Freedom Friday

(Image Credit: Freedom Counseling Center)

Mid-spring, and already it feels like early summer. With a strong El Niño now underway, those Pubsters who dwell in the colder (during winter) states may have seen the last of the winter chills for a while. From one perspective, it is nice to be free of shivering in the ice house where I live; on the other hand, the prospect of extreme heat doesn’t entice either.

What other freedoms are worth noting this Friday? Well, there’s the (comparative) freedom from football of various descriptions, in Australia, at least. As I’m not a passionate follower or a passionate loather, I’m pretty much indifferent. However, my commiserations for those of you suffering withdrawal symptoms, and my congratulations to those who can now enjoy respite for a few months, or weeks . . .

My personal freedom is that the lease on my mother’s flat ends at midnight tomorrow night. The cleaning is just about done, there are a few small items to remove, but otherwise that’s that.

The other freedoms to be celebrated this Friday evening are the freedom to enjoy each other’s friendship, to play our favourite music, to be the life of the party or to relish quietness. Freedom is so precious, and we are lucky that one of the freedoms we seem to excel at is the freedom provided by our toleration of each other.

So, feel free to make yourselves at home at The Pub and to do what you will this evening (within the bounds of toleration, it goes without saying)!

(Image Credit: Country Place)

719 thoughts on “Freedom Friday

  1. No matter what the media tells us, you cannot liken Turnbull’s off-shore tax haven managed funds with Australian superannuation funds. The two are very, very different. to say they are both doing the same thing is very simplistic.

    Superannuation funds contribute to the wealth of this country. Yes, funds are sent off-shore, and yes, the amount sent off-shore is growing. This is because there are not all that many local investment opportunities. Labor is attempting to do something about this in their recently announced infrastructure policy. They hope superannuation funds will invest. In the long run whatever money is made off-shore by superannuation funds will return to Australia and we will all benefit by having prospering funds that contribute to the national bank balance. The more superannuation Australians accumulate the less reliant they will be on the age pension when they retire.

    The Future Fund has been getting a mention in this debate. That fund was set up, years too late, in the dying days of the Howard government, to provide for superannuation payments to Commonwealth public servants. It was not, as many believe, just some sort of government savings account, to be dipped into in times of financial crisis. If it has off-shore investments then that’s OK, the more the fund accumulates the better.

    Turnbull’s wealth management is very different. His funds do not contribute to the wealth of this country, they contribute to the wealth of Malcolm Turnbull. You do not have money invested in funds managed in the Cayman Islands unless you want to avoid paying tax on the proceeds. Turnbull is lying when he says he pays tax on it and lying when he says he pays more tax than if his money was invested locally. It may be legal, just, but it is not a good look for the leader of a government that intends to cut welfare payments and increase the GST, refuses to allow transparency on tax payments by the companies of the wealthy (Turnbull included) and refuses to do away with superannuation tax concessions for the wealthiest Australians while cancelling those for the lowest paid. Turnbull shows poor judgement – again. He should pull whatever portion of his millions he has in the Caymans out and have his New York financial adviser find somewhere less questionable to invest it.

    Labor was right to begin this debate and now it will keep coming back whenever taxation is being discussed. The fact that the MSM is desperately defending Turnbull and painting Labor as ‘smacked down’ when they were not tells us a lot. The MSM have grabbed onto the wrong angle of big issues before, they are doing it again. This is something that will resonate for a long time and in the end it will not be good for Turnbull.

  2. I am just going to put up a short story By Irwin Shaw : “The Monument” on The Lounge page. This story is a tremendous piece as it demonstrates the gulf between the LNP’s “Economic rationalism” and Labor’s “Civilised society” philosophies. It is an ageless piece because of that.
    Have a read, it will serve you well!

  3. I have been reading all the journalist articles and the group think is definitely out there with Fairfax and Cassidy all saying that Labor has got all wrong on Saint Malcayman Turdbull. If they bother to read the comments on their articles they would find that the comments are going 2 to 1 against Turdbull. Every one that hasn’t been asleep for the last 10 years realize that all those banker sleese bags shifted all their loot to the Caymans. I read a book Treasure Islands and the author estimates that approx. 26 trillion is stached there.

    On Grattens article there was this comment and the link was posted here earlier. It is pertain to note that he sent the article to many outlets and they won’t publish it.

    John Passant
    logged in via Facebook
    I disagree with Michelle on this. I think tax transparency is important and the rich and powerful fear it because it will show how little tax they pay.
    As a former Assistant Commissioner in charge of international tax reform in the ATO, I wrote about this on my blog. Other than his assertions, how do we know Turnbull has actually paid Australian tax in full? At what effective tax rate?
    I asked in my article that Turnbull release his tax affairs to the public in one example of tax transparency. Of course his government is not about tax transparency. It has just changed the law so we will not know which of the 20% of private companies with turnover greater than $100 m pay no income tax.
    My article on this was written before the Turnbull government snuck that change through last night, but its actions show a government committed to hiding the tax affairs of the rich and powerful from public scrutiny for fear of the reality of how little tax they pay becoming known.
    I also sent a reworked version to ten or 11 mainstream media outlets, with no takers so far. Anyway, here is an intro and link to the article if anyone is interested.
    The tax affairs of Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcayman Turnbull
    Australia’s Prime Minister is not any ordinary taxpayer. Malcolm Turnbull should make all the information about his Cayman Islands’ arrangement public so we can judge whether he is avoiding any Australian tax or taking advantage of special rules that reduce or exempt his income from Australian tax. His government should also withdraw its attempts to shield information about the (likely very small) amount of Australian income tax the private companies of the likes of Gina Rinehart and James Packer pay.

  4. Cliff..They are thieves. They are liars. They are criminals…we know it, they know it, the general public know it..what is lacking is what can one do about it, save the taking up of revolutionary arms and sending the whole lousy mob to their destiny…
    Joe Stalin was too soft!

  5. Speers on Sky just gave superb display of deliberate ignorance. Pontificating on Caymangate he said Labor failed, it was an own goal as Labor had not shown that Truffles had done anything wrong or illegal.

    As Labor said right from the start that they we not alleging “illegality” or impropriety then he’s either incredibly stupid or feigning such stupidity. As he is supposed to be one of their political wise men then it must be deliberate. No wonder people trust the media lizards so much.

  6. Thorsten Veblen :
    ” …When accumulated goods have in this way once become the accepted badge of efficiency, the possession of wealth presently assumes the character of an independent and definitive basis of esteem. The possession of goods, whether acquired aggressively by one’s own exertion or passively by transmission through inheritance from others, becomes a conventional basis of reputability. The possession of wealth, which was at the outset valued simply as an evidence of efficiency, becomes, in popular apprehension, itself a meritorious act. Wealth is now itself intrinsically honourable and confers honour on its possessor. By a further refinement, wealth acquired passively by transmission from ancestors or other antecedents presently becomes even more honorific than wealth acquired by the possessor’s own effort; but this distinction belongs at a later stage in the evolution of the pecuniary culture and will be spoken of in its place. “

  7. We are lurking, waiting for this week’s Friday post.

    Leone thanks for the heads up about the pregnant raped woman being returned to Nauru – still pregnant. How mean and nasty can our government get

    It’s amazing how rich people can micromanage the affairs of welfare recipients but they get very snarky about enquiries int their Trusts affairs

  8. ” he’s down in the cellar…” yeah but, gravel…he’s only interested in the slabs of Four X…..The inventory’s safe!

  9. Oh well. I might go give the horses an early night…it looks a bit tetchy with the weather anyway!..cop-u…

  10. Lisa Wilkinson is referring to ABC reports about a different woman. The one being forced back to Nauru, without her abortion, is being referred to as ‘Abyan’ – not her real name, of course.

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