More good commonsense from conservative contributor Dr. Frank Shizenhausen
It was a pleasure last week to hear Bill English tell ordinary, decent, hardworking New Zealanders they would be allowed to keep more of what they earn.
People with both drive and innovative spirit are the future of this country. Their bravery in the face of uncertain financial times is responsible for the level of prosperity we now enjoy. They are the people who will benefit most from the tax cuts, and rightfully so. Their efforts in the finance company boardrooms and real estate investment seminars around our nation have put us where we are today. We all know what these folk deserve. Let us hope they now get it.
Well finally the Government has started to listen. The tax cuts are a start, though levels of state spending remain alarming. English has reduced the tax burden for those who most deserve a break, but Government profligacy in other areas, such as health and education, remains a concern.
All the same, we should be grateful that the tide is now turning. We have become accustomed to successive Ministers of Finance robbing us to pay for the upkeep of those in society who don’t contribute. They even have a name for this phenomenon: social justice. We all know, however, that social justice is just another label for socialism. History also tells us that whenever the insidious roots of socialism take hold in a country, the harvest is a bitter one. Freedom and liberty are always the victims.
Most decent people know this, and will welcome English’s Budget. They don’t need handouts – only the chance to rely on their own resources and efforts to get ahead. Sometimes life will throw obstacles in their path, but they are prepared to take things as they come. I was reminded of this only a few weeks ago, when I had my own misfortune. You don’t normally expect a policeman at your door first thing in the morning, and it’s even worse when they accuse you of exposing yourself to pre-school children. It was no use telling them it was all a terrible misunderstanding. The policeman wasn’t moved by my explanation that I had simply forgotten to wear trousers that day. There wouldn’t be a man alive who hasn’t forgotten to wear pants at some point, only to then accidently walk into a kindergarten.
The point of the story is that we all must endure the injustices life throws at us. Life isn’t fair. I am not going to bleat about how terrible my life is, or demand someone else clean up the mess fate has dumped on me, and I’m sure that so long as I have a good lawyer I’ll be fine. Unlike the last time I was before the court, when I was subject to a gross miscarriage of justice. I learned that day that if a nun attacks you, you have no rights. If you try stabbing her multiple times in self defence they’ll throw the book at you. Once upon a time you were a patriot if you stabbed a Papist. How times have changed.
This Budget is a step in the right direction, and will encourage self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. The Government’s next move must be to cut spending in health, welfare and education. All of those items are colossal wastes of money, but the socialists have conditioned people to feel a sense of entitlement towards them, so we will need to see some political bravery by this Government if things are to change.
Education is a good example of wasted spending. One of the biggest errors we as a society have committed since the nineteenth century is to attempt to educate everyone. Giving the poor access to education doesn’t make them any less stupid. If anything, learning only confuses their small minds and leads to them making terrible mistakes, like thinking they have a right to participate in how society is run. You only need to look back at early 20th century Russia to see where that kind of philosophy leads.
So let’s cut the education spend to zero. Those who want to educate their children will still be able to do so, but market forces will ensure the level of education available to an individual will be that best suited to their needs. Those who have the money will be able to send their children to good schools, where they can be free from the distracting odours of the poor. The poor will in turn be able to go out in the fields and teach their children which types of plants yield which fruit, and which bugs are good sources of nutrition – all for no cost. Those children will grow up to become useful members of society, able to dig holes and perform other menial tasks. And when we reach Peak Oil and can’t afford to drive cars any more, we will need plenty of these folk to pull our wagons and carry our sedan chairs. The biofuel potential of the poor is also worth exploring.
Talking of animals, if I had a racehorse and he went lame, I’d shoot him. So why do we publicly fund hip and knee operations? When my beloved pet dog was diagnosed with cancer I had the vet euthanise him. We could do away with most of the overpaid oncologists in our public hospitals if we followed that example. At the moment we spend billions on these doctors and specialists, when a mere handful of vets ought to be able to run any big public hospital. Anaesthesiologists are also an unnecessary burden on our public health system – if you can’t handle the pain then don’t get ill. A well-run private health system remains an essential item, however. This should be run on a totally user-pays basis, and careful vetting of who can take health insurance would ensure our premiums stayed low.
Health spending has gone crazy over the years in part because of the enormous burden imposed by the importation of expensive pharmaceuticals. Most of these are a waste of money, and you’d be better off taking a sugar pill in most cases. I speak from experience. You wouldn’t know it from reading this article, but I’m not as young as some of my progressive and modern ideas may make me seem. I’m in reasonable health, but sometimes the body needs a little something to keep it going. I’ve learned over the years that most of the stuff the doctors prescribe are a waste of time. So I go to this Asian fellow whose treatments always work, even if the product is a bit pricey. I usually go away from his place with a big bag of his special medicines, enough to keep me going for a month or so. In fact I’ll be phoning him shortly to see if my latest batch has arrived. I called in on him last week, but he said the courier from Taiwan hadn’t yet arrived.
This hardworking Asian man has found the answer to my troubles. When I take his special medicine I start feeling better almost immediately. The point is that it works, unlike so much of the snake oil prescribed by doctors and specialists. If everyone had one of these medicine men in their neighbourhood we could do away with Pharmac.
Think of the good things we could do if we simply stopped wasting money on health, welfare and education. There might be some slight increase in police costs, and we would probably have to build large perimeter fences around our affluent neighbourhoods. After all, nothing is more certain than that the poor will want what we have. And they will want to take it from us, rather than earn it.
Even with some slight increases in spending, there should still be plenty of money left to build something truly splendid and lasting for the people of this country to enjoy. A monument to freedom, perhaps, like a Kiwiana version of the Statue of Liberty. Or, better still, a giant laser cannon.
Those plans are better discussed in another column. Right now I have to go see my Asian friend. I tried ringing, but there’s no answer, so I’ll have to go around. Oh, but this talk of Government spending does make me feel unwell. Maybe I need some of his medicine before I get behind the wheel.