It has been getting harder and harder for businesses to start up and to operate, because of the relentless growth of intrusive, suffocating,and expensive Big Government. Reporting requirements and compliance costs today would be totally unrecognizable to someone from a few decades ago. And so would the number of public servants.
Economic freedom is under threat from massive growth of regulations, government interference, compliance costs, and taxes of various kinds – all of which add to the cost and complexity of doing business.
There has been huge growth of regulatory bodies and quangos (commissions, committees etc) through red tape, green tape, Blue Cards, etc. The vastly expanding body of law and regulation not only has an economic and social impact, but also delegates increasing power to unelected regulators. Regulations, and the regulatory agencies which administer them, cast a gigantic shadow over Australia’s economy and society.
Although the Hawke government set up a Business Regulation Review Unit in the 1980s, the trend to expanding government regulation continued. The federal Parliament has continued to approve many thousands of pages of Commonwealth Acts each year, and the states have been similarly active.
There is a continuing fad for social engineering by law, particularly by Labor governments.
Quite apart from the impact on business enterprises, the taxpayer is paying not only for duplication between levels of government but for functions of government that don’t need to be done. How many gov ernment departments are adding value through their politically correct “diversity units” and programs?
Queensland and Victoria have increased public employee spending by 25 per cent over the most recent four year period. This is feckless management that is out of control.
Let’s look at a modern parable: the story of
NOAH AND THE NEW ARK !
In the year 2018, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Australia and said: “Once again, the earth has become wicked and detestable in my sight, and I have determined to destroy it. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans.”
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: “You have six months to build the Ark before I will start unending rain for forty days and forty nights.”
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark. “Noah!” He thundered, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but things have changed. I needed a Building Permit. I’ve been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.
“My neighbours claim that I’ve violated the City Council by-laws by building the Ark in my back yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the local Planning Committee for a decision.
“Then the City Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear none of it.
“Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save a local population of Barking Owls. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!
“When I started gathering the animals, the RSPCA took me to court. They insisted I was confining wild animals against their will.
“They argued the accommodations were too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
“Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on Your proposed flood.
“I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.
“The Home Affairs and Border Protection Department is checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work. The unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only union workers with ark-building experience.
“To make matters worse, the Tax Office seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
“So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this ark.“
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?“
“No,” said the Lord. “The Government beat me to it.”