essay: Open for Business (letter to the editors)

Open for Business

Whatever the historical basis of liberalism, the Liberal Party should rename itself ‘The Big Business Party’.  The Labor Party is re-evaluating its links with the trade union movement from which it sprang, but the stench of corruption is never far from significant power of any kind, as ICAC’s torch beam on both major parties has shown.  Thank goodness for those in positions of power who remain honest and ethical.

Few will be surprised by the revelation that big business buys influence at the highest levels.  The present ‘tragedy of the commons’ is in part that despite the Liberals’ close links with big business, the relationship seems to be mostly about providing cash for election campaigns in return for political favours.  Those favours involve removal of any regulatory impediments to making maximum profit.  A more mature and ethical relationship would recognize the failure of the market to protect the public good, and the need for governments of all colours to regulate big business – particularly its more rapacious and destructive representatives.  All that profit isn’t going to help even the profiteers very much if societies collapse in the heat of global warming.

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