Its hard at time to generate interest in resolving systemic weaknesses. But consider.
There are those who unknowingly take advantage of systematic weaknesses for their own benefit. These people are not doing wrong knowingly, merely acting on the stage set for them to their best advantage. These people, in a rectified system, will be some of the biggest contributors we have. It takes skill to find the best returns; if similar skill is applied to seeing that the best returns are to the advantage of the community rather than to its disadvantage, all will benefit.
There are those, fewer, that seek out systematic weaknesses for their own benefit. These people knowingly take advantage of opportunities that cause the community loss. We have come to know these people under the grouping ‘the one percent’. These people knowingly and selfishly impose parasitic costs upon the community, and no tolerance for this should be shown. And let me be clear; this is not limited to the rich and powerful, although the costs to the community are there disproportionately higher. The same characteristic applies to those who abuse the welfare system as to those who abuse the land title system. It is the attitude that is characteristic, not the wealth. In a very real sense, the little cheat enables the big cheat to exist within society by establishing the sense that this sort of systemic abuse is common.
At the depths there are those who set out to introduce systematic weaknesses for their own and others benefit, at the cost of the community. These, the ‘point one percent’, impose an insidious cost on the community far beyond their own benefit, for they enable all the parasitic behaviour noted above, intentional and unintentional. There is a term we associate with these sort of actions – ‘big’. Big government, Big business, Big environment, Big welfare. ‘Big’ as a descriptive term in this sense engenders a sense of access, of privilege, of undue influence; far more than simply size. In fact it is quite possible to be large in scale without being ‘big’ in nature. But that very scale offers opportunities that are not available to smaller players. The possibility of changing the rules to your advantage becomes more significant and less costly than simply competing.
It comes down to this. Poor systems lead to distorted outcomes. Distorted outcomes lead to profitable opportunities. Profiting from distorted outcomes results in parasitic loads on the community, and everybody suffers.
It has been estimated that the distortion in the real estate market due to the faults in the system we have cuts growth by somewhere between 1 and 2 percent a year. Every year. Not much? That is a doubling in a generation. And the changes being proposed to the rating system may well last that long or longer; we’ve had the current system for a lot longer than that. Look around you and consider that if your parents had fixed the system when they were your age, the wealth of the community you are in would be double what it is now.
1 to 2 percent isn’t much. Unless it happens year in, year out, as systems do. Systems matter.