I notice you are particularly concerned about the future of small business.
I must confess that I am more concerned about the survival of free business, because this is the environment which best fosters small business but which does not penalise big business just because it is big or profitable.
We need businesses of all sizes and freedom will produce this diversity.
My business is mining and I have been involved in many small mines.
The definition of a small mine has changed over the years. Once a small mine was one which had only one or two partners and one or two miners.
Now a small mine is one which has only one or two corporate lawyers and one or two tax consultants.
As a leader of the American mining industry said the other day: “Our industry is like a robust giant being tied down by a million silken strands. Each strand has its narrow explanations and its vocal advocates. But who is looking out for Gulliver?”
It is ironic that representatives of small business have to gather in Canberra to discuss their future. If you want to see the problems of independent business all you need to do is look out the window.
You are surrounded by a vast overhead of public and private lobbyists whose chief preoccupation is with getting a larger share of the cake for themselves and their supporters.
No politician or lobbyist can increase production, except by the speed they get out of the way.
No government can make the community prosperous. Government can only redistribute.
In the short term it can share the poverty. In the long term, redistribution of the surplus production of the efficient will ensure there is no more surplus production generated.
This increases the poverty to be shared.
If you don’t believe that, go to any country from any part of the political spectrum where the government runs the industry, and you will find people putting in time. As the old Russian proverb says: “They pretend they are paying so we pretend we are working.”
You will understand my scepticism about the good that will come from the creation of a new bureaucracy, The Canberra Development Board.
To me that sounds like trying to cure a sick man by giving him a stronger dose of the same medicine that made him sick in the first place.
I imagine that this new bureaucracy will promise to provide low interest loans and other financial assistance to “small” business.
Which group of Australians can expect higher taxes, charges or interest rates to provide these subsidies to the chosen few?
It will also probably promise to provide training and advice to small business. Will this be another “free” service provided by government “experts”? If so, it will probably be worth even less than what it costs.
The new board may even promise to investigate the problems caused by small business by other government departments. Judging from past performance, their first act will be to hire expert staff and send out a long compulsory questionnaire to every business in the country.
They will then hold public enquiries and produce voluminous reports at our expense. These will be filed. Nothing more will happen.
This is not the solution; it is the problem.
This new Trojan horse should be strangled at birth, together will all the other electoral gift horses from previous governments.
When I received your invitation to address this seminar I was amazed to read that your organisation believes that there have been heavy cuts in public spending in the Canberra area.
According to the Commonwealth Statistician the total outlay of all public authorities has never gone down in any year, at least for the last decade.
In the 1970s the figures are: 1970 $10 billion; 1971 $11 billion; 1972 $12 billion; 1973 $13 billion; 1974 $16 billion; 1975 $23 billion; 1976 $28 billion; 1977 $32 billion; 1978 $36 billion; 1979 $39 billion (estimate).
I see no evidence of cutbacks here. There is also no fall in Commonwealth outlays or in the number of public employees.
To my knowledge, there has never been a year in which the expenditure or the number of public employees in any Australian government authority has fallen.
Thus your problems stem not from a cutback but from a moderate reduction in the rate of growth of goverment spending.
This is the typical withdrawal symptom of an addict — you are addicted to the drug of government funds.
I recently read a book called A Time for Truth by William Simon, who was secretary of the US Treasury from 1974 to 1977.
Simon paints a graphic and frightening picture of the growth of taxes, regulations, deficits, inflation and unemployment, in the world’s largest democracy.
He explains how all these ills can be traced to the actions of the expanding state.
You have probably heard of my Wake Up Australia flight. William Simon sent a personal message to that flight. In closing my address I can do no better than repeat Simon’s closing words:
My earnest advice to you in Australia is this.
Remove the shackles from your productive enterprises and people and let the proven miracle of the free market be put to work.
Be outspoken in your support for those individuals and organisations who understand the unbreakable connection between economic and political freedom.
Withdraw your support from those who prefer the philosophy of increased state intervention into your lives and your pockets.
Honour those who strive to save, to invest, to build, to produce, to invent, to hire, to fire, to resist coercive impediments, to trade, to risk, to profit and to grow.
Free trade and freedom of opportunity are still ideals which run can arouse the imagination of our children.
- Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
- Hancock's Australia
- Hancock on Government Help
- Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
- Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
- Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
- Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
- Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
- Jump on the Joh bandwagon
- John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
- Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
- Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
- Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
- Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
- New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
- Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
- A Condensed Case for Secession
- Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
- Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
- PM's sky-high promise to Lang
- Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
- Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
- The spread of Canberra-ism
- Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
- 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
- Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
- The code of Lang Hancock
- Why not starve the taxation monster?
- Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
- Party Promises to Abolish Tax
- Right-wing plot
- "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
- WA's NCP commits suicide
- "You can't live off a sacred site"
- Hancock: King of the Pilbara
- Bludgers need not apply
- New party formed "to slash controls"
- Workers Party Reunion Intro
- Workers Party is born as foe of government
- Government seen by new party as evil
- Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
- Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
- Bury Hancock Week
- Ron Manners on the Workers Party
- Lang Hancock on Australia Today
- Hancock and Wright
- Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
- Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
- Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
- Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
- The Treasury needs a hatchet man
- We Mine to Live
- Get the "econuts" off our backs
- 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
- Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
- 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
- Enter Rio Tinto
- Hamersley and Tom Price
- News in the West
- Positive review of Hancock speech
- Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
- Australia's slide to socialism
- The Great Claim Robbery
- Why WA must go it alone
- Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
- MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
- Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
- The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
- Crystal Balls Need Polishing
- Minerals - politicians' playthings?
- John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
- Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
- Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
- Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
- Tactics change by Hancock
- Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
- 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
- Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
- Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
- Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
- 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
- Hancock's playing very hard to get
- Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
- An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
- John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
- Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
- Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
- Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
- Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
- Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
- Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
- Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
- Invest in free enterprise
- Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
- Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
- Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
- Mining policy a threat
- Over Whitlam's head
- Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
- Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
- Secede or sink
- Australia can learn from Thatcher
- John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
- How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
- Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
- Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
- Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
- The Ord River Dam
- Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
- Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
- Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
- 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
- Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
- Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
- 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
- Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
- Our leaders are powerless