Friday, September 17, 2004

An ideal example of abandonment is the relationship between Linus and The Great Pumpkin. Every Halloween, Linus faithfully waits by a pumpkin patch, in the hopes that he will be blessed with the holy experience of a visitation by The Great Pumpkin. Of course, The Great Pumpkin never shows up, and He never answers Linus? letters. Despite this, Linus remains steadfast, even going door to door to spread the word of his absent deity. Does The Great Pumpkin exist? We can never know. But from an existential point of view, it doesn?t matter if he exists or not. The important thing is that Linus is abandoned and alone in his pumpkin patch.
Kafka and his Castle turn into Pumpkin

Invisible Hands & Markets: Mischievous Mitchell
While I'm on the topic of politically unthinkable policies, Alan Mitchell in today's Fin (subscription required) argues that we should raise the rate of GST and use the proceeds to abolish a bunch of inefficient distorting taxes. It's a sensible idea, but, given the way the GST was sold, it's politically out of the question. Still, it would be worth looking again at this in a decade or so, when all those associated with the original GST debate have left the political scene.
All that would need to be done is change or delete the lines in the GST Act that "give" the power to raise the GST to the states
• · It is about to become harder to find butterfly cakes, chocolate eclairs and cream puffs in the city, with a cherished cake shop forced out of the Strand Arcade by rising rents
• · · ‘What’s in it for me?’ Today’s rich are not giving enough of their wealth to good causes--the ancients would have known why
• · · · Bernie Fraser robustly debating: Governments have become very risk-averse, and there is this prevailing notion around that only the private sector can do these things properly ...; [ Sale of Telstra has Labor, Greens up in arms]
• · · · · Contrary to his international reputation, Kafka was merely a reporter of Czech daily life Going for brouk ... Keeping a low profile is a Czech survival strategy. Harness interpersonal networks to succeed
• · · · · · Your job is pointless, inane: You can be replaced by the cretin sitting next to you. So work as little as possible