October 20th 2001

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Issues for the forthcoming election

TESTIMONIAL: Digger James: Why I support 'News Weekly'

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The 'other' election on November 10

ECONOMICS: Who's looking after world trade

BIOETHICS: Cloning: a mixed bag

Straws in the Wind: Come in, Spinner

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Parents call for increased penalties for drug trafficking

TERRORISM: Why the Muslim world hates America

AFGHANISTAN: Australia must protect the innocent victims of war

Letter: Refugee analysis wrong

Letter: Free trade challenge

Letter: Marriage costs

PACIFIC: After the civil war: Bougainville looks ahead

MEDIA: Mutual admiration / "Beazley-class" subs

COMMENT: Baddies are not always cowards

DOCUMENTATION: Latest data show mothers' preference for home

COMMENT: Don't hurt us, we're men

Books: 'THE LITTLE ICE AGE: How Climate Made History 1300-1850', by Brian Fagan

Books: 'One in Thirteen: The Silent Epidemic of Teen Suicide', by Jessica Portner

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Letter: Marriage costs

by Greg Byrne

News Weekly, October 20, 2001


It's no great mystery to me why people in Australia are getting married later or not at all. Marriage is very tough financially, due not to "economic rationalism" but big government.

Government expenditure overall is about $220 billion per annum, and there are only 20 million Australians. This means a family of four can be paying $40,000 tax when all taxes at all levels are reckoned in.

There is also the "hidden burden of regulation", which adds to the cost of goods without showing up as a tax anywhere.

Terry McCrann has written about this problem of government expenditure in the Herald Sun (January 23, 2001). It's all very simple. Government expenditure = taxation! Year 2 arithmetic. (Or is it Year 9 now?)

The other thing is the explosion of housing costs, due to concentration of population around capital cities and the regulation of the housing industry.

Housing costs about $180,000 a unit, and it's mainly the land that is the problem. In a vast empty country, this is ridiculous.

What do people do when they can't manage on their incomes? Put in for a pay rise.

This leads to industries collapsing all over the place, and people joining the dole queue. People are pricing themselves out of work.

Dr Colin Clark had the perfect answer to expenditure. Health, education and welfare had to become State Government responsibilities funded from State Government taxes, so that the kudos of expenditure was balanced by the odium of raising taxes.

Greg Byrne,
Rowville, Vic

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