The NRMA (National Road & Motorists Association) is a co-operative that started an insurance company. It provided cheap insurance to members, and kept the other insurance companies on low returns. Now there is to be a vote as to whether the insurance company should be demutualised.
Does anybody think that will give us cheaper insurance?
Australia's telephone is part way de-nationalized. Farmer groups are concerned that they will pay excessively for communications. Why not subsidize farmer groups by giving away cellular phone bandwidth in the bush. If that is not enough, then subsidize satellite or cellular bandwidth.
Australian banks are making too much money. SPIN suspects that a lot of that profit is oligopoly profit for that essential service: an individual account.
SPIN suggests that government should provide every Australian with an account at birth. That account would have no fees and pay no interest on any balance held, and would be the vehicle for all payments by or to the government. The account could be tied to the electoral roll, and evidence of a right to vote.
The accounts should not be expensive to maintain. Interface services (ATM's for withdrawals, internet access for account maintenance etc.) could be provided by private enterprise under contract.
- KOSOVO & CHECHNYA.
The KFOR forces are finding that the Albanians are more bloody minded than the Serbs, and wondering if perhaps they didn't bomb the wrong side.
The fact that the Serbians were in the right does not stop those ill informed PC people who are attempting to bring Milosevic before a court. By doing this they are bringing the world court into disrepute, as the people of the world realize that it is a mere political entity, not a bastion of justice.
The atrocities of NATO in Serbia and Kosovo are the root cause of the Chechen war. The Russian people would not have supported the war if NATO had not led the way.
- WHITE HOUSE.
The White House is again in trouble. It seems that some of the staff set up a program that defeated the program that was collecting subpoenaed email about Monica and campaign irregularities. The problem is compounded because Janet Reno, the person who should be appointing investigators, was appointed by Clinton.
Even if Clinton is perfectly honest, there is a stink about the US presidency that is foul.
The difference between the USA and countries like Australia or the UK or Canada is that in the USA the public get to hear about this chicanery. A Prime Minister combines the office of President and House majority leader, allowing greater powers of concealment.
- USA CENSUS 2000.
Matt Drudge reported on 16th March that over six hundred thousand US citizens had already complained about the probing questions in the latest census. Apparently large numbers of citizens are warning that they would rather pay the $100 fine than answer the questions.
SPIN has heard (although it may be an urban myth) that no census has yet found that New York has a population greater than about four million.
SPIN can understand that counting people helps planners decide how many roads etc. to build. Asking intrusive questions about income and property is going far beyond any reasonable extension of the census power we granted to government, and is an example of the failure of our representatives' responsibility to manage bureaucracy.
Problem is, Governments tend to use the information to harm classes of citizens, as in the USA in WWII when census information was used to imprison US citizens of Japanese extraction.
In Australia the government has shown it's negligence by dumping completed census forms from the last census at the tip. Honest citizens found some of them and notified the newspapers. It does makes SPIN wonder whether other undestroyed forms night have been found and the information sold by more enterprising citizens.
This page published during the week starting 12 March 2000.