Facts speak louder than statistics

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Super Idea?


There are still calls out there for Superannuation (Super) funds to be forced to invest in infrastructure projects despite the fact that Super funds are in reality accounts held in trust and therefore private money.

To force that money to be invested in specific areas is something for a planned economy which is something Australia doesn’t have.

Unlike other financial accounts that are available such as term deposits Super does not come with a fixed interest rate. That being the case Super needs to be free to be invested where the highest return can be gained.

In any case I’m not sure how there can be a return for money that is ‘invested’ in infrastructure projects, especially ones that lose money. (Lane Cove Tunnel faces sale as losses spiral)

What would they say to people whose money was forced to invest in a failed project? How would they tell someone their retirement money is a much lower amount than what it should have been? Would it be “Whoopsie, my bad!”?

Whatever was said it wouldn’t help the people who would lose out on such a deal.

Super isn’t just sitting there doing nothing, Super is doing something, it is doing exactly what invested money is supposed to be doing and that is growing wealth for the holders of the accounts so their retirements can be better funded.

Super has no other function outside of this.

You can’t offer an IOU to people either, the money has to be invested to get a return. Uninvested money does not make money and if you’re paying outgoing fund members using money from incoming members then it would appear you are operating a ponzi scheme.

I for one don’t want any less of a return on my Super to pay for the wish lists of others.


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Drivers' Delight: Police Boycott Fines Indefinitely


New South Wales (NSW) Police have decided to stop issuing fines again in an escalating pay row with the State Government, but this time there is no end date to the action.

The state's 15,000 police will use their discretion on any ticketable offence, from road and boating fines to alcohol offences, from next Monday.

The Police Association says its "fine-free week" earlier this month cost the State Government $2 million and raised public interest in the pay row.

The union wants a 5 per cent pay rise but the Government is offering 4 per cent in exchange for reduced entitlements, including compensation for injuries.

The union had set a June 30 deadline for a better offer. (Full Story Here).

Monday, 6 July 2009

Feral Action

Sydney city paramedics attacked and abused.


By Kate Sikora

July 06, 2009 12:00am

PARAMEDICS trying to get to injured and sick people in crowded city streets are being abused and attacked by ignorant passers-by.

The attacks - which paramedics said were occurring on a daily basis - have even included coffee being thrown in their faces.

In the latest case of abuse, paramedics on motorbikes were confronted by hostile crowds on their way to save lives.

The rapid response units operate in the CBD and must use pedestrian malls such as Martin Place when the city roads are gridlocked.

But pedestrians are throwing coffee, food and refusing to move out of the way as the emergency workers race to life threatening jobs.

Paramedic Scott Webster told The Daily Telegraph violent reactions were increasingly getting worse.

"I don't know what it is about society but they just don't respect emergency services," he said. "People refuse to get out of our way. A colleague even had some coffee thrown at him.

"Others keep talking on their mobile phones or tell us to get off the footpath."

Rapid response bikes are only used for life-threatening cases and also slash response times. They are ideal for the clogged roads especially in peak hour.

"We go to life threatening jobs like shootings, stabbings and heart attacks," Mr Webster said.
"Just one minute could mean the difference between life and death. We want people to realise that we could be going to someone's dying baby."

Just like cars, pedestrians should move to the left when they see or hear an ambulance.

The BMW R1200 bikes have been in use in the city for the past 10 years.

They are responsible for slashing response times from eight minutes to 3½ minutes.

As Sydney traffic becomes worse, motorcycles are crucial in reaching patients faster.

"It's usually the people who abuse us and are in our way who are the ones to complain when we take too long to get to a job," he said

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Changes To Superannuation

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has slammed the proposed changes.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating and former ACTU boss Bill Kelty have warned the federal government not to raise the superannuation qualifying age to 67.

Mr Keating and Mr Kelty jointly designed Australia's superannuation system in the 1980s.

Mr Keating introduced the scheme as treasurer and later extended it as prime minister.

At present, workers can draw their superannuation between 55 and 60, depending on when they were born, but the government is considering a recommendation from the Henry tax inquiry to align the super access age with the new retirement age of 67 by 2023. (Full Story)

Paul Keating put it very succinctly when he pointed out that Superannuation money is private money.

That’s what needs to be remembered, the money belongs to the account holder. It is not there to benefit others. It is there for the benefit of the individual and is largely financed by the individuals own income.

The benefit to the nation is a fortuitous benefit in that it decreases the reliance of people on taxpayer funds and is one less strain on the federal budget, this does not mean superannuation funds are part of the budget though.

Private money. That's what it is and it helps the nation because people will be less dependent on pensions.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Getting It Right?

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh got this right. Even with the recent deluge of rain that filled our dams the current water restrictions won’t be lifted until December.

There has been a lot of criticism of this decision even though it makes sense, they are in essence saving water for a sunny day as it were. The way to competently deal with water shortages is to not waste water, just in case it takes a while for the rain to return and we end up with even harsher restrictions and water shortages.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Enterprise Part 2

Following on from ‘The Enterprise Of The World’ article regarding Collective Employee/Enterprise Agreements and the sleight of hand that appears to be used in those agreements where the claim is made by employers that if they are supposedly paying more money then the employer should gain something from that like increased productivity and/or have working conditions or employee rights altered in the employers favour.

In trading off conditions for a pay rise it may help to think of the conditions in question as having a monetary value as well.

Just say each condition is worth $20,000. You are then asked to give up some of these conditions to pay for a pay rise that’s worth maybe $500 a year.

In other words you are giving your employer something of yours, and well below its true value, to pay for a pay rise that won’t keep up with inflation.

Basically you pay for your own pay rise, sort of like if you have to buy your own birthday presents.

And when there are no more conditions to trade off what will you do then?

Remember the true value of money is in the purchasing power it has. If you can’t buy as much with your wage as you could the year before you are being paid less in real terms.

Businesses don’t give more of the product or the service they offer when they raise their prices, nor do they trade anything off for that extra money so why should anyone else?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Rudd Has Vision?

Rudd backs bionic eye funding

A trial bionic eye could be just two years away after a $50 million funding injection from the federal government.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released his response to the 2020 summit in Perth on Wednesday.

He promised $50.7 million of grants over four years into the development of a bionic eye - a process to be administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

A bionic eye would help people who have a degenerative eye diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (the loss of central vision) or diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa (a group of genetic eye conditions). (Full Story Here)

A large sum of money to be invested in something that can help people.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Looking at the UN

Once upon a time the United Nations (UN) served a purpose, it was a useful place for the US and the USSR to rant and rave and essentially help defuse the potentially lethal disputes between the two. The UN also branched out into other areas but its effect in these other areas was always minimal.

With the dissolution of the USSR the UN really does not serve any purpose now. It’s essentially a jumped up world government wannabe that doesn’t take effective action against the problems of the world.

Its way of dealing with conflicts in the world seems to be turning a lot of people into refugees and moving them elsewhere as opposed to removing the problem in those countries.

One way the UN does seem to deal with things is blaming everything on the US while relying heavily on US to fund its operations.

The UN is more than happy to take money from anyone though.

One example of UN ineptness is the 2004 Tsunami, the response from UN seemed to be placing some of its upper echelon into luxury hotels to examine the situation from afar. This sort of strategy delays meaningful and effective action, bumps up so called administration cost and soaks up any money that is allocated and/or donated. The USA on the other hand swung into action to give assistance where needed and as fast as possible as there was simply no time to waste in giving help.

So to sum up this world government wannabe we can use its own initials to put it into perspective.



And UNfortunately this situation makes me feel very UNcomfortable.