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Lang Hancock, “Viewpoint: Time for Truth!” Sunday Independent (Perth), unsure of date and page number. (With thanks to the legendary John Zube and his LMP.)

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.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  22. The spread of Canberra-ism
  23. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  24. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  25. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  26. The code of Lang Hancock
  27. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  28. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  29. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  30. Right-wing plot
  31. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  32. WA's NCP commits suicide
  33. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  34. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  35. Bludgers need not apply
  36. New party formed "to slash controls"
  37. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  38. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  39. Government seen by new party as evil
  40. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  41. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  42. Bury Hancock Week
  43. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  44. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  45. Hancock and Wright
  46. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  47. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  48. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  49. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  50. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  51. We Mine to Live
  52. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  53. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  54. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  55. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  56. Enter Rio Tinto
  57. Hamersley and Tom Price
  58. News in the West
  59. Positive review of Hancock speech
  60. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  61. Australia's slide to socialism
  62. The Great Claim Robbery
  63. Why WA must go it alone
  64. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  65. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  66. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  67. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  68. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  69. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  70. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  71. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  72. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  73. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  74. Tactics change by Hancock
  75. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  76. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  77. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  78. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  79. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  80. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  81. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  82. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  83. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  84. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  85. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  86. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  87. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  88. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  89. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  90. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  91. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  92. Invest in free enterprise
  93. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  94. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  95. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  96. Mining policy a threat
  97. Over Whitlam's head
  98. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  99. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  100. Secede or sink
  101. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  102. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  103. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  104. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  105. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  106. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  107. The Ord River Dam
  108. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  109. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  110. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  111. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  112. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  113. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  114. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  115. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  116. Our leaders are powerless
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