How to Achieve Economic Justice
Freedom is Our Specialty
Below is the text of a radio broadcast in support of Australia's Justice Party.
A characteristic of the Justice Party, is our insistence that this country should be free from the myriad controls now affecting it.
We say that government controls take workers out of production, waste labour, make goods scarce, increase costs and prices, incite evasions and deceit, and, in general, lower the whole moral tone of the community. On the other hand, we agree with voluntary co-operative marketing -- provided it does not interfere with the freedom of others to supply goods to the market. Such freedom would then protect society from wasteful use of labour.
The present controls over currency and trade are designed to deny freedom to traders and others who supply goods and services for the community. Of little use even in wartime, such controls were ruinous in the post war period when a maximum of consumer and capital goods was needed to counter war-caused inflation. A free market for currencies would have shown automatically from which country the greatest real value could be got in exchange for local products. An uncontrolled market for all commodities would have ensured sparing use of high value goods. It would have concentrated production on the articles most needed.
The policy of excluding overseas goods led to overful employment on paper jobs that were most uneconomic. Price control led to excess spending on items temporarily in short supply. Temporary enterprise grew while basic and truly valuable industry starved.
Both importers and exporters are today in trouble. There has been a general tightening of purses and a slow-down on genuine expansion. Inflation has been retarded but not eliminated.
Now what does the Justice Party offer instead of controls?
We offer freedom and the principles of true liberty! Our policy is summarised in a couple of slogans. "Ground Rent for Revenue" and "Abolish the Taxes."
These policies would eliminate the need for control and assure to workers of all kinds the proper wages and adequate supplies of goods that they deserve. You see, while ground rents are, as today, privately appropriated and capitalised as land values, much city and country land is held idle. Less attractive sites, further from population centres, are used for purposes for which they are not best suited. Industry, primary and secondary, pays exhorbitant speculative rents or prices for land to work on. Their production is hampered by taxes levied by a community which allows its natural revenue, ground rent, to fall into private hands. So farmers cry for subsidies and manufacturers get hit with tariffs. The consumer, of course, loses purchasing power and goods become harder to sell. It is the insane tax system that brings Old Man Depression along.
What is needed are not subsidies and controls, but Freedom; and that can only be got through our reform. When industry and wages are freed from taxes, production will increase, cost will fall and trade will be buoyant. When ground rents are collected and used for revenue, land will never be held idle. Thus opportunities for employment, for self-employment, will rise to the full.
You can thus see that "Ground Rent for Revenue" is the slogan for economic well-being; that its counterpart, "Abolish the Taxes," is equally important.
The Justice Party, whose chief characteristic is a love of Freedom, offers you this programme of political reform. It is the only political party that offers both freedom and prosperity and can honour its promises.
--- W.H. Pitt
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