These never-before-republished pieces overlap and read well together:
1. P. P. McGuinness, “Why the jobs debate gets nowhere,” The Australian Financial Review, October 25, 1978, pp. 12-13.
2. A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “MPs don’t always behave like yahoos and larrikins,” The Australian Financial Review, November 3, 1978, p. 3.
3. A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “They’ll be stroking their platitudes till they purr,” The Australian Financial Review, November 10, 1978, p. 3.

P. P. McGuinness, “Why the jobs debate gets nowhere,” The Australian Financial Review, October 25, 1978, pp. 12-13.

Where are the jobs coming from? This is the increasingly desperate question being asked as the evidence emerges of mounting unemployment, rapid introduction of labour-saving equipment and slow growth expectations over the next few years.

It is a question which has a lot in common with the old criticisms of proposals for tariff cuts, when it used to be said that it was all very well for the Tariff Board/Industries Assistance Commission to remove protection for existing industries, but which industries would grow to replace them?

Both questions are unanswerable. Economic forecasting in the very short term is difficult enough: for periods of years stretching up to a decade it is a very chancy exercise indeed.

At best, as in the case of the IMPACT project sponsored by the IAC and other bodies, it will be possible to sketch out the way in which the framework of the economy will change.

If governments could identify the industries and the particular products, which would be most profitable over the next few years, there would, of course, be no role for private enterprise at all.

But changing patterns of demand, changing technology, new products and processes, and many others factors make the future extremely uncertain.

All that economists and governments can do at best is to point out likely directions in a very general sense and (something never yet done in Australia) lay down a firm and stable basis for policy.

In the case of jobs, it is all too easy to point to jobs “disappearing” as a result of the introduction of new equipment and new technology, but equally difficult to specify what new jobs will come into being.

Many of the jobs which exist in our present economy were unimaginable a century ago, and even a decade ago the significance of the relative growth of the services sector of the economy were not fully realised.

But it is certain that the creation of new jobs to replace jobs which have disappeared is not any easy or smooth process. In the case of shop assistants, for example, new approaches to stock handling and display the reduction in standards of personal service, the linking of cash registers to centralised data processing equipment, and so on, have all irreversibly reduced the demand for labour in proportion to sales.

Economic recovery, with a large increase in total retail sales, is unlikely therefore to bring about an increase in the employment of shop assistants or to bring back jobs which have disappeared. Even a reduction in the wastes of shop assistants would not change the new technology, with its lower labour requirements.

Much the same applies to the areas of current alarm, such as word-processing, which will greatly reduce the requirements for stenographic labour in proportion to a given level of output; Keynesian methods of fiscal stimulus cannot re-create jobs which have vanished as a result of such basic changes.

But it does not follow that there is a fixed, or dwindling, stock of jobs in the economy — the kind of idea which is implicit in gimmicky proposals for banning overtime, or job sharing, or permanent part-time work or early retirement or a shorter working week. All these, as they are usually put forward, imply an increase in the average hourly cost of labour to employers.

There is the implicit assumption that there is a rigidly fixed amount of employment which can be shared out amongst the labour force, without any compensatory action by employers, even though average labour costs rise as a result.

Thus the bank clerks, now demanding a shorter working week, seem to think that the banks will not reduce the numbers of employees still further as a result.

What the banks can do, and what many firms in Australia have done, is to reduce the rate of recruitment of labour, particularly young workers, and so allow natural wastage to reduce their total labour force. Thus the bank clerks may be able to protect their own existing jobs, but at the expense of potential employees.

By doing so, they help to make the changes in methods involving the new equipment irreversible. So do the shop assistants, who by their opposition to shift work and to part-time work simply ensure that retailing becomes less and less labour-intensive.

Thus even though the initial impetus to the introduction of labour-saving techniques may have come from a relative increase in the price of labour, so that employers substitute labour-saving capital equipment for old equipment, even a fall in wages would not bring about a rapid recovery in employment.

The jobs have truly disappeared — the proportions in which labour and equipment are used have changed. Even if no new technology were involved, this would be slow to reverse.

The workers who are displaced as a result, and those who have yet to find jobs, cannot hope for employment in these industries. This is the basic problem facing the Australian economy as far as employment is concerned, and it is one which the Government, and particularly its advisers in Treasury, are simply refusing to face up to.

No matter how real wages are reduced, it is a fact that the structure of the existing labour force and its skills and habitual occupations do not match up to the pattern of labour demand which would emerge with economic recovery.

Just which industries will expand to take up the slack is at present impossible to say, but it is certain that many people will have to change their habitual or expected occupations in the process. This is a painful and costly business.

It is usually the case that technological process will raise output per head of the population, but it will not necessarily do so immediately.

The only criterion for profitability is that output per head of the employed labour force will rise.

It is only through the growth of new occupations, the expansion of existing labour-intensive industries, or increase in overall demand, that output per head of the whole population rises.

And even so, the distribution of the resulting incomes will not necessarily be such as to immediately benefit even those in employment.

The historical evidence is that all technological progress and investment in capital-intensive production techniques has benefited the majority of the community (though poverty is still with us). But in the course of its introduction there has been an immense problem of adjustment to the new patterns of demand for labour.

The neo-classical economics approach, which sets out neat substitution curves between labour and capital, such that a rise in real wages will reduce total employment and a reduction increase it, cannot take account of the difficulties of the adjustment process — even though as time elapses, substitution in both directions does take place.

The “structural” approach, which is popular in some places, such as the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, ignores that such substitution takes place.

Instead, it seems to conceive of the economy as a kind of jigsaw puzzle, with lots of pieces which can git together in one way only.

If some of the pieces change their shape as a result of technological change, there is, according to this view, no place for the pieces (labour) which used to fit into them.

In the very short period, particularly in a depression like the present one, that view is not far wrong.

The specific training and habits of workers, the segmentation of the labour market, the discrimination against some kinds of workers, such as women, the network of complicated restrictions on the mobility, the use and recruitment of labour established in self-protection by unions, and the sheer lack of information on the part of workers, makes adjustment difficult even if fiscal stimulus were applied.

It also makes the rapid emergence of inflationary bottlenecks more likely, and hence governments which are strongly averse to inflation will tend to cut recovery short.

Over time, even without government intervention, the labour force will rearrange itself, but in the meantime many workers will have been permanently incapacitated for work.

The problem is how to take account of both the stickiness of the structural aspects of the economy, as well as their irresistible change, so as to enable the pattern of employment to change and new types of demand for labour to develop. This is something which neither the Government nor the unions have faced up to.

No doubt it will be one of the central themes at the forthcoming Victorian conference on unemployment.

However, there is the danger that the two sides will fail to agree, simply because they have different conceptions of how the labour market adjusts, and how employment changes.

A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “MPs don’t always behave like yahoos and larrikins,” The Australian Financial Review, November 3, 1978, p. 3.

Since I have ceased to be an MP, I have been appalled at how awful Parliament sounds on the radio.

For a while I tried to delude myself that the standard of behaviour and debate fell when I left the place, but Fred was quick to say that he thought my departure had improved the standard rather than lowered it.

Evidently something in the Canberra air or the shape of the chamber makes members behave like yahoos — even well balanced people like me.

This is a pity because Parliamentarians can be quite sensible people, really.

If you talk them quietly and alone, or see them at work on a committee when they do not think they are being watched, they frequently behave quite normally.

And sometimes they even behave like that in Parliament, or some of them do. But if they are not being thrown out, or are not assassinating someone’s character, the media do not report them because they are thought to be dull.

It is not surprising, then, if MPs behave like larrikins if they think this is the only way to be noticed by the press.

So I ask you to read a speech made by Senator David Hamer in the Senate on September 26 and which was not reported because it was only a sensible, simple speech without any personal attacks and smart political footwork. It was just packed full of facts and so was not newsworthy.

I was not surprised to see the standard set by Senator Hamer because he used to be in the Reps and even there he talked a lot of sense.

He used to represent a Melbourne constituency and we used to argue a lot about tariffs.

For a while I was hopeful of unloading Eccles on to him and Eccles said that he would be glad to be dealing with someone with more basic intelligence than the poor material with which he was then working. (I think he meant me.)

So Eccles went off happily to instruct Mr Hamer as he then was, but he soon returned with a flea in his ear.

“It’s no good Bert,” he complained, “He’s got a mind of his own. I can’t do anything with him.”

And David Hamer obviously still has a mind of his own and it has taken him a long way along the road to economic understanding.

He never used to be one of the tariff troglodytes who believe in protecting everything that moves; he was far too sensible for that.

But I never really hoped to hear him talk so much sense about tariffs as he did in the Senate the other day.

Senators often claim that their Chamber encourages cerebral activity. If this is so, it doesn’t seem to be helping the others as it does Senator Hamer. I quote from his speech:

Tariffs are not effective in the long run in protecting jobs. In this role in the long run they always do more harm than good. Unfortunately, this is the way in which very largely they are being used at the moment.

But it is not only in the long term that tariffs are damaging. I will give the Senate an example that came to my notice recently.

It concerns a product called vinyl record compound. The problem is this: Australian produced vinyl is inferior in quality and, if used, produces records which discriminating buyers reject in favour of imported records.

For the same reason we cannot export locally produced records to what otherwise would be a good market.

Only very small quantities are produced in Australia and it is not worthwhile for manufacturers to install new equipment to produce a world class product.

There is a substantial tariff on imported vinyl so it cannot be used economically by local companies if they wish to compete with imported records.

So we have this crazy situation in order to protect the handful of jobs of people producing this vinyl we are losing the chance of creating many times that number of jobs in the recording and record-making industry with a chance of substantial exports as well. That is only one example.

If we look at the secondary effects of tariffs used solely as a means of protecting jobs I think we will find that they nearly always do more harm than good.

Now if I had said that even a year ago, people would have got mad with me. The winds of logic and change are certainly blowing through the tariff world.

Senator Hamer said many other sensible things in that speech. You should ask him for a copy and so encourage him to continue being so sensible.

A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “They’ll be stroking their platitudes till they purr,” The Australian Financial Review, November 10, 1978, p. 3.

When I was elected to Parliament I quickly learnt not to say anything that would get me into trouble.

I would perhaps have picked this up myself in time if left to my own devices, but of course this did not happen.

Mavis was on me in a flash. “You must learn to behave like a real Member of Parliament, dear,” she said sternly. “Keep your head down. It won’t matter if you seldom say anything worth saying, just keep out of trouble.”

So that is what I did for 19 years. I got quite skilled at side stepping awkward situations and when I retired from politics it was very difficult to pin anything on me, good or bad.

And the habit of evading the unpopularity that follows making definite statements became so deeply ingrained that I still find it hard to get out on the end of a limb and proclaim an idea of my own.

So when Fred demanded that I take a definite attitude about the forthcoming conference on unemployment, you should have seen my footwork.

I gave the conference my general blessing in an eloquent statement of great length but was careful not to say anything that would enable my critics to brand me as a “union basher” or a “bosses’ man.”

But I said quite a lot about the benefit of everyone loving one another and I ended my oration with an appeal for peace at any price.

When I sat down (I find that I still stand up to speak) I was disappointed that Fred did not applaud. Far from it. He said sourly:

That’s the kind of thinking that has got us into our present mess.

Why don’t you face up to issues instead of trying to duck and weave around them all the time? Of course we can have industrial peace if we give in all the time to irresponsible union demands and accept impossible award conditions.

But doing that is one of the reasons our unemployment is so bad. Labour is simply too expensive to hire in many industries.

You know that perfectly well. Why don’t you say so instead of backing away from even simple problems?

He then compared me unfavourably with Senator Hamer whom I mentioned last week.

So I read Senator Hamer’s speech again and I admit that he did say some things that were worth saying and he said them simply, too.

For instance, this is what he said about the very serious problem of unemployment among our young people:

The tragedy is that our award wage policy is depriving many young people of a chance for a job. The award for young people in their first job is far too close to the adult rate so employers naturally choose experienced people, often middle-aged women re-entering the work force, in preference to juniors.

One can see the damage caused by such high award rates for young people in a recent case in the ACT.

The fast food organisation, McDonalds, recently closed two of its outlets here, claiming that it pays kids in New York $2.60 an hour, in England $3 an hour, in Scandinavia $3.30 an hour but in the ACT it has to pay them $5.36 an hour, which is the adult rate.

When the union secretary involved was asked why his union was destroying jobs for young people, he said he was not going to stand by while multi-national profiteers took advantage of the working class.

He added that the kids didn’t know they were being exploited. This was given in justification of having destroyed their jobs.

It is all ominously reminiscent of the American major in Vietnam who said that in order to liberate a village it had been necessary to destroy it.

Senator Hamer then dealt with the devastating effect of our absurdly high penalty rates, which were recently described by the South Australian Industrial Commission as a cancerous growth.

There are endless examples of the damage done by excessively high penalty rates but I suppose the tourist industry is hit the hardest.

I have been told that, if you are poor, you now go to Singapore, if moderately well off, to the UK, but if you are filthy rich you travel round Australia, staying in hotels.

That would explain why employment in the hotel and motel industries fell by 7.6 per cent last year. And now that domestic air fares have gone through the roof, there will be even more reasons for going abroad rather than staying here for holidays.

If the forthcoming conference is going to deal with these kinds of problems it will be worth holding. But I guess all the politicians will do will be to stroke their platitudes till they purr.

Our book, One More Nail, is to be launched on November 15. Fred says that it will sink immediately.

“That’s what you would expect a nail to do,” he added with his usual logic.

(in order of appearance on
  1. Where Friedman is a pinko
  2. The Economic Guerrillas: A lecture in honour of Maxwell Newton
  3. The Libertarian Alternative
  4. Libel laws block insider's revelations of Australia's industrial mess
  5. But perhaps the merchants of doom have a point
  6. The Origins of Paddy McGuinness
  7. The Itch for Influence
  8. LA safe from religious poverty
  9. Aunty should hang up her boots in face of premature senility
  10. Warning: health is a budget hazard
  11. New ABC Tory chief won't rock the boat
  12. Time to sell the ABC
  13. Youth victims of the welfare con
  14. Paddy McGuinness on class sizes (1991)
  15. More teachers won't solve the problems in our schools
  16. Paddy McGuinness on Catholics and wealth distribution
  17. Paddy McGuinness proposes inheritance tax equal to handouts received by deceased
  18. Let them swim nude
  19. Time to legalise heroin
  20. State-sponsored sports rorts
  21. The blight of the baby-boomers
  22. To reduce the problems of crime and corruption, legalise heroin
  23. We should ban Olympics
  24. Evidence shows heroin policy is not working
  25. Wowsers deny society while killing children
  26. New Paddy McGuinness slogan for ageing feminists and their ideological children
  27. The ABC and the self-evident
  28. Will Australia compete?
  29. Canberra's social revolution
  30. Paddy McGuinness in 1994 on the 2012 class size debate
  31. Why not pay for the ABC?
  32. Paddy McGuinness on David Stove
  33. Punemployment: people are neither numbers nor puzzle pieces; the platitude attitude
  34. Sometimes the truth hurts
  35. Paddy McGuinness on compulsory, informal and donkey voting, and breaking electoral laws
  36. Only government-backed monopolies are monopolies, says Paddy McGuinness in 1983
  37. Thomas Sowell, McGuinness, Aborigines and other minorities
  38. Genocide with kindness
  39. Hyde, McGuinness and Sturgess on Chaining/Changing Australia
  40. Government intervention institutionalises bullying
  41. The wrong kind of help for those most needing the right kind of help
  42. Paddy McGuinness defends comparing IQ of races
  43. The Fringe Dwellers: an honest look at the Aboriginal culture of poverty
  44. Impotent priesthood of the global casino
  45. Can primitive black and white minds comprehend nuance?
  46. Class action may be smoking gun
  47. Extend compulsion of compulsory student unionism to voting, paying back student loans and more
  48. Do-gooders should glorify smokers
Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
(in order of appearance on
  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. Too many car men in the feather bed
  15. How Bert Kelly repays a free feed
  16. Modest column #898
  17. Chicken-hearted feathered friends strange bedfellows on a feather bed?
  18. Who needs literary licence?
  19. A touch of Fred's anarchy
  20. Helping the farmers help themselves
  21. Standing on the shoulders of the downtrodden
  22. Supply and Demand
  23. Bert Kelly responds to claims he is arrogant and uncredentialed
  24. Politics: it's a very confusing business
  25. The best featherbeds run on rails
  26. Bert Kelly on Disaster Relief
  27. Bert Kelly Wants to Secede
  28. Blinded by their tears
  29. Anti-freedom pro-tobacco industry lobby harmed Australia
  30. Under Labor, is working hard foolish?
  31. An Idiot's Guide to Interventionism
  32. Is free priceless healthcare worthless?
  33. Can government kiss it better?
  34. Bert Kelly Destroys the Side Benefits Argument for Government
  35. Bert Kelly gets his head around big-headed bird-brained politics
  36. First Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  37. Second Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  38. Third Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  39. Fourth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  40. Fifth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  41. Sixth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  42. Bert Kelly on the 2011 Budget and Australia's Pathetic Journalists and Politicians
  43. Bert Kelly, Bastard or Simple Sod?
  44. Liberal Backbencher Hits Govt. Over Import Restrictions
  45. Bert Kelly feels a dam coming on at each election
  46. Bert Kelly Enters Parliament
  47. Why take in one another's washing?
  48. Bert Kelly breaks the law, disrespects government and enjoys it
  49. Gillard's galley-powered waterskiing
  50. State Premiers are always asking for more taxing powers
  51. Can price control really work?
  52. Should we put up with socialism?
  53. We're quick to get sick of socialism
  54. Time the protection racket ended
  55. Can't pull the wool over Farmer Fred
  56. People not Politics
  57. Bert Kelly admits he should have had less faith in politicians
  58. The inspirational incentivising Dear Leader Gough Whitlam
  59. Labor: a girl who couldn't say no
  60. Why leading businessmen carry black briefcases
  61. Ludwig von Mises on page 3 of AFR
  62. Bert Kelly's empowering feminism
  63. Another shot at motor car madness
  64. Mavis wants the Modest Member to dedicate his book to her
  65. What if the whole country is swindled?
  66. Moss Cass: "Flood plains are for floods"
  67. A worm's eye view
  68. Eccles returns to haunt us
  69. How to grip a politician's ear
  70. It's hard to digest this economic cake
  71. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  72. Cold water on government-instigated irrigation schemes
  73. Hooray for Ord River Dam!
  74. Tariffs paid by exporters
  75. The problem of principles v popularity
  76. If you support State Quotas, where will your logic take you?
  77. Against guidance by government
  78. A socialist in Liberal clothing
  79. Never ask the government to help
  80. Don't listen to economists!
  81. Bert Kelly's revolutionary strategy
  82. Welfare state incentivises bludging and being thrown out of work
  83. It all sounds like bloody politics to Fred
  84. Mavis wants me to get in for my chop
  85. Whitlam's July 1973 25% tariff cut
  86. Bert Kelly on Import Quotas
  87. Good directions when government backseat driving, like reversing down wrong side of road
  88. Barriers to imports are barriers to exports
  89. "I was right" — but he's off to hospital ...
  90. Kicking the multinationals is too easy
  91. Bert Kelly reviews The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
  92. Bert Kelly reviews We Were There
  93. Tariffs get the fork-tongue treatment
  94. Bert Kelly reduces government to its absurdities
  95. Politician sacrifices his ... honesty
  96. It's all a matter of principle
  97. Bert Kelly Destroys the Infant Industry Argument
  98. Bert Kelly Untangles Tariff Torment
  99. Bert Kelly resorts to prayer
  100. Eccles keeps our nose hard down on the tariff grindstone
  101. "Don't you believe in protecting us against imports from cheap labour countries?"
  102. Even if lucky, we needn't be stupid
  103. Great "freedom of choice" mystery
  104. Small government's growth problem
  105. I like my kind acts to get a mention in the press
  106. A Modest Member rakes the embers
  107. Tariffs Introduced
  108. More About Tariffs
  109. Sacred cow kicker into print
  110. Bert Kelly's 1984 two-article quote-collection on Aboriginal policies
  111. Modest Member must not give up
  112. Traditional Wheat Farming is Our Birthright and Heritage and Must be Protected!
  113. Tariff-cut nonsense lives on
  114. Bert Kelly brilliantly defends "theoretical academics"
  115. The high cost of protection
  116. Generosity creates problems
  117. The Society of Modest Members
  118. Is this an illogical, soft, complicated, unfocussed and unsuccessful attempt to communicate the case for markets?
  119. Modesty ablaze
  120. Case for ministers staying home
  121. The unusual self-evident simplicity of the Modest Members Society
  122. Animal lib the new scourge of the bush
  123. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Krill
  124. modest members society
  125. Repeal economic laws, force people to buy new cars and enforce tariffs against overseas tennis players
  126. Thoughts on how to kill dinosaurs
  127. Let's try the chill winds
  128. Taking the Right's road
  129. Bert Kelly: "I did not try often or hard enough"
  130. Bert Kelly "lacked ... guts and wisdom"
  131. A look at life without tariffs
  132. The Gospel according to Bert
  133. Tiny note on Bert Kelly's column in The Bulletin in 1985
  134. Why costs can't be guaranteed
  135. Hitting out with a halo
  136. Paying farmers not to grow crops will save on subsidies, revenge tariffs, etc
  137. "The Modest Farmer joins us" | "How The Modest Farmer came to be"
  138. Bert Kelly Destroys the Freeloading Justifies Government Argument
  139. Industrial Relations Club shovellers
  140. From Shann to Stone
  141. Government Intervention
    Government Interference
  142. A sojourn in the real world
  143. The tariff wind swings
  144. Bigger Cake = Bigger Slices
  145. Bert Kelly on the Political Process
  146. A charabanc called protection
  147. Taken for a ride - to nowhere
  148. Down hill, in circles, all the way
  149. Economic facts and figures are statistics who should speak out
  150. Any cons arguing small business bad but big government good?
  151. Relationships with the Liberal Party
  152. Tariffs = High Prices + World War
  153. Bert Kelly's Family History
  154. Bert Kelly's Pre-Parliament Life
  155. What the MP could say to the Bishop
  156. Why Bert Kelly was not even more publicly outspoken
  158. How to stand aside when it's time to be counted
  159. How the Modest Member went back to being a Modest Farmer
  160. My pearls of wisdom were dull beyond belief
  161. Bert Kelly on Political Football
  162. Undigested morsels in Fraser spew
  163. Bert Kelly on LSD
  164. Bert Kelly reflects on the Australian car industry in 1992
  165. Bert Kelly wants reprinted Shann's Economic History of Australia
  166. If tariffs are opposed here then why not there?
  167. The emperor has no textiles, clothing and footwear sense
  168. Ross Gittins Wins Bert Kelly Award
  169. Interesting 1964 Bert Kelly speech: he says he is not a free trader and that he supports protection!
  170. This is the wall the Right built
  171. Tariff Protection in Australia (1970)
  172. Has Santa socked it to car makers?
  173. Is the Budget a cargo cult?
  174. Will we end up subsidising one another?
  175. Keeping the bucket of worms alive
  176. Can we get off the stomach-churning head-spinning tariff merry-go-round?
  177. Do we want our money to fly?
  178. Can a bear be sure of a feed?
  179. How to impress your MP -
    ambush him
  180. The time for being nice to our MPs has gone ...
  181. Don't feel sorry for him -
    hang on to his ear
  182. Trade wars can easily end up on a battlefield
  183. Tariffs Create Unemployment
  184. Bert Kelly recommends Ayn Rand
  185. Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan's Industry Assistance: The Inside Story
  186. Bert Kelly's Satirical Prophecy: Minister for Meteorology (tick) and High Protectionist Policies to Result in War Yet Again (?)
  187. Bert Kelly in 1972 on Foreign Ownership of Australian Farmland and Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in 2012
  188. Bert Kelly baits Welfare State Tiger
  189. Why does Govt wear two faces?
  190. Parliament a place for pragmatists
  191. Of Sugar Wells and Think-Tanks
  192. Bert Kelly: "I must take some of the blame"
  193. Bert Kelly on dumping duties
  194. The Govt's helping hand often hurts
  195. Unbuckling the hobbles on the motor industry
  196. A Modest Farmer looks at the Problems of Structural Change
  197. Government Fails Spectacularly
  198. Know your proper place if you want the quiet life
  199. Bert Kelly on political speech writers
  200. Having your cake and eating it
  201. Perish the thawed!
  202. Hooray for Northern Development!
  203. Politicians can resist everything except pressure
  204. The silly image of our MPs
  205. Bert Kelly Question Time highlights
  206. Modest Farmer sees his ideas take hold
  207. Should facts stand in the way of a good story?
  208. Fondling one another's glass haloes
  209. What is the sense in making the effort to look after yourself?
  210. Fred's Feeling: Counterpatriotic country contrarian
  211. Handouts for big boys only
  212. Mavis trying to buy a hand loom
  213. Bad news for bearers of bad news
  214. Is it time to get aboard the tariff band-waggon?
  215. Why farmers resent tariff protection for motor makers
  216. A sordid use of scare tactics
  217. Goods vs services
  218. Tariffs are hilariously counterproductive
  219. The dilemmas of Aboriginal Affairs
  220. Bert Kelly on decentralisation
  221. Inflation breeds moral decay
  222. Who envies equality?
  223. Growth – malignant or benign?
  224. Government wiser than Magna Carta
  225. Bert Kelly on looking to politicians for moral leadership
  226. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  227. Whitlam & co on the Dismissal
  228. 25% Tariff Cut
  229. Bert Kelly on pensions
  230. The plotting powers of Mavis nag martyr to snag compo
  231. The backseat drivers of the Pilbara
  232. Mr Clunies-Ross of the Cocos Islands should rule Australia
  233. They get the wind up when it changes
  234. Why the Big Green Lie survives
  235. Ross McLean in 1982: "Malcolm! Why don't we try good government? It might be popular."
  236. Bert Kelly on the importance of exchange rate movements
  237. Bert Kelly shows how to attack
  238. Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly
  239. Industrial relations dinosaur, Bruce, chews his cud
  240. Hooray for "firmly entrenched"!
  241. Respect your dinosaurs
  242. What if something is "deeply ingrained" yet harmful?
  243. A case for ministerial inertia
  244. Why politicians don't like the truth
  245. Punemployment: people are neither numbers nor puzzle pieces; the platitude attitude
  246. Our great open spaces ... an empty blessing
  247. Heart in right place but head missing
  248. Ominous dark clouds are gathering
  249. Better to be popular than right
  250. Crying in the wilderness
  251. Ivory tower needs thumping
  252. Bert Kelly asks, "How can you believe in free enterprise and government intervention at the same time?"
  253. Politicians get undeserved praise, why not undeserved blame too?
  254. Feet in a bucket of champagne
  255. Rural Problems
  256. Health cover needs a $30 excess clause
  257. Unholy state of taxation
  258. Boring economics worth a smile
  259. The Libido for the Miserable
  260. Agricultural Development and Tariffs
  261. Fred's too poor to have principles
  262. Eccles Law of the constant wage share
  263. "He whom the gods would destroy ..."
  264. Low tariff torch burnt Eccles' fingers
  265. A cow of a car — with dual horns
  266. Tariffs: when to wean infant BHP?
  267. Keep any government as far as possible from farming
  268. The Playford charade is out of date
  269. Bert Kelly: the odd man out who's now in
  270. Dries must resist giving up struggle as going gets tough
  271. How a well meaning Government can be so stupid
  272. The icing on the economic cake
  273. Sir Roderick Carnegie's foreword to Bert Kelly's Economics Made Easy
  274. The Vale of Popularity and the Protection Procession
  275. Politics 101: Pay Lip Service to Capitalism and Shoot the Messenger
  276. 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"
  277. Bert Kelly on Free Enterprise
  278. Cartoons of protected industry, the welfare teat and the nanny state
  279. Bert Kelly on the theory of constant shares and the Fabian Society
  280. Bert Kelly vs Doug Anthony
  281. You're lucky if you escape being helped by government
  282. Bert Kelly on Small Farmers
  283. Bert Kelly on Apathy
  284. Bert Kelly in 1967 on "problems of government and things like that"
  285. The last "Dave's Diary"
  286. Bert Kelly vs The Australian on tariffs in 1977
  287. Bounties or Tariffs, Someone Pays
  288. Geriatric companies without a minder
  289. A free marketeer wary of free trade
  290. Nixon's puzzling profession of faith
  291. "Ford ... seems to spend more time bending its knees than its back"
  292. Clyde Cameron's weak ways with wise words
  293. Why flaunt what others flout?
  294. Bert Kelly yearns for Tim Flannery's powers of prediction
  295. Looking after yourself is silly
  296. Bert Kelly masterpiece on drought, fire, flood and other natural disaster relief schemes
  297. Government can take credit for our car industry mess
  298. Car makers want the 4wd driven deeper into tariff bog
  299. Why our MP is no longer prone to a good sob story
  300. Auto industry is in a straitjacket
  301. Bert Kelly on market predictions
  302. Why should dryland farmers subsidise irrigation farmers?
  303. How much should government decrease incentive for independence from government?
  304. Clarkson crowned Deputy Government Whip
  305. Bert Kelly to blame for soaring government healthcare costs
  306. 1959 return of Dave's Diary
  307. Bert Kelly in 1966 on developing northern Australia
  308. Successful government intervention can [sic] occur
  309. Vernon Report upholds Clarkson
  310. Quiet Man Makes An Impact
  311. Should it be compulsory to buy footwear and clothing?
  312. To save Australian clothing industry women must all wear same uniform
  313. Don't confuse plucking heart strings with plucking harp strings
  314. Speech only for public
  315. Catchy Tariff Circus Extravaganza
  316. Bert Kelly in 1985 on cars yet again
  317. Hurrah for the Gang of Five
  318. Thoughts on a verse about Balfour
  319. Bert Kelly pep talk to politicians
  320. Government intervention = Agony postponed but death brought nearer
  321. Recipe for disaster: Freeze!
  322. Recipe for government intervention: Gather winners and scatter losers
  323. Recipe for industry destruction: Blanket market signals
  324. Mavis writes!
  325. Bert Kelly's empiricism is not kneejerk reaction kind
  326. The $2,000 song of the shirt worker
  327. Subsiding only small farmers means subsiding the big banks
  328. Difficult to be fast on your feet when you've got your ear to the ground
  329. It would surprise people to see how sensible MPs behave if they think they are not being watched
  330. Bert Kelly on "this land of limitless resources" and "great open spaces"
  331. Growing bananas at the South Pole
  332. Car components tariff protection under fire
  333. Why carry a $300m car subsidy?
  334. Tariff feather beds for the foreign giants
  335. Bert Kelly says end compulsory voting to stop donkey vote
  336. Perhaps being smart and insured isn't all luck
  337. You gets your tariff, you pays a price
  338. More funds to train Olympians?
  339. Fire in their guts and wind in ours
  340. Should free universal healthcare include pets?
  341. Sound advice from a modest farmer
  342. A tottering monument to intervention
  343. Cunning meets wisdom
  344. Competition, Aussie-style: Who's the bigger parasite?
  345. Australians are proud patriotic parasites, says Bert Kelly
  346. Taxpayer-funded sport is cheating
  347. Being loved by all is not always a good thing
  348. Welfare State Destroys Society
  349. 1980 Bert Kelly feather bed series
  350. The White Mice Marketing Board
  351. Government intervention and advice can be harmful, even when right, even for those it tries to help
  352. One small step on the compulsory voting landmine
  353. The free & compulsory education sacred cows have no clothes
  354. Holding a loaded wallet to an economist's head
  355. Political No Man's Land
  356. Only blind greed demands both equality and prosperity
  357. A cow that sucks itself — that's us!
  358. Nip the bud of incentive; mock community spirit into submission
  359. Bert Kelly questions why miners pay royalties to the Crown
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