Five things to get the economy going

This evening I got a call asking if I could appear on the Price-Bolt 2GB show and talk about the five things to get the economy going – in 5 minutes times. Sure I said. So here is the list:

  1. Cut taxes at both the federal and state levels.
  2. Cut spending – especially on industry policy, subsidies and duplication.
  3. Cut regulation – both red tape and green tape (especially the MRET).
  4. Liberalise the labour market.
  5. Liberalise the housing market
  6. Actually abolish the carbon and mining taxes.

Okay – that’s six and not five and it could be counted in as cutting taxes.

Now I don’t think that list is as radical as Andrew and Steve thought.

Economic growth at the moment is sluggish – in my opinion because government is crowding out private activity on several margins. So cut intervention in, say, pre-school childcare. You don’t need a degree to entertain toddlers – just the temperament and some first aid knowledge. Let the young women who work in that industry capture some of the rents and not the regulators and reduce the deadweight losses of excessive regulation. That will allow other women to get into the workforce. That is just one example. More people working (if they want to) is always better for the economy as it increases the size of the market and increases the scope for specialisation and further division of labour. As economic activity increases so the tax take will increase too. We know this should happen. This then gives the government room to maneuver on tax cuts and spending cuts.

There must be spending cuts. There is far too much corporate welfare and far too much personal welfare and just far to much spending that occurs for no obvious reason.

I would like to see the Abbott government commit to spending cuts and tax cuts before the budget returns to surplus – simply because I think the current Liberals lack the discipline to cut spending if and when the economy picks up and the tax system hums back into its highly efficient self.

This entry was posted in Economics and economy. Bookmark the permalink.

140 Responses to Five things to get the economy going

  1. Bert

    I heard those comments. They were crazy.

    Cutting safety regulations does not create jobs, just unsafer work places.

  2. Sinclair Davidson

    Did anyone else hear me say cut safety regulations? Thought not.

  3. Johno

    You forgot the really important one – privatise most of the government’s health and education system and turn health and education services over to markets.

    Government services require central planning to deliver. Central planning is a failure. Market delivery is a proven success at delivering services. Australians deserve the best. That can only be delivered by markets. Get government out of the way.

    Also, given that government spending on services accounts for around all government spending in Australia, privatising services is necessary to get sustained cuts in taxation.

  4. .

    Safety regulations should be cut.

    It would be great if they all were logical and engendered safety, or were consistent, but they are not. There is an excess burden of safety regulation which does not afford any more safety.

    This is even before the role of insurance and litigation versus a regulatory approach is explored.

  5. Rafe

    Be fair Johno, sinc was looking at short term moves, what Pete Boettke calls the low hanging fruit, you need more time and energy for the seismic changes that you suggested. You are a bit off the planet, like Bert :)

  6. DrBeauGan

    That’s not radical for Pete’s sake. That’s stodgy old conservative. Implementing the Fisk Doctrine and hanging lefties from lamp-posts, THAT would be radical.

  7. Gab

    Here‘s the audio. Starts at 17 minute mark.

  8. Ed

    A great list.
    Allow me to be so bold as to say why these are good things (in my opinion).
    1. cut taxes: this frees up capital so businesses and individuals can spend their money on productive and useful things, rather than unwanted government services
    2. cut spending: Spending is basically spending other people’s money; government activity always crowds out private sector and personal activity.
    3. cut regulation: Because while some regulation is necessary, there is in Australia vastly more regulation than necessary. Regulation simply stops people from doing what they want to do, stops businesses from starting, and stifles business. Regulation is the exemplar of the old saying that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
    4. liberalise the labour market: Because a liberalised labour market is a flexible labour market and that reduces unemployment. And a liberalised labour market makes it easier to find the best person for the job.
    5. Liberalise the housing market: self explanatory.
    6. Repeal the carbon tax: Because it’s killing the economy.

  9. 2dogs

    Cutting safety regulations does not create jobs, just unsafer work places.

    Try dealing with the safety regulations on mine sites. They are seriously overblown.

    They don’t even make mines safer, as workers avoid discussion of safety issues in order to avoid the associated paperwork.

  10. candy

    I think you’ve forgotten that ALP/Greens Alliance is blocking any legislative changes in order to do these things.

  11. 2dogs

    This is even before the role of insurance and litigation versus a regulatory approach is explored.

    I imagine that a framework where individual workers held professional insurance could replace a large part of our current safety regulations. Do you know if anyone has done any analysis on this, Dot?

  12. Empire Strikes Back

    are good things

    And he gave them a pat.

  13. Sinclair Davidson

    I think you’ve forgotten that ALP/Greens Alliance is blocking any legislative changes in order to do these things.

    Maybe they are – but how do we know? Has the legislation been presented to the Parliament?

  14. Baldrick

    I would like to see the Abbott government commit to spending cuts and tax cuts before the budget returns to surplus …

    So it’s a 10 year plan?

  15. pseudonym

    That’s a nice list.

    Unfortunately, the Treasury clowns are enamoured with their Keynesian fantasies, so you won’t any material change.

    There is also the problem of debt and deficit. Joe will try a few things here, but there is only so much he can do in terms of privitisations, etc. Ultimately, Treasury will go back to what they know best, that is, letting inflation rip for a while (justified as “growth”), so as to reduce the real burden of the outstanding federal debt (while impoverising taxpayers) .

    Stagflation, here we come again.

    Sorry to be so morbid, but I just don’t see any prospect for change without a wholesale purge of the Treasury circus.

  16. Anne

    Sinclair Davidson
    #1188637, posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    Did anyone else hear me say cut safety regulations? Thought not.

    Bert drinks.

  17. Empire Strikes Back

    I imagine that a framework where individual workers held professional insurance could replace a large part of our current safety regulations.

    I had this discussion with a resources sector safety manager a few years back. The way he told it was the safety blokes in the sector began collaborating with one another to identify the real safety risks in their ops. They felt compelled to do this for two reasons:
    1. The unions has hijacked the safety agenda to suit their rent seeking agenda, with a resultant increase in incidents
    2. Their insurers brought pressure to bear that they do something about it

    With sanction from their CEOs and boards (with some TPA training prior to ensure they wouldn’t get pinged for anything resembling collusion), they started looking at aggregated incident data and identifying what work practice changes might actually mitigate risk.

    There a few mining old timers who comment here who might be able to corroborate and expand on this.

  18. Infidel tiger

    Try dealing with the safety regulations on mine sites. They are seriously overblown.

    They don’t even make mines safer, as workers avoid discussion of safety issues in order to avoid the associated paperwork.

    A flat tyre on a mine site is enough to put the vehicle out of service for 12 hours and give the unlucky sods driving at the time 12 hours of paperwork.

  19. candy

    Maybe they are – but how do we know? Has the legislation been presented to the Parliament?

    I don’t know, Sinclair, apart from the carbon tax and mining tax repeals being rejected at every stage, as far as I know? which is a major part of the government’s agenda, so it’s holding up workings of the government. It seems a political deadlock to me. You’re the expert, Sinclair, just putting in an opinion, I really don’t know much about it.

  20. ar

    Cut taxes at both the federal and state levels.

    As of last September, local govts in NSW have imposed big new taxes on development. A neighbour got hit with $18k tax for granny flat application. My KDR got hit with $5000 tax ostensibly to pay for library resources. Geez, and politicians wring their hands about housing “affordability”…

  21. Rococo Liberal

    Sinc

    May I as a simple Lawyer ask one thing?

    Most of us out there in voter land do not understand the Laffer curve. When we hear you say ‘cut taxes’ we think you mean cut government revenue. We are then prey to tose socialist fols who will then tell us that welfare, education and medicare will then be cut.

    What I think you say is “cut tax rates. You could then quickly explain te Laffer curve so that the plebs don’t scared off.

  22. Ed

    and politicians wring their hands about housing “affordability”…

    And what have all these state Liberal governments achieved in this area? Nothing.
    “Oh yeah, housing prices. Too bad about that. Yeah, *shrug* it sux, huh?”
    Which leads me to wonder more generally, is there anyone who voted Liberal in NSW or Victoria who is proud of having done so?
    (putting aside for a moment the disastrous alternative on offer)

  23. Johno

    Rafe

    Be fair Johno, sinc was looking at short term moves, what Pete Boettke calls the low hanging fruit, you need more time and energy for the seismic changes that you suggested. You are a bit off the planet, like Bert

    Or like everyone thought Bert Kelly was for many years, until Hawke did what he argued for, and, what did know, he was right. The sky didn’t fall in and Australia is a whole lot better off.

  24. Motelier

    I have to wade here and be willing to be keybashed.

    1 Cut Taxes. Yes, but remember that our taxes pay for the “bulk” infrastructure. For example I drive on the Bruce Highway (AKA a goat track full of potholes, roadworks, and roadworks that are being repeated, and it is still only a dual lane carriageway), between the two motels. We as Australians advertise to international tourists (they pay taxes to people) this is a great place. And we ask them to drive on dual lane carrriageways. Go and have a look at the rest of the world people.

    2 Cut spending. See my comment above. Let the spending be for the proper benefit of the community. However, Sinclair I do agree with your sentiments about spendings.

    3. Oh yes. I have said this in the past and will always beat this drum. My comment last week about the growth of all governmetnt charges being higher than the inflation rate still stand.
    4, 5 and 6 see point 3 above. Your points 4,5 and 6 have to controlled.

    So we disagree on only 1 point. I do pay my taxes but I am please swhen I see my taxes being used on “hard” infrastructure items that do benifit the nation.

    Let the keybashing begin.

  25. Token

    Did anyone else hear me say cut safety regulations? Thought not.

    Did a lawyer get shirty about the prospect of less laws?

    I’m shocked, I telling you, shocked.

  26. Tel

    Actually abolish the carbon and mining taxes.

    I think the states have every right to maintain their traditional minerals royalty. The feds have no business poking their nose into it.

  27. Token

    What I think you say is “cut tax rates. You could then quickly explain te Laffer curve so that the plebs don’t scared off.

    Using the 80/20 principle the vast majority of taxes raise little tax but create extraordinary levels of complexity & paperwork. Cutting taxes also means removing unnecessary regulation.

    e.g. With Toyota leaving Australia the Tariff & Luxury Car Tax should be both removed, but watch the lefties try the politics of envy to prevent this (though the amount we pay workers who service luxury cars & the GST & PAYWGT raised is being ignored).

    As you suggest RL, the stories illustrating the benefits must be told and told often.

  28. Tel

    Cutting safety regulations does not create jobs, just unsafer work places.

    Working at Toyota will be much safer in 3 years… when people stop working for Toyota, workplace accidents will be zero.

  29. Tel

    Which leads me to wonder more generally, is there anyone who voted Liberal in NSW or Victoria who is proud of having done so?

    The odds were not good, and the goods were rather odd. I’m proud of getting rid of NSA Labour, because they absolutely had to go.

    That’s how Democratic logic works: eliminate the impossible and whatever you have left, no matter how unlikely, must be the government.

  30. Megan

    Would that be the safety regulations that see our tiny work kitchen sink surrounded by hazardous material print outs – each one printed out on A4 paper and slotted into a page protector and taped around the wall? Three for the Palmolive hand wash, three for the Morning Fresh dish detergent and EIGHT pages for the powdered detergent for the dishwasher, which has never worked.

    Half the entries on the print outs say “No information available for this product.”

    There would be a fair few jobs lost if they did away with this stupidity writ large – the printer manufacturers, the ink producers, the sticky tape company, our OH&S committee, the QA Department. They’d none of them be missed.

  31. Ed

    I have to wade here and be willing to be keybashed.

    Motelier, when people bring up things like highways as you did, or in other cases teachers, nurses and fireys, as sometimes happens, they are displaying that they don’t know how bad the spending situation has become. How much of the federal budget do you suppose is devoted to roads?

    The spending problem should be more accurately described as a “wasteful spending problem”.
    Spending on things that don’t yield any benefits to the public.
    Spending on overly large bureaucracies.
    Spending on pet projects. Spending on subsidies for “green energy”.
    Buying back farmland and turning into wilderness. (yes, really)
    Shit like that.

  32. Empire Strikes Back

    Which leads me to wonder more generally, is there anyone who voted Liberal in NSW or Victoria who is proud of having done so?
    (putting aside for a moment the disastrous alternative on offer)

    Ed, I’ve never felt “proud” voting for any candidate.

    That’s how Democratic logic works: eliminate the impossible and whatever you have left, no matter how unlikely, must be the government

    Yep, that’s how it works. Frankly, if Napthine’s $22M hand out keeps the CFMEU out of power for another 4 years, it will have been a good “investment”. The alternative is guaranteed to cost far more. The other socialist party has impeccable form when it comes to spending other people’s money.

  33. You all want to be me

    The economy is fine.
    If more jobs go, government will give money.
    Not big.
    The government can get more money from rich people.

  34. Megan

    Cut taxes at both the federal and state levels.

    As of last September, local govts in NSW have imposed big new taxes on development. A neighbour got hit with $18k tax for granny flat application. My KDR got hit with $5000 tax ostensibly to pay for library resources. Geez, and politicians wring their hands about housing “affordability”…

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling. $140 per tree if it’s a native and $60 per tree if it’s not. Plus we had already paid a motza for the arborist’s report. They knocked us back on one gum tree with a divided trunk that leans over the end of the house because it is a healthy eucalypt. We’ve written back to say, thanks for that, we will abide by your decision, but we want to be be quite clear that should the tree fall in high winds and there is damage to person or property we will hold you responsible and take action to recover costs. Might as well get some of the highway robbery fees back.

  35. Ed

    The economy is fine.
    If more jobs go, government will give money.
    Not big.
    The government can get more money from rich people.

    satire, right?

  36. Ed

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling. $140 per tree if it’s a native and $60 per tree if it’s not. Plus we had already paid a motza for the arborist’s report.

    worse than the tax on cutting branches off trees – call it a pruning tax – is the fact that you had to commission an arborist’s report.
    Frivolous taxes are at least a known evil. Making you spend money on consultants to tell you what branches to prune is just plain insulting.

  37. You all want to be me

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

  38. Empire Strikes Back

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling. $140 per tree if it’s a native and $60 per tree if it’s not

    Excuse my ignorance Megan, but what service did you receive for the “fee”?

  39. JohnA

    Liberalise the housing market

    Put the heretofore sacrosant family home / principal residence in the same investment category as everything else.

    Remove the specific CGT exemption, and leave the general investment roll-over exemption only (I may be rusty on CGT).

    Remove the artificial differences in GST treatment for the principal residence (and domestic rentals) as compared to commercial rental properties.

    When investment in the principal residence is on an equivalent footing to other avenues of investment, it may be properly compared with those other investments as to yield, and funds might be released for placement into better-yielding assets (Shock! Horror!).

    The private home ranks better than super as a domestic tax shelter, and is the number one sinkhole for the waste of investable funds. If someone wants to build a palace for their home, they can do it with after-tax money.

    [Flamesuit on]

  40. Ed

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    You do know that they grow back, right?
    They are the ultimate renewable resource. Whenever humans relinquish an area, trees grow back, and it happens pretty fast. There is no need to worry about trees. This is why most tree-planting activity is not only a waste of effort, it’s just a religious ritual. Makes you feel good but achieves absolutely nothing of lasting value for the environment.

  41. You all want to be me

    The government should raise taxes, not lower them.
    Rich people will alway find a way to make money.

  42. Megan

    Making you spend money on consultants to tell you what branches to prune is just plain insulting.

    Indeed. Consider me highly insulted.

    ESB, they sold us a permit to allow removal or lopping.

  43. Leigh Lowe

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling.

    Really?
    Where is that?
    We just got a monster gum tree knocked over in a moderately Greenie area. Cost a shit-load to get it cut down but no permits and no aggravation.

  44. Leigh Lowe

    ESB, they sold us a permit to allow removal or lopping.

    Bad things happen on dark nights when council officers are tucked up in bed.

  45. dismissive

    Number one should be – abolish the ACT government!

  46. Carpe Jugulum

    Cutting safety regulations does not create jobs, just unsafer work places.

    What absolute bollocks, it is the legislation that sets the standard and as a OHSE professional let me tell you it is being able to comply with broardly defined legislation that makes a workplace safer, but adds a layer of compliance that adds to the overall cost of completing any task..

    Add to that the legislation in Oz works in a way that if the guy on the front line fvks up and kills themself or someone else it is a situation where shit runs uphill, the direct supervisor holds liability, the manager holds liability, the directors hold liability.

    You want to make a safer workplace then make the individual accountable for their actions and not handball one persons fvkups up the line.

  47. Empire Strikes Back

    ESB, they sold us a permit to allow removal or lopping.

    Holy moly. Do you know if anyone has successfully waged lawfare on this shit? The permit has no value.

  48. Megan

    Ed, I would not dignify those two lines of weasel droppings with a response. A sign of the truly moronic Pavlovian response of the terminally dumb. Knows nothing at all of me, my garden, the context of the tree removal but offers up something trite to demonstrate his own moral superiority.

  49. Roger

    Sinclair, you should submit your resume to PM TA without delay as a gesture of public service.

  50. Federally:
    Eliminate the income tax. For bonus points, throw in a referendum to take the capacity to exact an income tax out of the constitution.

    For Tassie:

    Pay a payroll bounty rather than exact a payroll levy
    Charge a land tax rather than stamp duty and council rates
    Reduce the lockup from 51% to 33% – 6% a year for three years.
    Trim the law down to 100 statutes, no more than 50 pages a piece.

  51. Carpe Jugulum

    The government should raise taxes, not lower them.
    Rich people will alway find a way to make money.

    This is why the “poor” (really is anyone poor in a 1st world country) will always stay poor, without the will to succeed or to do better and not be taxed into oblivion only hold people back.

    Tax them less and allow them to sell their labour at a fair price that the employer and employee agree on and most importantly allow the best workers to be paid more than the shirkers.

  52. Empire Strikes Back

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    It’s past your bedtime. Off you go.

  53. Megan

    It’s a unwinnable war. Any legitimate company that has the equipment and skill to deal with these particular trees, will not take the job unless they have the permits as the fine is even more ridiculously enormous. We are talking of 40 metre trees with fungal disease eating them from the inside out. It’s related to living in a heritage vegetation zone with councils dominated by the Green Diseased.

    That said, a couple of smaller specimens that were bothersome have mysteriously turned up their green toes and then keeled over. Cost = zero.

    Mind you, the local council also sends out their trained tree loppers each year to deal with the trees encroaching on the power lines. Every single tree along the front boundary of our property and the verge is butchered to within an inch of its life. Including slow growers and those that will never be a problem to the power lines. It’s the same thinking that requires us to lock up our swimming pools but allows them to build parks with open lakes for the duckies.

  54. Empire Strikes Back

    1, 4 & 5 won’t happen anytime soon.

    2,3 & 6 are real possibilities.

  55. You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    Absolutely.

    Apple trees, for preference, and other introduced species that produce something useful and attractive and edible.

  56. bert

    What you advocated was cutting out intervention in childcare, because we are apparently better off with less regulation, and less educated people minding our toddlers. Super.

    While we are at it, less cut out some of those peak aviation rules too. That should make QANTAS more profitable.

    I’m sure heavy vehicle operators will tell you it was much easier to make money without fatigue rules.

    So you see one persons “red tape” is another petson’s life saver.

  57. Carpe Jugulum

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    Bulltish, you think firewood just magically appears?

  58. Megan

    Leigh, we are out at the edge of the Green Wedge with something called a Heritage Vegetation Overlay thanks to the planning departments of Bracks, Brumby et al.

    On the other side of the street, no such overlay exists and they are free to rip out as many trees as they want without penalty. I have made no headway whatsoever in my attempts to find out the reasoning behind it and council have been writing their tree policy for the last two years which threatens to be even more draconian,

  59. Jannie

    I certainly DON’T want to be you.

  60. bert

    What you advocated was cutting out intervention in childcare, because we are apparently better off with less regulation, and less educated people minding our toddlers. Super.

    While we are at it, less cut out some of those pesky aviation rules too. That should make QANTAS more profitable.

    I’m sure heavy vehicle operators will tell you it was much easier to make money without fatigue rules.

    So you see one persons “red tape” is another petson’s life saver.

  61. Megan

    I’m with you 100%, Jannie.

  62. Tel

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    The Greens find it difficult to understand that by beating the bejesus out of anyone who cuts a tree they create a massive incentive never to plant one. Cue Twilight Zone music, do do do do.

  63. Carpe Jugulum

    bert
    #1188821, posted on February 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    What on earth are you on about?

  64. Empire Strikes Back

    Fleeton has a point. Perhaps the only solution to local government overreach is for state government to nobble the pricks.

  65. Squirrel

    “Ed

    #1188782, posted on February 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling. $140 per tree if it’s a native and $60 per tree if it’s not. Plus we had already paid a motza for the arborist’s report.

    worse than the tax on cutting branches off trees – call it a pruning tax – is the fact that you had to commission an arborist’s report.
    Frivolous taxes are at least a known evil. Making you spend money on consultants to tell you what branches to prune is just plain insulting.”

    This anecdote, about an all-too-common embuggerance, is a useful reminder that someone really needs to put local government under the microscope – it has an important role to play, but too easily seems to get hijacked by cranks and some of the more annoying and pointless rent-seekers (mates masquerading as consultants, perhaps?), and imposes costs and delays on the economy.

    More broadly, the permit-to-lop-your-own-tree anecdote reinforces the point about what a regulated nation we live in. I have seen tree-protection regulations justified by smug reference to what is done in other jurisdictions here – and overseas. Do the regulators ever take the contrary approach, and look at jurisdictions which don’t regulate whatever it is that they are seeking to regulate (or defend the current regulation of) to ascertain whether serious problems arise in the absence of regulation and, even if so, whether there are intelligent alternatives to regulation – no, generally not, I would think.

    One of the most apt comments I have ever seen about the Australian predilection for regulation came, intriguingly, from Peter Wilenski, who once wrote of Australian bureaucrats leaving “no stone unturned in the search for things to regulate” – how true.

  66. bert

    More women would work in child care if the work was valued more, and they got paid better. There is no evidence to suggest cutting paperwork will make that happen. I also fail to see how “liberalising” the workforce will create more, better paid jobs. Child care workers already get paid peanuts.

    Your 5 points are simplistic pie in the sky.

  67. Roger

    @ Philippa,
    Not forgetting the need to preserve natural habitat for native fauna.
    It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and.

  68. Squirrel

    “Tel

    #1188834, posted on February 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    You should plant trees.
    Not cut them down.

    The Greens find it difficult to understand that by beating the bejesus out of anyone who cuts a tree they create a massive incentive never to plant one. Cue Twilight Zone music, do do do do.”

    Pre-bloody-cisely. Introduce, and strictly enforce, rules which protect trees over a certain size – or which have the potential to reach a certain size – and you create a powerful incentive for many householders to ensure they never get caught by such rules.

  69. Tel

    More women would work in child care if the work was valued more, and they got paid better. There is no evidence to suggest cutting paperwork will make that happen.

    Yeah there is evidence. Many women used to work as “daycare mums” until the regulations and bullshit qualifications ran them out of business… and that’s then childcare became unaffordable. Governments repress supply, it’s what they do.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216220/Mothers-banned-looking-children.html

    Spastic… but real… welcome to 21st Century governance.

  70. Andrew

    Not only cutting but simplifying taxes is very important. We have far too many taxes that raise insignificant amounts of revenue.

  71. Ed

    More women would work in child care if the work was valued more, and they got paid better.

    The child care industry was fine until Labor came in and regulated it.
    Basically they told all the centres to employ (inexperienced) uni graduates in early learning or get deregistered. They regulated the crap out of home child care operations, forcing many to close. And they regulated the hell out of the big operations too.

    As a result of Labor’s “fixing” the industry, costs have skyrocketed. And now it’s actually hard to find places.

    The best thing that the coalition could do would be to wind back the clock until before we had a prime minister who was “passionate about edjacashion.”

  72. dismissive

    So you’re saying remove taxes where they lack appropriate ROI (not quite the right term but …) and simplify all taxes so accountants can be avoided by 95% of Australians for their taxes.

    Then – lower tax rates.

  73. Sid

    Have to take a stab –

    1. Abolish national curriculum…as a first step to reducing intervention in education more broadly
    2. Constitutional amendments to restrict scope and scale of government
    3. Abolish the awards system to a single minimum wage like just about every other country on Earth. Labour market policy really is the one area that is embarrassing for the country (well, in the last 7 years there have been plenty)
    4. Return the income tax to the states, and cut federal expenditure to match starting with education and health related payments
    5. Buy New Zealand: it shouldn’t cost much and most of them are here anyway.
    5.

  74. Empire Strikes Back

    What you advocated was cutting out intervention in childcare, because we are apparently better off with less regulation, and less educated people minding our toddlers. Super.

    Who minds my kid is not your concern. If you want a PhD to mind your kid, that’s your choice. Don’t ask me to fund it.

    While we are at it, less cut out some of those pesky aviation rules too. That should make QANTAS more profitable.

    You obviously know nothing about aviation. Time does not permit, but CASA and its antecedents have impaired, not enhanced safety.

    I’m sure heavy vehicle operators will tell you it was much easier to make money without fatigue rules.

    If personal responsibility was enforced, the insurance market would impose duty limited based on actuarial data, not some bureaucrat’s whim.

    So you see one persons “red tape” is another petson’s life saver.

    Show me the evidence.

  75. Ed

    The Greens find it difficult to understand that by beating the bejesus out of anyone who cuts a tree they create a massive incentive never to plant one.

    Very good point.
    Also, nobody explained to them that trees grow back. On their own. The world was covered in trees before humans came along, and the world will still be covered in trees once we’ve gone.

  76. Tel

    Also, nobody explained to them that trees grow back.

    And no one ever will explain it to them, regardless of how many have tried.

  77. Infidel Tiger

    I see Sinclair’s radio spot has brought us another wave of the lefts best and brightest.

  78. Tel

    Not only cutting but simplifying taxes is very important. We have far too many taxes that raise insignificant amounts of revenue.

    Cut legal complexity across the board. Go back to the idea that both the people who obey the law, and the people who enforce the law have some freaking idea what the law really is.

  79. Megan

    Perhaps the only solution to local government overreach is for state government to nobble the pricks.

    That would be the state government that just handed a large sum of taxpayer’s money to a large American conglomerate. They need a good nobbling themselves right at the minute.

  80. Want to kick-start the economy? Get the politicians to pull their heads in…

    Problem solved!

  81. wreckage

    I love wage discussions.

    “Lowering the cost of employment will not increase employment, because employers are greedy and evil. However, increasing the cost of employment will not reduce employment, because employers are wonderful, generous souls who will take the cost increase out of their total profits.”

    Alternatively, “Corporate profits, like government revenue, are magical things, effectively infinite, and the only reason they won’t pay infinite wages to an infinite number of workers is sheer perversity; after all, if wages went up to infinity we’d all be infinitely wealthy, what with all the infinite consumer spending.”

  82. wreckage

    No need for them to pull their heads in, if we chop their heads off. Just sayin’. NADT.

  83. Ed

    Alternatively, “Corporate profits, like government revenue, are magical things, effectively infinite, and the only reason they won’t pay infinite wages to an infinite number of workers is sheer perversity; after all, if wages went up to infinity we’d all be infinitely wealthy, what with all the infinite consumer spending.”

    If a business has a profit margin, the left sees ‘surplus money that could be paid to workers.’
    What they don’t comprehend is that profit margins are necessary to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to invest and grow businesses in the first place.
    If you take away their profits they’ll pack up and go elsewhere. Or just do something else with their time and money.

  84. sabrina

    Stop PPL, and diesel subsidy

    Bring parliamentarian super to community standards. All wishful thinking!

  85. You all want to be me

    While houses are worth 20 million in toorak & point piper, there will always be assets for the government to tax to pay for more services & projects.
    The government needs to have another stimulus program.
    The last one stopped recession.
    Another one would stop job losses.
    Pm just doesn’t get it.

  86. You all want to be me

    He pays for stimulus by taking part of rich peoples pension.
    Rich people have used so much already in there life.
    Why should they get rich retirement too.

    We should have health care like Cuba.
    Free and the best in the world.
    They don’t have much money and they make it work.

  87. You don’t need a degree to entertain toddlers – just the temperament and some first aid knowledge.

    Stick to economics, Sinc.
    In that field you know what you’re talking about.
    I doubt that you are qualified to lay down the law when it comes to child development.
    Get yourself a copy of any reliable text on the subject -

    Child Development And Education With Observing Children & Adolescents
    Mcdevitt & Ormrod
    Prentice-Hall
    3rd edition, 2006

    is probably a good place to start.
    It will tell you that most vital learning occurs before the age of five.
    This doesn’t necessarily mean that all day care staff need degrees, but day care is much more than “entertainment” in the twenty first century.

    My mother was an infant teacher – finished up as a HOD (Junior Primary) in the last ten years of her career.
    Nothing would get her dander up more than to suggest that the position of Senior Secondary teacher was somehow more important that that of infant teacher.
    Where she could, she put her most competent teachers on year one classes.

  88. ar

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling.

    It’s the council’s business to thwart you in doing what you want. And charge you along the way.

  89. ar

    It will tell you that most vital learning occurs before the age of five.

    Well, someone must have been filling your head with pap from the cradle…

  90. I think the only way our country will be saved is to either abolish the commonwealth senate or, as a second best option, change the voting method to first past the post. It’s glaringly obvious that the Abbott government could never implement these reforms because the disparate pipsqueak power hungry minor parties representing no one will end up blocking any legislation that is broad, sweeping and causes pain for anyone with entrenched interests, both political and economic. The senate is a pox on our nation and the root cause of the sickness of our society and economy.

  91. Joe Goodacre

    Cut the minimum wage, penalty rates, remove unfair dismissal laws.

    How do you obtain the political capital to make these changes?

    1) minimum wage/penalty rates

    Make the narrative about creating opportunity. Let people create as many lowly paid jobs as they want – whether it be packing bags in supermarkets, collecting shopping trolleys, gardening, picking fruit… the unemployed or disabled will have greater choice on how they can contribute to the community.

    Challenge people who say we want to make Australia to look like China, to justify why should a job packing bags in the supermarket be illegal? Why should a bank tellers job be illegal? Challenge Bill Shorten to say why he doesn’t want to give the down trodden, students and immigrants are chance? Ask Bill Shorten why he wants people to pack their own bags in shops and to do their own gardening.

    The best way the economy grows is when more people are serving each others wants and needs.

    2) remove unfair dismissal laws

    As someone involved in hiring, the greatest obstacle to putting people on is fear that they can’t be let go without difficulty if it doesn’t work out.

    The unions are on the nose – make the narrative about breaking their power.

  92. .

    Labor Liar
    #1189059, posted on February 14, 2014 at 8:07 am
    I think the only way our country will be saved is to either abolish the commonwealth senate or, as a second best option, change the voting method to first past the post. It’s glaringly obvious that the Abbott government could never implement these reforms because the disparate pipsqueak power hungry minor parties representing no one will end up blocking any legislation that is broad, sweeping and causes pain for anyone with entrenched interests, both political and economic. The senate is a pox on our nation and the root cause of the sickness of our society and economy.

    You won’t be saying that when Day, Lleyonhjelm and possibly a free market sympathetic Senator from WA is elected and they force Abbott to move away from Liberal party “gems” such as a 45% income tax rate…

  93. bert

    Pretty clear to me that this is a political agenda, not an economic one.

    These ideas are classic conservative/right. Small Government, low taxes, privatisation, splash welfare etc.

    By the way, just wondering how the good professor manages to exercise academic independence when he also apparently is connected to a sponsored think tank like IPA?

  94. .

    You don’t need a degree to entertain toddlers – just the temperament and some first aid knowledge.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  95. .

    By the way, just wondering how the good professor manages to exercise academic independence when he also apparently is connected to a sponsored think tank like IPA?

    You mean like how left wing professors are members of extreme left wing parties like Socialist Alliance, the Australian Greens and actively recruit for the criminally corrupt union movement?

  96. .

    You all want to be me
    #1189040, posted on February 14, 2014 at 7:10 am
    He pays for stimulus by taking part of rich peoples pension.
    Rich people have used so much already in there life.
    Why should they get rich retirement too.

    We should have health care like Cuba.
    Free and the best in the world.

    Ooh yes!

    http://therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

  97. .

    This anecdote, about an all-too-common embuggerance, is a useful reminder that someone really needs to put local government under the microscope – it has an important role to play, but too easily seems to get hijacked by cranks and some of the more annoying and pointless rent-seekers (mates masquerading as consultants, perhaps?), and imposes costs and delays on the economy.

    Don’t blame local councils. You think they all chose to have an LEP as well? It is State Government policy, which we sign up to in Agenda 21 etc.

  98. .

    Two working mothers have been banned from looking after each other’s toddlers because they are not registered childminders.

    Read more:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216220/Mothers-banned-looking-children.html#ixzz2tEujWRS8

    Anyone who thinks the western world is not overregulated is either a child or is making a motza off this overregulation.

  99. .

    2dogs
    #1188673, posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:38 pm
    This is even before the role of insurance and litigation versus a regulatory approach is explored.

    I imagine that a framework where individual workers held professional insurance could replace a large part of our current safety regulations. Do you know if anyone has done any analysis on this, Dot?

    I’m sure there is some literature on it. Here is a start:

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/05/regulation-vs-tort.html

    The mainstream view is, summarising Cowen’s blog article, (excluding public choice arguments) that tort can replace insurance to a limited degree.

    Given how we are clearly overregulated, and the importance of public choice (Buchanan’s Nobel etc), I think there is a strong argument to do away with most regulation, or to leave such decisions to private bodies in a larger privatisation scheme.

  100. Megan

    Pm just doesn’t get it.

    Looks like one of Hammy’s illiterate and unfunny relatives has found his computer open at the Cat.

  101. Joe Goodacre

    1735099 ,

    You don’t need a degree to entertain toddlers.

    The proof is around you everywhere – most of our parents and grandparents overcame lives with much less affluence than ours to make great contributions without being educated by childcare staff with degrees.

    I would say the push for childcare though is a response to making housing unaffordable, meaning it is more likely both parents will have to work.

    I work in residential construction. The amount of taxes and charges that go into a block of land would surprise people. The hoops people have to jump through to subdivide and the time it takes would make people fall off their seat. I have no doubt that a serviced block of land could be sold in Western Sydney for between $60,000 and $80,000 if all these restrictions and charges were removed.

  102. Joe Goodacre

    bert,

    Politics regulates what market choices people can make.

    Economics studies those markets.

    Economics and politics are invariably related.

  103. Rococo Liberal

    Poor old Bert is a folk marxist, the kind of person who instintively sees the world as being divided between oppressors and oppressed.

    I really wish that a course in contract law was taught at schools, so left wing wankers would at least realise that co-operation does not need to be enforced by government fiat.

    But lefties never grow up, do they? They are all still stuck in the playground whining ‘it isn’t fair’ every time someone else does something clever or achieves something worthwhile.

    How can anyone faced with the complete schemozzle that is the childcare industry in this country think that more regulation and enforced higher wages will make things better? It is beyond belief. It’s the old ‘light on the hill’ chimera: the problem is that the hill is nevr climbed and thses lefties like a bunch of cut-price sysiphuses keep keep toiling away making the same mistakes.

    This is why it is important for people like Sinclair to be ot there providing simple, clear information to people. You have overcome what I call the pseudo-altruistic gag reflex. Most people are not callous and have sympathy with the notion that the disadvantaged need assistance. The left have been pushing the line for so long that their policy prescriptions help the disadvantaged. Superficially these prescriptions are attractive, or at least non-threatening, especially if you are not particularly political.

    So when you present a free-market/right wing view to the general public you will immediately make them worry that if they support you they will be seen as hard and mean. That’s why you have to make it simple and appeal to their own altruism. True altruism and compassion doesn’t come from government but from personal action.

  104. ar

    The hoops people have to jump through to subdivide and the time it takes would make people fall off their seat.

    Once you have jumped through all those hoops you are then hit with a $20,000 charge under NSW planning laws Section 94 to subdivide a suburban block.

  105. You don’t need a degree to entertain toddlers.

    If childcare is entertaining toddlers, then real estate trading is touting.
    Tell me, do you wear button-up boots?

  106. Bert
    #1188630, posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm
    I heard those comments. They were crazy.
    Cutting safety regulations does not create jobs, just unsafer work places.

    The window licker who wrote this comment is allowed to vote. Ponder that for a time Cats.

    Some “safety” regulation (as commenters reveal above) is so stupid you can’t believe adults created it. Any ladders used at my place must have handrails (like staircase) and anyone climbing said ladder must maintain four points of contact at all times. This got the “safety inspector” near laughed out of the shop.
    The regulation being enforced gave instruction specifically for “climbing”, so with the “safety inspector” still present I climbed the ladder – using my chin as a contact point when required – then descended with a carton of beer on my shoulder maintaining two, sometimes three points of contact.
    When he began to lick his chops figuring out how many ways he could breach me for this, I pointed to his written copy of the regulation, which nowhere made any mention of how to descend a ladder.

  107. .

    If childcare is entertaining toddlers

    Any ladders used at my place must have handrails (like staircase) and anyone climbing said ladder must maintain four points of contact at all times.

    These laws are nonsense. They ought to be challenged in the high court under Wednesbury unreasonableness.

  108. Dot: It is important to understand the difference between regulation and legislation.
    Not to understand the negative impact of legislation, but it is regulation that is killing us.

  109. underestimate, even. (Preview is my Friend)

  110. .

    Law as in delegated legislation, as opposed to common law or equity…

  111. Sinclair Davidson

    No. My boots have zips. I do wear tailored shirts with cuff-links. Does that help?

  112. Joe Goodacre

    Ar,

    In Blacktown council, section 94 contributions can range from $50,000 to $60,000 per lot.

    More than developers typically make in proft per lot.

  113. Rococo Liberal

    So Numbers tells us that qualified childcare professionals are great at providing early education to children. If we excpet he is correct, I still ahve to use the ‘so what?’ argument.

    It is also true, Numbers, that if we all slept on a $5000 specially made bed we would enjoy better health. But that is no reason for the government to rush out and by us each a bed. The same is true with early education. Just because having a qualified chilcare professional is better than not doing so doesn’t mean that the government has the duty to completely stuff up the chilcare market by demanding that child care centres must employ such people.

    The problem with most ALP supporters is they lack a simple logic gene. They think that is something is a good thing it must be imposed on us, no matter what the cost or consequences.

  114. Demosthenes

    If childcare is entertaining toddlers, then real estate trading is touting.

    You don’t need a degree for that either.

  115. Rococo Liberal

    May I also recommend the ‘so what?’ test to all Catallaxians. The other day someone told me that a point of view I expressed was racist. I was just about to enter into a long discourse about this person being a fool who couldn’t tell the difference between race and culture when it struck me that this person was too dumb to understand. So I just said ‘so what?’

    Just because something is ‘racist’ does it make it bad?

    The dumb person was shocked, but couldn’t answer me. She had been conditioned for so long that racist= evil that she took a while to work out what the question was about. She eventually accepted that the true question is whether a statement is correct, not whether it is racist.

    And that dear friends is the problem with so many left-wing people, they don’t ask the right questions.

  116. SG

    How about ending the means test on pensions?

    The current system penalises those who have worked hard, paid taxes for 40+ years, and saved, while rewarding those who have blown everything. Then we spend so much in administration trying to work out who is or isn’t entitled to different bits & pieces, it would be cheaper to just give a set rate to everyone over 65 regardless of their circumstances (like in the UK) and get rid of the admin costs.

    Retirees generally spend a much higher proportion of their income than others, so the bulk of this money would also flow through the economy, creating its own economic stimulus.

  117. LABCR-TV

    Saw a great video today from Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert on RT.com.

    Episode 562 talks about Australia, and how our banks have irresponsibly channeled capital into non productive house asset bubbles, and not channeled it into income producing businesses and productivity, all with the blessings of our governments and central bank. The unions are not entirely to blame, he says.

    He also talks about the foolishness of the low interest rate policy, which central bankers cannot justify. Although this policy is good for generating housing bubbles, it smashes peoples savings, hides the real inflation figures, destroys government services (the 12 month waiting list for hospitals report, just coincidence?) and generally lowers the standard of living.

    Max is great, if you have never watched him before, please do it once.

    Link here:
    http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/episode-562-max-keiser-713/

    Hope you guys don’t mind me posting this here.

  118. Ellen of Tasmania

    W just got hit with a local government fee for lopping some dangerous dead branches off trees and taking out four large trees that are diseased or seriously weakened and in danger of falling.

    “Hidden in the heart of this striving for Liberty there was also a deep hatred of personal freedom. That invaluable man Rousseau first revealed it. In his perfect democracy … the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn’t know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. Even in England we are pretty successful. I heard the other day that in that country a man could not, without a permit, cut down his own tree with his own axe, make it into planks with his own saw, and use the planks to build a tool-shed in his own garden.

    (C S Lewis. ‘Screwtape Proposes a Toast’. I understand it was Lewis who had wanted to chop one of his trees down. He thought the whole permit thing diabolical.)

    What does it mean to own something, nowadays?

  119. .

    Normally I don’t really like Keiser and think he is often right but goes off into the wilderness too often, he is 100% correct in these circumstances.

    Austrian business cycle theory explains a lot of booms and busts in Australia and the US over the last century or more.

  120. LABCR-TV

    A lot of comments here allude to the fact that many problems in our economy are caused by big, excessive government. And I think that they are correct. A new report recently released examined the richest countries in the world.
    The result:
    The richest countries were physically small, with small populations, and a significant resource, with small government. Scotland could be a part of that group if they broke away from the UK.

    And here in Australia is it any wonder that we haven’t made much progress in the past 20 years, our standard of living has not really risen very much, as we watch our neighbors catch up seemingly effortlessly. I used to think, ‘wow, a pay rise, I am earning all these extra dollars’, little realising how much the value if the dollar has been debased by the feds and central bank. Our wealth is sometimes an illusion.
    And at the same time, and not by coincidence, our federal government has grown into a monolith, extending its arms into every nook and cranny that state governments already have, as well as a whole host of other areas as well. A bit like the ABC really.

    So, digesting the findings of the wealthy country report, there may be a case of getting rid of the ‘nationalist’ government altogether, downsizing into independent states, roughly the size of the wealthy countries actually, and taking it from there.

  121. Infidel Tiger

    The richest countries were physically small, with small populations, and a significant resource, with small government. Scotland could be a part of that group if they broke away from the UK.

    That is hilarious! I don’t disagree with the initial point, but the idea that Scotland will be anything but a left wing hellhole is laughable.

    Without England propping them up, that place would be Tasmania but with more heroin.

    The English should be ecstatic that those mendicants are trying to leave.

  122. Pyrmonter

    @ numbers

    And why should touts, real estate or otherwise, be required by statute to have degree quals? If they’re useful – and they often are – then firms will insist their staff have the qualification.

  123. LABCR-TV

    Infidel, when the totally manipulated western financial system collapses, taking with it the RBS and the other bank whose name I cannot recall, they might have a re-think.

  124. Rafe

    Thanks to Bert I am never going to eat cookies in bed again.
    And thanks to numbers I am not going to have any more children.
    And thanks to Sinc I am going to wear zip up boots.
    But I draw the line at tailored shirts with cuff links.

  125. Some of the stupidest people I know have made big bucks selling real estate, and they wouldn’t know a uni degree if one bit them.
    Then again, some incredibly dumb people have uni degrees.

  126. Pedro

    “The English should be ecstatic that those mendicants are trying to leave.”

    That’s what I was thinking. The referendum should be in the South and on the question of kicking the bums out. They’d probably like to ditch the welsh as well.

  127. bert

    Nice website sinkers.

    This has been my first post here. The responses have been pretty much as expected;

    1) Stupid puns/jokes about my name;

    2) Dreary arguments about being a Marxist. Has anyone actually found a real socialist anyway lately?

    3) Common miscconceptions that the market is superior, and safety is a drag on the economy.

    4) Usual anti-academic rants. Which is ironic on a blog run by a professor.

    I have had the sad task of being professionally involved in many inquests and can assure you that leaving safety up to industry and individuals doesn’t work well. Profit over safety everytime.

    Anyway, I’ll go now before wits like Rafe and Steve at the pub fire up again.

  128. Tel

    What I see bert, is you sprouting out, “There is no evidence to suggest … “ and when I wave the evidence at you, it gets ignored. That is rather dreary isn’t it? What I want to know, do you run your professional inquests the same way? Just ignore what doesn’t suit you? Come up with the conclusion that was requested to begin with and fit the pieces where required.

    I sure hope I’m not paying for that.

  129. sdfc

    Put the heretofore sacrosant family home / principal residence in the same investment category as everything else.

    And what income do owner-occupiers earn on their investment?

  130. Ed

    This has been my first post here. The responses have been pretty much as expected;

    You were refuted and people put up counterarguments to you on multiple occasions. If you didn’t see that then you’re blind.

  131. Rafe

    Stick around Bert, you might learn something if you are really interested in the issues and not just sounding off. I am prepared to stop making jokes and exchange in a serious and civil manner if you are up for it.

  132. Joe Goodacre

    Bert,

    Firstly, safety and profit often go together.

    It takes a lot of time and money to train someone. Trained, competent personnel that fit into the culture of a business aren’t items that you can purchase off a supermarket shelf. This is particularly the case when the employee may operate expensive machinery, and that person and their machinery are part of a larger team. Take for instance a bulk earthworks operation. If the compactor operator is sick or has an accident, not only is their compactor not able to operate, but the whole earthworks operation is affected because you can’t move dirt without having the operator available to place the dirt at its new location.

    So to suggest that profit and safety are incompatible is not supported by those that work in high risk industries such as construction where down-time and a shortage of experienced staff are critical elements in determining whether a project is profitable.

    Secondly, the amount an employer can afford to pay an employee is determined by what profit that employee can earn them, and how prevalent is the supply of alternative employees. The total sum that an employer can pay is limited. Whether that payment is in the form of a wage, a tax or restriction on the operations is irrelevant. If an employee can’t work unless they have a hard hat, then the cost of that hard hat is included in the total cost of employing that person. If the employee can’t drive more than 20 km’s per hour on the job site, then that productivity restriction is also included in their package. Workplace safety restrictions when not voluntarily entered without third party intervention must necessarily be funded from the total package an employee is able to receive as payment for their services. The question then becomes, why should anyone else be involved in the employers and employees decision as to how much of the employees package is in wages or in safety restrictions. If an employee wants to take higher risks for a higher pay packet, why should it be the business of anyone else. This reminds me of the ‘Power of One’ where Peekay goes to work in the highly dangerous mines in Rhodesia in order to take a lucrative but high risk job in order to safe money as quickly as possible in order to fund his education at Oxford. Many people choose to temporarily take higher risks in order to make other plans possible. It takes a certain arrogance to tell them that they can’t do that.

    Thirdly, safety restrictions led by third party interventions remove the competitive advantage of those employees who are safer. If workplace safety was left to a level that was voluntarily entered into, careful and safe employees who took greater care personally would have a competitive advantage. They would be able to work in a higher risk environment and take more of their remuneration package in wages, as opposed to workplace conditions. Advocating for third parties to restrict minimum safety conditions remove this competitive advantage.

    Fourthly, safety regulation if it is not voluntarily consented to by both parties, is incredibly insulting to those who have to bow to the whims of third parties. You would know what I’m talking about if you ever have the fortune of witnessing a group of grown men with decades of experience in high risk industries being told to wear a hard hat. These men don’t wear hard hats because they work in a paddock and their greatest risk of being hit on the head is a rock falling from space. There is no dignity in someone else assuming they know what is the right safety level for you. It’s another instance of people feeling that they are superior to others and thinking that they can treat them like children.

  133. Please don’t leave, Joe.
    We need someone to replace numbers who is almost unrecognisable due to the Troll kicking he receives on a regular basis.
    The blog will be a dreary place without the window licking leftists to brighten it up.

    Oh. All right, piss off then.

  134. err. Bert, I mean. Sorry Joe.
    I’m on so many meds, I get people mixed up.

  135. Oh come on

    Numbers, the early childhood specialist, appears to think a formal education for a two year old is as necessary as it is for a six year old.

  136. Oh come on

    That is hilarious! I don’t disagree with the initial point, but the idea that Scotland will be anything but a left wing hellhole is laughable.

    Indeed. It’s also hilarious to watch the Scots, the majority of whom brayed loudly for independence when they felt confident there was no chance they’d receive it, collectively realise what side of the bread is buttered. They’ll gloomily pull the lever to stay in the UK, for certain.

    I reckon the rest of the UK should then be allowed a referendum on whether they want Scotland in the Union. And why not? If the Scottish commitment to the UK is so uncertain that they need a referendum to decide whether to stay or go, then the rest of the nation should have a right to disassociate themselves from such unenthusiastic countrymen if they choose to.

  137. dismissive

    The most amusing aspect of Scottish independence is that if the current parliamentary representation was re-delivered at the 2015 election (unlikely I know) then the current minority Conservative Govt. (-38 seats from majority) would become a majority of 19 seats. Why would the Conservatives want Scotland?

    Apologies for continuing to derail the thread but this is fun.

  138. sandy

    Why would Aussies want a race to the bottom like America? This is the American template for the last 30 years and all it did was ship jobs overseas, kill standard of living for the average American, bankrupt cities, allow US resources to be taken and Americans pay these corporations in the guise of subsidies to do it. Some subsidies are good if they benefit everyone. These are the bad kind. Aussies don’t want to be Americanized so why push the American template that has strangled this country, given us only low wage jobs and benefited only the few? Don’t fall for it folks. ~signed, an Aussie-American who has seen what this did to the US

Comments are closed.