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Viv Forbes, The Australian, October 17, 1985, p. 10,
as a letter to the editor.

SIR — They say we will notice the cracks in the plaster before the ceiling falls.

The crisis in mining and agriculture, two industries of crucial importance to Australia, is sure evidence of cracks in our economic ceiling. We can heed this warning and take remedial action, or wait apathetically for the crash to come.

Remedial action must focus on the monster which has crept into the attic of every home and now threatens to crash through into the living room. This monster is the public sector.

The monster has an insatiable appetite. It consumes 43 per cent of Australia’s income and misuses 33 per cent of its workforce. It has grown fat on this rich diet and now demands conditions of work and retirement which are the envy of most of those who pay the bills.

It administers an overmanned and expensive rail, sea and air service whose cost falls heaviest on the outback producers. Then it levies taxes on everything that is used, moved, bought or sold. It continually overspends, then drives up interest rates with its reckless borrowings.

It condones a wage-fixing system which makes our industries uncompetitive and ensures unemployment and disillusionment for many of our children.

It allows union militants to demand utopian working conditions, to disrupt production or the public for any reason, to coerce both employers and employees, and to cling to inefficient work practices and obsolete technology.

It discourages work with progressive taxation and encourages idleness with generous handouts. It taxes thrift, savings and investment and rewards those who waste their opportunities and their resources.

It uses inflation and manipulation of exchange rates to secretly rob producers and exporters. It discourages foreign capital and wastes much of our own capital on unproductive monuments and circuses. Then, to add insult to injury, it levies tariffs on the import of the machinery so essential to maintaining our competitiveness.

The prosperity of Australia rests heavily on two very old industries — agriculture and mining. In these fields we lead the world in productivity and technology.

But even these great public benefactors can be broken by over-taxation, over-regulation and destructive wage and monetary policies.

We must reform the public sector or its dead weight will surely crash down on all of us.

We must reject the hungry monster from the ceiling and put him back where he belongs — on a stout chain at the gate.

We at Tax Payers United are tackling this problem, but it needs a big stick. Why not join us? Write to PO Box 174, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068.

VIV FORBES
President
Tax Payers United
Brisbane

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  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
  53. WEATHER IS USUALLY UNUSUAL
  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. Beware the monster in the attic
  90. Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
  91. Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
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