Author Topic: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!  (Read 43651 times)

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #300 on: June 23, 2019, 07:52:57 PM »
We are "well-off" - but we pay the same marginal rate (and a similar overall tax rate) to those who are genuinely "rich."

If we are going to have progressive taxation, build in steps like what they do in the U.S. Have a lower rate for the $88k and $180k brackets and institute a higher rate for the $400k bracket - or my preferred measure: just drop income tax rates across the board but institute a punitive estate tax. Okay, it'll never get off the ground, but I can't see why people would rather tax income than estates. Do they really think their children are going to be so useless as to need a massive inheritance?

Anyhoo, as an atheist, I do feel a little left out of the Folau debate. No one seems to sympathise with us! But then, we don't get routinely murdered or physically assaulted for our beliefs like homosexuals, so I understand the distinction.

I'm glad Folau is getting dragged through the gutter. He needs to understand that, firstly, we don't have freedom of speech in Australia. Secondly, even if we did, it's no protection to a breach of contract. Thirdly, no one cares what religion you practise. If you say something stupid, it's not going to save you.

I hope his case does go all the way to the High Court so that some deserving lawyers can make a mint off the bloke.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #301 on: June 25, 2019, 02:20:06 AM »
I hope his case does go all the way to the High Court so that some deserving lawyers can make a mint off the bloke.

It will pretty much be the end of Rugby Union in Australia if that happens - they can't afford to fund the game anymore.

The Age is as about left wing as they come.

I don't believe in a progressive taxation system - it's pure theft.  A proportional taxation system is fair enough, it still results in people who earn more paying more tax.  One rule for everyone.

Perhaps as a retired superannuant currently paying no tax (and getting a franking credit refund) can I invite you to contribute your proportionate share on the income your super fund earns?

Or is it one rule for over 60s and one rule for everyone else?

mrmoonymartian

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #302 on: June 25, 2019, 03:31:48 AM »
If we are going to have progressive taxation, build in steps like what they do in the U.S. Have a lower rate for the $88k and $180k brackets and institute a higher rate for the $400k bracket - or my preferred measure: just drop income tax rates across the board but institute a punitive estate tax. Okay, it'll never get off the ground, but I can't see why people would rather tax income than estates. Do they really think their children are going to be so useless as to need a massive inheritance?
Couldn't agree more. Meritocracy, anyone?

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #303 on: June 25, 2019, 05:54:14 AM »
Perhaps as a retired superannuant currently paying no tax (and getting a franking credit refund) can I invite you to contribute your proportionate share on the income your super fund earns?

Or is it one rule for over 60s and one rule for everyone else?

The franking credit thing is there to prevent double taxation. It's a bit of a loophole. But it's based on sound policy.

The double taxation that we have in Australia is ridiculous.

Let's say Bob earns $230k. In his hand that's $150k. He wants to purchase a car worth $110k (MSRP). You have $5k in import duty, $11k in GST, $20k of LCT, $6k in stamp duty and now another $4k in "luxury" stamp duty in my state. A total of $156k. In other words, due to double taxation, Bob's $230k has been reduced to true value $110k when it comes time to purchase the car. A 48% efficiency ratio. Is that what we really want?

Meanwhile someone on $100k a year has $78k take-hime. Buys a car worth $65k (MSRP). Pays $3k in import duty, $6k in GST, nil in LCT, and $5k in stamp duty. Total price $79k. So the $100k income has a plaasing 65% efficiency ratio.

Why the huge difference? Why such progressive taxation? Do we want taxes on top of taxes on top of taxes?

I get why income tax needs to be progressive. But now, with progressive holding/consumption taxes (tiered stamp duty on cars and houses, tiered land tax), we're getting progressively assaulted both in earning and spending. And that is what I really don't understand. I don't know why we care so much about cutting down tall poppies.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #304 on: June 25, 2019, 03:15:36 PM »
Perhaps as a retired superannuant currently paying no tax (and getting a franking credit refund) can I invite you to contribute your proportionate share on the income your super fund earns?

Or is it one rule for over 60s and one rule for everyone else?

The franking credit thing is there to prevent double taxation. It's a bit of a loophole. But it's based on sound policy.

The double taxation that we have in Australia is ridiculous.

Let's say Bob earns $230k. In his hand that's $150k. He wants to purchase a car worth $110k (MSRP). You have $5k in import duty, $11k in GST, $20k of LCT, $6k in stamp duty and now another $4k in "luxury" stamp duty in my state. A total of $156k. In other words, due to double taxation, Bob's $230k has been reduced to true value $110k when it comes time to purchase the car. A 48% efficiency ratio. Is that what we really want?

Meanwhile someone on $100k a year has $78k take-hime. Buys a car worth $65k (MSRP). Pays $3k in import duty, $6k in GST, nil in LCT, and $5k in stamp duty. Total price $79k. So the $100k income has a plaasing 65% efficiency ratio.

Why the huge difference? Why such progressive taxation? Do we want taxes on top of taxes on top of taxes?

I get why income tax needs to be progressive. But now, with progressive holding/consumption taxes (tiered stamp duty on cars and houses, tiered land tax), we're getting progressively assaulted both in earning and spending. And that is what I really don't understand. I don't know why we care so much about cutting down tall poppies.

We don't - Australians just sit there and like to pretend that only everyone who earns more than them is a tall poppy, even if they themselves earn 95% more than the population.

Not all higher income earners buy $150k cars. You can't just assume spending is proportional to income, otherwise there would be no one on this board.

As for those taxes - perhaps you'd like to sort out the dogs breakfast that is federal-state relations? State governments have to raise money from somewhere....

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #305 on: June 25, 2019, 05:27:38 PM »

Perhaps as a retired superannuant currently paying no tax (and getting a franking credit refund) can I invite you to contribute your proportionate share on the income your super fund earns?

Or is it one rule for over 60s and one rule for everyone else?

Ba bum.  I am not in receipt of a superannuation pension, nor am I over 60.  I am also yet to receive a cash franking credit refund, but I look forward to when I do.

Can I invite you to stop being disingenuous ?  We're talking about income taxes.  You want to discuss tax treatment of superannuation and the whole super system, that's fine too, but it's a different subject.  I'd like super, a savings scheme designed to keep people off the public purse, to be not taxed during accumulation and taxed at marginal rates during draw-down.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 05:30:59 PM by mjr »

happy

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #306 on: June 26, 2019, 04:25:39 PM »

The double taxation that we have in Australia is ridiculous.

Let's say Bob earns $230k. In his hand that's $150k. He wants to purchase a car worth $110k (MSRP). You have $5k in import duty, $11k in GST, $20k of LCT, $6k in stamp duty and now another $4k in "luxury" stamp duty in my state. A total of $156k. In other words, due to double taxation, Bob's $230k has been reduced to true value $110k when it comes time to purchase the car. A 48% efficiency ratio. Is that what we really want?

Meanwhile someone on $100k a year has $78k take-hime. Buys a car worth $65k (MSRP). Pays $3k in import duty, $6k in GST, nil in LCT, and $5k in stamp duty. Total price $79k. So the $100k income has a plaasing 65% efficiency ratio.

Why the huge difference? Why such progressive taxation? Do we want taxes on top of taxes on top of taxes?

I get why income tax needs to be progressive. But now, with progressive holding/consumption taxes (tiered stamp duty on cars and houses, tiered land tax), we're getting progressively assaulted both in earning and spending. And that is what I really don't understand.

You know you have a choice to avoid "double taxation" as you call it? You don't have to buy a 150k car, or even a 65k one. There are lots of perfectly derivable new and second hand cars for under 30k. And there is always a bike ;).

I don't really have a firm opinion about when the top marginal tax bracket should kick in, but I for one, was not prepared to work even harder to be in the top marginal tax bracket, so I worked part-time, keeping my earnings <200k.

..scurries away before gets caught in the maul....

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #307 on: June 26, 2019, 06:35:49 PM »
We are "well-off" - but we pay the same marginal rate (and a similar overall tax rate) to those who are genuinely "rich."

If we are going to have progressive taxation, build in steps like what they do in the U.S.
"I'll pay, so long as someone else pays more." This sort of argument reminds me of my kids. "It's not fair!" Less sooking from Aussies would go a long way to making us a more productive and useful country.

Friggin' Folau. "Please donate stacks of cash to me so I can fight in court to get more stacks of cash." Another rich bugger asking for handouts.

It always strikes me as amusing how the very people who have benefited so much from Australia being an open and accepting country are themselves not always open and accepting. Likewise, people who have benefited so much from Australia's wealth are wont to hoard it to themselves, and indeed even ask for more handouts.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #308 on: June 26, 2019, 08:38:08 PM »

The double taxation that we have in Australia is ridiculous.

Let's say Bob earns $230k. In his hand that's $150k. He wants to purchase a car worth $110k (MSRP). You have $5k in import duty, $11k in GST, $20k of LCT, $6k in stamp duty and now another $4k in "luxury" stamp duty in my state. A total of $156k. In other words, due to double taxation, Bob's $230k has been reduced to true value $110k when it comes time to purchase the car. A 48% efficiency ratio. Is that what we really want?

Meanwhile someone on $100k a year has $78k take-hime. Buys a car worth $65k (MSRP). Pays $3k in import duty, $6k in GST, nil in LCT, and $5k in stamp duty. Total price $79k. So the $100k income has a plaasing 65% efficiency ratio.

Why the huge difference? Why such progressive taxation? Do we want taxes on top of taxes on top of taxes?

I get why income tax needs to be progressive. But now, with progressive holding/consumption taxes (tiered stamp duty on cars and houses, tiered land tax), we're getting progressively assaulted both in earning and spending. And that is what I really don't understand.

You know you have a choice to avoid "double taxation" as you call it? You don't have to buy a 150k car, or even a 65k one. There are lots of perfectly derivable new and second hand cars for under 30k. And there is always a bike ;).

I don't really have a firm opinion about when the top marginal tax bracket should kick in, but I for one, was not prepared to work even harder to be in the top marginal tax bracket, so I worked part-time, keeping my earnings <200k.

..scurries away before gets caught in the maul....

Yeah, I have choices. And the average Australian battler has the choice to forego their yearly vacation to Bali. Everyone has choices; that doesn't make the discussion about whether our taxes are too punitive a moot one. Otherwise, if we instituted a Holiday tax, I'm sure a lot of people would be up in arms about it, too.


deborah

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #309 on: June 27, 2019, 02:02:17 AM »
Iím sure thereís holiday tax.


Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #311 on: July 04, 2019, 05:21:27 AM »
It's a risk I'm willing to take.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #312 on: July 04, 2019, 10:25:42 PM »
Yeah, trickle down doesn't work, unfortunately. Of course, it works for the well-off, so it's unsurprising the well-off tend to favour it. It just doesn't work as advertised in helping the less well-off.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #313 on: July 05, 2019, 02:56:24 AM »
Let's just hope we fare better than Kansas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_experiment

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trickle-down-economics-is-a-nightmare-kansas-proved-it/2017/06/12/c2d7aae0-4fa6-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.84a72fc2bd6e

It's a risk I'm willing to take.

@alsoknownasDean, the federal government will still be taxing the economy at around 24% of GDP after these tax cuts are fully implemented. Whilst it is a great case study in what happens when Governments blindly follow ideology without considering reality, I don't believe this can be compared to Kansas. The Morrison tax cuts are ~$300 billion out of a budget predicted to raise over $6 trillion over the next 10 years. Makes sense that some bracket creep is handed back.

bigchrisb

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #314 on: July 05, 2019, 04:04:08 AM »
We could stop this national argument and the politicking by just indexing tax brackets...  Then the debate would be about actual increases or decreases to the real tax take, as opposed to how bracket creep should be (re)distributed.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #315 on: July 05, 2019, 02:49:41 PM »
We could stop this national argument and the politicking by just indexing tax brackets...  Then the debate would be about actual increases or decreases to the real tax take, as opposed to how bracket creep should be (re)distributed.

But but but... how would a government pretend to us that they're cutting taxes then? :P

(I agree with you - index the tax brackets to wages CPI).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #316 on: July 06, 2019, 01:34:03 AM »
Index the tax thresholds to multiples of the minimum wage or the Newstart rate. :)

@alsoknownasDean, the federal government will still be taxing the economy at around 24% of GDP after these tax cuts are fully implemented. Whilst it is a great case study in what happens when Governments blindly follow ideology without considering reality, I don't believe this can be compared to Kansas. The Morrison tax cuts are ~$300 billion out of a budget predicted to raise over $6 trillion over the next 10 years. Makes sense that some bracket creep is handed back.

You may be right, but it'd be nice if more of that was handed back to low-income people who need it more. I really don't want to see Australia go down the path of emulating the US with it's super-expensive healthcare (and extensive corporate rent-seeking/contribution to legislation/etc), gutted or non-existent safety nets and minimum wages that are barely enough to survive on.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 01:48:16 AM by alsoknownasDean »

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #317 on: July 06, 2019, 03:02:17 AM »
I really don't want to see Australia go down the path of emulating the US with it's super-expensive healthcare (and extensive corporate rent-seeking/contribution to legislation/etc), gutted or non-existent safety nets and minimum wages that are barely enough to survive on.

It's a big leap to go from an attempt to mitigate bracket creep to that statement !

Here's a news flash - people who pay the most taxes benefit the most from reduction in taxes and vice versa.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #318 on: July 06, 2019, 03:09:05 AM »
Index the tax thresholds to multiples of the minimum wage or the Newstart rate. :)

@alsoknownasDean, the federal government will still be taxing the economy at around 24% of GDP after these tax cuts are fully implemented. Whilst it is a great case study in what happens when Governments blindly follow ideology without considering reality, I don't believe this can be compared to Kansas. The Morrison tax cuts are ~$300 billion out of a budget predicted to raise over $6 trillion over the next 10 years. Makes sense that some bracket creep is handed back.

You may be right, but it'd be nice if more of that was handed back to low-income people who need it more. I really don't want to see Australia go down the path of emulating the US with it's super-expensive healthcare (and extensive corporate rent-seeking/contribution to legislation/etc), gutted or non-existent safety nets and minimum wages that are barely enough to survive on.

Yes I agree with you but the simple fact is that low income people don't really pay a lot of income tax. So when there is a tax cut, there isn't that much to hand back to them.

According to the ATO FY20 income tax withholding calculator:

A taxpayer earning $800 a week ($41,600 a year) pays $113 a week in tax (14.1%)
A taxpayer earning $1000 a week ($52k a year) pays $187 a week in tax (18.7%)
A taxpayer earning $2000 a week ($104k a year) pays $541 a week in tax (27.1%)
A taxpayer earning $3000 a week ($156k a year) pays $931 a week in tax (31.0%)
A taxpayer earning $4000 a week ($208k a year) pays $1,364 a week in tax (34.1%)

This is all after the latest tax cuts. The $208k earner pays $71,000 in tax. The $52k earner pays just under $10,000. 4x the income but still 7x the tax, so there is still a lot of progressively in the system.

Note also the higher income earners will get hit with additional medicare surcharges etc if they don't have PHI.

In doing this exercise, it's made me realise how much of an impact the medicare and disability care levies have on ultimate tax paid. For someone on $52,000 a year, the medicare levy makes up over 10% of their ultimate tax bill. For someone on $208,000, it makes up under 6% of their final tax payable.

Given how expensive tax cuts for Low and Middle Income earners are (because the people at the top get it too), the best way to target a tax cut towards them would be to reduce the medicare levy for them.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 03:12:26 AM by marty998 »

deborah

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #319 on: July 06, 2019, 03:14:05 AM »
Will people who donít pay any tax, and are exempt from submitting a tax return, get the $255?

alsoknownasDean

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #320 on: July 06, 2019, 03:15:16 AM »
It's a big leap to go from an attempt to mitigate bracket creep to that statement !

Here's a news flash - people who pay the most taxes benefit the most from reduction in taxes and vice versa.

You're right, but I think stage three of the tax cuts goes beyond merely mitigating bracket creep.

I wonder how things will go when we're both pushing for aggressive tax cuts and have an increasing percentage of the population reaching retirement age and drawing the age pension/more heavily using health care services. Especially with governments hell-bent on delivering a surplus.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 03:18:44 AM by alsoknownasDean »

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #321 on: July 06, 2019, 04:46:34 AM »
Include the (full capital value of one's) PPOR in the assets test.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #322 on: July 06, 2019, 05:50:21 PM »
Will people who donít pay any tax, and are exempt from submitting a tax return, get the $255?
No. Only people claiming franking credits get income tax "back" when they're not paying any income tax.

Quote from: alsoknownasDean
Index the tax thresholds to multiples of the minimum wage or the Newstart rate. :)
I've often thought that everything should be pegged to the minimum wage.

Pension = 50% (for example) minimum wage. Same pension for unemployed, elderly, disabled, sole parents, whatever.
Minimum wage
Starting graduate pay = 2x minimum wage
Member of Parliament = 5x minimum wage
Member of Cabinet = 6x minimum wage
CEO = 10x minimum wage. Alternately, it could be 10x the average of the pay of everyone employed by their company, including contractors.

I think then we would have a nice balance, as MPs and CEOs would be arguing for a higher minimum wage, but also realising that increasing it would change their budgets somewhat.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #323 on: July 06, 2019, 06:31:58 PM »
10x min wage is only $375k. I would not want to be a CEO for that sort of money. I would not want to work (for example) 70-80 hours a week for that sort of money. I know a fair few people who earn more than that just doing normal 'wage' work. For example, the average taxable income of surgeons is higher than that. So I think it's too low a cap.

Also, I should mention that our min wage is one of the world's highest in PPP terms, so there's no need to raise it in relative terms. It's very generous already for the segment of the population that has minimal skills and qualifications and relies on it.

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #324 on: July 06, 2019, 06:44:25 PM »
No. Only people claiming franking credits get income tax "back" when they're not paying any income tax.

That dead horse doesn't need any more flogging.

I've often thought that everything should be pegged to the minimum wage.

Pension = 50% (for example) minimum wage. Same pension for unemployed, elderly, disabled, sole parents, whatever.
Minimum wage
Starting graduate pay = 2x minimum wage
Member of Parliament = 5x minimum wage
Member of Cabinet = 6x minimum wage
CEO = 10x minimum wage. Alternately, it could be 10x the average of the pay of everyone employed by their company, including contractors.

Regulated remuneration.  Just another step closer to glorious centrally-planned economy.

I'll take the free market, thanks.  I hear it works better.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #325 on: July 06, 2019, 07:47:38 PM »
10x min wage is only $375k. I would not want to be a CEO for that sort of money.
Where do I sign up? Would be a cinch for that kind of money. As things stand I wouldn't even think of applying because of the unreasonable demands placed on CEOs to try to justify their high remuneration.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #326 on: July 07, 2019, 07:49:28 PM »

10x min wage is only $375k. I would not want to be a CEO for that sort of money. I would not want to work (for example) 70-80 hours a week for that sort of money.
Just sketched-out numbers. But... the thing is, studies show that past a certain point, increased remuneration actually makes performance worse. Because rather than doing the things the system was actually designed to get happening, people focus on gaming the system to maximise their personal returns. This is how Dick Smith collapsed; among other things, middle managers got bonuses when they got wholesale rebates. So they ended up with 12 years' supply of batteries. The company went under, but the middle managers got their bonuses! Likewise, Telstra's share price collapsed, but Sol and his buddies walked away with big bonuses.

Maybe CEOs don't need to work 70-80 hours a week. Maybe they shouldn't. Is there anyone who's performing as well in their 80th hour of work as they were in their 40th? Maybe all those extra hours just make things worse? How is it that Warren Buffet can work less than 40 hours a week for decades and runs a very successful company? Is it possible that quality is more important than quantity?

Quote from: Bloop Bloop
Also, I should mention that our min wage is one of the world's highest in PPP terms, so there's no need to raise it in relative terms.
It's interesting that you consider $37k is insanely generous, while $370k isn't enough. I guess it depends on whether you're getting it or someone else is.

Quote from: mjr
Regulated remuneration.  Just another step closer to glorious centrally-planned economy.
We already have that, since we have a debt-burdened money supply and a central bank setting interest rates, a government subsidising some things and regulating others, taxing some things and remunerating others, oligopolies in telecommunications, banking and agriculture colluding and setting prices, and so on.

Quote from: mjr
I'll take the free market, thanks.  I hear it works better.
I've heard that, too. The 50yo made redundant after 30 years in a now-closed garment factory, the addicts prowling the ruins of Detroit, the children working in coltan mines in the Congo, the Chinese poisoned by mining operations in western China, and the people made homeless after the 2008 GFC may disagree.

The free market has worked extremely well for me and my family. I have a small business, my wife worked for a multinational and so stayed employed during the GFC, we were able to borrow for our housing at low interest rates at that time, with lower since, so now we have our own home 12 months from being paid off, and an investment property. But I try to see beyond my immediate self-interest.

Of course, as I note, we don't have an entirely free market. Many things we use every day are subsidised by public funds, and the externalities are not priced in. If the true cost of burning fossil fuels were to be paid, for example, even CEOs might not take so many overseas flights. Rio Tinto would have to pay the cost to PNG of the civil war they caused on Bouganville. Union Carbide would cease to exist, unable to pay the Bhopal gas disaster victims. No more freeways would be built if they had to be paid for entirely by the people driving on them. People - including many wealthy people - would just be allowed to die outside hospitals, since keeping them alive is too expensive. Of course, in an entirely free market I would be able to wander down the street to the shops and buy an AK-47 and RPG-7, too, and my children could pop into the pharmacist and buy some crack to smoke.

And so on and so forth. We don't have an entirely free market, and nobody actually wants one, where people disagree is exactly how it should be regulated, subsidised or taxed. Typically, anything I use should be subsidised, anything you use should be taxed and regulated.

Again, short-term self-interest is an important factor in political life. I urge caution, because it is ultimately self-defeating. John Michael Greer writes eloquently about this,

Quote
Oswald Spengler, for one, wrote about the events splashed across recent headlines more than a century ago in the pages of The Decline of the West. He noted with dry Teutonic amusement how democracy turns into plutocracy as soon as the well-to-do learn to use money to manipulate the political system, how this leads to the rise of clueless elites too busy lining their pockets to notice what the policies that enrich them are doing to the rest of society, and how ambitious menóas often as not from within the plutocratic classórealize they can rise to power by championing the cause of the deplorables of their time.

Spengler called the charismatic populism that results from this process Caesarism, after one of the more memorable examples of the species. (Itís a running joke here on Ecosophia to refer to our current American example as the Orange Julius.)  The conflict between institutionalized plutocracy and insurgent Caesarism, Spengler showed, is an inescapable historical event once a society finishes its millennium or so of growth and settles into its mature form.  He predicted back in 1918 that this conflict would be the defining theme of politics across the western world after the turn of the 21st century. Look at todayís news and itís hard to escape the realization that he was right.

If you are an elite, it is best not to be clueless. It leads to your not being elite one day. It's well to remember that the first social welfare in Europe was promoted by Bismarck, not known for his progressive social views, who said something to the effect of, "if we do not throw them a few crumbs, they may seize the whole loaf." He'd lived through the European revolutions of 1848, events not generally known by today's elites, who imagine there is nothing to learn from the past. He wasn't clueless.

We're getting a tax cut. That's nice. But there'll be a cost, if not to you today then to others in Australia, and thus to you tomorrow. Think broadly, beyond your immediate self-interest.

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #327 on: July 07, 2019, 11:22:07 PM »
A simple statement about how fixing wages to be independent of the market and individual ability is responded to with a muddled, all-over-the-shop string of cherry-picked factoids which don't make any kind of cogent argument.  So, anyone who advocates for a reversal of bracket creep suffers from short-term self-interest ?

I expect nothing less from the People's Republic of Victoria.

catprog

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #328 on: July 08, 2019, 02:26:04 AM »
Include the (full capital value of one's) PPOR in the assets test.

And increase the asset base by a fair amount in return.


Pension = 50% (for example) minimum wage. Same pension for unemployed, elderly, disabled, sole parents, whatever.
Minimum wage
Starting graduate pay = 2x minimum wage
Member of Parliament = 5x minimum wage
Member of Cabinet = 6x minimum wage
CEO = 10x minimum wage. Alternately, it could be 10x the average of the pay of everyone employed by their company, including contractors.


I would not base the pay rates on the minimum wage like that.

I would base the tax rates on it. I.e 2x minimum wage = 19% tax, 5x minimum wage = 30% . 10x minimum wage = 70%

Government roles though, that can easily be set to the minimum wage times a multiplier.

10x min wage is only $375k. I would not want to be a CEO for that sort of money. I would not want to work (for example) 70-80 hours a week for that sort of money. I know a fair few people who earn more than that just doing normal 'wage' work. For example, the average taxable income of surgeons is higher than that. So I think it's too low a cap.

Would it be better to split the role up in that case so the job has less requirements?

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #329 on: July 08, 2019, 07:57:44 PM »
Would it be better to split the role up in that case so the job has less requirements?
Some jobs can't be split - would you want one world-leading surgeon on $800k or three mediocre ones on $270k?

But... the thing is, studies show that past a certain point, increased remuneration actually makes performance worse. Because rather than doing the things the system was actually designed to get happening, people focus on gaming the system to maximise their personal returns.
Yep, I know there is a principal/agent problem. E.g. for CEOs with short-term incentives. That ought to be regulated. But $375k isn't anywhere close to where that level of pay kicks in. $375k buys you an average-ish surgeon / barrister / judge / anaesthetist / ophthalmologist. If you capped pay at that figure, or even at $500k, then all the really good members of each profession would get no extra reward for their extra degree of skill.


Quote
It's interesting that you consider $37k is insanely generous, while $370k isn't enough. I guess it depends on whether you're getting it or someone else is.
Put it this way, I think there is a much higher gradation of human knowledge/skill/talent than a 10-fold difference.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not self-interested. I'm nothing but self-interested. But that doesn't mean my argument is wrong.

I do agree with your Bismarck quote: it's important to throw crumbs. I would say one of the highest min wages (PPP wise and nominal wise) is a sufficient crumb, as is one of the world's more progressive systems of in-kind benefits and welfare transfers.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 08:01:58 PM by Bloop Bloop »

catprog

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #330 on: July 09, 2019, 03:53:24 AM »
I am more thinking three good surgeons working 30 hours a week instead of one excellent surgeon working 60 hours.

LonerMatt

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #331 on: August 08, 2019, 05:42:53 PM »
Keep fighting the good fight Kyle and Cat.

Can't believe there's numptees who think progressive tax is theft, what a joke! Probably happy kicking poor people when they are down and bitching about people wanting newstart to be lowered, probably clapped as single mother pensions were curtailed and love that the NDIS isn't that generous. Great people! Good morals! Excellent convictions back up by superlative social outlooks.

Morrison and his ilk (represented on this board too, unfortunately) represent a cynicism in the way that they vote and espouse for policies that wind back broad social programs and the safety net, then offer poorer people a way to increase their take home (via tax cuts) which then reduces our ability to maintain effective social programs, cycle repeats. It's a disgusting mix of 'shut up and take it' mixed with a predator's view of society and a grinning reaper watching the poorer people buying the lies that the rich feed them.

That anyone in QLD thinks Adani or mining is a pathway to jobs for the underskilled and continually unemployed demonstrates how coyly the rich have sold their message of false prosperity in a rapidly automating field, in a dying industry that's demonstrably killing the world.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #332 on: August 08, 2019, 05:59:20 PM »
\
Can't believe there's numptees who think progressive tax is theft, what a joke!
It's well-known that people think they'd be happy if they had 10-20% more income than they do now, regardless of whether they're getting $37k or $37 million. Likewise, most people are like Bloop - they think tax should progress, but at a bracket or two ahead of their own. "The well-off should pay! Of course, me, I'm not well-off, I mean everyone richer than me..." This applies whether the person is getting $37k or $370k.

Bloop's just a blatant and outspoken example of it. But most people think this way. There's a wonderful book that talks about this, noting that the difference between dictators and democratic leaders is how many people they have to bribe - er, help - to remain in power. It's commonly thought that making a country wealthier makes people better off, and of course it's not true. Honduras, the book notes, has a per capita GDP of $4k and 90% of the people have access to clean drinking water, while Equatorial Guinea with $37k manages 40% or so. Quite simply, EG's leaders can safely ignore most of the people. In a dictatorship, $100 million of government money need only be shared with 100 or so people who really matter, giving them $1 million each, while in a democracy, it has to be shared with 100,000 people, giving them $1,000 each, so that benefits are more evenly distributed.

In a country like Australia, politicians would dearly like to be able to ignore large chunks of the population, but as we have compulsory voting and a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government, they can't. And so benefits are more evenly distributed. The wealthy and politicians, of course, are always trying to minimise the influence of voters generally, thus allowing concentration of media and other industries - because it's easier to bribe 100 people than 100,000, it's easier to get 3 media moguls on side than 300.

Once you understand that everyone is self-interested and the difference between dictators and democrats is merely how many backs they have to scratch, things become clearer, and you can chuckle a bit at the elaborate rationalisations people have for their self-interest.

https://www.bookdepository.com/Dictators-Handbook-Bruce-Bueno-De-Mesquita/9781610391849

Of course, I don't pretend to be above all this. It's simply that because I have been a member of more than one social class in my life, I have some perspective on things. If you've always been poor or always been well-off, your perspective will be limited. I don't think Bloop's dad was a street sweeper.

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #333 on: August 08, 2019, 06:09:35 PM »
Numptee, eh ?  Charming talk.

Never fails how to amaze me how the compassionate left are happy to throw insults around to those that they deem less enlighened.

LonerMatt

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #334 on: August 08, 2019, 06:39:10 PM »
Numptee, eh ?  Charming talk.

Never fails how to amaze me how the compassionate left are happy to throw insults around to those that they deem less enlighened.

1. You consider numptee an insult?
2. When did I describe myself as compassionate?
3. This is largely an obnoxious tactic whereby someone who is generally doing the right thing and building a better world is diminished because they are calling a spade a spade. There's a couple of politicians gleeful that they slashed the NDIS when it was implemented so that it helps their messaging, there's some CEOs cheery that they improved the bottom line by dumping shit in PNG. I'm not going to pretend these people are good, and I'm not going to accept that I'm a worse person for calling shitheads shitheads. If they don't like it they can become better people, it's not hard.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 06:48:13 PM by LonerMatt »

LonerMatt

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #335 on: August 08, 2019, 06:45:13 PM »
Once you understand that everyone is self-interested and the difference between dictators and democrats is merely how many backs they have to scratch, things become clearer, and you can chuckle a bit at the elaborate rationalisations people have for their self-interest.

Of course, I don't pretend to be above all this. It's simply that because I have been a member of more than one social class in my life, I have some perspective on things. If you've always been poor or always been well-off, your perspective will be limited. I don't think Bloop's dad was a street sweeper.

While a helpful rhetorical/analytic device I worry that this is too reductive and, therefore, cynical in its outlook. I think the logical conclusion is that eventually the powerful will have developed a way to offer as little as possible by the smallest margin to retain power in a gamed system (of which I think the US is an extremely pertinent example with such black and white gerry mandering).

Of course we all have elements of self interest, but there are also elements of service, love, social value, etc, that are present. Your point about parents, which glib, is actually something I'd use to add to your point: since the majority of parents put their self interest behind something else there is, present in all of our lives, something that defies cynicism and reductionism and affirms, every fucking generation, that there's more going on that 'how can I get more for myself'.

However, I'd largely find myself agreeing that we are good at deceiving ourselves about our self interest and also generally quite bad at empathising with people we are removed from. My perspective shifted dramatically when I started working with the lowest socio-economic rung in Australia and I have no compassion for leaders acting on selfishness and shoring up their misguided voter base by digging their boots into people who are easy targets but who also rely on social generosity to not suffer/die.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 06:49:01 PM by LonerMatt »

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #336 on: August 08, 2019, 06:53:29 PM »
Keep fighting the good fight Kyle and Cat.

Can't believe there's numptees who think progressive tax is theft, what a joke! Probably happy kicking poor people when they are down and bitching about people wanting newstart to be lowered, probably clapped as single mother pensions were curtailed and love that the NDIS isn't that generous. Great people! Good morals! Excellent convictions back up by superlative social outlooks.

Morrison and his ilk (represented on this board too, unfortunately) represent a cynicism in the way that they vote and espouse for policies that wind back broad social programs and the safety net, then offer poorer people a way to increase their take home (via tax cuts) which then reduces our ability to maintain effective social programs, cycle repeats. It's a disgusting mix of 'shut up and take it' mixed with a predator's view of society and a grinning reaper watching the poorer people buying the lies that the rich feed them.

That anyone in QLD thinks Adani or mining is a pathway to jobs for the underskilled and continually unemployed demonstrates how coyly the rich have sold their message of false prosperity in a rapidly automating field, in a dying industry that's demonstrably killing the world.

I don't appreciate the character assassination. I very rarely kick people these days, as I have a foot injury, so you should retract that statement.

LonerMatt

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #337 on: August 08, 2019, 07:06:45 PM »
You're actively espousing policies that greatly harm poor people while freeing up the rich. Given how much harder life is when one is poor I'm perfectly OK with saying you kicking poor people when they are down (it is, after all, a metaphor), maybe I could modify it to say 'hoping to' or 'intending to' but that's not much better.

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #338 on: August 08, 2019, 08:34:07 PM »
I think this is getting into a discussion that is against forum rules. We are not here to vilify one another.

All of us have some views that others find obnoxious at times, but we are all here to learn from one another. Itís also interesting that at other times the same people can express views that are very much in line with our own. I find I learn as much, or more, from those whose views I do not always agree with.

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #339 on: August 08, 2019, 09:45:50 PM »
I think this is getting into a discussion that is against forum rules. We are not here to vilify one another.

All of us have some views that others find obnoxious at times, but we are all here to learn from one another. Itís also interesting that at other times the same people can express views that are very much in line with our own. I find I learn as much, or more, from those whose views I do not always agree with.

Thanks deborah.  I agree with you (mostly)...   :)

I was reading this and it made me think of another aspect of Scott Morrison and why the "born again" Christian movement, for want of a better description of evangelical religion in Australia, tends to follow the Liberal Party rather than Labor.

It has puzzled me for many years, as I would have thought that anyone who takes their (christian) religion seriously would be willing to help those less needy.  But often the right of politics does not appear to be as interested in helping the needy of society.

I have some ideas, but I would be interested in others thoughts?

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #340 on: August 08, 2019, 10:09:16 PM »
I think that religion probably tends (in its teachings) towards progressive ideals. However, as you say, in practice, organised religion mostly veers hard-right.

My best guesses:

- Religion is great at creating an in-group vs an out-group. Believers vs non-believers. Sinners and the blessed. Etc.

- Christian teachings still lean towards having a nuclear, stable family group. In recent times, feminism and other movements have threatened the implicit social hierarchy in which the nuclear family (with the man as breadwinner) is at the top of the totem pole. Thus anyone who feels threatened by that sort of change is likely to also have conservative beliefs.

- Organised religion, almost by definition, has to have some prescriptive rules of behaviour - again creating in-groups. It's easy to go from prescriptive rules to cause-and-effect inferences (e.g., he didn't have a pay rise because he wasn't blessed enough. Or something like that.) That echoes the cause-and-effect that conservative economics rallies around, e.g. he didn't get a pay rise because he didn't work hard enough.

I'm a hardcore atheist so the above might be completely wrong. I don't attend church but I have a few friends who are quite evangelical.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 10:11:21 PM by Bloop Bloop »

mjr

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #341 on: August 08, 2019, 11:43:32 PM »
But often the right of politics does not appear to be as interested in helping the needy of society.

There's no question that the right/conservative branch of politics doesn't appear as interested as the left.  I'd say that the left focusses too much on helping people without consideration of effectiveness of the deployment of resources and the inevitable enabling of the small fraction of people that are happy to take from society.

But I wouldn't say that the left is completely blind to practicalities just as I disagree that the right doesn't care about helping those who need help.  The best compromise is, shockingly, usually somewhere in the centre.

As for posters who rail about un-caring policitians, the system keeping the masses clueless while it trods on the poor, 7 figure CEOs, swearing for the sake of it, calling people onoxious and shitheads, etc, etc - <yawn>.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #342 on: August 22, 2019, 03:48:32 AM »
But often the right of politics does not appear to be as interested in helping the needy of society.

There's no question that the right/conservative branch of politics doesn't appear as interested as the left.  I'd say that the left focusses too much on helping people without consideration of effectiveness of the deployment of resources and the inevitable enabling of the small fraction of people that are happy to take from society.

But I wouldn't say that the left is completely blind to practicalities just as I disagree that the right doesn't care about helping those who need help.  The best compromise is, shockingly, usually somewhere in the centre.

As for posters who rail about un-caring policitians, the system keeping the masses clueless while it trods on the poor, 7 figure CEOs, swearing for the sake of it, calling people onoxious and shitheads, etc, etc - <yawn>.

Agreed, and to expand a little I'd suggest the Right doesn't try and group people as helpless victims as the Left is want to do. The Right suggests that if you give everyone the right tools and skills then people can and should help themselves.

Unfortunately there's a subset of people who cannot help themselves (for whatever reason). It's this group that society should probably spend a little bit more on. Better to provide intensive support and rehab to the drug user before they commit armed robbery and murder someone to get their next high etc.

There is also a subset of people who do try and be productive members of society but have been aged out of the workforce and don't have the capital to spend on being an entrepreneur of the sharing economy. Neither the Left or Right has any solution for these people, other than "wait for the age pension".

It's really easy to say "just get a job". It's not that easy if you've only got $5 in your pocket and don't know how you'll pay next weeks' rent. None of us on this board have any understanding of the mental health impacts that entails.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-22/four-people-share-same-struggles-living-on-newstart/11424222

This was hard reading, apart from the musician who seemingly is choosing his lot in life.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #343 on: August 25, 2019, 03:17:34 PM »
The Australian government, eager as it is - regardless of party - to have enormous deficits, is most certainly not Mustachian. Now they wish to impose this behaviour on the rest of us.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-26/cash-ban-so-you-pay-the-bank-to-hold-your-money-what-imf-wants/11443646

If there are (eventually) negative savings rates, you won't be able to withdraw your money and hold it in cash. You'll of course be able to stick more in superannuation or other investments, but in an environment where there are negative savings rates, it seems unlikely there'll be great returns in shares, either. So the intent is to get you to spend, spend, spend!

In this way, the government takes its own financial mismanagement and tries to impose it on the rest of the economy.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #344 on: August 25, 2019, 03:33:29 PM »
The Australian government, eager as it is - regardless of party - to have enormous deficits, is most certainly not Mustachian. Now they wish to impose this behaviour on the rest of us.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-26/cash-ban-so-you-pay-the-bank-to-hold-your-money-what-imf-wants/11443646

If there are (eventually) negative savings rates, you won't be able to withdraw your money and hold it in cash. You'll of course be able to stick more in superannuation or other investments, but in an environment where there are negative savings rates, it seems unlikely there'll be great returns in shares, either. So the intent is to get you to spend, spend, spend!

In this way, the government takes its own financial mismanagement and tries to impose it on the rest of the economy.

It's ok. It's only criminals and taxpayer cheating Greek and Italian Nonnas who hide cash under the mattress to get the pension that are going to be affected ;)

Whether your money gets eroded via inflation or negative interests rates is a moot point. The value of your money has always been eroded over time, just this time its happening a little differently.

LonerMatt

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #345 on: August 25, 2019, 04:49:36 PM »
Sort of related, I was reading this piece (https://theconversation.com/vital-signs-economically-australia-is-at-risk-of-becoming-germany-and-not-in-a-good-way-122217) - about how Australia is looking like Germany economically.

I'm not knowledgeable about Germany and there's a lot about Federal economics I don't really grasp, but there were some good explainers like this:

"Thatís right: even for 30 years into the future, investors think its safer to lose money by parking funds with the German government than to try to make money by using them in other investments."

"Structurally balanced budgets are important, and thinking government debt doesnít matter is deeply misguided.

But this is the situation we face:

private demand is chronically weak

our physical infrastructure has not kept pace with population growth and modern needs

our social infrastructure (including all levels of education) is not up to standard

interest rate cuts are running out of puff

the government can borrow in its own currency, long-term, for close to nothing"

However, the article concludes that:

"Any government that wonít borrow and spend up big and smart in these circumstances is making a huge mistake Ė one for which we and our children will pay dearly."

What do you guys think? How is the economy doing? What are some of the weaknesses/gaps? What are some of the policy solutions?


Some other articles I've been reading (on the back of the Grattan Institute's report into Generational Wealth) have argued that:
- Younger people (<40) are paying more into social systems than people of the same age were in previous decades
- Older people (>45) are the net recipients of social systems, but are paying very little into them
- At the same time we're in a situation were an older person's net worth is 3-4x that of a younger person's AND there's been a demographic shift so that there are fewer young people to pay into systems to support old people
- There seems to be a consensus that taxing super @15%, increasing estate tax and ending negative gearing would be relevant shifts to rebalance things so that social systems remain healthy and support the old and the young

middo

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #346 on: August 25, 2019, 05:36:13 PM »
As far as Australia's economy is concerned, I have some concerns that we haven't really done anything significantly positive for the last 20 years.  The last major reforms were under Hawke/Keating, and since then we have really been living off the mining boom, and handing out money to those that don't really need it.  Howard gave the boom back to the baby boomers in middle class welfare.  Rudd/Gillard/Rudd tried to bring in a carbon tax, which would have been a reform, but got canned by Abbott. 

Currently, the Liberals have painted themselves into a corner where they cannot bear the thought of spending money on infrastructure if it means losing the surplus.  They have also given up any chance of significant changes to dividend imputation taxation, pension and superannuation changes that may be useful, by using these as political tools for short term political gain.

Until we can have a mature conversation about Australia's taxation system - all of it not just payg tax rates, we will continue to kick this can down the road.  Both sides of politics have been responsible for the current situation.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #347 on: August 25, 2019, 07:08:36 PM »
The Australian government, eager as it is - regardless of party - to have enormous deficits, is most certainly not Mustachian. Now they wish to impose this behaviour on the rest of us.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-26/cash-ban-so-you-pay-the-bank-to-hold-your-money-what-imf-wants/11443646

If there are (eventually) negative savings rates, you won't be able to withdraw your money and hold it in cash. You'll of course be able to stick more in superannuation or other investments, but in an environment where there are negative savings rates, it seems unlikely there'll be great returns in shares, either. So the intent is to get you to spend, spend, spend!

In this way, the government takes its own financial mismanagement and tries to impose it on the rest of the economy.

Spending is so overrated. The more money I have, the less I want to spend it, other than on the occasional indulgence, but that's rare. Most good things in life, like food, travel, and good times with friends, can be done on a relative budget.

I spent the same amount overall last year as I did when I first graduated and got a job. What's the point in buying stuff anyway? For the most part, it's all junk.

If consumers don't want to spend, that's a good thing, and should be encouraged. Bring on the recession we have to have!

PS if we have negative savings rates I know what I'll be doing...pumping it into NG property.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #348 on: August 26, 2019, 02:00:01 AM »
The Australian government, eager as it is - regardless of party - to have enormous deficits, is most certainly not Mustachian. Now they wish to impose this behaviour on the rest of us.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-26/cash-ban-so-you-pay-the-bank-to-hold-your-money-what-imf-wants/11443646

If there are (eventually) negative savings rates, you won't be able to withdraw your money and hold it in cash. You'll of course be able to stick more in superannuation or other investments, but in an environment where there are negative savings rates, it seems unlikely there'll be great returns in shares, either. So the intent is to get you to spend, spend, spend!

In this way, the government takes its own financial mismanagement and tries to impose it on the rest of the economy.

Spending is so overrated. The more money I have, the less I want to spend it, other than on the occasional indulgence, but that's rare. Most good things in life, like food, travel, and good times with friends, can be done on a relative budget.

I spent the same amount overall last year as I did when I first graduated and got a job. What's the point in buying stuff anyway? For the most part, it's all junk.

If consumers don't want to spend, that's a good thing, and should be encouraged. Bring on the recession we have to have!

PS if we have negative savings rates I know what I'll be doing...pumping it into NG property.

The negative gear will be quite small if your interest expenses are low. And your borrowing capacity is still quite limited these days.

Also not a great idea if you buy into an apartment block with cracks in it. Mascot Towers pretty much sums up Australia - a half arse job to make a quick buck and fuck everyone else.

marty998

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Re: #Auspol - Australia Votes 2019!
« Reply #349 on: August 26, 2019, 02:08:09 AM »
As far as Australia's economy is concerned, I have some concerns that we haven't really done anything significantly positive for the last 20 years.  The last major reforms were under Hawke/Keating, and since then we have really been living off the mining boom, and handing out money to those that don't really need it.  Howard gave the boom back to the baby boomers in middle class welfare.  Rudd/Gillard/Rudd tried to bring in a carbon tax, which would have been a reform, but got canned by Abbott. 

Currently, the Liberals have painted themselves into a corner where they cannot bear the thought of spending money on infrastructure if it means losing the surplus.  They have also given up any chance of significant changes to dividend imputation taxation, pension and superannuation changes that may be useful, by using these as political tools for short term political gain.

Until we can have a mature conversation about Australia's taxation system - all of it not just payg tax rates, we will continue to kick this can down the road.  Both sides of politics have been responsible for the current situation.

I was about to mention the GST, then I realised that was 20 years ago.


What do you guys think? How is the economy doing? What are some of the weaknesses/gaps? What are some of the policy solutions?

Some other articles I've been reading (on the back of the Grattan Institute's report into Generational Wealth) have argued that:
- Younger people (<40) are paying more into social systems than people of the same age were in previous decades
- Older people (>45) are the net recipients of social systems, but are paying very little into them
- At the same time we're in a situation were an older person's net worth is 3-4x that of a younger person's AND there's been a demographic shift so that there are fewer young people to pay into systems to support old people
- There seems to be a consensus that taxing super @15%, increasing estate tax and ending negative gearing would be relevant shifts to rebalance things so that social systems remain healthy and support the old and the young

The boomers will start dying off in droves over the next 10-15 years - many of them are approaching 70. Inheritances will be passed on and some of it spent, and so we may find that some of the problems of today will self correct.

The remainder will be invested and grown, thus further taking pressure off the social security system as more of Gen X is self funded for retirement - after all, they'll be inheriting when they hit their 50's.

I agree with taxing pension earnings at 15%. You shouldn't be totally exempt from income tax just for being old. There's no justification for it. Pay your share like everyone else.