Gillard on the Wrong Path
Our Prime Minister has declared that Europe has been living beyond its means. Further, she has stated that US President Barack Obama has the United States ‘on the right path’.
The first of these statements calls into question Gillard’s longstanding commitment to the European socialist experiment; an experiment that has resulted in a centralised and stifling bureaucracy, an erosion of sovereign self-determination, unsustainable social welfare and high levels of taxation.
The dichotomy between her recent statement of European failures while using the EU as an example to justify her carbon tax and trading scheme cannot be overlooked.
Nor can her new found support for the United States.
As a former official in the extreme left Fabian society, despite her protestations she ‘was only a typist’, much of Gillard’s early adulthood was spent railing against the tyranny of capitalism.
And the United States has been a world leader in free enterprise and capitalism.
So what has brought about Gillard’s change of heart?
One could easily draw the conclusion that she is lavishing praise on the US President ahead of his scheduled visit to Australia in November. This would help ensure a positive rapprochement
between the two when they meet next month and is an effective and widely used political strategy.
However, a second conclusion could also be drawn based on the Obama record in office.
Obama has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars nationalising banks, automobile manufacturers and healthcare. He has sought to raise taxes, disempower business and insert more government into the lives of ordinary Americans.
His legislative agenda, built around the cripplingly expensive Obamacare health plan, has the United States on track to multi-trillion dollar deficits that will have serious negative long-term economic consequences.
In reality, the current political agenda of Europe and the United States is remarkably similar – big government, higher taxes and more bureaucracy.
That possibly explains Gillard’s sudden embrace of the US.
However, in my view the United States does have one great advantage over the European Union. It can change a government that is on the wrong path.
US politics provides for regular elections, giving the people a mechanism to change the makeup of their Congress. This can radically alter the course of the nation and its approach to fiscal, monetary and foreign affairs.
The EU is in a different boat entirely. Brussels’ centralised bureaucracy is not accountable to the European parliament and dictates a great deal of domestic policy in many European nations.
It does not matter which party is in power, the bureaucrats are always in charge.
The US also has grassroots movements demanding more freedom and less government while the EU has protests demanding more subsidies and higher welfare payments.
These two differences alone give the United States a massive advantage in innovation and entrepreneurship over their European competitors.
However, for them to take advantage of this potential, they will need to change their current course. Obama’s policy agenda is too much like the failed European model and will ultimately have the same poor results.
Fortunately for the American people, in 2012 they will have a say as to whether that is the path they wish to continue down.
Based on current opinion polls, it looks like they will be voting to head in another direction.
Given the path our Prime Minister sees for the future of our nation, Australians would be wise to do the same when we are next given the opportunity.