Like most Australians, I nearly fell over laughing when Tony Abbott claimed that Labor was to blame for the LNP’s ICAC woes. So, in the spirit of giving Tony some friendly advice, which seems to be all the rage at the moment, here’s my hot tip: Tony Abbott should instead blame our “politico-housing complex” for the corruption exposed by ICAC, which as insightful people like Catherine Cashmore, David Collyer and Karl Fitzgerald have explained, is the natural by-product of allowing the capture of unearned “economic rent” from land.
ICAC has exposed the pervasive and rotten core of land-centric corruption that drives our whole political system. When you artificially restrict the supply of land and artificially stimulate demand with favourable tax treatment and dodgy financial and investment regulation, you create a situation where infrastructure development and rezoning of land creates massive windfalls to land owners and developers – a tremendous privilege that is directly captured by lobbyists who stand to make fortunes at the direct expense of taxpayers and private citizens through high land values. This process is known as the “Golden Pen Tick”, and is one of the oldest forms of corruption; think of the railway pioneers accepting bribes from land owners and developers to divert rail through land holdings. Prosper Australia refers to this prevailing political phenomena as “Lobbyocracy“.
This behaviour has not only impoverished and destabilised our whole economy, it is possibly the greatest threat to democracy in Australia, especially when you factor in the $300 million worth of property interests belonging to the political class itself. It is astounding that more people don’t realise the depth of this scourge on democracy, economy and social justice. Instead the wider population gets excited when politicians like Nick Xenophon pledge to solve affordability by allowing young people to throw more fuel on the bonfire that is consuming us… (Refer to my petition against this dangerous policy initiative)
So Tony Abbott should be careful how he plays this one – he doesn’t want to accidentally bring attention to this much deserving issue in Australia, lest he be next up in the dock:
Source: Communist Party of Australia