In November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down signalling the failure of communism. In 2007/2008 the housing market and the stock market came down signalling the failure of capitalism. New ideas around running the economy will be required if we are to create a sustainable economy while maintaining real quality of life. I’m certainly not advocating that we need to completely start again. There are many things that capitalism and socialism offer that increase the quality of our lives. And we need some new ideas. Fortunately, there are many good people already doing some wonderful work when it comes to alternative ways of living and operating, and their contributions come from both the top-down and grass-roots approaches.
Changes to tax law
In order to encourage and discourage certain behaviours, tax law needs to be reformed. Options include the following.
• Keep the carbon tax and/or introduce a carbon cap-and-trade system.
• Increase tax on processed and fast foods.
• Bring in a mining tax and deposit the money into a futures fund, similar to that in Norway.
• Increase taxes on consumption and reduce taxes on work and savings – increase GST; reduce or eliminate tax on superannuation, family trusts and other savings vehicles; eliminate payroll tax; reduce the cost of workers’ compensation; reduce company tax. Note, however, that an increase in GST will most likely create a preference to buy online and have the goods shipped from overseas. To counter this, there could be an increase in courier or transport costs, or in import tax for any item that comes from overseas.