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Archive for October, 2012

Increasing Tax on Cheap Wine

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Labor’s perpetual tax hikes are proceeding unabated with a plan to increase tax on cheap wine. Australia already has one of the highest tax rates on alcohol in the world. From this world leading position, labor wants to further increase tax. This is just another tax hike in a long line of tax hikes introduced by the labor government, further adding to Australia’s cost base and exacerbating our uncompetitiveness in international markets. I suppose the revenue raised by their introduction of the alcopop tax has not been enough to curb their inability to manage the budget.

See other politics section for more information about labor’s addiction to spending and strategy of continuous tax increases.

Live Animal Exports

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

The problem with animal welfare related to live animal exports will not be resolved by banning Australian live animal exports. The problem resides in the countries importing the animals. Those countries have a demand for meat. Whether they get it from Australia or elsewhere does not change how they treat animals. If Australia bans live animal exports to those countries they will find a different market to purchase their animals from. In fact I think the best way for us to help improve animal welfare is by continuing to do business with these nations. That way we have an ongoing interface with their industry. We have leverage to help encourage them to change. Banning exports is tantamount to putting our heads in the sand. The result is less business for Australia and no change to animal welfare.

I don’t claim to have the answer to this issue, but whatever the potential answers may be, I implore the government to avoid repeating the knee-jerk reaction seen with the cattle industry in 2011. The sudden banning of live cattle exports to Indonesia was irresponsible and foolish. Allowing cattle to suffer and die in Australian pastoral land is not good for animal welfare. Further, the knee-jerk reaction was devastating to the businesses involved in the cattle export industry. The current Labor government has a history of suddenly changing the rules on business, mostly through the introduction of new taxes such as the mining tax and the carbon tax, which only serve to help offset their addiction to spending and inability to manage the budget. Sudden changes to the rules on business is extremely poor government policy. The perception of an uncertain business environment leads to deteriorating business investment and a deteriorating economy.

Whatever the changes are to policies that may come about from the latest incident with sheep in Pakistan, they need to be developed slowly and carefully, with consultation to all stakeholders. Of course, unlike the case for banning of cattle exports to Indonesia, potential consequences of any policy changes need to be carefully considered. Negative consequences need to be addressed to the satisfaction of all stakeholders before proceeding with change. Change needs to be deployed slowly to allow business to adjust. Knee-jerk reactions must be avoided.

Alan Jones vs Terrorism

October 7, 2012 2 comments

Like most Australians, I don’t really care about what Alan Jones says, nor do I use him as my moral compass. I don’t support his comments made about Julia Gillard and her father, John Gillard, but I do support his freedom to say it. The people who threaten Alan Jones and the companies that advertise on his program have the same philosophy and ideals as terrorists. Extremists. Fanatics blinded by irrational beliefs. These are the type of people, who if not kept in check, will escalate their opinions and beliefs into actual acts of violence. They make threats. They try to enforce their beliefs through threats. If given the chance, they will act on their threats. They are terrorists. Perhaps their extreme methods are watered down, being labelled as “cyber bullies.” In terms of philosophy, they are terrorists.

Companies should not give in to terrorists. I believe companies should support Alan Jones and his freedom to say what he likes. If you don’t like what he says, you are free to not listen. Pulling support and advertising in the wake of threats is a decision that gives power to the terrorists making the threats. Companies should stand strong against these terrorists. They should not pander to threats. They should not support the idea that opinions can be enforced onto others through terrorism. This only encourages more terrorism. I’d be encouraged to buy the products of a company that supports it’s people in any type of hardship, whether it’s from terrorist threats or anything else. I am discouraged to buy products from gutless companies who pander to threats or do not support their people when they need support. It’s easy to pull the pin. It’s much harder to fight and maintain support.

These terrorists, like most other terrorists, are likely to be hypocrites  They have probably enjoyed the entertainment value of a shock jock at some stage. Whether it’s Australian Idol or one of the other mundane spin-offs or some sort of radio program. Whether with or without Kyle Sandilands, many programs use this device to garner an audience. It’s entertaining. It’s a ploy to get attention. It’s controversial and sparks discussion and interest  People watch it, and in doing so support it. Watching or listening to a show containing this style of entertainment device is a vote in its approval. Part of the risk of this type of ploy is that sometimes some people will be offended. It’s part of the game. It’s unavoidable. Watching or listening to a shock jock is accepting and supporting the fact that occasionally some people will be offended. To be critical and withdraw your support when an unfavourable circumstance arises from a device that you originally supported is hypocritical.

I’ve never listened to Alan Jones’ show. Since I’m strongly against terrorism and hypocrisy  I might start listening now. I want to demonstrate my support for freedom and the right to live in a world where you are not threatened by hypocrites who believe something different to you. Also the show is commercial free now. Bonus.