Senate debates

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions without Notice


2:39 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

The reason we fight socialism and support policies supporting individual freedom, free enterprise, reward for effort, encouraging people to stretch themselves and, indeed, have a go is that we understand that socialism makes people poor and will make communities weaker and will make countries weaker; whereas, of course, our policy agenda is in pursuit of policies supporting individual freedom, free enterprise, reward for effort and encouraging people to stretch themselves, take risks and have a go, underpinned by a social safety net. We understand that is the proven way to lift living standards for individual Australians, for families and their communities and, indeed, for our country as a whole, as it has in countries around the world. As somebody who grew up in Europe, let me tell you: I know the ultimate case study which has proven that socialism leads to misery and poverty. That case study is none other than the global city of Berlin. Berlin is the ultimate case study. You had three million people side-by-side in 1949 starting with the same challenges, the same opportunities, the same demography and the same climate—the same everything. On one side there was socialism—the lowest common denominator, seeking to achieve equality of outcomes—and people wanted to get out as fast as they could. The state had to build a wall in order to try and keep people in. The state started to shoot people at the wall to try to keep people in, because people wanted to get into the part of Berlin that promoted freedom, free enterprise, reward for effort and a lifting of living standards. Of course, on the western side, people were able to observe that Wirtschaftswunder—that massive economic growth wonder that was achieved on the back of free market policy underpinned by a social safety net. In countries around the world, it is very clear that socialism harms people, whereas freedom, of course, promotes success.


No comments