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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

Jobs, jobs, jobs, they say, those politicians. They know that if there are a lot of people out of work they will not get re-elected. And yet they do everything they can to load costs and burdens on to employers. With so few parliamentarians who have ever had real jobs, let alone owned and run a successful business, there is little understanding of what it’s like to start, to own, to manage a successful business.

Being in business is about the most challenging and satisfying thing a person can do. Running a business is fraught with commercial and financial challenges, with satisfying customers, with keeping up with the latest developments, with training and retaining good people. And then there are countless, and often confusing and silly regulations, licenses and permits to abide by.

Business has enough problems without all this, but the bureaucrats and politicians include in their plethora of regulations many that deter and impede employing people to help operate and grow your business.

There are minimum wage law and awards, that interfere with how staff and bosses may determine their working relationship to their mutual advantage.

There is Four Weeks Holiday Pay that an employer must provide for, regardless of whether the employee wants to take that number of holidays or not.

There is Payroll Tax — a sure deterrent to employment and a cost to employers (and, of course, to customers, who it is ultimately passed on to).

Workers Compensation Insurance; Long-service leave; Superannuation; these are costs that must be built into the cost of hiring staff.

The cost of hiring can add 50% to the workers wages for the employer to pay.

There are Wrongful Dismissal Rules that make getting rid of an unsatisfactory employee difficult. Staff dismissal can be a painful, wasteful and undignified process to go through. Even if there is dishonesty, unreliability or disruptive behaviour, a Wrongful Dismissal Claim can be painful and expensive, so employers hire staff reluctantly. I know small business people, trades-people, who refuse to employ staff because of these burdens, even though their business could well use extra people. “If you can’t fire, don’t hire,” is a useful dictum to remember.

There are a plethora of Occupational Health and Safety Laws that are either common-sense (and thus un-necessary) or a mess of time- and money-sapping red tape that make simple jobs, like changing a light globe or climbing a ladder, a major chore. Thus governments put employment-sapping burdens on the work-place and employers that deter them from hiring.

I would like to emphasise that most people, most staff, most employees are good workers, honest and keen to do their best. They respond well to respect and to training, to inclusion in the decision-making process. But a few bad eggs, a few union-influenced employees, the odd resentful team member, can spoil it for everyone. And when the rules and regulations get known by employees it can turn a few marginal workers into “rent-seekers” looking for a free ride for a while.

The bureaucrats who impose and police the regulations are a cost to tax-payers, and so taxes get soaked up with bureaucracies doing work that is actually destructive to employment, and destructive to productivity and to the affordability of the product or service that the employer wants to provide to his customers.

There are more employees than there are employers, and they vote, so it is likely that the burden on employers will grow and grow. Few Politicians (especially in the Labor Party in Australia) have ever had a real job, let alone run a business, so they have never felt the dumb, irksome and insulting burden that is imposed on employers.

It is just as well that the wonderful sense of purpose, satisfaction and pride (and perhaps profit) that running an enterprise affords a businessman or woman sometimes does outweigh the disincentives imposed by The State.

(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
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