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The Strangest Thing That Joe Hockey Has Said Recently Which You Probably Missed!

“My view is you would have to question whether in 30 or 40 years’ time taxes like the GST or company tax will be around.”

Joe Hockey

 

“I’ve never seen any subscriber to neo- liberal economics admit the fact, but part of the way in which inequality drives economic progress – in the neo- liberal system – is by making it clear that there are severe consequences for failure. Bankruptcies, dole queues, even people sleeping in the streets; all these are human tragedies, but in the neo- liberal world view, they are also reminders of what happens if you don’t work hard enough.”

John Lanchester, How to Speak Money

The belief that markets are always efficient is a strange one. And, as I said the other day, when governments tell you that something in public ownership – which means that the government is the one in charge of it – could be run just as well by someone else with no loss of service and would still enable its new owners to make a profit at a reasonable rate of return on capital, then that strikes me as an admission of complete incompetence from the government.

Now, it’s tempting to suggest that a government which includes such people as Hockey, Pyne, Joyce, Dutton and Brandis on their front bench may well have a point when they argue that private industry could run things better. But what concerns me when we’re asking to fall for the same line about privatisation yet again, is the simple fact that in many areas privatisation takes away the idea of the particular area being a service, rather than solely a profit making enterprise.

Prisons is an obvious one. Will we ever hear a private prison company lamenting that when governments make them run programs which successfully reduce recidivism, then it’s a serious blow to their profits and they have empty cells which need to be filled? Maybe not in so many words, but you can bet we’ll hear about the need for tougher sentences.

In areas like Australia Post, we have people lamenting that it’s no longer profitable, whereas I always thought the idea of a postal service was exactly that – a service. And I’ve even heard a state MP lament that Public Housing was continually making a loss and something needed to be done about that.

All of which brings me to Joe Hockey’s statement the other day:

“The world is changing remarkably, and whilst you would have easily assumed 10, 15 years ago that, for example, the GST is going to be an enduring tax … with global trade, with the development of internet commerce, with not just the transaction of the sale of goods over the internet but increasingly services, there are going to be more and more goods and services that are provided from offshore under free-trade agreements that is going to miss that net, My view is you would have to question whether in 30 or 40 years’ time taxes like the GST or company tax will be around.”

 

Now, this may just be another thought bubble from Joe, as opposed to something we actually need to consider. After all, a bubble just needs one prick and it’s gone. However, one has to wonder exactly where his bubble would have taken him had he pursued it. Or rather, why he wasn’t suggesting that this is even more frightening than people living to be 150.

So, “more and more goods and services” will be provided under free-trade agreements which are “going to miss that net”. (Which net? The internet?)

Apart from wondering how exactly I’m going to get many services under a free-trade agreement (How will I get my house cleaned via a free-trade agreement with the USA?), I can’t help wonder why we’re aggressively pursuing these agreements, if they’re going to lead to a break down in the revenue base of the government. After all, the current government already has a revenue problem, as well as a relectuctance to consider new taxes, so surely this is a growing problem. Imagine how much bigger that would be if there’s no company tax. Or GST. How does the government fill that gap? Higher income tax? Gee, I’ll become a company overnight.

Unless, of course, the solution is to pass on all services to the private sector. Health and education will go the way of the energy sector and everything will be private. The governments sole function will be to pass laws that enable people to go about their business without harassment. And by business, I mean literally business, of course.

 

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16 comments

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  1. babyjewels10

    Joe Hockey doesn’t give the impression he’s ever worked hard enough, or would even know what real work is. But never having had to pay for much and having received only the best, how could he expect to know?

  2. John Kelly

    I don’t know from what textbook Hockey gets these thought bubbles, but when one analyses anything he says, one can see that he knows very little himself and relies heavily on what others tell him.

  3. gangey1959

    I reckon JoJo creates his thought-bubbles in the bath. Surely he has already worked out that in general, they stink.

  4. Larry

    So those third world people are just not working hard enough? Those people with mental illness who are living on the street just aren’t working hard enough? To equate hard work with affluence in that way is the height of ignorance. Plenty of scientists, teachers, nurses, single mums, garbage men work fringing hard but they will never be able to live off their rich wife or benefit from the privilege he benefitted from. I hate this man.

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    John, I believe it might be that one that says one runs the national budget, the same as a household. The one that says all spending is wrong., All surpluses good. Deficits bad. Where all debt is to be feared. One where the word investment and building for the future is not our business, does not exist.

    One that believes the more one cuts government programmes, sack all in sight, then look in amazement as the economy goers down the gurgler.

  6. kasch2014

    There is only an argument if you give credence to the illusion that money is a resource , and believe that Joe Hockey is anything but a little vain thug. These days politicians, academics, financial folks, economists, etc., mostly exist for one reason – to create a place for themselves. They have no REAL idea about producing anything, or managing anything(other than their own career), unless they have a creative hobby. Have a listen to this – this is a rare beasty – a sane and honest academic who is actually allowed to speak: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/what-can-economists-learn-from-manning-clark/6293242

  7. mark delmege

    As far as I can tell GST style taxes are paid on goods purchased over the net from some US states. Just saying.

  8. O'Bleak

    Another well thought out prognostication by the world’s dopiest treasurer on behalf of the most inept government in the nation’s history. Led of course by that indefatigable buffoon and pungent bulb muncher, the right hon. A.J. Abbott. We really did draw the short straw didn’t we? Come on election.

  9. Phi

    As politician and in particular as treasurer, Joe has proven himself a loser and a failure. But despite being a loser and a failure, Joe gets paid exactly the same salary, with exactly the same perks for life as if he had actually done some good for the nation. In this regard our political system stinks and I have no faith in it.

  10. Pingback: The Strangest Thing That Joe Hockey Has Said Recently Which You Probably Missed! – » The Australian Independent Media Network | winstonclose

  11. John Fraser

    <

    "Prisons is an obvious one. Will we ever hear a private prison company lamenting that when governments make them run programs which successfully reduce recidivism, then it’s a serious blow to their profits and they have empty cells which need to be filled?"

    Read this and ask if its likely :

    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/abbott-open-for-business-and-multinational-lawsuits/700/index.html

    "The governments sole function will be to pass laws that enable people to go about their business without harassment."

    That should read "Corporations" …… peoples "business" is what the government wants to know about ….. hence the metadata laws.

  12. Jexpat

    “Apart from wondering how exactly I’m going to get many services under a free-trade agreement?”

    For example, your diagnostic images can be read by someone in India or China, and same applies to myriad services that can be IT enabled.

  13. Keitha Granville

    As far as I can tell, everything that comes out of the Coalition is drawn from a base of wealth and anything above.(obscene riches )
    They have no thought about what happens when you are NOT wealthy through no fault of your own, because from their aspect if you are pooor it’s because you didn’t try hard enough and therefore don’t deserve help. This principle is starkly evident in the foreign aid arena(and demsetic emergency aid too) – it must be all their own fault that people are wiped out by tsunami, or cyclones,floods and fires. They clearly didn’t try hard enough to protect themselves so we’ll just throw a few crumbs to tide them over.
    It has and always will be the attitude of the super rich towards anyone below them .We are insignificant, we don’t matter, they’d be even better off if we weren’t there weighing them down.
    Keep on telling us stuff Rossleigh, we have to keep it right up there in the faces of anyone who even thinks for one nanosecond that they should be re-elected.

  14. Zolf

    Thanks for the Manning Clark lecture link kasch2014. Brilliant approach.

  15. Win jeavons

    Time for performance assessments , annually, not at elections using the public, NOT carefully selected stooges , chosen from the IPA. Pay and pensions adjusted accordingly.

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