Flying pigs and the carbon tax.

Last night (July 29) I watched Rod Simms (ACCC chairman) interviewed on the ABC about the price reductions consumers can expect from the removal of the carbon tax. He was assuring us that consumers will receive these benefits because in effect the ACCC had the interview transcripts and documents that confirmed prices went up as a result of the tax, therefore they will go down similarly. If not, he would use the competition powers of the ACCC to ensure businesses, particularly those on whom he “had the goods” complied.

Mr Sims has generally been a pretty good advocate for the ACCC, taking on some challenging projects, but I wonder if he really believes himself when he says this stuff.

The carbon tax has just been a corrosive component of a superficial, emotional and nasty period in our political lives, devoid of facts and intelligent debateĀ  almost anywhere. However, to say prices will just drop as a result of the removal is, even by our political masters twisted standards, like asking us to believe in Santa Claus.

Politicians have systematically and capriciously distorted the truth about the state of the economy, over the last 20 years. The source of budget problem we have is on the revenue side, stemming from income tax cuts delivered by the Howard government, rather than being all on the spending side, as eloquently outlined by Dr. John Edwards in his terrific essay published by the Lowy institute, “Beyond the boom” Not addressed by Dr Edwards is the institutional waste I see in Federal expenditures stemming from the cultural imperative never to be wrong, which ensures no risks are taken, and every tiny detail is quadruple checked and backstopped before it is passed up the line, at great cost to us all.

Australian politics is stuffed.

Very low public engagement by any measure, seemingly universal cynicism about the motives and actions of politicians and their cronies, absolute lack of intelligent debate in the House of Representatives, and mayhem in the senate. Little has changed since this December 2009 rant, but I remain an optimist.

Australians have shown a remarkable ability to absorb change, and to enable the evolution of a society unimaginable to those who authored the constitution 114 years ago, so perhaps this is all just a component of the recipe for more change.

I hope so, but it does seem that this lot have polished the political game to within an inch of its life. In a debate, you can usually count on the truth being somewhere between the starting points of the adversaries, but in our current political climate, the truth, and any facts seem to be somewhere else entirely, utterly disassociated from the discourse.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see politicians held to the same standards they impose on the rest of us in relating to misleading statements, fraudulent conduct, false advertising, and the rest?.

Whoops, stop, there is a pink, flying pig going past.

For those few who got this far, thanks, but you must have too much time on your hands if you are to indulge my rant, but thanks anyway.

Back to work, to seeking ways to assist SME’s navigate the shoals of reality, and I will not be advising them to just drop their prices by 10% of the cost of their energy, that would see most of them broke.


About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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4 Responses to Flying pigs and the carbon tax.

  1. strategyaudit says:

    Despair is currently winning. The continuing ICAC revelations of the shenanigans on the Central coast just confirm the only bipartisan element in current Australian politics is the appalling sight of mediocre individuals scrambling over each other, ignoring the tenets of civil behaviour and morality whilst extolling them as a part of their pitch, to get at the spoils of office.
    Words (almost) fail me.

  2. Politics are not merely stuffed, they are verging on total paralysis. All parties are playing zero sum games based on entrenched and polarised positions (why does every policy initiative get scrutinised via a crude prism of winners and losers?), which makes informed consensus and rational compromises to achieve reasonable outcomes near impossible. At least there was some sort of bipartisan support for an ETS, but Labor factions got in Rudd’s ear, allowing the Coalition to back away the moment they smelt an opportunity for a short-term win. And we are expected to vote FOR these people (which is akin to social media where you can only “LIKE”, not “DISLIKE” something….) or spoil our ballot/abstain. Philanthropists like Mark Carnegie may be right to bemoan the low level of public engagement (across many public institutions), but it’s the failure of leadership in those organisations which is failing and driving away the very people they were intended to serve. Too many vested interests concentrated in the hands of a small number of over powerful cliques.

    • strategyaudit says:

      You are obviously a “fellow traveler” on the state of politics in this country. I wonder if there are too few of us to effect a change?.
      I almost did not post this rant, as it is not the usual fare for the blog, and I am a bit surprised but gratified that you chose to comment. Sometimes I just have too let the hobby horses run!!..

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