One Week To Go To The Election

Only one week to go until we find out who is going to be our Prime Minister…

Its kind of like Christmas, but where you suspect that while you have asked Santa for a bicycle, the likelihood is that you will get either a couple of pairs of socks, or a a plastic airfix kit but with some of the bits missing…

Yes, the problem is that we are all part of a society that expects its desires and wants to be met. We see the ad for the bright shiny new Mercedes on TV and we are told that we can buy it for only $120 a month with a balloon payment at the end. And we figure that in four years time when the lease ends we will just trade up, trade up. We aren't optimists, we are fantasists.

The unfortunate reality is that what we really need is to create a sustainable economy. We actually do need a tax on resources. We need visionary spending, like they have in Japan.

In Japan there is a $25 Billion allocation to fund research into robotics. The intent is for it to create a new industry to replace the automotive industry as the primary driver of Japan's economy within the next 7 years. The creation of a domestic robot industry also will solve a couple of other quite significant problems. It will mean that there will be aged care, although humanoid. It will also mean that the care of the elderly will not require Japan to open the immigration gates to foreigners. And because machines don't need health care it will also mean that the cost is vastly lower than funding humans to do the same job.

You can't solve big problems by separating them out and trying to solve them on their own. You have to come up with seriously big ideas that in their execution solve multiple problems – or at least have the potential to do so.

What we need to do is to create a resources tax that is directly linked to investment into new technology that adds value in the resources sector. The idea should be like the 10BA tax deduction was for the film industry years ago…. Tax the mining companies and then give them the opportunity to get a 115% deduction from investments in innovation that value adds to the raw materials that they mine. So instead of for instance shipping zinc ore to China or Korea for it to be processed, build plant and equipment near the mine head where the zinc can be processed here – and then sent to China or Korea to be put into products…

Repeat that across a host of mineral mining projects and soon we will have a real solar energy business, because the materials that are used predominantly come out of mines in Australia. Maybe even have various levels of tax deduction based on how much innovation risk is involved…

This should not be rocket science. But sadly the probability is that Santa Claus will have run out of toys by the time he gets to our chimney next Saturday night…

But there is always the possibility that regardless of who wins, the Greens will hold the balance of power. Let's hope it works out that way!

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