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Ron Manners, “GOVERNMENT CONTROL,” Sunday Independent, June 22, 1975, p. 22, as a letter to the editor. The author is still brilliantly political at Mannkal Economic Education Foundation.

Referring to Canberra’s recent suggestion of finance for part ownership of Kalgoorlie Lake View Pty Ltd, it may be constructive to look at the reasons causing the current problems facing our mining industry.

Karl Marx stated, and Jim Cairns has recently repeated, (in his book The Quiet Revolution), that the quickest way to socialise any country is to debauch (destroy) the currency. The most effective way of doing this is through government-designed inflation (printing off more money to finance deficit spending).

The situation facing the goldmines is no different to the situation facing all businessmen, industry and individuals in Australia today.

Through socialist “income redistribution” most of our inflated money is needed to “tread water” and meet existing costs. (If you are a family man this means feeding your family.) It is becoming increasingly difficult for any surplus to to be generated to finance upgrading of facilities or new developments.

It is in this carefully planned economic climate that “big brother” predatory Government steps in with its battalions of bureaucrats in instrumentalities such as AIDC, IAC, PMA and various committees of investigation proclaiming loudly that “if private enterprise can’t carry on, the Government will have to take over.”

Australia’s real interests would be served by abolishing all these Government instrumentalities, along with the Department of the Media. (This department already employs more people than are employed underground in all WA mines and while there is nothing wrong with people being employed, the essential difference is that the mining industry produces something and the Department of the Media produces nothing.)

One of our first duties as citizens is to learn to see through the deceptive jargon and methods of our political rulers.

Governments do not act in the interests of the people as individuals, Governments only act in the interests of politicians and bureaucrats.

The Government’s proper and correct roles are:

  • Being responsible for the defence of Australia.
  • Being responsible for the protection of honest Australians against criminals.
  • Being responsible for the maintenance of the legal system to protect individuals’ liberty and the property rights of individuals.

Once the Government gets involved in other areas, they never get out. Government regulations and controls never allow an industry to return again to honest profitable efficiency.

Our rulers in Canberra often quote Sweden as the blueprint for their socialistic nationalisation of industry. The Swedish Government decided to prop up one of Sweden’s largest public mining companies a few years ago, offering to print off some more money to hand to the company in return for share equity. Ever since this Government involvement, the efficiency of the company has declined making them more dependent on Government’s (taxpayers) handouts.

The stage has now been reached where the Swedish Government owns 97 per cent of the shares in the company, but production has not increased. The prospects for this company ever to be self-reliant have decreased. (Incidentally this company still masquerades as a free enterprise company listed on the Swedish stock exchange.)

The result of Government interference (even in its guise as public benefactor) has compounded the problems that must come when the productive sector no longer can stand the burden of propping up these monuments of socialist deception.

The most constructive thing the Government can do for our mining industry and mining regions, is to get out of the way.

If the Government would stand aside and allow natural free-market growth to take place without Government restrictions on investment capital formation, joint venture agreements, export licence embargos, and so forth, we would all benefit from a growth along sound economic lines.

I agree with Mr Brodie-Hall when he indicates that the best long term interests of mining regions are served by efficiently operating industry rather than becoming a claimant on the welfare state.

Government has nothing to contribute other than restraints on industrial progress.

The only thing we have to fear is continued Government interference (well-intentioned as it first may seem) and the resultant destructive inflation of our currency.

RON MANNERS,
Kalgoorlie.