The Federal Budget: It Doesn’t Matter How Good the Beer Is

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“You know the trouble with your writing lately is that you take everything so seriously. You should relax. You’ve been in Australia what…almost seven years now? Get in the spirit of things. Lighten up. Nobody really cares about this stuff. And besides…it’s the same as it ever was…people are greedy…politicians lie and cheat…the rich are selfish…everyone wants a free lunch. Blah blah blah. That’s just life. There’s no story there. It’s definitely not news. I’ll buy you a beer and you can forget all about it.’

That’s the advice we received from a friend last night. We were discussing Wayne Swan’s budget. It’s a subject we’ve deliberately avoided in the Daily Reckoning owing to the utter tragedy and absurdity of the whole premise. But we’ll give in today and provide you with our very own budget analysis.

To be honest we can hardly bring ourselves to say anything about it. The surplus will only be real if GDP growth hits the right targets, commodity prices fall at the expected rates and unemployment remains at the projected levels. Change any of those assumptions and chances are the surplus will vanish.

No matter how good the beer is, we find it hard to relax about this.

But really, that’s not what’s demoralising about the whole thing. There are several demoralising aspects, if we’re honest. The first is how much media attention it receives. ‘The budget’ is a big deal. That shows you what life is like in a cradle-to-grave Welfare State where everyone gets a handout. The Statist mind finds it impossible to believe that some people could get along in life without the ham-fisted intrusions of the government telling us what to do.

By far the most demoralising aspect, though, is the sheer lack of imagination and faux moral outrage of the people wanting to distribute other people’s money more ‘fairly’ in the name of compassion. This is always the ultimate justification for the expansion of the State in your life: because it’s the right thing to do and anyone who disagrees is greedy, selfish, and less compassionate. Harrumph.

What a bunch of moral grandstanding.

It’s possible to imagine a world in which the disadvantaged and the vulnerable are taken care of by neighbours, families, charitable institutions and the communities in which they live. Just because you don’t support higher taxes and wealth re-distribution doesn’t mean you’re FOR human suffering and misery.

But oh well. You can’t fight City Hall, and apparently you can’t fight the ceaseless expansion of the Welfare State. We seem to live in a culture where we’re all happy to get something for nothing as long as someone else is paying for it. Sooner or later we’re all going to find out that nothing’s ever free. In the meantime, we’re going to take our mate up on that beer.

Regards,

Dan Denning
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

From the Archives…

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2012-05-04 – Greg Canavan

How the RBA’s Interest Rate Cuts Cause a Housing Bubble
2012-05-03 – Nick Hubble

How a Cashless Society Promotes Tyranny
2012-05-02 – Dan Denning

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2012-05-01 – Dan Denning

Risky Investments in a Market Full of Conmen
2012-04-30 – Bill Bonner

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.
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6 Comments on "The Federal Budget: It Doesn’t Matter How Good the Beer Is"

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peter kamminga
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Well said Dan, I already live in a world where the disadvantaged & vulnerable are taken care of by neighbours, families, charitable institutions and the communities. No one goes hungry nor needs to be homeless. The people can work and be enterprising even if it is selling fruit on the side of the road, without being prevented by laws, regulations, insurances etc. This world is called Thailand. I am an Australian who ran a small business in OZ, but after many years of slaving I felt the government was punishing me for working hard and rewarding those who choose not… Read more »
Earl Mardle
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Indeed, as you say, “it’s possible to imagine a world in which the disadvantaged and the vulnerable are taken care of by neighbours, families, charitable institutions and the communities in which they live.” In fact its not just possible, its necessary, because unlike the Pollyannas of the right, when we actually try that model, people are treated like chattels, if they are lucky. Indentured servitude, slavery and institutionalised violence are the order of the day when we practise laissez faire on any scale. We tried it in finance and look where it brought us, we have tried it in every… Read more »
Ross
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He’s now dead, hardly lamentable, but readable, for perspective on his times and ours ….

http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/oralhistory.hom/katzenbach/katzenb3.pdf

Julian
Guest

Yes, the ongoing drift from democracy to over-regulated theftocracy is relentless. Its perhaps naive to expect any change, after all these are elected politicians. So in essence, we have become a people, of which more than half are happy to steal from and control their fellow man via the ballot box. Voting – so dangerous – it should be illegal.

Lachlan
Guest
“It’s possible to imagine a world in which the disadvantaged and the vulnerable are taken care of by neighbours, families, charitable institutions and the communities in which they live. Just because you don’t support higher taxes and wealth re-distribution doesn’t mean you’re FOR human suffering and misery.” Yes it is as peter above shows. For how long though? But will we get to this because we know it is a good idea? No, the broad tide of human folly will always prevail until a hard, physical reality steps in it’s path. I speak against statism at times because I know… Read more »
peter kamminga
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Yes Earl, I began my pension plan & started saving when i was young. When young, I had a serious accident & have carried the injuries throughout my life. I did & do not accept disability pension as an escape from avoiding a life of labour, i worked. I am self funded. I still pay taxes in oz & i have to laugh when i meet Australians here overseas who are on an Australian disability pension when there is nothing wrong with them, Oh, as one told me “my back only hurts when i work”. So is that where part… Read more »
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