Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Taxes: Building Our Future  
Taxation for the Future
Australia is living off two great sources of capital laid down earlier, but we are not renewing or building them up - a bad sign for the future. These sorts of "public goods" have, in history, been badly served by private investment, and taxes are needed so they can be invested in these, to help tide us over future difficulties.

One type of capital is our natural resources: fertile topsoil, clean fresh water, fisheries, etc, etc, etc. Recently there was an estimate of $10 Billion to restore them to function on a long-term, sustainable basis. (We have only begun to recognise how important some of the unseen supports like this are once we'd knocked a few out, eg, the multiple causes and effects of salination.)

The other is the massive public (& private) investment in our urban and rural infrastructure: water & sewerage systems, transport (not just roads) for goods & people, energy generation & distribution, communications, as well as health systems, education, firefighting services, etc, etc. Many were developed over the century from mid-Victorian times to the middle of the 20th Century, & haven't been maintained much since.

Now we have a chance to repair and, indeed, *improve* these, learning from earlier mistakes and using more efficient, less toxic methods. This will give a good basis for our descendants to improve their lives, instead of scraping by, slowly getting worse, regretting lost opportunity.

Most of these projects, public or private will need some sort of support from public funds, either directly or through rebates or deductions. Now every tax rebate or deduction has to be made up from somewhere; either cutting someone elses' services or raising their tax (that's why I don't claim my charitable donations). Thus anything attracting such support should be really making a contribution outweighing that if you use "triple bottom line" accounting which takes into account the usually-hidden impacts on those two capital resources, and on the social structure.

A skilled population, whether it's tradespeople, engineers, doctors or nurses, is a valuable resource in itself, and an investment for the future. Yet the present PM, reported in Hansard introducing a training bill, actually described the training part of a person's time as not "productive". Doesn't bode well for his government's support of improving our workforce.

A well-built sustainable water collection, distribution & purification system will take some maintenance over time, but will last without huge extra investment. The same for energy or transport systems (eg fixing/rebuilding bridges or taking freight off roads, thereby reducing road damage bills). A big push into reforming (in the genuine use of the word) agricultural practices & land-use, or ways of building cities can lay a good foundation for centuries of advance instead of continuing decline.

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