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Weekend reflections

February 28th, 2009
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It’s time once again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.Slipstream divx

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  1. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 14:45 | #1

    re 45# Alice has become like Oldskeptic too.

  2. March 1st, 2009 at 15:34 | #2

    A lot has built up, so I’ll try to address them with comments in chronological order for each poster, starting with Kevin Cox.

    “I would not require anyone to work if they did not want to. That is I believe our society will be much better off if we condone and support people who do not want to work. That is, give everyone a living wage, but give them extra if they work.”

    I have looked into this, and it’s going to be behind part of my next submission. But it turns out that the optimum amount is less than enough to live on, so that everyone can price themselves into work at a good enough top up wage. There are also huge transitional problems for many implementations.

  3. rog
    March 1st, 2009 at 15:45 | #3

    OK, I was out by a few dollars but still, PW will run at a considerable loss whilst tax reform is still needed as a matter of urgency.

  4. March 1st, 2009 at 15:47 | #4

    Chris Warren wrote “a lot of people will suffer if the CPI is used instead of Average Wages”.

    No, I only suggested this for the age pension side of things. I also recommended that there be no means testing so that people could achieve better results through the other “pillars” of the system, superannuation and voluntary saving, if they wanted to. The other recommendations give them a chance to, so it is not a “let them eat cake” thing.

    “More will suffer if they are forced to work to 70″ – no, this is the same misreading Ikonoklast made that I replied to above.

    “Great difficulties will arise if taxes are cut as you suggest. The problem is that workers have been promised prosperity through the capitalist welfare state… If workers spend 30 to 40 years building bridges, roads, ports and developing and delivering new goods and services, then the society they built needs to guarantee them a comfortable retirement… If the economy is being globalised (for some benefit) then this benefit needs to be Tobin-taxed to fund comfortable retirements…”

    Nobody who made the promises is around now, and nothing can be delivered anyway without doing something to raise the production and productivity to deliver it. So taxes are not the way to go.

  5. carbonsink
    March 1st, 2009 at 16:02 | #5

    Bruce Littleboy @ 19:

    US quarterly GDP numbers are always “annualized”. Dunno why, that’s just the way they do it over there.

    BTW, Chinese electricity consumption is down again. Amazing that an economy can be growing at ~7%, but use less power every month. Those Chinese sure are efficient :)

  6. rog
    March 1st, 2009 at 16:04 | #6

    Given the huge amount of Australian investment held offshore you could well ask how many more Wickenbys are there?

    With cost blowouts on IT, rumours of mass sackings and government directions as to ‘efficiency’ dividend the ATO is fast running out of resources – tax

  7. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 16:18 | #7

    Rog, operation Wickenby IS tax reform.

  8. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 16:20 | #8

    Wickenby is badly needed tax reform as a matter of fact. There are huge overseas tax haven black holes where greedy people and criminals are are avoiding tax.

  9. March 1st, 2009 at 16:21 | #9

    Finally for Alice.

    “Then even given you think inequality is harmless I must ask you. Is that always the case? To what degree? When I look about since even as short time ago as 1990 there now is study after study showing how the rich have got richer and PM, that is, very much richer.”

    Yes, and it is a symptom of some things that should be attended to. It is not, in itself, a harm. As I mentioned, my later submission will cover those things.

    “I would argue that just such views as yours have awarded policy makers with the freedom to not even consider the level if inequality and thus tacit approval to ignore the widening gap between the rich and the poor since the mid 1980s”.

    No, because they have further chosen to ignore the symptoms and not attend to the real problems. They have not been following views like mine.

    “Trapped money is what I call super, PM and I always thought a situation would happen one day, where people woke up after many years of work to find it gone. That pool has been just way too tempting for private sector managers and governments alike.”

    I agree, and I mentioned that in an article I wrote on this same topic over ten years ago now: “People could of course invest in private superannuation schemes in the old way, but this is actually an absurd choice for many of us, because the benefits of their management decisions are marginal and the fees are imposed at the beginning – with any real career mobility nobody gets their money’s worth” (the article may resolve some of your other doubts). But the thing is, we do have a superannuation pillar locked in now, and the only way I can see to sell the recommendations is to have one about that covers superannuation but does not force people to use it, while having other recommendations that provide what you are after.

    “I doubt whether most 70 year old would want to be in the workforce full time and if they are spry enough would only want part time work at most”.

    For some reason, you stop dead before looking at the effect of all the recommendations working together. I already answered this, and you even cited where I did, but you haven’t taken it on board.

    “Raising the entitlement age, now or in the future in some sort of phase in period doesnt hide its effect. It will only cause greater hardship on the neediest. The wealthier will have retired.”

    The whole point of the other recommendations, which you are tuning out, is to raise the condition of those “neediest” into the other category. On its own, doing something like recommendation (1.) would be terrible (see where I wrote “However, this moves many problems to other policy areas and to the other pillars of the system… people coming up to retirement would face a major hurdle in planning and providing for retirement and/or continuing to work if they faced a large or abrupt increase in the entitlement age”?). However, ideas like that are already being canvassed, so I put together a package to sort things out.

    “Ageism in employment starts to creep in even after 40 years of age – I know a few people who have lied about their date of birth seeking employment effectively and my stepson was briefly a recruiter. He told me that ageism exists because employers want young people. They get electronic applications and they just pile them as too old, too old, too old not after 60 but after 40! That is the real world and what jobs would be left for 70 year olds? The hard (perhaps physically demanding even) low wage jobs no one else wants.”

    I know this, even from my own direct personal experience. These are part of the other problems I told you I would deal with in my later submission (see where I put “In the following material I outline recommendations to address these other problems, apart from employment levels, which I shall cover in another submission to the main part of the tax review” in this submission?). You can see some of the thinking behind that in my reply to Kevin Cox above. If you want more, read some of my other articles and material on the same page as the one I linked to further up.

  10. paul walter
    March 1st, 2009 at 16:49 | #10

    Relax, Alice#35. It’s ok to recycle obsolete neolib quack nostrums and remedies from the ‘nineties, in the teeth of a consequent global recession, if you are a libertarian.
    It’s called the “Slum dog millionaire” defence.

  11. March 1st, 2009 at 17:29 | #11

    Paul Walter, if you can identify anything like that in what I put forward, please do so. Otherwise you may just be making an unfortunate association of ideas that merely sound the same to you. In particular, I am not aware of any of this being ’90s neo-anything stuff – and I doubt if you came across it in aources like that either.

  12. rog
    March 1st, 2009 at 17:48 | #12

    How so Alice? I believe that they are only using existing legislation.

  13. Kevin Cox
    March 1st, 2009 at 18:04 | #13

    #51 PM Lawrence I would be interest to know how you determine the optimum amount and how you then determine it is “not enough”. What are the transition problems?

    I’ve had a look at it myself and the savings in the way we run our tax and social security and other transfer payments are very large.

    You can also structure it so it is an “optin” system. That eases some of the transition problems.

  14. March 1st, 2009 at 19:37 | #14

    Kevin Cox, it is practically impossible to determine the optimum amount in advance, although we can determine some things:-

    - A full subsistence amount would leave a sizeable segment opting out of work, so there would be a GDP shortfall compared with what is obtainable. That tells us it is above optimum.

    - A zero amount is similarly sub-optimal, since not everybody would be able to price themselves into work and, indeed, some would resort to counter-productive, predatory behaviour to survive.

    - An amount set to match unemployment benefits would work out the same as the cost of those, once transitional effects have been sorted out, so it is a good starting parameter for an approach that tries to get nearer the optimum.

    - Because the shapes of possible curves that describe things have a broad plateau rather than a narrow spike, there isn’t much to be gained by trying for a precise optimum (the shortfall is a second order function of the discrepancy). Near enough is good enough.

    The transitional problems come partly from the “stickiness of wages”, meaning the earned part of income ought to fall for people already in work before the rest can bid themselves into work, and partly from the funding problems of having to pay out until people priced themselves into work (some approaches also have continuing transaction costs from churning funds and running the system). These show up even in relatively “clean” approaches like Negative Income Tax, and spoiled a trial of that which only used a sample test group in a region where everybody else was driving wage levels.

    But there are ways around these problems, ones I have mentioned around here before, which I shall work up as part of another submission. As well as Professor Kim Swales’s work on the area, I have recently been informed that Nobel winner Edmund Phelps has also been thinking on similar lines, ending up writing a book on it, “Rewarding Work”.

  15. Ernestine Gross
    March 1st, 2009 at 20:54 | #15

    Question: The USA literature often talks about ‘capitalism’ and the aim of saving capitalism while solving some social problems (eg Phelps, referenced by PML. In the continental EU literature, the term capitalism is hardly ever mentioned. Instead one reads about ‘social market economy’ or ‘social and ecological market economy’. These EU terms make sense to me (eg they suggest that the market economy is to serve the society and, since the environment cannot be separated from the economy, it may be useful to include the word ecological to make it obvious to everybody).

    What exactly is it that is to be saved in the USA?

  16. Ikonoclast
    March 1st, 2009 at 20:57 | #16

    It’s very simple. We need a national super scheme for every worker guaranteed by the government. Call it Commonwealth Super.

    We need a national bank guaranteed by the government. Call it the Commonwealth Bank.

    We need nationalised communications. Call it Telecom. nationalised mail service. Call it Commonwealth Post.

    We need nationalised roads, power and energy infrastructure. Nationalise, nationalise, nationalise all strategic infrastructure.

    Give all corporate capitalists a big crew cut, yank them out of their cushy office jobs put them on the roads and pay them the basic wage.

  17. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 21:00 | #17

    Rog#61 and so should the ATO use existing legislation and have the resources to do so. With so many waves of efficiency reforms some government departments have been stripped to the point of innefficiency. There is absolutely nothing anyone could object to in operation Wickenby and its more than existing legislation. This been long overdue since the renee, rodney, rich and skase band played at places like the balmoral pavilion in the 80s.

    Further, the marginal tax rates for the wealthy were lowered substantially approx 30 or 40 years ago and still that wasnt enough. They still bay as like hungry wolves for lower taxes and lower regulation, get it, and then dont pay any tax at all.

  18. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 21:39 | #18

    PM Lawrence

    You comment on ageism and people being unwilling to hire 70 year olds.

    “I know this, even from my own direct personal experience. These are part of the other problems I told you I would deal with in my later submission (see where I put “In the following material I outline recommendations to address these other problems, apart from employment levels, which I shall cover in another submission to the main part of the tax review” in this submission?)”

    PM your model may look good as so many do in legoland, but there are too many “oughts” in it for me. Ageism is a big one. Despite iniatives aimed at getting people to work longer you cannot compel the large profit seeking private sector to hire what it doesnt want to hire no matter what you do (no glossy posters, no television ad campaigns…cant you just see it “older workers are gold” showing some 70 year ex pentathlete who looks 50?)

    It will be a waste of resources trying to fix that one and if the model on which your suggested improvements are aimed at is flawed, then I dont see the point in applying patches, ie the model of compulsory super based of a percentage of income earned is(as Nanks mentioned – funadmentally flawed and embeds inequality).

    We have a problem with inequality right now, because economic policy makers have been not only totally ignoring it, but also ignoring the problems that are causing it (if you happen to think inequality isnt a problem but the factors that cause it are).

    Super levied as a percentage of income combined with favourable tax concessions have contributed to some of these problems we now have in the financial markets and contributed to the speculative bubble that preceded it.

    I dont see anything in you plan that corrects for that or the rising inequality or the bloating of the financial markets since manadatory super was introduced. Markets generally can only have excessive remunerations when the firm earns abnormal profits…too much or too little (as in they are quite capable of paying themselves a lot just before going under and seeking a bailout as we have noted at Merryl Lynch, and the HIH fiasco).The pharmaceuticals are an example of too much. Yet the profits in financial nmarkets were made on the back of gambling with the monstrously huge pool of “trapped money”.

    I see in your plan a raised entitlement age, people working until they are 70, yet more tax concessions to co-erce people to keep putting in to super…ie keep forcefeeding the financial markets, even with the GFC we have just had. ?

    Its a patch PM but not an overhaul. We need a complete rethink here.

    Alanna

  19. Alice
    March 1st, 2009 at 21:44 | #19

    Can anyone find the Ci@lis in my post? I got moderated.

  20. paul walter
    March 1st, 2009 at 22:30 | #20

    OK, P.M.Lawrence. I know you are responding to issues of globalisation overall; the nationalism/ globalism and class divides, footloose computerised off shore banking and competive advantage re emerging nations against the sort of isolationism of the ‘thirties that could recur given the current crisis in faith. Easy mate, easy.
    I just can’t see, like so many others here, how capitalism can keep its credibility as to the legislation of “easier” measures like the one you are proposing, when public feeling is kept high by acts of bad faith typified by the US bail out, Sol Trujillo and PacBrands.
    We would get the sort of atmosphere you seek if we got even the slightest sense of “lead from the front”, shared adversity and even a skerrick less opportunism and bad faith from some. But its all take and no give with capitalism.
    And taxation seems one of the very few ways that the better off can be made to pay at least a fraction of their dues, for social infrastructure that they also benefit from, even if its only the form of defence, or the fact of their workers as educated and healed by civilisation, in the world outside their mansions.

  21. March 1st, 2009 at 23:41 | #21

    Alice/Alanna, what you are objecting to is the fact that this submission doesn’t do certain things. No more it does, but the Henry Tax Review was structured to ask for things separately, so I addressed this group of things with this submission in time for this area’s deadline and I shall cover the rest later.

    “I see in your plan a raised entitlement age, people working until they are 70, yet more tax concessions to co-erce people to keep putting in to super…ie keep forcefeeding the financial markets, even with the GFC we have just had. ?”

    Again I tell you, the 70 thing isn’t a work-until thing, it’s when the age pension would kick in and take up the load from private arrangements – private arrangements that become practical with this. And no, those aren’t just a way of pouring it all into superannuation, not unless they muck it up by not having those age related tax cuts. Even if they do muck it up, that just sets up the next step to make. Worst case, they just implement recommendation (1.), and second worst, they just implement recommendations (1.) and (2.) – but even recommendation (1.) buys time and stops them just hiking up the entitlement age a lot right away the way they are already discussing out of earshot. Anything they don’t implement increases the need for the rest, sure, but also the opportunity because of buying time. With recommendations (1.), (2.), and either of (3a.) or (3b.), we get something that holds together – provided we can get employment up and get the right institutional structures for people’s savings to flow through into constructive investment. I’ll be able to cover a lot of that in the other submission, but some of it is beyond the review’s remit. Even so it’s worth doing, and the more gets done the better placed we are for other reforms (and I mean real reforms, i.e. repairs and/or improvements, not just “changes politicians talk up”).

    What you see as a patch is in fact a first step in a transition – and, as such, it necessarily must be based on what is around now.

    Paul Walter, unfortunately, taxation is a “two wrongs” thing, so the right thing is to wind it back – only, prioritising other things than those the rent seekers have been thrusting upon us and replacing what it has been funding with other arrangements, ideally engineering out the needs rather than just providing alternative support arrangements. Kevin Carson’s mutualist blog is informative in the area (Ernestine Gross, that should show you that there are still strands of thought in the USA worth respecting, even though they are not of the USA).

  22. Ernestine Gross
    March 2nd, 2009 at 10:45 | #22

    (PML, point taken about lack of clarity.)

  23. Alice
    March 2nd, 2009 at 18:56 | #23

    PM

    Id like you to explain the following comment you made

    “Paul Walter, unfortunately, taxation is a “two wrongs” thing, so the right thing is to wind it back

    a) Id like that comment explained

    and

    b) “only, prioritising other things than those the rent seekers have been thrusting upon us and replacing what it has been funding with other arrangements”

    What other arrangements do you suggest funds shools, infrastructure, planning, health and those crucially important things that taxation has been traditionally funding ie social common capital etc ? What “other arrangements would you suggest”

    It is ridiculous to propose tax cuts without any plan to fund our vital infrastructure of government, but then Im starting to get the impression you would prefer less tax and less government? Yet more neolioberalism without a real plan PM. Just keep the status going by making sure super keeps feeding the financial markets. What I am suggesting is to let individuals decide what to do with their super – let them have the ability to use it for an attractive investment opportunity – not the Citibanks and Perpetuals and Lehman Brothers of the world. Gee does that make me the true liberal here?

  24. Alice
    March 2nd, 2009 at 19:42 | #24

    Rog,

    Tax reform in my view is being able to collect the tax that has been hidden in tax holes and offshore tax havens. Tax reform is reforming the individuals who have been finding all sorts of ways to hide taxable income so that they pay no tax. The department itself doesnt need reform. Its the wealthy tax evaders that need the kick up the backside. Thats reform. You dont strip resources from the ATO in the face of this gaping black hole.

    I really tear my hair out with some of the nonsense efficiency arguments that get put forward here in JQs blog…the economic policy direction over the past twenty years that has pretty well delivered efficiency drives here there and everywhere in the publioc sector…efficiency drives that stripped many departments of the basic resources to a point of inefficiency. What point an ATO that cant perform its main responsibility?

    Furthermore, it was all carried out under the notion that we dont need a decent government, and that the private sector is oh just so efficient. Well they are no more efficient than well run public sector departments. Futhermore benefits to the private sector have proven not to trickle down but to be hoarded by the few at the growing cost of the many.

    I bet the ATO gets pretty damn annoyed too with not having the resources to chase the criminals and wealthy who are pushing their tax burden down on to the poor and the middle class and even evading their tax responsibilities completely.

    It really is time to get back to normality. The breath of fresh air is here and the nonsense is being shown the door. Read today’s smh – one comment after another that people are isck and tired of obscene executive salaries and people who have been using off shore tax havens to render it free of tax.

    Almost every comment in SMH today.

    Are those still pushing the neoliberal agenda of feeding the horse most of the oats and telling the sparrows they should wait for some to pass through to the road, actually listening? They should be. Remind me again, what did happen to Marie Antionette? Its time to shut the free lunch box.

  25. March 2nd, 2009 at 20:00 | #25

    Alice, I don’t have time to reply in full right now, but may I suggest you keep reading and maybe even follow up the link I provided? I have been noticing a tendency of yours to read just up to the point where a problem would come up if you stopped, then stopping. In this case, you haven’t taken on board “ideally engineering out the needs rather than just providing alternative support arrangements” [emphasis added] or following the link to find concrete stuff that illustrates it.

    Get back to me if that material doesn’t help and I’ll try to flesh the area out in a day or two, but please don’t do that whole association of ideas/sounds like stuff. It will only substitute labelling for understanding, e.g. with that neoliberal label.

  26. Alice
    March 2nd, 2009 at 20:14 | #26

    PM – Ill read your link but could you just answer my questions at 73 ie very specifically with common sense? Without the jargon?

    First?

  27. March 2nd, 2009 at 20:40 | #27

    No, not first. I’m busy, and that link should be illuminating enough.

  28. Alice
    March 2nd, 2009 at 20:54 | #28

    Its not PM. They were simple questions and Im averse to non specific jargon as a response.

  29. Alice
    March 3rd, 2009 at 07:09 | #29

    Paul Walter #70 we have another one of them here…that thinks deregulating the world and removing all government by removing all taxes is a solution to the economy….right…is there a tablet they can take?.

  30. paul walter
    March 3rd, 2009 at 09:27 | #30

    Sounds like they’ve already taken it, perhaps more likely the whole bottle.

  31. March 3rd, 2009 at 10:46 | #31

    Alice, unless you followed up the material and found that there, you’re making things up on the back of labelling. By all means cite something that supports your assertion, preferebly showing you have read the material, and in particular supporting the direction of cause and effect you made up in “deregulating the world and removing all government by removing all taxes is a solution to the economy” (I wouldn’t dispute that if we had some marvellous pie in the sky result, there would be no governments and then no taxes – if).

    And you are quite wrong, I am too busy to give you a proper reply until at least this evening, possibly tomorrow, so it really would get you there faster if you did some of the homework I pointed you at. You should at least tell me what you call jargon, with examples, so I can avoid that when I get around to it.

  32. Alice
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:58 | #32

    Pm for goodness sake. The link isnt worth citing and you sir, are a practical joker.

  33. Alice
    March 3rd, 2009 at 11:09 | #33

    Paul – they are, to use your famous words “bane of every blog atempting serious conversation, across the entire cyberverse”?

    The rambling much bold headed intro about super reform, with reams of unintelligible jargon, was in reality probably just an excuse to drop the silly extremist link in here in the hope than they could convert one dense fool to their mad way of thinking….yes, the whole bottle alright.
    Its a zoo out there.

  34. rog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 12:02 | #34

    Alice, the populist mood to cap exec salaries is a ridiculous sideline to the main issue of how banks operate and the leverage they are permitted to use.

    Reform is to existing tax laws, merely ensuring that laws are enforced is not “reform”

  35. paul walter
    March 3rd, 2009 at 14:31 | #35

    rog, I think she’s citing executive restraint and lack of, as symptom rather than cause.
    I think that the criteria for deserving v undeserving is arbitrary whichever side you are on- but I do know, I don’t want to be in the gutter while some executive responsible for some of the mess through an anti social mindset and misplaced loyalties, walks away with tens perhaps hundreds of millions of bucks (s)he doesn’t need, as part of the move to dominance of one small class over the rest on some very dubious justifications, indeed.
    Am sick of the Murdochs of the world trying to sell me the idea that I should rot in a dumbed down fools paradise ( am surely not so malevolent that I deserve that, compared to others ?) just so they can keep the goodies all to themselves, without even a questioning of their right to it against the rest.
    There are a lot of shonks being sold to pleb land at the moment under cover of a rights based debate, but for my part, remain stubbornly unconvinced that some of the really rich jerks out there are entitled to all that extra loot, just because they wear a suit (sh-t, am a poet, didn’t know it!!)

  36. Alice
    March 3rd, 2009 at 14:35 | #36

    confirmed 85#. I am. Willingness for risk leverage levels incentivised by excessive remunerations. Or did the chicken come before the egg? Doesnt matter, its a cracked egg now.

  37. rog
    March 3rd, 2009 at 14:52 | #37

    All the more important to focus on the cause not the symptom.

  38. March 3rd, 2009 at 16:52 | #38

    Alice, “The link isnt worth citing and you sir, are a practical joker” is a combination of “my mind is made up, do not confuse me with the facts” and resorting to abuse when argument fails.

    When I get the time, I shall catch up with a reply for Paul Walter at no. 70 above, but you appear indifferent to being told so unless you give me some reason to suppose otherwise, there doesn’t seem much point replying to your comments even when I do get the time. Not if you have decided that I am a practical joker or worse without even waiting for a reply or bothering to follow the link I gave to find out if there is any relevant background there or linked from there, just coming out and calling it worthless without anything to back that up.

  39. March 3rd, 2009 at 17:00 | #39

    Readers, Alice’s “The rambling much bold headed intro about super reform, with reams of unintelligible jargon, was in reality probably just an excuse to drop the silly extremist link in here in the hope than they could convert one dense fool to their mad way of thinking” is offensive. That “jargon” is lifted straight out of the material the Henry Tax Review put out, so I coukld talk to them in their language. Likewise the bolding came straight out of the format that made sense for the submission. I did not make that submission up just to play with people’s minds around here. Feel free to check what submissions they have on their site; sooner or later it will be there, which shows I only posted it here to get feedback – it’s not mucking around with people here. And feel free to show just what at that link is the sort of thing Alice objects to, or how my posting the submission leads to that – it came from a sincere attempt to give questioners here some relevant background, later on, when I tried to follow up what I thought were sincere requests and which I couldn’t foresee in advance.

    But my library session is coming to an end, so I must stop for a while.

  40. Alice
    March 3rd, 2009 at 20:30 | #40

    Pm I gave you feedback. The link you posted is extremist nonsense and the same nonsense expresses itself in your super plan. Reduce taxes, starve the government, keep people working to 70 before they get any entitlement, but keep their money longer in super with regulation. Most would despise that plan right now. Look what is happening as you draft this plan. Thats the last thing Ill say on it because the underlying philosophy leaves me completely cold.

  41. March 3rd, 2009 at 23:19 | #41

    Alice, judging by your remarks and lack of substantiation you didn’t read anything at that link. Did you even know that Kevin Carson is routinely called a Marxist for criticising what he calls “Vulgar Libertarianism”? That you can look more deeply than those people do just by seeing what he finds to criticise about them? If you can be bothered, that is.

    You are definitely grossly misdescribing what I put forward, thus:-

    - “Reduce taxes” is part of it, but comes in tandem with other stuff. Doing the other stuff is what lets the taxes go down.

    - “starve the government” – that’s pure invention on your part. Even though I want the government wound back in step with winding back/engineering out what it does I would never advocate doing anything as destructive as that which would cause all sorts of other harm too, and I didn’t advocate it in the submission I posted here.

    - “keep people working to 70 before they get any entitlement” – plain wrong since they would get their stuff in other ways before that.

    - “but keep their money longer in super with regulation” – more pure invention. Nowhere do I suggest more regulation on superannuation, and nowhere do I suggest locking that up longer.

    - And, as I expect of you by now, you completely omit the part that puts more of people’s money under their own control in the run up to retirement – the most important part. But you probably just didn’t read that far.

    You have no knowledge of the underlying philosophy, since you have shown a bad habit of simply not reading to the end. You gave no feedback, just asked questions some of which I answered and the rest of which I did not have time to answer before you revealed yourself for what you are, someone who simply won’t be told or follow things up. Simply calling things extremist without bringing up objections is just a manner of closing off discussion.

    Ask serious questions and show an openness to being told, and I’ll start telling you things.

  42. Alice
    March 4th, 2009 at 19:03 | #42

    As usual Pm you have these concrete plans (starve government, keep people working to 70, and lower taxes) and I have given you feedback. I dont like it. Its truly horrible in my opinion. Id like to stop seeing government holding peopl’e hands and forcing their money into super – especially those of middle or lower incomes who would be better off paying off their homes first…where is your plan for that? You say

    “Reduce taxes” is part of it, but comes in tandem with other stuff. Doing the other stuff is what lets the taxes go down.”

    Its the “other stuff” that is vague and non specific in your plan. What other stuff?

    and

    “I want the government wound back in step with winding back/engineering out”

    More meaningless jargon. “Engineering out”? How about “multi platform write down of government”? You havent used that one yet. Come now, PM, you are slipping.

  43. March 6th, 2009 at 20:32 | #43

    Alice, if I weren’t convinced you aren’t reading, I would be certain you are deliberately lying. You cite the following as “concrete plans” of mine:-

    - starve government;

    - keep people working to 70; and

    - lower taxes.

    Every single one of those is false, except that the last would be a consequence of some of my proposals if things worked through (i.e. it is not something I put forward as a “concrete plan”). Not one of them appears in my submission or my clarifications. If you knew what you were talking about you would know that, which would make those deliberate untruths and you a liar. Even though you don’t know what you are talking about, it’s still a straw man and you are working yourself up with “I dont like it. Its truly horrible in my opinion.” all by yourself. Pull yourself together, pay attention and come back with solid stuff, and you’ll be giving yourself a chance.

    I haven’t been following closely, but can we please cool this down – JQ

  44. March 6th, 2009 at 20:51 | #44

    Paul Walter, I promised you a reply. I’ve put it on the newer weekend reflections, here.

    JQ, I’ve been asking for some cool assessment and not getting it.

  45. March 10th, 2009 at 13:12 | #45

    This usual IMF suspect shows the kind of policy Australia is being pressed to adopt. Even if only recommendation (1.) above were adopted, it would cushion the effect on individuals more than that. The other recommendations aim at making up the losses in other ways. If it all comes right, of course, which is why this submission is not enough on its own and I am going to cover other stuff in a later submission.

  46. Alice
    March 10th, 2009 at 14:31 | #46

    P.M.
    The ususal IMF suspect is suggesting the usual IMF remedies that have been so unsuccessful in downturns elsewhere. Find savings, cut public spending, and take urgent moves to reduce deficits and raise the retirement age. So those more vulnerable are made to harshy carry the crisis on their backs whilst those of means and plenty of savings arent made to endure an inconvenient rise in their income taxes. These IMF recommendations are a contractionary policy in the midst of one of the biggest shocks to the economy on a global scale that we have had in a century. The advice is the same old IMF wheelbarrow used for all countries and all circumstances. In this respect (and I dont agree with everything he says Keating is right; the IMF should be beheaded).
    I dont agree with this article’s recommendations either P.M. to roll back public spening even when countries are already in recession. These policies fall harshly on the most vulnerable eg Argentina 2002, plunged into poverty and social disruption, by just such policies (there are other examples). However I note already the IMF is moving towards recommending fiscal deficits in the case of Ukraine under current conditions. This is a softening of their usual stance P.M. but I still notice the overwhelming support for intervention for banks.
    http://www.imf.org/external/np/tr/2009/tr022709.htm

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