by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

When I was at school in the 1950s, Sydney had something over a million people. Now there are 4 million in this metropolis. Sydney is a much better city now. There is more choice, more prosperity, better amenities. When I look back at the Sydney of the 1950s and ’60s it now looks very dull and boring.

A block from my apartment is a Chinese laundry that make shirt washing and ironing so easy, and cheap. Next door to them is a convenience store run by a Lebanese bloke; it is open eighteen hours a day seven days a week. A block away is another convenience store open 24/7. There are four coffee shops within a couple of blocks with hard-working young Asians and other immigrants, and native-born Australians, politely and diligently doing the work.

Near my office is a community of Vietnamese, with grocery stores, restaurants, fish shops, fruit and vegetable shops, hairdressers and more. They are nice people and appreciate the opportunity they have been given here. Prices are keen, service is polite, the offerings are different.

Recently, in a small out-of-town village, there was a Thai restaurant with half a dozen nice young Thais giving the locals good meals and take-aways. It was not there a couple of years ago — just the pub and the club.

One of the benefits of immigration is that the new-comers don’t know the rules. They don’t know what they can’t do, so they open stores and give service and work out the rules as they go. If they offend against some sensibilities they will soon know it. But the good thing is that they rock the boat and give the established businesses and people some new competition, some new reasons to lift their game. They give their customers new choices.

The miserable and anxious “no-population-growth” mob, perhaps longing for their childhood backyards with Hills Hoists and paling fences, want things to stay the same, even revert to some former time of a perceived “utopia”.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary the Malthusians have always seen the imminent end-of-the-world, which only they and their controlling policies can avert. “We’re running out of food,” they wail. “Not enough water,” they cry, floods notwithstanding.

Hong Kong is a favourite city of mine, where 7 million people crowd onto a small land area, mostly by their own choosing. They become increasingly prosperous and are surrounded by ever-increasing choices and options. Crowding problems get solved; this is mankind’s way — solving problems. It’s what we do. Sometimes we do silly things, like have a war, but that is not the way of free and prosperous people. It is governments that do wars, not free people. I find bustling and crowded Hong Kong very civilised and polite.

The population worriers seem to have an authoritarian streak, and a holier-than-thou attitude — they are the elite who can see the problems and must tell others what they should and should not do.

Australia has much land — huge amounts of it. Food production is available in abundance. Infrastructure-planning and creation is a technical problem that can be solved, and it will be. Roads and rail and air travel will get better and better.

Where I live sometimes, in the country, the town gets more people, and it gets better. I may not like the new traffic lights if they go red, and sometimes parking can be a hassle but my choices, my options, my opportunities get better year after year.

Fifty years ago the message was “Populate or Perish” when we Australians saw a high-population-bomb in Asia as a threat. Now it’s “Populate and Prosper”. Let those who want to migrate and work and contribute do so and we’ll all be better off. No doubt the present mob of Malthusians will get tired of their sermons and go out for an Indian curry or a Thai massage — enjoy it, boys and girls. It’s all there waiting for you! And it will be better again next year, unless the anti-people people have their way.

You suffer, dear anti-people people, from what Friedrich von Hayek called The Fatal Conceit, as if only you know best.

(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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