Weekend reflections

Weekend Reflections is on again. Please comment on any topic of interest (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). Feel free to put in contributions more lengthy than for the Monday Message Board or standard comments.

68 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. >If NSW ain’t broke Ian, why does it continually increase state taxes?

    Tell you what, Steve, go to the NSW Treasury website, get the Budget papers and see what’s happening to state taxes in total as a percentage of GSP over the past several years.

    Post the results here and we can continue the discussion on the basis of actual fact, it’ll be an exciting new epxerience for you.

  2. “Your ‘engine room’ was (and is) coughing and spluttering along on the back of the resources of the truly productive regions of this country.”

    Actually the New South Wales economy tends to grow faster than the national average.

  3. Also, NSW has large and profitable mining and agricultural industries. The glamour of Australia’s global city tends to distract attention from them, but they’re there.

    I was always wondering how Queenslanders could reconcile their claims to superior rugged individualism whilst simultaneously begging for my money, and now I know. Fantasy.

  4. Sean,
    Accuse me not of bending bananas. Guess again.
    It is also good to know that NSW has been sucking dry other parts of their own state for some time. The agricultural sector, though, asssisted by the agrarian socialists in the National Party, has been subsidised to the hilt with the Australian Wool Board, Potato Marketing Board, Egg Marketing Board etc. etc. etc. for a long time.
    The ‘glamour of Australia’s global city’ is a mirage, like other government subsidised projects. I bet I could create a global city, given sufficient wealth transfer from the truly productive. It would only take the pillage of the rest of the country for a century or so.
    Anywhere can grow faster than the national average if it uses its strong position in Parliament to its own advantage shamelessly.

  5. Ian Gould, NSW has added a bed tax, increased poker machine turnover tax, applied stamp duty to both purchaser and vendor, increased land tax etc etc etc… hardly a sign of decreasing taxes.

    Anything produced by NSW state treasury has to be taken with a grain of salt, this government is not noted for being open or up front about the consequences of political & financial irresponsibility.

    Ever dealt with shopping centres? They are expert at “decreasing” rent on a shop, however the hapless tenant discovers that with the “reduced” rent their bill is now 150% of what it was. But the paperwork really does show that rent is reduced. Hmmmm……

  6. “The scaling back of these idiotic silly impositions is gradually having the effect of moving population out of NSW and Vic and to where the real value of this great country of ours is.
    Long may it continue.”

    If you look at the reference below AR, you’ll notice that Victoria has actually enjoyed quite rapid population increase, including net migration gains from other parts of Australia, since 1999.

    I believe that Victoria is second only to Qld in nett population shifts between states.

    So rumours of the death of Victoria are somewhat premature.


  7. Anything produced by NSW state treasury has to be taken with a grain of salt, …

    Yeah so let’s just go with uninformed assertions instead.

    What’s happened to the thresholds for land tax and payroll tax? How about the various duties they abolished?

    What’s the net affect on their position?

    Offhand I don;t know – and neither do you.

  8. Katz,
    Looks like more tariffs and subsidies need to be cut, then – but, why are NSW and Victoria losing seats in federal parliament? WA and Qld keep adding them.
    I note that neither of you have even attempted to address my main point about the effects of the tariffs and subsidies. Before you do, you may want to read Hal Colebatch’s book about his father (Steadfast Knight); he was one of the few economic dries in existence long before the term was even coined. The commentary in there on the effects of the tariffs on the real wealth of this country is devastating.
    Whether NSW is increasing, reducing or keeping taxes the same is irrelevant. NSW has been a drag on the country for years – a few changes in tax rates in the state will not change that.

  9. AR, I don’t know upon what basis electorates are allocated, but I imagine it has something to do with census results.

    The population turnaround in Victoria has happened only since 1999, which addresses SATP’s rather prejudicial comment. The big decline in Victoria’s population occurred during the Kennett years. I imagine that SATP and Kennett, during his time as Premier, would have found many areas of agreement. Since then, like Fraser, Kennett has improved considerably.

    I don’t know how much financial benefit Victoria derives from tariffs in comparison to other states. I’d like that info ifanyone has it.

    I wonder if that amount, if indeed Victoria is a nett beneficiary of tariff policy, compensates Victoria for the massive transfer payments that are leeched out of Victorian taxpayers and poured into the troughs of the “smaller” states.

  10. Andrew, asa fallback I now accuse you of groping sand. AJ days taught the rest of us that for delusional parochialism, it’s a tied race between Qld and WA. Though wherever you’re from, don’t worry, we in NSW are used to the inferiority complexes.

    What you say of the ag sector, to the extent that it’s true, is true of it all over Australia and indeed the developed world. Hence you must be from a desert state to pooh-pooh food growing, and surely no Crow Eater would have the chutzpa to bite the hand that fills SA’s feeding tube.

    Handy of you to leave out the mining. Since you’ve made vague assertions about the economic history of the nation, you may have heard of Broken Hill, and its small business of Proprietors. The wealth creation continues.

    And of course, if by “productive” you mean industry, service sector or trade, sorry mate, there’s them pesky facts again.

    I hence remain unconvinced that the state which provides more of the nation’s consolidated revenue than any other, and gets back less than it gives because large swathes of this are supporting certain other states, is a drag on the country.

  11. Sean,
    I know why NSW people are used to inferiority complexes – they have had them for years. The belief that they needed protection from all and sundry all over the world was the reason for the tariffs and subsidies in the first place.
    The problem with tariffs and subsidies is that they not only transfer wealth, they destroy it.
    I have heard of Broken Hill. Isn’t that the part of your state that wants to be part of South Australia so much they use its time zone, rail system and roads?
    The former proprietors of Broken Hill were amongst the worst leaches once they got their hands on the steel industry – tariffs and other protective measures, including the banning of the export of iron, forced through in the mistaken belief that they could not compete stopped development of some of the biggest sources of iron ore on the planet until the late 1960’s when at least Sir Robert Menzies (pig iron bob) had the brains to reduce the stupidity.
    The only reason Sydney remained of any real size, never mind grew, was the way that the politicians worked to grab the Sydney and Melbourne industrial worker’s vote by systematically beggaring the rest of the country since 1901.
    I will leave you guessing on my origins; for now I am (temporarily) in Korea working for a living. NSW should try that some time. A move to Korea would do the rest of us some good.

  12. “…systematically beggaring the rest of the country since 1901. ”

    Yes that’s undoubtedly why living standards have fallen so badly in the past century.

    I haven’t read the book you refer to but I’d be reasonably confident than on both a per capita basis and as percentage of GDP the biggest benefiticiary from protection has probably been South Australia.

    BTW – what was the largest city in Australia in 1900, before Federation and the common tariff?

  13. Ian,
    Melbourne was the largest, due to the effects of the large mining industry and associated banking revenue. I will leave the satire in the beggaring response alone.
    I doubt that SA was a big ‘beneficiary’ from protection, about the only thing there that was protected would have been the Chrysler factory (now Mitsubishi).
    I place beneficiary in quotes because, of course, protection only benefits anybody in the short run. In the long run, we all lose. NSW (and Vic) was run for short run benefits for a long time.

  14. Steve at the Pub, I don’t provide those other contact details because they didn’t happen to fall in my lap the way those details did. And I am not urging people to save Amrozi for the same reason I am not urging them to act on the Singapore information – because I don’t know enough about the underlying rights and wrongs. I do, however, think it is worth making this information available to others who might be interested so they can follow their own consciences.

    By the way, harsh sentencing does have an effect at the margins. I know this from personal experience. When I was younger, in my prime, I once met a fly boy whom I had met earlier while on holiday. He offered to put me in the way of performing in pornographic films, since he was an occasional distributor and he had observed me on holiday and thought I looked the type (he offered 500 pounds per week, which was good money in those days). I declined but out of curiosity enquired further about the trade. Among other things he told me that he religiously avoided anything with children or animals since those attracted an automatic longer sentence if caught (this was in the UK, of course).

    Moral: the sentencing structure may not affect overall levels of criminal activity but certainly affects just what occurs. I also suspect that reasoning from how today’s criminals are not put off crime in general reflects survivor bias; those who would have been criminals in other times and places, and could be swayed, have been and so no longer form part of the the criminal base under observation.

    In Singapore’s situation, harsh sentences probably stop all drug traffic in those parts from funnelling through Singapore.

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