The Hon. C. R. Kelly, M.P.

Speech given to the
Sydney, December 4, 1970

Most of this talk will describe the methods (and their effects) by which we in Australia protect our industries. But as I am talking to the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, it is worth remembering that Finland bought from us $4.3m worth of goods last financial year while we bought from Finland 17.7m (nearly four times as much). So the trade balance between our two countries is rather one-sided. I am not one of those who thinks that trade between two countries should balance, but there is no sense in not recognising the magnitude of the imbalance.

I will be describing the barriers that we place in the trade channels to protect our industries, often with injurious effects on both trading partners. But I am well aware that Finland places barriers in the way of our trade with her. They may not be the same steps as we take, but they may be even more effective.

How do we in Australia protect our industries? First, and most important, by the imposition of customs tariff duties. These are only imposed following a report by the Tariff Board, which recommends to the government the rate of duty necessary to protect an industry that is thought to be economic and efficient. The government usually follows the Tariff Board advice, but not always.

The Tariff Board hearing and the preparation of the report takes a considerable time — often over a year. Sworn public evidence is heard from all interested parties, and, if necessary, confidential evidence is submitted. Often the public evidence fulfils a valuable educative function and so helps prepare the industry and the public for the recommendations that follow. It brings things out into the open. I wish Finland treated us in the same way.

The Tariff Board has, over the years, acquired a world-wide reputation which has been enhanced by its performance in recent years, when it has acquired the experience and expertise to enable it to measure the effects of its recommendation more accurately. It is also becoming increasingly conscious of the adverse effects on the well-being of the economy of unnecessarily high protection. So I would say that, provided the government continues to recognise that it needs independent and expert advice on tariff matters and continues to sustain the Board with money and men, and continues to generally follow the recommendations, then we will move steadily towards a more moderate and sensible level of tariff protection.

I think the government will be glad to generally accept the Board’s advice for four main reasons. First, rural exports still make up about 50% of our exports. The position of the rural exporter is grim and he is in no mood to have unnecessary burdens placed on his bent back. Secondly, the mining industry is becoming an increasingly important exporter and it speaks with a clear and powerful voice when its costs are increased by unwise tariff protection. Thirdly, secondary industry itself is becoming increasingly export conscious and high tariff usually hurt their ability to export. Fourthly, all the advice of economists and treasury officials point authoritatively to a policy of lower protection.

That this movement will be resented and resisted, I have no doubt. Sometimes the resistance will be rather puerile and appear as naked self-interest, as in the man-made fibre diatribe. Sometimes it will be better mounted, as when A.I.D.A. talk economic jargon. Sometimes the resistance comes from a Member of Parliament in whose electorate a factory is damaged. But gradually, as we become more mature and more industrialised, the realisation that unwise tariff protection hinders gainful employment and development will be more widely accepted.

How will the political parties regard this? It will be generally accepted by the Liberal Party, though there will be pockets of resistance. From now on, the Country Party will probably revert to their old lower protection policy as the tariff becomes increasingly resented by their constituents. I do not know how the Labor Party will end up. They have been for many years a high protectionist party and their spokesman in this field, Dr Cairns, has, after trying the other side of the fence for a while, finally came down as an advocate of protection at any price. Yet Mr Whitlam, the Leader of the Opposition, has recently adopted a low protection outlook. My guess is that, if they get government, the logic of events will force them to follow the path of economic sense, though I would not be certain of this.

So much for customs tariffs. What other methods of trade protection do we use? The next one on the list is dumping duties. The justification for the imposition of dumping duties is to protect Australian industry from overseas competitors who may sell goods cheaper in Australia than they do at home. This may be done simply as a marginal pricing exercise in order to get the economics of scale that spring from greater through-put. We are always advising our manufacturers to do this. But also dumping has been used to prevent an Australian competitor getting started and this is a dangerous use of commercial power.

There is considerable difficulty often in establishing what is the domestic price in the overseas country and I am afraid that we in Australia have often taken the easy way out by using the most common price. To take a case which you Finns will understand, there is in Finland and Scandinavian countries a common “Scanfin” price which is the common price which is a closely controlled paper industry insists on. But we know that it can be breached on occasions by competent merchants. What is the good of getting a cut price if, as soon as you do, you incur a dumping duty that makes the price the same as if it had been bought at the “Scanfin” price? A merchant in Finland says to his Australian buyer, “Why not pay us the full price? If you pay less you only pay it to us. The cost will be the same.” So we end up paying more than we need for our paper. It doesn’t make much sense.

This kind of action is even worse with the “support values” method of arriving at tariff duties. This, fortunately, has so far been confined to the chemical industry. But this whole business is dangerous. It may be administratively convenient, but it seems queer that we should be going through the motions of trying to prevent restrictive trade practices against the public interest in Australia, while we encourage their operation in our overseas competitors.

The next protective device we use is the emergency protection imposed by a Special Advisory Authority. To get emergency protection an industry goes to the Department of Trade and, if it can prove a rapidly deteriorating position caused by imports, it can be granted a hearing before the Special Advisory Authority who usually awards emergency protection. The case then goes to the Tariff Board for full report in due course. I have been very critical of this process in the past. First, the level of examination by the S.A.A. is often lamentably low. And second, the process has been abused in the past by emergency protection being awards immediately following a Tariff Board report. The case then goes back to the Tariff Board for a full report. This led to the “shuttle service” with reports from either the S.A.A. or the Tariff Board following in bewildering succession.

Fortunately, this process is not so often used now that we are becoming more mature industrially. I grant that there should be some emergency machinery, but I am anxious that it not be abused.

There is another weapon in our protective armoury. Goods may be admitted into Australia at non-protective rates under customs by-law if it can be proved that there are no suitably equivalent goods made in Australia that are reasonably available. The ability to import under by-law is valuable, but I cannot be confident that the system is not being abused. The decision that an article is suitably equivalent and reasonably available is made by Customs officials and it is difficult for the ordinary citizen to find out what is going on. And, indeed, it is difficult for a Member of Parliament, also. And the decisions themselves are difficult. Is an open front header, which is capable of dealing with really heavy down crops suitably equivalent to a standard Australian header good at handling ordinary crops? Is a very light rotary stationary engine suitable for being carried in spray equipment, suitably equivalent to a much heavier reciprocating engine? I repeat, they are difficult decisions and it is difficult to find out on what grounds they are made.

What is reasonably available? Say, a company in Australia had the equipment to make machines. It hasn’t made a model like the one that is being asked for, but it feels sure it could. But it would take some time — probably six months. It is not an easy decision to decide what is a reasonable time to wait for delivery, particularly when the overseas machine can be bought off the shelf and its performance is known.

I think we would all be much happier with the by-law system if there were public knowledge of what by-laws were granted. I know the by-laws are published in the Commonwealth Gazette, but it is difficult in many cases to identify the product precisely and almost impossible to find the reasons for the decision.

I think we should have more light thrown on this part of the protection process. There is certainly a great deal of suspicion that the system is being used to award higher protection than is wise. I have a great deal of confidence in the Minister for Customs, but I also think that the Customs Department is biased towards protection and I know that the commercial world would be glad if some method of exposure of the true position could be evolved. It would be difficult, but I think it is important.

The by-law position is made worse because there are sections of the tariff that have not been looked at for many years. A clear case is that part of the tariff dealing with machinery and manufacturing of metal. This contains many duties which are very high, often 55%. About 70% of the by-law applications come within this group. If the duties were more sensible it would not matter so much if by-laws were granted or not. As it is now, it is often a matter of great importance to the importer whether or not he can get by-law entry. If he can’t, it may very well mean that he cannot economically afford to buy an essential tool of trade.

The Tariff Board is continually asking for this group to be referred to it by the Minister for Trade. Why this has not been done, I simply cannot understand. To think that the competitive position of Australian manufacture in this area has not changed since the depth of the Depression, when many of these goods were last reviewed, is impossible to believe. To penalise Australian manufacturers by forcing them to pay prohibitive duties for essential tools makes their competitive position against imports much more difficult. So I hope we will soon see this area referred to the Tariff Board.

To sum it all up, I am certain we can look forward to a gradual easing of our protective industries. We know now that we have a greater percentage of our work force employed in secondary industry than has the U.S.A. We now are an industrialised country. We know that high duties are always paid for by other user or exporting industries. I think that the protection honeymoon is over, but it would be too much to hope that the path to a wiser protection policy will not be rough in parts. But we will gradually get there. The way would be a lot easier if other countries were not more misguided than ourselves. That is why the projected new legislation in the U.S.A. is so frightening. If they start to put the shutters up. the world is likely to embark on a trade and tariff war as we did in the 1930s. This will not only make another world war almost inevitable, but it will also mean that living standards will be unnecessarily low in our country and in others. God save us all from economic nationalism run mad!

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Bert Kelly on his journalism
  2. Move for a body of Modest Members
  3. Modest Members Association
  4. Bert Kelly's Maiden Parliamentary Speech
  5. Government Intervention
  6. 1976 Monday Conference transcript featuring Bert Kelly
  7. Bert Kelly, Hayek and Mencken on the virtues of farmers
  8. Sound economics calls for quiet from government
  9. Petrol for Farmers
  10. Some Sacred Cows
  11. Experiences in Parliament
  12. Spending your Money
  13. Is Taxmania a politician fetish?
  14. How Bert Kelly repays a free feed
  15. Modest column #898
  16. Chicken-hearted feathered friends strange bedfellows on a feather bed?
  17. Who needs literary licence?
  18. A touch of Fred's anarchy
  19. Helping the farmers help themselves
  20. Standing on the shoulders of the downtrodden
  21. Supply and Demand
  22. Bert Kelly responds to claims he is arrogant and uncredentialed
  23. Politics: it's a very confusing business
  24. The best featherbeds run on rails
  25. Bert Kelly on Disaster Relief
  26. Bert Kelly Wants to Secede
  27. Blinded by their tears
  28. Anti-freedom pro-tobacco industry lobby harmed Australia
  29. Under Labor, is working hard foolish?
  30. An Idiot's Guide to Interventionism
  31. Is free priceless healthcare worthless?
  32. Can government kiss it better?
  33. Bert Kelly Destroys the Side Benefits Argument for Government
  34. Bert Kelly gets his head around big-headed bird-brained politics
  35. First Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  36. Second Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  37. Third Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  38. Fourth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  39. Fifth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  40. Sixth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  41. Bert Kelly on the 2011 Budget and Australia's Pathetic Journalists and Politicians
  42. Bert Kelly, Bastard or Simple Sod?
  43. Liberal Backbencher Hits Govt. Over Import Restrictions
  44. Bert Kelly feels a dam coming on at each election
  45. Bert Kelly Enters Parliament
  46. Why take in one another's washing?
  47. Bert Kelly breaks the law, disrespects government and enjoys it
  48. Gillard's galley-powered waterskiing
  49. State Premiers are always asking for more taxing powers
  50. Can price control really work?
  51. Should we put up with socialism?
  52. We're quick to get sick of socialism
  53. Time the protection racket ended
  54. Can't pull the wool over Farmer Fred
  55. People not Politics
  56. Bert Kelly admits he should have had less faith in politicians
  57. The inspirational incentivising Dear Leader Gough Whitlam
  58. Labor: a girl who couldn't say no
  59. Why leading businessmen carry black briefcases
  60. Ludwig von Mises on page 3 of AFR
  61. Bert Kelly's empowering feminism
  62. Mavis wants the Modest Member to dedicate his book to her
  63. What if the whole country is swindled?
  64. Moss Cass: "Flood plains are for floods"
  65. A worm's eye view
  66. Eccles returns to haunt us
  67. How to grip a politician's ear
  68. It's hard to digest this economic cake
  69. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  70. Cold water on government-instigated irrigation schemes
  71. Hooray for Ord River Dam!
  72. Tariffs paid by exporters
  73. The problem of principles v popularity
  74. If you support State Quotas, where will your logic take you?
  75. Against guidance by government
  76. A socialist in Liberal clothing
  77. Never ask the government to help
  78. Don't listen to economists!
  79. Bert Kelly's revolutionary strategy
  80. Whitlam's July 1973 25% tariff cut
  81. Bert Kelly on Import Quotas
  82. Good directions when government backseat driving, like reversing down wrong side of road
  83. Barriers to imports are barriers to exports
  84. Bert Kelly reviews The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
  85. Bert Kelly reviews We Were There
  86. Tariffs get the fork-tongue treatment
  87. Bert Kelly reduces government to its absurdities
  88. Politician sacrifices his ... honesty
  89. It's all a matter of principle
  90. Bert Kelly Destroys the Infant Industry Argument
  91. Bert Kelly Untangles Tariff Torment
  92. Bert Kelly resorts to prayer
  93. Eccles keeps our nose hard down on the tariff grindstone
  94. "Don't you believe in protecting us against imports from cheap labour countries?"
  95. Even if lucky, we needn't be stupid
  96. Great "freedom of choice" mystery
  97. Small government's growth problem
  98. I like my kind acts to get a mention in the press
  99. A Modest Member rakes the embers
  100. Tariffs Introduced
  101. More About Tariffs
  102. Sacred cow kicker into print
  103. Bert Kelly's 1984 two-article quote-collection on Aboriginal policies
  104. Modest Member must not give up
  105. Traditional Wheat Farming is Our Birthright and Heritage and Must be Protected!
  106. Tariff-cut nonsense lives on
  107. Bert Kelly brilliantly defends "theoretical academics"
  108. The high cost of protection
  109. Generosity creates problems
  110. The Society of Modest Members
  111. John Hyde's illogical, soft, complicated, unfocussed and unsuccessful attempt to communicate why he defends markets
  112. Modesty ablaze
  113. Case for ministers staying home
  114. The unusual self-evident simplicity of the Modest Members Society
  115. Animal lib the new scourge of the bush
  116. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Krill
  117. modest members society
  118. Repeal economic laws, force people to buy new cars and enforce tariffs against overseas tennis players
  119. Thoughts on how to kill dinosaurs
  120. Let's try the chill winds
  121. Taking the Right's road
  122. Bert Kelly: "I did not try often or hard enough"
  123. Bert Kelly "lacked ... guts and wisdom"
  124. A look at life without tariffs
  125. The Gospel according to Bert
  126. Tiny note on Bert Kelly's column in The Bulletin in 1985
  127. Why costs can't be guaranteed
  128. Hitting out with a halo
  129. Paying farmers not to grow crops will save on subsidies, revenge tariffs, etc
  130. "The Modest Farmer joins us" | "How The Modest Farmer came to be"
  131. Bert Kelly Destroys the Freeloading Justifies Government Argument
  132. Industrial Relations Club shovellers
  133. From Shann to Stone
  134. Government Intervention
    Government Interference
  135. A sojourn in the real world
  136. The tariff wind swings
  137. Bigger Cake = Bigger Slices
  138. Bert Kelly on the Political Process
  139. A charabanc called protection
  140. Taken for a ride - to nowhere
  141. Down hill, in circles, all the way
  142. Economic facts and figures are statistics who should speak out
  143. Any cons arguing small business bad but big government good?
  144. Relationships with the Liberal Party
  145. Tariffs = High Prices + World War
  146. Bert Kelly's Family History
  147. Bert Kelly's Pre-Parliament Life
  148. What the MP could say to the Bishop
  149. Why Bert Kelly was not even more publicly outspoken
  151. How to stand aside when it's time to be counted
  152. How the Modest Member went back to being a Modest Farmer
  153. My pearls of wisdom were dull beyond belief
  154. Bert Kelly on Political Football
  155. Undigested morsels in Fraser spew
  156. Bert Kelly on LSD
  157. Bert Kelly reflects on the Australian car industry in 1992
  158. Bert Kelly wants reprinted Shann's Economic History of Australia
  159. If tariffs are opposed here then why not there?
  160. The emperor has no textiles, clothing and footwear sense
  161. Ross Gittins Wins Bert Kelly Award
  162. Interesting 1964 Bert Kelly speech: he says he is not a free trader and that he supports protection!
  163. This is the wall the Right built
  164. Tariff Protection in Australia (1970)
  165. Has Santa socked it to car makers?
  166. Is the Budget a cargo cult?
  167. Will we end up subsidising one another?
  168. Keeping the bucket of worms alive
  169. Can we get off the stomach-churning head-spinning tariff merry-go-round?
  170. Do we want our money to fly?
  171. Can a bear be sure of a feed?
  172. How to impress your MP -
    ambush him
  173. The time for being nice to our MPs has gone ...
  174. Don't feel sorry for him -
    hang on to his ear
  175. Trade wars can easily end up on a battlefield
  176. Tariffs Create Unemployment
  177. Bert Kelly recommends Ayn Rand
  178. Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan's Industry Assistance: The Inside Story
  179. Bert Kelly's Satirical Prophecy: Minister for Meteorology (tick) and High Protectionist Policies to Result in War Yet Again (?)
  180. Bert Kelly in 1972 on Foreign Ownership of Australian Farmland and Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in 2012
  181. Bert Kelly baits Welfare State Tiger
  182. Why does Govt wear two faces?
  183. Parliament a place for pragmatists
  184. Of Sugar Wells and Think-Tanks
  185. Bert Kelly: "I must take some of the blame"
  186. Bert Kelly on dumping duties
  187. The Govt's helping hand often hurts
  188. Unbuckling the hobbles on the motor industry
  189. A Modest Farmer looks at the Problems of Structural Change
  190. Government Fails Spectacularly
  191. Know your proper place if you want the quiet life
  192. Bert Kelly on political speech writers
  193. Having your cake and eating it
  194. Perish the thawed!
  195. Hooray for Northern Development!
  196. Politicians can resist everything except pressure
  197. The silly image of our MPs
  198. Bert Kelly Question Time highlights
  199. Modest Farmer sees his ideas take hold
  200. Should facts stand in the way of a good story?
  201. Fondling one another's glass haloes
  202. What is the sense in making the effort to look after yourself?
  203. Fred's Feeling: Counterpatriotic country contrarian
  204. Handouts for big boys only
  205. Mavis trying to buy a hand loom
  206. Bad news for bearers of bad news
  207. Is it time to get aboard the tariff band-waggon?
  208. Why farmers resent tariff protection for motor makers
  209. A sordid use of scare tactics
  210. Goods vs services
  211. Tariffs are hilariously counterproductive
  212. Bert Kelly on decentralisation
  213. Inflation breeds moral decay
  214. Who envies equality?
  215. Growth – malignant or benign?
  216. Government wiser than Magna Carta
  217. Bert Kelly on looking to politicians for moral leadership
  218. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  219. Whitlam & co on the Dismissal
  220. 25% Tariff Cut
  221. Bert Kelly on pensions
  222. The backseat drivers of the Pilbara
  223. Mr Clunies-Ross of the Cocos Islands should rule Australia
  224. They get the wind up when it changes
  225. Why the Big Green Lie survives
  226. Ross McLean in 1982: "Malcolm! Why don't we try good government? It might be popular."
  227. Bert Kelly on the importance of exchange rate movements
  228. Bert Kelly shows how to attack
  229. Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly
  230. Industrial relations dinosaur, Bruce, chews his cud
  231. Hooray for "firmly entrenched"!
  232. Respect your dinosaurs
  233. What if something is "deeply ingrained" yet harmful?
  234. A case for ministerial inertia
  235. Why politicians don't like the truth
  236. Our great open spaces
  237. Ominous dark clouds are gathering
  238. Better to be popular than right
  239. Crying in the wilderness
  240. Ivory tower needs thumping
  241. Bert Kelly asks, "How can you believe in free enterprise and government intervention at the same time?"
  242. Politicians get undeserved praise, why not undeserved blame too?
  243. Feet in a bucket of champagne
  244. Rural Problems
  245. Health cover needs a $30 excess clause
  246. Unholy state of taxation
  247. Boring economics worth a smile
  248. The Libido for the Miserable
  249. Agricultural Development and Tariffs
  250. Fred's too poor to have principles
  251. Eccles Law of the constant wage share
  252. "He whom the gods would destroy ..."
  253. Tariffs: when to wean infant BHP?
  254. Keep any government as far as possible from farming
  255. The Playford charade is out of date
  256. Bert Kelly: the odd man out who's now in
  257. Dries must resist giving up struggle as going gets tough
  258. How a well meaning Government can be so stupid
  259. The icing on the economic cake
  260. Sir Roderick Carnegie's foreword to Bert Kelly's Economics Made Easy
  261. The Vale of Popularity and the Protection Procession
  262. Politics 101: Pay Lip Service to Capitalism and Shoot the Messenger
  263. Bert Kelly makes politicians eat their own words on tariffs, then says, "We cannot be blamed for treating the statements of our statesmen with cynical contempt"
  264. Bert Kelly on Free Enterprise
  265. Cartoons of protected industry, the welfare teat and the nanny state
  266. Bert Kelly on the theory of constant shares and the Fabian Society
  267. Bert Kelly vs Doug Anthony
  268. You're lucky if you escape being helped by government
  269. Bert Kelly on Small Farmers
  270. Bert Kelly on Apathy
  271. Bert Kelly in 1967 on "problems of government and things like that"
  272. The last "Dave's Diary"
  273. Bert Kelly vs The Australian on tariffs in 1977
  274. Bounties or Tariffs, Someone Pays
  275. Geriatric companies without a minder
  276. A free marketeer wary of free trade
  277. Nixon's puzzling profession of faith
  278. "Ford ... seems to spend more time bending its knees than its back"
  279. Clyde Cameron's weak ways with wise words
  280. Why flaunt what others flout?
  281. Bert Kelly yearns for Tim Flannery's powers of prediction
  282. Looking after yourself is silly
  283. Bert Kelly masterpiece on drought, fire, flood and other natural disaster relief schemes
  284. Government can take credit for our car industry mess
  285. Car makers want the 4wd driven deeper into tariff bog
  286. Why our MP is no longer prone to a good sob story
  287. Auto industry is in a straitjacket
  288. Bert Kelly on market predictions
  289. Why should dryland farmers subsidise irrigation farmers?
  290. How much should government decrease incentive for independence from government?
  291. Clarkson crowned Deputy Government Whip
  292. Bert Kelly to blame for soaring government healthcare costs
  293. 1959 return of Dave's Diary
  294. Bert Kelly in 1966 on developing northern Australia
  295. Successful government intervention can [sic] occur
  296. Vernon Report upholds Clarkson
  297. Quiet Man Makes An Impact
  298. Should it be compulsory to buy footwear and clothing?
  299. To save Australian clothing industry women must all wear same uniform
  300. Don't confuse plucking heart strings with plucking harp strings
  301. Speech only for public
  302. Catchy Tariff Circus Extravaganza
  303. Bert Kelly in 1985 on cars yet again
  304. Hurrah for the Gang of Five
  305. Thoughts on a verse about Balfour
  306. Bert Kelly pep talk to politicians
  307. Government intervention = Agony postponed but death brought nearer
  308. Recipe for disaster: Freeze!
  309. Recipe for government intervention: Gather winners and scatter losers
  310. Recipe for industry destruction: Blanket market signals
  311. Mavis writes!
  312. Bert Kelly's empiricism is not kneejerk reaction kind
  313. The $2,000 song of the shirt worker
  314. Subsiding only small farmers means subsiding the big banks
  315. Difficult to be fast on your feet when you've got your ear to the ground
  316. It would surprise people to see how sensible MPs behave if they think they are not being watched
  317. Bert Kelly on "this land of limitless resources" and "great open spaces"
  318. Growing bananas at the South Pole
  319. Car components tariff protection under fire
  320. Why carry a $300m car subsidy?
  321. Tariff feather beds for the foreign giants
  322. Bert Kelly says end compulsory voting to stop donkey vote
  323. Perhaps being smart and insured isn't all luck
  324. You gets your tariff, you pays a price
  325. More funds to train Olympians?
  326. Fire in their guts and wind in ours
  327. Should free universal healthcare include pets?
  328. Sound advice from a modest farmer
  329. A tottering monument to intervention
  330. Cunning meets wisdom
  331. Competition, Aussie-style: Who's the bigger parasite?
  332. Australians are proud patriotic parasites, says Bert Kelly
  333. Taxpayer-funded sport is cheating
  334. Being loved by all is not always a good thing
  335. Welfare State Destroys Society
  336. 1980 Bert Kelly feather bed series
  337. The White Mice Marketing Board
  338. Government intervention and advice can be harmful, even when right, even for those it tries to help
  339. One small step on the compulsory voting landmine
  340. The free & compulsory education sacred cows have no clothes
  341. Holding a loaded wallet to an economist's head
  342. Political No Man's Land
  343. Only blind greed demands both equality and prosperity
  344. A cow that sucks itself — that's us!
  345. Nip the bud of incentive; mock community spirit into submission
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