- Feb 8
- 8 min
Chalmers offers Australia a New Deal
This is my analysis of Jim Chalmers' Monthly essay "Capitalism after the Crises". It was published in the March 2023 edition of Quadrant.
Civilisation flourishes when citizens take a long-term view of life– when they focus on future satisfaction rather than instant gratification. Economists refer to this as having a low time preference.
A preponderance of citizens with low time preferences enables us to create pleasant, free and affluent societies.
Economically, when we forego consumption and save for the future, we accumulate capital that entrepreneurs can use to fund projects that make work more productive.
Socially, being a good citizen becomes important. We look after relationships and value our reputation. We care for our children, pass on our values to them, and ensure they have a good education.
The dominant political ideology of the past century – the social democratic welfare state - has put a brake on progress. When taxes and debt are high; when more than half the citizens are net beneficiaries of government largesse; when the growth of the public sector workforce outpaces the private sector; when laws and regulations are flexible and unpredictable; then there is less incentive to to work hard and take risks. Consequently, there is less productive activity and less self-reliance; and more consumption, dependency, recklessness, hedonism and crime. Moreover, governments are forever creating new schemes to rectify the deficiencies created by their prior interventions.
But despite such wrong-headedness, human ingenuity prevails. Overall, mankind is more prosperous and more civilised than ever.
My books and my blogs are based on the tenets of Austrian Economics.
The Fragility of Freedom provides a basic understanding of the cultural heritage of Western Civilisation and proposes a moral society based on the principle of subsidiarity. (Click to view Topher Field's video of the launch.)
The Fortunate explores the ideas which have created the free and affluent societies that we enjoy.
My books are published by Connor Court. CLICK HERE TO ORDER
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