Julie Novak is an IPA Fellow. She would “emancipate” Australians by cutting back on central government spending – which I think is good. If she were Prime Minister, she told Geraldine Doogue’s “Saturday Extra” on Radio National this morning, she’d let the local community look after the needs of those who were in difficulties of one sort or another, as once the local community used to. It’s not the role of a central government to do this, she said.
However, I can only give you a maximum mark of 50% on that one, Julie, because you’ve only covered half the ground.
If you want to relieve us of unnecessary government and taxes, Julie, you’ve got to educate yourself to the more than one-third of the economy that is our natural resource rents. IPA member and former Victorian Liberal Party politician, the late Morris Williams, understood this well, but it now looks as though knowledge of publicly-generated economic rent completely eludes current members of the IPA. In fact, it looks like the Institute has become sympathetic to rent-seekers. [!]
You could do worse than pay heed to one of Africa’s real leaders, Julie. Former President of Botswana Festus Mogae, mentioned to Geraldine Doogue on the same program as you this morning: “Mineral rights should vest in the State …. for the benefit of all.” I think this may have gone over Geraldine’s head, as it does over the IPA’s.
Botswana has done pretty well out of diamonds on the basis of acknowledging the people as owners, but when Botswana transitions out of mining it needs to see the rent of land–under private title–offers just as secure an income as the rent that flowed so readily from diamonds.
You see, Julie, Australia once built dams, reticulated water and sewerage, constructed roads and highways, supplied gas and electricity from the uplift in rent that the provision of this infrastructure gave to the community–through local government rates, State and Federal land taxes and natural resource rents–but now we think we know better, so we’ve wound these back or abolished them and began to tax labour and capital more highly instead.
We’ve privatised our natural monopolies so the likes of Gina Rinehart and other resource plutocrats–the 0.1%–can rip us all off.
So, Julie, you can earn up to another 50% in your marks if you show you understand how we might un-tax labour and capital.