Or: Leftards Are Stupid.
In this article in Quadrant magazine, Peter Murphy looks at the stupidity of the left through the lens of the Gillard government. He applies an interesting test to Gillard’s policies by applying the rule of paradox:
“…The principal art of navigating today’s politics is to be able to set this army of oratorical platitudes aside and distinguish between what is harebrained and what is sensible. One way is to apply the rule of paradox. Whenever you are confronted with the relentless rhetoric of reform, stop and ask yourself whether what is proposed, when it is instituted, will create the opposite of what it promises. So that whenever a reformer says to you, “This is fair”, and on the surface it does sound fair, ask yourself: if this fairness comes into being, what unfairness will it create? It’s a good question because so much of reform backfires. When it does, we end up having to reform the reforms.”
I’ve often thought that when Reagan defeated the Soviet Union in 1989, and the wall came down, rather than the glorious freedom of western civilisation flooding in an destroying the idea of communism in its own lair, communism seeped out and infested the West. It seems Murphy agrees:
“When communism collapsed in 1989, everyone agreed that the days of Western socialism were finished as well. That seemed to imply the end of the age of reform and the start of a new age of common sense. It was not to be. Instead a plethora of sham capitalisms took off: state capitalism, crony capitalism, green capitalism, social capitalism and knowledge capitalism among them. The inverse of this was that the public sector became consumed by pseudo-market and faux-corporate language games. Left-wing capitalism, however, is about as economically viable as left-wing anti-capitalism.”
He then looks at various Gillard boondoggles including the carbon (dioxide) tax and the National Broadband Network, showing particularly in the case of the NBN it is a self-defeating model destined for certain failure.
“The NBN monopoly is neither a government infrastructure provider nor a market network builder but a self-defeating pastiche of both. Its fibre network is aimed at 90 per cent of Australian premises. Market vendors could viably roll out fibre networks for 60 per cent of premises. In a normal arrangement the government would service the rest. Market competition would drive down data prices in major population centres while the government would fix a subsidised price for remote places. Instead the government monopoly has set a single wholesale price for the whole country. The NBN Company can keep the single price high and impose a small customer base on re-sellers or else it can lower the single price and fail to meet its revenue targets. Either way, its pricing is political, which means it is arbitrary. It is not a market business but rather a pseudo-business that will see out its life effectively courtesy of taxpayer subsidies. It reduces both price competition and innovation.”
There are clear parallels here between Australia’s broadband network and the twisted market of generating and supplying electricity, both in Australia and New Zealand. Power companies are forced to generate a proportion of their power using expensive, inefficient methods such as wind and solar (even in New Zealand, where more than 80% of the nation’s power is generated using hydro, which is of course inherently renewable). This forces up retail power prices. The government owns both generation and retail companies, ostensibly to keep prices affordable for “the poor”. But of course, all their meddling does is distort the market and ensure prices never *drop* below the government-mandated floor price. It stifles innovation and competition, and keeps prices high.
On the carbon (dioxide) tax:
“So rather than the collapse of communism leading to the end of ideology, instead we got the rise and rise of junk ideologies, especially preening green thinking. Green ideology was an effusive, fatuous kitsch mix of pseudo-science, New Age spirituality and officious morality that aligned perfectly with bureaucratic sloganeering and rent-seeking businesses. Green policy offers a vaguely plausible surround filled with piffle. So it is no surprise that the Gillard government’s carbon dioxide tax was a manifesto of silliness.”
Rumours abound that the backbenchers are again getting nervous about the thought of having to get real jobs after the next election, and are once again looking to KRudd to save them. They’re clearly desperate if they think it will make any difference. KRudd’s platform included the carbon (dioxide) tax, the national broadband network and every single other of the ridiculous policies Gillard has forced down the throats of the long-suffering Australian public. The problem is not the politician, but the policies, philosophy and platform.
Come back Mr Howard, all is forgiven!