In 2004 Australia rejected Mark Latham. In 2007 Australia chose Kevin Rudd. We picked the wrong guy.
While Rudd is on his Keynesian orgy of waste and mismanagement, Latham recently wrote an op-ed called ‘the folly of handouts’, outlining quite a different approach.
In the article, Latham attacks the Do Something mentality of politics, saying:
“Every time an issue pops up in the media — fat people, skinny models, souped-up teenagers or unconventional artworks — governments feel obliged to respond with new laws and advertising campaigns. Ultimately, however, these gimmicks are futile. Human nature is not easily moulded by dusty piles of public ordinances.”
“Incredibly, Keynesianism and industry welfare, doctrines thoroughly discredited in the 1970s and 1980s, now form the basis of fiscal policy in Australia. If hand-outs to businesses and consumers are the answer to the competitive challenges of an open economy, why haven’t they worked at any time in the past 35 years?”
He goes on to outline his view of government, saying:
“The role of the state is essentially residual: providing support for people who drop out of the education and economic systems and funding health care for the aged and chronically ill.”
Latham is effectively endorsing a moderate libertarian agenda. He is opposed to the governments financial handouts, industry welfare and bank guarantees, saying that “as ever, government intervention created more problems than it solved”. Amen.