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Viv Forbes, The Australian, July 11, 1986, p. 12, as a letter to the editor.

Sir, A sick market is always a symptom, never a cause. One cause of our sick currency is runaway expenditure on the welfare State and bureaucracy.

Over five million people get a regular cheque from the Government. The cost of this is over $50 billion a year. The taxes needed to pay this are destroying profits and jobs, which puts more people on welfare. We are all caught in the welfare whirlpool — tax causes poverty causes welfare causes bureaucracy causes tax …

This welfare whirlpool is destroying the natural control systems of our society.

Every social system needs a combination of the carrot and the stick to regulate itself. The carrot is the chance of becoming rich if you work. The stick is the probability of becoming poor if you don’t.

Taxes have consumed the carrot; welfare has broken the stick.

This is why Australia can no longer compete, except in sport, where winners and losers are still allowed under the law.

There is need for an urgent community debate on how to get us out of the welfare whirlpool. Politicians are afraid of the subject — we, the people, must put it on to the national agenda.

Government itself is generating the welfare whirlpool and it is a cruel joke on its unfortunate victims to claim that more taxes and more welfare will provide more than temporary relief of symptoms.


No government welfare system has ever been able to separate the needy from the workshy or to prevent the cost of the system causing a revolt or a collapse of the producers.

The family and the local community is the only welfare system which works without being ripped off. Family, friends, churches, charities, voluntary communal groups — only these decentralised, personalised local groups have the right combination of austerity and compassion.

Austerity is required to prevent abuse of the system by staff or recipients. Compassion is needed to bend the rules in urgent or special cases. Neither austerity nor compassion is able to operate properly in any huge bureaucratic welfare department.

What can be done immediately, with no further debate?

First, cut the dole by 50 per cent for all able-bodied persons with no dependants and freeze the number and the payout of supporting parent benefits.

Second, give every person affected by these moves a certificate exempting him from all statutory wage controls in the first job obtained.

Third, slash taxes to allow industry to expand job opportunities. The top priority must be to abolish the fringe benefits tax and cut payroll tax, both of which are penalties for employing people.

This program will provide both the incentive and the opportunity for the unemployed to get real jobs instead of waiting in growing frustration for make-believe jobs in Bob Hawke’s leaf-raking program.

Tax Payers United
Indooroopilly, Qld

(in order of appearance on
  1. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  2. Put Windmills in National Parks
  3. Magnifying National Disasters
  4. Please Don't Feed the Animals
  5. Buy Birdsville Made?
  6. The Economics of Flood Risk
  7. Touring Bureaucrats
  8. Our slip-shod laws to blame
  9. Why Wind Won't Work
  10. A Profusion of "Prices"
  11. R.I.P. Ron Kitching - pioneer, explorer, author, family man, entrepreneur, scholar
  12. The Carbon Pollution Lie
  13. Closing Down Australia
  14. The Anti-Industry
  15. The Pyramid Builders
  16. Carbon Tax Bribery
  17. Crown Monopolies
  18. Carbon Tax Job Losses
  19. What Next, a Tax on Water?
  20. Carbon Health Warnings Coming Soon
  21. Growth Mythology
  22. The Tax Collection Industry
  23. Propaganda Puts Paid to Proof
  24. The Milk of the Welfare Teat is Watered Down
  25. "Crops for Cars" as Bad as Everlasting Drought
  26. Poll speech sets record
  27. The Emissions Trading Casino
  28. The Contract Society
  29. A Model Ministry
  30. The Five Point Plan to kill the economy with High Cost Electricity
  31. Put a Sunset Clause in the Carbon Tax
  32. Stuck on Red
  33. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  34. Carbon Tax Lies and Bribes
  35. The Middle of the Road
  36. United against taxes
  37. Call for Govt administrator
  38. Property & Prosperity
  39. "The Science is Settled" BUT Durban Climate Summit Not Cancelled
  40. No End to Fuelish Policies?
  41. The Right to Discriminate
  42. Sell the CES
  43. Free Water Costs Too Dam Much
  44. Creating Unemployment
  45. Viv Forbes Wins 1986 Adam Smith Award
  46. 1985 news item on Tax Payers United, Centre 2000 and the Australian Adam Smith Club
  47. Having the numbers is not the same as having the truth
  48. Who's Who in the Workers Party
  49. David Russell Leads 1975 Workers Party Queensland Senate Team
  50. Caught in a welfare whirlpool
  51. Global Warming Season
  52. Mining in Queensland, Past, Present and Future
  54. Political branch formed
  55. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  56. Viv Forbes on Libertarian Strategy and the Constant Resources Myth
  57. The New Brisbane Line?
  58. Carbon Lies
  59. We Mine to Live
  60. Save the taxpayer
  61. Solving Three Canberra Problems
  62. Vested Interests in the Climate Debate
  63. Carbon Tax Retrospective?
  64. Carbon Price Propaganda Taxes the Truth
  65. Don't Burn Food for Motor Spirit - Feed People not Cars
  66. Two Big Climate Taxes
  67. Greens Rediscover Hydrogen Car
  68. Atlas of Australia
  69. Shutting Out The Sun
  70. Safety Mania
  71. Coal - Sinking in the Swamps
  72. Hobbling the Competition
  73. Cubic Currency Coming
  74. "Dear Government"
  75. Viv Forbes mocks Flannery in 1988
  76. What we have is not a drug problem but a drug law problem
  77. Smoking, Health and Freedom
  78. Privatise Now! while they are still worth something
  79. The Electoral Act should allow voters to choose "none of the above"
  80. The New Federalism
  81. Sunset for Solar Subsidies
  82. The mouse will roar
  83. The Road to Homelessness
  84. Planning & Prosperity
  85. Viv Forbes and Jim Fryar vs Malcolm Fraser in 1979
  86. Quip, Quote, Rant and Rave: four of Viv Forbes' letters to the editor in The Australian in 1979
  87. Australia's First Official Political Party Poet Laureate: The Progress Party's Ken Hood in 1979
  88. Our homeless regulation refugees
  89. Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
  90. Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
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