Tag Archives: Economics

Are Australian politicians overpaid?

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A nice pithy comment, I thought, in the way that a 140 character limit encourages. I didn’t expect it to be too controversial, especially given the low standing of our politicians at the moment. But, as happens on the internets, I found myself pitched as the opponent of meritocracy, attempting to lower the standards of politicians by discouraging our best and brightest from applying.

I have a lot of writing that I’m supposed to be working on at the moment, so I thought the best way to procrastinate (sorry Antoinette and Geoff) would be to explore this question in a blog post: Do we get good value from our politicians? Continue reading

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Would expanding the GST actually be regressive?

gst_toonMartin Parkinson has kicked off another round of speculation about increasing GST revenue through either increasing the rate or expanding the base.

Raising taxes is the number one defence against budget cuts in areas that we want to protect, or new areas of social expenditure. In spite of this, calls to increase the GST are consistently met with opposition from the Left on the basis that they consider the GST to be a regressive tax. A tax that collects a higher percentage of the income of from poor people than rich people is a bad thing.

Given the consistency of these views, it might surprise to read that broadening the GST, or even raising it, is not necessarily regressive. In fact, in one area, broadening the base of the GST is actually create a more progressive tax system in and of itself. Continue reading

Superannuation and home ownership

Nicholas Gruen is right. In fact, I agree with him so much that I’ve had a half-finished blog post advocating the same idea for about six months (apparently I didn’t agree enough to finish it though…).

What he said was that if the Government is to increase compulsory superannuation contributions, in spite of evidence that they are not necessary and are likely to have negative social outcomes, then the least they can do is allow people to use a part of their savings as a housing deposit.

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Car share conundrum

This post is born out of yesterday’s frustration, with a Goget car doing it’s best Christine impression in the middle of the University of New South Wales, horn blaring, for about 45 minutes. But I’ll try to see through the emotion. I never can hold onto anger for long, as much as I would sometimes like to 🙂

Anyway, the crux of it is that car share is wonderfully convenient, but the current local providers are either too small, or frustratingly inadequate when it comes to customer service and standards.

Continue reading