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The Forum > Article Comments > Against innovation mercantilism > Comments

Against innovation mercantilism : Comments

By Jason Potts, published 3/2/2016

Global innovation suffers a collective action problem. There is no governing institution to do the difficult thing of coordinating a global innovation agreement and global innovation activities.

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If we jettisoned the entire tax act, because it's garbage full of endless tax avoidance loopholes; and replaced all that convoluted complexity, with a single unavoidable expenditure tax, we'd not only stop the rot, but allow the ATO to collect a fair and reasonable tax share from backpackers also, without creating angst or a change in their plans to take their working holidays elsewhere.

The tax collected via the banking fraternity as money leaves accounts for any reason, including transmitting it overseas?

After that we just need to address the financially crippling cost of energy particularly high tech manufacture; and dare I suggest our very economic future life blood.

The Indians building a working prototype thorium reactor, and may be well on the way to producing a commercially viable 300MW example in 2016?

In California, private enterprise has built a very large scale, operational solar thermal plant,in their desert, which given modern innovation, produces ultra reliable peak load power now today!

It was rolled out, they claim, for a cost comparable to similar sized modern coal projects, with the main difference, their fuel is forever costless!

Lastly, we have an option to use local innovation to turn all our locally produced human biological waste into domestic energy, and for a fraction of the cost of reticulated power by combining the locally invented two tank digester system with locally invented ceramic fuel cells, which quite happily run on scrubbed methane.

Most Australian households, produce enough organic/biological waste, to power their homes 24/7 indefinitely!

Endless free hot water being one of the many bonuses, a possible flow on very large scale algae based oil industry another; and flowing on from that a possible land/food free ethanol industry?

We do these things and when most high tech manufacturing and cashed up self funded retirees beats a path to our door, the world will have no choice but to follow!

We just need to lead!

All that's missing is the vital leadership, which hasbeen replaced by verbose detractors, who if they shared a brain between them, you'd still hear it rattle?
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 3 February 2016 9:23:51 AM
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Continued and expanded. We have to stop allowing other nations to not only decide our destiny, our economic future/economic sovereignty or indeed, but what we might or might not be good at!

Create the conditions where the innovators and entrepreneurs can flourish and then let's see what we are good at?

Currently our manufacturing is just too splintered, with sometimes more than a dozen tax paying companies contributing to the finished product, and every cent of cascading tax part of the cost of the finished article!

Moreover we are just over administrated, which currently adds around 70 billions to the tax bill and just for the privilege of having this monumental financial albatross around our collective neck.

Say we built a 300 MW thorium reactor on an industrial estate and then set up a government funded co-op, where all the employees were also the shareholders, with the funding collected as their incomes rose beyond a certain level and where every component part was made on site? meaning the'd be just one entity adding heir company tax bill to the finished product rather than say forty.

We would be able to beat the pants off of every other country manufacture production, especially if we complimented that vision with nationally owned very rapid rail and a fleet of very fast roll on roll off nuclear powered very fast National ferries. With 50-60 knots being possible, and the roll on roll off characteristics eliminating all the unnecessary expensive handling and national economy harming bottlenecks.

One would assume other progressive countries would cooperate with this in out flow of goods; given they could add some of their production to that chain given they are able to compete?

Presumably by taking a leaf from our leadership examples

We endlessly bang on about needing small government but never do more than talk or run up huge deficits as opposed to embracing world changing innovation!
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 3 February 2016 9:57:41 AM
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This article identifies a real issue, but I'm not sure its proposed solution will be effective. One of the reasons the WTO process has ground to a halt is that international institutions have limited effect in overcoming mercantilist instincts.

Rather than a global regulator, individual countries and regional trade negotiators could do more within their own legal frameworks to encourage the dissemination of information. This could include

- proper protection for intellectual property (enough to encourage innovation in the interests of consumers, without giving property owners excessive or indefinite property rights - as the USA in particular demands for everything from cartoons to pharmaceuticals);
- accepting market segregation (rich countries pay more for AIDS drugs than poor ones);
- resisting local content and government preference requirements;
- minimising restrictions on access to the internet etc;
- encouraging foreign investment and business/research collaboration

Not of this will appeal to the economic nationalists, but itís a more practical route to information dissemination than global regulation.
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 3 February 2016 3:17:55 PM
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Foreign investment? Why when if we just encourage our own super funds to invest here, we'd be awash with investment money, minus the foreign control that all too often is entirely counterproductive to OUR national interest.

Foreign investment: case study #1 A debt laden foreigner hits our shores with a letter of credit from an, for all practical purposes, insolvent bank. And then using that letter runs up a line of credit with our own banking fraternity, to buy an iconic Australian And uses the profits to repay some of the debt, with the rest taken care of with the issue of paper?

Then comes the good part, something that could have been a century in the making is gutted by rapacious asset stripping, the employees sent packing and the trade mark sold.

Foreign investment #2 Cashed up foreign company arrives and sets up a brand new manufacturing plant using their own money, and then goes on to build both a domestic market and given scales of economy, an export one as well?

First one real and far too common, second one a bedtime fairy tale.

For a time we Australians lead the world in ship building, due to local innovation and CAD, CAPC. With pieces that then fitted perfectly, that cut months off the build time and saw us develop a healthy export market for our ships.

The flow on upside for our own economy enormous. However thanks to different governments changing horses in midstream that's ended.

Time to stop selling the national estate and rebuilding our own manufacturing industries.

The last trade deficit was 3.5 billion. We just can't keep doing what we do! and need to think complete self reliance. And we do that by investing in our best people and their better ideas.

When foreign investment simply equates to increased foreign debt, it is time to stop with the mindless mantras and the fundamentally flawed ideology and try something new and more pragmatic!

Almost as if we'd handed the reins to a visionary and pragmatist Lee Kuan Yu doppleganger. Just don't hold your breath!
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 4 February 2016 10:35:11 AM
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Foreign investment brings people, skills, technology and ideas as well as money. Foreign investment in our oil and gas industry has helped us develop and apply world class technologies and processes.

The idea that Australians in isolation can match all the creativeness and innovation the world has to offer is nonsense. And trying to grown our manufacturing shielded from international competition and ideas is a recipe for disaster, as the 100% failure rate of Australian protectionism attests (cars, textiles, steel Ö)
Posted by Rhian, Thursday, 4 February 2016 11:08:21 AM
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