joe.toscano's blog

Revenue Revelation

Budget time is always a revelation. Not the Treasurer’s theatrical performance but where’s the money coming from? Things have changed a little bit over the past decade. Projected revenue for 2017-2018 is estimated to be 444.4 billion dollars (a lovely round figure). It is estimated about 209.6 billion will be squeezed out of individual income tax (that’s approximately 45% of total revenue). Fringe benefits tax will raise about 4.4 billion (1%). Superannuation taxes about 8.5 billion (2%). Customs duty 14.7 billion (3.5% approx.). Fuel excise 18.78 billion (4.5% approx.).

Ellen Jose and Mabo Day

Since 2003 Ellen Jose, a Torres Strait Islander Elder who has lived in Melbourne for over 40 years and whose family comes from Mer, Darnley and Horn Island in the Torres Strait, has organised a yearly Mabo Commemoration in Melbourne at Federation Square to mark the end of the historical fiction this land was uninhabited before it was colonised by the British Crown in 1788 – Terra Nullius.

The Biggest Con

I'm pretty confident most Australians are unaware of the biggest privatisation CON that has occurred in the history of this country. I'm not talking about the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank, Telecom, Medibank Private, Australia's airports and a host of other publicly owned assets over the past four decades. At least in these cases the revenue made from the sale of profit making publicly owned assets was absorbed back into consolidated revenue.

Can I Help You With Anything Else?

Public human interaction can be divided into two distinct components. The cyber age is increasingly allowing us to bypass the need for human interaction in an unnecessary complex commercial setting. The world wide web and automated phone bill paying has not only added a cost to the relatively simple process of buying, selling and paying a bill it has also removed the need for face to face contact with a human being.

21st Century Morality

Standards of conduct and moral judgement change with changing economic and political circumstances. The privatisation, globalisation, deregulation and corporatisation tsunami that has swept the globe over the past four decades has had a profound impact on the ethical standards that were adopted around the world as a result of the Nuremberg Trials that were held after WWII.

Sport Everywhere

There is sport and there is sport. Sport ranges from any recreational activity to any activity that requires bodily exertion that is played to a set of rules. Sport played to a recognised set of rules paradoxically teaches children to co-operate and compete at the same time. Children are taught to co-operate with their team members to defeat the opposing teams. Team sport is based on the idea both individual and collective effort is needed to achieve a goal. Sport mimics the relationships needed to create a successful society.

The Six Billion Dollar Conundrum

The Victorian state government raised 6 billion dollars from stamp duty last year. This tax is paid when people purchase property in Victoria. Billions of dollars in land tax that companies and people owning more than one property pay every year was also collected by the state government. On all available indicators Victoria and Australia is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. Paradoxically, the Victorian Labor government’s response to this crisis is to destroy what’s left of the public housing sector.

Mechanics’ Institutes

Mechanics’ Institutes were radical, voluntary, self-help organisations which began in Scotland and England in the early 1800’s and soon were transplanted to the colonies. The first Mechanics’ Institute was established in Melbourne in 1839 just four years after the colonisation process began.

On the Wane

Blaming “the other” has recently been a sure fire way of winning political office in nominally democratic societies. President Donald Groper’s United States electoral campaign was a text book example of how blaming the other can pay political dividends.

Whether it’s the Divided Nation crowd in Australia, the National Front in France or a host of other parties that build their political fortunes on blaming their country’s ills on “the other”, blaming “the other” has paid handsome political dividends in terms of parliamentary seats won.

Lucky

If I hear one more guest on a radio show, television show, newspaper column, YouTube video or the world wide web tell me how lucky, that’s right, lucky we are because Australians have access to public hospitals, public health, overtime payments, workplace awards, holiday pay, long service leave, sick pay, maternity leave etc, I’m going to scream! I know of no other country where people have such scant knowledge about why most, not all, Australians enjoy these privileges.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - joe.toscano's blog