The definition of the Chomsky Condition is the practice of persons with some knowledge or expertise in one area, to claim expertise and authority in every other area they choose to speak. The Chomsky Condition is named for Noam Chomsky who is a linguist, philosopher and cognitive scientist. According to Wikipedia, Chomsky is:
Notwithstanding, Chomsky speaks with great authority, the authority of an expert, in matters far and wide including foreign policy, economics and the US healthcare system.
Sadly, the Chomsky condition is not confined to university academics in the North East of the United States*. Australia its fair share, and too many sufferers of the Chomsky Condition in Australia claim authority and expertise in climate science and climate policy.
Who can forget Tim Flannery’s claim about rain fall and dams despite Flannery’s “expertise” being in mammalogy and paleontology. How about The Guardian’s Katherine Murphy who espouses her climate expertise regularly in The Guardian and every 3-4 weeks or so on the Insiders couch.
But making his return to the stage today is Elmer Funke Kupper. Mr Funke Kupper is
a private investor. He was previous chief executive of the ASX and a director of the Business Council of Australia.
Mr Funke Kupper’s expertise is as a former business CEO and McKinsey consultant. His last executive role was that of CEO of ASX Limited, a $3.5 million per year position from which he resigned:
The $200,000 payment was made when Mr Funke Kupper was chief executive of gaming giant Tabcorp and is now the focus of an international anti-bribery investigation led by the Australian Federal Police.
Writing for the AFR today, Mr Funke Kupper again presents his grand ideas to solve Australia’s ills. Or at least his perceived ideas of what Australia’s ills are.
What are Mr Funke Kupper’s grand plans? Abolish the senate and the states and go to 4 year electoral cycles.
This is perhaps Mr Funke Kupper’s 3rd or 4th attempt at presenting this argument in the AFR which makes one wonder who his publicist is given the only platform he can find is in the AFR.
Perhaps also Mr Funke Kupper does have a knack for politics given he constant repetition of the same theme suggesting both message discipline and the belief that it is the communication that is the problem and not the idea.
It is however Mr Funke Kupper’s idea to make it harder for independents to get elected that particularly caught Spartacus’ eye:
Third, we should implement a minimum threshold to win a seat in Parliament. It simply cannot be right that someone who gets voted in with barely 10,000 votes can stifle progress or dictate national policies. My suggestion would be a threshold of 5 per cent of the national vote.
Yep. Mr Funke Kupper’s grand strategy is to diminish competition in the the already uncompetitive Australian market for politicians, political parties and political ideas.
Sadly, Mr Funke Kupper’s ideas are not a surprise. Prior to ASX, Mr Funke Kupper worked for TabCorp and prior that for ANZ Bank. Working for and leading regulated monopolies and oligopolies seems a pattern so one should not be surprised that Mr Funke Kupper is advocating for creating more regulated monopolies and oligopolies by increasing the barriers to entry for new politicians and political parties. In turn this would further cementing the current political party oligopoly that exist and that has brought Australia the gridlock that he rails against.
The coup de grâce of Mr Funke Kupper’s proposal is his suggestion that the productivity of government and legislature would be improved:
The productivity improvements alone would be material. More importantly, much needed longterm reforms would have a better chance of being implemented.
Hell yeah the productivity would improve. It would be easier for parliaments to legislate. They would be very efficient and effective in passing laws and regulations. Unfortunately, that is not really what Australia needs – more laws and regulations.
How about we keep the current gridlocked legislative chambers making legislation and regulation hard and create a House of Repeal where repealing legislation and regulation is easy.
* William F. Buckley Jr said:
I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.
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