At this time of the year many small and large businesses assemble their financial year results and set out plans for the coming tax year. As do many families. Follow the daily headlines and you’ll be overwhelmed by the general antagonism toward the business community, which faces options such as ‘closing down’. The saddest comment I often hear is: “Who would want to be in business these days?” We are surrounded and suffocated by talk of increased taxation and regulation.
Less taxation and regulation is the incentive we need to start and expand business.
For several years businesses have been limping along, carrying this increasing burden and we are watching in astonishment as Australia slips (by almost every index, now even including education) in our international competitiveness. We are, now, one of the highest taxed countries of any OECD nation. How can we expect to give needed opportunities to our highly skilled and educated work force? We desperately need to encourage ‘start-ups’, as they are needed to replace the many ‘close-downs’ being planned.
Tax in the 1980’s
In writing this I sense a certain déjà vu. I look back on some earlier comments I made in June, 1985 and I quote here from my observation on how our government, of that time, had so little ability to motivate the business community:
“They don’t appear to grasp the fact that if you reduce the after-tax reward for something, you get less of it, and if you increase the subsidy of something, you get more of it. But I think that today in Australia, we are taxing work, we’re taxing savings, investment, thrift, productivity, effort, success and risk and we’re subsidizing all those other things like non-work, unemployment, debt, borrowing, consumption, leisure, idleness and mediocrity and we’re getting so much more of the latter than we’re getting of the former.”
The tax cycle
Well there have been a few booms and busts since 1985 but the situation remains much the same as far as dysfunctional political leadership. It is obvious that leadership must come from ‘we, the people’. We must make our own decisions and not sit around waiting for political leadership.
Let’s make our plans, whatever they may be, with a focus on successful survival. Use every ‘trick in the book’, then work toward your goals with all the energy available to you. If enough of us, do that, every Australian can be a winner!
You’ll find the full transcript of the 1985 presentation on our Podcasts page. I’d be interested in your feedback and thoughts on this topic.