grant or handout from government I call “corporate dole-bludgers”.

It is disappointing to see business lining up and applying for grants and other hand-outs from government and thus becoming dependent. The same people who may express disdain for individuals who are on the dole, who have become welfare-dependent, are themselves often only too ready to take money from government.

Government has no money of its own; it only has money it takes from others, from its citizens and companies, in the way of taxes. So those who would seek a handout are just getting some of their own, and other people’s, money back. Of course when government takes money from tax-payers and then gives it back in some plan or scheme it takes its own share of it on the way around. This known as “churn” — taking it and giving it back — with its own expensive friction using up plenty in the process. Just as middle class welfare is being seen for what it is — expensive “churn” — so business welfare should be seen as “churn”.

In Australia our company tax rates are quite high, as are our personal income tax rates, not to mention the plethora of other government charges, taxes, duties we pay. Our tax system is an incomprehensible mess and long overdue for reform, but to date no government has had the guts or the energy or the initiative to do anything about it. Low taxes encourages innovation, development, re-investment, growth and prosperity. Business people know better how to spend their money than government bureaucrats do.

And the same goes for the mess of regulations that are imposed on us. These regulations, as everyone in business knows only too well, have little to do with making businesses better and better able to serve their customers, or people happier or wealthier; they are just about form-filling and compliance and bureaucracy empire-building. Canberra is the tax-consumption capital of Australia, eating up billions that would be better spent by those who earn it. The cost of compliance adds to everything that is produced and sold and thus to the price that the Australian public pays for everything it buys and uses.

Entrepreneurs and business people are mostly resourceful, energetic, responsible and well able to look after themselves. To go to governments and ask for a grant is demeaning. It is also a tiresome bureaucratic process. Of course the bureaucrats love it because it gives them power and allows them to build their little empires and control people’s lives.

Business owners, their Boards and Executives should be saying loud and clear to government “Get out of our hair, get off our backs, leave us alone to do our job”. We should be telling them to reform and simplify the tax system, to reduce taxes, and to radically reform and reduce the regulatory burdens. Instead of being mendicants asking for help business people should be fiercely and proudly independent, using their skills and initiative to innovate, to export, be sensibly frugal and caring with energy and resources. They don’t need a grant to do this. Applying for a hand-out, accepting a hand-out is demeaning; it says that you can’t make it on your own.

Business in Australia, including many large companies who should know better and who don’t need to be on the dole, accept government money. How pathetic! Why don’t they say to government “No thanks, we don’t need it or want it. Leave us alone, get off our backs and out of our pockets. Laissez nous faire!”

(in order of appearance on
  1. Welcome from Neville Kennard
  2. Think Tanks Don't Work
  3. "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
  4. The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
  5. Corporate Welfare
  6. Citizenship for Sale?
  7. I Don't Vote
  8. Voting: Right or Privilege?
  9. Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  10. Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
  11. Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
  12. Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
  13. Government Likes War
  14. Collusion is Our Right
  15. Why Not the Drug Olympics?
  16. Unconventional Wisdom
  17. Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
  18. Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
  19. Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
  20. Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
  21. Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
  22. Separating Sport and State
  23. Your Home is Not an Investment
  24. Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
  25. A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
  26. Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
  27. Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
  28. What is a good Australian?
  29. Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
  30. The Market Failure Industry
  31. Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
  32. Wot if ...?
  33. The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
  34. The Tannehills
  35. Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
  36. Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
  37. Minarchy vs Anarchy
  38. Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
  39. The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
  40. Is Howard Our Best PM?
  41. Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
  42. Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
  43. Authoritarian Freedom
  44. Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
  45. The Tyranny of the Majority
  46. If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
  47. Business Should Exploit Boat People
  48. The Immorality of Trade Unions
  49. "America" vs "The United States"
  50. Sweet Anarchy
  51. The Illusion of "Job Creation"
  52. Gold Is Money
  53. Guilty Capitalists
  54. Bureauphobia
  55. Prosperity vs Growth
  56. Capitalism vs Democracy
  57. More people = More fun
  58. Self-Ownership - the very idea!
  59. Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
  60. The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
  61. Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
  62. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  63. Government Needs Bad Guys –
    that's why they like wars
  64. What Is Obscene?
  65. Traffic Economics
  66. Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
  67. Neville Kennard Obituary
  68. Neville Kennard in 1979 proposes new alliances to end penalty rates
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