Lang Hancock, “Withhold 15 per cent of tax,”
The Australian, August 22, 1978, p. 6, as a letter to the editor.

The Prime Minister is to be congratulated in his constant endeavour to reduce inflation. However, the present Budget will be no help in this respect; in fact it will have the opposite effect.

Inflation is simply too much money chasing too few goods. The “too few goods” comes from loss of production by taking money from the producers of goods in the form of taxation; such money being given to the government departments to squander. “Governments consume wealth — they do not create it.”

Therefore increased taxation means increased inflation, and to the extent that tax is increased by $1500 million overall in the present Budget, that will be the measure of incentive applied to inflation and disincentive applied to industry throughout Australia.

Because of disincentives, capital has gone on strike, inter-union strikes have been increased and productivity has declined to the point where this great country, with fantastic riches, has a growth rate only one-fifth that of Singapore, which has nothing in the way of natural resources except leadership and people willing to work.

Because of the disincentives to industry and labour, I am sure that before the year is out tax receipts will decline below Budget calculations and government expenditure will increase to the point where we have a $4000 million deficit.

It is well known that when any country exceeds a tax rate of 25 per cent it is “on the skids.” Britain is a prime example; it is estimated that within 10 years its standard of living will be lower than Italy’s. Therefore The Australian newspaper’s effort to lead a tax revolt is praiseworthy.

However, whilst diagnosing the disease I have not read anywhere of it suggesting a cure.

Under the present set-up, no elected members of Government, from the PM down, can be expected to hold their own against the various departmental “rajahs.” These people reached their present giant status by sheer professionalism in being able to expand their departments and their capacity to manipulate their ministers when in Cabinet. There is no answer to this problem of departmental growth — Parkinson’s Law is inflexible.

The only chance Mr Fraser’s Government would have would be to put a hatchet man in charge of Treasury, with strict instructions to cut down the money to every department, right across the board, by 10 or 15 per cent until the Budget was brought into balance over a three-year parliamentary term. In this way each departmental head would be responsible for his own economies, which would have the two-edged effect of not only reducing expenditure, but of making his department a little more efficient.

In order to help Malcolm Fraser take such a step, perhaps The Australian could persuade various groups in the community to band together to the point where their individual members, one and all, would withhold 15 per cent of their cheques when paying their tax assessment. To give a lead in this direction, Australia’s half-dozen or so biggest companies could band together and protect their employees from any punitive effect from Canberra if they took such a patriotic step.

After all, the Government could not put every disgruntled taxpayer in jail; it seems unwilling to act against a handful of militant union leaders who constantly defy the law from time to time.

Alternatively perhaps the Senate, out of sheer resentment over the PM’s handling of the “Withers Affair,” could reject 10 or 15 per cent of Supply right across the board, without “grace or favour.”

LANG HANCOCK
Perth

*****
Lang Hancock, “Pressure groups a ruthless dictatorship,”
The Australian, September 8, 1978, p. 6, as a letter to the editor.

SIR — Mr Allen (29/8) is under the sad delusion that we are a democracy. We are far from it.

In fact, we are governed by the most ruthless form of dictatorship imaginable — economic dictatorship executed through the great pressure groups of central bureaucracy, communist-controlled unions, and high protectionist lobbies, with all three using the media as a mouthpiece to convince the gullible that inflation, taxes, monopolies and economic compulsion are good for them.

Another of your correspondents (29/8) holds an idea that “the nation currently with the highest quality of life is Sweden,” despite its average tax rate in excess of 50 per cent.

Let me quote from A Time For Truth:

Inevitably in such a welfare system the cloven hoof of the police State has appeared. Privacy is continually invaded by the State’s tax collectors, who remorselessly police the citizenry for unreported funds.

Swedish law gives tax authorities the right to enter houses and businesses without court orders, to inspect bank books and survey medical records, and tales of midnight visits from officials of the national tax board are common.

The world (minus one of your correspondents) became aware of this totalitarianism when director Ingmar Bergman was dragged off a theatre stage by policemen for alleged non-payment of taxes and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Inevitably, also, signs of economic deterioration are present in Sweden. In 1976 a study by Hudson Research showed that Sweden had the slowest growth rate of 14 industrialised nations — second only to that of Britain.

Is that what we (and your correspondent) want for Australia?

The Swedish author Steve Kelman states that a significant number of Swedes are deeply disturbed by this suffocation of liberty, and many are “obsessed” by taxation.

Perhaps a fifth of the Swedish electorate sees Sweden as drowning in bureaucracy and stifling the individual.

Such ideological opposition to the Swedish welfare State has rarely been noted by Western journalists.

Mr Kelman explains this by saying that no political institutions are tolerated in Sweden by means of which such opposition can be expressed. He writes:

A University of Gothenburg survey revealed that only 7.5 per cent of the members of Parliament feel that if their constituents held a view on an issue which differed from their own this fact should affect the members’ public stand.

Did you know that the State dictates the colour a man may paint his house in Sweden? He may choose from shades of tan.

The Hudson Institute has done a revealing study of the relationship between the growth of the public sector and real economic growth in 14 countries.

The findings show that overall growth is the lowest in countries where the government sector is largest.

These findings have been supported by other studies conducted in Britain by economists Robert Bacon and Walter Eltis and by David Smith, using a 19-nation sample.

All such studies conclude that the expansion of government in Western industrial nations results in shrinking profits, falling investment, plunging growth rate and diminishing personal freedom.

It is with our money that the State destroys our freedom.

It is not too soon to start the process of tightening the leash on the State on the individual level, above all by refusing to be a parasite and by refusing to pay taxes.

If people would stop asking the Government for free goods and services the Government would lose its excuse to impose excessive taxes.

These services are not free. They are simply extracted from the hide of one’s neighbours — and can be extracted only by force.

If you would not confront your neighbour and demand his money at the point of a gun to solve every new problem that may appear in your life, you should not allow the Government to do it for you.

Therefore, in suggesting that we band together to protect what is our rightful property Mr Allen is stretching the imagination when he says I am advocating a form of lawlessness. Surely the boot is on the other foot.

LANG HANCOCK
Perth, WA

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
  22. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  23. The spread of Canberra-ism
  24. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  25. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  26. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  27. The code of Lang Hancock
  28. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  29. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  30. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  31. Right-wing plot
  32. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  33. WA's NCP commits suicide
  34. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  35. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  36. Bludgers need not apply
  37. New party formed "to slash controls"
  38. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  39. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  40. Government seen by new party as evil
  41. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  42. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  43. Bury Hancock Week
  44. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  45. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  46. Hancock and Wright
  47. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  48. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  49. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  50. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  51. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  52. We Mine to Live
  53. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  54. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  55. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  56. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  57. Enter Rio Tinto
  58. Hamersley and Tom Price
  59. News in the West
  60. Positive review of Hancock speech
  61. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  62. Australia's slide to socialism
  63. The Great Claim Robbery
  64. Why WA must go it alone
  65. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  66. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  67. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  68. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  69. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  70. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  71. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  72. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  73. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  74. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  75. Tactics change by Hancock
  76. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  77. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  78. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  79. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  80. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  81. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  82. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  83. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  84. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  85. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  86. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  87. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  88. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  89. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  90. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  91. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  92. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  93. Invest in free enterprise
  94. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  95. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  96. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  97. Mining policy a threat
  98. Over Whitlam's head
  99. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  100. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  101. Secede or sink
  102. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  103. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  104. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  105. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  106. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  107. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  108. The Ord River Dam
  109. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  110. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  111. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  112. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  113. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  114. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  115. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  116. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  117. Our leaders are powerless
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