"WHOOPEE  TRAIN"  OF  POLITICIANS'
TALK  ABOUT  TAX  REFORM
"Whenever you hear the business sector saying how tax reforms will cure economic problems, be on your guard, for what they are really talking about is more of the cake for themselves." -- Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. economist, during an Australian visit.
   SO the cry "all aboard" is once again booming from the corridors of power.
   Another whoopee-train is about to take us on another magical mystery tour.   Another "Tax reform" journey (with GST* the main attraction) that will cure all our problems such as unemployment, national debt, foreign ownership of most of our industries, ad infinitum.
   Does it all have a familiar ring?   Didn't we have enough "snake oil" remedies thrust upon us whenever the Hawke-Keating combo were at a loss on how to gee up a cynical and indifferent populous?   Always tax reforms.   The song's the same, only the singers are different.
   [* Goods and Services Tax]
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   Do the old titles bring tears of nostalgia to your eyes?   "A lovely set of numbers," "We're on a J curve," "This is the budget that brings home the bacon," "No child will live in poverty," "pigs will fly."
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    Kenneth Galbraith, long time economic adviser to many administrations in the US said, when he last visited Australia: "Whenever you hear the business sector saying how tax reforms will cure economic problems, be on your guard, for what they are really talking about is more of the cake for themselves."
By JOHN  MASSAM
10 -- THE AUSTRALIAN Monday August 18 1997 -- 10
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Republished by GEORGIST EDUCATION ASSOCIATION INC., 10 Broome Street, South Perth, Western Australia, 6151.

    He also said: "In fact history shows that it is in times of high taxation that economies tend to grow the fastest, it may be that by trying to increase their take-home pay people work even harder."

    Itís not a new arrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic that we need, itís [a] new crew who know how to stop the ship from sinking.

JOHN MASSAM
President
Georgist Education
Association
Perth


If you have facts or opinions on this, you could e-mail The Australian on   ausletr@newscorp.com.au

John Kenneth Galbraith is an Emeritus Professor of Harvard University Economics Department. His writings will be put on the WWW at: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/galbraith/papers.html   but will require Acrobat Reader to read the proposed PDF format (10 Aug 1998). The free Acrobat Reader is quickest loaded off a CD-ROM.
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Georgist Education
Association (Inc.)


10 Broome St. (off Douglas Ave.), South Perth, W.A.,
6151, Australia. Tel. [+61 8] (08) 9367 5386


(International phone calls to: +61 8 9367 5386)
Contact to a personal Mobile Telephone: 018 054 319
(Buses 106 and some 103s along Canning Highway, alight at Douglas Avenue)
World Wide Web: http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist/
Electronic mail: georgist@multiline.com.au

CONFIRMING E-MAIL SENT ~11.10am Sep 28, 1998

September 28, 1998

Our ref:-- 28
The Editor, The West Australian, Priv. Bag 54, GPO, Perth, 6001
letters@wanews.com.au

Dear Sir,
BEWARE OF THE 'SMALL PRINT' -- TAX BACKDATING

Beware of the "small print" -- backdating capital gains tax to before the present 1985 cut-off point, is one of the major political parties' policies.

This backdating, similar to the retrospective closure of "bottom of the harbour" tax loopholes some years ago, would affect mainly the honest sections of the poor and the middle class, and the elderly.

To use just one example, the astronomical unearned profits from land, whether bought, inherited, or given away to the business friends of the major political parties, have been going into fewer and fewer pockets for more than two centuries.

Our unjust negative-gearing law has increased this tax-free concentration of wealth obtained without work, and leads to the impoverishment of the masses.

The work required to trace and collect capital gains could make a tiny contribution to solving the 30-year unemployment scourge!

Most wealthy groups, Australian and multinational, have already used clever lawyers and accountants to make themselves "tax-proof," by transfer pricing, overseas addresses for receipt of money inflows, family and other trusts, etc.

                  Yours faithfully,

                  John Massam, for Georgist Education Association Inc., South Perth

(Authorised: John Charles Massam, 46 Cobine Way, Greenwood, WA, 6024; Home (08) 9343 1649, Mobile 018 054 319, Office as above.)

OUR OBJECTIVE: Social Justice .To abolish unemployment and poverty . To attain a just distribution of wealth in a free enterprise society
WE SUPPORT: . Relieving the burden of Taxation . Land Rent as the natural source of government Revenue . Free enterprise and initiative
. Equal opportunity . Competition and co-operation . Access to land under attractive conditions . Honest government

If you have facts or opinions on this, you could e-mail The West Australian on   letters@wanews.com.au

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