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Ron Manners’ ideas
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I send my greetings to the “Wake Up Australia” flight.

And congratulations to Lang Hancock on his courageous efforts to “Wake Up Australia”. I believe the need is urgent and the hour is late.

I have little direct knowledge of Australia but from what Gina tells me, you share many of our problems.

My four years as Secretary of the United States Treasury and Chairman of the Federal Energy Office were like a bad dream. I saw at first hand the time bomb ticking away at the heart of the world’s greatest democracy. I fear it is also ticking away at the heart of the world’s greatest democracy. I fear it is also ticking away in most of the industrialised free world, including Australia. I saw business drowning in an incredible torrent on government regulations. The direct cost of this is immense. The government itself spends over 15 billion dollars processing its own paperwork. Business must spend an equal amount. The indirect cost is even greater and less obvious. As more of the energy of our people is directed from production and innovation to battling with the bureaucracy, the dynamism which built our country is being smothered. I urge you all to ensure that the great promise of Australia is not sacrificed on the barren altar of the bureaucracy.

I also saw in Washington the looming financial and monetary crisis, the vicious cycle of promises followed by spending followed by deficits, debts, taxes and horrendous inflation which must lead to painful corrections. This process leads inevitably to national bankruptcy or destruction of the currency. It is up to people like you who recognise the dangers to use every opportunity to urge corrective action.

I am told you will fly over the vast undeveloped mineral resources of Australia, particularly her fabulous uranium reserves. It seems incredible, in a world energy crisis, that such resources could have lain idle for so long.

I learned one important principle from my stay in the Federal Energy Agency. That principle states that government planning and regulation of the economy will ultimately lead to shortages and crises and, if not reversed, some form of economic dictatorship.

The energy crisis is a text book example. Firstly, years of incoherent government intervention strangled energy production and encouraged wasteful use. Exploration was discouraged, reserves diminished and imports grew. When these artificial shortages were becoming obvious, the Arabs precipitated a crisis. The public demand for instant government solutions provided the climate for energy dictatorship run by central planners. There is nothing like becoming an economic planner oneself to learn what is desperately wrong with such a system.

We in America have large reserves of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium. Yet a crazy quilt of economic and environmental regulations has resulted in stagnant coal production, steady decline in oil exploration, falling gas reserves and incredible delays to nuclear power.

My earnest advice to you Australia is this.

Remove the shackles from your productive enterprises and people and let the proven miracle of the free market be put to work.

Be outspoken in your support for those individuals and organisations who understand the unbreakable connection between economic and political freedom.

Withdraw your support from those who peddle the philosophy of increased State intervention into your lives and your pockets.

Honour those who strive to save, to invest, to build, to produce, to invent, to hire, to fire, to resist coercive unionisation, to trade, to risk, to profit and to grow.

Free trade and freedom of opportunity are still ideals which can arouse the imagination of our children.

Don’t let your resolution to Wake Up Australia die with this flight.

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