Pyrmonter: Another honest question

TAFKAS has asked us one Honest Question.

Now, I want to ask another: what temporary policies will best serve the restoration of commerce once the present emergency passes that is politically viable?

One mistake often made by Cats and even more by other commenters is that regulations that do not involve the collection or disbursement of money by government are costless: nothing could be further from the truth. Typically such regulations are outright prohibitions, barring all trade in certain commodities or at certain prices. Now there are some trades that deserve outright prohibition: contracts to murder should not be upheld. But generally, we can infer that the gains from trade from any transaction satisfy both parties. Yet for complex reasons of political economy, we have inherited an extensive body of regulation. In particular, over the past few decades, we’ve accrued a substantial body of ‘regulatory kludge’. Now is the time for a clean out, to stop it becoming the brake on recovery.

My starting suggestions are:

  1. Suspension of ‘responsible lending’ requirements for consumer lending and guarantees for a year
  2. Suspension of retail tenancy ‘protective’ legislation for leases of up to a year, for 2 years
  3. Suspension of unfair dismissal law for newly hired staff for one year from the date of hiring, with the restoration, if it occurs, to be staggered by employer size to avoid further shocks to the labour market
  4. Reinstating the ‘accountants exemption’ for financial advice
  5. Full portability of planning approvals
  6. A prohibition on the use of planning approvals that have the effect of substantially lessening competition.
  7. A balanced budget amendment, to take effect 3 years from the end of the crisis
  8. Price level targeting by the RBA.

Proposals should not require substantial tax collection or payment.

Over to you.

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47 Responses to Pyrmonter: Another honest question

  1. Nob

    Who was it who said here that regulatory complexity is a subsidy from small business to big business?

    That nailed it for me and crystallised something I’ve been struggling to express to people outside SMEs or even some within them.

  2. Nob

    Who was it who said here that regulatory complexity is a subsidy from small businesses to big businesses?

    That nailed it for me and crystallised something I’ve been struggling to express to people outside SMEs or even some within them.

  3. Shy Ted

    No public service recruitment to administrative or executive positions. The position vacated ceases to exist.

  4. C.L.

    9. Permanent ban on all ‘climate change’ policies and the immediate, permanent suspension of all climate-related international agreements.

    Intelligent post, Pyrmonter.

  5. JC

    Price level targeting by the RBA.

    Another fellow market monetarist. Good for you. This has to come quickly though.

  6. jupes

    9. Permanent ban on all ‘climate change’ policies and the immediate, permanent suspension of all climate-related international agreements.

    This.

  7. Behind Enemy Lines

    Seriously?

    End the award system.

    End union privilege, and enforce laws against extortion.

    Beyond that, executive pillage and mass unskilled immigration need to be ended. But these are outside the scope of your question.

  8. Fat Tony

    Suspension of unfair dismissal law for newly hired staff for one year from the date of hiring, with the restoration, if it occurs, to be staggered by employer size to avoid further shocks to the labour market

    I thought most jobs had a 6 month probation period to get around this problem.

  9. Infidel Tiger

    Removal of all alcohol excise.
    Repeal Fringe Benefits Tax.

  10. Petros

    Apparently under Fair Work Australia, companies can sack any workers they like when there is an extraordinary external problem beyond there control. This virus would be one.

  11. duncanm

    Go lower, council building regulations and their approval processes need a good enema.

  12. Entropy

    duncanm
    #3374963, posted on March 25, 2020 at 7:16 am
    Go lower, council building regulations and their approval processes need a good enema

    Exactly

  13. Iampeter

    My starting suggestions are:

    I think these are pretty small fry, Pyrmonter.
    We need wholesale dismantling of government departments, like healthcare.
    We need a return to sound money, which means phasing out the RBA, repealing all banking regulation, etc.
    Anything short of these kinds of changes is just more of the usual re-arranging of deck chairs on the Titanic.

    But before any of the above can happen we need a more fundamental cultural shift. Then the political side of things will be easy and obvious.
    We need to shift the culture away from mysticism and collectivism towards reason and individualism.
    This is the real battle and no one’s even fighting it.
    It’s opposed by both conservatives and progressives who just represent two sides of the same mystical and collectivist coin.

  14. JC

    Now we’re getting somewhere Plodes. For the first time, you’ve actually detailed some of the things you believe in. Good for you.

    Then the political side of things will be easy and obvious.

    “Politics” still shows up though, inserted into the mix and unexplained. This needs more work obviously. baby steps is good though.

  15. Iampeter

    JC, if you don’t know what politics is about then you shouldn’t be posting on a political blog.
    All your posts are therefore dishonest trolls for the purpose of derailing threads.

  16. JC

    Plodes.

    You need to explain exactly what you mean by “politics”. You throw it about, but no one here has any clear understanding what you are trying to say. More detail.

  17. Iampeter

    If you don’t even understand what I meant by “politics” in the context of my post, then you have even bigger problems then not knowing anything about the subject of politics itself.

    I’ll let you keep sperging out/

  18. DHS

    Most of those questions are completely irrelevant.

    There will be no banks in a couple of months.

  19. Andre Lewis

    A measured but complete removal of overlap of responsibilities between the states and federal government in areas of education, hospitals, water management, regulation of all mining and extraction activity plus no climate policies by anyone.
    The shift of responsibility could go either way – education to states and hospitals to feds and so on as long as only one level of government manages it. The savings in duplicated public service jobs alone would save the budget even though the welfare bill would go up.
    While we are at it remove all elected councillors in local councils and leave the day to day running to the CEOs and staff they already have doing the work. Planning permission could go straight to the state Minister already responsible for councils as they have the power to amend or override council planning decisions anyway.
    There must be a lot more to add to the other comments here.

  20. @iampeter

    You know Peter. While I agree with much, but not all of your contributions, how do you propose to achieve this:

    But before any of the above can happen we need a more fundamental cultural shift.

  21. Alex Davidson

    I also agree with most of what Iampeter has to say. Never quite understood why some who comment on the Cat are so aggressively dismissive of his ideas. It’s as if they prefer serfdom to freedom.

    Yes, given the stock we have to work with, and the decades of collectivist indoctrination courtesy of our state-controlled education system, it is very hard to see how the cultural shift will come about. My hope is that the concept of freedom will again start to spread among the population via word of mouth, a bit like a virus…

  22. egg_

    9. Permanent ban on all ‘climate change’ policies and the immediate, permanent suspension of all climate-related international agreements.

    This.

    Should be given the highest priority.

  23. bollux

    I agree with Iampeter again, but there will be no change unless there is a massive reduction in the welfare state and a return to the gold standard to ;
    1: Prevent these bastard politicians from spending money they don’t have to buy votes, and
    2: Allowing people who don’t and who have never contributed, to vote.
    Otherwise there is no incentive or reason to change.

  24. Iampeter

    You know Peter. While I agree with much, but not all of your contributions, how do you propose to achieve this:

    But before any of the above can happen we need a more fundamental cultural shift.

    I think the “how” to spread the right ideas is going to be just like Alex Davidson said. Person to person, word of mouth. But that’s not the question you should be asking.
    Remember you’re on a blog which claims to be right wing but the overwhelming majority of readers and posters disagree with concepts like “individual rights” or “rights-protecting government” and in fact want every aspect of peoples lives regulated. Mostly they don’t even know what those terms even mean or why they are fundamental to right wing politics.

    Everything from where people can live, who people can do business with, who they can marry, whether they can have abortions, every aspect of peoples lives is to be determined by the state. On every issue, most posters here don’t see individuals with rights, but just meat to be sacrificed for some statist collectivist purposes. But don’t call them leftists!

    So, I think the questions you need to be asking is WHAT are the right ideas and WHY are they right?

    Only once you’ve answered that and once you’ve determined you even agree with those ideas, do you then need to worry about HOW we spread them.

  25. max

    “We need to shift the culture away from mysticism and collectivism towards reason and individualism.”

    You still did not explain this:

    Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville

    If, after having cast a rapid glance over the state of American society in 1650, we turn to the condition of Europe, and more especially to that of the Continent, at the same period, we cannot fail to be struck with astonishment. On the Continent of Europe, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, absolute monarchy had everywhere triumphed over the ruins of the oligarchical and feudal liberties of the Middle Ages. Never were the notions of right more completely confounded than in the midst of the splendor and literature of Europe; never was there less political activity among the people; never were the principles of true freedom less widely circulated; and at that very time those principles, which were scorned or unknown by the nations of Europe, were proclaimed in the deserts of the New World, and were accepted as the future creed of a great people. The boldest theories of the human reason were put into practice by a community so humble that not a statesman condescended to attend to it; and a legislation without a precedent was produced offhand by the imagination of the citizens. In the bosom of this obscure democracy, which had as yet brought forth neither generals, nor philosophers, nor authors, a man might stand up in the face of a free people and pronounce the following fine definition of liberty.

    The remarks I have made will suffice to display the character of Anglo-American civilization in its true light. It is the result (and this should be constantly present to the mind of two distinct elements, which in other places have been in frequent hostility, but which in America have been admirably incorporated and combined with one another. I allude to the spirit of Religion and the spirit of Liberty.

    You think that Greed and selfishness will produce virtue and that individualism will produce unity.

  26. max

    Individualism and big state are 2 side of the same coin.

    Family is basic social unit not individual.

  27. max

    Emile Durkheim who, at the beginning of the present century, called attention to the consequences of moral and economic individualism in modern life. Individualism has resulted in masses of normless, unattached, insecure individuals who lose even the capacity for independent, creative living. The highest rates of suicide and insanity, Durkheim discovered, are to be found in those areas of society in which moral and social individualism is greatest.

  28. max

    studies which have been confirmed by the researches of many others, there is a higher rate of suicide among Protestants, among urban dwellers, among industrial workers, among the unmarried, among, in short, all those whose lives are characterized by relative tenuousness of social ties.

    When the individual is thrown back upon his own inner resources, when he loses the sense of moral and social involvement with others, he becomes prey to sensations of anxiety and guilt.

  29. max

    The older rationalist conception of stable, self-sufficing man has been replaced, in large measure, by a conception of man as unstable, inadequate, and insecure when he is cut off from the channels of social membership and clear belief. Changes and dislocations in the cultural environment will be followed by dislocations in personality itself.

  30. max

    But it has become obvious, surely, that technological progress and the relative satisfaction of material needs in a population offer no guarantee of the resolution of all deprivations and frustrations. Human needs seem to form a kind of hierarchy, ranging from those of a purely physical and self-preservative nature at the bottom to needs of a social and spiritual nature at the top.

  31. max

    read:
    The Quest for Community by Robert A. Nisbet

  32. Tim Neilson

    @iampeter

    You know Peter. While I agree with much, but not all of your contributions, how do you propose to achieve this:

    But before any of the above can happen we need a more fundamental cultural shift.

    By strutting onto blogsites, sneering at every other commenter, pronouncing himself to be an authority on “politics”,…
    and then flatly refusing to say how his facile absolutist dogmatic generalities would actually apply in any specific real world situation.

  33. Roger

    9. Permanent ban on all ‘climate change’ policies and the immediate, permanent suspension of all climate-related international agreements.

    Indeed; the economy won’t be able to sustain the idiotic measures of the various “Zero 2050” schemes hitherto touted by state governments.

    It’s an ill wind…

  34. Zatara

    Suspension of ‘responsible lending’ requirements for consumer lending and guarantees for a year

    Did we learn nothing from the real roots of the GFC?

  35. Pyrmonter

    @ TimN

    As an occasional visitor, I too have wondered at why Iampeter attracts so much personal criticism.

    Aren’t your complaints equally applicable to the rest of us? TAFKAS, CL, Currencylad (are they the same participant?), Jupes, Stackja, Roger, Alex, Dot and all. (Even the Doomlord).

  36. Pyrmonter

    Zatara

    Irresponsible lending has always occurred: ex post, people get unhappy. But the burden of prevention has been shifted too much to lenders. Mentally competent adult borrowers can attend to their own affairs, surely? (Not referring to fraud etc – but we have other remedies for that)

  37. Tim Neilson

    Aren’t your complaints equally applicable to the rest of us? TAFKAS, CL, Currencylad (are they the same participant?), Jupes, Stackja, Roger, Alex, Dot and all. (Even the Doomlord).

    No doubt all of us are at fault occasionally. But most people:
    (a) don’t habitually start their contribution to threads by sneering at other commenters;
    (b) try to back up their assertions with evidence when requested to do so;
    (c ) have some grasp of logic.

    Admittedly Iamashiteater’s contribution to this thread is one of his less odious efforts, but even here he can’t help displaying his conceited disdain for anyone who doesn’t share his evidence-free absolutist dogmas.

    As an example, someone who asserts (as Iamashiteater once did) that WN Hohfeld and Sir John Salmond had “no idea about rights” needs their backside kicked good and hearty until they learn some humility.

  38. Tel

    Did we learn nothing from the real roots of the GFC?

    Let me check … they are all still there: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae.

    Sure seems like we learned nothing.

    Still backed by the taxpayer if I’m not mistaken, like always.

  39. Iampeter

    You think that Greed and selfishness will produce virtue and that individualism will produce unity.

    No, I just think that selfishness and individualism (not greed) are virtues and this then logically requires a rights-protecting government, which is what actual freedom looks like.
    It’s not about “unity” or “family” or “institutions” any other random straws that you’re grasping at.
    Those are just cargo cultist talking points that we always hear from conservative because they don’t know what the West is fundamentally about.
    Just think, if you don’t support selfishness, what do you even need freedom for? So you can live the exact kind of selfless life you would be forced live in a dictatorship anyway?

    These are the kinds of issues/contradictions that honest people have to wrestle with and resolve in order to be able to properly advocate the right ideas.

  40. max

    Self-interest is not equivalent to greed or any other kind of selfishness. In fact, it is very often in our own self-interest to treat others well. The storeowner who overcharges her customers will find it bad for business in the long run.

    The self-interested wisdom of serving others has long been known, and is captured well in the old Rotary Club motto, “He profits most who serves best.”

    Adam Smith never argued that the more selfish we are, the better a market works. Smith never argued that greed is good.
    Smith argued that in a rightly-ordered market economy, you’re usually better off appealing to someone’s self-love than to their kindness. The butcher is more likely to give you meat if it’s a win-win trade—if there’s something in it for him—than if you’re just asking for a handout. This is, or should be, common sense.

    Smith wrote that we benefit from the self-interest of the butcher, brewer, and baker. He did not say selfishness!

    What capitalism need is rule of law, human creativity and initiative.

    Self-interest is the basis for the “Golden Rule,” “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”

  41. max

    There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that empathy, rather than greed, is the true driving force of capitalism. Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand another person’s feelings and motives, and this is the most important characteristic of successful entrepreneurs.

    The fact that people and companies pursue their own interests is the same in every society. This is not a specific feature of capitalism.
    Under capitalism, though, only those entrepreneurs and companies who prioritize their customers’ interests rather than their own self-interest will achieve success in the long-term. Companies that fail to understand and respect what consumers want will lose market share and may even disappear entirely as they are driven out by other companies that better meet their customers’ needs.
    Empathy, the ability to recognize the desires and needs of others, is the true basis of capitalism—not unbridled greed and selfishness.

  42. max

    Every time you wash your hands or take your vitamins or clock into work on time or look both ways before you cross the street, you’re pursuing your self-interest—but none of these acts is selfish. Indeed, generally speaking, you ought to do these things. Greed, in contrast, is a sort of disordered self-interest.

  43. JC

    Alex

    I don’t understand how you can come out and say you agree with most of what plodes has to say. If at all can you explain in some detail what it is that you agree with him?

    It’s only recent that plodes has gone into a little detail explaining his belief system and on the couple of oaccasions he has I have congratulated him. Nearly all his comments are general and laced with abuse against other people who he accuses of not understanding this or that.

    For instance, plodes says he believes in a rights based government. Does he believe in positive or negative rights. Plodes accuses people of not understanding “politics”. What the fuck that even mean?

    Until he goes into detail and elaborate then he should be treated like the Chauncey Gardener of the Cat or just a troll.

    Perhaps you could mind read a little and explain what you think he’s getting at, because no one here has been able to do so.

  44. Iampeter

    @max you’re just doing your usual routine of self contradictions. You’re previously said atheism is really just being religious and here you’re trying to say that self interest is really serving others.
    No, sorry, freedom is not slavery, war is not peace, up is not down, etc, etc.

    You need to get into the habit of resolving contradictions not presenting them as “arguments.”

  45. Alex Davidson

    JC, to me there is a fundamental divide in society between individualists and collectivists – so I agree with Iampeter when he highlights this, and when he advocates an individualist, reasoned approach to issues. Also agree that most conservatives show through words and actions they are just another type of collectivist, and therefore just as much enemies of freedom as those we commonly refer to as leftists.

    As for rights, I assume he means negative rights and rights that precede government (natural rights), but that could be my confirmation bias at work. The way he writes – well let me say I understand his frustration.

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