Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1: Endorse nuclear electricity. We could still persuade the French to invest heavily here if we were sufficiently enthusiastic about letting them build.
2: Cut government spending by £3 billion (10%). Since we spend about 20% more than the UK average per head this is clearly practical.
3: End business rates. This is a pretty extreme step, in principle business should pay something, but we are in a drastic situation. This is a fairly close analogy to cutting business rates to 12.5%, like Ireland's for which we need Westminster support & though the SNP are committed to doing so they don't seem to have been putting on enough pressure. In theory cutting CT is marginally more effective because it rewards the most profitable best whereas rates rewards the most property intensive but it is a relatively marginal difference. This would cost about £2 billion.
4: Cut the laws on Health & safety & other regulations & the enormous bureaucracies that enforce them which do so much to push up the cost of projects here.
5: Tell Donald Trump he can start investing his £1 billion tomorrow morning. Apart from his own investment how many billions have we lost by convincing other potential investors they would not be welcome?
6: Cut the regulations that prevent people building houses.
7: Provide an interest free bridging loan of 20,000 pounds to any off site manufactured home for the period from completion of manufacture until installation & a grant of 5,000 pounds to direct purchasers of such homes, so long as they are for their personal use as first homes. This system to last only until we are building 30,000 a year. This would encourage the establishment here of a modular housing industry which, in due course, the English would be clamoring to buy.
8: Scottish Tunnel project - start cutting tunnels to the Cowal peninsula & the Scottish islands. Cost £7 m per km
9: Forth Tunnel instead of bridge & start digging tomorrow. Since the official cost of the bridge has been reduced to two & a half billion massive savings could be made this way & it would be ready far earlier.
10: Privatise Scottish Water thus saving the over £200 m it gets annually.
11: Schools vouchers. It should be a matter of shame & is instead a matter of complete disinterest in our media that our schools, for the first time ever, are underperforming southern ones. The long term future of the nation depends heavily on education.
12: Fully automate the Glasgow-Edinburgh train system.
13: Stop subsidising bloody windmills. Apart from the total waste of money we have as beautiful a countryside as anywhere in the world & should stop desecrating it. This would save between £500 m & £1 billion depending on whether we are allowed to end the subsidy to the production of electricity as well as to building the windmills.
14: Scottish X-Prize Foundation. £50 million a year would give us an even chance of gaving a Scottish built orbital plane in 5 years & would certainly attract a significant part of the world's satellite industry (£1 billion a year & growing)
15: Spend the extra money we have saved on improving roads with the exception of
16: £1 billion to cut Scottish income tax by 3p, the full amount allowed. If that doesn't get people wanting to move here nothing will.
There that is what is what the SNP (or Labour or LudDim or most of all the Tories) would do if they honestly intended to do "whatever it takes" to get the economy moving. I don't think anybody can seriously deny that that would, at least, make Scotland easily the most prosperous part of the UK. After all nobody denied it previously & even more previously.
2. Spending could probably be cut by a lot more than 10%, more like 50% or more.
3. ...in principle business should pay something...x
Business already pays something. Dividends are payed to shareholders, and if those shareholders are Scots, then these dividends are taxed as income. Second business already pays property taxes and fees for various permits. The corporate income tax can be abolished without any pangs of conscience.
7. I am normally opposed to subsidies for low tech products. There is a mobile home workshop in neighboring Tempe and the construction methods don't seem all that high tech. The entire site takes up about a residential block and employs men who would otherwise be working in the construction industry. I've seen proposals for advanced manufactured houses, which may be what you are referring to, but I've never seen one built here in AZ.
In fact, it seems that manufactured houses (aka trailers) seem to be using less engineering skill than they used to.
9. Rehab the existing bridge for even less. If necessary, sell the bridge after it has been finished. In fact, it could be possible for the entire Scottish expressway system to be sold. Subscribers would buy a special plate and pay an annual fee or pay by the mile.
13. It's about time.
15. Roads (not local streets) should have their own budget and funding source. A car registration tax could be the source of the funds, meaning that income taxes wouldn't be needed for this.
Of course, if the Scottish state goes bankrupt then most of the idiocy will end. A good portion of the population would be ruined however.
7 - I am too but this is to help reverse a restraint of progress that government has been doing for a century. Building modular homes may not currently be pushing the envelope but it is much more hi-tech than what we are used to.
9 - I think you are right that the present bridge can be & will be re-strung but traffic is increasing & we need more crossing facilities.
15 - Britain does have a car tax which was originally promised to be used for roads. In fact it all foes into the same money pot. Ring fencing particular parts of the budget is a useful reform I hope to get round to after I have been elected dictator & had a couple of years to achieve 9% growth.
Perhaps the best argument for independnce, which the SNP dare not use, is that the possibility of bankruptcy would be very close if those in charge didn't get their act together.
I nearby Tempe the Mill avenue bridge was not torn down when traffic became too much for it. Instead of replacing it a new bridge was built next to it and both are now in use. The old bridge carries southbound traffic, and the new bridge carries northbound traffic. Both bridges are two lanes.
Interestingly, in parts of the valley local governments will actually pave roads right across the dry bed of the Salt and Gila rivers instead of building bridges. About two miles from my house McKellips road runs right across the Gila riverbed. It is a bit unnerving to drive across a normal road and see a sign that says "Gila River" sprouting out of the ground. About twice a year the crossing is blocked off by the county because water has to be released from the dams upstream. When these roads get blocked off, some motorists drive around the barriers and get stuck, for them we have the Stupid Motorists Law.
That reminds me of Oregon. Some areas on the coast receive 300 days of rain a year and are classified as temperate rainforests. The western half of the continental US receives very little rain because 50 miles in from the Pacific coast there is a mountain range blocking the flow of moisture from the ocean. Nevada is so barren that when me and my mother drove across it around New Year's day in 1990 there was nothing, not a tree, a bush or a rock almost to the horizon. Some arts have vegetation, but the southern half is suitable for casinos, whore houses and nuclear waste dumps.
Mesa averages about 8 inches of rain a year that comes in two distinct rainy seasons. The rest of the year is dry, with low humidity, no rain, and generally mild weather. Cloud cover is usually light or nonexistent, causing rural areas to become extremely cool at night. The metro area has so much asphalt though that it stays 10F warmer at night compared to the country.
If Maricopa county can support 4.6 million people on 8'' of rain and water imported from the Colorado river 200 miles away, then the enviromental Death Cult is wrong, we can survive in harsh new climates resulting from Global Warming. And that's assuming that GW even exists.
Sorry for the long comment.
No, demolishing the Rockies would not increase rainfall in Mesa. The Pacific Coast Ranges run along the coast and the Rockies are far inland. In fact I live 500-1000 miles southwest of the main body of the Rockies. As the Rockies head south towards Mexico they get shorter and run along the Arizona-New Mexico border. The foothills of the Rockies west of the AZ-NM border actually supply a good part of the valley's water.
NAWPA would be benefit though. We could support millions in this area.