53 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I should add here that with hindsight, compulsory super was almost certainly one of the worst policy moves of the Hawke-Keating years …

    Fran I’m not sure why you oppose super.

    I oppose compulsory super. Note that the withheld wages represent a determination by the state to compel you to save enough during your working life to relieve the state of some of its burden in supporting you. You might be better saving or spending the money and being paid a suitable pension.

    If you were invalided out, that’s separate from super. That’s common or garden variety insurance. More broadly though, a UBI given to all as of right at 40% of AFTWE sounds like a good basis for all to live in dignity. Some with disabilities of one kind or another might need more of course.

    The statements ‘There are alternative arrangements that would be better than compulsory superannuation’ and ‘The introduction of compulsory superannuation was a bad move’ are not synonymous. It is often the case that Y is better than Z and that changing from Z to Y is a good move that makes things better even though there is a possible third option, X, which is even better than Y. I am certain that there are possible arrangements that would be better than the system of compulsory superannuation we have now (even if I am not certain what they are), but I am not certain that the introduction of compulsory superannuation was, at the time when it happened, a bad move that made things worse than they were before.

  2. Ultimately the point of super was to replace company and government pension funds, which represented:
    + massive liabilities on the part of even well-run companies
    + a massive opportunity for wrongful practices on the part of badly-run companies
    + severe equity problems for income distribution given that only large employers ran them
    + severe barriers to labour mobility given their vesting terms, payout frameworks, etc
    + a dubious and uncertain benefit to retirement incomes given that second point there

    A straightforward but pervasive structural change to the economy that makes everything better for everybody, economic reform done right. See also dividend imputation.

    These days, the LNP don’t have the imagination to perceive these opportunities or the integrity to do them properly. They did do the GST, but they botched it and in any case it was a relic policy from a wiser age; since then, nothing.

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