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Fighting corruption in Australia


Bruce Tuncks
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There is a lot to do.

1. SUGAR....   This is one of the few things that the average taxpayer wants to see taxed more.

Why is it not? It causes a lot of pain and cost to the health budget.

2. IMMIGRATION...  the rewards are very unevenly shared, as is the cost. Why do we have grossly more immigration than anybody else?

3. DRUGS... There are smarter ways of fighting this scourge than we are using...  why is this?

 

I hope the corruption commission has lots of power, but things remain to be seen...  personally, I doubt that my 3 big things will get noticed.

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Posted (edited)

1. They'll only come and rip the sugar from my cold, dead hands!! I'll go down fighting for my sugar! The funny part is, I only take sugar with my tea, and rarely eat any kind of lollies or chocolates, and I only rarely eat honey.

 

The subtle part is the amount of sugar in processed foods. It's in a vast amount of breads (buns in particular), in nearly every form of dressing and sauce (tomato sauce contains vast amounts of sugar), and in all fast food.

But the real enemy is drinks. Go to a fridge in a cafe, lunchbar or deli shop, and the fridge is stacked with nothing but high-sugar content drinks. I've stopped buying drinks in shops because they stock all the drinks I detest.

 

2. Immigration is necessary for Australia to have the necessary workforce. But we need to be very selective on who we import, and unfortunately we have already imported a lot of the wrong people, as witnessed by the suburbs of SW Sydney.

 

3. I've often pointed out that the Govt should manufacture well-made recreational drugs, manufactured to a high standard, and issue them at low cost, along with important health and use advice, to anyone wanting a "hit".

The result would be the market for high priced illegal drugs would disappear overnight, and the crime gangs would immediately be deprived of their massive wealth, and would have to find something else to do.

I believe the penalties for illegal drug distribution and manufacturing need to be increased. Make it 20 years in jail for manufacturing and 10 years for distribution, and make them serve a full term.

Asset confiscation needs to be ramped up. Confiscate ALL the drug dealers assets, don't try to separate "honestly-earned" and "drug-money-earned" assets.

The criminals mix honest and dishonest earnings to ensure they can't get caught, so take the whole lot off them, and let them start from scratch again.

 

Penalties for corruption for those in positions of power and leadership should be doubled over ordinary person penalties.

We have a top public servant here in W.A. who was on a salary of about $400K a year, and he stole a "calculated" $27M of State money. No-one knows what he actually stole, and I'll wager the total was much higher.

The State wore the majority of the loss, they got very little back - and he got sentenced to 12 years. But he'll serve less than half that, because it's a "white collar crime" and "no-one got hurt".

The State should have taken every single asset he possessed, including his super, and made sure he only got out of jail as a penniless, decrepit old man. I'll wager he's hidden a pile of money somewhere.

 

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7518122/wa-public-servant-jailed-over-27m-theft/

 

Edited by onetrack
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2 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

 

2. IMMIGRATION...  the rewards are very unevenly shared, as is the cost. Why do we have grossly more immigration than anybody else?

 

Not sure where you get that idea Bruce - we're about 14th in the list, below Germany.  (See projected 2015-2020).

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

 

And that's based on 6.4/1000, but in 2022 the rate is 5.419/1000, so we're probably even further down the list.

https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/AUS/australia/net-migration#:~:text=The net migration rate for,a 3.84% decline from 2018.

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8 hours ago, onetrack said:

I'll wager he's hidden a pile of money somewhere.

 

If you are smart enough to filter away millions, you are smart enough to hide it.

 

You must remember that the Federal ICAC that everyone wants, and look like getting, will only deal with corruption in Public Office and Federal Public Service. It won't stop Party corruption 

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1 hour ago, facthunter said:

I do not agree with you last statement OME.

 

I definitely think that the Federal ICAC will have teeth like a Great White tiger. That's what the people called for. But the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was established in 1988 as an independent organisation to protect the public interest, prevent breaches of public trust and guide the conduct of public officials in the NSW public sector. It deals with everybody from the Premier to the lowliest employee. Corruption between commercial bodies can continue unabated as long as a Public Servant is not involved.

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We elect politicians who have never held anything but a political party job and who have no real experience of the business world. They pass laws and expect global corporations to follow them with regard to their expected aim.

But the global corporations have only one aim - profit. So they employ people with double-degrees in accountancy and law, to find enough loopholes in the legislation, to drive a Mack truck through.

 

The simple solution is for the Govt and ATO is to extract a percentage of the money generated by the project - then let the company figure out how to maximise their profit after that is paid.

Passing more and more laws trying to ensure global corporations pay their fair share of taxes is a futile exercise, it only gives the global corporations more loopholes.

 

Nissan Motor Co. generated $7.255B in sales in Australia in just 3 years, and only paid $476 in tax!! The tax laws for large corporations and big companies simply need a major overhaul.

 

https://michaelwest.com.au/nissan-motor-co-australia-pty-ltd/

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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I think what you're effectively referring to is what the Howard government got rid of - a wholesale sales tax - sort of... One has to be careful when applying this. Say, the tax is 25% of revenue. It is in effect something like a 20% sales tax (maybe a bot less.. I am too tired to do the calcs.. In my old local in London after a long day and a 3am start with not too much sleep last night - everything up to the not too much sleep is normal on a Tuesday for me).

 

The problem I have with this is the compounding nature of it. Competition will keep it as low as possible, but consider this:

Primary producer: I am running as cheap as I can; For every $ I charge, I have to give $0.25 to the government Therefore, my prices go up c. 20% to cover it.

Secondary Producer I am running as cheap as I can; For every $ I charge, I have to give $0.25 to the government Therefore, my prices go up c. 20% to cover it

Tertiary Business I am running as cheap as I can; For every $ I charge, I have to give $0.25 to the government Therefore, my prices go up c. 20% to cover it

 

The difference between this and the wholesale sales tax of old (or GST of new), is I can;t deduct the input taxes (nor the legitimate expenses). So, it results in a compounding effect of the tax (i.e. secondary producer is now paying tax on the tax that was paid by the primary producer, tertiary producer is paying tax on the tax paid by the primary producer and the tax paid by the secondary producers, which includes a portion of the tac paid on the tax paid by the primary producer, etc).

 

If there are more middle men in the chain, as well as paying taxes in the taxes  of other suppliers (transport, insurance, power, light, etc).. you can see the potential for the cost to be extremely high by the time it gets to the consumer.

 

At least the government allowed you to take goods from your suppliers free of the wholesale tax that would have been paid by the supplier (yes, I had a VS number or whatever it was.. maybe I am thinking of my VS Commodore).

 

I think what we need is some form of imputation scheme.. where, the cost of supplies are benchmarked to a normal cost, and where they deviate by say more than -.25 standard deviations and the supplier was off shore, then, too bad, you are only allowed to claim up to what was the value of the median + 0.25 standard deviations. That would sort the what out from the chaff, and give employment to a raft of public servants as well.. and no doubt, absolutely require a decent ICAC.

 

[edit] and a re-invigorated auditor general.. which is needed anyway.. as an ICAC won't handle simple incompetence.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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The U K made a new tax that was/is applied the ' domestic / export goods.

Even R R nearly went belly up up with that crazy tax.

R R airbus motor has lots of 'domestically ' made parts ! Before it becomes an ' export goods '.

spacesailor

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Now we're back to the good ol' days of "jobs for the boys". NSW Premier Dom Perrotet has just announced that John Barilaro is being appointed as US Envoy for Trade - on $400,000 annual salary, FFS!!

What is Barilaro supposed to be doing as a trade envoy that makes the job worth $400K?? These people definitely live on some other planet when it comes to renumeration.

This is the same mob decrying a small increase in the minimum wage, that wasn't even enough to keep up with inflation.

 

It's good to see Labor Opposition leader Chris Minns savaging Perrotet and the Libs/Nats over this oh-so-obvious, "job for a good mate".

I like the way he lays into Perrotet, who expects us to believe that a "world-wide search" for the best person for the job, ended up deciding that John Barilaro was the exact bloke for the job! What a crock of s***!

 

Friendlyjordies, the comedian who had it in for Barilaro, and who lost his defamation case against him, should appeal against the decision - because its starting to look like everything he said about Barilaro, was right.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-18/nsw-premier-perrottet-defends-john-barilaro-us-trade-envoy-job/101164950

 

Edited by onetrack
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Makes my blood boil. This bloke has basically been found out to be a complete corrrupt arsehole and he is rewarded. By, the way, why the F! does any state need a trade envoy to another country? Shouldn't that lay at the federal/national goverment? It's bad enough private "enterprise" pick up these pricks - like the former NSW police commissioner going to PWC to help selll into NSW police I guess, but using the public kitty. Maybe they shoudl pay him a commission on the new business he brings to NSW owned primary and secondary industries without bypassing the laws he bypassed as deputy premier. He would probably end up owing the state in that case.

 

I subscsribe to FriendlyJordies YT channel - can't want for that instalment.

 

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, has a good article in the Guardian, basically saying that all cryptocurrencies are merely Ponzi schemes ....

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2022/jun/19/the-crypto-crash-all-ponzi-schemes-topple-eventually

 

And now - the lawyers will be in on the deal, too - as people who have lost large sums - but who still have large amounts of money behind them - are starting to sue the cryptocurrency operators.

Naturally, the courts will now have to find whether definitions in law, fit the cryptocurrency operations. We live in interesting times, as the old Chinese saying goes.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jun/18/cryptocurrency-collapse-bitcoin-kim-kardashian-floyd-mayweather

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There is no question that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have lost their $ value significantly over the last couple of months. And, yes, they are definitely unregulated and in the economy's wild west. But, for the main, I don't think bitcoin (at least) is in itself a ponzi scheme - yet. There is a finite number of bitcoins, which are mined by solviong complex mathematical problems - the closer the mining the lot of them, the harder the problems become. It is not regulated by a recognised nation, but it is sort of self-regulated as a currency. However, one area where it is not regulated enough is traceability. In theory, blockchain, the technology all cryptos use, is traceable, because, it is effectively a distributed ledger. Therefore, there has to be a transfer of coins from one wallet to another in the ledger. The problem is, the ledger has individual transactions - a buy transaction and a sell transaction; and there is no identifier to link the two. So, in a world where there a millions of transactions a day, there will be many corresponding buys and sells of the same amount within the day and at roughly the same time; marrying up where a specific coin went will be very difficult. This is precisely why crims love it. In addition, you loise your wallet or the keys to your wallet, the coins are lost forever. That is one of the attractions - even if the 21m bitcoins are mined, they will naturally diminish over time. Here is an example: https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/man-offers-local-government-71-million-to-help-him-find-drive-containing-7-500-bitcoin.267201/

 

The venues, aka exchanges, and the bank are definitely unregulated. The marketing, etc., is also unregulated. However, this should be known by people who are putting their money into it - in other words, buyer beware. When it started rising to what was giddy heights of a few thousand dollars/coin, people started piling into it. This created a frenzy, and a cottage financial services industry, where once the Chicago Mercantile Exchange admitted Bitcoin fuitures, it provided a sort of legitimacy. In fact, Bitcoin futures are a financial derivative, and are regulated by the CFTC: https://www.cmegroup.com/markets/cryptocurrencies/bitcoin/bitcoin.contractSpecs.html. If anyone was fraudently induced into purchasing futures, or there was market manipulation such as pump and dump/trash and cash, then the people who did it would be liable.

 

I don't know too much about other cryptos, but the problem with the lack of regulation around Bitcoin is not the currency itself - as long as the fella who started it doesn't issue more, or there is no bug in the bticoin mine that starts printing more coins. This article provides some bacground: https://www.investopedia.com/tech/what-happens-bitcoin-after-21-million-mined/. With the exception of the potential for miners to collude, it is probably a better regulated currency than many national currencies. The issue of regulation is around the secondary market - the buying/selling of bitcoins - that is where it is a wild west, and the financial regulators should have been on it long ago.

 

So, as the coin gathered popularity, people piled in. This drove the price up, attracted the scammers (of which celebs who endorsed it) are included, which was a massive pump - without the dunp. The exchanges are not regulated so they didn't have to have the controls to regulator, nor guarantee cash/accounts as custodians or trustees. If you were scammed (there was one person over here that had malware that recongnised when he logged onto coinbase and stole the lot), you have no recourse. In that way it is an unregulated ponzi-type market, but I am still lnto sure the currency itself is a ponzi scheme.

 

This was a case of an over-hyped market; llike the railways in the 1800s, and the dot com boom in the earlly 2000s. I am sure some of the cryptos are ponzis, but my guess is Bitcoin is here to stay, like some of the railways and some of the dot com companies. Bitcoin itself is a currency and therefore doesn't meet the Howe test - it fails on the fourth, which is someone (or something) has to work to make profit and increase the value - that is probably the most important thing about the definition of a finanical security. It has seen a correction - a massive one. What drives the value of it? Human perception - and when you think about it, except for food, clothing, and shelter, just about everything else is driven by what humans pereceive the value to be.

 

I haven't invested in it as I don't understand the risks that can be measured and managed (or bought/sold on). Yes, people have bought into it on celeb endorsements, but at what point do we say, especially for investing, either leave it to the professionals, or you have to do your own research, especially, if you are going to sink your life savings/super/pension into it? Or, do we breed a generation of lemings aho can sue because someone told them it was a good idea? Yes, it sounds awfulllly right wing of me, but, where is the line that people take their own responsibillity? If there was genuine market abuse, then go for it, but if people pile in on the words of a celeb without doing their research, well, a), it is a a failing of our education system; or b) they deserve it...

 

 

 

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Crypto is like mining gold to put in a vault. But mining gold injects all the costs into the community for supplies, employment etc. if someone spends $400m on a gold mine that fails, what has society lost? Not much, all that money was received by someone for goods and services. Crypto just flushed it down a toilet.

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I'm not sure I appreciate the logic. I get the idea that because it is physically mined somewhere that someone is getting paid.. but that has little, if anything to do with the price of gold, and whether or not gold, or Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme. And when people are buying and selling the stuff on an exchange, the gold could come from anywhere, so it may be South African, Russian, US, etc. It is not necessarily local. In fact, from memory, the global gold price is quoted as the closing price on the London Metals Exchange - and I don't think there is much gold mining in the UK.   And, let's not forget, at least larger mining operations are becoming more and more automated, so less and less people are being paid.

 

Bitcoin mining takes inordinate amount of processing power and electricity, as well as quants and prorgrammers who are paid a bucketful to come up with algos to mine it. Then, there is the design and manufacture of computer and graphics boards (they use the GPUs in graphics cards as they have true parallel processing) and the engineers, techs, etc, at the power stations that supply the insatiable amount of electricity required, contribute. Again, the cost is not relative to the price, but to say there is no local input is a little off with reality.

 

An Aussie taking a position on a metals exchange in gold doesn't help any more than the same Aussie taking a position in bitcoin, [edit] unless they ensure they take a position in Aussie gold.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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As I understand it, most of the cost in mining crypto is electricity. With all the negative aspects for climate change alarmists. Most of the cost in gold mining is still wages and supplies, the cost of power is typically 5% of total. 

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I remember a big scam with bitcoin, but I don't know the details. It always seemed to me that those behind the scheme could "obviously" know how to print money for themselves, but this may not be so.

In the meantime, is there any currency in the world backed by gold, as ours once was?

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I think that World trade is based on the US dollar, and that looks a bit shaky at the moment. But the value of currency is only what the users of it think it is worth in comparison to the value of goods and services it is procuring. How many things have you seen marked at some price, but in your mind are not worth two bob?

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There's no country in the world left with its currency backed by gold. I think Switzerland was the last to go off the Gold Standard, about 20 years ago.

Tying your countrys currency to a set, fixed value, standard? What a load of economic hogwash! Gold is a barbarous relic, didn't you know?

Far better to vary the value of your currency on a daily basis, it keeps the plebs confused, gives leaders vastly increased levels of power, and enables the global currency traders to make a killing every day.

 

I can recall a quote from one clever bloke who said - "300 global economists have declared gold to be a barbarous relic, with no future in any countrys monetary system. All they have to do, is convince 6 billion people worldwide, that the economists are right, and the 6B people in the world who still hold onto gold, are wrong."

 

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