- Monday, 12 December 2011
I’ve never been into presents, just ask my long suffering family. I prefer to have time and the ability to experience things with them. Good health certainly helps, which is why most of the things on my Christmas wish list revolve around improving the health of our society and business environment. Imagine how much better things would be if we changed our thinking in a few key areas:
- Abolish the Nanny state. Less rules and laws, and instead make people have to apply common sense. Make both lawyers and citizens who bring stupid cases to court liable for all costs of their actions plus penalties for wasting court time. If people do things that are clearly wrong, make the punishment suit the crime so there is a deterrent there in the first place, and not soften it due to other circumstances. All too often, the victims are forgotten because the perpetrator has some excuse. It is the victims who were going about living normal lives that need protection and justice.
- Society and businesses do not owe people anything. But there should be rewards to those who try to build something up. Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit so we have businesses for the future, encourage people to work harder and more productively – don’t penalise them for doing so.
- Bring in Financial education in schools, which will teach people (including our politicians, business leaders and others) to live within their means. Einstein’s most fascinating discovery was the compounding effect of interest, but I wonder how many people know what it is and how it works. A dollar is much more appreciated when you’ve understood how hard it is to earn it in the first place.
- Less Red Tape for business and in our private lives. The announcement of Qld’s fourth Red Tape Reduction task force in as many years should have a pretty easy job when you have over 90,000 pages of legislation as your starting point. Stop the blame game, for instance Workplace Health and Safety should be less about being seen to be doing something through mountains of paperwork, and more focussed on all parties accepting their responsibility and contributing to achieving positive outcomes by being able to work practically whilst ensuring the safety of all involved.
- The return of gentlemens’ agreements in business. Instigate Standard business Terms and Conditions, contracts of 1-3 pages length should cover most business transactions. Businesses should pay within 30 days and not rely on others to fund their lack of forecasting and limited business acumen. Ensure the disappearance of people who repeatedly start companies then fold them as a way of avoiding obligations to others (you know who you are).
- A simplified Tax system. Remove the 90% of taxes that raise 10% of revenue. Think of all the admin that would be saved for all parties. Even if this meant an increase in GST or some kind of transactions tax, at least it would be fairly applied to everyone. And maybe we’d change our focus from trying to find tax dodges to finding more ways to make money in the first place. There is enough wealth around to provide prosperity for everyone if everyone contributes in the ways they can.
- For every new Tax, resist the urge to give it back in compensation and handouts. We don’t have to spend every dollar, most of it should be invested into sustainable things that will develop us for the future.
- Look after both our children and our elderly. I know several people who would have been better off wasting money at the pub on pokies than paying taxes all their life and having had a go at saving for retirement, only to have their investments plunge in value and the Government tell them they are too asset rich to qualify for retirement support. It’ll take a generation, but we need to reward people for taking responsibility for their own futures. And for our children, provide them with an education that they will benefit from in the future. That might mean that although some degrees might be popular, if they don’t lead to employment prospects, reduce the available seats and increase the in demand ones instead.
- A positive outlook. It’s easy to get caught up in the global doom and gloom and ineptitude of all levels of our Governments, but Australian’s are on average the wealthiest and have amongst the best health in the world. We take our very high standard of living for granted.
Maybe I’m wishing for too much. But if you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
In conclusion, thank you very much for your support during the year, and hope that the next year is a prosperous one for all of us, and that Santa brings you all the things on your list too!
As always, Onwards and Upwards!