Saturday 26th July, 2014

Australian Conservative

nationbuild: the quest for self-reliance

  • nationbuild: the quest for self-reliance
  • By: Bob Day
  • Connor Court
  • Hard Cover
  • ISBN: 0980293618
  • $14.95
  • plus $5 postage (within Aust)

Australian Conservative has value-priced copies of Bob Day’s roadmap for the future – nationbuild: the quest for self-reliance.

Day’s book offers a visionary blueprint for national development and personal fulfilment.

The author writes:

Australia is universally regarded as a “great country”. Few people, however, describe Australia as a “great nation”. Why is this, and what is it that makes a nation ‘great’?

There are many elements which distinguish greatness from the ordinary. However, one of the key measures of greatness is a nation’s ability to influence and shape world events. Great nations are able to provide much needed leadership, guidance and very importantly, practical assistance in times of need. To be able to do this, a country must be strong both socially and economically and its citizens must feel confident in who they are and what they possess.

To be strong socially, a nation must have strong public institutions—parliaments, courts, universities, churches, the media. To be strong economically, a nation must be able to develop its natural resources and provide its citizens with vital infrastructure and services. This is nation building.

Australia has the potential to become one of the world’s great nations.

This is our challenge.

Bob Day writes about these issues and more:

• Self Reliance

It has always been the case that self-reliance and personal responsibility go hand in hand. However, in an environment where dependence thrives there is an expectation that others will fix up what we find wrong with our lives and when things go wrong we can always find someone else to blame.

• Home Ownership

The cost of family breakdown, in both human and economic terms, is so great that we can ill-afford to maintain obstacles that make life more difficult for families. Restoring home ownership is critical to the best interests of Australian families and the nation as a whole will benefit from the removal of the tyranny of urban planning.

• Families

The evidence that marriage and strong family relationships enrich us as people and strengthen us as a nation is overwhelming. So too is the evidence that family breakdown causes inordinate harm.

• Work

The insidious hand of labour market regulation that has been with us for more than a century is now holding us under greater pressure that at any other time in Australia’s history, yet there are many who are still to come to terms with the reality of life in a global economy.

• Tax

Governments have positioned themselves very nicely by taking the high taxing path but in doing so have stifled productivity and created serious disincentives for work.

• Trade and Commerce

Our rise through world economic ranks over the past decade is by no means a guarantee of our economic future.

From the foreword by Wolfgang Kasper, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of NSW:

Rare is the successful entrepreneur and businessman who engages in the world of ideas and basic philosophy with consistent clarity about ultimate values, such as individual freedom and human dignity. Australians are used to practical people pleading their case out of transparent self-interest, and not always consistently.

Against this background, Bob Day has always stood out as an unusual “public intellectual”. This book is most welcome testimony to the thrust and breadth of his commitment to ideas about national policy, tempered by experience in business. Here is the fruit of much realistic thought about what we in this great, prospering country require to form a more cohesive and content nation.

Fortunately, both major political parties have over the past three decades embraced at least partial deregulation, i.e. more economic freedom, and have thereby contributed to reviving the old can-do spirit and a new confidence. In the process, Australians have not given up on looking after those in genuine need, though much more is left to be done to discipline the dead hand of the 20th century tax-welfare state.

This book abounds in workable ideas how this might be achieved at the individual level, within self-reliant families and local communities, so that we can enjoy the fruit of our labour and enterprise without being coerced by tax and regulations to subsidise those who reject self-reliance.

I commend Bob’s well-written, common-sense and occasionally amusing articles in this great little volume to everyone. Readers will be inspired!

Robert (Bob) John Day AO is an Adelaide businessman and the founder of various home building companies operating in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Day was a long-time member of the Liberal Party of Australia (1987- 2008). Upon his resignation from the Liberal Party, he was immediately invited to join Family First. Bob Day contested the Mayo by-election in 2008 for FF and was the party’s lead Senate candidate in the 2010 federal election.

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