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Your top 3 policies to fix Australia?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Darc Knight, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Darc Knight

    Darc Knight

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    I'd like to hear your top three policies you'd implement to improve/fix Australia if you were a beign Dictator.


    Me:

    1. Go Nuclear
    2. Limit immigration until infrastructure catches up.
    3. Pursue Corporate Tax and the cash economy harder (somehow lol)

    I'd also try to find a way to include Australia's best minds like Dick Smith into some sort of Cabinet advisory capacity.
     
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  2. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    1, Restrict all political donations to voting entities, max $500 per year.
    2. Government investment in power infrastructure to reduce prices.
    3. As per your No. 2. This will also allow unemployment to reduce increasing the tax revenue.
     
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  3. PZ99

    PZ99 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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    1. Increase the medicare levy by 1% and cut taxes for small business by an equal amount.
    2. Restore penalty rates and allocate a % of sick leave into a partial payment of private health insurance.
    3. Sell Christmas Island to China (before they confiscate it anyway :)) - place the funds into a future fund and use some of the revenue of that fund to offset budget deficits.
     
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  4. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    1. Proper planning and engineering in all technical infrastructure fields - power, water, transport etc. We've gone from a global leader to a lagging follower in the space of just 25 years.

    2. An end to ideologically driven outsourcing in the public sector for the sake of it. Outsource only where it can be shown as actually cheaper for the same level of service over the long term.

    3. Restore the role of science and strategy in formulating national policies on pretty much every subject. This requires a strong and effective public service, with some role for the private sector also, which isn't afraid to challenge the thinking of politicians.
     
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  5. greggles

    greggles I'll be back!

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    Mine are very general as I can think of far too many specific policies.

    1. As much as possible, remove corruption and graft from government and big business through increased vigilance and accountability.
    2. Reduce waste in government and when spending on infrastructure take a long term view, rather than a short term one.
    3. An educated populace is a more innovative one. Invest in quality education to ensure Australia's future prosperity.
     
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  6. luutzu

    luutzu

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    1. Nationalise every... erm... national infrastructure. So roads, bridges, rail, ports, hospitals, schools, university are all commons rather than privatised and price gouged by the capitalist pigs.

    2. Get rid of open elections. People's representatives will be randomly picked by lottery and serve 1, 4 year term. Yea, try and buy influence or pick your candidates.

    3. I serve as hist most excellent commander in chief, Supreme Leader and Dictator... for Life. :xyxthumbs
     
  7. TLS

    TLS

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    1. Scrap the preferential voting system all together. One vote each and that's it !! Sick and tired of seeing someone get the majority of primary votes and still not get elected.

    2. Transition all welfare payments onto the "welfare card". Ie Can't be used for Alcohol or Tobacco purchases etc. Sick and tired of systemic abuse of what was supposed to be a last resort measure.

    3. Well I can't decide on which one to choose:

    - I'm all for going Nuclear. Sick and tired of the country being raped by energy providers / facilitators.

    - Reduce the "dole" eligibility to an "x" period. After that it expires and reverts to community or national service for an "x" period before you can apply again.

    - Reduce immigration levels until our infrastructure can accommodate them.

    - Ban the export of live animals, gas etc

    - Bring back our ability to refine fuel. We are held hostage to other countries and will be in serious in trouble if our supplies are ever cut off.

    - I could add another dozen or so but that'll do for now.
     
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  8. So_Cynical

    So_Cynical The Contrarian Averager

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    1: Nothing to fix, everything's fine - oh hang on legalise pot then everything's fine.
     
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  9. Wysiwyg

    Wysiwyg Everyone wants money

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    1. I like the education of Australia policy mentioned by Greggles.

    2. The lucky country has been sucked up by too many Clive Palmers and foreign entities. Fix this.

    3. A single tax to cover all societies essential services. Dump the multitude of additional imposts. E.g. the MLS impost is daylight robbery by a desperate government. It peeves me having to pay more for other people by demand.
     
  10. Darc Knight

    Darc Knight

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    Some interesting ideas posted. Good to broaden one's perspective.

    Got me thinking why certain obvious policies aren't implemented.
     
  11. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    If I could pick one thing above all else it would be to change from ideologically driven policy and decision to making to pragmatic evidence based policy.

    I hear much about welfare in the media, online and so on. What pretty much nobody mentions is who is receiving this welfare? Hint, it's largely not going to the unemployed or disabled whom most not unreasonably assume would be the beneficiaries.

    I hear an awful lot about energy costs just about everywhere. What very few are willing to go anywhere near is where the money is actually going. I'll get to the point there and say that changing between coal, gas, nuclear or wind and solar will make only a modest difference to retail prices at the household or small business level since the means of generation isn't the problem and isn't where your money is mostly going anyway.

    And so on. Far too much is based on assumptions and ideology and conveniently ignoring the facts.:2twocents
     
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  12. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    I assume you mean it's going to the bureaucracy. It certainly would be interesting to know the cost of delivering $1 of welfare.

    You are the expert here so why don't you tell us ?

    Gold plated poles and wires ?
     
  13. McLovin

    McLovin

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    I think he's talking about how the majority of it goes to the pensions, aged care, and FTB. Unemployment benefits are a pretty small part of the pie. Easy target though.

    NDIS and disability payments are decent pieces of the pie.

    The cost of the bureaucracy is a fraction of the amounts being doled out. The Australian government is actually very efficient. Having lived in the UK and the US I can tell you interacting with government here is a piece of p!ss. (And given the outcomes, the government and social security run on an oily rag).
     
  14. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    Yes I think FTB is the second biggest cost after pensions.

    Whether it is welfare is a matter of opinion I suppose, some might say it's a reward for raising the next generation of taxpayers.
     
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  15. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    To expand on my previous comments about welfare and electricity.

    Using 2017-17 figures (because Google didn't bring up those for 2017-18, presumably they're not finalised yet), Australian Government welfare spending was a total of $159.654 billion. Of this:

    39.5% was for assistance to the aged.

    23.2% was for families with children.

    21.4% was for the disabled.

    7.3% was for the unemployed and the sick.

    4.0% was for veterans.

    1.4% was specifically for indigenous Australians.

    1.0% was for other welfare programs.

    2.3% was for administration.

    Now considering that it seems there is a very lopsided focus on the unemployed when it comes to politics, the media and elsewhere. No doubt there are some who are rorting the system but likewise there will be many who for whatever reason are in genuine need of assistance. But even if literally half of all unemployed people are rorting the system, and I very much doubt it is anywhere near that level but let's just assume it is for the purposes of my argument, well that's still only about 3.6% of all welfare spending going to such people. Meanwhile we're handing out 23.2% just for having children and 39.5% to the elderly.

    I don't mean to imply that all those on the old age pension or with children are abusing the system either, but I do think there is far too much focus on the unemployed and it amounts a deliberate distraction from the truth at best. There's no doubt many on the old age pension or claiming assistance due to having children who have, or had during their working life, the means to avoid it should they choose to do so. There's an entire industry surrounding "maximising your pension entitlements" but anyone who set something up to "maximise your unemployment entitlements" would feel the wrath of many for sure.

    I say that as someone who has never at any time in my life claimed unemployment benefits and never intends to. I just think that those without a job, and for many that is not by choice, are being treated by the rest of society in a manner which could be at best described as extremely rude. Give them a break and if someone's really worried about the cost of welfare then focus on where most of it is actually going.

    On the subject of electricity, here's some figures for a hypothetical residential address in South Australia, that being the state with the biggest issues and which comes to most attention.

    I have chosen AGL as the retailer for no reason other than that I had to pick someone and they are one of the big 3.

    AGL's price for 2017-18 was 41.8 cents / kWh for regular supply (that is, for everything other than off-peak hot water). This price includes GST.

    Where that money goes:

    Wholesale electricity = average 9.81 cents / kWh for SA last financial year.

    SA Power Networks distribution tariffs which include ElectraNet's transmission charges = 12.75 cents / kWh rising to 14.04 cents / kWh for higher consumption users.

    AGL's retail charges = 15.44 - 14.15 cents / kWh depending on the level of consumption (AGL charging a flat rate but the variable is SAPN's distribution charges).

    GST = 3.8 cents / kWh

    Now if I was tasked with reducing electricity prices then the most obvious question to ask is why does simply taking meter readings from SAPN and collecting payment from customers cost $ hundreds per year for each and every consumer which is more than either networks or generation?

    In defence of AGL they would be quick to point out that they aren't just sending out bills and taking payment but are also providing a valuable service hedging volatility in the market.

    Now we're getting somewhere. Volatility in the market. A concept that exists only due to the structure of the industry with numerous owners and a complex trading market that sees prices change 1000's of % in a matter of hours. In no other market does something sell for $40 in the morning, $10,000 a few hours later and then have a value close to zero not long after that. If any other market had that level of volatility then it would be headline news.

    So the end result is that for AGL's retail division, or for that matter Momentum Energy (Hydro Tasmania) or Origin or anyone else, to retail in SA costs an order of magnitude more than it costs to operate anywhere that doesn't have such a volatile market.

    All that is not to say that there couldn't be cost reductions in generation or networks but the potential there is relatively limited compared to the black hole of market structure which is generally ignored in most discussion of the subject.

    Comparing SA with Tasmania, the latter not having anywhere near the level of electricity market complexity, a residential consumer anywhere in Tas would last financial year have paid:

    25.9 cents / kWh for general purpose supply

    16.819 cents / kWh for space heating, cooling and hot water. Note this is a 24/7/365 flat rate, via separate metering, and is not an off-peak supply (off-peak being cheaper if you want it). Given the climate a typical all-electric household would have 50 - 75% of consumption charged at this rate.

    Assuming a typical 50/50 mix of consumption on the two tariffs, that means consumption prices in Hobart are almost exactly half of those in Adelaide. Hydro-electric generation and government ownership explains some of that but not to that extent - the real issue is the complexity and volatility of the market which has been created.

    I must clarify that I'm not throwing blame at AGL here, I could equally have picked any other retailer's rates although AGL's are middle of the road in terms of cost (because there are others who are significantly higher and if you do what they ask then AGL will give you a few % off theirs so their base rates are somewhere in the middle) and for the record Momentum (Hydro Tas) hasn't been able to do it too cheaply in SA either for the same reasons.

    Both the issues I mention have something in common and that is public debate being steered toward things which aren't the real issues. That's my real underlying point far more than anything specific about welfare or energy. Public debate is being intentionally steered so as to avoid drawing attention to where the money's really going. The unemployed and wind or solar versus coal are convenient scapegoats really but they're not the majority of the problem. :2twocents
     
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  16. kid hustlr

    kid hustlr

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    Smurf,

    Re the FTB:

    If these costs lead to increased consumption then I believe these are good policies.

    Having some family assistance encourages both parents to work, creating more income & productivity in society, also creates a day care job etc etc*

    Contrast that to purely unemployed benefits - the government doesn’t get any benefit for giving away its money.

    *i recognise this is just one example but it’s a common one - not all FTB is ‘poor family has lots of kids to take advantage of welfare’
     
  17. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    1. Try to develop policy, to get people off welfare.

    2. Try to develop policy, that doesn't encourage people, to want get to get onto welfare.

    3. Try to achieve it, before we run out of money, and everyone is on welfare.
     
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  18. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

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  19. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Another one would be reminding everyone that we live in a society and that the economy is one part only of that. We do not live in an economy where things of a financial nature are the only objective.
     
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  20. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    Absolutely, and we all have an obligation, to do or best.
     
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