Probity and economic liberalism

Coming out of the utegate/emailgate fiasco, I’ve seen a lot of variants on the claim that interventionist policies, like OzCar, are conducive to corruption, while economic liberalism reduces the scope for wrongdoing. I’ll just offer a few observations (readers with access to Google can fill in the details).

* If the standard of behavior implicit in criticism of Wayne Swan were applied to the Howard government, hardly any minister in that government could have remained in office. That particularly includes Howard and Turnbull.

* The Howard government breached standards of public probity on a scale never before seen with an Australian government, and approached only by the later years of Hawke-Keating and the worst of state governments. Not only did numerous ministers engage in activity that personally enriched them, and would have been regarded as corrupt in any preceding government, but the government consistently undermined the integrity of the public service, engaged in cronyism to an unprecedented extent and (Howard in particular) lied consistently and shamelessly. With relatively few exceptions, economic liberals didn’t complain about this.

* The Thatcher-Major, Reagan and Bush II governments were among the most sleazy and corrupt in the modern history of the UK and US (Clinton, Bush I and Blair were marginally better).*

In summary, the idea that economic liberalism goes with high standards of public probity doesn’t pass the laugh test.

* Defenders of economic liberalism may wish to disclaim one or more of these. But I’m not going to respond, except with derision, to anyone who tries to dodge the issue by any of the standard excuses familiar from apologists for the failure of Communism: never really tried, the fault of the individuals not the theory, etc.Meet the Browns film

Kruistocht in spijkerbroek psp

159 thoughts on “Probity and economic liberalism

  1. Alice,

    First, calm down. We’re all going to die anyway so it can’t be that bad. I nearly died two years ago when my bloody – literally – appendix gave out so thank God we’re both fit and healthy and can type (although not necessarily spell) on a computer.

    Second, you worry about where to store the gold and silver. Relax. Putting money in the stockmarket or a bank GUARANTEES you will be thieved because embezzlers take the money immediately (custodians on-sell the shares and short the stocks; banks engage in FRB). At least with gold or farmland (if you have enough $$$) you have a chance to fight against insidious inflation by the bwankers.

    You already have the primary inflation-fighter in Oz – residential housing. I suggest around 10% of long-term savings in gold and silver. You would be amazed how SMALL $50k of gold actually is. You could put it in a drawer under some paper and no one would notice.

    Please look at my earlier posting. I care about you and there’s a real chance of a second leg down in the stockmarket in Sept/Oct.

    Virtually anything (full RB, gold, re-regulation of financial markets, even socialism) would work better than the crazy system we have. Farmland is being destroyed all over Australia for development – that’s crazy and it’s directly related to the financial system (high returns for unscrupulous property developers by re-zoning farmland to residential because of FRB and de-regulation increasing house prices).

    It’s going to get ugly one day soon. And it’s going to be sudden and shocking because those in power want to get out without making a noise. Embezzlers work best in the dark.

  2. Alice,

    Just on storage solutions for your gold, check out this garage facility at JSMineset:

    I estimate there’d be around A$3456 million in that garage alone.

  3. @ABOM

    Thankyou ABOM.
    Ive got not much that isnt already in bricks so Im pleased it can be used as a paper weight. I was thinking I might get a brick or two!!. Thats very good.

  4. No problem. By the way, depending on the depth of the pallet and the size of the bars, there’s between A$1728 and A$3456 million (A$1.7 0- A$3.4 billion) in that garage.

  5. So what would just one of those bricks cost ABOM? What sort of a lunatic stores that much gold in garage? (a Drug lord?) That garage must be behind a heavily armed compound in Costa Rica or in the wild west of Russia!

  6. Assuming they’re relatively small (close to square) bricks. If they are rectangular it would be around A$3 million

  7. Thats fine then ABOM. What Ill get is a pebble or two and I can hide them anywhere!
    Im sorry to hear about your appendix. Something similar thing happened to me out of the blue about 7 years ago and I nearly died. I went into shock and delirious, BP 75/40..doc said nearly lost me. Woke up from emergency op with people trying to roll me over in intensive care – all I could hear was someone saying “push the button..push the button..push the button…” I was so out of it I didnt know what they meant so I just said “push your own button.” It was the painkiller button attached to me.

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