5 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. The business lobby in Australia is trying to hide their own vested interests in the company tax debate. The chief executive of BHP Andrew Mackenzie (no relation) pledged that if the company tax cuts legislation is passed then his company will invest in Australia. Sounds fine so far but then came the Freudian slip when he added that the main aim of this investment was to get increasing returns for shareholders. The conspiracy of silence from such senior executives is their failure to declared their own vested interest. Salary packages for senior executives includes options for shares in their own companies. If company tax goes down then their capital gain goes up. Greed leads to this silence on real reasons for company tax cuts as far as senior executives are concerned.

  2. The ABC has just put out demographic interactive on Australia’s population.

    The top part allows the reader to determine future growth based on some simple input values.

    About half way down it transforms into a big scare scenario:

    Age structure is crucial to a country’s economic health because it determines the percentage of people available to work.

    Following is a section on the ratio of retirees to workers, with the simple explanation that there will not be enough workers to support the number of retirees. As Hanrahan said, ‘We’ll all be ruined’.

    This argument appears to me to be fallacious. Firstly it assumes that the capacity for the economy to support non-productive members is limited by the number of workers available. This seems like a very 19th century assumption. For instance, in the case of food, the number of rural workers has been falling for decades even as the population continues to grow.

    Secondly, the implication is that the country always has to ensure that the number of workers exceeds the number of dependants. This smacks of an infinite growth scenario on a very finite continent, where water is likely to be a limiting factor as opposed to for example, energy, the latter being increasingly sourced from renewable resources.

    Worse than that, the argument is then used to justify policies that distort macroeconomic formation. The ABC is right to comment on the lack of capital investment to meet the needs of a rising population, but seems to be stuck in hole in terms of explaining how that might be rectified.

    For example, in my area the Singapore government owns both the power distribution company (SPAusnet) and a major telecoms provider (Optus). Why is it more efficient for an island with virtually zero resources (both technical and physical) to own these companies? What did they bring to Australia? Foreign investment. The model is broken.

  3. “The most recent estimate of the value of voluntary work in Australia was estimated at $43 billion in 2006. In 2014, 5.8 million people (31% of Australian adults) participated in voluntary work, contributing 743 million hours to the community over the previous year. ”

    “In 2010, the volunteer rates for adults by age group were:
     18-24 years – 27%
     25-34 years – 30%
     35-44 years – 42%
     45-54 years– 44%
     55-64 years – 43%
     65+ years – 31%
     Overall – 36.2% of the adult population.”

    Click to access VA-Key-statistics-about-Australian-volunteering-16-April-20151.pdf

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