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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

People smugglers know how valuable a trip to Australia can be, with a good chance that their customers will eventually get permission to stay and even citizenship, not to mention welfare benefits, health care, unemployment handouts and housing.

The so-called people smugglers are providing a good service at a market price for those who will take their chances — some discomfort on a rust-bucket boat, some risk from the ocean, some inconvenience while bureaucrats “process” their “applications” for “refugee status”. The rewards at the end motivate the customers to pay their money and take their chances.

But if there are people queuing up, risking hardship, paying money, why would this opportunity not be grasped in both hands and exploited. Why give money to people-smugglers and soak the Australian taxpayers, while inept government processes are followed and welfare benefits handed out?

I know the word “exploit” is rather politically incorrect these days, but don’t we seek to exploit our opportunities, our talents, our time and energy? Don’t farmers exploit the market and the seasons? Don’t miners exploit their finds, and don’t taxi drivers exploit the passengers’ needs to get somewhere? Exploiting someone in trouble does seem harsh, but the boat people have chosen their journey; mostly they are economic refugees, not necessarily poor, who see a brighter future in Australia than in their country of escape.

So why don’t we take advantage of and exploit the opportunity of people wanting to come to Australia and match them with those who need labour and skills and resourcefulness? Why give the money to the people-smugglers and to the bureaucrats who take it from the tax-payers? Why not use the market, eliminate the middle-men and allow those who need labour and skills to deal directly with the refugees and would-be immigrants?

The big winners in this arrangement would be the immigrants, their sponsors and exploiters, the Australian economy, the taxpayers. The losers would be the people-smugglers and the bureaucrats. My heart bleeds!

Given a market in migration all sorts of clever arrangements would be worked out. Entrepreneurs would come up with unimagined plans and schemes business arrangements to the benefit of all the voluntary participants.

It is highly unlikely that such a “harsh”, exploitive, capitalist method will be adopted; too many vested interests and bleeding hearts, and it would be seen to be “undemocratic” (whatever that means).

Oh, well, it is fun to dream of business opportunities, of alternatives to wasteful government, of ways for all to benefit.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  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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