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Regional Tax Breaks, State Government Restructuring & St. Francis of Assisi

by The Wrinkle | July 2, 2010

This week we might pull together and update a few thoughts from previous blogs, briefly touch on politics, plus go a bit “off-piste” and talk about shadows.

Last week I talked about Ceramic Fuel Cells (CFU) and I’d like to update a few points following a company report during the week. Unlike the UK, Germany, France, and The Netherlands, in Australia feed-in tariff payments aren’t available to low-emission technologies such as fuel cells. The Australian state governments will only buy power from “pure” sources such as wind and solar. Remember this is the same technology that we discussed last week that has the potential to save 12 to 33 tonnes of carbon production per household each year, doesn’t emit noxious gasses, and uses 95% less water than a coal powered power station.

Everyone knows that common sense is a rare commodity in politicians, but in this case all they have to do is play "follow the leader" and look to the EU as an example.  It’s hardly “rocket science”. Finally it appears that at least one of the states, Victoria, is waking up and currently has the situation under review.

Since we’ve opened that book, the Wrinkle is also more than happy to share his views on “state governments". Frankly I think that they are a waste of space, and add more cost than value through needless duplication and bureaucracy, however, given the geographical spread in Australia, there could be a case for some state borders.

My recommendation would be to place in Federal hands, control of all utilities, roads, education, and health. Then why not have three states based on the time zones, The Eastern Seaboard including Tasmania, or TES, The Outback in the middle or TO, and Western Australia stays as is. Simple, easy.

There has also been a lot of recent argument, and government back-downs on both a "Big Australia" policy, and the mining resources super profits tax (as an aside I think Julia Gillard will go to the Governor General this weekend to call an election, simply to maximise the honeymoon benefit).

As an idea that has been partially trialed here, and successfully used overseas, why don’t the Federal and State Governments combine to create regional pockets of growth through tax breaks? This would go a long way towards relieving inner city congestion. Rather than a minimal drop in the company tax rate from 30% to 28% overall, why not reduce it to 25% in the regional growth zones, and exempt payroll tax in the same areas? The Wrinkle believes that this again would be a simple but effective way to spread the load on infrastructure.

There ends my soapbox session for this week.

In previous blogs the Wrinkle has talked about inclusion, and the importance of building teams via effective leadership. There are two sides to any coin, so I’d like to go 180 degrees here and have a look at some of the barriers stopping us from being more inclusive, and accepting of others in our lives. This brings us to the concept of the shadow.

If you want a really strong “wake up” call in this area you need go no further than Shakespeare’s famous quote on “the walking shadow”, it doesn’t get much more blunt and direct than that. However in the interests of not scaring the children we might start with St. Francis of Assisi (Founder of the Franciscan order, 1181-1226), who is a little more gentle and subtle,

"What we are looking for is what is looking"

...which pretty much encapsulates the universe in nine words. You don’t need much else in life beyond that really, it will take you home.

However for those of us still in the mire, the Wrinkle would like to discuss the concept of shadow as outlined by Jung. As an opening premise I would suggest that as a general rule the human race is only really after two main things, being happy (as defined by your thoughts and mind) and avoiding pain.

Jung would have us believe that each of us carries a shadow as part of our unconscious mind. The less we are aware of it, the stronger it becomes. He believed that our shadow was both instinctive and irrational and accordingly is prone to “project”.

In this context he is talking about taking our own unconscious perceptions of our believed personal inferiority and projecting them into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.

Confused yet? Think of the old “speck in your neighbour’s eye, and the rock in your own eye” story. Or to put it in another context, to recognise a fault in someone else you must first have seen or understood that fault in yourself, at either a conscious or unconscious level.

So coming back to being inclusive.

- We all share similar aims while they might manifest in different ways, frankly isn’t that part of the beauty and mystery of creation.

- What we see in others is recognised either consciously through our egos or unconsciously through our shadows.

Ergo doesn’t that make us all of a common mind? The more we see, the more we move from the Shadow (unconscious) to live in the Light (conscious); we can’t help but be more inclusive as the shadow falls away.

Happy shadow hunting.

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