Jobs for Australian

Malcolm Turnbull wants you to help him figure out what policies will create jobs for Australia.

I quite like these initiatives where they ask average Aussies for their input. However I don’t know if the people that sponsor these idea collection exercises actually read the submissions. Hopefully the quality will be a little higher than Kevin07s 2020 and Turnbull will find them worth reading.   

My submission was to set the minimum wage regionally rather than nationally and to remove payroll tax or else make the tax free payroll threshold somewhat dependent on the number of employees.  Feel free to share your ideas with the ALS and/or with Mr Turnbull.

Rudd is positioning the ALP as the anti-capitalists. It would seem that Turnbull wants to position the Liberals as the party of Jobs. I wonder which message will attract the most votes? 😉

22 thoughts on “Jobs for Australian

  1. A simple critique of Rudd:

    What has Rudd done for the poor?

    1. Challenged the ETS on equity grounds?

    2. Raised the tax free threshold and cut income taxes?

    3. Bullied the states to abolish job destroying payroll tax?

    4. Tackled income destroying inflation?

    5. Cut excise tax on petrol needed for transport, expecially in out of the way areas?

    6. Eliminated job destroying, inflationary and socially statifying taiffs?

    7. Eliminated subsidies for big business that could otherwise fund general tax cuts and increase incomes and employment?

    8. Allow nuclear power that will create a new source of energy to lower market prices for power?

    9. Cut capital gains tax, compnay tax and gotten rid of xenophobic foreign investment policy that fund new investment and jobs?

    Is the answer to all of these no? I wonder if his 9000-word-essay extolls the virtue of such omissions?

  2. Mark: To play devils advocate… Rudd has passed legislation to increase LITO (effectively taking the tax-free threshold to $16,000), we have the lowest inflation in many years, and tariffs on cars are going down.

  3. “Inclined to Liberty” by Louis E. Carabini submitted.

    Unfortunately, economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt was too big.

    “Thank you for your submission.
    If deemed appropriate it will be published within 48 hours.”


  4. John,
    Tariffs are coming down on cars while subsidies are going up.

    The lowest inflation rate in many years is nothing of his doing unless of course you’re actually suggesting he managed to push world oil prices down to 40 bucks where they are now.

  5. This was on the first page of Turnbull’s jobs thingy.

    I laughed, never mind I am sure there are plenty of people will think it is a great idea. We should raise tariffs as it has worked so well in the past, thank you so much Virginia Poole.

    virginia poole, SA

    Thank you for this opportunity. I firmly believe that the importation of so many goods from overseas causes the continuous shrinkage of Australian jobs. Would you please consider the idea of lessening this crippling effect on our jobs. The food we import is also a great worry. We have no idea where it is from, and do not know if it is healthy. We work hard shopping for Australian produce. This you must address urgently. Thank you, Virginia Poole.

  6. 8. Allow nuclear power that will create a new source of energy to lower market prices for power?
    I always thought coal was more viable, given the price of refining the uranium and all :/ But you’re right, it should at least be opened up

    “Inclined to Liberty” by Louis E. Carabini submitted.

    Unfortunately, economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt was too big.

    “Thank you for your submission.
    If deemed appropriate it will be published within 48 hours.”

    Oh gawd, I lol’d hard

  7. This makes me wonder if Causes of the economic Crisis would fit or perhaps Liberalism, I have both as PDFs. Imitation would not be funny though. Human Action at 50MB certainly would not fit. It does fit on my iPod touch though.

  8. I propose that all AGwowsers be conscripted to build nuclear power plants in the desert (far from important people like us, and near to their supplies.). This make -work scheme will give the appearance of doing something, put idle speculaters to work, and give us enough power so we can heat or cool our houses without the power shutting down!

  9. “Oh gawd, I lol’d hard” – Steve

    “This makes me wonder if Causes of the economic Crisis would fit or perhaps Liberalism, I have both as PDFs. Imitation would not be funny though. Human Action at 50MB certainly would not fit.” – Eric Hood

    1mb is the threshold. They actually allowed the comment through. I guess they didn’t pay attention to it. Also some other comments up, saw one by Shem.

  10. Thanks. I uploaded Causes of the Economic Crisis. 970k.

    Might be a little cheeky to give them Liberalism. 🙂

  11. Not sure where that attachment came from. Pretty sure I didn’t upload it.

    Maybe a sympathetic editor added it to my comment?

    I noticed Kirk (fleeced) mentioning the payroll tax, too.

  12. TerjeP, your submission there reads as though you want Payroll Tax changed from a proportion of the wages bill to an amount per employee, not to raise the exempt threshold according to the number of employees as you suggest above.

  13. My submission says;

    Terje Petersen, NSW

    We should not make it illegal to employee people with marginal skills. The minimum wages should be set on a regional basis. The trade off between cost of living considerations and unemployment should be determined within the context of regional economies not the national economy.

    We should also abolish the Low Income Tax Offset and provide the same benefit via an increase in the tax free threshold. This would improve transparency within out tax system.

    Whilst payroll tax is not a federal issue it should still be abolished so that employers are not biased in favour of capital over labour. Or if it can’t be abolished then the tax free threshold for payroll tax should relate to the number of employees rather than merely a dollar figure.

  14. All you need is a double-entendre motto! In America, Upton Sinclair ran on a platform called ‘EPIC- End Poverty In California!’. His successful opponent had the slogan ‘Share the Wealth’. They probably both had similar laws in mind, but the one who appealed to the craving ‘Whats in it for me?’ was the winner.
    If the Liberals, or the LDPpers (Lids?) had a slogan like, “Share All Power”, people might think that this means that the Federal Government would enforce equality, whilst we actually mean we’ll decentralise like mad, and give local governments even more powers, weakening the center! It’s all in the spin. (And what shorthand name can we use for the Liberal Democratic Party? I say again that we should adopt the colour gold, and be proudly known as the Gold Party!)

  15. Nicholas – it is not all in the spin. Otherwise we could just say we’re the nicest and the best.

  16. As I couldn’t upload directly I sent them the following email and Word attachment (based on this). Based on their past obstructionism I fully expect this not to appear, so I thought I’d post it here.


    As your upload system appears incompatible with my home platform (an older version of Mozilla and Linux), I am attaching this submission to an email as suggested.

    The Liberal Party has had this material available to it for several years now. I repeatedly attempted to get the party to action the determination, even volunteering to carry it out myself if only they would provide me with contact details so I could canvass the membership for suitably willing and able people to participate in the working group. In the end, I became convinced that it was fruitless to attempt to work through the Liberal Party as it then was, and I let my membership lapse. However, if this has changed, I would repeat my earlier offer of assisting with a study group and would also rejoin the Liberal Party.

    Attachment (slightly reformatted for posting here):-

    Determination of the 135th Victorian State Council of the Liberal Party, 12.10.02 (resolution no. 23, submitted by the St. Kilda Road branch)


    That a small working group be set up to evaluate Professor Kim Swales’ approach to helping unemployment and to report back on it in an Australian context.

    Accompanying statement

    Several research groups have offered a number of approaches to helping unemployment. One of these is the “five economists’ plan” for a variation of Negative Income Tax. While promising, it has serious continuing funding problems and also has up front costs to be carried until it starts paying back. Professor Kim Swales of the University of Strathclyde in Scotland has designed a variant that makes use of GST rather than Income Tax and which gives employers a tax break rather than assisting workers with a labour subsidy. It is constructed to avoid these particular problems, at least in the UK. We should look into what it does instead and find out any side effects, then see if it can be worked up into practical Australian policy within a wider package.

    Executive Summary (given to St. Kilda Road branch)

    The “five economist’s plan” is a variant of Negative Income Tax, as is the American “Earned Income Tax Credit”. This replaces a collection of support systems with a single basic one, working through Income Tax; for people on low incomes there is actually a payment, and for people with no other income they just get the equivalent of Social Security this way.
    The thinking is that by reducing the wages that potential employees have to hold out for, and by eliminating poverty traps, it will become practical for employers to offer lower wages that are still realistic enough for everybody to price themselves into work.

    The known catches are:-

    – To keep the total tax take up the standard rates have to be high somewhere (either lots of losers, or poverty traps for a few losers).

    – To avoid just moving the poverty traps around, the rates have to stay high over a wide range (lots of losers).

    – To pay out to people who need it, there have to be large amounts of funds moving around (churning, with huge compliance costs and transaction costs).
    To boost employment there has to be a considerable time delay while wages adjust painfully, during which all this represents an outgoing.

    One particular feature is that this has losers as well as winners, and it gets the losers early while winners don’t turn up until much later. The hope is that in the end everyone ends up better off – maybe a few elections down the track.

    It’s possible to aim at the same general target and achieve even worse results; that’s what the Greens’ idea of a “Guaranteed Adequate Income” would do, since it needs far more funds for far longer (impossibly huge funds, in fact). EITC compromises on moving the poverty traps around, and also minimises funds outflow during start up (the unemployed don’t get any funds – which also means they can’t take just any job, since they need to finance [surviving during] their first work from it).

    Professor Kim Swales’ work eliminates all or most of the problems. This is by using GST rather than Income Tax. Under this, employers get what amounts to a Negative Payroll Tax, with their GST bills being reduced by a standard amount per full time worker they employ; this can be set as high as Social Security, though long run levels can be lower and you can start with the low levels if you do not need quite as rapid results.

    Again, in the standard version the tax take is kept up by increasing the nominal rate of the carrying tax, GST. In a model using the British equivalent, VAT, Professor Swales found that an NPT set at 5% of average UK wages would lead to serious improvements in both employment and GDP, under a number of varying assumptions. You can find his material within at [now here]. I have also analysed this using Game Theory (see the link in my signature below).

    The improvements are in these areas:-

    – There are no funds outflows, since the adjustments are made during tax calculations; all employers still end up paying the government.

    – As the point of impact is on employers and not on the unemployed or employees, poverty traps are eliminated.

    – There is less time delay or political trouble until full or partial results, since wages paid do not have to drop.

    There is still a problem from higher tax rates, but this is mostly illusory since all actual payers – employers – are getting their adjustments before they pass the whole burden on to consumers, and the adjustments can be set lower than with Negative Income Tax. However there is still a real problem, since Australian GST is a defective consumption tax. Without going into too many details, this can be cured in a number of ways. It can be patched by having the States make up the shortfall themselves with an increase in Land Tax on commercial properties (but not by increasing Payroll Tax, which harms employment by undoing all the good work of NPT). This works because they get all the GST revenue, they can apply the patch, the patch also falls on businesses that pass it on to consumers, and the burden of the patch does not vary with the amount of business done (which was the heart of the problem). And it’s politically realistic since the States are currently under different management, and Federal promises to remit the States all the GST revenue don’t apply to keeping the GST revenue up.

    It also seems that there could be a problem “at the edges”, where one tax regime meets another – which means, with foreign trade. So we have to be very careful looking into all the ramifications.

    [The signature on the original email led here.]

  17. Drat, the links stopped that from going through. Briefly, as I couldn’t upload directly I sent them an email and Word attachment. Based on their past obstructionism I fully expect it not to appear, so I thought I’d post it here. Until it arrives, if it ever does, try this that I based it on.

  18. The page has been updated and now has a “top rated ideas” section. Quite a few of our suggestions are listed there! XD

    In other interesting news Joe Hockey is now Shadow Treasurer. I’m liking the look of the new Liberal Party a lot more than the Howard Liberals.

    Of course us liking it doesn’t mean much when nationally the Liberals’ popularity is plummeting over them not supporting the stimulus package. I thought they were marketing themselves well, but I guess there’s nothing like “free money” to get the electorate on your side -_-;;

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