A new system. Why do we need one?
The economy just seemed to deteriorate after the global financial event of 2008. Didn't it? Couldn't be helped, it's just a lack of tourists that sent us down the path of bankruptcy. Before that everything was roses. Right? Well, no. This collapse has been a long time in the making and when the GFC occurred any economy with a lack of in-built resilience or potential stimulus was always going to fail.
Imagine an economy that is free flowing and organic. One that encourages investment, has stable government and thinks immigration, growth and competition are good things. An economy that finds it's own balance of population and investment. Everything seems to be going well, some controls are put in place through planning and environment control but largely the economy expands and contracts on it's own to find that all important balance.
But there are rumblings in the community about losing land, cultural identity being lost in a 'flood' of migration and investment.The government of the day decides that the people are right to be concerned.
Policy is formed and legislated to restrict too many people entering into the community, immigration permits are established and strict laws are enacted to ensure not too many people come to live in the community. New arrivals with no business experience or interest in running a business are encouraged to purchase businesses as a path to gaining residency. Instead of growing businesses these people are told that all they have to do is run it for 5 years and make a profit (even if it is only $1) and they will become residents.
Temporary workers are brought in to fill gaps in local knowledge and expertise as population declines gradually but making sure more legislation is enacted to ensure these new workers cannot work anywhere else but their place of initial employment ensuring any entrepreneurial leanings are squashed amidst a torrent of bureaucratical layering. Call these people 'temporary' to make sure they know where they stand.
Enact even more legislation, to restrict business growth and the natural attrition of failing businesses, to protect these businesses by making sure no new investors can establish businesses until current businesses are closed or sold making sure that investment is controlled and limited to only approved investors. Put a licencing system in place to ensure the market restricts new investment and protects old business. Make sure competition is restricted in this manner to ensure businesses that aren't doing so well are protected against the natural forces of supply and demand.
Establish a taxation regime that penalizes investment by creating importation levies that ensure importers pay two sets of gst and an 18% local duty as a revenue raising tactic all the while assuring local business that it is a measure to protect them from people shopping overseas. Make the thresh-hold $500 so nothing is missed. Also, add to the cost of freight by including waste management taxes, lighterage fees and custom duties to anything coming off the ship.
Instead of negotiating over thirty years with your Commonwealth partner to enhance and upgrade pier facilities so containerization and cruise ships can stop, continue with a laissez-faire attitude of 'if it ain't broke why fix it' , ensuring freight costs escalate and extra income from passing ships are restricted. Treat any offer from your commonwealth partner (your only partner) as a potential trap and threat to your sovereignty ensuring a mood of suspicion permeates the relationship and the small distance of miles separating you from the mainland are only increased. Shun private investment as a threat to sovereign rights.
Your commonwealth partner decides it will partner with you to ensure certain living standards are maintained and national parks and convict ruins are protected and maintained for the benefit for all in the commonwealth. It also decides it cannot work with local government and refuses to inject substantial funds until laws, particularly with relation to protectionism are repealed.It also restricts local government from seeking financial respite elsewhere.
What a mess. What else could the economy do but contract? The system is to blame for our current financial crisis. Not a singular global event, that only made the inevitable decline speed up. A system that restricted investment, immigration, competition and growth, all of the things an economy loves and a system that discouraged productivity. The death knell for any economy.
A new system. A fairer system and a smarter system. Bring it on.