Green Activists Put Lives In Danger

The Minerals Council of NSW report that police are investigating a dangerous act of sabatage by the far-left green radicals at Whitehaven mine at Maules Creek,where activists entered the site in the middle of the night cutting  187 down-lines attached to extremely powerful explosives, prepared as part of the mine operations putting at risk the lives of Whitehaven personnel:

This reckless and dangerous act of industrial sabotage is a wake up call for the NSW government.  Those responsible have directly threatened lives, including their own, by tampering with powerful industrial explosive charges used in mine operations,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“Violent and dangerous activities have escalated in recent months. As well as deliberate trespassing and interference with heavy equipment by protesters, a security vehicle has been rammed, gates have been blockaded or destroyed, and now we have had industrial explosives being sabotaged,” he said.

“We have raised safety concerns about the trespassing of protesters with the NSW Government on a number of occasions. I hope we will now see action,” Mr Galilee said.

“Without action from the Government to deter this type of illegal access activity it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt, despite the best efforts of police and emergency services personnel and site workers to ensure safety.”

“People have a right to protest, but it must be within the law. No-one has the right to put others at risk. And when people choose to ignore the law they should be held accountable for their actions.”

Greens Still Living in a Clean Energy Fantasy World

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Brad Emery takes aim at the hypocrites of the Greens movement against  the mining industry.

A young woman rides her bicycle into an inner city polling booth to vote in the 2013 Federal Election.  She tosses her mane of matted dreadlocks over her shoulder as she dismounts and fetches a bottle of organic prune juice from the basket hanging from the handle bars.

She makes a beeline for the Greens volunteer and smiles as she takes the Greens candidate’s how to vote pamphlet.  She makes a deliberate show of rejecting the Liberal Party candidate’s propaganda.  She’s not planning on voting Conservative.

A Free Lunch For All

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Alex Davidson notes Gillard's dangerous attack on private property rights:

"And here's the rub. You don't own the minerals. I don't own the minerals. Governments only sell you the right to mine the resource. A resource we hold in trust for a sovereign people. They own it and they deserve their share."

– Gillard addressing the Minerals Council of Australia's annual dinner.

This will have to go down as one of the most inflammatory, dangerous proclamations ever made by an Australian prime minister. It is a direct attack on the very heart and soul of peaceful society – respect for property rights – and little different to the rhetoric we used to hear coming from the communist leaders of Russia, China, and Cambodia.

It's obvious that the minerals in the ground don't belong to 'all Australians' at all, as Julia and her communist comrades continually assert. Most are in fact un-owned, and the rest are in fact owned by the companies and individuals who became the first owner by exercising ownership rights over them, or who have subsequently purchased them. In just society, ownership does not arise through decree.

In order to defend their strident assertions, Gillard and her supporters must answer some basic questions about how this presumptive ownership came about. Was it through contract and consent, or by declaration? Was it through being the first to exercise ownership rights over resources that were previously un-owned, or taking no action at all? And precisely when does one qualify for joint ownership of this resource – at birth; on becoming a citizen, an adult, or a taxpayer? Surely too, if this notion of ownership was in fact true ownership, shouldn’t we be able to trade our share in the loot when we decide to leave Australia for greener pastures? And what about new immigrants – shouldn’t they be required to pony up for their share in it?

What Gillard is really talking about here is communism – society based not on individuals and private ownership, but on the collective and public ownership of everything, where all decisions about the use of economic resources are made by a powerful, privileged elite who call themselves the government. While the free lunch brigade may have no problems with this, in the end we all suffer, because communism stands for the abolition of property rights, and with it, the abolition of capitalism – the very pillars of prosperity, freedom, and peaceful society.

Alex Davidson is a retired businessment and President of 5 Acres Now

Defence Force Eyes Mining Infrastructure

Untitled David Elson discusses the latest battle between Julia Gillard and the mining industry through a national security prism: 

With the results of an upcoming Australian Defence Force posture review likely to recommend that more defence assets are held in the resource rich north of Australia, it’s important that the Australia Federal Government balances the laudable yet differing goals of national security and continued growth in the resource sector.  There is potential for conflict between their need for but diverge use of infrastructure in the region  i.e.; ports, rail, and airfields.

Clearly there is a need from a national security perceptive for defence assets to be relocated from the populous and relatively well defended Port of Sydney to the more sparsely populated and resource rich north; particularly with the advent of the Chinese Century and corresponding rise and rise of other Asian powers who benefit from and trade with the People’s Republic of China.  Countries within the Asia pacific are using their newfound economic prosperity to fuel the growth of their military power projection capabilities.  While no single country presents a clear danger to Australia’s nation security and most regional powers are large trade partners of Australia, it is understandably prudent for Australia to show that we are serious about defending our borders.

However it is important that the expansion of defence force operations into areas either unattended entirely by the ADF or attended only by a bare base force take into consideration other users of land, sea and airspace, in particular in terms of the use of existing state and privately owned commercial infrastructure.  It is important that proposed ADF future use of rail lines or commercial ports not disrupt or supplant existing private uses.  Some of the statements of the Australia Federal Government would seem to imply that they would be prepared to nationalise or legislate that ADF use of mining infrastructure take priority over other users.

There is a real risk here that the government might mismanage and fail to balance divergent interests in the region (merely look at the impact of their policies on live cattle trade). The irony here is that military assets are proposed to be relocated to protect the resource rich north, but that they will be leveraging of existing infrastructure rather than investing in military specific infrastructure. In effect the ADF “posture change” has the potential to hamper and disrupt the growth of resource sector they are obstinately moving to protect.

Continued economic growth through a free and unfettered market is essential to ensuring Australia’s prosperity and like our Asian neighbours is the key to funding any future improvements in our ADF’s force projection capabilities.  Decisions likely to have a negative impact on this core objective should be avoided. Else we learn the lesson currently being experienced by USA, where a large military and large military spending is starting to be cut back due to a decline in economic growth.

David Elson is a senior public servant who has long taken an interest in the economic impact of Federal policies particularly those pertaining to environmental or social issues and in the cultures of Australia's Asian neighbours.  He lives in Brisbane, Queensland with his Taiwanese wife and is an avid squash player.

Mining small but big, Dr Dennis smart but du….?

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Gary Knight critiques Dr Richard Denniss 's attack on the mining industry:

Dr Richard Denniss was at it again today, if he is not embarrassing himself by being academically crippled by Lord Monkton at the National Press Club Climate debate, he is busy releasing reports designed to wage a business class war against the mining industry.
The gist

The report is a basic factual account of some figures regarding the size of the Australian mining industry and where the profits go. The interpretation and moral argument that Dr Denniss spins from the facts are truly remarkable and need to be examined.

Dr Denniss argues that 82% percent of  Australian mining profits head overseas and considering that  foreign ownership of Australian mining is 82% that makes a lot of sense. When I invest in a company regardless of geographic location I expect the return from that investment to flow back to me, otherwise I would sell those shares immediately. 

Dr Denniss advocates that this large percentage of profits flowing back the the people who put up the capital in the first place is immoral and as a country we should seek to claim a greater share with the mining tax. It seems to me leftists cannot avoid the temptation to lift even more money from the hands of private individuals. 

Dr Denniss likes to deliberately frame his  call for state sponsored theft in the coat of nationalism, suggesting that mineral wealth belongs to all Australians. People ignorant of mining and investment in general would easily miss the faux logic of his argument.

The catch cries of returning the profits of Australia's mineral wealth to all Australians is a great way to stir up xenophobia and class envy in the mob against the high paid and profitable mining industry, but the policy consequences morally and economically are conveniently evaded by Dennis and his ilk.

Got Values?

Perhaps I am to brazenly right wing economically, but there are two moral principles I hold that make Dr Denniss' arguments invalid.

The first value is that profits belong to the investor and the company undertaking the mammoth task of bring minerals to market.

If I or anybody else invests money in a venture, the profits of their speculation should return back to them; no government has the right on foreign ownership grounds to raise taxes. 

Economically it sends a sovereign risk message to the foreign investors whose money provides so much economic activity to the regions of Australia. Dennis of course claims mining is only a small part of the economy, but clearly he has not heard of Western Australia and North Queensland. The mining tax would be a tax on regional Australia and unlike Denniss, miners do not have a back up job with a left wing think tank cooking numbers for governmental propaganda.

Profits belong not to Australia, but to investors, they risked their money they are entitled to the rewards, unless the government intends to give them a bailout when and if their investment turns a loss? The mining tax removes investment incentive from a source that cannot be replaced domestically; we loose jobs and potential economic activity as a result of a punitive policy such as the mining tax.

Those who express the view that it is Australia's mineral wealth are not understanding the role of roylaties, which is a state tax levied on the ore regardless of profit. Company tax then sits of top to take a sizeable cut of the profts and what is left gets distributed in dividends to the shareholders. When the left make the call to share Australia's mineral wealth they seem to forget how much investment, intelligence and sheer hard work is involved in bringing minerals and ore from the earth and processing them into a profitable form.

Perhaps iron ore is some parts of the country is an exception with buckets of red dust being loaded onto trains and tankers, but a sizeable fleet and billions of infrastructure still need to be built and maintained even to scoop up pilbra red dirt onto trains. Dr Denniss likes to decouple minerals in the ground from minerals processed on the back of huge investments largely from foreign sources. If you want a bigger share of the mineral wealth you need to go work in a remote town and start pulling 12 hour shifts!

The second value is flat company tax. We might still perform the barbaric practise of teired taxation for incomes, but it has been a long and stable principle of both sides of government that company tax should be flat. The reason being productivity, we want Australian companies who work hard and innovate to be rewarded with the only thing that can reward a company, profit. More profitable companies equates to better emloyment opportunities for our workforce, and general econmic wellbeing. Once you start punitively attacking companies for their profits or what industry they are in you start to send a moral message.

This moral message is that if you do well, you will be punished; this is a meritocracy in reverse. The left try to alienate the mining companies by branding them foreign and their Australian contribution as minor, but its smoke and mirrors for a partial takeover of mining.

Do we really want the government to have more money to waste; it would no doubt be better left in the mining companies coffers to fuel the next stage of investment in Australian jobs.

The Government thinks they know best how to spend money, the reality of consequences of their spending programs suggests otherwise.

 The mining tax has toppled the first term leader Kevin Rudd and it is set to do the same to Prime Minister Gillard. The ALP and press gallery will cry about the salesmanship and the leadership turmoil, but it is pure and simply an immoral policy of the most shameful order.

A precedent set, next victim please!

The mining tax sets the precedent that if your a high performing industry in Australia, the government is coming to get you. Theoretically what stops this line of argument being used to justify a tax increase on any high performing sector? Are the banks next with their soaring profits from lending out foreign capital? The mining tax argument is attempting tp  apply the progressive income tax arguemnt to the business world. I hate to think how this would affect productivity and alter invesment patterns. 

Why does the government dare not attack the super profits of banking? Perhaps the answer lies in the truth of Dr Denniss' recent study. The mining industry account for around 2-3% of the economy directly, therefore it is easy for the government to try and wedge a small workforce of 200,000 away from the general  population. 

Operation: Wedge Politics

The tactic is clear alienate 200,000 high paid miners and their foreign paymasters and simultaneously claim they are wrecking the rest of the economy by driving up the Australian dollar whilst not being that large a contributer to the economy.

So we are told by Dr Denniss Mining is having a large negative affect whilst having a small benefit! I wish he would model the affects of high tax and labour regulatory burdens on the economy, but apparently profits earned by industry should be shared by all Australians regardless of who put up the investment dollars and who did the work. Sounds like Marx 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.' I guess Dr Denniss missed those few decades where equalising profit starved a half a continent to death.

Econmics is about inscentives, if you take away carrots and apply the tax stick your going to change investment habits. Flight of capital is a real risk but the left do not appreaciate or understand history.

Australians  in the resource states and regions are rejecting the wedge knowing how the mining boom has flowed through all parts of the economy. Flat corporate tax and royalties are a perfectly fair and adequate system to price finite resources. Lowering corporate tax would be far more affectice to help the lagging parts of the economy. The government does want to share that fact with the electorate; instead seeking to pit industries off against each other in an attempt to secure the funds to pay down their debt.

Q N A sans Tony Jones!

We are told minerals are finite, but that is what royalties are for!

We are told miners need to pay their fair share, but is that not how a percentage based corporate tax works?

The more profit you earn the more tax you pay!

Some may argue it is like a progressive income tax for business. Then why is the long held, stable notion of flat corporate tax readily abandoned for one industry only? Why does the highly profitable banking sector get a free pass?

The answer is that banks affect everybody, mining only a few (a respectable few), therefore the industry specific class war between the well paid miner and struggling manufacturing worker is established by the left in the eyes of the electorate. 

 The high dollar is great for consumers and we are all consumers?

Naturally the low cost of flat screen televisions and a whole manner of easily affordable imported goods that has underpinned high living standards in Australia is ignored by Dr Denniss and the ALP with only the convenient envy peddling message of mining as a wrecking ball being allowed to permeate the unquestioning press gallery.

If we pass on the costs of the mining tax to commodities, then the goods we buy from China must rise also, so essentially it will hit every Australian indirectly with the 'Made in China' label littering the  electronic goods of every Australian household. 

Econ 101: Attention: The Left!

Capitalism works at improving living standards because the most efficient companies are allowed to excel and take profit to reinvest in further improvements to the productive capacity of the economy. When governments start to pick and choose who to help and hinder the great machine driving innovation gets a flat tyre. It can only keep driving so long before it has to pull up and change a tyre (extended metaphor, it just happened, you love it).

Profit belongs to investors, when governments change the rules mid stream they send a warning to the sources of capital on which our mining industries so depends. The message is risk, not of company performance, but of government hostility to high performance. It is an immoral message, economically risky and the fact xenophobia and simplistic economic data is being used to justify the government shakedown makes the heist that much worse.

Australians may at times be jealous of the mining industry, they might have a high dollar affecting their business, but to support a policy which punishes success is surely a far worse transgression. Mining will boom and bust, but China will continue to out compete us in manufacturing regardless of the dollar. Productivity gains, innovation and lower taxes is the fix to that issue, not trying to lift profits away from the people who invested it.

How would you feel if you owned owned shares in BHP whose profits got walloped due to a new regime nationalizing a mine in South America? You might think that is the stuff of third world dictatorships, but this government is trying to do it, in part, very soon. Nationalizing mines is bad news, doing it partially is simply expecting foreign money to make cake but letting our government take a lions share. There are other mineral resources opening up in the world with far lower labour and tax burdens than Australia, let us not send the wrong message.

I will leave the readers with these issue to process, I must now wash my hands which are filthy with stench of excessive cliched metaphor use and distain for leftist voodoo economics.

P.S Dr Denniss is now shamed twice, his intelligence seems to lack in both climate science and for his pet area of expertise, economics. What are they teaching in universities now? Certainly not how to integrate facts or cause and affect! A is A!

If you wish to watch academic drowning see below:


 

 

 Gary Knight is a former high school teacher turned apprentice electrician in the mining industry. This piece was originally published on his personal blog, Operation Libertarianism