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The Forum > Article Comments > The fast elevator > Comments

The fast elevator : Comments

By Eric Gribble, published 4/1/2018

Solutions come from the combined enterprise of individuals, and central Government only constrains that entrepreneurship.

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There's a lot to agree with here Eric, save your take on tax. The verifiable published facts are,in actual tax paid the highest tax rate last year for corporate Australia, was 17%, with one in three, not paying any?

Even so there is a case for genuine tax reform not the clayton's tax reform we've seen thus far. And that tax rate will be a 15% flat tax that is leveled against all income regardless who earns and before it can be hidden in this or that strategy or tax haven. And therefore needs to be PAYG.

This would in effect, remove any need for tax compliance or tax compliance costs, which as the first effect would return an averaged 7% to the bottom line. Making the effective tax rate just 8%? After that the real factor limiting economic growth here is the cost of energy.

And most because of some of the most asinine energy policies on earth, that first took our former control of energy costs and distribution and placed in the hands of profit gouging tax avoiding profit repatriating foreigners. With the consequences plain as the nose on your face.

This can be addressed in a couple of currently officially forbidden ways? Well, we don't have either!

i.e., thorium based nuclear power and yesterday, and using the much, much cheaper energy to resuscitate our manufacturing sector and metals smelting. With the lowest costing, lowest carbon steel in our pocket.

We can afford to retrofit every Australian domicile with a waste digestor that converts wasted organic was to endlessly sustainable, virtually costless domestic gas. Adding gas scrubbing and ceramic fuel cells to that paradigm would produce at least a 50% salable surplus, which could be piped to a central hub and sold as endlessly reliable gas supply to paying commercial users. Which could pay for the entire retrofit? TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 4 January 2018 10:15:42 AM
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Thorium is the most energy dense material on the planet, is fertile not fissile. Abundant as lead, and can't be used to make a thorium bomb!

In it natural state or as the metal, is less radioactive than a banana.

And once kickstarted, as an assisted nuclear reaction, cannot produce the plutonium used in nuclear bombs. But used in a walk away safe molten salt reactors, not unlike that, that was successfully trialled at Oak Ridge Tennessee, for four accident and incident free years and only closed when funding was officially withdrawn!

With the technology subsequently forbidden at the behest of, I believe, fossil fuel owned or controlled corporate America, and its running mate, the billion dollar nuclear fuel fabrication business!?

And we could use it to not only resuscitate our own, almost dead on ts feet, manufacturing sector, plus start producing significant quantities of miracle cancer cure Bismuth 2/13! Waste is just 1%, far less toxic, has a half life of just 500 years and then able to be used as long life space batteries!

Moreover, we could use the extraordinarily cheap, safe, clean, carbon free energy, to create a number of endless sustainable alternative diesel and jet fuel substitutes from endlessly abundant seawater! And use the sales of that, around an energy dependant world to pay for the faciities?

Or alternatively, or as well, from the annual billions we could earn as a nuclear waste repository, which would then just become largely unspent fuel we could burn in thorium powered molten salt reactors?

To further improve our economic prospects, even if some of that waste was weapons grade plutonium?

What? You'd sooner leave it in the weapons?

And from that same source, use this remarkably cheap energy make desal water, [deionization dialysis,] cheap enough to make a very credible business case for turning some of our most arid lands into amongst the most productive in the world and on a hitherto undreamed of scale!

And a more rational and economically sane option!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 4 January 2018 11:15:32 AM
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We now have a whole politic geared towards satisfying the needs of foreign investment into the housing sector.

This skewed view, intensifies with age, as innovation evaporates. As all of us with an interest in pure survival, have grasped, all of Australian eggs are in the one basket.
Outside of investment into the realestate bubble, there is no life or future for current residents.

Along with foreign investment, innovation will be imported. As your book points out the flaws in the economic direction of Australia, as it speeds towards the cliff-edge; without critical changes to the politic, we are doomed to become subservient to foreign interests. The increasing of the servant class, is the only booming industry.
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 4 January 2018 11:35:46 AM
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I also believe we are heading into a very difficult period.
It will be seen as a financial crash, but that is misleading.
A few basic facts will illustrate my opinion.

The Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) on world coal is falling.
The ERoEI on world oil and gas is also falling.
This will result in the declining return on effort.
Debt together with expensive resources will destroy the oil industry.
Most countries are currently running very significant debt in one form or another.
The United States has a debt higher than 22 trillion dollars.
A realistic view of their economy is that the US will never be able to repay the debt. A nation can only use the excess income, ie GDP, after all interest charges and other costs are paid.
Growth is needed to produce the excess income and growth can only be generated in two ways.
Either by improved efficiency, reducing waste, new technology or increased energy usage.

If the cost of the increased energy absorbs the extra GDP or the energy is just not available at an affordable price then debt will never be repaid. This is also the position for almost all countries.
Australia's debt which is largely in the public's hands but the government also has a large debt.
Growth in all countries is either static. There is little hope that in a contracting economy our debt will be repaid as our GDP continues to decrease. All countries are making efforts to increase growth but almost none have been successful.
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 4 January 2018 3:15:58 PM
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Eric Gribbles' book makes some disturbingly astute points. Some!.
But on the whole, it is driven by ideology. Evidence: mandatory sentencing.
How this would help the economy of Australia, goes over my head!
And other similar mix of the stupid thrown in, amongst suggestions for economic reform.

But the most sense is made in the argument for one Government. I think this is the one big point, which is becoming an emergency. Maybe something akin to the French system!
Eliminating state governments by offering a more centralised voice of the people, through local government!
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 4 January 2018 4:03:08 PM
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Exactly DD. State government are a arguably practically useless roadblocks in the path of real progress. Just look how much of the taxpayer's funds they waste on duplication and counterproductive entirely unnecessary administration.

Without these now unaffordable useless appendages, we'd still be able to provide all the service and amenity they as middlemen profit takers oversee now, we'd be able to redirect some 70 billions plus per annum, toward debt reduction and or, nation building projects? We're the most over-governed country on earth bar one.

Moreover, we have divide and rule political parties that for decades have let the country down and simply played the ends against the middle! Arguably, so nobody could see how hopelessly inept they were as visionary Leaders.

Little wonder Bob Menzies wept when our last true visionary, Ben Chifley, died.

We'd be far better off if we just went around state governments, with a direct funding, means tested model for health and education.

And assisted that very outcome, with far more regional autonomy. Most road funding could go directly to councils/contractors competing for tendered contracts for road works and what have you.

Better the funds be aimed directly to the coal face than endlessly squabbling state governments, which have degenerated, I believe, into kindy for pocket lining, learner driver pollies?

Instead of developing the nation, their job? They seem to spend an inordinate amount of wasted time on policies, that like euthanasia, ought to be decided by a nationwide referendum.

So they can get back to doing what we pay them for!

Improving our economic prospects! And I do mean ours, as opposed to the hundreds of thousands of migrants they would saddle us with? Even when we know as many as 90% of current occupations could be replaced by automation in just a few decades.

Without question, our economic prospects can only be improved by an energy paradigm we both own and can afford! And that's not what has been rolled out, confiscated, in the rush to privatize anything not nailed down!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 4 January 2018 5:28:09 PM
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The article is a necessarily not very detailed summary of the book. For this reason the various arguments may seem superficial. More detailed analysis is required to gain a better perspective. Regarding taxes, the main focus of business is on profit. Profit can be maximised by minimising tax as a cost. A level playing field will result in a shift in that profit aim in a direction towards what better benefits the nations economy and away from that which is directed by the tax regime. Also research by Dr Caragata's team on the optimum tax rate is mentioned. Most of the critisisms of the article are based on it's simplicity. All I can suggest is that people do their own research, look at the book (sounds like I am sprucking the book) and look at the references.
Posted by Gribble, Friday, 5 January 2018 7:52:22 AM
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Addressing global socio-economic-risk issues by narrow solutions based on “rational” economic, government structure, planning, energy factors are premature when a society is not trying to envisage and reach an “accepted” view of the sort of society it wishes to pursue.
Society is “complex” – there are constraints, and diverse ideologies.

In the book that in late career “I am not writing” (but should be), starting from my initial background in mathematics, maturing to the field of “complexity” and its management, I am seeking to distil the essential features of a sustainable, continuously advancing society. My proposals are supported by reading in sciences technology, law, economics, psychology, philosophy, law, current affairs.

In my view, “a sustainable, continuously advancing society”, to succeed must ultimately embrace many, diverse solutions in which innovation is a part (but in which other outlooks and fine ideologies are understood). Eric's paper suggests a more restricted model (depending of course how his article is read).

Boiled down, my proposal is that, to prosper, the society will be one that prizes four essential characteristics - like the four legs of a table they need to be “even”, adjusted to the (ever changing) terrain, if the table is to be kept stable. They are, interdependently:

1. Individual freedom& - e.g. endeavour, expression, association – providing maximum scope for innovation, criticisms, analysis, philosophising,
2. Informed engagement – without which the people can be easily misled,
3. Responsibility to others – without which poverty and loss of opportunity will destroy social cohesion,
4. Reverence/respect for what is “good” – without which vision, the lessons of history, and human ideals will be discouraged

None of the four legs should dominate. The fourth however gives some difficulty - the "good” should encompass what can be appreciated universally, as part of our common humanity, pursuing what is beautiful and uplifting, even beyond what we can know or experience - thereby pursuing what is “overwhelmingly and profoundly awesome or sublime - it includes art in its many forms, love, natural beauty, personal virtues, open and mutually supporting community.
Posted by cmplxty, Monday, 8 January 2018 11:52:12 AM
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