The federal Treasurer was on 3AW this morning with Neil Mitchell. Here are some of his gems:
“Spend up for Christmas.”
“Tomorrow will be better.” (“What do you mean tomorrow will be better?”)
“Things will be better next year, and even better the year after.”
Sorry, Joe, but invocations like this are no replacement for urgent tax reform along the lines recommended by the Henry Tax Review.
But you actually celebrate the fact that you’re against a mining tax and an all-in land tax which would permit us to replace 120 counter-productive taxes, don’t you?
So, you’re left mouthing this sort of nonsense to the public, eh?
New State government in Victoria, eh? We’re really turning governments over, n’est-pas? Probably too much to expect they’ll be able to kick goals when they’re just as far away as ever from funding a big infrastructure program from the uplift in value it will bring. (Doesn’t that mean more taxes, or debt – or both?)
For that matter, will Tony Abbott’s $3bn for the East-West Link still be available for other capital works if new premier Dan Andrews cancels the project ?
And the feds are still wrestling with the last budget just as the new one is beginning to emerge over the horizon.
Welcome to new-politics-Oz: the morass.
And now the ‘silly season’ is upon us, too?
There are sloppy definitions of rent-seeking, which quote the American Gordon Tullock as having originated the term in 1967.
However Tullock’s lobbyists who seek political benefits for themselves at the expense of others may be crooks and thieves, but they’re not rent-seekers in the most strict sense.
Australian economist-journalist Ross Gittens incorporated the lesser meaning earlier this year when he suggested in an article that Australia has now become a nation of rent-seekers. However, there is a more particular (and accurate) use of “rent-seeking” that has not been debauched by modern economists and legalists.
The purest form of rent-seeking is the private taking of a nation’s natural resource rents that, owned by the community as a whole, ought to be captured by the community as a whole.
This may be done by using the rents for revenue (instead of arbitrary taxation), delivering a universal basic income – or a combination of both.
The failure to publicly capture land and natural resource rents is the most substantial form of theft in civil society, a fundamental breach of human rights which, leading to vast wealth disparities, is to be condemned and put right.
Don’t let economists–who try to hide the extent of natural resource rents–confuse you with lesser forms of rent-seeking.
Curiously, the real estate lobby will not acknowledge the existence of real estate bubbles until after they have burst. It employs the “shortage of land” argument, often also adopted by economists, to explain rapidly-escalating land prices. Rarely is the more obvious case put that land prices are simply high because of inadequate public capture of site rents – or that land prices represent the private capitalisation of land rent remaining uncaptured by governments. – Bryan Kavanagh
Submission 38 to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services says it like it is. The FIRE sector IS crooked, led by banks that have been creating mortgage money as if there is no tomorrow. It can never all be repaid of course. Do financial services standards need to be reformed at the top?
Answer the question, jerks!
Somehow I believe we’ll get much the same damp squib we got from the Standing Committee on Economics Report on Foreign Investment in Real Estate. [See previous post.]
They can’t blow the whistle, you see? They’re the new breed of politician who believe it’s all about “maintaining confidence” – at least, until all the criminal facts explode in their faces.
“We were only doing our job!” Yeah. I’ve heard that one somewhere before, too!
Bank CEOs are getting paid millions to perpetrate fraud.
“We have learned a lesson. This will never happen again.” – ANZ boss Don Mercer, 1992
Kelly O’Dwyer’s committee looking into foreign property investment in Australia has genuflected to all the property urgers and touts and ignored one critical fact: we have years and years of supply of suitably-zoned land in Australia. There is absolutely no shortage of supply. There are hold-outs and drip-feeders pushing up prices, however.
Why not let both foreigners and all locals pay a holding charge, a land tax, as recommended by The Henry Tax Review and watch the supposed “shortage” of supply disappear instantly?
The other aspect of public capture of the rent of land, of course, is that the more is taken publicly, there’s less to be privately capitalised into higher prices. Yes, that’s correct, Kelly, a land tax keeps a lid on escalating property values because it’s the land that increases in price, not the improvements – foreign investors or otherwise.
Your committee missed the need for greater capture of publicly-generated land values, Kelly?
That amounts to a whitewash. Shame!