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Tackling inequality

Last year the IMF released a paper called “Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective.”

“We find that increasing the income share of the poor and the middle class actually increases growth while a rising income share of the top 20 percent results in lower growth – that is, when the rich get richer, benefits do not trickle down. This suggests that policies need to be country specific but should focus on raising the income share of the poor, and ensuring there is no hollowing out of the middle class. To tackle inequality, financial inclusion is imperative in emerging and developing countries while in advanced economies, policies should focus on raising human capital and skills and making tax systems more progressive.”

Peter Martin recently wrote an article showing “The top 1 per cent of Australian earners amassed an extraordinary 9 per cent of Australian income in 2013, the highest proportion since the 1950s. The top 0.1 per cent – a mere 18,750 people – took in 2.7 per cent, also the highest take since the 1950s.”

Melbourne Institute professorial research fellow Roger Wilkins said “Look at the people in the BRW Rich 200 list. A fair proportion of them are in property and mining. These are not entrepreneurial areas. These are areas where what matters most is the ability to deal with government and get monopoly rights over mining and property developments.”

“To the extent that the growing income of high earners is driven by developments like that, things like the College of Surgeons controlling entry into their profession so it can charge high prices, to the extent it is driven by that, and to some extent it is, it is unambiguously bad. It’s not fuelling broader economic growth or income growth.”

In Israel, they just passed a new law that sets an upper limit for the top financial sector executive’s gross salary at 35 times the gross income of the lowest-paid worker in the institution, or 44 times the lowest-paid net. With minimum wage currently at NIS 4,650 ($1,215) per month gross, the new law effectively limits executive pay to NIS 1.95 million, or some $510,000, per year before taxes. Any pay above that figure is no longer counted as a tax-deductible corporate expense, and will thus be double-taxed through both corporate and employee income taxes.

Describing the growing wage gap as an “ethical and moral failure,” the finance minister insisted that its “economic, ethical and moral ramifications are felt across the width and breadth of the Israeli economy.”

Pegging the upper tax-deductible limit of executives’ salaries to a multiple of the lowest-paid employee’s monthly wage – all Israeli banks employ subcontracted workers who make minimum wage – would create a direct incentive to increase the pay at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

As this law only applies to financial sector executives, some have described it as discriminatory.

“What will happen here, without a doubt, is that good people who work in the banks and in the insurance companies will move to other sectors. We don’t work in a vacuum.”

Some opposition lawmakers agreed with the complaint about discrimination, and are seeking to expand the rule to other industries.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

 

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48 comments

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  1. Dame Lacey Bra

    What a smashing idea.

  2. cordannao

    Excellent idea.

  3. John Kelly

    The government could extinguish inequality tomorrow if it adopted a policy of full employment. It’s not a hard thing to do. It would create demand on a scale per capita not seen since the 1960s. The only sub group that would experience a negative impact would be the 1%.

  4. Judes

    With the ‘study tours’ to Israel, of the Sophie Mirrorball, Wee Wyatt Roy, variety… Plus the colourful co-ordinated luggage and travelling suit ensemble, of Behive Bronnie on her ‘study tour’ ( with minders) last year, perhaps we are not that far away from stamping out inequality in Australia ? … Yeah Right…..

  5. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, some of us are not interested in being millionaires but we would like to live comfortably, families like mine suffer from the inequity of the current system which need not be so if everyone paid their fair share of taxation to this country from which they derive their huge incomes
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/almost-600-companies-did-not-pay-tax-in-2013-14/7036324
    we can clearly see that the richest of companies and probably people are not being forced to contribute to this nation. If a federal govt were courageous enough to ensure that a floor was placed on corporate taxation, say 20% which they had to pay regardless of their deductions, then, and only then would we see ‘fairness’ arrive for families like mine.

    By the way everything that both you and John Kelly write goes onto facebook, twitter, goggle plus, and Linkeden.

  6. Matters Not

    The government could extinguish inequality tomorrow if it adopted a policy of full employment

    So Piketty’s argument that:

    the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future

    is wrong? ‘Employment’ is not the road to wealth. It’s ‘capital’ that counts.

  7. townsvilleblog

    We had a Liberal MP who did a ‘study tour’ of the world from Townsville, they are great at spending ‘our’ money, just hopeless at managing ‘public money’ and we need to convince everyone we know of this fact. I don’t have any friends, only my wife but I’m sure some of you have social circles.

  8. Miriam English

    The open market is a wonderful idea, but it is deeply flawed. It needs to be protected from itself because the way it works at the moment makes it ultimately suicidal — it generates monopolies which destroy the very competition that makes a market such a good idea in the first place. I’ve long felt that we can get the market to work well and benefit us all much better if we tinker with the ground rules and the regulations that enforce those rules. This is a wonderful example of exactly such a small alteration that can have far-reaching positive changes for society. There is much more to be done, but it is a great start.

    Some changes I’d like to see are, absolute bans on political donations (from both organisations and individuals), and a reversal of privacy so that individuals have absolute privacy, but organisations have none. It would also be nice to see companies become democracies instead of dictatorships; elect your boss instead of having absolutely no say.

    One change that I’d like most to see, but which is unlikely to happen widely in my lifetime (though I think it has to come eventually, and is already happening in some forward-looking companies) is for every member of a company or other organisation to receive exactly the same wage — from the CEO to the janitor. This would curb the mindless expansionist tendency of organisations because to hire another person would require either everybody to take a pay cut, or to suddenly be bringing in more money. It would also make predatory hiring and the working poor a thing of the past. And it would fix that ridiculous disconnect between management and workers. Managers and CEOs are nothing without the workers. Like a chain they all depend upon each other, with no link more important.

  9. Matters Not

    Miriam English, you may be interested in this company. And the consequences.

    When Dan Price, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based credit card payment processing firm Gravity Payments, announced he was raising the company’s minimum salary to $US70,000 a year, he was met with overwhelming enthusiasm.

    “Everyone start[ed] screaming and cheering and just going crazy,” Price told Business Insider shortly after he broke the news in April.

    One employee told him the raise would allow him to fly his mum out from Puerto Rico to visit him in Seattle. Another said the raise would make it possible for him to raise a family with his wife. Overnight, Price became something of a folk hero — a small-business owner taking income inequality into his own hands.

    But in the weeks since then, it’s become clear that not everyone is equally pleased. Among the critics? Some of Price’s own employees.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/dan-price-gravity-payments-employees-leave-2015-7?r=US&IR=T

  10. Wally

    “In Israel, they just passed a new law that sets an upper limit for the top financial sector executive’s gross salary at 35 times the gross income of the lowest-paid worker in the institution, or 44 times the lowest-paid net.”

    Would like to see this implemented in Australia as part of the tax reform the LNP claim we desperately need.

  11. Wally

    townsvilleblog

    “If a federal govt were courageous enough to ensure that a floor was placed on corporate taxation, say 20% which they had to pay regardless of their deductions, then, and only then would we see ‘fairness’ arrive for families like mine.”

    Would be a catastrophe and not plausible. You cannot tax entities on turnover it would have a huge (negative impact) on employment.

    Our taxation base is broad enough just need to stop those who evade tax.

  12. Kaye Lee

    The thing that I love about the Israeli law is that they can still pay their CEO whatever they please, there is just an upper limit on how much they can claim as a deduction for these salaries. If one person is so amazingly good at their job that they justify paying enormous amounts to keep them then they can. It makes you think about whether these exorbitant amounts are actually justified by return to the company – if they are, then pay for them. If, as we all know, they are obscenely disproportionate to the value added, then this law will better reflect the contribution made.

    I also love it being linked to employees wages. If you want to raise the CEO’s salary and still be able to claim it as a business expense then you also have to increase the wages of the employees who keep the company running.

  13. Wally

    Kaye Lee

    The Israel Law ticks all of the boxes and has the potential to be applied to government wages/salaries using either the minimum wage or unemployment benefits as the lowest-paid worker.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians had to address the needs of the battlers before they could give themselves a pay rise.

  14. Matters Not

    Inequality. What it’s like in the ‘home of the brave and the land of the free’.

    That’s the direction, Malware et al want to take us.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Another interesting fact is that the Israeli parliament (Knesset) passed this law unanimously.

  16. Miriam English

    Interestingly more money doesn’t necessarily produce better performance. It only does in relatively mindless situations, but the minute creativity, lateral thinking, and solving complex problems come into the picture, more money actually retards performance — and not just a little bit, but significantly. This has long been known in psychology. Unfortunately, business and government often live in a science-free environment.

    or if you prefer to watch on YouTube:

    (Hmmm… don’t seem to be able to embed the video here.)

  17. z

    Melbourne Institute professorial research fellow Roger Wilkins said “Look at the people in the BRW Rich 200 list. A fair proportion of them are in property and mining. These are not entrepreneurial areas. These are areas where what matters most is the ability to deal with government and get monopoly rights over mining and property developments.”
    Australia may be the only country to adapt negative gearing tax policy to stimulate housing price and take the excuse of protect investor, as a matter of real fact, it has protected multiple house owners who do not pay tax and offset so called losses for ever. more and more high income earners rush into it and formed million investors exempt tax house ownership team. cut spending for public hospital & education and widen the inequality gap between rich and poor, hard to find any country similar with this in developed world

  18. Miriam English

    Matters Not, I’d heard of that company’s cool changes to wages. Sadly in USA they have an extremely uncooperative ethos. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t dissatisfaction among some of the employees. It would work brilliantly in other countries, but USA seems largely about “never give a sucker an even break” and “survival of the fittest” (where they perversely think being cutthroat equates to fitness). USA is a seriously sick country. I am very scared our country is going to follow that one down the plughole.

  19. Miriam English

    Tomorrow night at 8:30pm Four Corners is doing an exposé on corporate tax dodging. Cool!
    Let’s see the LNP duck that one.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Yes, should be a very interesting show Miriam.

    As for the USA (and to a lesser degree, us), we seem to have lost the sense of community, the responsibility to care for each other. The Libs continually talk about rewarding and protecting entrepreneurs – how about rewarding and protecting nurses and teachers and police and paramedics? How about protecting those most at risk of death or injury at work? How about caring for the vulnerable? The Libs want to reduce tax for companies when every skerrick of evidence shows that “trickle down” is a fantasy. We have to wrest back power from those who seek to use our money and resources to increase their personal wealth whilst avoiding their obligation to the social contract that allows them to do business. Companies must be forced to contribute to the health and education of their workforce and to the infrastructure we provide.

    Greed is what is killing the world and our politicians are facilitating it.

  21. Salstarat

    Can’t WAIT to see the FOUR CORNERS expose, Miriam. It should be made COMPULSORY VIEWING for every hysterical sycophant to the lunatic right wing neoliberal LNP which PLUTOCRACY has bled our country dry and just about destroyed EVERYTHING we love and cherish, including our democracy and egalitarian way of life!

  22. z

    for Per Capita GDP, Australia was on the top of the range in the world, but under LNP, lack of money to provide public hospital and school are running, people can not understand but ask: what is the problem in our country? because it is a bit abnormal

  23. Kyran

    For some reason, this article reminded me of friends who went to live on a kibbutz after high school (late 70’s). In a nostalgic fit, I read the wiki on kibbutz;

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjH6o_zq_HLAhXkYqYKHQY7DkkQFgglMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FKibbutz&usg=AFQjCNF8zVzyl6o7yX9TSoQIAQGwFUFzeg

    Well worth the time to read it, as it basically defines equality as a societal benefit, not a selective platitude.
    Wally asked how we could or should adjudge our politicians on such a scale. The minimum wage is $622.20 per week. Newstart Allowance is $501 per fortnight ($904.60 per fortnight for couples). Wanna guess which one I’d go for?

    At the same time as this conversation is going on, we have an incapacitated government, so bound by its own ideological idiocy, that it wants to obliterate history. Back in 1939, a 7.5% quarantine was introduced on income tax to fund the aged pension. It was, over the years, put into general revenue.

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjRscbvpPHLAhVjK6YKHWRFBikQFgggMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Farpq.org.au%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F12%2Fold_age_pension.pdf&usg=AFQjCNG3ol4uV8gpMcmU5NjrbtIx3AgL1A&bvm=bv.118443451,d.dGY

    So we had to have the superannuation guarantee as a supplement to what was already paid for. Then we had the ‘Future Fund’, under the careful custodianship of the bestest everest treasurer, which will technically fund the public service retirement costs into the future. It seems the bloke who sold our gold at bargain basement prices wants to invest in the future.

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjotKGjpfHLAhUlFqYKHVbBCjcQqQIIPTAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Freneweconomy.com.au%2F2016%2Fformer-coal-chief-says-costello-has-lost-plot-on-potential-coal-mine-funding-52387&usg=AFQjCNHYVDfZ1PelO3dpXGiBZWqES2VHkw

    Thank you, Ms Lee. Tackling inequality is the critical requirement. This government? Not a snow ball’s chance on the equator. Take care

  24. Wally

    Z

    The issues with negative gearing are the result of inequality, if we all made enough money to own our home and an investment property, a holiday home or a share portfolio it would not be an issue.

    Far too often people are outraged by the result they feel impacts on them instead of the cause that generally has negative impact on many.

  25. Kaye Lee

    It should also be noted, when Scomo talks about us having a high direct taxation burden, that Australia is one of only two countries in the OECD that do not collect social security taxes, a significant source of direct tax revenue in other countries.

    If you combine all direct taxation – personal and corporate income taxes, compulsory social security contributions and payroll taxes – the OECD average is 61 per cent of all taxation and Australia’s rate is only slightly higher at 63 per cent.

    We are NOT a high taxing nation despite the spin these economic illiterates try to sell to us. I think if you asked Australians if they would be prepared to pay an extra 2% to fund health, education and welfare that most would agree. Gina probably wouldn’t but she is a woman who wouldn’t even share her obscene wealth with her own children let alone the society that facilitates her wealth accumulation. That’s one sick puppy.

  26. Michael Lacey

    They have always known but they don’t care! The ugly truth is that corporate global capitalists conservatives just don’t
    like working people. They don’t like “bottom up” prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. “Corporate lords” have a harder time kicking them around. Once you understand this about the cheap-labour conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labour conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits those who work for an hourly wage.

  27. Keitha Granville

    I reckon the thing that really bothers most of us not in the top 9% is that a lot of them aren’t paying any tax at all. I don’t mind paying tax to build a better country, provide for my children, look after the elderly etc – but I seriously mind when giant corporations pay ZERO.
    And I also seriously mind that our elected officials are happy to spend OUR money as if there’s no tomorrow on themselves and their “allowances” and will continue to do so after they have left the job – this perk is available to no ordinary Joe public in ANY job that I can think of – so the pollies have absolutely no incentive to do anything to help those at the bottom of the wealth pile. They are never going to have to worry about their future.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Marx argued that capitalism relies on keeping the workforce ignorant and in debt so they are too scared to demand adequate working conditions and a fair share of the profit generated by their labour for fear they lose their job. They don’t want class mobility. The owners of the capital want to keep their club exclusive by keeping pressure on the proletariat whilst making laws that enhance their own wealth creation ability.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Keitha,

    There are so many areas of waste that we could deal with if we were serious about saving money.

    The Immigration Department is spending more than $70 million on advertisements and public service announcements to deter people in poor nations from making the journey to Australia by boat.

    Senate estimates heard that $70.7 million will have been spent over six years from 2013 to the financial year of 2018-2019, across television, radio, press, print, online, social media, billboards, transit advertising, leaflets, stickers, community workshops and street theatre in 18 different languages.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/immigration-spends-70-million-on-campaigns-to-deter-boat-journeys-20150526-gha1ac.html#ixzz44jaNCBNO

    And then Peter Dutton tells the UN how touched he was when we paid for him to fly to Jordan to visit the refugee camps to which he ‘generously’ donated $8.5 million. He offered to take 12,000 refugees – we have taken about 30. Australia is currently spending more than five times the United Nations refugee agency’s entire budget for all of South East Asia on offshore processing of asylum seekers.

    Give me five housewives who have managed a family budget to help their family survive…give us one week….I can guarantee that we could find hundreds of billions in savings.

  30. Wally

    Kaye Lee

    “Give me five housewives who have managed a family budget to help their family survive…give us one week….I can guarantee that we could find hundreds of billions in savings.”

    Agreed and you could include most successful small business owners/managers. Problem is the type of people we have in this LNP government would need an accountants advise on financial management of their business, without support they would fail.

  31. Miriam English

    The weird thing is that even the rich benefit from a more inclusive society. They would be able to move around freely instead of imprisoned behind bulletproof glass and iron gates and surrounded by bodyguards. They would have more toys because a well-educated population would create better things. They would even have more money because a well-educated, wealthy population produces far more wealth than an impoverished one. They would still be at the top of the heap, but the heap would be much, much higher.

    I’m not a patriot. I consider myself a citizen of Earth. I love living in Australia. I was born in the outback and grew up in coastal bushland, I lived for a time in Sydney and Melbourne, but now I’m back in the beautiful bush. I adore the Australian bush, but to me Australia is simply part of the planet. And Australians are part of humanity. I don’t see the sense in national boundaries. I figure we all succeed or fall together. My allegiance and my obligation is to the planet and humanity as a whole, so in an odd way I could be called a kind of a patriot, but it is for all of us.

    But people like Gina Reinhart who don’t see the sense in contributing to society, who just want more and more, who have this insane need to stomp anybody else down… they are like the opposite of patriots. (Is there a word for that?) It’s like they hate this country and its people, and they will do anything they can to stop it getting any part of what they’ve managed to scam into their grubby hands. They seem to think, “Screw the next generation. They can deal with global warming after I’m done getting everything I can lay my hands on.”

    I confess, I don’t understand how they can be so broken. Perhaps they need to be fixed. Not hurt. Repaired.

  32. David Spry

    Corporations are the product of legislation. Limited liability was created to encourage investors by protecting those investors from claims against their other assets if a company failed. Companies are granted the status of being “legal persons” but nowhere will you find any other provision that granted them a status that was greater than that of a private person.

    I can’t remember any government that has not told us, if sometimes obliquely, that they need to tax us at the levels they set if they are to pay for the services and mechanisms of government.

    As “legal persons” corporations should feed this need at least as much as the private citizens, particularly when it is considered that taking more of their profits in tax will not take the food out of anyone’s mouth.

    If corporations are operating legally, particularly with regards to fair systems of pay, workplace safety, compliance with Fair Trading and Trade practices and other standards to maintain fairness and equality, then in the context of the nations economy their profits are the cream and can be taxed with the least impact on all levels of society.

    Downward pressure on company tax is prompted by selfishness and greed. If you are a small company that is profitable then you have been able to pay all your bills, all your wages – including those of the company executives – and have come out on top. Getting to keep over 70% of the cream is better than the non-corporate sector gets. Large corporations live and breath “more, more, more”, and they do not consider social or national responsibility.

    In the last 12 months the LNP, Labor and the Greens have all had spokespersons who have been apologists for corporate greed and tax avoidance, explaining away such conduct as executives ‘just doing their jobs’. They seem to expect us to accept that such concessions are reasonable, even though giving in to them reduces the availability of basic health care and education.

    If we want equality in all areas, fairness in dealings and the provision of good quality health, education and other essential services we need to concentrate on those concepts and find ways to pay for them.

    In Australia corporations have been granted privileges and tax concessions that we can’t afford. Private citizens are progressively paying more tax, but still the politicians tell us that there is a short fall, so how can reducing corporate tax rates be a responsible policy.

    The progressive reduction of company tax in UK from 50% in 1965 to 20% now has shown no beneficial flow down to the general public and their essential services are now inadequate and over-stretched coping with widespread poverty. We would be in a much more advantageous position if when the GST was introduced the company rate had been kept at at least 35% and companies had been required to pay it in full. The US company tax rate is 35% and it is 37.1% in Japan.

    We need to expect and require that corporations are treated equally with the other persons of Australia. Corporations are not entitled to privilege or preference and, if we truly want equality and fairness to flourish in Australia, companies need to be required to shoulder a fairer share of the burden. I realise that it is a matter of power, but do we tolerate power that is used to deprive others a reasonable quality of life? Do we vote for politicians who want to deprive the majority by reducing the tax rate for corporations?

  33. Miriam English

    The Queensland Labor party just turned full traitor.
    They are backing the insane Adani mine and reneging on their promise to protect the reef.
    What the hell???

  34. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    IMO Anastasia is playing politics. Lots of people in northern and central Queensland still think this project will create jobs so the Qld govt has agreed knowing full well that there are still several court cases in progress and no bank is willing to cough up the money. When I heard that Peter Costello was in India talking about using our Future Fund to invest in the mine I nearly choked. If he does that I will storm parliament house and disrupt every session I can barge my way into. Pay for health and education…protect the reef that underpins a tourism industry that employs far more people than any mine….don’t you DARE use our future fund to make some Indian corporate thief richer as he destroys the planet.

  35. Miriam English

    A thought just hit me a moment ago. Maybe she’s been fed the fatalistic line that the Great Barrier Reef is dying and nobody can save it because the climate is already out of control. That means the end of a massive tourism industry that brings in billions. What are you going to do to replace it?

    Could she be so weak as to get suckered by that? The Adani mine would seal the fate of the reef. It would throw money away on a useless venture that WILL go broke in a couple or few years. That money is being diverted from much better uses, such as pulling out all the stops to move to fossil fuel free, planting more trees and faster growing vegetation, and technologies to capture carbon for things like the new kinds of plastics and other materials. We could have a hope of saving the reef and giving our next generations a good life. Instead they’ll waste billions on lining the pocket of a corrupt businessman.

    And that’s not even considering the lies involved in stealing the land from its traditional owners.

    There is another possibility. Adani is already known to be a crook. Maybe he is threatening them with death or injury of them or their families.

  36. Kyran

    Ms English, the third link that I posted before refers directly to a new form of financing for the Adani/Carmichael debacle (as referenced by Ms Lee). None other than Costello the (in)grate, using funds from the Future Fund. The Future Fund was meant to insulate public servants entitlements for retirement against the ravages of time. Ms Palaszczuk wants to play politics (again, as referenced by Ms Lee).
    Isn’t that representative of the whole issue of inequality? ‘They’ want to ‘play’ politics. The rest of us have to deal with the repercussions.
    Mr Spry’s comment is equally notable. If a company is (as an incorporated entity) an abstract construct, it can’t be jailed. Why, then, aren’t the directors sent to jail if that ‘construct’ leads to the death of people? Death’s on construction sites lead to fines for the corporate entity.
    As an individual, I am responsible for my own malfeasance.
    “Malfeasance is an affirmative act that is illegal or wrongful. In tort law it is distinct from misfeasance, which is an act that is not illegal but is improperly performed. It is also distinct from Nonfeasance, which is a failure to act that results in injury.”
    Why should company’s be exempt? My bad. We are all equal. It’s just that some of us are more equal than others. Take care

  37. Kaye Lee

    I’m not sure about “I’m gonna kill your brudder” but I am pretty sure that Adani would like someone to sue to recoup some of their losses.

    Adani says it won’t make a final investment decision until it has secured outstanding approvals and legal challenges by “politically-motivated activists” are resolved, one of which is by the traditional owners of the land.

    The Queensland approvals were announced on the same day the federal government’s own marine science agency warned water quality targets designed to protect the reef were unlikely to be met.

    Australian Institute of Marine Science researchers said water quality targets – set out in the Reef 2050 Plan and aimed at warding off a UNESCO decision to list the reef as in danger – would likely not be met under existing policies dealing with land-based pollution.

    I just can’t see it happening and the Qld govt are positioning themselves to say wasn’t our fault.

  38. Wayne Turner

    A Liberal party that LOVES inequality and it’s policies,or lack of policies cater ONLY to the BIG END OF TOWN ie: The people that BRIBE the Libs.
    ONLY ignorant gullible fools NOT from the big end of town vote for these Libs ie: A majority should never be voting for these Libs,if these voters had a clue.ONLY their BRIBERS from the big end of town should be voting for the LNP.

    While in the recent past Labor have been TOO GUTLESS to take on the big end of town egs: It’s watered down mining tax,because the mining industry bullied Labor into it. Thankfully,at least Labor are trying to right the wrongs of this GUTLESS behaviour (The asylum seeker issue the sad exception) egs: Wanting to go after the big end of town tax avoiders,and negative gearing changes.

  39. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    I say if the Rich want more, then let them go for it. They will gorge themselves as is their want while those who create the demand have nothing to spend and the inevitable will eventuate.

    Blind Freddie can see this, but the troublesome part is the length of time for this to happen, and the collateral damage and suffering to those with nothing will be severe.

    SO, how to speed up the economic collapse?

    How would an ‘International Buy Nothing Day’ sound? On the face of it, this sounds like a crazed idea from some goose who has a burr in his jocks, and maybe you’d be right.

    But imagine the $hitstorms in company boardrooms should this become a reality. I truly think that if the proletariat hack off demand, if only for one day, then that will rock the Fat Cats to their core. Protections MUST be in place to prevent those same Fat Cats attempting to claim compensations &tc, but it must never be forgotten that the power lies with those who create the DEMAND, NOT the other way round.

  40. Adrianne Haddow

    @ Ian SPM.

    What a great idea. International Buy Nothing Day.

    The same idea crossed my mind with regard to the abolition of penalty rates. If we all refrained from going to cafes, supermarkets etc at the weekends, the money grabbers might see how necessary to their profit making the weekend workers are.

    The sooner the business bods realise they need a cashed up population to maintain their profits, they might be a bit less self serving in their attempts to rig the economy and work places in their favour.

    How to organise/ encourage the consumers to avoid the ‘temple’ at the weekend is the problem.

  41. gee

    the thing is that not everyone wants a solid gold toilet. most people would be happy to have their needs, not wants, met. Greed is a developmental disorder that seems to be based in lack.. usually of human decency.

  42. Salstarat

    Talking about the top 1% elite being the PROTECTED SPECIES of the LNP PLUTOCRACY, I was watching the pompous and thoroughly arrogant Scott Morrison on the ABC News this morning waxing lyrical about Bill Shorten “thinking” they (ie the thieves and liars in the LNP) have a REVENUE PROBLEM! Scott Morrison, bless his black heart, has ALWAYS had the ability to either exaggerate to the point of lunacy OR under-estimate the incident to the point of a blatant, unconscionable LIE. On this occasion, it is a gross understatement. When one looks at the above statistics, clearly the top 1% of the worst, most rapacious predatory corporate raiders are BLEEDING this country dry, exporting BILLIONS, exporting jobs and not paying a CENT in tax … what does Australia or the LNP get out of it?

    Well, Australia and the ordinary people of Australia get ZILCH whereas the LNP get uncounted MILLIONS in self-serving donations to run their ruthless, character assassinating campaigns overflowing with LIES and hyperbole.

    Now that we have an election looming up, Morrison and the rest of the oxygen thieves in the LNP are doing everything in their power to offer sanctuary and protect the self serving, morally bankrupt elitists that prop up the fascists in the worst, most corrupt government in our history. The LNP are like mice on a tread mill, going round and round, achieving NOTHING positive for Australia, NOTHING for our children’s future education or employment prospects, NOTHING for our suffering environment being vandalised by the ruthless and relentless savagery of huge mining conglomerates or individuals like the parasitic Gina Rinehart who earns more than $680 EVERY MINUTE but pays NOTHING to contribute to our society, sucking up HUGE, overblown and thoroughly undeserved salaries whilst they allow the top 1% miscreants to get away with corporate “murder” then have the AUDACITY to stand there and tell us that they don’t have a REVENUE PROBLEM!!! My God, the hubris of the despicably condescending and arrogant members of the Abbott/Turnbull regime is unbelievable!

    The LNP just love to play us all for suckers … well, let’s see who has the last laugh at the next election. Sadly, there is still an army of uneducated, Murdoch manipulated, flag waving bogans out there that STILL think the LNP represents them …. unfortunately there is no cure for STUPID!

  43. Wayne Turner

    Well said ^^^^^ It’s sad that the ABC has gone to crap,and has gone this way years ago. I heard Morrison having the no-shame hide to claim everytime Shorten speaks from now and to the election means only Labor increase and will increase taxes.The ABC radio played this sound bite without any questioning of it.The Libs ABC is now a joke.

  44. Salstarat

    Wayne, I agree 100% about the weakened ABC! The LNP have stacked the Advisory Panel to the Board of the ABC with ultra conservative LNP sycophants like the Murdoch minion, Janet Albrechtsen and lawyer Neil Brown QC!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-03/changes-to-panel-making-abc-board-appointments-'alarming'/5569186

    The Abbott/Turnbull regime is nothing more than a gutless, self seeking puppet to the ruthless control freak, Rupert Murdoch, and his nefarious IPA! The unholy Murdoch/Abbott/Turnbull/IPA alliance want to muzzle free speech, annihilate competition and shut down any venue that seeks to democratically debate or criticise the relentless corruption and callous inhumanity of the fascist LNP. The LNP know that the way to do this is to squeeze the life out of the ABC and SBS by radically and unfairly tearing away vital funding from the ABC and SBS to such a level that these much loved PUBLICLY OWNED stations have now become inoperable!

    The unspeakably ruthless LNP seems to forget that it is WE, the taxpaying public that OWN the ABC/SBS … not, I repeat, NOT the LNP! The total control of the ABC/SBS is one of the issues that is TOP of the agenda of Murdoch’s undemocratic, un-Australian IPA who seek to destroy ANYTHING that stands in the way of the mutually benefiting and thoroughly discredited agenda of the Murdoch/LNP/IPA alliance. Why? Because when the totalitarian LNP/Murdoch/IPA have total control over the ABC and SBS, Australians will only get ONE point of view … and that is the fascist neoliberal views of the ultra conservative right wing! The Murdoch press will continue its nauseating LIES, ongoing harassment and character assassinations of Labor and Greens members … the ONLY people they discredit is themselves! Unfortunately, there are Murdoch manipulated, uneducated and totally gormless idiots out there that hang on to every despicable LIE that the Murdoch/LNP alliance push out. This Modus Operandi is true to form with the LNP – it worked with John Howard and it certainly aided Abbott’s horrific rise to power on the back of false promises, ongoing remorseless and pathological lies.

    The Murdoch/LNP/IPA alliance is destroying everything we love about Australia: our egalitarian society, our democracy, muzzling our free speech, tearing down our beloved ABC and SBS … what’s next? AIM? The Guardian? Thank God, we have such independent papers to report the immorality of this truly vile, misanthropic government!

  45. Wally

    Salstarat

    Wonder if Murdoch will realise how wrong he is when we are all too poor to buy a newspaper? The decrease in newspaper sales is only partially due to the Internet, affordability has had considerable impact.

  46. Adrianne Haddow

    The only good thing about Murdoch is that he is on the wrong side of 80 and given his appetite for much younger spouses cannot last that long.
    Hopefully, the expected cat fight over his assets, when he shuffles off the mortal coil, may just destroy his evil empire.

    Of interest, the Tesltra NBN bundle includes a deal to initially supply the revolting Foxtel for free or cheaply. That should win the hearts and minds of the proletariat.

  47. Lee

    “So Piketty’s argument that:

    the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future

    is wrong?”

    @MN – No he isn’t wrong. Capitalism relies on a high level of unemployment to work. Piketty proposes a wealth tax as a method to reduce inequality in a capitalist society. It takes away from the wealthy but how does it help the poor? A government could redirect that money to many projects that won’t help the poor.

    The job guarantee is another method to reduce inequality and full employment would increase the rate of economic growth. The capitalists wouldn’t have so much freedom to screw the poor in such an environment.

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