At this time of the year many small and large businesses are assembling their financial year results and setting out their plans for the coming year. As do many families. If they are following the daily headlines they will be overwhelmed by the general antagonism toward the business community to the point that they will include as one of their options, ‘closing down’. The saddest comment I often hear is: “Who would want to be in business these days?” We are surrounded and suffocated by talk of increased taxation and regulation.
Less of these is the incentive we need to start and expand business.
For several years businesses have been limping along, carrying this increasing burden and we are watching in astonishment as Australia slips (by almost every index, now even including education) in our international competitiveness. We are, now, one of the highest taxed countries of any OECD nation. How can we expect to give needed opportunities to our highly skilled and educated work force? We desperately need to encourage ‘start-ups’, as they are needed to replace the many ‘close-downs’ being planned.
In writing this I sense a certain déjà vu and I look back on some earlier comments I made in June, 1985 and I quote here from my observation on how our government, of that time, had so little ability to motivate the business community:
“They don’t appear to grasp the fact that if you reduce the after-tax reward for something, you get less of it, and if you increase the subsidy of something, you get more of it. But I think that today in Australia, we are taxing work, we’re taxing savings, investment, thrift, productivity, effort, success and risk and we’re subsidizing all those other things like non-work, unemployment, debt, borrowing, consumption, leisure, idleness and mediocrity and we’re getting so much more of the latter than we’re getting of the former.”
Well there have been a few booms and busts since 1985 but the situation remains much the same as far as dysfunctional political leadership. It is obvious that leadership must come from ‘we, the people’. We must make our own decisions and not sit around waiting for political leadership.
Let’s make our plans, whatever they may be, with a focus on successful survival. Use every ‘trick in the book’, then work toward your goals with all the energy available to you. If enough of us, do that, every Australian can be a winner!
For the full transcript of the 1985 presentation click here. I’d be interested in your feedback and thoughts on this topic.