Sustainable Government

The government exists as the representative of ALL the people they rule.

Corporations exist as a representative of a specific active business interest. Unions exist as the representative of a specific active labour group interest. Communities exist as a group of people who share a culture of common goals. Eg, religious, sporting, business, social, craft, lifestyle, etc

In order to have a balanced society that operates overall for everyone’s benefit, then the government must act to balance the interests of these three kinds of groups. To provide and preserve that framework of mutual benefit and balance, somebody must act as the referee in disputes. It is essential that the referee is both beyond reproach and does not act purely in the interests of any one of those entities. That referee is the legal system, which is already kept separate from the operation of government under the doctrine of the separation of powers. This doctrine could be strengthened to change the way judges are selected from the current system of political appointment.

Here are some principles to guide the interaction of these groups and the roles the play. This should inform all legislative decisions

The People Come First

If there

Financial Transactions Tax

All organizations engaging in financial transactions that exceed a set amount per annum should attract a tax on EVERY transaction (including the ones below the threshold). This kind of tax has already been established in multiple European countries and there is a group of European Union countries attempting to have it implemented across Europe. The aim there is to force financial institutions to repay the taxpayer’s bailout money they received as well as provide a solid contribution to government funding generally.[1] This is meeting a lot of resistance from the financial industry of course and the start date of the Europe wide program has been delayed.[2]

This small businesses and individuals are will never need to pay this tax. This tax is aimed at:

Financial organizations that use high frequency trading and other large scale capital movements to generate profits on the international market. This tax is payable by any organization moving large amounts of money around for any purpose. Foreign investors of any kind that seek to take money out of Australia. This tax would be payable by ANY organization moving money into or out of Australia for any reason.

Punishments for attempting to avoid this tax should follow

Governing the Finance Industry

The actions of the banking and finance industry in particular have shown a reckless abandon with the world’s finances that is likely to cause an immense global crash in the next few years. The bailout of the US mega banks in 2008 resulted in an even greater conglomeration of financial institutions into fewer, larger bodies capable of inflicting permanent damage on the global economy. This behavior must be stopped and the financial industry requires special attention as a result.[1] They have proven that they simply cannot be trusted with self-regulation, behaving like spoiled schoolkids, and now they must be brought to account.

In order to drive the right behaviours without losing the benefits of a global financial system, governments worldwide must adopt new, stringent regulations on all financial institutions. Australia can be a leader in these provisions to show the world how to strike a far more intelligent balance between the desires of business & finance and those of the people and the environment.

The Creation of Money Without Debt

The government needs to return the power to create money to a government controlled entity that is fully audited, transparent and subject to public scrutiny on all its operations. The

Zero Net Growth Global Economy

The global economy needs to reach a Zero Net Growth equilibrium point and Australia must take steps to reorganise its economy to match this goal.

The primary reason for this is to recognize that we live on a finite planet with finite resources. Infinite cumulative growth can only consume all our resource in a one way ride to oblivion. Albert Bartlett explains this very clearly in this linked video. [1]

The other reason we need this change is to provide the right environment for markets to constantly innovate and regenerate over time without destroying the finite resources of the world. The current domination of huge multinational corporations that are allowed to operate in every industry on the planet is not providing that environment. The lie of infinite growth must be taught from primary school, showing how quickly exponential growth consumes all resources.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” – Edward Abbey[2]

There must still be reward for private investment, but that investment model should be more like crowdsourcing – everyone can join in on supporting small, local business or larger ventures as required. This means that the evolution of the market is

Reconsider Infrastructure Monopolies

Industries with little or no competition in Australia should be government operated to varying degrees.

The concept of a ‘natural monopoly’ is well known to economists and the subject of ongoing debate. There are multiple versions of how these might come about, but the most relevant to Australia is the lack of competition in many areas combined with a small population spread across a large geographical space. This affects all utility service providers in much the same way; for most connections between producer and consumer, it would be incredibly expensive to duplicate the infrastructure. The issue is not competition between actual producers or service providers, but between large scale, expensive pipes and cables that connect them to the consumer. The important aspect is that producers and retailers should not be fighting for access to the connecting network, they should be fighting to produce more efficiently or construct attractive retail services for consumers. In order to achieve this, the organization running the connecting network cannot be allowed to also compete in the generation or retail markets. That component of the system would be far better managed by the government directly and regulated tightly to ensure all generators and retailers have equal

Government Investment as a Shareholder

If the government provides direct support to medium sized companies, it should result in a dividend paying shareholding in that company. Support should never be simply given away. This shareholding should then pay dividends as any other share in the company with those dividends received as government revenue. This kind of assistance should only be available for limited reasons:

Enable a company to expand operations significantly in a specific way Establish export business Establish business in another state Establish new factory or building Fund R&D programs that are in an industry or niche of interest for development. Enable a company to divide into separate entities to better focus each organization.

This kind of support must be regulated such that a single company cannot claim multiple times to fund substantially the same goal without reaching that goal. Repeated attempts should attract a maximum of one third less assistance to a maximum of three attempts. After that point, no further assistance is allowed to reach that goal, but the shareholding is maintained to ensure some return should result.

This kind of investment body already exists in the form of government superannuation funds, these new investments should follow the same regulatory framework and

Foreign Investment

Foreign investment must be considered under extremely strict laws of citizen ownership of land and permanent structures. A foreign individual or entity can only rent land or buildings for a maximum term of twenty years. It can never be allowed to own sovereign assets outright. This would force foreign companies to engage with purely local companies to interact with and these local companies would operate under Australian taxation and corporate governance laws to guarantee good corporate citizenship.

As a part of these provisions, all land and buildings currently owned by foreign entities of any kind must have a sunset clause applied to that ownership.

For a single residential property of any kind, this should be the greater of ten years from the purchase date or three years from introduction of sunset legislation. For multiple strata properties within a single location, such as a block of apartments, this should be the greater of ten years from purchase date or five years from introduction of sunset legislation. For commercial buildings, this should be twenty years from purchase date.

The sunset clauses are set to ensure some return on investment is made, without prolonging the issue. At that point these properties must be

Maintain Minimum Wage in Line with CPI

The principle of permanently increasing the minimum wage in line with CPI will force the market to permanently adjust to accommodate all wages as a result.

The reality is, with a zero net growth economy and creating money without debt, there is no reason the CPI should be guaranteed to rise annually at all.

This must be enshrined in law as deeply as possible. Award wages cannot drop without significant intervention by the government to the same kind of level required by constitutional change.

Executive contracts negotiated on an individual basis should not be protected by this guarantee, the executives can negotiate their own terms. The majority of the population should be protected by award agreements.

The Australian Economy in the Asian Century

Australia should actively seek inclusion in the ASEAN group of countries to recognize our geographical location in that region and to further our alignment with the member countries. A free trade agreement has already been signed between Australia, New Zealand and the ASEAN nations, but this should be extended into full membership as a matter of priority. The resulting economy would be roughly double that of India and, with the inclusion of South Korea, would begin to be comparable to Japan. This would provide a huge strength in both numbers and economies to provide a counterbalance to the huge regional power that China, Japan and the US currently hold.

The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) currently being negotiated would increase the ASEAN plus Australia and New Zealand group to include South Korea, China, India and Japan; creating the world’s largest economic bloc.[1] Consideration must be made as to the overall benefits of such an agreement over a bloc that excludes China, India and Japan. The latter bloc would provide balance in the region as opposed to making all the smaller economies subject to dumping, economic hollowing[2] and other abuse from China and Japan in particular.

With the likelihood of