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Where do you see 2012 going? [With poll]

By johnboy 28 December 2011 30

As a pretty awful 2011 winds to a close I’m interested what the rest of you think 2012 is going to be like.

No need for concrete predictions, what’s the vibe of the thing for Canberrans?

2012 will be...

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Where do you see 2012 going? [With poll]
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Savanna100 1:56 pm 01 Jan 12

johnboy said :

Well, my point was that the movies were symptomatic of a wider malaise.

But maybe skyrim is the year’s cultural highlight?

I know it is at our house 🙂

BerraBoy68 5:25 pm 30 Dec 11

johnboy said :

Well, my point was that the movies were symptomatic of a wider malaise.

I tend to agree with JB on this one and, after my trip to the movies with the kids today, I can’t see 2012 being the year of anything new, or groundbreaking, in broader sense particularly if the movie industry does reflect our broader mindset. If the in-theatre adverts are anything to go by it seems we’re in for another year of sequels or re-releases now with the added glory of 3D. Nothing new, just the ‘same old, same old’ but with more ‘wow’ factor.

I fear domestic politics (national and local) will also offer the same repetitious crap by simply re-launching old policies with new spin. Nothing new.

That said, at a personal level I intend for 2012 to be a stellar year for my family by committing to trying new things and getting out and having fun. Just because our political and business leaders don’t show any imagination, there’s no reason we can’t aim to be creative and have a great year.

poetix 4:56 pm 30 Dec 11

I don’t think the cultural stagnation was so overwhelming in 2011. The translation of the three parts of IQ84 by Haruki Murakami into English from Japanese was a highlight. (Bookshop, or even, gasp, library…)

And I’ve developed an ability not to read news from a whole list of countries. Ignorance is sometimes advisable as a survival strategy, if not bliss exactly.

arescarti42 4:26 pm 30 Dec 11

2604 said :

I was only talking about individual income tax, not total government taxation revenue.

Very good point, my mistake.

2604 said :

I haven’t been able to find the ATO statistics you were referring to, but suspect that they apply to all taxpayers. That is, they don’t net out taxpayers under 25, most of whom are casual or part-time workers. That would make a small difference to the median – maybe allowing it to move upwards by 10% or so. So, you’d be looking at around $30,000 disposable income to live off. Don’t forget, either, that every additional dollar that income increased by would be tax-free, which would be a massive incentive to earn additional income.

The 44,222 figure is indeed for all workers, so you’re right, it would be higher if you excluded people under 25. Fair enough.

There is still a lot of problems around people earning low annual incomes, there are a lot of Australians earning incomes in the $6k-$30k range. People currently earning less than $16000 a year would have no incentive to work at all because they’d be taxed more than they earn, and there would be very poor incentives for people earning not much more than $16,000, as they would be facing enormous effective tax rates. A lot of people currently employed on low incomes would choose not to work and receive welfare instead, and a lot of low income people who had no option other than working would end up in poverty.

2604 said :

A head tax to replace progressive income tax rates is radical, no doubt. But it would follow a well-worn path. Petrol tax, GST, rego, parking tickets, passport application fees, speeding fines, etc are all “nondiscriminatory” taxes in that everyone pays a flat rate regardless of what they earn.

There is not really such a thing as a non-discriminatory tax on consumption. Petrol taxes, rego, parking tickets and speeding fines all discriminate against people who are wealthy enough to own and drive a car. If you can’t afford a car you can catch the bus, walk, cycle etc and not pay the tax. Even the GST exempts certain types of food, education and health care as far as I am aware. There is also a massive difference in the effect on people of percentage based taxes like the GST, where the amount of tax you pay goes down when you consume less, and a head tax like you propose.

thumper109 4:16 pm 30 Dec 11

Well it has to be better.. you know end of the world etc… the end of all the bogans, animal botherers, nimbies and other joy sucking demographics.. Oh wait a minute….

On a serious note, I see we have an over abundance of pessimists on here. I think its going to be a good year.. We should at least all try to make it a good one..

We live in a good country (or would you prefer to live in Afghanistan?), in a good city with a good group of people around us. I can’t see why it 2012 can’t be an up year.

2604 2:47 pm 30 Dec 11

arescarti42 said :

This just doesn’t add up. Per capita tax expenditure isn’t useful in this argument because the entire population of Australia is not employed and paying taxes. The population of Australia is a little over 22 million, the labour force is about 11.5 million, the remaining 10.5 million are children, the elderly, sick, disabled, homemakers etc. Total government taxation revenue is 330 billion, divide that by the workforce of 11.5 million people and taxation per worker is $29,000. That number gets even higher if people aged 15-25 are exempt from paying taxes like you suggest.

I was only talking about individual income tax, not total government taxation revenue. The Cth’s personal income tax take is only $187bn per year – just over $16,200 per year per worker.

arescarti42 said :

According ATO the median annual income of all workers is $44,222 per year. That means 50% of all workers in Australia earn less than 44,222 per year (and 50% more). Subtract out the $29,000 in tax and what that means is your proposal reduces the disposable income of the poorest 50% of Australian workers to less than $15,000 a year. That seems like a very, very bad idea to me.

I haven’t been able to find the ATO statistics you were referring to, but suspect that they apply to all taxpayers. That is, they don’t net out taxpayers under 25, most of whom are casual or part-time workers. That would make a small difference to the median – maybe allowing it to move upwards by 10% or so. So, you’d be looking at around $30,000 disposable income to live off. Don’t forget, either, that every additional dollar that income increased by would be tax-free, which would be a massive incentive to earn additional income.

A head tax to replace progressive income tax rates is radical, no doubt. But it would follow a well-worn path. Petrol tax, GST, rego, parking tickets, passport application fees, speeding fines, etc are all “nondiscriminatory” taxes in that everyone pays a flat rate regardless of what they earn. Everyone is entitled to and receives the same services from government (defence, foreign relations, health care, education, interstate highways, etc), so why shouldn’t they all pay the same fee to receive those services?

arescarti42 1:07 pm 30 Dec 11

2604 said :

minniemay said :

Apart from the obvious social issues with this idea, have you considered the economic insanity?

What insanity is that? It would be a matter of dividing the government’s current total income tax take and dividing it equally by the number of able-bodied adults. Revenue would stay the same, but the picture of who pays what would change. The current federal gov’t personal income tax take works out at roughly $12,000 per capita. Exempt disabled people and people below the age of about 25 (children and students still completing studies) and it could probably sit at about $16,000 per capita. That is about 25% of the average national per annum wage and about 22% of Canberra’s – a pretty reasonable proportion of your salary to be paying in tax.

This just doesn’t add up. Per capita tax expenditure isn’t useful in this argument because the entire population of Australia is not employed and paying taxes. The population of Australia is a little over 22 million, the labour force is about 11.5 million, the remaining 10.5 million are children, the elderly, sick, disabled, homemakers etc. Total government taxation revenue is 330 billion, divide that by the workforce of 11.5 million people and taxation per worker is $29,000. That number gets even higher if people aged 15-25 are exempt from paying taxes like you suggest.

According ATO the median annual income of all workers is $44,222 per year. That means 50% of all workers in Australia earn less than 44,222 per year (and 50% more). Subtract out the $29,000 in tax and what that means is your proposal reduces the disposable income of the poorest 50% of Australian workers to less than $15,000 a year. That seems like a very, very bad idea to me.

2604 said :

This approach would eliminate the need for deductions (negative gearing etc) and the whole tax preparation industry. If the government got rid of ridiculous cradle-to-grave welfare for able-bodied persons (baby bonus, child care subsidy, tax deductions for school supplies, FTBs, youth allowance, etc), you could probably get the per-capita tax down to about $10,000 per year per head.

I agree with you on the middle class welfare and tax concessions such as negative gearing though, a lot of government expenditure goes to people who really don’t need it. The tax system needs reform, but having everyone pay the same amount of tax is a bad idea.

NoImRight 11:01 am 30 Dec 11

arescarti42 said :

2604 said :

A system where everyone lives and has material wealth according to his abilities is infinitely “fairer” than a system where those with greater abilities are denied the full fruits of their labour by government in the name of equalising outcomes.

Well it is a matter of personal opinion I suppose. I’m of the opinion that the fact that some people are born more able or privileged than others is inherently unfair in itself. People don’t have any say in whether they have down syndrome or are blind or are born paraplegics, that’s the luck of the draw.

A society where the less able are destined to poverty and misery because they got dealt a bad hand is not the sort of society I would like to live in. Especially considering that our society is so extremely affluent. I suspect the majority of people share similar views.

Well I do anyway.

Its difficult to label whole demographics and still come up with viable solutions but Im not a fan of “the poor are poor because they deserve it” approach. Generally its a mantra of those that arent poor Ive found. Its easy to be smug when your only problems are first world ones.

RedDogInCan 2:41 am 30 Dec 11

You guys are analysing much too deep. Johnboy’s main complaint was about there being nothing good on at the movies. Let’ see – the ten highest grossing films were yet another Harry Potter, another Transformers, yet another Pirates of the Caribbean, Kung Fu Panda 2, the ongoing Twilight Saga, the fifth instalment of Fast and the Furious, The Hangover Part 2, a remake of the Smurfs, a Cars sequel, and the only original story – Rio.

Where was the 2011 equivalent of Avatar, Titanic, The Matrix, 2001, Saturday Night Fever, or Grease.

    johnboy 6:27 am 30 Dec 11

    Well, my point was that the movies were symptomatic of a wider malaise.

    But maybe skyrim is the year’s cultural highlight?

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