Monday, August 04, 2008

Rudd To Australia : Think Long Term, And By The Way, We're Going Down...

Kevin Rudd spells out why Whitey World Domination is coming to an end, with varying degrees of doomosity :

Australia is facing some complex, long-term challenges that go to the heart of the nation's prosperity and security in the changing world of the 21st century. These challenges don't have easy solutions. If we're going to tackle them successfully, we must have thoughtful, robust debate and exchange of ideas.

As we saw at the 2020 Summit in April, Australians are genuinely interested in new ideas for our future. Australians are not much interested in the old battlelines of yesterday's ideological wars. Watching the traditional Right and Left in today's policy debates sometimes reminds you of seeing your kid trying to put on last year's jumper only to realise it no longer fits. The old Right and Left thinking is often an ideological straitjacket.

Well that's just great. I put in an order on Monday for 100 official Proud To Be An Evil Pagan Lefty t-shirts. It might not be too late to change the order to straightjackets.

The solutions to today's challenges on productivity growth, on welfare reform, on indigenous policy, on workforce participation and on climate change won't come out of conventional Right or Left paradigms. The solutions will come from people willing to challenge the false choices of the old paradigms that said that our only options are heavy-handed regulation or unrestrained market forces.

What does Rudd stand for? Boring, but necessary stuff.

Can't he falsely accuse Muslims of destroying Australian culture while he's at it to spice things up a bit and distract us from the fact that millions of Australians got suckered into becoming life-long debt slaves?


The Australian Government sees itself as being at the reforming centre of Australian politics. We believe unapologetically in the power of market forces as the most efficient and effective means of generating economic prosperity. Just as we also believe in the public goods that constitute the pre-conditions for a market economy to perform efficiently and effectively.

We also recognise that markets fail. As a matter of general principle we believe in using market mechanisms and incentives to design innovative approaches to these long-term challenges. We also believe in a compassionate society that endeavours to pick up those who have fallen down, and help them back on to their feet. Not through the episodic acts of private philanthropic endeavour, but through the actions of society through the state. Always, however, with an open mind as to the agency through which a compassionate society should act.

That is why we explicitly reject Hayek's view that society has no obligation to others who are unknown to us and his preparedness to allow fundamental social institutions such as the family to fend entirely for themselves against unrestrained market forces. That is why, for example, we have a different approach to industrial relations, because we believe families need certain fundamental protections in the workplace.

This broadly is the philosophical framework we bring to government: recognising the power of markets but recognising equally the limitations of markets.

The most productive intellectual and policy debates today often lie at the intersection between market failures and market mechanisms. And the challenges of policy innovation and solving complex problems often arise from the nuts-and-bolts questions, such as how we design markets that harness the innovative potential of market incentives that operate transparently with informed and empowered consumers and that are supported by the most appropriate provision of public goods, while intervening where necessary when markets fail.

That is why the Government is building a stronger, fairer, and more secure Australia to help meet the needs of families and to see Australia through.

From the day we came to government, we had to make a choice between two paths for Australia's future. Would we take the easy path of business as usual, hoping that the good times of recent years would just roll on? Or would we take the harder path and take on the big challenges, putting the long-term interests of Australia ahead of short-term politics?

We are determined to take the latter path. We know that will often make things tougher for the Government. But it's why we're here. Not power for its own sake, but to prepare Australia for the challenges of a new century, a century in which the Anglosphere that dominated the past two hundred years is unlikely to remain in ascendant.