Most Australian taxpayers wouldn't have been surprised to see the weekend's
headlines 'ABC given $22M handout'. The ABC gets hundreds of millions of
dollars of your hard-earned every year, so what's another 22 between pork barrels?
But there might have been a little confusion about which
ABC was getting the money. It wasn't the media broadcasting giant
created to spread the gospel of collectivism to the masses. No dear reader this was the
other blood-sucking tax-leaching namesake 'ABC Learning'.
ABC Learning is a private company which caters to parents who value
their career above caring for their own children. It's all about outsourcing.
If outsourcing is good enough for the public service, then why not outsource
Junior's upbringing too? Leave the job of child raising
to government-approved experts! Need a well deserved rest? Why not just pay
someone to take a well deserved rest for you. Actually they do that already -
it's called 'the dole', but we digress.
ABC Learning was so badly run, that it couldn't even make a profit by sucking
on the inexhaustible corporate welfare tit, and has been placed into
receivership by the banks, which are owed over half a billion dollars.
The childcare centers are (of course) still running, money is coming in (much of it from
the government) children are being cared for, carers are still caring.
But thousands of parents are terrified that they might have to take responsibility
for their own children if the centers start closing.
Perhaps they should think again. The banks might be greedy, but they are not
stupid. The centres are worth far more as going concerns than they were if the
assets were liquidated. Consider:
- If the centers were closed, there would be a bunch of parents wanting carers for their kids.
- Setting a up a child-care center is expensive and takes considerable skill and resources.
- The receivers won't get much for three blocks and a baby change table on eBay, and would still have to pay for the leases on the centers themselves.
Ergo, it would be far more profitable to sell the centers as going concerns
than to liquidate. Even giving the centers away for nothing would be cheaper
than paying out the remainder of the leases on the buildings!
This is a situation which bankruptcy laws (and market forces) will take care of all on their own.
The government didn't need to give the banks $22M of tax payers money to keep
things going until Christmas. But once again, the (supposedly Leftist)
government is determined to socialize the losses and privatize the
profits. And thousands of supposedly loving parents nod approvingly and dote on
the latest government intervention.
Infants need to grow up sometime. Companies do too. Maybe it's time for this whole industry to
be weaned off the government tit.