Q1. Why is an even split between capital and labour the most equitable solution given that some enterprises will require lots of capital; some require lots of labour. Shouldn’t the income split vary based on the levels of each required for that enterprise?
A. The income split in the Free Market system does vary at the moment and it’s important to note that this will not change. The only thing that will change is that all workers currently receiving less than $85,000 per annum will receive a pay rise and all businesses employing these employees will receive a wage subsidy to pay for the increase in wages.
Q2. Pay workers what they "should" be receiving? For instance, according the recent annual reports, BHP paid almost a 50/50 split between its Australian workforce and Australian shareholders - shareholders got a bit more. Woolworths seems to have paid far, far more to its workforce than to its shareholders - somewhere between four and five times as much. Based on that aren’t they already living the dream?
A. This is incorrect because as discussed in the previous question, the only thing that will change is that all workers currently receiving less than $85,000 per annum will receive a pay rise and all businesses employing these people will receive a wage subsidy to pay for the increase in wages.
Q3. If everyone (in the Community Enterprise system), gets paid the same amount, the average, won't that result in a continual enormous upward wage pressure as the average gets yanked upwards by the bottom 50% moving onto Community Credits every year after the Community Credit value is adjusted?
A. No, this will not occur because the Federal minimum award rate will still be in place and that is what will be used to calculate and adjust the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE).
Q4. Each employer is also required to provide the value of that employee's wage into the Community Enterprise model. Even though the material cost is provided, won't that still cause many jobs to become unprofitable given how much the wage is being increased by?
A. No, because the Cooperative will be subsidising the employee wages as well. This means, businesses will become more profitable.
Q5. The document says that any assets bought using Community Credits belong to the Co-Operative. That seems to imply that someone who bought, say, a car, or a house, or a toothbrush with their Community Credits would not actually own it, the Co-operative would?
A. This is incorrect. Community Credits have been designed to fix the issues that exist with the current money system. Namely, it is scarce (there’s not enough of it) and it’s inflationary (each time you print more without creating something of value, it devalues every other dollar that came before it).
Every Australian citizen will own 1 share in the Australian Co-operative. This means they will not only own a piece of their car and house, etc. but also a piece of every other asset owned by the Co-Operative. What they cannot do is sell that asset and receive a capital gain.
Contra-deal Credits will allow you to buy a car, or toothbrush or a meal at the local café, just as you do now. Once you’ve consumed the meal, used up the toothbrush, or are ready to update your car, you just give it back to the Co-operative and get a new one.
Yes, you will still need to repair, insure and maintain the car as you do now and pay for repairs, using Community Credits, if you have a car accident.
Q6. Under what circumstances are people removed from "Community Enterprise"? If you have an employee, say, who's trying their best but ultimately makes the workplace less productive, can they be fired? Who decides if they're trying their best?
A. It’s important to remember that in the current system, a person like that would find themselves unemployed and struggle to find a new job. With the UrReferendum model, this person would be paid, while being retrained for a more suitable role. The management of the employee would be managed in the same way as employees are managed currently.
Q7. What happens to unemployment or disability benefits under this plan? Also, what happens to someone who doesn't want to work and who decides what jobs are offered?
A. There will be no unemployed, so there’ll be no requirement for unemployment benefits. Individuals will have the choice of working in the Free Market system or working in a Community Enterprise. If someone doesn’t want to work, they will need to survive using their own resources. The only jobs that will be offered, are jobs that have been created as a result of market failure or supply chain breaks.
Likewise, where possible, the disabled will be meaningfully employed in a Community Enterprise and paid accordingly. If this is not possible due to their disability, then they will receive $1,633 and their carer/s will also receive $1,633 for 38 hours of work done per week.
Q8. How are businesses providing a certain number of goods to the Community Enterprise Employees given that the value of goods is inherently in flux? What happens if a cafe makes an amount of stock available to the Community Enterprise employees but these goods aren’t purchased?
A. The only goods that will be created are the goods that are demanded. The aggregate of all the goods created will balance the labour that is provided. The amount of labour required will be reviewed monthly or quarterly, depending on the industry, etc. The amount of credits a business is provided will be calculated as part of their BAS lodgement.
Q9. How will the value of Contra-deal Credits and $AUD be held at the same level, given that Community Credits will be used predominantly by lower socioeconomic classes and so the things they want will be skewed differently?
A. The evidence tells us that as peoples’ income increases, they tend to buy more normal goods and less inferior goods. For instance, we know there is a clear correlation between diet and health issues. This means that an increase in income should result in people making better food choices which will mean better health outcomes for the community at large. With regards to how the value of Community Credits and $AUD will be held at the same level, put simply, it will be a requirement.
Q10. How will Contra-deal Credits leave the system at the same rate it enters it? Since Community Credits can be saved, doesn’t that imply that Community Credits will inflate over time?
A. Contra-deal Credits are structured differently and therefore cannot inflate. They are created and they are consumed. Also, given that people will be guaranteed an income each week, 4 weeks paid leave each year, ten days’ sick leave and superannuation for their retirement, there’ll be no need to hoard the money they receive. The increased income coupled with the reduction of concern about the future, will help to increase the amount being spent on consumer goods which will further boost the economy.
The 3 UrReferendum Pillars
Equal Opportunity for all. These four words sum up everything we stand for at UrReferendum and why we felt compelled to create a new party that has the ability to deliver this for real. One might ask, if you had 2 people, one of whom had unlimited resources and the other who had next to none, how could we then offer the same opportunities to both?
This is the problem faced by all current political parties and helps to explain why they do what they do. For example, the Liberal Party have repeatedly refused to accept or actively do anything about reducing carbon emissions in Australia because they rightly fear it will mean job losses. The ALP lost the last election because it promised to spend money and fix some of the inequities that exist but voters were spooked by ads telling them that if Labor got in, they would increase taxes to pay for the initiatives they were proposing. Likewise, The Greens have an excellent environment plan in the Green New Deal, but no way to finance it, unless they introduce new taxes or levies.
The problem isn’t their willingness to fix the issues in most cases, but rather that the tools they have don’t allow government to monitor Economic and Community issues and fix both. In other words, our current economic system is structurally flawed.
This is also why we have so many different parties all promising to fix one component over the other. Why aren't any of the parties both pro Economy and pro Community?
Current Economics Systems have Failed - The reason both enterprise capitalism (Neo-liberal economics) and social capitalism (Keynesian economics) have both failed is because they're both working with a structurally flawed tool, money. Using the first model, money causes inequality, using the latter, it causes inflation (Heywood 2013, 145). Contra-deal credits (CC) act like a counterweight which re-balances and corrects these structural issues. The outcome is a more efficient and more humane form of capitalism, which can minimise or eliminate most market failures.
Pillar 1 - Economy
Most people wouldn’t be aware that in our current economic system there is no such thing as zero unemployment but rather a requirement that around 5% of the population be unemployed at any given time. This means that the current 715,000 Australians being out of work is considered close to “full employment”. The fact that these 715,000 individuals have to live in Poverty is just seen as the way it is.
Pillar 2 - The Legal System
The legal system is there to protect all of us however, I’m reminded of a line from George Orwell's classic novella "Animal Farm" (Orwell, 1945): “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Once again, it would appear that having unlimited resources would give that individual an unfair advantage owing to their ability to afford better lawyers, etc.
Pillar 3 - Democracy
Finally, we come to the 3rd pillar, Democracy. Having our voice heard and being able to have as much of a say in the affairs of the country we live in is a fundamental right, however; once again it would appear that if you had unlimited resources, it would give you access to politicians that the average person didn’t have and thereby create yet again another inequitable situation.
Our model is the only model that currently exists that will allow equal access to the Democratic process, legal services and enough resources (wages) so that anyone who is willing to work will live a productive and comfortable life with as much opportunity for advancement as everyone else.
We will now briefly look at the three pillars and discuss how our model will achieve the goal of Equal Opportunity for All!
Would you give the Liberal Party or any Party a Power of Attorney over your affairs?
We suspect that most Australians would find the idea of giving someone else, especially a government, Power of Attorney over their affairs (unless absolutely necessary) as quite repulsive. Yet, this is exactly what we do every time we vote for someone every 3 years. This then allows them to do whatever they want for 3 years until the next election. If we truly want to retrieve our democratic power, then the UrReferendum model is the only choice at the next election.
How this would work
Currently, parliamentary committees investigate specific matters of policy or government administration or performance. Committees provide an opportunity for organisations and individuals to participate in policy making and to have their views placed on the public record and considered as part of the decision-making process.
In order to create a better democracy which stays true to the direct democratic principles and avoids the pitfalls inherent in representative government, we will maintain the current committee model and they will continue to investigate matters as they do now. The difference will occur once the committee has completed their review and completed their reporting.
This report and its 2 to 3 recommendations will be voted on by Australians and then it will be the governments’ responsibility to enact that recommendation. As long as transparency is maintained throughout the process, this will ensure that your voice will be heard and your vote will make a difference.
In order to ensure that all Australians who are working in the Community Enterprise model will have access to the legal support they need, UrReferendum will establish and fund a legal program that ensures there are enough resources to pay for lawyers and legal advice as required.
This model will incorporate 3 levels of legal support.
Level 1: Basic Legal advice and initial consultation
Level 2: Legal work as required
Level 3: Using the court system as required
To follow is a list of questions asked by the general public. The answers are provided in the context of how best to achieve the following:
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We can do Better. Time for a Real Change!
All Policies are based around the Counterbalance Economics Model as outlined in the Discussion Paper (Click Here)
Q11. My concern is in regards to community credits and the $AUD. You're basically creating a parallel economy and specify that CC will be used predominantly by those in lower Social Economic Status groups. Are Contra-deal Credit interchangeable for $AUD?
A. Anyone earning less than $85,000 will receive a pay rise and employers will receive a subsidy to pay for the pay rise. Although someone currently earning $13,000 p/a at the moment could be considered lower Social Economic Status, we don’t believe that you can use the same title for someone earning $28,000 to $85,000 p/a.
Also, Contra-deal Credits (CC), can be used to buy any goods and/or services that you can buy using $AUD, so in that sense they are interchangeable.
Q12. You're designating lower Social Economic Status groups as second class. If they can't trade CC for AUD, this would limit their ability to do a great deal of things. It also will create a stigma, whether you see this or not, around the underclass.
A. The above is incorrect because as discussed in the previous question, Contra-deal Credits will allow you to purchase any item you can using $AUD at the moment and at the same price. Further, you will pay for it using a bank account that contains your Community Credits and you’ll be able to spend it using your Debit Card in the same way you now spend $AUD.
The best way to visualise it is that it’ll be like using an alternative currency like $USD, Bitcoin or other non-Australian currency. The staff at the stores, will not know the difference, only the owner will be able to check his ledger and determine how many sales were made in $AUD and how many in Community Credits.
Q13. There's also the problem in "zero percent" unemployment. For the western economy to work, unemployment needs to be as close to 5% as possible. If you want to maintain a similar economy and market as we have at the moment, you can't tamper with that 5% figure.
A. This is incorrect. The only reason that the current western economy has the 5% floor is that it is believed that reducing unemployment to zero will cause a wage/inflation spiral. This is why Contra-deal Credits were developed to Counterbalance the inequities that the current form of money has created, which includes this so called 5% unemployment rule.
Before publishing the Counterbalance Economics model online, it was sent to around 20 Economists both here and abroad for their critical review. Their feedback has been positive and supportive. No negatives. Most notable response with regards to this question was from a Professor who was a 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics.
He agreed with our premise that the Counterbalance Economics model can achieve zero unemployment saying only that he believed that there would always be frictional unemployment. Frictional unemployment is where an employee leaves a job in order to find a job that they are better suited for.
We have no argument with that and our model states that we will provide jobs for everyone who wants a job, which obviously doesn’t include individuals who for whatever reason, do not want a job. This is also the way the current unemployment rate is calculated by the ABS.
Q14. Your border protection link doesn't say anything other than boosting resources to "defence". But when you use terms like "border protection" it infers an ethnocentric tone.
A. This is not the intention. We will ensure that our borders are safe by ensuring that our military has the resources it requires to do its job. Who we allow to enter the country will not change from how it is now.
Q15. What's your party's position on the LGBTQI+ community? Religious "freedom" bill? First Nations representation in the constitution? Winding back authoritarian laws introduced that impacts privacy and freedom to assemble?
A. Our stance on the LGBTQI+ community is that you love who you love and will not be imposing any limitations on that. Our Democratic reform, will mean that the government will finally be an instrument of Australian citizens.
With regards to the Religious freedom bill, laws that impact privacy or freedom to assemble along with any other bills that reduces cohesion of our community or impacts negatively on their human rights will be reversed, as articulated in Articles 12, 18 & 20 etc.
Also, with regards to the First Nations being represented in the constitution, this isn’t something that we are keen on because we want to move forward and build a united Australia where every citizen gets an equal say on what happens in their country.
That said, we would not object to adding "Official bilingualism" to the constitution assuming the First Nation Representatives can agree on which version and dialect they were happy to support as our nations second language.
Also, we will in all matters which affect the broad public ask you for your opinion and act accordingly. For a more complete overview of the process that will be followed, you can review our policy on Democracy.
Q16. What about Pedophilia?
Pedophilia is a practice that we are totally against.