Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sean Jacobs — From the Solomon Islands to Houston: the harmful trend of government dependence

Sean Jacobs is a writer for He is an Australian and co-founder of New Guinea Commerce – a website he runs in his spare time which promotes good governance, economic growth and next generation leadership in the Indo-Pacific.

At a recent dinner in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, a friend commented on the unprecedented and increasing level of government dependence in the idyllic South Pacific nation of half a million. National elections, taking place at the time, were about how much the Solomon Islands could do for you rather than what you could do for the Solomon Islands (to muddle John F. Kennedy’s famous words).
This trend is not just confined to ‘the Happy Islands’ – it’s clearly a discussion taking place among rich and poor at dinner tables around over the world. Annual budgets in neighbouring Australia, for example, stir pockets of outrage that the ‘government should do more’ or ‘is not doing enough’ in areas it wishes to ease spending taxpayer money.
Political leaders now spend considerable time preparing citizens for a ‘killer budget’ – as if preparing for major surgery or going to war. In the United States the government routinely plays the role of ‘Santa Claus’, in the words of one commentator, by showering ‘the public with something for nothing in every department – free health care, free retirement security, free protection from hazardous consumer products and workplace accidents.’

Read complete article here