41 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @Ernestine Gross

    There’s no ‘may be’ about it: some people are like me and some are different. But so what? how does that affect the answer to this question: is the proposed terminology more likely to obscure or to clarify?

  2. @J-D

    IMO the paper is not written for a general reader audience. May I suggest you write to the authors and ask them how they would have written their article if they would know you are a reader and you are convinced there are more people like you or possibly the majority of people share your concerns. In other words, I don’t have an a priori problem with their terminology in this kind of paper and therefore your problem needs to be discussed with the authors and not with me.

  3. @Ernestine Gross

    The article was being recommended here, where the readership is general. If the author wrote it for a specialised audience, I presume that specialised audience can evaluate its usefulness for themselves. Here, where it’s being presented to a general audience, it’s relevant to note that the use of its proposed terminology on a general audience is more likely to obscure than to clarify. If the author didn’t intend it for a general audience, there’s no point writing to the author that it’s not suitable for a general audience, but that’s no reason not to discuss its suitability for a general audience here, where it has a general audience.

  4. I’m increasingly of the belief that the labour party has lost sight of its core values and its position on tobacco excise just reinforces that belief. How the party can conclude that it is more equitable to lean on 2.5 million smokers to fix a structural revenue deficit than a modest increase in gst is gobsmacking.

    Furthermore, the policy is under the guise of delivering health benefits from reductin in smoking rates. However, if that is in fact the case then how can it then raise the assumed $47 billion in revenue. These are conflicting objectives. It will either reduce smoking rates andnot recover the requried revenue or it will not reduce smoking rates and have greater material impacts on lower socio-economic groups with higher smoking rates, including its own constituency.

  5. Part 2.

    It is also unclear what the elasticity of demand would be for yearly increases of 12.5%. Assuming the people that hae stronger addictions have a pre-disposition for addictions generally then it may also promote increase in illegal activity such as chop-chop and illegal importation. Worst still it may push onto other cheaper more addictive substances such as ice and meth.

    While reduction in smoking rates is an admiral objective I wonder whether the health costs from smoking (which will also be influenced by past smoking habits) would less than the consequential social costs of stripping substantial amounts of income from already disadvantaged families.

    How is this consistent with labour values. Surely there are less harmful means of pursuing health policy objectives.

  6. @Aardvark

    The Labor party no longer has any labour values. It is the Neoliberals Mark 2. LNP are the Neoliberals Mark 1.

    Yes, there must exist an upper tax band beyond which the tobacco tax’s benefits (even revenue-wise) would begin to be compromised by the financial inducement to deal in illegal, untaxed tobacco. There is no point in setting the tax above this price band.

    The real problem is not that that real tax reform is too hard. It’s that the two neoliberal parties don’t want to implement real tax reform. This would entail taxing very rich people and corporations more. In some cases, it would mean just taxing them, since some of these currently pay no tax. These groups pay politicians (it’s often called political donations) to not tax them.

    I would guess some corporations now get earnings, pay no tax, get business subsidies and get ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) payouts. So the state, or rather the people, are now paying taxes to the corporations and paying for their products as well. Amazing business model eh what?

  7. Going back to TANSTAAFL, QUT is holding a conference next February, comparing contest behaviour and evolutionary improvement. It makes the observation that training methodology and evolutionary theory are not being used in theoretical economics as optimised performance is assumed. Interesting.

  8. @J-D

    I am not aiming to prevent you from discussing anything. I merely say I am not the appropriate person for you to discuss this particular topic. I’d therefore appreciate if you would also respect my non-interest in this discussion for stated reasons.

  9. It is still true that most smokers want to stop smoking, so substantially increasing tax helps them give up. Second more of the poor give up than the rich. Third, quit smoking aids are subsidised or free for the poor. Fourth, because more of the poor give up than the rich, the poor who quit will receive more health benefits than the rich. Fifth, illegal tobacco is a potential problem but this is being carefully monitored and so far is not a significant issue. It is true that the poor who don’t quit are worse off, but I think this is one of those issues where doing financial harm to some is justified.
    And I can’t think of a better alternative policy. Because increasing the tax will improve the health of a lot of people.

  10. @Ernestine Gross

    The exchange between us began when you responded to one of my comments. If you want the exchange between us to stop, all you have to do is stop responding to my comments. I don’t understand how respect comes into it.

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