August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment
Can I tell you why Productivity in Australia Sucks?
So….me an a few mates have a little business in the city of churches. We design and build tools for the mining industry. It’s a good little earner, but Jesus wept we struggle with the bureaucracy from time to time.
So we order a 3D printer from the US of A (you know…we have a free trade agreement with them). So we pay for Express mail to Australia as we need to get this baby fired up to make some parts for our world leading technology.
Sure enough, the parcel takes four days to hit this wonderful shore of ours. Then…..nothing…The tracking says; “Held in Customs”. It sits there for a week before I ring Australia Post…
.”Nah, you gotta ring customs”. So I ring Customs (Sorry..”Immigration and Boarder Protection”).
“Yeah, mate, we’re sending you a letter”.
“Why don’t you just email me?”
“Yeah, mate, we don’t do email”.
So a week later, the letter arrives. I have to work out what the class of Tariff is, scan all of the invoices (which are attached to the parcel anyway), fill out a bunch of paperwork and email it all back to them (they do do email).
A week later, I get the invoice. $216 of GST and $48.50 for me to fill out the forms. I pay online instantly.
That was a week ago. Where’s the parcel??? You guessed it…”Held by Customs”.
My point is that Australian Business suffers as our bureaucracy are just a bunch of speedhumps that charge you a fee every time you bounce over one. They add no value whatsoever. Three bloody weeks just to get a parcel into the country. I’m just one business. Imagine how often this is going on every week. There’s a bunch of start up businesses out there who are just being bogged down by these mongrels that charge you a fee for doing absolutely nothing.
So why isn’t this an efficient process? They certainly generate enough revenue to invest in world best technology. The reason is simple…….the money goes to consolidated revenue. The government has turned every aspect of regulation we have into a revenue stream. Prices go up to increase revenue, but there is no added value being delivered. So the cost per unit output rises continuously. Productivity goes down the toilet.
August 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
What do you do when you get your tax return, or when uncle Harold falls of his perch and leaves you a few grand? Maybe you do that extension, or maybe you put a bit away in the bank, or maybe you have a holiday. What you don’t do is go and employ a gardener, manservant, chauffer, cook, nanny and handyman. Why, because that added wealth is not sustainable income. We know that it won’t last and that we can’t rely on Uncle Harold to repeatedly fall of his perch whenever we need some extra cash.
On the other hand, when your family loses an income, you don’t rush out an borrow a crapload of cash and buy the extended family new TV sets (like Rudd did in the first GFC….I say first because it looks like it’s all happening again).
It would appear that federal Treasurers have a lot to learn from basic home economics.
Whether federal or state governments or local councils, there has been a failure in economic strategy in Australia in regards to the variable nature of revenue. At the top, the Federal government became addicted to the golden revenues generated by the long and sustained mining boom. How much of this did we bank for a rainy day? Nada.
A 2013 IMF Report (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp1305.pdf) would suggest that the Howard years were a lost opportunity to be financially responsible and to bank some of that mining boom bonus.
That said, the modelling also suggests that Greece were more financially responsible than Howard and look where they are at the moment! Howard treated the big Variable bonus as sustainable revenue and gave it out as tax cuts to those who probably deserved it most as they were contributing more in tax. What Howard did manage to do was pay down government debt as can be seen below (http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2013/June/Australias_current_debt_position__update_June_2013)
Using excess cash to pay down debt is as good as banking it. None of the lefties have ever acknowledged the amount of debt Howard paid down and it should be noted that he actually left money in the bank when he left office….not nearly as much as there should have been.
Along come Labor….Holy Crap!!! Talk about spending. They went nuts. Not only did they spend everything that Howard left, they borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars and kept spending. Check the graph to the left. All of the work done by Howard was reversed by Rudd/Gillard.
They just kept spending, even though the mining boom was over. The farce was the “MRT” – Mining Resource Tax. What a joke. The boom was over, but Labor and the Greenies thought they could rape the miners one more time to get some easy cash. As it turned out, the mines were already on their way down and they didn’t make a brass Razoo out of it.
So here ends the lesson…..until we have the stability in politics where successive governments are allowed to exhibit long-term economic prudence….we’ll be in the poo. The media should be hounding our politicians to show economic responsibility. The problem is that prudence is boring. The front page is not going to run a story highlighting that we just paid off $100M of debt.
The same scenario holds for state governments. Queensland – $88B in debt after the best mining boom they every had. The size of the public service grew and grew and grew. When the money ran out, the were left with a bloated government that they couldn’t downsize as the unions had a strangle hold. Along comes poor old Campbell Newman and sacks 15,000 of them and he gets thrown out of government. he tried to do the prudent thing. Now Labor are back in power in Queensland, with massive debt, but on a platform that won’t let them cut the spending….and not a peep form the ABC!
August 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
So, they’re at it again – “Abbott is on the ropes”, “The Death Blow”.
I am always concerned when the Commenteriat claims to have their finger on the public pulse. Jennifer Hewett arrogantly assumes that while the public is ‘appalled by the political drama’ surrounding the Abbott government, the same public is satisfied by the media coverage of these events. Nothing is further from the case.
The public is tired and frustrated by the now endemic cycle of the media Illuminati pouring petrol onto the slightest smoulder of discord and then providing limitless amount of oxygen to the flame. The second that detonation occurs, the same protagonists fill page after page with informed review of where the deposed leader went wrong and why the party must rebuild and refocus.
The incredible damage this new paradigm is doing to this great land is irreversible. The Country’s interests come last, commentary is now more about raising the status of the journalist involved than doing anything for Australia. It would appear that sitting back and throwing grenades at the country’s highest office for personal and professional status is the new national sport.
In this environment, how is it possible for any government to implement long term strategy?
Instead of exposing them for saboteurs, the media will give one or two recalcitrant backbenchers more oxygen than they will the rest of the party governing Australia. It is clear that their agenda is disruption and chaos. They thrive on it.
Sack the bastards. They do the people of this country no good.
August 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
‘The rich should pay their fair share”. What a screaming load of horsecrap! The overwhelming majority of the “rich” pay the tax they are legally required to pay. The problem for the Socialists is that this amount of tax does not fund the unsustainable amount of welfare that is required for the Proletariat to live in their government-funded rapture.
The founding premise of our economic system is that if you work hard and make money, you get to enjoy the benefit of one’s labour AND you also get to pass that benefit onto your prodigy. Capitalism is like pregnancy, you either are, or you are not. You can’t have a half capitalist system. It’s been said many times, but I’ll say it again; you can’t make a country rich by penalising those that go the extra mile to generate wealth.
Take a young miner working away in Northern Western Australia. He spends three weeks at work and one week at home. He travels in his time, not the mine’s time. His young wife and a couple of young children are at home somewhere in Australia. Either his parents or his wife’s parents or both are helping with the kids while he is at work. (Yes, it’s usually a “he” when we are talking about workers aged between 25 and 35).
This is the classic capitalist strategy for young couples trying to accumulate wealth by doing the hard yards. It’s hard for her at home and it’s hard for him at work. He works a minimum of 12 hours a day in hot, humid conditions. It’s manually tough work. The reason they are doing this is so that they can get ahead in a capitalist economy and get the deposit together to buy a house.
Please explain to me why taxing the crap out of these workers, and giving the money to someone who doesn’t work, makes Australia richer or stronger? Yep, I don’t get it. I have no doubt that there are a plethora of commentators out there, more intelligent than I, who can tell me where the problem with my logic lies.
“We live in a benevolent society, unlike America where people are happy to see beggars on the street”, will be the first answer. Welfare. OK. Let’s talk about welfare….I have no problem with welfare. Welfare is good. I don’t want to see Aussies starve. But it has to be “Welfare”, not “Entitlements”.
When did welfare become entitlements? Bloody social engineers ACOS, NCOS, socialists within the public service deemed it appropriate to rename “welfare” “entitlements” and so committed generations of Australians to believe that they were simply a product of their environment and were entitled to be clothed, fed, provided with smokes, petrol and vehicles by the taxpayer…..for life.
There is a clause in the unwritten contract between the taxpayer and the government that says it’s OK to tax the life out of me and give it to those who deserve it, but the government (as taker and re-distributer) has to make damn sure that only those who truly deserve welfare get the benefit of someone else’s labour.
August 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
Gazing out the window this morning, sipping a hot cup of “half-Macchiato” at 30,000 feet, on my way to work for a week or two, I have the time to sit back and contemplate life before the “tons, tons, tons, go, go, go, safety, safety, safety…” starts. reading the morning papers, I note that the stockmarket is heading down the toilet, the government is after my superannuation, I’m about to be taxed more and the Greenies are trying to shutdown mining in Australia and not an intelligent or informed debate to be found.
All of the economists who came out of the woodwork after the GFC were able to explain exactly why it happened, but none of them predicted it. Yet, there they were, confident, knowledgeable and authoritative; giving the cameras the benefit of their wisdom….in hindsight. Yeah, we can all do that.
With newspapers losing a fortune and TV journalism turning into nothing but dressed up social media (Do you have a story ? Send us your photos or tips !!) playing a continuous stream of freak-shows from youtube (and inserting ads for our benefit), it would appear that any talking head they can drag out from anywhere is worthy of “Expert” status.
Given this endless stream of irrelevant wankers bombarding us all with their expertise, I thought it high time that someone with real intelligence, real expertise and real experience went into bat for the average Aussie thinking battler. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone suitably qualified who had the time, so I’m going to give it a shot myself. I’m just another poor bastard who works for a living and provides the funds for all of the Illuminati to contemplate the pressing social issues of the Great Southern Land on my behalf, because we are clearly not smart enough to know what’s good for us.
Every man and his dog has a blog these days so I make no apologies for these musings of a cranky old hard-rock miner. Read ‘em if you want to, go somewhere else if you don’t. Opinions shall be strong, research shall be weak and grammar and punctuation will be non exisitent.