Welcome to Richard Carmody Independent for Grey's Topics Page!
Economics in General
I subscribe to modern monetary economics. I found this form of economics by using my data skills to track down economists whose work involved producing accurate predictions of what happens in the economy. I subscribe to very little of the economics that the Australian government has implemented since the 1970's. Modern monetary economics views our current management of the economy as wasteful and a lost opportunity. Its position is that we could use increased government spending power with no ill effects if we do it properly. It views the government's position on spending as way too fearful of inflation and therefore it is way to cautionary with spending. So modern monetary economics seeks to correct this. The first and most important piece of additional spending is on a job guarantee. The job guarantee is extremely unlikely to cause any inflation since the labor is purchased "off the base" with no competition. Which means it is unutilised labor (unemployed people) or people on the lowest wages for which there is the least demand, which means it doesn't introduce much competition into the employment sector overall and this ensures it is unlikely to cause inflation. The introduction of the job guarantee actually opens several options to the economy and the most important of these is it acts as a stabiliser reducing the likelihood or extremity of swings (booms and busts) in the private sector, which is extremely helpful to the economy. Obviously the job guarantee fulfils what should be a right for every person in society in that if they want a job, they should not be denied the opportunity to have one. I wont go into detail but its also worth noting that switching to modern monetary economics allows us to get off the perennial economic growth bandwagon which is consuming ever more resources for no great purposes and really harming the environment. It should be noted that I do not subscribe to a number of mainstream economic views in respect of things such as the value of tax cuts, freer than free trade, privatisation and foreign investment, to name a few. I will detail more in the sections below for some of these. It could be interpreted from what I've written here that I am an advocate for increased government spending, and I am, and we could, and there would likely be only positives to come from it, but that is not a priority for me for this election. I must reiterate that by far my highest priority and the only spending I am advocating for in this election is spending for the job guarantee. I should also mention that within the economic framework I am proposing there are a range of policies that could be implemented to protect the vulnerable from cost of living pressures. If other parties were to propose these I would not resist them, but I believe that far and away the best protective measure of the vulnerable would be a job guarantee.
Since I have worked in the mining industry for a long time, people may wonder if I'm an advocate for it or not. My position is this: as long as we have people, we are going to need to supply mineral resources to them. Slowing the population growth down, or convincing people to live less resource hungry lives are the two main ways we could decrease mining. Unless we have those two, we will have to keep mining as a key industry. I understand mining on good agricultural land is a divisive issue in Grey. I cant state my position on any specific mines because I would need to be presented with a great deal of information before I could form a position on them.
Since I've worked at Roxby (a copper and uranium mine) and Beverley (a uranium leach operation) people wonder about whether I advocate for nuclear related things. I'm neutral on nuclear. I am not for it nor against it. I am concerned there is a really poor understanding of radioactivity, radiation and nuclear science amongst the public, thanks to many years of sensationalist media and documentaries, both for and against, with agendas to push. The first thing I'd like is for an education program for the public on radioactivity and nuclear science to be put out. Then after people are much better informed, then they can decide if they want nuclear energy or the waste dumps and once the people decide, then I'll go along with what they want.
I support introduction of Voluntary Euthanasia and am an advocate for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party's policies.
I think we need to do more to support the disabled and to educate the public so they better understand what is meant by disability. I don't want to reinvent the wheel and so instead of having many of my own policies I will just say I am an advocate for the Dignity Party's (A South Australian State Party) policies on disability (but not on other things) on topics such as universal design, Auslan, deafness and overall public education re disability. I also think the job guarantee would provide an excellent option for people with disability to seek employment and contribute to society without the demands of profit making jobs which can be too demanding or unobtainable.
I feel our past history has resulted in indigenous people living a poorer quality of life today. This same pattern is reproduced with native peoples versus colonist descendants in a range of countries such as New Zealand, Canada and the US. I do not believe it is coincidence or that the native peoples are inferior in anyway, I believe it is the product of systematically being put in a disadvantageous position over long periods of time. I am not interested in assigning blame against any living person (or group) for this, nor am I interested in assigning blame to past people or groups, I just want to address this. I believe the job guarantee would be excellent for indigenous people, helping them to gain work and security and all the positives that come from that situation. Further I believe that the current political system does not give enough weight to indigenous position and I believe that it should be corrected. I do not have a clear view of what that would look like though.
I support the improvement in the protection and wellbeing of animals. I have read and am broadly supportive of the Animal Justice Party's policies. Note that I do not support every single policy, but I would support 9 out of 10 of their policies, possibly more than that. I feel an exhaustive list is not called for at this point in time. Also note that I think that a number of the time frames they've put on their policies are too quick/short. So I would support the changes but on a more manageable time frame for transitioning on the scale of one or two years for the simpler/ smaller things, to several years for large industries.
ABC / SBS and Public Media in General
I strongly support Australia's public broadcasters. I am disappointed with the cuts in the funding to them. I believe that while the quality of their work is high overall, it has dropped in the last decade. I would conditionally support them recieving more funding. The condition is that a number of other higher priority funding areas are attended to first, such as providing a job guarantee nationally. I have always been bemused as to why Australia's public information providers have never operated in the realm of print (newspapers), many people get their information through this mode and the public broadcasters are very trusted and highly rated by the public. It's something I think we should do.
House affordability across Australia has diminished. In Grey we are fortunate to have avoided the worst of this. The government has gone away from public housing as the private sector was meant to deliver superior performance. This has not eventuated. Important basic things for society, like a house, should not be tied up in markets that can be very subjective and end up over priced. There is a strong case for a return to public housing across Australia. I support this.
I am happy to have a defence force and for it to do defence work, but it seems to do a lot of offense work to me. Why are we at wars that have little to do with us? What countries or even groups have explicitly declared war on us over the last 50 years? Wars are expensive in money terms and even more expensive in the damage they do to human bodies and minds. I think we should avoid it where possible. Perhaps if we weren't so willing to go to assist in wars, other countries would be less likely to be in them as well. Also I believe some country out there has to show some leadership and start disarming, I'd like it to be us. That sends a signal to other countries to do the same. This is the opposite of what we have at the moment where countries are perenially ratcheting up the arms tension. We can all picture where that ends. Australia seems to have been keen to develop an arms industry in the last two decades. I do not support this. I like developing technology, but not for arms. I have indicated that I think the economy is being operated incorrectly and that there is room for additional spending, but I do not support any increase in government spending on defence. I am open to cuts in defence being made and/or transfer some defence budget to other areas in the economy, but I would need to be privy to a range of information confirming this was a safe thing to do.
Citizen Initiated Referenda, Citizen Juries, Electronic Democracy Platforms
I am open minded towards these democratic innovations and would be cautiously supportive of their implementation.
I strongly support a future where Australia is a leader in technology, innovation and doing things better generally. It has felt to me, working in mining, that the innovative spirit seemed to die down in the late 1990's and has, at best, stuttered and spluttered ever since. I would like to work toward improving this but it is down my list of priorities, particularly behind getting the people of Australia back being cared for at a level that is acceptable (which comes back to the job guarantee, renewables, population policies etc).
I feel that we exclude senior citizens out of society too much and that is to the detriment of younger people and older people. We need to come up with ways to include older people in our lives. I have seen an example of a "old folks" home combined with university accomodation. The elderly appreciate having the young people around and feel safer and more mentally stimulated with them. The young people were able to get cheaper accommodation and enjoyed the life lessons and caring gestures that the older people couldn't help but give. We need to have more arrangements that are win win like this.
The decline of the manufacturing sector in Australia has been a standout feature of the last decade. I support Australia having a strong manufacturing sector. I believe much of the economics promoted by governments in the last 40 years has been flawed and that the basis on which they were made is inaccurate. I think the notion that all protectionism is bad is flawed. In sectors where Australia could and should be able to compete globally, such as iron ore mining, we should have little to no protections. In other areas, where we can't compete, for instance in car manufacturing, owing to several factors, then we should be willing to put protections in place. Of course these will need to be monitored to ensure we don't become complacent and unproductive, however in the modern information age, we should be able to gather data easily to monitor this and ensure that protected industries own internal desires to improve productivity should drive them adequately and if not, various measures, including some punitive ones could be taken.
I support the introduction and promotion of electric vehicles and in fact I believe there are lots of things we could be doing to spur them on. If we had been more enthusiastic we perhaps could've lead a car manufacturing revival via the electric vehicle start up. We may have missed that one. We could've introduced innovative charging methods and systems. We could've incorporated vehicle automation (self driving) in at the same time. Widespread introduction of electric vehicles may place a lot of stress on the power grid and so this is something we need to be aware of and plan for.
Coal's effect on climate emissions is much higher than that for oil and gas, roughly double to triple, depending on how you look at it. So it would be unwise to have any new coal power. That said, it is sensible to maintain the existing coal fleet until we have sufficient renewables / storage or other types of low carbon energy(ie nuclear) to support at least 50% of our energy usage.
Trade Agreements and ISDS
I do not see anything particularly attractive with respect to free trade agreements. We normally give up as much, if not more than we get. I view them as neutral at best. Most free trade agreements are very secretive, and that's an issue in itself, plus they now contain ISDS (investor state dispute settlement) clauses, which give private companies the rights to take legal action against governments doing actions as directed by their voters. I do not support any legal agreement which forces the country to give up any aspect of its sovereignty.
There is a need to improve the internet performance in Australia. Understanding how to do this is something I have little knowledge on. I would consider this a secondary priority to sorting out the welfare of people, but once that is under control this would be one of the first things I think we should look at.
I'm not sure how well the public understands this issue. Inequality is the biggest issue you've probably never heard of. In analysis of data of various societies inequality has been shown to be hugely toxic to society. It really is an important issue that the public needs to understand better and that needs to be communicated. The job guarantee will provide a big correction in inequality and would be a good start, but after that we would need to look at an array of improvement ideas to continue the change.
After World War 2, we improved many public services. One was health. With a really healthy population the country prospered. This has been weakening since the 1970's and we need to fix it because as it performs more poorly, meaning people have poorer health, meaning they live a poorer quality life and cant contribute as much in society, it erodes their self esteem, which ends up decreasing their health more, which continues a circle. Initially the job guarantee will provide a big boost because the people with no jobs or insecure jobs have the hardest time caring for their health. If we fix this, we will prevent a range of health issues from occurring and this will lighten the load on the health system.
Being a teacher, I have a huge array of ideas for the education system. All of them are secondary to what the job guarantee would do. The job guarantee and its ability to ensure a secure financial life for those currently without work or in insecure work will do more for education than all the rest of my ideas combined. This is because parents are able to have the space and the time to encourage their child's learning. This doesn't just improve educational performance directly but also indirectly because of the relationship improvement from spending time together. Further, this builds mental strength and resilience in children. So, I have not and will not mention my other education ideas until after we have a job guarantee.
Pokies and Gambling
Considering we are aware that gambling can lead to financial, social and family harm, we should be seeking to decrease this. Its worthwhile to note that the economic foundations that supported the introduction and expansion of these industries are flawed. We know that if we manage the economy correctly we can phase these out with little to no harm done to the related sectors. I support a phasing out of pokies over time (a decade would be reasonable to me). I am a proponent of reducing the size of the gambling industry down over the next few decades to 10% of its current size. There is data to suggest that the introduction of the job guarantee would decrease people's interest in and tendency towards gambling.
I feel that the media is over zealous when reporting terrorism related news and as such Australians feel more threat than they need to and want to take levels of action that are excessive. A key reason terrorist groups have any focus on us at all is because of our participation in wars which have little relevance to us. As per my position on defence, I would advocate removing our participation in those wars and this should alleviate a lot of the threat. Secondly, with regard to home grown threat, two key factors increasing the chance of radicalisation are poor educational and employment prospects. The job guarantee immediately corrects the employment prospect and parents who have stable employment have a much better environment to help support their children's education. If nothing is done about our position with respect to overseas wars and nothing is done about increasing the employment prospects for Australians, then I would support maintaining the status quo for terrorism related policy in Australia.
In economist circles there is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of Australia's current superannuation setup. Some of it revolves around the competitiveness (or lack thereof) with the current system and the returns it brings to the participants (you and me). Another thread of debate revolves around the actual effectiveness of superannuation for providing for us in our older years. One example of this is with the potential for erosion of currency value, where although you had a heap of money in the bank account one day, the next day it is worth very little (similar to what happened in Greece) (to confirm I don't expect that to happen here any time soon, like for a number of decades). Does our super give us a false sense of security? Another example of this is with the Australian stockmarket not having moved in 12 years, will our super actually bring the returns and benefits it has to people over the past 30-40 years? If it doesn't, what then? Whilst this (superannuation policy directions) is important to me, it is a secondary priority behind things like the job guarantee.
State and Local Government
I am aware of many concerns that people in the electorate have with state and local government. Note that I am running as a federal candidate, so I will have little direct influence. I believe that some of the issues in State and Local government are caused by the incorrect economic philosophies we have been using over the past few decades. Switching to modern monetary economics should address some of these issues and allow less restrictive budgets for these levels of government. That said, there are issues beyond just budgeting constraints. I would be happy to listen to the public and be a voice for them into State and Local government groups.
I am not a pro free market proponent. I am very cautious about markets, they can be as helpful as much as hinderances. The property market is a recent example of this. Having a market beats having no market for sure. Imagine if we didn't have access to all the products out of China, Korea, Japan, Europe and the US. Once you have the benefit of a market though, then beyond that, trying to make the market really free brings far less benefit and sometimes it actually brings cost to society. As a result, I won't advocate for further free-marketisation or de-regulation in most instances. For years many economists have been massive free market proponents, but they all belong in with mainstream economists and mainstream economics in being innaccurate and unlikely to bring the advantages they spruik.
Regulation / De-regulation
This is one I'd have to look at on a case by case basis. Where some people see restrictive red tape, I see protections that save us from things like environmental damage and economic destruction. That said I am not blind that there can be too many rules. One needs to carefully weigh it up.
Even though economics is beginning to better understand how economies work, there is still a lot of mechanisms not fully understood. At the heart of all this is that we do not even know who does or doesn't create true value in the economy. We know who gets paid the most and who gets paid the least, but we have little idea if how we pay people currently is the best way. We can't just clone Australia twenty times over, and test out all sorts of different pay rates for different jobs and see which leads to the best outcomes either. We do have some guides though, we do know that when the economy was doing better the wealth distribution was different, more money went to those lower down on the wealth scale and less to the wealthiest and we had things like a wealth tax. So, yes, I support wealth taxes. Note that not many people in Grey would have wealth at the level I would bring the tax in at initially.
Successive governments in this country seem determined to have as little transparency and accountability as possible. One way they are able to do this is by discouraging whistleblowing by making life uncomfortable for those who come forward. I support the opposite, I want increasing protections for whistleblowers and more encouragement for them to come forward.
Private debt is the sum of the debt of private individuals and families and private businesses. A country is far more likely to run into trouble when its public debt gets to high levels in comparison to its GDP. I support taking actions to ensure our private debt to GDP stays below 150%.
There was media reform that happened several years ago, which in my view has decreased they quality and diversity of Australian media. Although it is very low in my priority list, something I would like to improve is media accuracy, relevance and diversity.
Medicinal Cannibis and the Use of Hemp
I support the introduction of medicinal cannibis in Australia as the medical benefits of it seem substantial. The introduction seems to be happening at an incredibly slow pace. If elected I would attempt to address this issue. Also, hemp plants can produce many general products like paper, plastic and fibre for textiles in a very productive and environmentally friendly way. I support the investigation of the trial of hemp plant crops to see if they might be beneficial.
I am a massive advocate of recycling. I believe we can do far more. I think having recycling centers with job guarantee workers would be a massive boost, but that we could go even further. We should be making an effort to repair and repurpose a lot of disposed goods. For those things that can't be repaired etc, we should be making an effort to get them back full cycle to a new product inside Australia's borders (and even in local areas), not exporting it to China and getting them to do the processing.
This is a wide ranging topic, going from people's household rainwater collection and use all the way to the management of the Murray Darling Basin. To provide specific positions on all these is too large of a job for these notes. I support being sensible about water use in the driest continent on Earth. Also, note that stabilising the population will stabilise water demand, which will be a help.
I support tourism but with some qualifications. Under the economic sentiment of the past four decades, tourism has been seen as vital. I do not support this. I believe an economy can exist without tourism and be as prosperous as we've been, if not moreso. Tourism, is, in my view an optional extra, a cherry on top. My preference is to get the rest of the economy correct as a priority and then once that is sorted we can look back at tourism. That said, many people have done a lot of hard work in the area of tourism of these many decades in Australia and I have not the slightest interest in harming or retarding or restricting these efforts. I have been lucky enough to be a tourist all around Australia and I can confirm there are many amazing experiences to be had and I think we would be globally irresponsible if we didn't share this with others.
Heavy Industry and Agriculture Sector Cooperation
The electorate of Grey is characterised by Agriculture and Mining and Manufacturing sectors. I come from a farming family and town and I have worked for many years in the Mining sector, so I feel I have a bit of a blend of both perspectives. I always thought there could be some real benefits that could come from some formal cooperation agreements between the two sectors. There were times in mining when we were flying tradespeople in from across in Western Australia. I wondered if we could've used the quiet seasons for the Ag sector to borrow their trades and labor and use that instead of flying it in from another state. In return, the companies could've supported the young people off the farms to do their trade and also could help introduce the Total Quality philosophy to the Ag sector (which, although it doesn't sound like it, is all about producing things more productively and cost effectively). In summary it seemed to me like there's potential for good synergies between the groups. I would advocate for and be willing to facilitate this if I was elected.
I am aware of the issue, mostly from reports overseas, particularly the US. I am aware the problem is beginning to grow here in Australia. Obviously, like with any drug and with addiction this will be harmful to people and so I want to prevent it, but I am not sure of a lot of the details and I would have to have more information before I was able to form a definitive policy position.
This is a wide ranging topic. I do not support a lot of Australia's current policies with respect to drugs. The aggressive and punitive tactics on drugs has not and does not work. Allowing people to have a job (via the job guarantee) will be one of the best protective measures that could be taken. Whilst drug use is not good for people's health, its when use turns to addiction which is where the really harmful stuff occurs. The reasons as to why a person becomes addicted is far more complex than most people understand, there is much more to it than simply the addictiveness of the drug itself. A key factor is the strength, number and quality of social relationships a person has. This too will be helped by the job guarantee, by ensuring stability and security in our communities. Beyond that I am open minded to legalisation of drugs as this has been a successful model elsewhere in the world. I am an advocate for pill testing. I would prefer our drug policy to come from a prevention, care and rehab angle rather than a punishment and deterrent angle.
An introduction of a job guarantee would put a dent into crime. That said, I am not averse to the introduction of crime prevention or reducing changes. I am not a fan of our system of punitive correction and have seen a good case made for rehabilitative correction and I would support that.
I was not surprised with what came up in the royal commission on banking as this just followed the same pattern that happened around the world. Financial sectors and banks were deregulated, incentives were given for profitmaking and the rest is history. Some countries banking issues were discovered when the GFC happened, others, like ours, have taken time. I don't have any strong direction currently in mind on the banks, but I am open minded to a range of suggestions that have been put to me ranging from nationalising the banks to breaking them up, to re-regulating them, to the recommendations of the royal commission which basically said the regulations were adequate, we just need to actually start policing them.
Sex Industry/ Work
The party currently known as Reason Party used to be the Australian Sex Party and it's MP was a former sex worker. For this reason I think that party has a good understanding of the issues and so I will advocate for the same things they are, namely, decriminalisation of sex work and apply best practice sex industry regulation, make it unlawful for a person to be discriminated on for their profession and adjust censorship laws where they are restrictive well beyond the point of being practical.
Mental Health/ Suicide
These are large and under acknowledged problems in Australia. My whole campaign is about caring for our people, but I would not consider myself well informed of all the causes and solutions for these particular issues. I believe less security in the lives of young people and adults is a factor that increases the prevalence of mental health issues. Also things like inequality exacerbates it. The job guarantee would help with this. I would definitely be supportive of moves or proposals by other parties to prevent or reduce the effect of these issues.
Family planning, Birth Control and Abortion
I think family planning support in Australia is still a way away from best practice countries. I support moves to make abortion and birth control far more widely and freely available. The countries with free and widely available birth control and abortion have the lowest rates of abortion and teenage pregnancies.
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Authorised by Richard Carmody, Whyalla Norrie.