On 16th August the Sydney Morning Herald published a column by Paul Sheehan. Sheehan was writing about Gillard’s pork pies. He described her as a serial, brazen liar.
At the end of the article, he talked about the problems that arise for any country when a substantial part of the population becomes addicted to government spending – when the pie eaters begin to outnumber the pie makers.
People who demand, and feel entitled to, subsidies for their park, or industry, or art fest, or who rely on government benefits, schemes, funding or stimulus payments, are pie eaters. They have strong reason to vote in a big taxing, big spending government.
People who risk their own savings to begin business ventures which will produce goods and services, pay tax, and employ others, are pie makers.
The problem is that there comes a point when the pie eaters punish the pie makers so much, through taxes and over-regulation, that there is no incentive to risk anything, try anything, do anything. The temptation is for the pie makers to become pie eaters.
Then the economy grinds to a halt, because without profits, there are no taxes, and if there are no taxes, there are no subsidies, no social services.
When I was at university, I was taken in by the slogan ‘People before profits.’ Now I know that people need profits, that the whole structure of social welfare, health, roads, schools, etc depends on profits.
Some young people are wiser than I was. Ben-Peter Terpstra has been talking to some of them: young people who are willing to study and work, and who have a vision for Australia.
Future pie makers.