GONSKI

Of course the Gonski Review of the Australian education system found “school performance has slipped over the past decade”.  It undoubtedly has gone backwards.

It’s clearly also slipped off the educational radar that previous hardworking generations of (far fewer) Australians managed to build dams, highways, bridges and ports from the uplift in values capital works gave to their land values.

In this brave new “post industrial” era, however, our education system and think tanks (the likes of the Institute of Public Affairs) believe it’s quite OK for Australia’s publicly-generated land rents to be delivered to corporate ‘entrepreneurs’.

Curiously, now that we’ve wound back knowledge and use of our natural resource rents, we find we’re short of funding for such infrastructure, for education, health and public housing. Where are the funds to come from? Indeed, from whence shall come the extra $5 billion per annum David Gonski says we need to rectify Australia’s educational problems?

Oh, they’ll have to come from more taxes which will impede labour, capital, thrift and exchange – isn’t that obvious? Our education system tells us municipal rates and land taxes have had their day: they’re passé – even if, unlike other taxes, they don’t add to costs.

Once it was considered the public duty of landholders to pay for public works  in proportion to the increase in the value of their landholdings, but we’ve been ‘educated’ to believe that “user pays” is superior to “beneficiary pays” and been dudded accordingly by this gaping hole in our educational system.

So, the corporates may now control our natural monopolies such as gas, electricity, airports and highways and, in so doing, may capture our economic rents.  Our infrastructure must now be funded, not from government bonds nor from rates and land taxes, but from unholy public/private partnership (PPP) alliances which deliver our publicly-generated land rents to these parasites.

Education. This was Julia Gillard’s area of expertise, her specialty. But do you think she understands natural resource rents, or the great public dividend they might still deliver?  I doubt it.  So, can any doubt exist that in the study of economics Australia’s education has retrogressed sadly?

Our forebears worked hard for public works and amenities which have increasingly been allowed to be plundered and privatised.  You could bet when they’d finished with Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, these brave souls would have taught them a thing or two!

Yep, David Gonski, we most certainly do need to improve education.






THE ANSWER

The big boys—and I do mean the BIG boys—want us to feel passionately about one political party or another, whether the Democrats or Republicans in the US, the Labour Party or Tories in the UK (maybe even the Lib-Dems), or the Labor Party or Liberal (turned conservative) Party in Australia.

They’re probably also delighted when I go troppo as Paul Chapman sends a hallmark outside-50 through for another Geelong goal.

You see, these are great distractions from the fact that they’re stealing from you, and, like you, the news media don’t really want to know about it either. They’ll cover the politics and the footy, but not the world’s greatest rort (that’s ‘scam’ for people in the US).

No, the big boys aren’t your bank manager, nor even your bank’s CEO—although that’s getting pretty close—it’s the BIG guys who’ve run the banks for centuries and know how they really work.

But it’s impossible to get these thieving plunderers behind bars for their criminal pursuits. You and I have exempted them from it, because we’d rather believe in political parties and football teams.

There is ONE way to get at them in future, though. No, not by governments issuing the currency; no, not by Glass-Steagall-like financial regulation. These might assist, but they are only mosquito bites on their bums (‘asses’).

No. Pass an act to abolish income taxes and levy instead a charge on land values.

Oh! How they’ll get you—their victims!—to squeal solicitously for them when the legislation is first proposed—something like innumerable Australians did for Gina Rinehart when the resource super-profits tax was first announced. Yes, Gina and her cronies did take part, too. They kicked in a quick $25 million for nonsensical advertisements telling us we had no right to our mineral resource rents and that our mines would be taken overseas … and some of us believed them. And these impecunious billionaires did hold a street protest to win others over.

In the afterglow of the rort perpetrated upon them, and a questionable change of Prime Minister over it, it now seems most Australians have had reason for second thoughts.

Oh! And won’t they wheel out the poor widow who can’t afford the land tax?  But surely they’d be happy to see their massively higher land tax assist the poor widow?

So, as things take a turn for the worse, forget the political parties. Forget pillorying the banks.  Demand an all-in, no exemptions, single rate levy on all Australian land values at the rate of 6% (see previous post)—and for abolition of income taxes on all productive labour and capital.

THEN, and only then, will you have them, the 0.01% where they need to be: paying their fair share. It’s not class warfare: it’s economic justice.

And remember, you first saw THE ANSWER here.







“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.” – JFK

I just heard Bill Shorten and Joe Hockey huffing and puffing with Neil Mitchell on 3AW this morning.  What bluff and bluster – and didn’t the public see it for what it was!

Maybe if we ignore the curious definition of unemployment, 5.1% is better than 5.2%, but the rapidity of announcements of job layoffs in the Australian economy suggests this is about as good as it’s going to get.

The call should NOT be to cut wages and penalty rates to save jobs, but to abolish income tax.

I like the way Australian governments claim they created the employment that occurs under their watch, and that “we now have more people employed in Australia than at any time in history”. That wouldn’t have anything to do with our growing population would it, Bill?

All right, the economic settings governments provide DO either obstruct or assist the creation of jobs, but it’s mainly ‘obstruct’ at the moment and, as Joe Hockey volunteered on the show, the Liberal Party “has agreed with 85%” of what the minority Labor government has done.

Importantly, both need reminding that the income tax and the GST–on which each of the major parties do agree– savagely restrict job creation.

However, lest I be seen as one of those Bill Shorten accuses of “talking the economy down” it’s NOT as though there are no alternatives to income tax.

In 2003 former Treasury tax expert Dr Terry Dwyer demonstrated “that land-based revenues are indeed sufficient to allow total abolition of company and personal income tax.” (The Taxable Capacity of Australian Land and Resources, Australian Tax Forum, Vol 18 No.1)

This was followed by (then) Treasury Secretary Ken Henry’s inquiry into Australia’s Future Tax System which in 2010 recommended that more than one hundred taxes be abolished and greater emphasis be given to drawing more revenues from the annual values of land and natural resources.

The proposal for a federal land tax so that an array of inefficient taxes could be abolished went down like a lead balloon with both major parties. This would never suit the 1% who can claw back the income taxes they pay via the uplift in their property (read land) values!

Both parties disavowed the idea vehemently. They didn’t seem to mind that whereas a land tax aids job creation, income taxes work against it.

Wouldn’t the abolition of company tax assist Qantas, Alcoa, the car manufacturers, banks and others who are putting people off, Joe and Bill? Wouldn’t the abolition of personal income tax assist Australia’s debt-ridden householders?

Why the broad, knowing grins at this suggestion, guys? Not possible? Or is it rather that the big boys (and girls) might have to pay their fair share and might spend up big (like the miners) to defeat it? They won’t have to if you simply accede to them, will they?

These are deflationary times and BIG reforms are needed, guys, not the pissant sort of stuff with which you’re both going on!

The film, “Real Estate 4 Ransom” claims Australia could replace company tax and income tax with an all-in 6% levy on its site values.

Colleague Dr Gavin Putland references his financial stability contour map to confirm that a 6% levy on all site values “would certainly be enough to prevent these destructive bubbles”.

And he continues, finding further evidence to suggest Australia’s GDP is heading for a decline [2nd chart].

C’mon, Bill Shorten and Joe Hockey, this is now far too serious for your mindless party politics!