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Post Industrial Australia


Bruce Tuncks
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How about we upped the dole to be near the aged pension and gave it to everybody, millionaires and all. Then all wages and salaries would be dropped by this amount so the recipient would notice no change. But the employer would notice a lot lower wages bill.

Then farmers and small operators could afford to employ people, after all they ( the workers ) would just be working for pocket-money.

This is not really a new idea, the aborigines have always done it.

Can't afford it? I disagree.

One of the things we would have to do would be to build more affordable houses like they had 50 years ago, so that those who chose not to work could afford housing.

The non-workers would not need to have cars or overseas holidays. But there are plenty of great things they could do instead.

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Theoretically, that idea has some merit, but our modern society has been built on the premise that reward is the incentive, and the most convenient reward is money. That's why we begrudge supporting lazy people with social security payments, when the reason for those payments is to support people while they seek out employment. You don't begrudge paying that money to a person who has been employed, but lost the employment through no fault of their own, and who is actively seeking re-employment.

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Every day we hear on the media, that this or that group of people should get a handout from the government. That is the reason that we have taxes. Even those who are dead against taxes are quick to say the government should be paying for this or that.

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There was a time when the old age pension was means-test free. My uncle Bert was a millionaire ( not that you would know ) and he got it by being exactly the right age... he was always lucky like that. But yes there were complaints and the means test was sort of brought back.

 

So what if taxes have to go up? I reckon the GST has to anyway. What matters is how much is produced, and wages would be very low under my proposal, so there is every reason to expect lots of activity.

Even here on the farm, we would employ more and produce more. Flying lessons would be cheaper too since the instructor would already have a small "wage".

 

They are already doing this in Iceland, and here in Australia, the aborigines have been doing it for about 50 years.

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The GST is a blunt instrument that takes no account of ability to be able to pay and that primarily taxes the worse off who spend all of their income and don't have a exempt number . It also makes many people a tax collector and heaps of paperwork .When i'm Da King I will abolish it and have a basic honest state run bank you can trust with your money and borrow from on a minimum mark up. No CASHLESS economy either. where your identity gets stolen and you spend thousands of dollars overseas when you are actually still here. Nev

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Remember Hewson saying GST stood for " Goodby Seven Taxes"? A mate of mine said how they would soon forget that, and he was right.

But I still think its a good tax in that even rich people have to pay it... well some of it. Better than some other taxes.

Yes I know that it's not progressive and impacts poor people harder than the rich. But fines do the same.

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I like the Singapore idea were you pay the governments superannuation, but when married you get a house loan through that same institution.

 

Bruce. the rich buy wholesale, before that GST is put on. most have a NB file number to offset ANY tax payed.

 

spacesailor

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The GST goes up automaticly, because as the price of things go up so does 10% of it. no reason to raise the percentage. Note that GST goes on top of other government charges. Tax on tax practicly.

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Note that GST goes on top of other government charges. Tax on tax practicly.

A good example is importing goods. The government charges you customs duty, then 10% GST on that duty they charge you. They consider charging customs duty to be a service they provide you. It's against the constitution to tax a tax, but legal to tax a duty or excise.

Edited by Guest
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Yes it's arguably a tax on a tax, no matter how you spin it. What's the point of taxing people who are already destitute? They pay offsets, but then have the argument that they are then a bigger drain on the rest of society thrown back at them in the next austerity budget. The taxes that were meant to disappear didn't. The growing gap between the well off and the rest is a problem all over the world. Australia is a RICH country we are constantly told but we have a growing homeless and partly employed section of society and lower income wages etc not growing with the rest, and too big a reliance on "easy" CREDIT. Graduates from University have a giant debt over their heads as they look for the (promised) but non existent jobs. they studied to get. Nev

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AND a Throw away workforce .

Causual jobs, are not good for anyone. Train today then dUmp them tomorrow.

Not even the curtacey of a goodbye & thanks for your effort.

Just an SMS to your phone saying " don,t want you anymore, your unemployed now ".

No wonder people don,t want that kind of work.

spacesailor

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I hear today on the media that employers are happily surprised that working from home has not caused a drop in output. They said that there is a greater trust now between employers and employees. I can't see that applying to miners. For years they were X rayed to check for black lung disease and the union was saying that the disease was a problem and the employers were saying the X rays were proving it was not a problem. Turns out that nobody was looking at the X Rays and we now have a lot of sick miners. Don't trust a big employer, especially if his mouthpiece is an ex politician.

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... build more affordable houses like they had 50 years ago, so that those who chose not to work could afford housing...

Bruce I'm sure many will support this idea, but experience tells me that any social engineering must always dial in INCENTIVE. I've seen generations of people trash the houses built for them. Go for a drive in any town or city and the rentals and public housing are too often distinguished by overgrown lawns, rubbish and car wrecks.

 

Yonks ago we helped Habitat for Humanity build a couple of houses for people on low incomes. The homeowner had to contribute a considerable amount of "sweat equity". As a result, they tend to value the finished product far more than those simply given a house.

Edited by Old Koreelah
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The world is slowly but surely moving toward making humans redundant for most productive activities - this truly massive social change to the concept of a "living wage" or monetary payment as a reward for service rendered, is going to have to be radically rethought.

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  • 2 months later...

The news tonight said how the government can print money. This is a counter-intuitive idea, and the world history inflation events are used to "prove" that it can't be done.

The truth is that inflation only happens when too much money chases too few goods. If goods are plentiful  there is no reason for inflation, and well-directed money can cause the supply of goods to grow more than the money that was injected, making the whole thing deflationary.

As I said, this is counter intuitive. It is also against puritanism, the superstition which has ruled us for ever.

But us lot can  cope with non-intuitive ideas. After all, aircraft and bicycles are counter-intuitive too, which is why they took so long to invent.

I reckon this means that we could offer a living wage to everybody whether they worked or not. Those who worked would get wages plus their living pension.

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Old K, I agree about people trashing stuff they are just given, and I agree that you need incentives and punishments to keep the streets looking good.

I'm sure we could think of some ways to do this. But the existence of ungrateful ferals doesn't change the argument.   

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34 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

the government can print money. This is a counter-intuitive idea, and the world history inflation events are used to "prove" that it can't be done.

Printing of pieces of paper, which we call "money", without something of value to back the "worth" represented by the pieces of paper on lead to hyperinflation as happened in the German Weimar Republic of he 1920's and has happened in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1960's.

 

It used to be that paper money, a currency note, was a contract between the issuer and the recipient. It was a promisory note. A promissory note is a financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party (the note's issuer or maker) to pay another party (the note's payee) a definite sum of money, either on demand or at a specified future date. Nowadays, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. It used to be that a currency note contained a promise from the government to exchange the note for gold to the face value of teh note

 

Fiat money is a currency (a medium of exchange) established as money, often by government regulation, but that does not have intrinsic value, a value independent of the nominal value, such as a precious metal might have. Fiat money does not have use value (inherent utility, such as a cow or beaver pelt might have), and has value only because a government maintains its value, or because parties engaging in exchange agree on its value. We agree that a printed piece of paper represents the amount of money indicated by words and numbers printed on it, or that a piece of metal represents a specific amount of money. 

 

 

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It's interesting that every time there is economic upset in the world (terrorism, threats of major war, oil price surges, financial and share market collapses - and now, a pandemic) - people rush to gold to try and preserve value in their finances.

Gold is now at around $2600 oz - a price that would have seemed incredible, only 4 or 5 years ago. In mid-2015, gold was at $1500 an oz. In January 2019 it was around $1800 an oz. So, in the last 18 mths, the gold price has gone up around 44%.

 

That's not a bad increase in value for something that all economists, and bankers, and world leaders, call "a barbarous relic" of any "civilised, modern", monetary system.

As has been said, by wiser men than I - "About 700 economists, bankers, and world leaders, refer to gold as a 'barbarous relic', and say it has no place in storing value in a modern world. The simple problem is, they have yet to convince 7 billion people, they are right".

Edited by onetrack
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This pandemic has shown that fiat money (paper money and coinage) have reduced usefulness in a digital world. Many retailers posted signs during the early days of the situation asking customers to use 'contactless' methods of payment. That means that where we used to pay with fiat money, we now pay with binary digits. Have you stopped carrying money in your wallet, and only carry a credit card?

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That's right OME. Most money only exists as binary pulses in a computer.

I like the term fiat money. 

I reckon a farm is a bit like a country. Imagine you gave your employees  chits for doing chores and then you charged them chits for treats like riding the horses or picking fruit .

There is no reason for inflation of chits as long as you produced treats to match.  The whole farm could work better than a no chit farm.. And yes the chits are only bits of paper, fiat money as you say.

 

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I stopped carrying around cash about a year ago.  Not only do I not carry cash, since the  beginning of this year  I no longer carry a wallet. I have my phone in a leather case and only the few cards I need. My wallet had become ridiculous.  I started to realize that most of the stuff  i carry is unnecessary.  For years my trousers have always worn out at the back pocket, so this is a bit of a win.   The downside is 40 plus years carrying a wallet it took a while not to every so often, whilst out, to pat myself down and have a little panic attack when discovering my back pocket was empty.

 

No doubt at any moment someone will post here about the fact that there is a cost to digital transactions and this is true however the cost is minimal and it must be remembered that any the cost is not for nothing but is a service performed for me.  I no longer have to go to the bank, although my mother bless her is sending us some money every few months because she want us to have some of our inheritance whilst she is still here. My mother is not comfortable with more modern methods so she sends a check.  We can deposit a check online by taking a picture with my phone but the success rate is low. This means a trip to the bank. 

 

I think I mentioned this last time this subject was discussed. A couple of my music students used to insist on paying by cash. Because I don't really use cash I would throw it into my desk draw. I have I think around $750 in cash that has been there for ages, I must get around to spending it or banking it.

 

Whilst there are some disadvantages to digital money there are also many advantages.

  

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