— Bob-a-job-alog-a-roonie

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Government

This is a new and disturbing trend – achieving something that is a disadvantage to the business you are dealing with, takes more effort than should be reasonably expected.

Examples:

Foxtel – sign up online without talking to a human. To cancel, you need to phone them during business hours, and be on hold for up to 30 minutes, then endure a retention specialist trying to convince you to stay.

ING Direct – I received a letter telling me that my fees had changed (I joined them because of the no fees…). The letter said I could see the changes if I visited a particular URL. They could have just told me, but they required me to take an extra step, and read a long document full of information that doesn’t apply to me, to find out I am now paying $60/yr for my “fee free” account.

Solution – a law in two parts:

The ease of making an agreement with a business should be matched by the ease of ending the agreement.
When information is needed to be shared with a customer, it should take the least effort on the customer’s part to see and understand the information. If the information can be provided particular to the client’s situation, that should be the only information provided.

** Although I don’t expect any law changes on this, I have recently discovered that getting married is extremely easy to achieve, but having an amicable divorce involves a mass of paperwork if the government is involved in any way (such as receiving any money from them).

 

 

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socialist

An it harm none, do what ye will

Three facets, freedom, libertarianism and social. Freedom to do as you will, as long as it harms nobody. A few rules and as little rule as possible. And a mandate to make sure everyone is looked after. Libertarianism with a soul.

You can’t look after everyone without tax (unless the whole planet receives an epiphany). So everything will rotate around how this tax is raised.

The available Tax choices are:

  • GST / VAT – when you buy something
  • Income – when you earn something
  • Payroll – when you hire someone
  • Resource – when you use resources that (should) belong to everyone
  • Corporations – to limit their success, tax them more

In all cases the model is the same – the more you do, the more you pay. This promotes moderation.

Medicine

Deconstruct the system, use technology. If I know I have gastro, I can stay at home, self-test, and come back to work/society when I feel better. No need to go out there and spread my germs.

Home treatments reduce the risk of hospital-acquired disease. If the patient is in control, they can demand cleanliness.

Social Welfare

What we need is a mix of giving useful employment to those that will benefit from it (most people need a purpose/station in life, and won’t think too deeply about what it really is), and allowing the artists, mystics, intellectuals and the genuinely useless to sponge off the state.

Military

One of the main reasons for countries forming (in ancient times) was that a national force could protect individual communities much better than they could on their own. Lefties and greenies are typically anti-military, because individually they tend to be pacifists. When running a country, pacifism has its limits – even Switzerland has an army. In fact the Swiss model is one that could be adapted – it has only 5% career soldiers and does not participate in foreign conflicts (with the exception of peace-keeping roles). Australia has two key differences to Switzerland which need to be addressed:

Geography – as a massive country with a low population, there is a strong need for local militia.

USA – being a close military ally with the USA has numerous benefits, and the relationship should be maintained to some degree. With very few career soldiers, the Swiss model could be modified so that there is some foreign conflict participation, but only by commandos fulfilling elite roles.

Education

This is probably the trickiest to get right.

A national system works best, because otherwise we’ll have people shifting states to get an advantage for their kids – and that isn’t efficient.

I propose a system similar to the pole vault in the Olympic Games – if you pass a standard level, you get to try the next level. No more scores. Just passed / didn’t pass. With quite a few levels. They could even break down the tests by category.

Drugs and Marriage

Freedom to do as you will as long as it harms none. If drugged drivers becomes a problem, the solution is punishment for those actually impaired – not someone who had a puff on a joint 2 weeks ago.

Any human marriage should be legitimate  - it is the second most primal purpose after making kids. Why make such a fundamental aspect of life exclusive to a self-righteous majority?

Refugees

Assess at the source – their actual country of citizenship. Much easier than when they have arrived here without papers…

Provide guaranteed work. Most likely better than where they came from. Base the refugee system on the rest of Australian society… if you are fit and able to work, you should. If you are hopeless, we’ll look after you. If you want to learn, you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pinkie_promise
Politicians make promises all the time, and break them regularly. Fair enough, circumstances, opinions and alliances change. And they have a way of avoiding the actual word promise.

Meanwhile in the real world people make pinkie promises and swear on their mother’s graves.

Proposal: political parties make permanent promises. As in black and white, no dispute over the wording, nobody in the party advocates against it or votes against it ever. If they do, immediate expulsion, no forgiveness.

They can start with easy ones that they’ll get a majority vote on. I suggest an 80% or 90% approval within the party – there will always be someone against it so 100% won’t be achievable.

How about:

No nuclear weapons

Now you might argue, what if Papua New Guinea gets a crazy dictator who gets his hands on a nuke? Well, vote a different party in. Not our party, we made a permanent promise.

Equal rights regardless of gender 

I said lets start with the easy ones… arguably reasons for discriminating against religion (Islamic extremism becomes rampant, or a new religion based on something nasty is formed), or sexuality (beastiality, paedophilia) do exist. I can’t think of any futuristic gender that could be an issue.

Tree harvesting cannot exist without growing more trees

Easy for the Greens. This one would need quite a bit of defining. But it would need to be no more than a couple of paragraphs, as regular folk need to able to understand it.

I can imagine voters, 50% of whom don’t particularly care who gets in, would latch onto permanent promises, and parties employing them, even on a limited basis like those above, would benefit in a big way.

 

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I was having some thoughts about the future of Australia, post-resource riches. I love this country and want it to prosper, but it will be needing a new direction.

So I figure it would be a worthy ambition for Australia to be Top 10 in everything. But definitely not #1. Just be the most well-rounded example of a modern democracy.

So we could strive to be:

Top 10 Tourist Destination
Top 10 Lowest Crime Rate
Top 10 GDP
Top 10 Academic Results
Top 10 National Airline (ok, we’d have to nationalise Qantas…)

and so on. Eventually, just by being seen as the best all-round country, people will want to base their start-up here, people will want to buy our products, people would want to come and visit.

People will choose to have their business conferences here, their destination wedding here, smoke drugs here.

Like a cross between Las Vegas and Scandinavia.

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Politicians are often hypocrites to some degree – where they dictate the lives of the common man while receiving finer things themselves. I would like to see a new trend where candidates promise to live in our world more, so they can feel our pain and make changes based on seeing things through commoner eyes:

  • Public health – promise to always use public health services, even if it means being on a waiting list
  • Public schooling – promise not to send your kids to private schools
  • Drive a regular automobile – either make all government vehicles low-key and cost-effective, or give politicians are basic payment to cover car costs
  • Work our hours – parliament is only in session for part of the year, because the rest of the time MPs are supposedly working in their electorate. Make sure they can account for those hours, so we know they work 40 hours x 58 weeks per year
  • Public transport – use of business class flights and limos should be limited to where they need to be fresh when they arrive for work reasons.
  • Renewable energy – start using solar power at home and/or only buy renewable energy when it is available

I’m not advocating these as rules or standards – I’m just saying that if a politicians pledges to do one or more of the above, they might get a lot more votes.

 

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I have my own ideas of how to improve politics in Australia

These 25 ideas come from the 21st Century Australia Party, easily the best we have outside of Labour / Coalition / Greens / Democrats.

I’m not that keen on how their leader promotes himself, but he might be an MP soon. My thoughts in red.

1. A new 21st Century political system where voters get to vote directly on major policies instead of politicians. YES

2. Government spending removed from the hands of politicians and placed in the hands of an independent board, similar to how interest rate settings are set by the independent Reserve Bank of Australia. YES, as long as we vote on board members

3. A new modern day 21st century education curriculum to replace our current 19th century industrialisation era education system. One that is based on practical real life education with financial education as a necessity. Achieve a world leading education model without needing one extra cent of revenue and ensure the quality and pay of teachers is increased due to their significant importance in society from efficiency gains

4. The establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund to create an economic buffer. We already have the Future Fund…

5. Eliminate state governments so we have only two levels of government and not three. Therefore, critical areas such as health, education, transport and infrastructure will be under one national system. States could have state appointed ministers to look after the interest of the states. This will potentially save billions per month. It will eliminate gross inefficiencies of various state bodies overlapping and duplicating several layers of government bodies. Moreover, it will also ensure fewer elections. Keep the states, but hand over everything that has no need for being regional – like hospitals.

6. Review of the carbon tax and an environment policy whereby 100% of proceeds go direct to renewable energy funds. We support a healthy economy and a healthy environment.

7. Mining tax replaced with a simple Federal Royalty Tax that isn’t a significant burden with all proceeds going to a Sovereign Wealth Fund or Infrastructure Fund. Trees too!

8. Turn Australia Post into a bank to add competition to the big four banks and provide discounted home loans to Australians. YES! I have been saying this for a long time. Other countries have this, it can’t be hard to do.

9. Changes made to revise the power of corrupt unions and to reduce their abilities to abuse their power and cause further damage to national interests. Move unions to be under the ASIC and treated the same as corporate Australia plus ensuring unions pay tax. Laws should prevent them from interfering with Australian democratic system along with the limiting of funds by unions to support any political party and prevent the exploitation of workers.

10. The introduction of a fee for immigration visas to raise potentially $15 billion per annum and to reduce people smugglers business by removing the financial incentives by desperate people to pay people smugglers. There’s already fees…

11. Removal or reduction of payroll tax for companies with less than 200 employees, which accounts for almost 70% of the businesses in Australia. This will also stimulate job creation. Yes

12. Ban cigarette sales for those born in the year 2000 onwards to reduce the huge health liabilities smoking causes and ensure health education is a priority in the school curriculum to deal with obesity and other diet related issues. Totally agree, have been saying the same myself

13. Run a smart efficient productive government so as to create savings to reinvest into better services .By lowering certain taxes to stimulate growth we can actually increase total tax revenue. How?

14. Increase the tax free threshold to $22,500 p.a. We think it’s critical to give a boost to low income earners in Australia, a more productive way then creating welfare dependency via wealth distribution. Yes.

15. Remove contribution tax on superannuation for low income workers from 15% to nil. Helping all Australians become self-sufficient in retirement should be a priority and combined with proper financial education this can be achieved. Yes. Super should be optional, with incentives.

16. Look at ways to increase tax revenue to provide better services from taxes that don’t affect or penalise Australians. One example is a Visa tax, by offering a paid Visa to all qualifying immigrants including boat people. Boat people don’t have money…

17. Lower the company tax rate by creating a tiered tax rate starting at 15% for small business under $250,000 profit and up to 28.5% for profits over $100 million. Yes.

18. Provide Australia with a value for money National Broadband Network (NBN) that can be installed sooner and save $15 – $20 billion. I’m happy with the current one.

19. More water storage. In Australia drought in many areas is a perennial problem, so why not set a short- to long-term target of 100 new dams for Australia in the most environmentally friendly way.

20. Build a high speed rail system to take congestion off the roads, which are expensive to build and maintain. Initially starting from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, Newcastle to Canberra via Sydney and Geelong to Melbourne to Bendigo via Ballarat. This could also help Australia move into the 21st Century. Been in the works for a long time, now is the time to get started.

21. Turn Northern Australia into a special economic zone. Northern Australia is a perfect spot for an economic zone to boost Australia’s wealth. This would see lower taxes for workers and companies to move and live in these regions and start businesses. Stamp Duty relief also for home buyers in these regions to help solve the high cost of housing and to provide much needed workers. Yes. And send all boat people there. Give them work. Let them prove they are worthy of citizenship by working and learning English.

 22. A dramatic overhaul of the health industry to squeeze dramatic health service gains via innovation and technology without needing one extra cent of revenue to deliver. How? I propose a wellness model – doctors get paid (in part) based on how healthy they are keeping us.

23. To overhaul dole payments that after 90 days recipients must attend specialised career upskilling courses to receive further funding and improve their skills to help solve Australia’s skilled worker shortage and increase productivity so everyone feels they can contribute to the nations success.

24. Equip every student with new technology for learning such as iPads or tablets at school and access to leading edge learning apps to ensure we use technology to deliver better quality education for less cost to leave our 19th century education system behind.

25. Make the government transparent and declare all government taxes in sales of products and services. So as an example when you purchase fuel that taxes charged are shown clearly for consumers to see. Yes. We are paying it, we should know.

To Download the complete policy CLICK HERE

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In politics there are typically two types of government ministers / representatives that hold a portfolio. The reigning politicians have the cabinet, whereas their counterparts in the opposition camp are the shadow cabinet.

Perhaps there’s room for a third? A shadow shadow cabinet? Independent cabinet? Alternate cabinet? People’s cabinet?

I like People’s Cabinet. With modern technology it could truly be just that. We could make non-electoral votes for people whose voice we would like heard in politics, people with talents directly related to the portfolio they hold (which is rare in government…).

Currently the Australian government and opposition are failing to agree on the best “boat people” refugee solution. It’s mostly gamesmanship, and it’s pissing off the electorate. A People’s Cabinet could provide a sensible solution, a compromise to suit all, and because they have a lot of public support, they’ll get media time and they’ll sway politicians.

The People’s ministers would necessarily swear to have no allegiance with any political party, ever. And they would be unpaid and no longer have an active role in the realms of their portfolio. And they must swear that they’ll not in the future. Every industry has retired, intelligent, valuable brains  – perhaps the sort that TV shows bring on as expert panelists.

Imagine People’s Cabinet members like these:

  • Immigration Minister – is a first or second generation immigrant. Had a career in immigration related social services. Has written a book about comparative international immigration policies and gained a PhD for it. Compare with Chris Bowen, career politician with economics degree…
  • Foreign Affairs Minister – former ambassador to Germany. Compare with Bob Carr, who before politics was an education officer and journalist…
  • Community Services – former CEO of a charity that provided emergency accommodation for the unlucky. Compare with Jenny Macklin, economics researcher…

My imagined People’s Cabinet would undoubtedly form better solutions than the existing politicians, and could solve this mess.

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