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DanielBell
25-09-2007, 05:33 PM
http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,22475465-15306,00.html

Cool! Now I won't be exposed to information that could offend me! And when I have kids I don't have to be a parent!!!!!!

Thanks for making my life so much more safe & easy!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Capablanca-Fan
26-09-2007, 08:15 PM
http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,22475465-15306,00.html

Cool! Now I won't be exposed to information that could offend me! And when I have kids I don't have to be a parent!!!!!!

Thanks for making my life so much more safe & easy!!!! :) :) :) :) :)
Well, we'll get more like NZ under Helen "Nanny" Clark if KRudd and his lot win. He already plans on still more government bureaucracies, aka "In Big Government We Trust".

Basil
26-09-2007, 08:18 PM
aka "In Big Government We Trust".
aka "bloated, resource-bleeding Government" that Leftys specialise in. Now that's a Groundhog moment.

Kevin Bonham
26-09-2007, 08:44 PM
Well, we'll get more like NZ under Helen "Nanny" Clark if KRudd and his lot win. He already plans on still more government bureaucracies, aka "In Big Government We Trust".

I'd be interested in any empirical evidence that bureaucracy under Howard has declined - I suspect it actually hasn't. In my view Howard is every bit as much a "big government" man as Rudd, the difference being only the policy skew.

Basil
26-09-2007, 08:51 PM
I'd be interested in any empirical evidence that bureaucracy under Howard has declined - I suspect it actually hasn't. In my view Howard is every bit as much a "big government" man as Rudd, the difference being only the policy skew.
I don't have any evidence at my fingertips (although I did think that Howard had chopped much civil service in his first tenure - the onus is on me to check as I have added my two cents), but may I enquire as to your take on:
a) the very concept of big govt, and
b) would it make any difference to you if it could be demonstrated that Howard had reduced bureaucracy at federal level

* Notes that the very subject is highly subjective and sizing up or down could be argued as either 'mean' or 'bloated' depending on one's proclivities.

Capablanca-Fan
26-09-2007, 09:07 PM
I'd be interested in any empirical evidence that bureaucracy under Howard has declined - I suspect it actually hasn't. In my view Howard is every bit as much a "big government" man as Rudd, the difference being only the policy skew.
I do know that Rudd wants even more bureaucracies. Sad to say, even many Libs once they become part of government they become more prone to the idea that more government is the solution rather than the problem. I am disappointed that the Coalition didn't de-fund the ABC and the boards that dole out our dollars to so-called "art" that people wouldn't pay to watch, and also get rid of the absurd ACCC with its discredited anti-trust policies.

Kevin Bonham
26-09-2007, 10:13 PM
I don't have any evidence at my fingertips (although I did think that Howard had chopped much civil service in his first tenure -

Yes, I vaguely recall the distant activities of Max the Axe and so on, but right-leaning governments are expected to do this sort of thing at the start of their tenures; the question being - has it crept back?


but may I enquire as to your take on:
a) the very concept of big govt,

Generally against it and preferring moderately small government. For instance my proposed restructure of the welfare net , while increasing the cost of providing the welfare net itself, both reduces the size of the welfare bureaucracy and permits massive cuts in other areas of regulation (and hence, no doubt, in their regulators!)


and
b) would it make any difference to you if it could be demonstrated that Howard had reduced bureaucracy at federal level

No difference to my vote but a difference to my public comments.

You may have noticed, for instance, that I correctly represent Howard as being not the Hayekite that Rudd paints him as, even though I am quite aware that in that case having the truth pointed out may advantage Howard.

Basil
26-09-2007, 10:21 PM
... but right-leaning governments are expected to do this sort of thing at the start of their tenures;...
Expected of themselves. It's called cutting the bloated, inefficient and bankrupting fat!


the question being - has it crept back?
I don't know. My guess is 'no'. I think it's a fair and good question to ask.


No difference to my vote but a difference to my public comments.
More than fair.


You may have noticed, for instance, that I correctly represent Howard as being not the Hayekite that Rudd paints him as, even though I am quite aware that in that case having the truth pointed out may advantage Howard.
And you may have noticed that while I don't care for (all) of your political beliefs, I have stated more than once my respect for your (general) commentary.

Axiom
26-09-2007, 10:26 PM
I do know that Rudd wants even more bureaucracies. Sad to say, even many Libs once they become part of government they become more prone to the idea that more government is the solution rather than the problem. I am disappointed that the Coalition didn't de-fund the ABC and the boards that dole out our dollars to so-called "art" that people wouldn't pay to watch, and also get rid of the absurd ACCC with its discredited anti-trust policies.

I'd be interested in any empirical evidence that bureaucracy under Howard has declined - I suspect it actually hasn't. In my view Howard is every bit as much a "big government" man as Rudd, the difference being only the policy skew.
i couldnt agree more.
i am totally livid with the brainwashed left-gatekeepers and their big government nanny state mentality
but to say that the supposed other side of government is really any less commited to this sickening ideology is either dangerously ill informed or dangerously naive, or both.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 12:00 AM
i couldnt agree more.
i am totally livid with the brainwashed left-gatekeepers and their big government nanny state mentality
but to say that the supposed other side of government is really any less commited to this sickening ideology is either dangerously ill informed or dangerously naive, or both.
True enough. The same was true of the American Republicans, who were as big spending as the Dems. Conservatives were so disgusted that the GOP lost Congress.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 12:10 AM
Generally against it and preferring moderately small government. For instance my proposed restructure of the welfare net , while increasing the cost of providing the welfare net itself, both reduces the size of the welfare bureaucracy and permits massive cuts in other areas of regulation (and hence, no doubt, in their regulators!)
Sounds like reasonable pragmatism, if it could work.


No difference to my vote but a difference to my public comments.
Why no difference? Do you really think that Rudd will be better for you or the country?


You may have noticed, for instance, that I correctly represent Howard as being not the Hayekite that Rudd paints him as, even though I am quite aware that in that case having the truth pointed out may advantage Howard.
While Rudd didn't know the difference between Hayek and Rand. And can Howard put into practice much Hayekism as long as the Nats are protectionist agrarian socialists?

Kevin Bonham
27-09-2007, 12:35 AM
Why no difference?

Centrelink. The way Howard's government has treated the unemployed, in a period of supposed prosperity when there was no need at all to be so harsh, alone justifies its eviction from office in my view irrespective of whether the alternative will actually make a difference and irrespective of all other issues. Barring massive reform on that particular issue, I won't be preferencing the Libs ahead of Labor anywhere that it counts. (As noted before, I live in an ultra-safe Labor seat so I might do anything in the Reps.)


Do you really think that Rudd will be better for you or the country?

Voting for me is based on excluding those I dislike rather than positive enthusiasm. It is rare for me to have especially positive feelings about any party or leader.

I do believe Rudd will be a better leader in some ways, because I expect him to be slightly less politically religious/moralistic, and also I think he will make a more effective and influential leader for Australia on the world stage.


While Rudd didn't know the difference between Hayek and Rand. And can Howard put into practice much Hayekism as long as the Nats are protectionist agrarian socialists?

Well, Howard isn't a Randroid either.

The Nationals' tendencies are confined to a particular range of issues dear to their voter base. Howard has had plenty of opportunity to be a small taxer aside from that and I haven't really seen him showing it.

Kevin Bonham
27-09-2007, 12:38 AM
True enough. The same was true of the American Republicans, who were as big spending as the Dems. Conservatives were so disgusted that the GOP lost Congress.

Was that the main cause or was disgust over the Iraq war more to do with it?

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 06:55 AM
You don't really have a 2 party system here in Australia, slowly the representative of the right (liberal) and left (labor) are coming closer and closer..

Liberals won't get rid of socialised health care/education/welfare etc because they will lose votes, Labor won't properly socialise the economy because they'll lose votes.

If I were a Liberal or Labor supporter I'd feel ripped off no matter who I voted for.

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 10:09 AM
Cool, went to do my tax today, gotta pay 1% medicare levy, I chose criminal life. I joined the no-tax-return club!

I gotta pay cash for my own healthcare, can't afford to pay for someone else's.

Accountant tells me if I join a private health fund I'll get a return. So basically if I pay like $1500 a year they'll give me the $500 they should be giving me anyway and call it a 'rebate'. Dirty bloody mongrols.

I think it's only fair that if we have universal health care then we make it law that every person must attend a gym at least 4 times a week and the government must mandate a diet. Smoking and alcohol must be banned along with other drugs. In fact any behavior which might cause you to use the system more than another should be banned. Of course if you're in a private fund these restrictions wouldn't apply to you.

Basically this way the system wouldn't cost so much to run and the people like myself who don't even use it wouldn't need to pay so much for it!

Universal healthcare is something I would not contribute to even if it were made voluntary, people do not look after thier health, and expect others to foot the bill. Socialists call me selfish, I call you selfish! I am overweight! I just ate 2 sausage rolls! But I pay my own bloody MEDICAL!!!!

Ok im over it now.

I gotta look into a private fund though... Anyone wanna plug one? Is that against forum policy????

CameronD
27-09-2007, 10:21 AM
Cool, went to do my tax today, gotta pay 1% medicare levy, I chose criminal life. I joined the no-tax-return club!

I gotta pay cash for my own healthcare, can't afford to pay for someone else's.

Accountant tells me if I join a private health fund I'll get a return. So basically if I pay like $1500 a year they'll give me the $500 they should be giving me anyway and call it a 'rebate'. Dirty bloody mongrols.

I think it's only fair that if we have universal health care then we make it law that every person must attend a gym at least 4 times a week and the government must mandate a diet. Smoking and alcohol must be banned along with other drugs. In fact any behavior which might cause you to use the system more than another should be banned. Of course if you're in a private fund these restrictions wouldn't apply to you.

Basically this way the system wouldn't cost so much to run and the people like myself who don't even use it wouldn't need to pay so much for it!

Universal healthcare is something I would not contribute to even if it were made voluntary, people do not look after thier health, and expect others to foot the bill. Socialists call me selfish, I call you selfish! I am overweight! I just ate 2 sausage rolls! But I pay my own bloody MEDICAL!!!!

Ok im over it now.

I gotta look into a private fund though... Anyone wanna plug one? Is that against forum policy????


I'm very happy to pay my 1% towards general healthcare... its one of the things that seperate us from America and is very important (I'd be willing to pay more if they required it)

This year my father was attacked by cancer and has been in the hospital all the time including emergency surgery. It would have bankrupt the family to pay for it ourselves. I see the levy as insurence for when crap occurs in life, which some day it will.

Daniel should go back to New Zealand if he wants a more american society... I certainly dont... where health and education is about how rich your family are!!!

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 10:23 AM
Was that the main cause or was disgust over the Iraq war more to do with it?
Not sure. Possibly getting tired of still being in Iraq, but also how the GOP had betrayed its principles, not only in expansion of government but their immigration amnesty. However, it seems like voting for the Dems was cutting off their own noses. "Teaching the GOP a lesson" is a stupid reason to vote for the other lot, because the "lesson" is ambiguous, as even your own question recognized. Some GOP congressmen have claimed to have learned their lesson and will stick to their principles (which I'll believe when I see it), but others could reasonably think that the "lesson" is to be more like the victors and turn Left, which is probably not the lesson such misguided voters wanted them to learn.

Thomas Sowell, as usual, has a good article on the stupidity of the "emotional self-indulgence" by many conservative voters last election, From champs to chumps (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/11/14/from_champs_to_chumps). I don't think it applies to Australia's coming election, but it is worth remembering next time a polly tells us to vote "to send a message".

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 10:35 AM
I'm very happy to pay my 1% towards general healthcare... its one of the things that seperate us from America and is very important (I'd be willing to pay more if they required it)

This year my father was attacked by cancer and has been in the hospital all the time including emergency surgery. It would have bankrupt the family to pay for it ourselves. I see the levy as insurence for when crap occurs in life, which some day it will.

Daniel should go back to New Zealand if he wants a more american society... I certainly dont... where health and education is about how rich your family are!!!

If you use the system I can see why you see it as insurance. However I do not use this system.

If America followed it's constitution to the letter I would be there in a flash however it doesn't. And NZ is not more like America, NZ has had Labour (they spell it with a U there) in power for a long time.

Welfare and education aren't always about how rich you are, I am from a poor family and am receiving a University education that I pay cash for.

Another question I might pose:

If the government didn't force you to contribute to a health scheme for the poor, would you still do it? I trust that you would, and ask then why it's important to force people to pay? Most people I know support medicare (even though they often complain about the care they get), so if so many people support this idea, I don't see why force is needed.

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 10:37 AM
Not sure. Possibly getting tired of still being in Iraq, but also how the GOP had betrayed its principles, not only in expansion of government but their immigration amnesty. However, it seems like voting for the Dems was cutting off their own noses. "Teaching the GOP a lesson" is a stupid reason to vote for the other lot, because the "lesson" is ambiguous, as even your own question recognized. Some GOP congressmen have claimed to have learned their lesson and will stick to their principles (which I'll believe when I see it), but others could reasonably think that the "lesson" is to be more like the victors and turn Left, which is probably not the lesson such misguided voters wanted them to learn.

Thomas Sowell, as usual, has a good article on the stupidity of the "emotional self-indulgence" by many conservative voters last election, From champs to chumps (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/11/14/from_champs_to_chumps). I don't think it applies to Australia's coming election, but it is worth remembering next time a polly tells us to vote "to send a message".

It's all a power grab in the states too, they want votes that's all. The few American politicians that seem to care about what the US constitution stand for (or at least put on a good act) do not get enough attention to ever achieve office.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 10:41 AM
I'm very happy to pay my 1% towards general healthcare... its one of the things that seperate us from America and is very important (I'd be willing to pay more if they required it)
this is a big misunderstanding of the American health system. Its problems arise from government interference, which separated the patient from the true cost of his health care, so lowers the incentive to keep costs down — see Our Crazy Health-Insurance System (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2007/09/25/our_crazy_health-insurance_system?page=full&comments=true) by John Stossel (USA).


This year my father was attacked by cancer and has been in the hospital all the time including emergency surgery. It would have bankrupt the family to pay for it ourselves. I see the levy as insurence for when crap occurs in life, which some day it will.
Glad it worked out for you. However, there is a real cost that someone still must pay. Health insurance that covered such expensive emergencies would be a good thing, but if a government made insurance covered all sorts of little things, the costs would blow out. Imagine the costs of car insurance if they had to cover petrol and oil changes.


Daniel should go back to New Zealand if he wants a more american society... I certainly dont... where health and education is about how rich your family are!!!
I don't want a more American society either. There are far too many rules and regulations and unelected bureaucrats and judges making law over there. And their mad litigation system where there is no "loser pays" system to discourage frivolous lawsuits. Further, they have the absurd FPP voting system where spoilers distort the result, unlike our preferential system.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 11:00 AM
Centrelink. The way Howard's government has treated the unemployed, in a period of supposed prosperity when there was no need at all to be so harsh, alone justifies its eviction from office in my view irrespective of whether the alternative will actually make a difference and irrespective of all other issues.
Like Gunner, I respect your political commentary. But this seems like a strange single-issue vote, even though what you have said elsewhere about the Centrelink treatment of the unemployed makes good sense. Would Labor be any better? And Howard has done more to ameliorate the problems with Centrelink by reducing the number of unemployed with his IR reforms so people need not be there in the first place.


Voting for me is based on excluding those I dislike rather than positive enthusiasm. It is rare for me to have especially positive feelings about any party or leader.
For me, voting is choosing the best of the available alternatives, not necessarily liking any of them. So if I vote against someone, I want to make sure that the alternative is not worse. As Sowell said (in the context of the GOP debacle) (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/11/14/from_champs_to_chumps?page=full&comments=true):


If the Republican leaders have learned nothing from their recent defeat, perhaps some Republican supporters will. Some of the most baffling e-mails received from conservative Republicans before the election were those which said that they were so disillusioned and/or disgusted with the Bush administration that they were going to vote for Democrats in order to send a message.

This is the kind of emotional self-indulgence common among liberals but apparently some conservatives have now also come to see elections as occasions to vent their feelings rather than to choose among existing options for the future of the country.

Sending a message may have its benefits but -- as with all benefits -- the question must be asked: "At what cost?" ...

Was that price even considered by conservatives who indulged their anger instead of weighing alternatives? It is easy to say "the parties are no different" or "things couldn't get any worse."

In recent trips to America, I remonstrated with Christians who wanted to vent by voting for the Constitution Party. I argued that this is a futile gesture under their crass FPP system, which might make them feel good but would result in the election of the Dems who were even further away from their political viewpoints.


I do believe Rudd will be a better leader in some ways, because I expect him to be slightly less politically religious/moralistic,
Coming from the opposite side, I also see through his claims to be a faithful Christian. But this sort of reasoning is more in line with rational choosing between available alternatives.


and also I think he will make a more effective and influential leader for Australia on the world stage.
How so? I doubt that Australia is that important on the world stage anyway. I also am not sure whether a Rudd Labor Government would be able to negotiate better free trade deals than the current government.


Well, Howard isn't a Randroid either.
Definitely not. I was pointing out that not only did Rudd misrepresent Howard as a Hayekite, but also attributed to Hayek an idea of Ayn Rand.


The Nationals' tendencies are confined to a particular range of issues dear to their voter base.
Yeah, forcing us to subsidise the Bush, for example.:evil:


Howard has had plenty of opportunity to be a small taxer aside from that and I haven't really seen him showing it.
Yeah :evil: A flat tax would be so much better than tinkering with the bloated current system.

However, he has done a number of good things, like simplify the superannuation system and make it worthwhile for Aussies to save for their retirement, introduced the GST and replaced the cumbersome system of variant excise taxes, and the IR laws.

Spiny Norman
27-09-2007, 01:01 PM
I understand the emotion involved in "protest votes". I've considered it once or twice myself, but backed off at the last minute. This election is interesting from that perspective, for me at least. I'm a Liberal Party member currently. I actually wrote a letter of resignation earlier this year and sent it in, but was then talked out of it by my local member. Right now I feel quite disconnected from everything that I used to believe the Lib/Nat coalition stood for ... pro-personal choice, pro-business, anti-lowest common denominator (the opposites of which I believe the Labor party stands for). Right now, I see no compelling vision from either party, no reason to vote for any of them. I perceive Lib/Nat policy to be fear-motivated (fear of losing government) and I perceive Labor policy to be a mix of incompetance and "me too" opportunism.

Southpaw Jim
27-09-2007, 01:26 PM
If the government didn't force you to contribute to a health scheme for the poor, would you still do it? I trust that you would, and ask then why it's important to force people to pay? Most people I know support medicare (even though they often complain about the care they get), so if so many people support this idea, I don't see why force is needed.

Sorry cobber, but I have to bite on this - this is a nonsense. No-one wants to pay taxes, and everyone has a reason why they, personally, shouldn't have to. Ergo, the force of law is required for any tax and it would be a waste of time to give people a choice and depend on their honesty/nobility.

The sad fact of life is that governments require money to operate. Therefore they must levy taxes. People want services from their governments, then it follows that they must pay for them.

As the cliche says: nothing is certain in life, except death and taxes :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 01:54 PM
I understand the emotion involved in "protest votes". I've considered it once or twice myself, but backed off at the last minute. This election is interesting from that perspective, for me at least. I'm a Liberal Party member currently. I actually wrote a letter of resignation earlier this year and sent it in, but was then talked out of it by my local member. Right now I feel quite disconnected from everything that I used to believe the Lib/Nat coalition stood for ... pro-personal choice, pro-business, anti-lowest common denominator (the opposites of which I believe the Labor party stands for). Right now, I see no compelling vision from either party, no reason to vote for any of them. I perceive Lib/Nat policy to be fear-motivated (fear of losing government) and I perceive Labor policy to be a mix of incompetance and "me too" opportunism.
The problem is, while the Coalition has not governed according its professed priniciples, it's almost certain that the other lot would move even further away. And Coalition governments don't undo enough of the mistakes that the previous Labor ones made. So there will be a cost down the track if Coalition members vent their emotions by not voting for them, cf. Sowell's article. While there is no reason to vote for either, considered in isolation, there is a good reason to prefer one to the other.

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 03:41 PM
Sorry cobber, but I have to bite on this - this is a nonsense. No-one wants to pay taxes, and everyone has a reason why they, personally, shouldn't have to. Ergo, the force of law is required for any tax and it would be a waste of time to give people a choice and depend on their honesty/nobility.

The sad fact of life is that governments require money to operate. Therefore they must levy taxes. People want services from their governments, then it follows that they must pay for them.

As the cliche says: nothing is certain in life, except death and taxes :lol:

I will not accept that as a fact of life. It's people who accept that as fact of life that allow this immoral system to continue.

I understand that if people want services from the government then there needs to be taxes to pay for it. I believe it is possible, if the government is significantly reduced in size, to fund the government through voluntary means (defense lotteries and the such).

I don't want to pay taxes, but I also don't want the Government to look after me. Large governments which are required in socialised states in my opinion are terribly dangerous.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 04:22 PM
Sorry cobber, but I have to bite on this - this is a nonsense. No-one wants to pay taxes, and everyone has a reason why they, personally, shouldn't have to. Ergo, the force of law is required for any tax and it would be a waste of time to give people a choice and depend on their honesty/nobility.
The problem is, the Government has expanded greatly since the 1930s or thereabouts. So it is taking an ever-increasing portion of the money we earn. There needs to be some government as a restrainer, for protection of life and property, but not to nanny us, fund art or TV that few would pay to watch, regulate how much people may pay for goods or services, and in general expand their bureaucratic rule.

Spiny Norman
27-09-2007, 04:56 PM
I believe it is possible, if the government is significantly reduced in size, to fund the government through voluntary means (defense lotteries and the such). I don't want to pay taxes, but I also don't want the Government to look after me.
Here's how to do it:
-- step 1: find a rich benefactor who will buy you an island somewhere;
-- step 2: convince other people to go live on the island with you; and
-- step 3: see how long you last without either killing one another or imposing a system of government that requires imposition of your dreaded taxes

I predict a Lord Of The Flies scenario within 2 years.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 04:59 PM
Daniel supports Libertarianz, which differentiates their libertarian position from anarchism:


Q: By emphasising freedom and minimal government, aren't Libertarianz really advocating anarchy?

A: Anarchy is the absence of government and law. Government is necessary to protect individual rights, i.e. to protect people from physical force and fraud. Libertarianz would restrict government to the following functions; a police force, to protect citizens from force; defence forces (army, navy, airforce), to protect citizens from foreign invasion; and a justice system, to protect property and contracts from breach or fraud, and to settle disputes by upholding objective law.

DanielBell
27-09-2007, 06:28 PM
Daniel supports Libertarianz, which differentiates their libertarian position from anarchism:


Q: By emphasising freedom and minimal government, aren't Libertarianz really advocating anarchy?

A: Anarchy is the absence of government and law. Government is necessary to protect individual rights, i.e. to protect people from physical force and fraud. Libertarianz would restrict government to the following functions; a police force, to protect citizens from force; defence forces (army, navy, airforce), to protect citizens from foreign invasion; and a justice system, to protect property and contracts from breach or fraud, and to settle disputes by upholding objective law.

It is also important to note that these systems should (and I believe could) be funded voluntarily.. Ultimately the defense of the nation and even your own life and property rests on you. If Australia's defense force and allies fail to repel some type of invasion (unlikely but bear with me), it would be only the people (who the Government have disarmed) that are left to make a last stand. In the end, if an armed individual breaks into your home and threatens the life of you or your family you will need to act to defend yourself, you can not rely on the government to help you. However, the Government can provide the means for the offender to be punished for their actions.

It's not a system of health care for the poor that I oppose. It's being forced to contribute to that system that I oppose. I do not think it is unreasonable to feel the need to ensure my own well being before I start contributing to the well being of others.

I do not support Anarchy.

Kevin Bonham
27-09-2007, 07:00 PM
And Howard has done more to ameliorate the problems with Centrelink by reducing the number of unemployed with his IR reforms so people need not be there in the first place.

But the unemployment rate only includes those who are not working at all - there are many Centrelink recipients who are not classed as "unemployed". And most of the reduction was not due to IR reforms anyway.

Also, I'm far more concerned with how annoying it is to be unemployed than with the chance of being there (not that market conditions affect that too much in my particular case anyway). If the risk is, say, 5%, but being on welfare is extremely demeaning, then I'd rather live in a society where unemployment was, say, 8% but the unemployed were treated reasonably well. As for what Rudd is going to do about it, I'm going to write his spokesman a letter shortly and find out. :D

And, although I haven't been on anything resembling Centrelink for a very long time, so mainly my experience of it has been indirect, it's something that I feel as a pressing personal risk as I've been very close to running out of $$$ at least half a dozen times in the last few years. The thought that if I ever run out of money then I have to deal with that has caused me more annoyance in the last decade or so than everything else put together. What makes it worse is that this government, instead of apologising for not doing better, boasts about its sad excuse for a welfare regime and says that that is how it should be.

Of course this is not the only issue I have with the current government, but it is probably the most pressing one, and the one which stops me from considering them as an option.


For me, voting is choosing the best of the available alternatives, not necessarily liking any of them.

I find it far easier to assess the negatives of parties than the positives. It's easy for me to know when I don't like a policy or government tactic, but often difficult to say when a positively-framed policy will work or even has worked. And it's rare that I see anything all that positive by way of policy anyway, since so much of it is in the safe zone.


This is the kind of emotional self-indulgence common among liberals but apparently some conservatives have now also come to see elections as occasions to vent their feelings rather than to choose among existing options for the future of the country.

Which basically shows that parties take a risk if they choose to shadow their opposition in search of the middle ground and foresake the concerns of their core supporters in so doing. What's interesting is that some typically leftist issues seem to be seeping into the concern of conservatives, who are becoming wary of their right-wing governments on account of that. But given that a true conservative position is not necessarily either left or right, maybe that's not so surprising.


In recent trips to America, I remonstrated with Christians who wanted to vent by voting for the Constitution Party. I argued that this is a futile gesture under their crass FPP system, which might make them feel good but would result in the election of the Dems who were even further away from their political viewpoints.

I put similar claims to Nader voters after they effectively elected Bush jnr. At the time I did see a counter-argument - this was that if a splinter party destroyed the chances of a major party then the major party would become more inclined to pander to the splinter party's supporters in future. The historical arguments behind some of these claims were quite surprisingly strong. I don't really trust it though.


How so? I doubt that Australia is that important on the world stage anyway. I also am not sure whether a Rudd Labor Government would be able to negotiate better free trade deals than the current government.

Firstly I believe Rudd's diplomatic experience will make him more credible in Asia. Secondly Howard's position has suffered as a result of being seen as just about the only remaining lackey of a very unpopular US president fighting an increasingly pointless war. Rudd has the personality and opportunity to reshape Australia as a more modern euro-style democracy (something Keating would have done had he not been so widely hated for his government's economic sins.)


However, he has done a number of good things, like simplify the superannuation system and make it worthwhile for Aussies to save for their retirement, introduced the GST and replaced the cumbersome system of variant excise taxes, and the IR laws.

I'm not that impressed with the GST as introduced. Specifically there are still plenty of specific-items levvies about, and the basic/processed food distinction introduced by the fairies at the bottom of the garden in supporting the bill has harmed low-income earners.

Axiom
27-09-2007, 07:29 PM
It is also important to note that these systems should (and I believe could) be funded voluntarily.. Ultimately the defense of the nation and even your own life and property rests on you. If Australia's defense force and allies fail to repel some type of invasion (unlikely but bear with me), it would be only the people (who the Government have disarmed) that are left to make a last stand. In the end, if an armed individual breaks into your home and threatens the life of you or your family you will need to act to defend yourself, you can not rely on the government to help you. However, the Government can provide the means for the offender to be punished for their actions.

It's not a system of health care for the poor that I oppose. It's being forced to contribute to that system that I oppose. I do not think it is unreasonable to feel the need to ensure my own well being before I start contributing to the well being of others.

I do not support Anarchy.yes ,we certainly should have the inalienable right to bear arms

Southpaw Jim
27-09-2007, 07:36 PM
The problem is, the Government has expanded greatly since the 1930s or thereabouts. So it is taking an ever-increasing portion of the money we earn.

Do you have proof of this Jono, or are you generalising? It's trite to say that governments are taxing and spending more, but this ignores the fact that government's responsibilities and the public's expectations of government have also expanded. I'd be interested to see some real analysis (ie academic paper) on this if you have it. Mind you, I'd agree that the Howard government is one of the highest-taxing in Australia's history :lol:


There needs to be some government as a restrainer, for protection of life and property
Granted.


but not to nanny us, fund art or TV that few would pay to watch
This is your subjective view of what government should be doing. It seems a very 'economic rationalist' view of government, that I don't personally subscribe to. Not really much to argue here, just a difference of political opinion.


regulate how much people may pay for goods or services
I'm not sure what you're referring to here. However, I'd argue that there is a strong case for government regulation of prices in certain cases, such as where a monopoly or monopsony, or other restricted market situation occurs (oligarchies, syndicates, etc).

Axiom
27-09-2007, 07:37 PM
And, although I haven't been on anything resembling Centrelink for a very long time, so mainly my experience of it has been indirect, it's something that I feel as a pressing personal risk as I've been very close to running out of $$$ at least half a dozen times in the last few years. The thought that if I ever run out of money then I have to deal with that has caused me more annoyance in the last decade or so than everything else put together. What makes it worse is that this government, instead of apologising for not doing better, boasts about its sad excuse for a welfare regime and says that that is how it should be.
As i completely agree with your view on this matter, should you ever be in the position of having to battle this corrupt system, i would be more than happy to give you a method for defeating it. Just let me know, and i will detail for you via PM the necessary steps.





But given that a true conservative position is not necessarily either left or right, maybe that's not so surprising.


well done, a rare but correct analysis.

Sunshine
27-09-2007, 08:22 PM
And, although I haven't been on anything resembling Centrelink for a very long time, so mainly my experience of it has been indirect, it's something that I feel as a pressing personal risk as I've been very close to running out of $$$ at least half a dozen times in the last few years. The thought that if I ever run out of money then I have to deal with that has caused me more annoyance in the last decade or so than everything else put together. What makes it worse is that this government, instead of apologising for not doing better, boasts about its sad excuse for a welfare regime and says that that is how it should be.


Kevin, definitely none of my business - but why would this be the case with someone like yourself ? You clearly seem have the capability to earn a regular, perhaps even a lucrative, income.

If this is the case and you chose a different path - then I'm not sure that a easy welfare safety net should be there.

Kevin Bonham
27-09-2007, 09:08 PM
Kevin, definitely none of my business - but why would this be the case with someone like yourself ? You clearly seem have the capability to earn a regular, perhaps even a lucrative, income.

I do have a regular income at present, but not one I am in the slightest danger of getting rich from. As for lucrative, the skills required to do a particular job and the skills required to get that job (or even know it exists) are not the same thing at all. I finished my last degree over four years ago and in that time, perhaps partly because of my location or overspecialisation(s), I have not heard of one single full-time well-paid job which I was fully qualified for and considered myself likely to get. (Research grants are an option, but the process of applying for one is so longwinded that it's very difficult to put them together unless you already have tenure from which to find the time to apply.)


If this is the case and you chose a different path - then I'm not sure that a easy welfare safety net should be there.

I believe that everyone who is making even the slightest effort to support themselves deserves an easy welfare safety net should they fail, because very few people make perfect choices all the time, and at some small cost to the taxpayer (this particular taxpayer being quite willing to pay that cost) the prospect of not having work can be made much more bearable for all.

I find the whole mentality of trying to find excuses for declaring people undeserving of government assistance alien.

Axiom
27-09-2007, 09:17 PM
I do have a regular income at present, but not one I am in the slightest danger of getting rich from. As for lucrative, the skills required to do a particular job and the skills required to get that job (or even know it exists) are not the same thing at all. I finished my last degree over four years ago and in that time, perhaps partly because of my location or overspecialisation(s), I have not heard of one single full-time well-paid job which I was fully qualified for and considered myself likely to get. (Research grants are an option, but the process of applying for one is so longwinded that it's very difficult to put them together unless you already have tenure from which to find the time to apply.)



I believe that everyone who is making even the slightest effort to support themselves deserves an easy welfare safety net should they fail, because very few people make perfect choices all the time, and at some small cost to the taxpayer (this particular taxpayer being quite willing to pay that cost) the prospect of not having work can be made much more bearable for all.

I find the whole mentality of trying to find excuses for declaring people undeserving of government assistance alien.
very well said, i heartily agree :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 09:34 PM
yes ,we certainly should have the inalienable right to bear arms
The Americans got that right with their Second Amendment.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 09:36 PM
Kevin, definitely none of my business - but why would this be the case with someone like yourself ? You clearly seem have the capability to earn a regular, perhaps even a lucrative, income.
I would have thought so. Sorry about the bad experiences with the bureaucrats.

Sunshine
27-09-2007, 09:46 PM
I have not heard of one single full-time well-paid job which I was fully qualified for and considered myself likely to get.
I'm surprised - I'm sure there are a lot of jobs you could do. I imagine you are being selective in what you consider worthwhile doing - but it probably will all come together at some point.



I find the whole mentality of trying to find excuses for declaring people undeserving of government assistance alien.

I find the whole concept of someone suporting me - when I am capable of supporting myself - completely foreign and could never do it.

I've seen what happens when a welfare mentality takes over a community and it does not benefit anyone.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 09:57 PM
Do you have proof of this Jono, or are you generalising? It's trite to say that governments are taxing and spending more, but this ignores the fact that government's responsibilities and the public's expectations of government have also expanded.
OK, just compare the proportion of GDP is devoted to the government 100 or 50 years ago and now.


I'd be interested to see some real analysis (ie academic paper) on this if you have it. Mind you, I'd agree that the Howard government is one of the highest-taxing in Australia's history :lol:
That's not really fair. What the government sets is the tax rate, not the tax revenue. Howard, like GWB, Reagan, Kennedy and Coolidge, increased revenues by lowering the rates (cf. the Laffer Curve (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1765.cfm)).


This is your subjective view of what government should be doing. It seems a very 'economic rationalist' view of government, that I don't personally subscribe to. Not really much to argue here, just a difference of political opinion.
There is also an objective empirical question here, about what is more efficient. And there is a matter of prediction: a private company has an incentive to please its customers if it wants to continute to get paid, while government bureaucrats have no such incentive. Also, private companies bear the consequences for bad decisions, while bureaucrats bear no consequences for bad decisions they make that effect other people.


I'm not sure what you're referring to here. However, I'd argue that there is a strong case for government regulation of prices in certain cases, such as where a monopoly or monopsony, or other restricted market situation occurs (oligarchies, syndicates, etc).
Monopolies are caused by government regulation! A free market would allow competitors to a profitable monopoly or cartel. Sowell explains (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4722):


Monopolies are much harder to find in the real world than in the world of political rhetoric. Monopolies raise prices but, in the big industries supposedly dominated by monopolies — oil, steel, railroads — prices were falling for years before Theodore Roosevelt entered the White House and started saving the country from "monopoly."

The average price of steel rails fell from $68 to $32 before TR became president. Standard Oil, the most hated of the "monopolies," had in fact innumerable competitors and its oil prices were not only lower than those of most of its competitors, but was also falling over the years. It was much the same story in other industries called "monopolies."

The anti-trust laws which Theodore Roosevelt so fiercely applied did not protect consumers from high prices. They protected high-cost producers from being driven out of business by lower cost producers. That has largely remained true in the many years since TR was president.

And government regulation of prices results in shortages or surpluses. This is also an empirical claim, backed up by the long petrol lines under Carter's price caps, which disappeared when Reagan lifted them. Reagan's act not only encouraged self-rationing, but it also made it economical to re-open capped oil wells, so it wasn't long before the price dropped lower than Carter's previous cap, and without the shortages. See for example another Sowell article An Ancient Fallacy: Price Controls (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1684).

A major reason for the water shortages is that the mains water supply is a government monopoly that has price caps.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 10:00 PM
http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1331


....

Back in the days when I was a Marxist, my primary concern was that ordinary people deserved better, and that elites were walking all over them. That is still my primary concern, but the passing decades have taught me that political elites and cultural elites are doing far more damage than the market elites could ever get away with doing.

...

The rhetoric of socialism may be inspiring, but its actual record is dismal. Countries which for centuries exported food have suddenly found themselves forced to import food to stave off starvation, after agriculture was socialized. This has happened all over the world, among people of every race. Anyone who saw the contrast between East Berlin and West Berlin, back in the days when half the city was controlled by the Communists, can have no doubts as to which system produces more economic benefits for ordinary people. Even though the people in both parts of the city were of the same race, culture and history, those living under the Communists were painfully poorer, in addition to having less freedom.

Much the same story could be told in Africa, where Ghana relied on socialistic programs and the Ivory Coast relied more on the marketplace, after both countries became independent back in the 1960s. Ghana started off with all the advantages. Its per capita income was double that of the Ivory Coast. But, after a couple of decades under different economic systems, the bottom 20% of people in the Ivory Coast had higher incomes than 60% of the people in Ghana.

Economic inefficiency is by no means the worst aspect of socialistic government. Trying to reduce economic inequality by increasing political inequality, which is essentially what Marxism is all about, has cost the lives of millions of innocent people under Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and others. Politicians cannot be trusted with a monopoly of power over other people's lives. Thousands of years of history have demonstrated this again and again.
...

Southpaw Jim
27-09-2007, 11:09 PM
OK, just compare the proportion of GDP is devoted to the government 100 or 50 years ago and now.
I ain't ya research assistant. Less flippantly, that may be an appropriate measure of the size of government if it weren't for the fact that, due to the shift in federal-state relations over the past 107 years, the responsibilities of government have changed. Your measure presupposes that these responsibilities are static. In other words, your measure assumes that any increase in that proportion is due to big/inefficient government, and not an increase in the government's responsibilities. Furthermore, there have also been shifts in the respective tax revenue raising capabilities of the federal and state governments - particularly, the ceding of income tax powers to the federal government during WWII.


That's not really fair. What the government sets is the tax rate, not the tax revenue. Howard, like GWB, Reagan, Kennedy and Coolidge, increased revenues by lowering the rates (cf. the Laffer Curve (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1765.cfm)).
No, it wasn't fair, it was a throwaway jibe :P However, I don't accept your assertion re rates and revenue - using the Laffer Curve, you assume that before Howard lowered the tax rates we were in Laffer's 'prohibitive range'. If we weren't in the prohibitive range to begin with, then lowering rates does not increase revenue. This is arguably the basic mistake that the pointyheads of Reagonomics made - certainly, in real terms, Reagan's tax cuts to the top brackets didn't generate much revenue growth.

I'd also contend that, in regards to tax rates, Howard hasn't really engaged in meaningful tax reform, he's only tinkered around the edges. In addition, Australia's burgeoning tax revenues are coming from company tax, thanks to the resources boom. Note: this is not to say that we aren't paying too much in income tax.



There is also an objective empirical question here, about what is more efficient. And there is a matter of prediction: a private company has an incentive to please its customers if it wants to continute to get paid, while government bureaucrats have no such incentive. Also, private companies bear the consequences for bad decisions, while bureaucrats bear no consequences for bad decisions they make that effect other people.
This presupposes that there is there is no market failure for the 'good' being produced, and that private companies would actually engage in producing it. As you suggest, art/TV that few would pay to watch would not get produced under your model. Life, and society, is not always about efficiency, and sometimes there is a societal benefit in producing something that people wouldn't pay for. Again, this boils down to a subjective argument. I personally see value in - say - art being produced that is not commercially viable. After all, how many famous artists have died in poverty? This is the danger in applying economics to everything in society - we might miss out on something that has a currently intangible value. We're a society, not an economy ;)


Monopolies are caused by government regulation! A free market would allow competitors to a profitable monopoly or cartel.
Not all monopolies are caused by regulation, some are caused by market failure, others are brought about by intellectual property (eg KFC's 11 herbs & spices).

In many cases, a monopoly is the best of a bad lot - a good that is desired by the public can only be brought to market by the granting of a monopoly, or by the government intervening to provide the good. In terms of pure economic theory, a monopoly is always a sub-optimal model, but it is often the choice between provision and no provision. However, where a monopoly exists, it is usually in the public's interest for the government to regulate the monopoly's pricing, to ensure that gouging does not occur.

Plus, in responding you've chosen to pick on only one of my examples. I don't pretend to know the truth of it all, but many would suggest that there is an oligarchy of petroleum suppliers that are engaging in restrictive trade practices, and are ripping us all blind. Is there not a case for government regulation, or at least oversight, in such a case?

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2007, 11:48 PM
In other words, your measure assumes that any increase in that proportion is due to big/inefficient government, and not an increase in the government's responsibilities.
Rather, the government encroaching more and more into things it shouldn't.


No, it wasn't fair, it was a throwaway jibe :P However, I don't accept your assertion re rates and revenue
It's a statement of fact. The government can't simply declare that it is taking more revenue simply by increasing the tax rates.


— using the Laffer Curve, you assume that before Howard lowered the tax rates we were in Laffer's 'prohibitive range'.
I do. And it was backed up by your throwaway jibe about Howard's high-taxing government :owned:


This is arguably the basic mistake that the pointyheads of Reagonomics made — certainly, in real terms, Reagan's tax cuts to the top brackets didn't generate much revenue growth.
They did so, just like GWB's and Kennedy's, which suggests that indeed America was in America's prohibitive range. The problem in Reagan's time was the growth in federal spending by the Dem-controlled congress.


I'd also contend that, in regards to tax rates, Howard hasn't really engaged in meaningful tax reform, he's only tinkered around the edges.
Here we agree :clap:


In addition, Australia's burgeoning tax revenues are coming from company tax, thanks to the resources boom. Note: this is not to say that we aren't paying too much in income tax.
:clap: Do you the other lot will lower the tax burden?


This presupposes that there is there is no market failure for the 'good' being produced, and that private companies would actually engage in producing it.
If people want it, as opposed for the Anointed deciding what is good for them.


As you suggest, art/TV that few would pay to watch would not get produced under your model. Life, and society, is not always about efficiency, and sometimes there is a societal benefit in producing something that people wouldn't pay for.
Again, decided by the Anointed, who thus coerce money from us Benighted ones.


Again, this boils down to a subjective argument. I personally see value in —
Fine: you see value, you pay. Don't force me to pay!


say — art being produced that is not commercially viable.
Or rather, what passes for "art" these days ...


Not all monopolies are caused by regulation, some are caused by market failure, others are brought about by intellectual property (eg KFC's 11 herbs & spices).
Even then, there are limits to their monopoly power. If KFC abuses its monopoly by charging too much, there are plenty of other junk food outlets. As Sowell says:


For one thing, the elites of the marketplace have to compete against one another. If General Motors doesn't make the kind of car you want, you can always turn to Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, and others. But if the Environmental Protection Agency goes off the deep end, there is no alternative agency doing the same thing that you can turn to.

Even when a particular corporation seems to have a monopoly of its product, as the Aluminum Company of America once did, it must compete with substitute products. If Alcoa had jacked up the price of aluminum to exploit its monopoly position, many things that were made of aluminum would have begun to be made of steel, plastic and numerous other materials. The net result of market forces was that, half a century after it became a monopoly, Alcoa was charging less for aluminum than it did at the beginning. That was not because the people who ran the company were nice. It was because market competition left them no viable alternative.


In many cases, a monopoly is the best of a bad lot — a good that is desired by the public can only be brought to market by the granting of a monopoly, or by the government intervening to provide the good. In terms of pure economic theory, a monopoly is always a sub-optimal model, but it is often the choice between provision and no provision.
If it is provision of what people actually want, rather than what the Anointed decide is good for them, then private companies will fill the need. It's a phenomenon throughout the last century or so that those who claim to care about the "people" the most don't actually credit the people to know what is good for them.


Plus, in responding you've chosen to pick on only one of my examples. I don't pretend to know the truth of it all, but many would suggest that there is an oligarchy of petroleum suppliers that are engaging in restrictive trade practices, and are ripping us all blind. Is there not a case for government regulation, or at least oversight, in such a case?
No. Concepts like "price gouging (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4473)" and "predatory pricing (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3588)" are words of political demagogery and affirmative action for crappy businesses, not sound economics. Good grief, if they charge more than a bureaucrat thinks is "fair", they are charged with the former, and if they charge less, then the latter. And of course, if a business charges prices close to those of its rivals, then it's "collusion". They just can't please the anti-trust Gestapo (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=319) if they are determined to prosecute.

And if competitors are free to sell petrol, that would put a damper on a cartel trying to over-price. Only if the government restricts competition can the cartel rip its customers off.

Just look at the pathetic service when government departments had monopolies in post, telecommunications, airlines ... I've seen what happens when the government runs shops, in the former Soviet Union.

Basil
28-09-2007, 12:11 AM
I'd also contend that, in regards to tax rates, Howard hasn't really engaged in meaningful tax reform, he's only tinkered around the edges.

Here we agree
Geez, you're a tough crowd. The Howard government has made the most significant changes re: tax reform in this country for the last 30 (more?) years.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 12:48 AM
Geez, you're a tough crowd. The Howard government has made the most significant changes re: tax reform in this country for the last 30 (more?) years.
This is true. But it's not really saying much. We still have the insidious bracket creep, petrol excise which is included in the GST i.e. tax upon a tax, a tax code larger than the Sydney telephone directory ...

True, unlike some here, I think the Howard government is the best government we have had in a long time, and is far better than a union-hack–dominated KRudd government is likely to be.

DanielBell
28-09-2007, 06:59 AM
I find the whole mentality of trying to find excuses for declaring people undeserving of government assistance alien.

My stand point is that government is undeserving of the power to influence in the lives of law abiding citizens. Government assistance isn't the only option for the poor, and it definitely isn't the most efficient.

Southpaw Jim
28-09-2007, 10:12 AM
I do. And it was backed up by your throwaway jibe about Howard's high-taxing government.
Does not necessarily follow. Sorry. As I said before, the bounty at the moment is the boom in company tax receipts. Not income tax. However, the revenue from company tax receipts could, and arguably should, be used to fund significant reductions in income tax.
My understanding of the theoretical basis for the GST (not the political basis) is that where such a broad-based tax is introduced, narrow-based/discriminatory taxes such as income tax should be reduced to a minimum (or even abolished) to remove distortions from economic decisions and improve efficiency and productivity. Eg, introduce a flat 20-30% income tax across the board. However, it will never happen, politically speaking, because the government that would be cutting the income tax (the feds) would not be the government that receives the GST revenue (the states).

They did so, just like GWB's and Kennedy's, which suggests that indeed America was in America's prohibitive range.
My understanding is that US tax receipts increased by ~14.7 per cent in real inflation-adjusted terms from 1981 to 1989 – which is an average of 2.1 per cent per annum. Not a great deal of growth – in fact, I’d suggest that this was a less rate than the US economy as a whole.
However, this is all arguing political history, and attributing cause and effect in macroeconomic terms is a theoretical exercise. I’m not really interested in arguing about it further.

The problem in Reagan's time was the growth in federal spending by the Dem-controlled congress.
This is arguable – if the growth in tax revenue was low, then this would fuel a need for rising public debt, thereby generating the deficits you allude to. Again, the causality is theoretically contestable from both points of view. I don’t see any value in debating it (we’d go on in never-ending circles).

Here we agree
Dammit! :)

Do you the other lot will lower the tax burden?
Lol. The ‘other lot’. Maybe, maybe not. I doubt it in the current interest rate environment. However, IIRC, Labor engaged in some pretty significant income tax cuts under Keating’s tenure as Treasurer. So, it’s not like ‘your lot’ (lol) can claim the moral high ground on tax cuts :P


If people want it, as opposed for the Anointed deciding what is good for them.
Again, decided by the Anointed, who thus coerce money from us Benighted ones.
Fine: you see value, you pay. Don't force me to pay!
Or rather, what passes for "art" these days ...
This is all subjective depending on your political viewpoint on government. You’re obviously a small “l” liberal – small government, low taxes. I am not. ‘Nuff said, nothing further to debate here.


Even then, there are limits to their monopoly power. If KFC abuses its monopoly by charging too much, there are plenty of other junk food outlets. As Sowell says:
True, and not necessarily disputed. However, I only quoted KFC as an example that private monopolies could exist without being created by government regulation – KFC may not’ve been the best example, but was the first to mind. I’m sure there are monopolies out there that truly do not have competitors.

Again, as I said before, monopolies are not the only case for government regulation in the face of restrictive trade practices.

If it is provision of what people actually want, rather than what the Anointed decide is good for them, then private companies will fill the need.
I don’t see too many companies out there providing sewerage, but people want it. Many other areas are marginal at best, and hence we tend to see government monopolies for such things. No doubt you’d argue that this is evidence that people aren’t paying enough for these services. Again, we get back to the appropriate role for government, and again disagree.

And if competitors are free to sell petrol, that would put a damper on a cartel trying to over-price. Only if the government restricts competition can the cartel rip its customers off.
This presupposes the cartel only exists because of a government restriction on the number of players in the industry. This is not the only reason for the existence of cartels. There are other barriers to entry into a market that can exist.


Just look at the pathetic service when government departments had monopolies in post, telecommunications, airlines ... I've seen what happens when the government runs shops, in the former Soviet Union.
No real argument here. I’m an economist, I don’t generally believe in the government attempting to act in markets where it shouldn’t. However, I’m also a realist, and I accept that government often does have a role to play (even if it defies economic strictures) where the majority of society demands that it acts.

Getting back to the original topic, IMO healthcare is an essential service. Say what you like about the funding of arts etc, good general healthcare should be provided by the government, and it therefore follows that people should expect to pay for it in taxes, regardless of whether they personally use the service. We are a society, not a collection of individual economic agents, and as a member of that society we arguably have an obligation to those less fortunate than ourselves. Those that advocate “I pay for what I use” in this area are conveniently overlooking the fact that some people can’t afford to pay for such things, or that they themselves may be unable to pay for such things when they come to need them decades down the track – double hip replacement anyone? :hand:

pax
28-09-2007, 10:28 AM
That's not really fair. What the government sets is the tax rate, not the tax revenue. Howard, like GWB, Reagan, Kennedy and Coolidge, increased revenues by lowering the rates (cf. the Laffer Curve (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1765.cfm)).

That's a complete myth. The current increased tax take is due to a boom in *company* tax, primarily from the resources sector. Howard has hardly touched the company tax rates, so cannot claim the credit.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 10:41 AM
That's a complete myth. The current increased tax take is due to a boom in *company* tax, primarily from the resources sector. Howard has hardly touched the company tax rates, so cannot claim the credit.
Not a myth at all. It happens to be a fact that the tax rate cuts I mentioned (Coolidge, JFK, Reagan) increased the total tax revenues. As for JWH, it seems that the lefties on this site want to blame him for all the problems (e.g. the housing prices which are the fault of state land restrictions and stamp duty) but not for what is going right (low unemployment, still low interest rates and inflation under reasonable control).

Southpaw Jim
28-09-2007, 11:05 AM
Not a myth at all. It happens to be a fact that the tax rate cuts I mentioned (Coolidge, JFK, Reagan) increased the total tax revenues.
Your stated causality is NOT an objective fact, Jono, it is arguable macroeconomic theory (and you know it). A matter of academic argument. Laffer says yes, at least one of my macro texts says no.


As for JWH, it seems that the lefties on this site want to blame him for all the problems (e.g. the housing prices which are the fault of state land restrictions and stamp duty) but not for what is going right (low unemployment, still low interest rates and inflation under reasonable control).
Tut, tut, diversionary observation ;) It is, however, debatable that JWH can claim credit for your things 'going right' anyway - JWH has been demonstrably shown to have little or no control over interest rates (5 rises since the last election) - we all know that the Reserve Bank determines the cash rate. I would've thought that someone pushing the macroeconomic lines that you do (free market etc) would have the credibility to acknowledge that the interest rates in Australia are far more influenced by events worldwide (particularly the US, China) than anything JWH might contrive to do.

As for inflation, again, as I'm sure you realise, JWH's influence is constrained by the fact that the government of the day only influences half of the equation - fiscal policy - and not the other half (monetary policy). Given the record levels of expenditure that you imply are occurring in government, and particularly given JWH's noted propensity to spend like a drunken sailor when it suits him (just ask Costello!), he can hardly be claimed to be a spendthrift. It would therefore follow (especially since you argue government spends too much) that JWH's approach to fiscal policy has done nothing to keep inflation low, and the credit is entirely due to the overseer of monetary policy, the Reserve Bank! :P

EDIT: removed unfair assertion.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 11:08 AM
Does not necessarily follow. Sorry. As I said before, the bounty at the moment is the boom in company tax receipts. Not income tax. However, the revenue from company tax receipts could, and arguably should, be used to fund significant reductions in income tax.
My understanding of the theoretical basis for the GST (not the political basis) is that where such a broad-based tax is introduced, narrow-based/discriminatory taxes such as income tax should be reduced to a minimum (or even abolished) to remove distortions from economic decisions and improve efficiency and productivity. Eg, introduce a flat 20-30% income tax across the board. However, it will never happen, politically speaking, because the government that would be cutting the income tax (the feds) would not be the government that receives the GST revenue (the states).
I agree with this (sorry :hmm: )


Lol. The ‘other lot’. Maybe, maybe not. I doubt it in the current interest rate environment. However, IIRC, Labor engaged in some pretty significant income tax cuts under Keating’s tenure as Treasurer. So, it’s not like ‘your lot’ (lol) can claim the moral high ground on tax cuts :P
And I have given that lot credit where it was due, for this as well as the dividend imputation system that ended the iniquitous double taxation of dividends. Just as I have criticized "my lot" when deserved.


I don’t see too many companies out there providing sewerage, but people want it. Many other areas are marginal at best, and hence we tend to see government monopolies for such things. No doubt you’d argue that this is evidence that people aren’t paying enough for these services. Again, we get back to the appropriate role for government, and again disagree.
You got me there, I would argue this. And the water shortages would seem to back this up.


Getting back to the original topic, IMO healthcare is an essential service. Say what you like about the funding of arts etc, good general healthcare should be provided by the government, and it therefore follows that people should expect to pay for it in taxes, regardless of whether they personally use the service.
The problem remains that there is still a cost to pay from someone for medical services. But if government insulates patients from the cost of healthcare, then there is no incentive for the patients to save some costs, or for healthcare providers to keep their costs down. But if there is no self-rationing by prices, then the government will ration the care instead. Hence the long waiting lists in countries with socialized medicine, and even cruel rationing where some people are denied treatment because of the cost. Canada, one such paradise with socialized medicine, sends many patients to the much maligned US health system (oh yeah, it deserves to be maligned, but not for the reasons that leftists think, but because government interferes there too much).


We are a society, not a collection of individual economic agents, and as a member of that society we arguably have an obligation to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Here we agree again. But this was far better achieved by charities which were closer to the people concerned than with impersonal bloated government bureaucracies.


Those that advocate “I pay for what I use” in this area are conveniently overlooking the fact that some people can’t afford to pay for such things, or that they themselves may be unable to pay for such things when they come to need them decades down the track – double hip replacement anyone? :hand:
Insurance should cover those very costly items, not every little sniffle and cough.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 11:14 AM
Your stated causality is NOT an objective fact, Jono, it is arguable macroeconomic theory (and you know it). A matter of academic argument. Laffer says yes, at least one of my macro texts says no.
Laffer says yes, and his reasoning makes sense too. Reagan before he was president pointed out many examples of economically productive work that simply was not done because of the punitive tax rates, so that is tax revenue denied. He also cited examples of people being domiciled in lower-tax countries, so again the US lost that tax revenue altogether.


Tut, tut, diversionary observation ;) It is, however, debatable that JWH can claim credit for your things 'going right' anyway — JWH has been demonstrably shown to have little or no control over interest rates (5 rises since the last election) — we all know that the Reserve Bank determines the cash rate. I would've thought that someone pushing the macroeconomic lines that you do (free market etc) would have the credibility to acknowledge that the interest rates in Australia are far more influenced by events worldwide (particularly the US, China) than anything JWH might contrive to do.
Once again, people are still happy to attack JWH for things that you agree he has little control over. One thing he did have control over was industrial relations, and the low unemployment rates should be credited to him.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 11:19 AM
I'm not that impressed with the GST as introduced. Specifically there are still plenty of specific-items levvies about, and the basic/processed food distinction introduced by the fairies at the bottom of the garden in supporting the bill has harmed low-income earners.
Blame the Democrats for that! It was not the way that Howard/Costello intended — they advocates simply 10% on everything. So what were they to do? Not give in and thus not have the GST and have instead Labor's convoluted system of excise taxes? Or give in 5% of the way and still have 95% of what they wanted, as happened, even though the 5% was a legal minefield as you say.

Southpaw Jim
28-09-2007, 11:24 AM
Blame the Democrats for that! It was not the way that Howard/Costello intended — they advocates simply 10% on everything. So what were they to do? Not give in and thus not have the GST and have instead Labor's convoluted system of excise taxes? Or give in 5% of the way and still have 95% of what they wanted, as happened, even though the 5% was a legal minefield as you say.
Jono, I think Kevin was already blaming the Dems for it in his post ("fairies supporting the bill"). I'll respond to your above posts probably late tonight, unfortunately I must get back to justifying my continued employment.. :(

Oh to be independently wealthy. Not that I'd be sitting around debating macroeconomics if I was, I suspect :hmm:

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 11:39 AM
Jono, I think Kevin was already blaming the Dems for it in his post ("fairies supporting the bill").
True enough Euro.


I'll respond to your above posts probably late tonight, unfortunately I must get back to justifying my continued employment.. :(
I know what you mean.


Oh to be independently wealthy. Not that I'd be sitting around debating macroeconomics if I was, I suspect :hmm:
And if only I got royalties from my books, I could debate all day ... :whistle: Actually I like my job anyway.

Basil
28-09-2007, 12:19 PM
JWH has been demonstrably shown to have little or no control over interest rates (5 rises since the last election) - we all know that the Reserve Bank determines the cash rate. I would've thought that someone pushing the macroeconomic lines that you do (free market etc) would have the credibility to acknowledge that the interest rates in Australia are far more influenced by events worldwide (particularly the US, China) than anything JWH might contrive to do.
No! Stop this fiddling poppycock at once. I was very tempted to mete out size 7 red text for the whole post in my rant about your complete lack of comprehension at the very existence of microeconomics.

It is true that the macro influences you have cited are incredibly important as an environment in which any government must operate. That was established 20 pages back (for those that required the edification).

However, given a buoyant global environment, it is possible to cock-up the economy (Keating did). The ninny Labor policy of running after bleeding hearts had this country well on its way to bankruptcy long before the global deterioration set in. Keating was 'saved' by the ensuing global deterioration. As an economist, you would know that only too well.

Regardless and further, Howard's policies have played a huge part in ensuring that Australia's prosperity surfs well beyond and above the global environment.

Failure to acknowledge that is most likely either
-- a singular lack of understanding of the elementary duality between macro and micro economics (enter the water cooler brigade, starry-eyed kiddies and those that simply can't comprehend the big words); or
-- those who elect not to for entirely self-serving, expedient, head under the blanket pro left ideologue.

Southpaw Jim
28-09-2007, 12:25 PM
Drafted this offline in a quiet moment..


You got me there, I would argue this. And the water shortages would seem to back this up.
I agree (sorry :P) that water is one area where a price signal is needed, at least in areas where water supply is a problem (95% of Hobart’s fresh water flows into the sea…). That’s why I was talking about sewerage.

The problem remains that there is still a cost to pay from someone for medical services. But if government insulates patients from the cost of healthcare, then there is no incentive for the patients to save some costs, or for healthcare providers to keep their costs down. But if there is no self-rationing by prices, then the government will ration the care instead.
I agree insomuch that it’s all nice and good in theory. However, the reality is that life, society and economics is not perfect, and sometimes you have to live with a sub-optimal outcome because of what is socially and politically feasible. The fact remains that most people cannot afford the raw cost of serious medical treatment, and thus our society opts to spread the burden across all. The people who should be incentivised to save costs are the people who can least afford to, and are therefore least able to respond appropriately to price signals.

That is, the people who can’t afford private insurance are the people coming to the public system with bad health that is resulting from their poverty. These are the people who smoke, drink heavily, eat badly, have poor educational outcomes, etc – and then end up with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritic conditions, etc. Thus, providing a price signal is really only going to affect those who can afford to respond – and not the primary cost drivers of public health care.

Insurance should cover those very costly items, not every little sniffle and cough.
My experience of paying for 15 years worth of private health insurance is that this is exactly what it does, and does not, cover.


Laffer says yes, and his reasoning makes sense too.
Laffer’s reasoning behind the Laffer Curve is arguable, but this stuff about tax cuts = higher revenue is extremely debateable. I don’t subscribe to this branch of supply-side theory, nor do many economists. FWIW, re the idea of cutting taxes to increase revenues, even George Bush Snr referred to this as ‘voodoo economics’.

Without intending to offend/condescend, I know you’re a scientist, not an economist by training – I’d recommend you read quite broadly on macroeconomics rather than just trusting to one or two academics, because it’s a diverse and hotly debated field and certainly not ‘settled’. Classicists, neo-Classicists, Keynesians, Supply-siders… they all have a different take on why things happen the way they do, and none of it is proven fact.

Suffice to say, however, the reasoning behind tax cuts = higher revenue got pretty short shrift where I went to Uni.
I can provide a theoretical analysis regarding tax cuts = higher revenue, if you’re interested, that demonstrates that such a policy might increase GDP by a small amount, but also results in a significant and permanent rise in prices.
This is not to say that supply-side economics itself is misguided – far from it. The only way to permanently increase output is from the supply-side.

Once again, people are still happy to attack JWH for things that you agree he has little control over.
This is because the Libs implied strongly to the electorate in 2004 that he could control or influence interest rates in a meaningful way. I was gobsmacked when I saw those ads: “keep interest rates at record lows” – how?? :eek:


One thing he did have control over was industrial relations, and the low unemployment rates should be credited to him.
Again, arguable political history here. Yes he has control over IR now. Low unemployment credited to him? Not saying ‘no’ categorically, but I’m highly sceptical. If he can claim any credit, he can’t claim it all. Most of the hard IR yards were actually done by Hawke/Keating, who eviscerated the unions, introduced enterprise bargaining, etc. And this, again, ignores the influence of the resources boom – I’d be inclined to give most of the credit during Howard’s tenure for low unemployment on this, rather than any IR changes he’s introduced.

This is the fallacy that Howard and Hockey attempt to purvey re SerfChoices, that the drop in unemployment since Serfchoices was introduced is primarily a result of its introduction. I’d be interested to see some objective analysis of where the growth in employment has come from, rather than blanket assertions that the government achieved that result because it happened to occur on their watch.


Regardless and further, Howard's policies have played a huge part in ensuring that Australia's prosperity surfs well beyond and above the global environment.
Which policies, and how have they achieved this? IMO Howard and Costello have been economic supervisors, not economic managers. They've ridden the wave, but they haven't really harnessed it. They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus? :eek: ), but haven't done anything with it. What infrastructure investments has the Howard government made that will revolutionise Australia and underwrite our future economic performance?.

I'm not an ideologue, always happy to be persuaded otherwise. However, bald assertions about cause and effect are not enough to turn my head :whistle:

Southpaw Jim
28-09-2007, 12:30 PM
your complete lack of comprehension at the very existence if microeconomics.
Please, elaborate. I'm interested as to what you're referring to here.

pax
28-09-2007, 12:43 PM
Not a myth at all. It happens to be a fact that the tax rate cuts I mentioned (Coolidge, JFK, Reagan) increased the total tax revenues. As for JWH, it seems that the lefties .... [Jono's latest lefty rant deleted]

Stick to the point. The point is that the record tax take is down (mostly) to increases in company tax takings, not income tax, therefore income tax cuts have nothing (or very little) to do with it.

pax
28-09-2007, 12:53 PM
Laffer’s reasoning behind the Laffer Curve is arguable, but this stuff about tax cuts = higher revenue is extremely debateable. I don’t subscribe to this branch of supply-side theory, nor do many economists. FWIW, re the idea of cutting taxes to increase revenues, even George Bush Snr referred to this as ‘voodoo economics’.

The Laffer curve is perfectly reasonable in theory. Obviously 0% tax rates and 100% tax rates will result in approximately zero tax collected, and there will be a smooth curve in between.

The problem is that nobody knows the shape of the curve. Where is the point of maximum tax take? Wouldn't we all like to know. It might be 60%, it might be 40%. I suspect that the optimum point is probably considerably higher than Jono thinks. But the basic problem is that economic activity leading to tax taking is a whole lot more complicated than just the levels of income tax.

Kevin Bonham
28-09-2007, 01:56 PM
Blame the Democrats for that! It was not the way that Howard/Costello intended — they advocates simply 10% on everything. So what were they to do? Not give in and thus not have the GST and have instead Labor's convoluted system of excise taxes? Or give in 5% of the way and still have 95% of what they wanted, as happened, even though the 5% was a legal minefield as you say.

The procedures for dealing with an intransigent Senate in the Australian Parliament are very clear: you force a double dissolution and then a win in the House of Reps by a comfortable margin (which any government that has the confidence of the people will manage easily) enables you to railroad the measure in question through a joint sitting at which you have an absolute majority.

I thought Costello's proposed compromise of 5% on all food was sensible and wish they had stuck to that.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 02:55 PM
The procedures for dealing with an intransigent Senate in the Australian Parliament are very clear: you force a double dissolution and then a win in the House of Reps by a comfortable margin (which any government that has the confidence of the people will manage easily) enables you to railroad the measure in question through a joint sitting at which you have an absolute majority.
But then the electorate might punish you for bothering them again, and then you don't get any of your policies through.

But after this last election, it's a shame that they didn't to enough with their majority in both houses, much like the useless Fraser. And as the American GOP debacle after having a similar shutout on Presidency, House and Senate showed, they need to use it or lose it (the legislative power they had).


I thought Costello's proposed compromise of 5% on all food was sensible and wish they had stuck to that.
Seems a reasonable compromise under the circumstances.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 02:57 PM
(post #56)
Good points Gunner. I learned things there.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2007, 03:13 PM
Drafted this offline in a quiet moment..
Glad you can find them from time to time. Same here.


I agree (sorry :P) that water is one area where a price signal is needed, at least in areas where water supply is a problem (95% of Hobart’s fresh water flows into the sea…).
You're forgiven. :P


I agree insomuch that it’s all nice and good in theory.
Also in practice, given the waiting lists and rationing in Britain and Canada. Sure, health care is "affordable", but you could die while waiting, if the bureaucrat even allows it.

Of course there are problems with the free market, because it comprises imperfect humans! But likewise, imperfect humans are all we have to centrally plan, so it's not surprising that government fixes usually create more problems than they solve.


Laffer’s reasoning behind the Laffer Curve is arguable, but this stuff about tax cuts = higher revenue is extremely debateable. I don’t subscribe to this branch of supply-side theory, nor do many economists. FWIW, re the idea of cutting taxes to increase revenues, even George Bush Snr referred to this as ‘voodoo economics’.
Yeah, great argument from "read my lips". Such economic astuteness. Note that this was when he was battling in the GOP primary with Reagan. When Reagan selected him as running mate anyway, Bush buckled down for 8 years, and only showed his true colours with his electorally suicidal new taxes.


Without intending to offend/condescend, I know you’re a scientist, not an economist by training – I’d recommend you read quite broadly on macroeconomics rather than just trusting to one or two academics, because it’s a diverse and hotly debated field and certainly not ‘settled’. Classicists, neo-Classicists, Keynesians, Supply-siders… they all have a different take on why things happen the way they do, and none of it is proven fact.
You don't know what I've read, and I am eager to learn from one with your expertise. Although you could probably guess Thomas Sowell's books on economics, and he was a student then a friend of Milton Friedman.

It seems to me that Keynesianism was discredited during the Carter presidency which disproved the Phillips Curve, while Reagan's supply-side economics had their first big success in killing the long lines at petrol stations simply by abolishing petrol price caps.

And if doesn't take much to see the poverty that results in centrally planned economies, and even the high unemployment in the soft socialism of Europe. Shortages follow price caps like night follows day, and have done for centuries. Price floors also result in surpluses over and over again.


This is not to say that supply-side economics itself is misguided – far from it. The only way to permanently increase output is from the supply-side.
Yeah!


Again, arguable political history here. Yes he has control over IR now. Low unemployment credited to him? Not saying ‘no’ categorically, but I’m highly sceptical. If he can claim any credit, he can’t claim it all. Most of the hard IR yards were actually done by Hawke/Keating, who eviscerated the unions, introduced enterprise bargaining, etc.
I also give them credit where it is due.


Which policies, and how have they achieved this? IMO Howard and Costello have been economic supervisors, not economic managers. They've ridden the wave, but they haven't really harnessed it. They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus? :eek: ), but haven't done anything with it. What infrastructure investments has the Howard government made that will revolutionise Australia and underwrite our future economic performance?
Or let us keep more of the money we earn!! :wall:

But again, my vote will be a choice between actual alternatives, and I refuse to let the "perfect be the enemy of the good". I can't see Rudd and the rabid lefties under him increasing Australia's economic prosperity.

eclectic
28-09-2007, 04:56 PM
has nigel posted here yet?
:uhoh:

Basil
28-09-2007, 06:12 PM
Howie_the_pointyhead
LMAO.
30 HCDs
Rest later tonight!

Basil
29-09-2007, 12:02 AM
Regardless and further, Howard's policies have played a huge part in ensuring that Australia's prosperity surfs well beyond and above the global environment.


Which policies, and how have they achieved this?
Fiscal ones. No rocket science. No untouchable tomes. No holy grails offered up through the ages.
GST - User pays. Simple. Fair. Intelligent. (What Keating wanted but was too scared to implement (refer comment elsewhere about being a good economist second, but beholden to his misplaced Bankstwon ideology first)).
Welfare - The end of the bludging (and subsequent bleeding) era. The Libs have single-handedly all but eradicated this blight from the Australian mentality. Twenty years ago it was rampant and we all knew people who'd giggle away at the system. These days, bludgers barely exist and those that do scurry behind excuses and certainly don't wave it as a flag that used to be tolerated.
Balance Sheet - Simply spending only what you can afford.
Privatisation
Trimming (certain areas) of Bloated, I mean Public Service.
plus more ... a full dissertation of which I'm not inclined to supply here. Nonetheless the above is a tangible Liberal-centric shortlist of the differences between the left and the right.


IMO Howard and Costello have been economic supervisors, not economic managers. They've ridden the wave, but they haven't really harnessed it.
How you can say that in the face of the above bewilders me. You won't experience a more progressive team in your lifetime and you certainly can't locate one in history.


They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus? :eek: ), but haven't done anything with it.
Difficult to know where to start with this one. Takes a moment. Groans. Wife stares. Bites tongue. Damn that hurt. OK, good to go now. No. Not ready. Goes to make coffee and prepares civil answer in head.

Firstly the statement "but they haven't done anything with it" (I'm guessing) falls foul of your own 'bald assertions' observation below.
Secondly, the reality is that I'm not in a position to know whether they have done 'anything with it or not' and I doubt you are either. It's quite possible that the surplus is a decreased figure on what would have otherwise been a greater surplus, as I am not privy to the operational minutiae.
Thirdly, the surplus (recently gained) doesn't mean (as your conviction implies) that it needs to be spent at once. That's soooooooooooo lefty mentality. Make the cash - blow the cash - start again. The stuff doesn't grow on trees you know!
Again, there's more, but I'm not in this thread for exhaustive 'post - till - I - drop'.


What infrastructure investments has the Howard government made that will revolutionise Australia and underwrite our future economic performance?.
Revolutionise Australia? None.
Underwrite our future economic performance? All of the above.

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 09:47 AM
GST - User pays. Simple. Fair. Intelligent. (What Keating wanted but was too scared to implement (refer comment elsewhere about being a good economist second, but beholden to his misplaced Bankstwon ideology first)).
Granted, this was a good policy (till the Dems got hold of it). IIRC, however, Keating wasn't too scared to implement it, but got rolled on it.


Welfare - The end of the bludging (and subsequent bleeding) era. The Libs have single-handedly all but eradicated this blight from the Australian mentality. Twenty years ago it was rampant and we all knew people who'd giggle away at the system. These days, bludgers barely exist and those that do scurry behind excuses and certainly don't wave it as a flag that used to be tolerated.
Hardly something that is carrying us on the crest of the prosperity wave.


Balance Sheet - Simply spending only what you can afford.
But the converse of this, if you are a small "l" liberal, is that you should only tax what you need to and not raise huge surpluses. See below.

Privatisation
Granted, this is theoretically a good thing, but not unique to Howard/Costello.

Trimming (certain areas) of Bloated, I mean Public Service.
Really? The Average Staffing Level of the Commonwealth public service has risen from 180,408 to 243,859 during Howard's reign. Check the Budget Papers if you don't trust me :hand: :whistle:

plus more ... a full dissertation of which I'm not inclined to supply here. Nonetheless the above is a tangible Liberal-centric shortlist of the differences between the left and the right.
How so? What are you comparing the above to? :hmm:


How you can say that in the face of the above bewilders me. You won't experience a more progressive team in your lifetime and you certainly can't locate one in history.
(John Winston) Howard-hugging poppycock on all three counts, and subjective at any rate :hand:


the reality is that I'm not in a position to know whether they have done 'anything with it or not' and I doubt you are either. It's quite possible that the surplus is a decreased figure on what would have otherwise been a greater surplus, as I am not privy to the operational minutiae.
Thirdly, the surplus (recently gained) doesn't mean (as your conviction implies) that it needs to be spent at once. That's soooooooooooo lefty mentality. Make the cash - blow the cash - start again. The stuff doesn't grow on trees you know!
Howard, you miss the point. The fact that such a huge surplus exists indicates a problem. Governments are meant to raise what they need to spend, invest/save a bit, etc. But 20bn??? This indicates that there is something quite wrong in Treasury's forecasting if this just pops up without anyone realising it was going to happen. This is the kind of work I do Howard, I forecast revenue - and I can tell you that if I understated tax revenues by that kind of amount, I'd get my arse kicked from here to Timbuktoo.

I would've thought any true small "L" liberal would immediately conclude that the government is raising too much tax. It is not my conviction that it should be spent at all, so don't try and go down the straw-man path on that one! My point, in a nutshell, is that the 20bn indicates that tax relief is needed!

BTW, you still haven't illuminated me as to why my statements about JWH's (lack of) control over interest rates belies a lack of microeconomic understanding on my part. Still waiting :whistle:

Aaron Guthrie
29-09-2007, 09:55 AM
BTW, you still haven't illuminated me as to why my statements about JWH's (lack of) control over interest rates belies a lack of microeconomic understanding on my part. Still waiting :whistle:Are you and Howard typoing, and meaning to type macro, or is this on purpose?

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 10:39 AM
Are you and Howard typoing, and meaning to type macro, or is this on purpose?

See Howard's post #56, first paragraph. He definitely does not mean macro, as he lauds the macro content later in that post IIRC.

Aaron Guthrie
29-09-2007, 10:48 AM
See Howard's post #56, first paragraph. He definitely does not mean macro, as he lauds the macro content later in that post IIRC.But, but, you guys are talking about the economy as a whole (macro by definition as far as I know).
Failure to acknowledge that is most likely either
-- a singular lack of understanding of the elementary duality between macro and micro economics (enter the water cooler brigade, starry-eyed kiddies and those that simply can't comprehend the big words); orPlease give me your definition of "macroeconomics" and your definition of "microeconomics".

Capablanca-Fan
29-09-2007, 11:07 AM
Granted, this was a good policy (till the Dems got hold of it). IIRC, however, Keating wasn't too scared to implement it, but got rolled on it.
But then he used GST as a sadly effective scare campaign against Hewson, showing that he was more interested in power than in principle. Howard would have instituted reforms under Fraser if that old fraud had let him.


Hardly something that is carrying us on the crest of the prosperity wave.
Countries with huge amounts of resources can be poor under centrally planned economies (African nations, Soviet Union).


This is the kind of work I do Howard, I forecast revenue - and I can tell you that if I understated tax revenues by that kind of amount, I'd get my arse kicked from here to Timbuktoo.
This actually bears out my point that governments are inefficient at most things, so you should support me in wanting to get the government out of more things.


I would've thought any true small "L" liberal would immediately conclude that the government is raising too much tax. It is not my conviction that it should be spent at all, so don't try and go down the straw-man path on that one! My point, in a nutshell, is that the 20bn indicates that tax relief is needed!
I agree, but I don't expect this from Rudd and his lefty shadow cabinet. And since a responsible vote is about choosing between the available alternatives, not voting against someone because he falls short of an imaginary perfect candidate ....

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 11:11 AM
But, but, you guys are talking about the economy as a whole (macro by definition as far as I know).
Tell me about it! :eek: :wall:

Jono, I'll respond to you later - have a wife and 1yo to entertain for the day.

Capablanca-Fan
29-09-2007, 01:50 PM
Jono, I'll respond to you later - have a wife and 1yo to entertain for the day.
Euro, there is no need to explain. I know that people have lives apart from Chess Chat.

Kevin Bonham
29-09-2007, 02:08 PM
This actually bears out my point that governments are inefficient at most things, so you should support me in wanting to get the government out of more things.

Actually it points out that this particular government is inefficient at forecasting the results of its budgeting - under Costello budget figures have often been way out, the current surplus is not a once-off in this regard.

Basil
29-09-2007, 02:46 PM
Jono, I'll respond to you later - have a wife and 1yo to entertain for the day.
Ummm ... eeer ... never mind.

Basil
29-09-2007, 02:47 PM
BTW, you still haven't illuminated me as to why my statements about JWH's (lack of) control over interest rates belies a lack of microeconomic understanding on my part. Still waiting :whistle:
You didn't ask. You said you'd be interested. I had planned on it so hold your horses. Not to mention responding to the rest of your piffle!

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 05:32 PM
You didn't ask. You said you'd be interested. I had planned on it so hold your horses. Not to mention responding to the rest of your piffle!
Go back and read it again. I said "please elaborate" :rolleyes:

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 10:14 PM
But then he used GST as a sadly effective scare campaign against Hewson, showing that he was more interested in power than in principle. Howard would have instituted reforms under Fraser if that old fraud had let him.
I know - but that's politics. Reminds me of how the Libs have carried on about "17% interest rates under Labor", when Howard presided over 22% interest rates AND high inflation as Treasurer in the 70s. That's not to say there weren't good reasons for those occurrences, I'm just noting that pollies use things to suit themselves in the political climate du jour. None are innocent.

Mind you, this is why I don't really rate the GST as momentous achievement on the part of Howard/Costello - not because it's not good policy, but because it would've been brought in by one of the two parties sooner or later, it was inevitable. Broad-based consumption taxes are just too desirable from a Treasury/economics point of view.


This actually bears out my point that governments are inefficient at most things, so you should support me in wanting to get the government out of more things.
Nice try, but it does nothing of the sort - Treasury is a core function, are you suggesting that the government shouldn't be budgeting and forecasting its finances? Of course not. Getting it wrong is not the same as inefficiency.

I must caveat here, and say that it's entirely legitimate for Treasury to be unable to forecast things at times - for example, my team (before I joined it) had an extremely difficult time forecasting conveyance duty revenue due to a property market boom. Now - if we econocrats could forecast the beginning, strength and duration of a property market boom, we wouldn't be working for the public service, I tell ya!! :owned: :owned:

wrt to post #64 and Sowell, all I'm really saying is that there remain competing theories about the mechanics of the macro environment - Sowell and Friedman are of one school of thought, there are others which I think you'd also find quite interesting.

Keynesianism isn't dead, it's been adapted. Friedman et al had a hand in this, and we now have New Keynesianism. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Keynesian_economics) has an interesting summary on this area. I personally don't really know which I'd subscribe to - but then I don't really think it matters much to anyone but the academics. Certainly, I haven't really looked into this stuff since I was at Uni, since I work in the real world :lol:

Touching back on the tax cuts = higher revenue thing, I had a look at my old macro text, which referred to a study by Lawrence Lindsey*. I don't have the article, but the text paraphrases its content thus:

Lindsey (1987) estimated the effect of the Reagan tax cuts from 1982 to 1984 on the tax payments by taxpayers in various income groups. He found that the reductions in tax cuts lowered tax collections overall and for taxpayers with middle and low incomes. However, among taxpayers with the highest incomes (adjusted gross incomes in excess of $200,000), the increase of reported taxable incomes was sufficient to more than offset the decrease in tax rates. Lindsey estimated that the tax-rate cuts raised collections in this group by 3% in 1982, 9% in 1983, and 23% in 1984. Therefore, although U.S. taxpayers as a whole were not on the falling portion of the Laffer curve, the taxpayers with the highest incomes appeared to be operating in this range.
*Lindsey, Lawrence B. 1987. "Individual Taxpayer Response to Tax Cuts, 1982-1984." Journal of Public Economics 33 (July): 173-206.

Emphasis mine.

Capablanca-Fan
29-09-2007, 10:58 PM
I know — but that's politics. Reminds me of how the Libs have carried on about "17% interest rates under Labor", when Howard presided over 22% interest rates AND high inflation as Treasurer in the 70s. That's not to say there weren't good reasons for those occurrences, I'm just noting that pollies use things to suit themselves in the political climate du jour. None are innocent.
Like that old fraud Fraser preventing Howard from implementing the policies he recommended.


Mind you, this is why I don't really rate the GST as momentous achievement on the part of Howard/Costello — not because it's not good policy, but because it would've been brought in by one of the two parties sooner or later, it was inevitable. Broad-based consumption taxes are just too desirable from a Treasury/economics point of view.
Yeah, so once again it was pure demagogery on the part of the other lot to oppose it.


wrt to post #64 and Sowell, all I'm really saying is that there remain competing theories about the mechanics of the macro environment — Sowell and Friedman are of one school of thought, there are others which I think you'd also find quite interesting.
Are there any others that actually work? :uhoh:


Certainly, I haven't really looked into this stuff since I was at Uni, since I work in the real world :lol:
Public service = real world?! :uhoh: :lol:


Touching back on the tax cuts = higher revenue thing, I had a look at my old macro text, which referred to a study by Lawrence Lindsey*. I don't have the article, but the text paraphrases its content thus:
You can quote Lindsey, I can quote Sowell (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell071603.asp):


Tax rates were cut. Tax revenues were not. More tax revenue was collected during every year of the two Reagan administrations than had ever been collected in any previous year in the history of the country. Nor was this experience unique.

When John F. Kennedy cut tax rates during the 1960s, tax revenues went up. The whole point was — and is — to encourage more economic activity, and more activity generates more tax revenues, even at lower rates. The same thing happened back in the 1920s.

Why then were there federal deficits during the Reagan administration? Because Congress spent even more money than the rising tax revenues brought in. There is no amount of money that Congress cannot outspend.

Although these were christened "the Reagan deficits," all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives — and Ronald Reagan was never a member of the House of Representatives. Indeed, the Republicans never controlled the House of Representatives during either of the Reagan administrations.

Only after the Republicans gained control of the House in 1994 were there budget surpluses — for which Bill Clinton took credit, even though he too had never been a member of Congress.

It is fascinating to see Congressional Democrats, who have for decades been spending the country into growing deficits, suddenly expressing shock at the current deficits that have occurred while George W. Bush was in the White House — and the country was at war.

Hardly surprising, considering that in 1981, the top 5% paid over half the total taxes, and the top 50% paid over 95% of taxes. So while a higher number of taxpayers were not on the declining branch of the Laffer Curve, a greater amount of tax revenue was affected.

Basil
29-09-2007, 11:31 PM
James, IMO you represent almost the worst of the intellectual left. I'll try and explain why as I respond to your post.

But first recapping lest we forget our road map. Prior to, and just after my entry into this debate, you sought to all but remove the Howard government's domestic policy from any credit for Australia's current economic performance. You cited 'global environment' as your platform for the assertion.

My post addressed this by:
-- Referring to Keating's ability to lead this country to deterioration without the aid of a global assistance.
-- Referring to Australia's current performance being better than global averages during a time of buoyancy.
Extrapolating your position of external forces being all but solely responsible (either your own belief or the teachings you've been subjected to), in the absence of a qualification from you as to whether this is a one-off or a natural phenomena relating to all economies, I will conclude that by and large you feel all and any national economic policy is broadly moot?

Regardless of the clarification you have sought on my use of the word 'micro', which I have deliberately held back but will post later tonight, my post was crystal clear in meaning and my conclusions self-evident.

Side-stepping this entire issue (of domestic policy relevancy), you then challenged me on which policies I claimed the present government have implemented which go to the heart of Australia's present position. You also asserted that Howard & Costello were more economic supervisors than managers.

I listed policies ranging from tax reform, welfare scrutiny, privatisation, general balance sheet prudence and operational overhead (civil service) - without doubt a comprehensive and rugged combination which more than adequately laid to rest your assertion of 'bystanding'.

In response to that list, you acknowledge the first and third (GST and privatisation). You go on to say that the ideas weren't unique. Fine. But that's not the issue. The issue is that under this government, they were implemented. You were asking for meaningful and implemented policies and that is what I (in the context of this debate) and the this government (in the context of factual performance) delivered.

With respect to the welfare clamp down, I am of the understanding that this has saved phenomenal amounts of money (billions). I'll check if I can (anyone?). What is your basis for belittling it?

With respect to Public Service, you appear to have misread my comment which was "Trimming (certain areas) of Bloated, I mean Public Service." It may well be that the public service has grown as you say - I don't know. I would allow for Australia's population increase over 11 years, and deduct that proportion from your stated increase. As for the balance, I am happy to make a leap of faith that the Libs scrutinise bloating very carefully (based on history and stated objectives) and further there may reasons for the increase. Either way, when Kevin raised the issue a day or so before our comments, I acknowledged that scrutiny of any increase was a fair and worthwhile pursuit.

Finally on my list of five was balance sheet, your answer(s) to which contrive to be the biggest load of horse-wallop I've encountered since I last spoke with Axiom. Amazingly, it is on this subject that you seem most pleased with yourself. More below.

So, my assessment to date of your performance is 'hopeless'. You started with rot about denying internal policy as a significant contributor. You followed with agreeing outright to two of my five supplied significant policies (2). I think your dismissing of Welfare Clamping is about to be discarded (3). You misconstrued/ read my Public Service comment (however you have left reasonable room for enquiry as to the totality of that statement) (4).

And that leaves me with Balance Sheet/ Surplus and your circular nonsense, double-backing and simple lack of comprehension.

Firstly, it doesn't become anyone debating the issue of federal surplus, let alone a man of your standing, to self-servingly ignore an inherited deficit of 100 billion dollars (not to mention the interest on that money - sheet dude - wake up) and then hone in on a 'mere' 20 billion surplus. That part of your argument is simply disingenuous.

Secondly, at the end of post #68 you got the whole hand-waving thing happening when in relation to my statement of:
GD -- "Thirdly, the surplus (recently gained) doesn't mean (as your conviction implies) that it needs to be spent at once. That's soooooooooooo lefty mentality. Make the cash - blow the cash - start again. The stuff doesn't grow on trees you know!"),

you said

EU -- "It is not my conviction that it should be spent at all, so don't try and go down the straw-man path on that one!",

when in fact my quote was directly in response to your

EU -- They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus?), but haven't done anything with it. {My highlighting to illustrate relevancy}

That, my friend, is entirely circular.

Notwithstanding any of that rot, the answer (for the last time) to why the cash hasn't been spent remains the same. Just because it just turned up, doesn't mean it has to be blown immediately. Further, and of far more practical value (whereas the last was philosophical) is that budget forecasting (again I'm certain you know) is a coarse science at best. As such, the surplus is a slightly unexpected windfall which will benefit Australians in the near future - regardless of which government takes office.

On the same topic, in answer to your newly introduced concept (your last post to me) of tax cuts being in order; well that is exactly what has been happening - rolling ones at that. Incidentally, not that you have said it, but for any that suggest that the cuts are not enough or they're too slow, I again stick that lot in the panic, gimme, injudicious basket. Remember, the surplus only just arrived.

Southpaw Jim
29-09-2007, 11:33 PM
Public service = real world?! :uhoh: :lol:
Lol, I'll pay that one. It's more real than academia though :P


You can quote Lindsey, I can quote Sowell (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell071603.asp):

[INDENT]Tax rates were cut. Tax revenues were not. More tax revenue was collected during every year of the two Reagan administrations than had ever been collected in any previous year in the history of the country.

Sowell is misleading you. Once you account for inflation, US receipts decreased under Reagan. Here is the series (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2007/sheets/hist01z3.xls) in year-2000 dollars ($bn):

1979 - 1,017.8
1980 - 1,028.3
1981 - 1,077.4
1982 - 1,036.9
1983 - 961.7
1984 - 1,016.8
1985 - 1,082.6

What Sowell says is true of raw revenues, but this is failing to account for the inflation that was occurring at the time.

Southpaw Jim
30-09-2007, 12:12 AM
James, IMO you represent almost the worst of the intellectual left.
I'll try and wear that as a badge of honour Howie. FWIW, I'm actually centre-left in my views.


But first recapping lest we forget our road map.
Lest we forget!


I will conclude that by and large you feel all and any national economic policy is broadly moot?
Yes and no. Just like I feel that the Treasurer's most important role is to pretend that he has some kind of control over the economy :lol:


Regardless of the clarification you have sought on my use of the word 'micro', which I have deliberately held back but will post later tonight, my post was crystal clear in meaning and my conclusions self-evident.
I've been hanging on for 36 hours now for an explanation of the microeconomic mechanisms by which the claim that Howard could keep interest rates low is substantiated. I've not heard this before, I'm surprised Howard himself hasn't been spruiking it.


With respect to the welfare clamp down, I am of the understanding that this has saved phenomenal amounts of money (billions). I'll check if I can (anyone?). What is your basis for belittling it?
Nothing, other than - if they had truly saved billions, I would've expected Howard et al to be spruiking it. I have no idea, in truth, but I rather suspect that the improvement has been marginal at best. If people want to bludge, they can still do so, it just takes a little more work :lol: to avoid getting a job.


With respect to Public Service, you appear to have misread my comment which was "Trimming (certain areas) of Bloated, I mean Public Service." It may well be that the public service has grown as you say - I don't know. I would allow for Australia's population increase over 11 years, and deduct that proportion from your stated increase. As for the balance, I am happy to make a leap of faith that the Libs scrutinise bloating very carefully (based on history and stated objectives) and further there may reasons for the increase. Either way, when Kevin raised the issue a day or so before our comments, I acknowledged that scrutiny of any increase was a fair and worthwhile pursuit.
In summary, you can't refute the factual data I quoted, so instead you're going to take the word of your lords and masters on faith. Okaaaaay...

As for population increase, between 1996 and 2006, the population grew by 12.4 per cent. This is not as big as the quoted increase in staffing levels.


EU -- They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus?), but haven't done anything with it. {My highlighting to illustrate relevancy}

That, my friend, is entirely circular.
No it is not because, again, you're misrepresenting what I have said. The bit about the 20bn surplus was perhaps distracting I admit, but I was not suggesting that they should've spent it already. I was saying that they have, over the past few years presided over booming revenue, and referred to the 20bn surplus as evidence of that.


Notwithstanding any of that rot, the answer (for the last time) to why the cash hasn't been spent <snip>
Dealt with above.


Remember, the surplus only just arrived.
Treasury has been consistently underestimating revenue over the past few years. Also - do you believe this surplus is a one-off? Is it not more likely that this is a structural issue, and tax revenues will continue at the current, or higher level? Ergo, barring a vast increase in government expenditure, the government's surplus will continue to grow? The problem for Howard is that he can't hand it back in tax cuts, because that'd probably result in another interest rate rise! It's good to know that he can keep interest rates low :hand:

Howie, you seem to take my jibes at H&C a little too seriously. I'm quite ready to accept that things have happened in the last 11 years, and don't (quite) see Howard et al as the devil. However, I also believe that have been many wasted opportunities during the same period.

BTW, please do explain how Howard can keep interest rates at record lows, and why my lack of clarity on this belies a lack of microeconomic understanding.

36 hours of waiting is too suspenseful.

Basil
30-09-2007, 01:39 AM
No it is not because, again, you're misrepresenting what I have said...
What a cheek!

This is exactly the progress of the discussion without any wiggle room


They've sat back and watched the Treasury coffers overflow ($20bn surplus? ), but haven't done anything with it.

Thirdly, the surplus (recently gained) doesn't mean (as your conviction implies) that it needs to be spent at once.

It is not my conviction that it should be spent at all, so don't try and go down the straw-man path on that one!

Basil
30-09-2007, 01:47 AM
In summary, you can't refute the factual data I quoted
True

so instead you're going to take the word of your lords and masters on faith.
No. Not at all. I thought you were doing a reasonable job self-sensoring such rubbish.
1. I suggested there may be other reasons for the increase. Are there stated reasons in your source? I still wish time to investigate.
2. I have maintained both prior and during this conversation that your (Kevin's) suggestion may have weight.
Therefore to represent my position as one of my lord and masters is disingenuous.


As for population increase, between 1996 and 2006, the population grew by 12.4 per cent. This is not as big as the quoted increase in staffing levels.
True but one might have thought a 'genuine' economist and debater might have factored this in in the first place :whistle:

Basil
30-09-2007, 01:53 AM
Treasury has been consistently underestimating revenue over the past few years.
That's nothing more than being conservative and being consistently surprised by an ever improving economy (for the time being).


Also - do you believe this surplus is a one-off? Is it not more likely that this is a structural issue, and tax revenues will continue at the current, or higher level?
I don't know if it's a one-off. One thing's for sure - you lot will self-servingly attack the govt if they undershoot (like you are now) or start with the baying whistling if they over-shoot.

As for the follow-up, that deserves an entirely separate thread IMO.

Basil
30-09-2007, 02:20 AM
It is true that the macro influences you have cited are incredibly important as an environment in which any government must operate. That was established 20 pages back (for those that required the edification).

However, given a buoyant global environment, it is possible to cock-up the economy (Keating did). The ninny Labor policy of running after bleeding hearts had this country well on its way to bankruptcy long before the global deterioration set in. Keating was 'saved' by the ensuing global deterioration. As an economist, you would know that only too well.

Regardless and further, Howard's policies have played a huge part in ensuring that Australia's prosperity surfs well beyond and above the global environment.

Failure to acknowledge that is most likely either
-- a singular lack of understanding of the elementary duality between macro and micro economics (enter the water cooler brigade, starry-eyed kiddies and those that simply can't comprehend the big words); or
-- those who elect not to for entirely self-serving, expedient, head under the blanket pro left ideologue.


Please, elaborate. I'm interested as to what you're referring to here [red text].

James, I've placed your request in the broader context of my post for two reasons:
1. It was a while ago ;)
2. The context of my whole supports what follows

In answer to you question, "what is Howard referring to with micro?", the answer is the Australian domestic economy. I don't mind the question, although I did think my usage was self-evident.

I was using the term in the sense that the primary set of economic factors (in the discussion) was the global environment (macro), and the subset in question was the domestic Australian economy (micro).

Southpaw Jim
30-09-2007, 06:44 AM
This is exactly the progress of the discussion without any wiggle room

Obviously, you choose to ignore what I said about the reason for the mention of the 20bn surplus in the parentheses :eek: :doh: :hand:


True but one might have thought a 'genuine' economist and debater might have factored this in in the first place
No, Howard. You are presupposing that there is a 1:1 relationship between the population and the public service, which I strongly doubt (something called 'economies of scale'). You asserted that Howard had trimmed the public service in some meaningful way, it rests on you to prove it - I merely pointed to some evidence that this may not've occurred. In the context of your assertion, that Howard et al have achieved something meaningful through trimming certain areas of the service.

Here's a hint: a real economist would probably look at the staffing levels as a proportion of real GDP. As it's your point to prove, I leave it in your hands :whistle: :hand:


That's nothing more than being conservative and being consistently surprised by an ever improving economy (for the time being).
Not necessarily, their econometric models could be broken, or there could be something wrong with their data sets, or they could be failing to adequately review their estimates in a rigorous manner. Of course, there's nothing wrong with conservatism in estimation, after all - if you tell a politician he's going to get a buck, then he invariably spends it in advance. Thus, an underestimation is usually worse than the converse.

However, in this case, the quantum of the surplus is a bit of a worry.


I was using the term in the sense that the primary set of economic factors (in the discussion) was the global environment (macro), and the subset in question was the domestic Australian economy (micro).

RUH ROH!

Howard.

Now adopts Howard-like approach to GWB-level gaffe. Stares. Considers a cup of tea. Looks at the cat. Listens to the neighbour's rooster.

Howard, the "Australian domestic economy" is the MACROeconomy. It's mechanics, and its interrelation with the world economy is what macroeconomics is all about. You can't consider the mechanics of the one without including discussion of the other.

As a little primer on MICROeconomics, here is the preamble to the Wikipedia article:


Microeconomics (or price theory) is a branch of economics that studies how individuals, households, and firms make decisions to allocate limited resources, typically in markets where goods or services are being bought and sold.

Microeconomics examines how these decisions and behaviours affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the supply and demand of goods and services.

Macroeconomics, on the other hand, involves the "sum total of economic activity, dealing with the issues of growth, inflation, and unemployment and with national economic policies relating to these issues" and the effects of government actions (e.g., changing taxation levels) on them.
:doh: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall:

Go do some reading, learn something. In any event, I don't intend to carry this debate further, as not only have you insulted me, but you clearly don't understand what you're talking about :hand: besides, the debate was descending into the ridiculous anyway :cool:

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 09:39 AM
Obviously, you choose to ignore what I said about the reason for the mention of the 20bn surplus in the parentheses
Seems like a lot of the Howard-detractors explain away the low unemployment and surplus, and make excuses for the Labor cock-up. The current preference for the untried "Christian socialist" KRudd and his team of old lefty union hacks is emotional.


As a little primer on MICROeconomics, here is the preamble to the Wikipedia article:
Wikipedia = The Abomination that Causes Misinformation. Anyone can edit that.

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 09:46 AM
Sowell is misleading you. Once you account for inflation, US receipts decreased under Reagan. Here is the series (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2007/sheets/hist01z3.xls) in year-2000 dollars ($bn):

1979 - 1,017.8
1980 - 1,028.3
1981 - 1,077.4
1982 - 1,036.9
1983 - 961.7
1984 - 1,016.8
1985 - 1,082.6

What Sowell says is true of raw revenues, but this is failing to account for the inflation that was occurring at the time.
Hang on, isn't 1082.6 a bigger number than 1017.8?

Seems interesting even if the numbers are fairly static. Shows that tax cuts are not hurting government coffers at least.

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 09:58 AM
The Laffer curve is perfectly reasonable in theory. Obviously 0% tax rates and 100% tax rates will result in approximately zero tax collected, and there will be a smooth curve in between.
That's about right. Raising taxes to increase revenue is thus too simplistic.


The problem is that nobody knows the shape of the curve. Where is the point of maximum tax take? Wouldn't we all like to know. It might be 60%, it might be 40%. I suspect that the optimum point is probably considerably higher than Jono thinks.
This much is true. I also suspect that the maximum has been changing over time. As people get used to higher tax rates, the maximum is likely to grow. If we get used to lower tax rates, the maximum is likely to come down too.

Jewish tradition says that Joseph was much praised for his wisdom in setting the "tax" of a flat 20% for the Egyptian agricultural produce to prepare for the seven years of famine. Allowing them to keep 80% of what they produced encouraged greater production. Estonia has become a prosperous economy after free market reforms including a low flat tax (see my post How Estonia became an economic powerhouse (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=164907&highlight=estonian#post164907)).

Conversely, last century saw tax rates reach as high as 90%. I'm old enough to remember NZ having tax rates as high as 66%.


But the basic problem is that economic activity leading to tax taking is a whole lot more complicated than just the levels of income tax.
Of course it is. All the same, there would likely be more producting economic work done if millions of man-hours were not wasted in conforming to our bloated tax code.

Southpaw Jim
30-09-2007, 10:17 AM
Wikipedia = The Abomination that Causes Misinformation. Anyone can edit that.
I would agree that Wiki is inherently unreliable for anything of a political or historical nature, but the distinction between micro and macro is not. This was the point of the quote.


Hang on, isn't 1082.6 a bigger number than 1017.8?

Seems interesting even if the numbers are fairly static. Shows that tax cuts are not hurting government coffers at least.
It is a bigger number but it's also 4 years after the tax cuts were introduced. There isn't a lag here, you cut tax rates in a given year, the effect will be observable in that year. On your second point, my reading of those numbers is that it took 4 years for revenue to recover from the tax cuts. Anyhoo, you're failing to acknowledge the point that Sowell's claim (revenues higher in every year) is misleading, at best. But, I think we've done the Reaganomics thing to death... lies, damned lies and statistics! :lol:

In fact, I think this whole thread has been done to death :hmm:

In other news: the Howard government, on current polling, is still in for a hiding :owned:

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 10:26 AM
I would agree that Wiki is inherently unreliable for anything of a political or historical nature, but the distinction between micro and macro is not. This was the point of the quote.


It is a bigger number but it's also 4 years after the tax cuts were introduced. There isn't a lag here, you cut tax rates in a given year, the effect will be observable in that year. On your second point, my reading of those numbers is that it took 4 years for revenue to recover from the tax cuts. Anyhoo, you're failing to acknowledge the point that Sowell's claim (revenues higher in every year) is misleading, at best. But, I think we've done the Reaganomics thing to death... lies, damned lies and statistics! :lol:

In fact, I think this whole thread has been done to death :hmm:

In other news: the Howard government, on current polling, is still in for a hiding :owned:
And how will KRudd and his union hacks in the shadow cabinet make things better? They have already promised still more bureaucracies. And going back to art, Andrew Bolt writes (http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hard_work_never_killed_an_artist_rather_the_revers e/):


Even worse, the Australia Council doesn’t even check whether artists actually produce the work they are given grants to produce, says Donald Munro, founding chairman of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust, who wonders now whether many of our artists are simply too lazy and scared of real work.

It wasn’t always like this, he points out:


Most of the great 19th and 20th-century writers and musicians had busy jobs while they wrote, at least until their writing provided them with an income. Dickens was a court reporter. Thackeray was a customs officer. Somerset Maugham was a doctor. In America, Charles Ives was an insurance executive, yet managed to write four fine symphonies. In Queensland, the poet Jack Blight ran a sawmill and, when I first met Judith Wright, she was statistics officer at the University of Queensland.

I’d add other examples — Joseph Conrad wrotes his first stories while captaining a ship. Arnold Bennett was a successful magazine editor. Mahler was a conductor. Bach was a church kantor. Shakespeare ran a theatre troupe. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo helped local rulers design fortresses and city defences.

I’d suggest that the work of such giants gained from their engagement with the world of work and commerce, and from their intimate contact with the paying public. To create an artistic caste, particularly from people unable yet to even find a public, is a mistake.

eclectic
30-09-2007, 12:29 PM
hey jono is there any chance you can provide a list of corporations who waste their shareholders' money by either sponsoring art competitions or by hanging artwork of hubric proportions in their board rooms or front offices?

like really they ought to be given a good serve, hey

:rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 12:29 PM
Some ideas seem so plausible that they can fail nine times in a row and still be believed the tenth time. Other ideas seem so implausible that they can succeed nine times in a row and still not be believed the tenth time. Government controls in the economy are among the first kinds of ideas and the operation of a free market is among the second kinds of ideas. —
Thomas Sowell

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 12:31 PM
hey jono is there any chance you can provide a list of corporations who waste their shareholders' money by either sponsoring art competitions or by hanging artwork of hubric proportions in their board rooms or front offices

like really they ought to be given a good serve, hey

:rolleyes:
The Australian Shareholders Association (http://www.asa.asn.au/)might be able to help there. They rightly object to corporate bosses spending the shareholders' money on the bosses' own pet charities or projects.

Basil
30-09-2007, 01:38 PM
Obviously, you choose to ignore what I said about the reason for the mention of the 20bn surplus in the parentheses
No. Your total meaning was clear (parentheses or otherwise). You specifically said and "they haven't done anything with it". I am more than entitled to assume you mean "spend". Your reference to the brackets is just wriggle. You meant "spend" and subsequently invested copious text wriggling and dodging. Any independent observer would form that opinion. In any event, your attack that I misconstrued you is laughable and without merit.


No, Howard. You are presupposing that there is a 1:1 relationship between the population and the public service
I am not presupposing anything of the sort. That's pompous amateur dribble. Re-read my text.


which I strongly doubt (something called 'economies of scale').
Geez, thanks. Something you get to read about and I get to do every day :wall: Give the student a clap. Wanna see it an action - drop in sometime.


You asserted that Howard had trimmed the public service in some meaningful way
I did. And the government did (in their first tenure). It is true that I claimed they had done so throughout their term.


it rests on you to prove it - I merely pointed to some evidence that this may not've occurred.
Agreed. And I have said ab initio that you may have a point. Why you have banged on about it I can only put down to desperate obfuscation (along with the claimed 'gaffe') to cover that I blew your original assertions:
-- that domestic policy had nothing to do with Australia's position, and
-- Howard/ Costello were supervisors, out of the water.
That's what we've been discussing and you have failed utterly, totally and miserably to defend.

But in any event your evidence (of public service figures) is not sufficient to dismiss my claim, while I allow that it may be indicative of it.


Here's a hint: a real economist would probably look at the staffing levels as a proportion of real GDP.
And that's why I don't rate you. 'Proportion of GDP' is a hopeless place to start and one that represents all that I despise in slavish, leftist, model-watching economists.


Now adopts Howard-like approach to GWB-level gaffe.
Hardly. The term 'micro' was loose, I grant you, but the use was evident in my answer and broadly acceptable. You go check some definitions. This is the part of the debate that is becoming puerile - refer my previous comments about the thrust of the debate and your entire failure to succeed in it.


Howard, the "Australian domestic economy" is the MACROeconomy. It's mechanics, and its interrelation with the world economy is what macroeconomics is all about. You can't consider the mechanics of the one without including discussion of the other.
That's true and if you are being entirely fair, that is exactly the only reading that can be interpreted from my original post. Micro and macro can also generally refer to any relationship where the whole and the subset inter relate. I was making the relationship between the global and the domestic.


... you clearly don't understand what you're talking about. besides, the debate was descending into the ridiculous anyway
I was going to claim the same thing. Apart from the lever of micro/ macro and casting doubt on my claim of trimming the public service, you've achieved absoultely nothing. Conversely, I have shown your statements denying Howard's lack of credit to be dubious. I have shown your statements about Howard being a bystander to be unsubstantiated rot.

I recommend you stop reading, drop the ideologue and start paying genuine credit. The only pedantry in this debate was bought on by you with your whistles, hand-waving and focus on sub-issues while ignoring the facts and the central refutations that were piling up in your face at every turn.

Hey, you could be an economist! :whistle: ;) :hand: :wall:

Davidflude
30-09-2007, 02:21 PM
Cool, went to do my tax today, gotta pay 1% medicare levy, I chose criminal life. I joined the no-tax-return club!

I gotta pay cash for my own healthcare, can't afford to pay for someone else's.

Accountant tells me if I join a private health fund I'll get a return. So basically if I pay like $1500 a year they'll give me the $500 they should be giving me anyway and call it a 'rebate'. Dirty bloody mongrols.

I think it's only fair that if we have universal health care then we make it law that every person must attend a gym at least 4 times a week and the government must mandate a diet. Smoking and alcohol must be banned along with other drugs. In fact any behavior which might cause you to use the system more than another should be banned. Of course if you're in a private fund these restrictions wouldn't apply to you.

Basically this way the system wouldn't cost so much to run and the people like myself who don't even use it wouldn't need to pay so much for it!

Universal healthcare is something I would not contribute to even if it were made voluntary, people do not look after thier health, and expect others to foot the bill. Socialists call me selfish, I call you selfish! I am overweight! I just ate 2 sausage rolls! But I pay my own bloody MEDICAL!!!!

Ok im over it now.

I gotta look into a private fund though... Anyone wanna plug one? Is that against forum policy????

I recently read an article by an English economist advocating the Singapore solution for health care. he claimed it was far better than either The British or United states solutions. this should be examined for use in Australia.

If I remember correctly the guts of the system is:

1) that every person has a bank account which the government pays into year each year.

2) you use the money in the account to pay health expenses. You choose when to go to the doctor etc.

3) at the end of the year the balance remains in the account so there is an incentive to make sensible decisions on health care.

4) In your will you can leave the balance to relatives or charity.

5) there is provision for what happens if you use up the money in your fund.

In my opinion this should be looked at.

1) it uses the market place to handle health care.

2) it is far less bureaucratic than the present system.

3) there is a very real place for health funds providing catastrophe insurance at much lower premiums than at present.

Astonishingly this system is far cheaper than either the British or USA systems and provides better health care.

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 02:30 PM
I recently read an article by an English economist advocating the Singapore solution for health care. he claimed it was far better than either The British or United states solutions. this should be examined for use in Australia.

If I remember correctly the guts of the system is:

1) that every person has a bank account which the government pays into year each year.

2) you use the money in the account to pay health expenses. You choose when to go to the doctor etc.

3) at the end of the year the balance remains in the account so there is an incentive to make sensible decisions on health care.

4) In your will you can leave the balance to relatives or charity.

5) there is provision for what happens if you use up the money in your fund.

In my opinion this should be looked at.

1) it uses the market place to handle health care.

2) it is far less bureaucratic than the present system.

3) there is a very real place for health funds providing catastrophe insurance at much lower premiums than at present.

Astonishingly this system is far cheaper than either the British or USA systems and provides better health care.
So this is a sort of healthcare voucher, which sounds as good as educational vouchers. If the government must pay, it makes sense to pay the consumers who thus have real choice, and an incentive to get value for money. Paying the educational or health providers just encourages waste and poor quality, since there isn't the motivation of competition. Another comparison is with our superannuation system, where consumers can choose how to invest, unlike the leftist pyramid scheme in America that's absurdly called "social(ist) security".

DanielBell
30-09-2007, 02:50 PM
I recently read an article by an English economist advocating the Singapore solution for health care. he claimed it was far better than either The British or United states solutions. this should be examined for use in Australia.

If I remember correctly the guts of the system is:

1) that every person has a bank account which the government pays into year each year.

2) you use the money in the account to pay health expenses. You choose when to go to the doctor etc.

3) at the end of the year the balance remains in the account so there is an incentive to make sensible decisions on health care.

4) In your will you can leave the balance to relatives or charity.

5) there is provision for what happens if you use up the money in your fund.

In my opinion this should be looked at.

1) it uses the market place to handle health care.

2) it is far less bureaucratic than the present system.

3) there is a very real place for health funds providing catastrophe insurance at much lower premiums than at present.

Astonishingly this system is far cheaper than either the British or USA systems and provides better health care.

If it can be voluntarily funded then great.

eclectic
30-09-2007, 02:50 PM
The Australian Shareholders Association (http://www.asa.asn.au/)might be able to help there. They rightly object to corporate bosses spending the shareholders' money on the bosses' own pet charities or projects.

nice diversion

i'm quite sure that many high profile corporations have art collections which are not their bosses' pet charities or projects [and can the a.s.a really object if the boss in question has more than half the shares? yep! that's capitalism for you!] and that if those corporations are ethical then decisions to buy any artwork are done at a board level otherwise they delegate that responsibility to an in house curator or seek out of house professional advice

also i'm quite sure such art collections figure into their balance sheets as both tangible and intangible assets so they don't buy art for charity do they?

often it's for tax write offs ;)

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2007, 02:56 PM
nice diversion
Why? What is your point exactly? You're just another who wrongly equates the free market with big business or "crony capitalism", although I've often pointed out the flaws in this equation (as Adam Smith did 200 years ago).

Kevin Bonham
30-09-2007, 04:38 PM
Hang on, isn't 1082.6 a bigger number than 1017.8?

Seems interesting even if the numbers are fairly static. Shows that tax cuts are not hurting government coffers at least.

Looking at the full list from 1940 through 2005 it looks like there is a generally increasing revenue trend adjusting for inflation irrespective of who is in power.

There is a slight overall rise in revenue collection under Reagan considering both full terms in office (although in the first term it goes down for a couple of years before rising again) but a massive rise under Clinton.

Basil
30-09-2007, 09:13 PM
I've often used the terms micro and macro economics periodically in my staff meetings and training forums. After this little set-to, I decided to check if the term as broadly used by me (both in this thread and in my office) was a Howard-ism (the Gunner variety).

It's not a Howard-ism at all. Microeconomics is used broadly exactly as I used it, and has applications for companies, states (even househols) and so forth, including the existence of literature (written by economists :eek:) on Microeconomics within companies. The cited wiki also supports my usage.

Eurotrash's sniggering into his cornflakes is nought but an embarrassing disaster.

OK. Carry on.

Southpaw Jim
30-09-2007, 10:33 PM
Howard - sigh - if you actually looked into it a bit closer, you'd understand that the macroeconomy is the aggregation of many, many microeconomies.

Microeconomics is not the study of 'the Australian domestic economy' (as you defined it), for that is an aggregate concept. Microeconomics is the study of individual markets, and the decisions of consumers in those markets. Eg the market for wheat, the market for beer, the market for gumballs, the explanations for why individuals prefer to spend their last dollar on gumballs rather than beer, how companies are expected to react to a tax on their product, etc. The distinction between this and the Australian domestic economy may not've been obvious from the article I linked to - but the sum of all the microeconomies is the macroeconomy, ie the domestic Australian economy.

So - yes - microeconomics has relevance for companies & households, but - NO - the study of the 'Australian domestic economy' is macroeconomics because it considers these things in aggregate. It has a lot of relevance to you as an individual agent in the economy, running a business - but talking about budget surpluses, interest rate mechanisms, the size of government, GDP, unemployment, etc etc - these are all (substantially) "macro" issues.

Howard, I've really tired of this argument because by and large, insofar as we are debating Howard's legacy, it is political - and there will never be a right/wrong win/lose outcome, we'll just keep going round in circles. I have even admitted where I thought your hero has engaged in good policy - and believe me, for someone who loathes JWH as much as I do, that is a big ask :sick:

As for the economics side of things, well.... refer above.

I could go further, say more about your previous two posts, but it's only going to perpetuate the partisan bullshit on both sides. I'm quite ready to let it go, if you are - unless you're channeling Firegoat7? :hmm: :whistle: :hmm:

Capablanca-Fan
01-10-2007, 12:32 AM
I have even admitted where I thought your hero has engaged in good policy — and believe me, for someone who loathes JWH as much as I do, that is a big ask :sick:
Howard Derangement Syndrome is the Aussie equivalent of the American mental illness, Bush Derangement Syndrome, "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush", as defined by Charles Krauthammer (http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={6A2ED953-7F19-4A6D-B095-CF59269B817B}). :P

Axiom
01-10-2007, 01:05 AM
Howard Derangement Syndrome is the Aussie equivalent of the American mental illness, Bush Derangement Syndrome, "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush", as defined by Charles Krauthammer (http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={6A2ED953-7F19-4A6D-B095-CF59269B817B}). :P
Or should , more accurately be called "Puppet Derangement Syndrome"

"the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush",
- the onset of paranoia arises from people in their gut ,knowing something aint right but they have been conditioned to believe that the puppets actually wield power.Hence attack and unload on these disposable figureheads.

Jono, seriously, how much actual decision making power do you think gw bush,howard,brown actually have ?

I have this vision of the masses ripping apart sock puppets in the likeness of their leaders whilst the puppeteer looks on through a one-way mirror from an adjoining room ,laughing maniacally !

For those brave or curious enough to discover where the real power lies,
read on !


From the bottom-up , its the multinational corporations,then organs such as the CFR, Bilderberg group,Carlyle group,Fed Reserve,and at the apex, their owners,the rothschilds,rockefellers,warburgs,du ponts,carnegies.

So im afraid, politicians or puppets are well down the scale in real power terms. And unfortunately far too much wasted energy is spent ripping apart a mere sock.

Basil
01-10-2007, 02:58 PM
Howard - sigh
All this sighing and sundry histrionics will only inflame the situation. Calling for peace at the same time is an odd combination.

if you actually looked into it a bit closer
Odd that you say I should 'look a bit harder' straight when my usage was more than fine, albeit loose.

you'd understand that the macroeconomy is the aggregation of many, many microeconomies.
Agreed. And for the purpose of our global influence discussion, I loosely used the term micro to represent the Australian (domestic) as part of the whole (global). My meaning was evident, my looseness is entirely acceptable ... and certainly not worth the cat-calls, accusation of 'gaffe' and all the ensuing self-serving and smug twaddle.


Microeconomics is not the study of 'the Australian domestic economy' (as you defined it)
What a pure invention. I did not define microeconomics as such. I have not supplied a definition for micro at all, merely my use of it in one instance.

Next time you want to rely on your profession to challenge me, you'd better have your shit together much better than that. If you want to continue, I'll be comparing your original rigid response to the micro issue, with your subsequent hugely watered-down and wrigglesworth post of today.

The bottom line is that my usage (in context) was no gaffe, and your entire debate from my original challenge to your assertions remains a steaming nebulous pile of discredited horse doodoo.

Southpaw Jim
01-10-2007, 11:56 PM
Howzer,

You have proved nothing, discredited nothing. You've made a couple of good points, which I've already acknowledged, but the rest is a bunch of political assertions without any real proof, with a good dose of hyperbole, invective and handwaving thrown in. Not to mention, you've now stooped to the depths of playing the "you know what I mean" card. If you're going to talk about a technical field, get the technical terms right, otherwise you won't get any respect :hand:

I've said enough, and it's getting very boring, so I now resort to humour:


http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/eurotrashbag/Clippy-letter.jpg

Axiom
02-10-2007, 03:20 PM
Hypocrisy Rules the West
by Paul Craig Roberts

Shame has vanished from Western "civilization." Hypocrisy has taken its place.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts225.html

Desmond
06-10-2007, 04:07 PM
Well wasn't this a jolly little thread. FWIW, I don't know much about economics, but the idea of a government getting surplus after surplus smells to me of one that is taxing its people more than necessary.

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 05:23 PM
Well wasn't this a jolly little thread. FWIW, I don't know much about economics, but the idea of a government getting surplus after surplus smells to me of one that is taxing its people more than necessary.But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 05:29 PM
But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates.So we should continue to pay too much tax because it's for our own good?

Garvinator
06-10-2007, 05:33 PM
But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates.
Would increasing infrastructure spending (and real productivity) increase interest rates?

The old standard is rate of inflation mainly governs interest rate decisions by the RBA.

So if consumers are still spending the same amount, but the extra money is going on infrastructure, I dont see the problem. In fact, poor infrastructure costs our country and in turn every individual, money and time.

I like to think that most people dont mind paying the level of taxes they do, as long as it is going on infrastructure and things that need to be fixed.

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 05:35 PM
So we should continue to pay too much tax because it's for our own good?We should continue to pay the right amount of tax because it is in the countries best interest, yes. What is your alternative account of why we are paying tax?

Axiom
06-10-2007, 05:36 PM
But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates.
Which reminds me....
Why when corporations achieve record profits it is called expansionary,but when as a consequence the workers wages rise it is called inflationary ?

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 05:39 PM
Would increasing infrastructure spending (and real productivity) increase interest rates?I can't remember how to factor productivity into the equation. :wall: edit-Ok now I can. So yes increased productivity would be a downward pressure on inflation (and so, interest rates too). And then it is a numbers game, and probably also a time game (i.e. upward inflation pressures in short term, and downward in the long term).


The old standard is rate of inflation mainly governs interest rate decisions by the RBA.I don't understand this sentence.


So if consumers are still spending the same amount, but the extra money is going on infrastructure, I dont see the problem.The people who you are paying to build the infrastructure have increased income. Hence, their spending is increased. Hence, consumers are spending more money.


I like to think that most people dont mind paying the level of taxes they do, as long as it is going on infrastructure and things that need to be fixed.It isn't like the money disapears. In the future it can still be spent.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 05:40 PM
We should continue to pay the right amount of tax because it is in the countries best interest, yes. What is your alternative account of why we are paying tax?Who said anything about why we are paying tax? What I was talking about is the amount. If the amount we are paying is more than the amount required, then it seems to me that I can quite rightly say we are paying too much. I agree that we should pay the right amount of tax, but it doesn't automatically follow that we currently are doing so.

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 05:45 PM
Who said anything about why we are paying tax?I did, or meant to imply such. Thus- we are paying tax because it is in the national interest. Hence, if the amount we are paying is in the national interest, it is the right amount.

Miguel
06-10-2007, 06:22 PM
Now I won't be exposed to information that could offend me!
Back to the original post... You may be able to bypass ISP filtering by using OpenDNS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDNS). (Can somebody more net savvy confirm this?)

Basil
06-10-2007, 06:31 PM
Brian, we've fairly well discussed the coarse science of fixing budgets/ forecasting (especially in a non-stagnant economy) and the difficulty in ending up with exactly zip in the tin (for those that like that sort of thing). Incidentally I'm favour of a surplus for a rainy day for such things as oooh I don't know ... Broadband, whereas others are happy to raid the Future Fund (because the tin's empty :wall: :wall: :wall: but I'm happy not to go there).

But the purpose of the post, in relation to your observation of having 20 bucks too much in the tin, I'd like to know if you had a comment about being 100 bucks in debt?

If the 100 bucks debt was OK (say because other factors were to be contemplated), then is it not OK to have other factors contemplated in the 20 bucks surplus? Your comments suggested that the 20 bucks surplus was a cut and dried affair.

I'm interested in locating the part of your position that objects to the 20 bucks surplus and wondering if you held the same standard of scrutiny to the 100 bucks deficit (+ crippling interest (indirect), but I'm happy not to go there either).

Desmond
06-10-2007, 09:50 PM
I did, or meant to imply such. Thus- we are paying tax because it is in the national interest. Hence, if the amount we are paying is in the national interest, it is the right amount.I have no interest in debating your first point. It is obvious to me that we need to pay tax, and I never suggested otherwise. Your second point might make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I'm not sure that it actually means anything.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 09:52 PM
Brian, we've fairly well discussed the coarse science of fixing budgets/ forecasting (especially in a non-stagnant economy) and the difficulty in ending up with exactly zip in the tin (for those that like that sort of thing). Incidentally I'm favour of a surplus for a rainy day for such things as oooh I don't know ... Broadband, whereas others are happy to raid the Future Fund (because the tin's empty :wall: :wall: :wall: but I'm happy not to go there).

But the purpose of the post, in relation to your observation of having 20 bucks too much in the tin, I'd like to know if you had a comment about being 100 bucks in debt?Don;t change the subject. The point I am raising is are the constant surpluses evidence that we are paying more tax than is necessary.

Basil
06-10-2007, 10:02 PM
Don;t change the subject. The point I am raising is are the constant surpluses evidence that we are paying more tax than is necessary.
I'm not changing the subject. I'm helping to extrapolate your subject. Your subject being

The point I am raising is are the constant surpluses evidence that we are paying more tax than is necessary.
To which I say:
1) Nothing wrong with putting aside a bit for a rainy day - supported a valid example of such a case - broadband
2) There is a genuine difficulty in forecasting. You used the word 'smells' in your first post. I didn't think this was a dispassionate observation.
3) We've had tax cuts and there are more on the way. We've only just got our noses in front. Give the system a chance.
4) If you are going to comment on the evidence of surplus, wouldn't it be fair to comment on the deficit which occurred by a factor of 5?!

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 10:03 PM
I have no interest in debating your first point. It is obvious to me that we need to pay tax, and I never suggested otherwise. Your second point might make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I'm not sure that it actually means anything.I'm not sure what the government is supposed to be doing if not promoting the national interest (or economic interest, or best interests of the people, or however you want to put it). In any case, I have given a reason as to why we are paying tax. Having a reason allows one to deduce if the amount of tax that is being paid is the right amount.

But you have given no alternative reason as to why we are paying tax, hence your assertions that we are paying too much are empty assertions.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 10:16 PM
I'm not changing the subject. I'm helping to extrapolate your subject. Your subject being

To which I say:
1) Nothing wrong with putting aside a bit for a rainy day - supported a valid example of such a case - broadband
2) There is a genuine difficulty in forecasting. You used the word 'smells' in your first post. I didn't think this was a dispassionate observation.
3) We've had tax cuts and there are more on the way. We've only just got our noses in front. Give the system a chance.
4) If you are going to comment on the evidence of surplus, wouldn't it be fair to comment on the deficit which occurred by a factor of 5?!
Shouldn't one of those 4 be either a) yes we are, or b) no, we aren't.
Sorry, you might have to dumb it down for me. I'm just a stupid lefty after all. I pay more tax to the government than what it needs. Is that the way it should be?

eclectic
06-10-2007, 10:16 PM
anyone want to take the title of this thread and use it as the set title we have to write to in a lyric writing contest? :owned: :uhoh:

Desmond
06-10-2007, 10:19 PM
I'm not sure what the government is supposed to be doing if not promoting the national interest (or economic interest, or best interests of the people, or however you want to put it). In any case, I have given a reason as to why we are paying tax. Having a reason allows one to deduce if the amount of tax that is being paid is the right amount.

But you have given no alternative reason as to why we are paying tax, hence your assertions that we are paying too much are empty assertions.
Shall I start a debate with you as to why human being need to breathe oxygen or drink water?

Basil
06-10-2007, 10:24 PM
Shouldn't one of those 4 be either a) yes we are, or b) no, we aren't.
Sorry, you might have to dumb it down for me. I'm just a stupid lefty after all. I pay more tax to the government than what it needs. Is that the way it should be?
OK. I pick 'no we aren't paying more tax than we need' because
i) the money is still ours (the tax payers), so we haven't lost it, and
ii) we will use the money for things in the near future for things such as broadband, or
iii) if there is genuine surplus, it is returned in tax cuts

all = sound enough policy IMO.

----------------------

Optional extra information:
If we don't have an (operating) surplus and we still want broadband or whatever the next thing is (perhaps farmer assistance), and there's no money in the tin (because of the premise you asserted), then we have to go into deficit.

This then causes either
-- the raiding of say the Future Fund (which is created by the operating surplus :doh:), which another party supports, or
-- more than likely we get some scared, paralysed and IMO utterly clueless politicians who can't work out what to do - perhaps they'll blame the Libs for overheating the economy???

The clueless politicians address the people and say in a stern fatherly caring voice that we can't afford abc right now and everyone sleeps happy that Big Kev (or insert your favourite left historical political figure here) has a big clue and that it's imperative we go without.

I did mention 'murdered in beds while the parents slept soundly in the next room' a few times about three months ago, but I think the point was entirely lost.

It might be more appropriate if we agreed that
-- Conservative governments are thrown out eventually because they are hated
-- Left governments are thrown out eventually because they utterly faaaaaaaaaaaa**** useless.

And we can just be done with it ;) How's your chess going?

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 10:27 PM
Shall I start a debate with you as to why human being need to breathe oxygen or drink water?So, you don't dispute my claim as to why the government is in existence and is taking tax? If you don't, then what is your problem with my argument? If you do, then that is a bad analogy.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 10:47 PM
lol ok Gunner, I'm happy to leave it at that.

Desmond
06-10-2007, 10:50 PM
So, you don't dispute my claim as to why the government is in existence and is taking tax? If you don't, then what is your problem with my argument? If you do, then that is a bad analogy.Manga, you do speak English, correct? I already said that I am no interested in debating why governments tax. My analogy is to illustrate the futility in creating a debate on something we both agree on. Kapish?

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 10:54 PM
I already said that I am no interested in debating why governments tax. My analogy is to illustrate the futility in creating a debate on something we both agree on.Then where is your counter-argument to the effect that it is not in the national interest to have these surpluses?

Desmond
06-10-2007, 11:06 PM
Then where is your counter-argument to the effect that it is not in the national interest to have these surpluses?So your assertion is that because we are paying tax for a good reason that there is no way we can be paying too much?

Aaron Guthrie
06-10-2007, 11:11 PM
So your assertion is that because we are paying tax for a good reason that there is no way we can be paying too much?My assertion is that it is not in our (economic) best interest to not have taxes reduced, or expenditure increased (at this point in time). This (our best interest) is the reason we are paying tax to begin with. Hence if our best interest is served by paying amount x, x is the right amount. Hence, we are not paying too much.

Southpaw Jim
06-10-2007, 11:12 PM
Would increasing infrastructure spending (and real productivity) increase interest rates?
It depends on the state of the economy. Any time the government enters "the market", it competes with other consumers for that good. If there are no problems with supply, then there is no real competition - as there is excess capacity, the government is supplied at the same price. However, if there is limited supply, then the government competes, and this causes the price of that good to be bid up. This is important to understand.

Now, spending on infrastructure necessarily involves entering the market, often for things like construction materials and labour. If there is a limited supply of these things, then the government's entry into the market will bid up the prices of those goods, thereby contributing to inflation. If inflation gets to high, the Reserve Bank increases the cash rate, and this results in an increase in retail interest rates. If there is not a limited supply, then there isn't really a problem - in fact, it can be good - such as in a recession, where there is an excess supply of labour, then such infrastructure projects should, theoretically, decrease unemployment.

The current situation in Australia is thought to be one where the economy is close to "full employment" (technical term), which doesn't refer to jobs so much as the full employment of all resources - labour, plant, infrastructure. In other words, for the production of a new good, then resources have to be taken away from the production of a good that is already produced. You may've heard rumblings about us hitting "capacity constraints" - basically we can't produce any more output (in an overall economic sense, as a country), unless productivity is improved.

Thus, currently, spending on infrastructure would be inflationary, as the government would be competing for labour and materials to build new roads, ports, etc. However, the only way for our economy to realistically grow further is to increase productivity. One way of doing this (and probably the easiest/most feasible) is to improve our infrastructure, so ports can take more goods, roads/rail can carry more freight etc etc. Thus, and as Manga suggested, there would be some inflation in the short term, followed by economic growth in the longer term.

This is the dilemma that Howard & Costello face - they have pots of money. They could spend it on infrastructure, which would be good in the long term, but that puts pressure on interest rates in the short term - which they don't want to do because (1) it's electorally unpopular, and (2) they made a silly commitment to keeping rates low. So, instead, Costello squirrels it away in "funds". Funnily enough, these funds result in taxpayers' money being paid to private fund managers who invest the money in the equity markets, which has an inflationary effect anyway (after all, equities are just another good in another market, which the government is effectively competing for).



The old standard is rate of inflation mainly governs interest rate decisions by the RBA.
Absolutely correct - the RBA's primary task is to keep inflation within a specified band (Costello's idea, bet he wish he hadn't), between 2-3% IIRC, and it's tool in doing this is the adjustment of the cash rate.


So if consumers are still spending the same amount, but the extra money is going on infrastructure, I dont see the problem. In fact, poor infrastructure costs our country and in turn every individual, money and time.
On the first point, hopefully my comments above illustrate the inflationary effects of infrastructure spending. On the second point, again, 100% correct. Poor infrastructure, be it freight or broadband, cuts into our competitiveness internationally.

Gunner: you are confusing debt with deficit (more correctly, fiscal deficit). They are two distinct concepts. I also take it that you are impliedly referring to the "$96 billion in net debt" that gets bandied around. This is a debt, which is a part of the deficit. On that subject, it is ridiculous to compare a debt that accumulated over many years (much of which came from Fraser, tyvm), with a surplus in one financial year. From what I hear, but have no evidence to hand atm, is that a significant proportion of the 96bn that Costello crows about paying off has, in fact, not been paid off, but hidden with some incredibly creative budget accounting.

On another note, please stop banging on about the Future Fund like it's the best thing since sliced bread. The primary purpose of the Future Fund is to cover the unfunded superannuation liability of the Commonwealth Public Service - it's being used to pay a debt in the future, not to pay for infrastructure. Thus, in a sense, the public of today are giving up their taxes to pay for debts that were incurred over the past 20-30 years and not provided for. The more cynically minded would say that the only reason to lock this money up in a "fund" is because Costello wants to stop his profligate boss (refer to his comments in Howard's biography) from spending like a drunken sailor.

Deficits and surpluses are not bad in and of themselves, but it depends on how they are used.

Basil
06-10-2007, 11:29 PM
Gunner: you are confusing debt with deficit (more correctly, fiscal deficit).
No I'm not. I'll get back to you on that one. [*EDIT I'm no hurry, so no cat-calling thanks. But definitely will do.]


On another note, please stop banging on about the Future Fund like it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Nor am I suggesting that the Future Fund is the best thing since sliced bread. Let's do this slowly and fairly, OK?

A fair assessment of my reference to the Future Fund is not at all that I am portraying as the best thing since sliced bread. It is of relatively minor import. You won't find a statement to support your assertion, so I'd appreciate a retraction.

I have used it purely to illustrate that a topical infrastructure development (broadband) will be paid for by the Libs out of operating surplus, and by the left out The Future Fund. I am justifying the Liberal policy of having a bit extra in the tin. I am casting doubt over the idea that we should aim for zero operating surplus, else we have to get money from elsewhere which is rather self-defeating. Kevin Rudd raised the Future Fund into the debate, not me.

To say that I am portraying The Future Fund in any other light other than alluding to that is where the left intend taking the cash is wrong.


The primary purpose of the Future Fund is to cover the unfunded superannuation liability of the Commonwealth Public Service
I believe it's the sole purpose. This is just added for discussion and not point scoring.


- it's being used to pay a debt in the future, not to pay for infrastructure.That's correct. I'm not sure what relevance this has to my position.


The more cynically minded would say that the only reason to lock this money up in a "fund" is because Costello wants to stop his profligate boss (refer to his comments in Howard's biography) from spending like a drunken sailor.
I'm sure they would. The less cynically minded would say that planning for the future is a good and sensible thing in itself.


Deficits and surpluses are not bad in and of themselves, but it depends on how they are used.
That is true, but the statement stands not in isolation. One must also consider whether they were necessary, whether the figures could have been mitigated (in either surplus or deficit) and others.

Southpaw Jim
06-10-2007, 11:55 PM
No I'm not. I'll get back to you on that one.
Post #121 refers to 100 bucks debt and deficit interchangeably. No catcalling implied, happy to accept that use of 'deficit' may've been a typo as the majority are references to debt. However, it's still silly to compare a debt accumulated over 20-30 years in the same light as a 20bn surplus in one year. You're comparing apples with oranges.


A fair assessment of my reference to the Future Fund is not at all that I am portraying as the best thing since sliced bread. It is of relatively minor import. You won't find a statement to support your assertion, so I'd appreciate a retraction.
I retract - I misread something, my bad. Don't let it go to your head though :owned:

I do get sick of hearing about the Future Fund though, the whole concept irks me. However, I don't particularly feel like debating its pros and cons.


I believe it's the sole purpose. This is just added for discussion and not point scoring.
Agreed (omg), insofar as the explicit purpose. I still maintain the implicit purpose is to lock it away from Howard and his election spending. This is a political observation, and not point scoring.


I'm sure they would. The less cynically minded would say that planning for the future is a good and sensible thing in itself.
Yes, that is a good aim, but why lock it up in a fund? This merely serves to place a constraint on the budget flexibility of future governments. The state governments have unfunded super liabilities too, but they're not going down this path. I also don't like the words "raiding the Future Fund" - it implies that this money shouldn't be touched, which is something I find debatable to say the least.

Desmond
15-10-2007, 06:54 PM
My assertion is that it is not in our (economic) best interest to not have taxes reduced, or expenditure increased (at this point in time). This (our best interest) is the reason we are paying tax to begin with. Hence if our best interest is served by paying amount x, x is the right amount. Hence, we are not paying too much.Have you written to JH letting him know of the massive blunder his announced proposed tax cuts would be? :hand:

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 07:05 PM
Have you written to JH letting him know of the massive blunder his announced proposed tax cuts would be? :hand:I have left that up to the professionals. :hand: :hand:

Senior economist with HSBC, John Edwards, says the tax cuts would put upward pressure on inflation.

"It certainly means interest rates would be higher than they would otherwise be," he said.

"I cannot imagine were it not for an election the Treasurer would be contemplating these tax cuts of this order.Tax cuts will 'put pressure on inflation' (http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/15/2060274.htm?section=justin)

Desmond
15-10-2007, 07:09 PM
Well, in that case I can only assume that it is your position that JH is an economic noob, since you believe he has made such a simple economic mistake. As such, how can you be of the position that the amount of tax we currently pay is spot on the tightrope between too much and not enough, when he has been in control of the tax rate for some 11 years? :hand: :hand: :hand:

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 07:14 PM
Well, in that case I can only assume that it is your position that JH is an economic noob, since you believe he has made such a simple economic mistake. As such, how can you be of the position that the amount of tax we currently pay is spot on the tightrope between too much and not enough, when he has been in control of the tax rate for some 11 years? :hand: :hand: :hand:Have you written to John Edwards, the Senior economist with HSBC, to tell him of your uber-strong argument in favor of the tax cuts? :hand: :hand: :hand: :hand:

Axiom
15-10-2007, 07:14 PM
does income tax revenue go directly to government to use as it sees fit, or does it go to the privately owned federal reserve, as is the case in the usa ?

besides the budget report,is information easily accessible as to where our taxes actually go ?

if taxes pay for infrastructure like roads, why do we have tolls ?

how much do we actually know about , our high taxing system , and where OUR money actually goes and why ?

HOW INFORMED ARE WE ? WHERE IS OUR MEDIA IN INFORMING US ??

Capablanca-Fan
15-10-2007, 07:15 PM
I have left that up to the professionals. :hand: :hand:
Tax cuts will 'put pressure on inflation' (http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/15/2060274.htm?section=justin)
That's the old trick to justify governments taking more of our money. But as Reagan pointed out in his debate with Carter (http://www.debates.org/pages/trans80b.html)(and of course, Reagan both cut taxes and ended the dreadful stagflation and gasoline lines of the Carter era):


We don't have inflation because the people are living too well. We have inflation because the Government is living too well.

...

We have a program for a gradual reduction of Government spending based on these theories, and I have a task force now that has been working on where those cuts could be made. I'm confident that it can be done and that it will reduce inflation because I did it in California. And inflation went down below the national average in California when we returned the money to the people and reduced Government spending.

...

And the idea that my tax-cut proposal is inflationary: I would like to ask the President why is it inflationary to let the people keep more of their money and spend it the way that they like, and it isn't inflationary to let him take that money and spend it the way he wants?

Desmond
15-10-2007, 07:20 PM
Have you written to John Edwards, the Senior economist with HSBC, to tell him of your uber-strong argument in favor of the tax cuts? :hand: :hand: :hand: :hand:You're the one who was using the status quo to "prove" that no change was possible. Now that the status quo is changing, you're caught with your pants down around your ankles. BTW, I could use 5 hands as your position has been completely destroyed, but I'll leave the little games to you.

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 07:35 PM
You're the one who was using the status quo to "prove" that no change was possible.Rubbish.
My assertion is that it is not in our (economic) best interest to not have taxes reduced, or expenditure increased (at this point in time). This (our best interest) is the reason we are paying tax to begin with. Hence if our best interest is served by paying amount x, x is the right amount. Hence, we are not paying too much.Where in this do I state that it is because taxes are as they are that they ought be as they are? It is simple, the right tax rate is the right tax rate because it is, not because John Howard set it, or whatever other reason you are attributing to me. If the best interest of the country was served by increasing tax, then this higher rate would be the right amount, if the best is to reduce, then a lower rate would be the right amount. Possibly I should have concluded that the tax rate is at least not lower than it should be, rather than that it is the right amount (edit-oh actually that is what I said, damn I am good! The bit about the right amount didn't make a claim as to whether or not we are paying the right amount, just a condition as to what the right amount would be (the one that best serves the countries interests.)). But this doesn't help your argument, since it is perfectly coherent to hold that we have the right tax rate without holding that it is because that is the rate that it is the right one.
Now that the status quo is changing, you're caught with your pants down around your ankles. BTW, I could use 5 hands as your position has been completely destroyed, but I'll leave the little games to you.Your "position", if it can be called that (what was it again, if more tax is collected than spent it is too much, and why is that? Oh, that is right, you never said), would require a denumerable number of hands, so I will also omit that.

Axiom
15-10-2007, 07:36 PM
That's the old trick to justify governments taking more of our money. But as Reagan pointed out in his debate with Carter (and of course, Reagan both cut taxes and ended the dreadful stagflation and gasoline lines of the Carter era):


We don't have inflation because the people are living too well. We have inflation because the Government is living too well.

...

We have a program for a gradual reduction of Government spending based on these theories, and I have a task force now that has been working on where those cuts could be made. I'm confident that it can be done and that it will reduce inflation because I did it in California. And inflation went down below the national average in California when we returned the money to the people and reduced Government spending.

...

And the idea that my tax-cut proposal is inflationary: I would like to ask the President why is it inflationary to let the people keep more of their money and spend it the way that they like, and it isn't inflationary to let him take that money and spend it the way he wants?
Spot on :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Desmond
15-10-2007, 08:00 PM
Rubbish. Where in this do I state that it is because taxes are as they are that they ought be as they are? It is simple, the right tax rate is the right tax rate because it is, not because John Howard set it, or whatever other reason you are attributing to me.

"We should continue to pay the right amount of tax because it is in the countries best interest, yes."

and

"But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates."

- Your position is obviously that we are paying the correct rate now. That is, until your poster boy JH calls the election and throws some scraps to the plebs.


If the best interest of the country was served by increasing tax, then this higher rate would be the right amount, if the best is to reduce, then a lower rate would be the right amount. Possibly I should have concluded that the tax rate is at least not lower than it should be, rather than that it is the right amount (edit-oh actually that is what I said, damn I am good! Oh wait, your poster boy changed his mind, you better change yours too.


The bit about the right amount didn't make a claim as to whether or not we are paying the right amount, just a condition as to what the right amount would be (the one that best serves the countries interests.)). Wrong, you claimed that when you said "we should continue to pay the right amount."


But this doesn't help your argument, since it is perfectly coherent to hold that we have the right tax rate without holding that it is because that is the rate that it is the right one.Your "position", if it can be called that (what was it again, if more tax is collected than spent it is too much, and why is that? Oh, that is right, you never said), would require a denumerable number of hands, so I will also omit that.Let's say I have 3 mates over for beers and pizza, and we chip in $50 each for the expenses. After I go to the shops and come back, I have only spent $180 of the $200 total. So, have I collected too much? Should I return some money, or should I decide to pick up some pretzels with the change. Or should I just keep it?

Sure, not the most sophisticated analogy, but the basic idea is that take more than needed = taking too much. Was that such a difficult position to understand?

Basil
15-10-2007, 08:18 PM
Sure, not the most sophisticated analogy, but the basic idea is that take more than needed = taking too much.
Brian, I may be taking you out of context as I have not followed the course of this thread. If I have, apologies. I accept the onus is on me to check.

However, if your quoted comment can largely stand alone, do you accept my earlier posts (in this thread?) discussing

-- the coarse science of forecasting
-- my answer to your earlier question about too much tax in the negative, where I relied on
a) the tax still belongs to the people
b) it is there to be spent in the short term
-- and wouldn't it be fair to discuss the deficit in similar terms?

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 08:22 PM
"We should continue to pay the right amount of tax because it is in the countries best interest, yes."

and

"But lowering taxes or increasing expenditure would lead to increased upward pressure on inflation, and thus increased upward pressure on interest rates."

- Your position is obviously that we are paying the correct rate now. That is, until your poster boy JH calls the election and throws some scraps to the plebs.I will accept then that my position has been that we are paying the right amount, since it is not actually relevant to the issue. The issue is-where do I state that it is because the tax rates are as they are the right tax rates.
That is, until your poster boy JH calls the election and throws some scraps to the plebs.

Oh wait, your poster boy changed his mind, you better change yours too.But I haven't changed my mind. And for the record, this is once I have been accused of being a Keating apologist (by the Howard that posts on here), and once I have been accused of being a Howard apologist.
Wrong, you claimed that when you said "we should continue to pay the right amount."In the quote, which I take to be representative of my position, it is right. But again, this point isn't worth arguing. I will put again my position again to you, and incorporate the right amount bit (which I don't hold, but for the purposes of determining if I "was using the status quo to "prove" that no change was possible." it doesn't matter).

The right tax rate is the one which is in our best interests
Lowering tax rates is not in our best interests (because of the current economic conditions which mean that it would be inflationary)
Therefore, lowering tax rates would not give us the right tax rate.
(And furthermore, we are paying the right tax rate)
Now, the furthermore bit is not supported, I accept this. But it is just as clear that your claim that
You're the one who was using the status quo to "prove" that no change was possible. is complete and utter rubbish.
Let's say I have 3 mates over for beers and pizza, and we chip in $50 each for the expenses. After I go to the shops and come back, I have only spent $180 of the $200 total. So, have I collected too much? Should I return some money, or should I decide to pick up some pretzels with the change. Or should I just keep it?

Sure, not the most sophisticated analogy, but the basic idea is that take more than needed = taking too much. Was that such a difficult position to understand?Ok, so now I know why you hold the position. But I still don't know why anyone should take it seriously.

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 08:40 PM
OK, I got very confused over what "not lower" means.

If the best interest of the country was served by increasing tax, then this higher rate would be the right amount, if the best is to reduce, then a lower rate would be the right amount. Possibly I should have concluded that the tax rate is at least not lower than it should be, rather than that it is the right amount (edit-oh actually that is what I said, damn I am good!

Oh wait, your poster boy changed his mind, you better change yours too.I am guessing you think I changed my mind because I said "not lower" instead of "not higher". This was my mistake, hence apologies for this confused post (if you saw it before I edited it).

So to clarify in easy language, I think that the recent policy decision regarding tax rates made by the PM, was the wrong decision.

Desmond
15-10-2007, 08:43 PM
Brian, I may be taking you out of context as I have not followed the course of this thread. If I have, apologies. I accept the onus is on me to check.

However, if your quoted comment can largely stand alone, yes, that's fair.


do you accept my earlier posts (in this thread?) discussing

-- the coarse science of forecasting
I could understand that if you had some surpluses and some deficits over say a 5 year period and it averaged out to 0. When it's surplus every year though I start to wonder.


-- my answer to your earlier question about too much tax in the negative, where I relied on
a) the tax still belongs to the people
b) it is there to be spent in the short term
Yes I liked this point you made. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. All the same though, I'd rather keep those few bucks in my own pocket for a rainy day than give them to gov't to do so.


-- and wouldn't it be fair to discuss the deficit in similar terms?Not sure what you mean.

Desmond
15-10-2007, 09:08 PM
I will accept then that my position has been that we are paying the right amount, since it is not actually relevant to the issue. It might not be the issue that you would like to discuss, but it is actually the issue I was talking about when I started posting in this thread.


The issue is-where do I state that it is because the tax rates are as they are the right tax rates.OK, if that is not your position then I apologize for misunderstanding what you said.


But I haven't changed my mind. You definitely changed what you said, if it was your position from the beginning then how am I to know that? You went from saying that we were paying the correct amount to saying that we were either paying the correct amount or too much. A significant difference.


And for the record, this is once I have been accused of being a Keating apologist (by the Howard that posts on here), and once I have been accused of being a Howard apologist. I know what you mean, I am apparently a lifer-lefty despite having voted otherwise.


In the quote, which I take to be representative of my position, it is right. But again, this point isn't worth arguing. I will put again my position again to you, and incorporate the right amount bit (which I don't hold, but for the purposes of determining if I "was using the status quo to "prove" that no change was possible." it doesn't matter).

The right tax rate is the one which is in our best interests
Lowering tax rates is not in our best interests (because of the current economic conditions which mean that it would be inflationary)
Therefore, lowering tax rates would not give us the right tax rate.
(And furthermore, we are paying the right tax rate)If you could dumb it down for me, is this: refund, pretzels, or pocket?


Now, the furthermore bit is not supported, I accept this. But it is just as clear that your claim that is complete and utter rubbish.OK, if I misunderstood your position, I apologize.


Ok, so now I know why you hold the position. But I still don't know why anyone should take it seriously.I don't know how else to explain it to you. I would have thought balancing the ledger would be desirable.

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 09:12 PM
If you could dumb it down for me, is this: refund, pretzels, or pocket?Refund in that case. In the case of government economics, refund, at the right time. That is to say, it is wrong to increase expenditure or decrease taxes now, but when the economy isn't growing so strongly (e.g. when the baby boomers retire), pump the money back in.
I don't know how else to explain it to you. I would have thought balancing the ledger would be desirable.Balancing it (now), at the cost of inflation is too high a cost. I just don't see why balancing the ledger, for the sake of it, is a desirable thing at all. Spend more than is received if that is best for the economy, tax more than you spend if that is more desirable for the economy.

Or another example of non-ledge balancing (perhaps not a great example), is that of Australia's Current Account Deficit. Now Australia owing money can be seen as surely a bad thing, just because it is Australia owing money, but it isn't. As long as the money we owe is in terms of investment, then it is actually good for us, because in the long term we get more than we give (or something like this).

Desmond
15-10-2007, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the discussion Manga, I think I have learned something from it. :)

Aaron Guthrie
15-10-2007, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the discussion Manga, I think I have learned something from it. :)Ditto. But I think we should apologize to all the spectators that were expecting blood. :)

Capablanca-Fan
03-05-2008, 10:12 AM
This is the fallacy that Howard and Hockey attempt to purvey re SerfChoices, that the drop in unemployment since Serfchoices was introduced is primarily a result of its introduction.
Looks the "serfs" aren't rushing to be rid of AWAs that the feudal lords Howard and Hockey allowed them to make imposed on them.

Workers in no rush to get off AWAs (http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,23633121-5012426,00.html)
By Myles Wearring
2 May 2008


WORKERS have not been rushing to end their AWAs since the axing of the Howard government’s controversial workplace laws five weeks ago, industry sources say.

Both the New South Wales Business Chamber (NSWBC) and the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) told NEWS.com.au they had not heard of anyone trying to get out of their agreements and that many workers were happy on AWAs.

However a spokesperson for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said a lot of employees signed onto AWAs for fear they wouldn’t get the job otherwise, and many would not attempt to get off them for the same reason.

antichrist
03-12-2010, 07:14 AM
aka "bloated, resource-bleeding Government" that Leftys specialise in. Now that's a Groundhog moment.

Would you say that when Churchill was fighting the Hun? And when Curtin was fighting the Nippon? It should have all been privatised with Blackwater.

And don't those taxes pay for mentally and physically crippled soldiers of wars fought up to 70 years ago.

No let the resource billionaires have more low-taxed billions, no one should be allowed to be a billionaire - it is sick.

As well more money is needed for many types of scientific research, they must go begging to govt every year, important research projects don't get completed or go overseas.

That Clive Palmer guy should be put on a good diet, made to complete an exercise regime and taught a healthy living philosophy. Get closer to nature would do him a world of good.