According to the SMH, Gerry Harvey is ambivalent about whether he ought to comment on the GST tax issue. The problem is he is weigh out of his depth. He needs to stop talking, start listening and thinking. When he realises that he has handled his internet strategy poorly, he ought to apologise to shareholders for costing them wealth. He might argue he did his best, but then for a few character reasons arising from this tax issue, its apparent he is not displaying the critical thinking skills required of a CEO. It is a reflection on our education system. Maybe money just came too easy in a government-sponsored boom. Oh well, I guess that will make the recession all the more painful for some.
A word of wisdom Mr Harvey....taxation is personal. There are a lot of people frustrated with democracy because their lives don't matter to those in power. Each of us are important; most of all to ourselves. Why should be live for the sake of others. Why should we underwrite the values of others. When you effectively sanction a system of government based on coercion, you place yourself in the firing line. In the public eye, you cannot afford to be morally ambivalent. The fact that you have 'easy access' to the government because you have more money just makes you a man of little principle because you make use of that access, not in defense of any principle, but because you want to make more money.
Here is your problem - you advocated 'fairness' in the tax system. Sorry, but that does not compete. There is no question of fairness when you are talking about slavery. We are all slaves to a government through the tax system which gives us token political rights, and yet denies us economic rights, for which political rights mean nothing. Why would a government want to persecute me politically, when they can seize assets and freeze bank accounts. Even wealthy people like Paul Hogan have experienced it. He had restraining order issued against him so he could not leave the country. He is standing up for himself, but all you wealthy idiots fail to see that other taxpayers are victims too. He sues the government who are funded by taxpayers. You want to cut your tax. Where do you think the government will get the difference.
What you call that is 'moral cowardice' or moral indifference. You are indifferent about whether the government increases taxes or reduces them. Its a silly position. The position you should be taking is:
1. Government should cut spending
2. Government should adopt user pays
3. Government should privatise/out-source all executive functions
That is the moral way to conduct yourself. No coercion; respect for your fellow man. It would be great if you could argue more, but more would be out of your educational qualifications, and you probably don't have time for tutors. Understandable, 200 years ago aristocrats employed thinking intellectuals to raise their children and to develop policy. Today, who do you depend on? Salespeople and the government-funded academics, who are more detached from reality than CEOs who cannot think critically/conceptually.
So now you are going to step back from the campaign....and work behind the scenes, seeking government favours (i.e. extortion). You are no statesman. Another measly man hanging off the coattails of politicians.
You know very well the government is not going to scrap the GST. You ought to be campaigning for cuts in spending. God knows most of the money is a waste anyway. Solar programs when in 5 years solar technology will be 50% more efficiency. Silly policy, to which you seemingly remain indifferent. What exactly is your goal in life. The acquisition of more money so some parasitical government can extort it from you. What is the point? Find the best of yourself so a government can sink to its worst, knowing it has extorted wealth from yourself and others.
You find such comments hateful? Its not hate? Its frustration. Frustration that leaders don't think beyond the dollars. Knowing they are so psychologically repressed, they don't even realise the importance of the human mind. Aristocrats 200 years ago grasped more than you. Leaders like yourself have silently continued making money for what? So some government can take it away, as the Labor government is currently scheming away to take the miner's wealth with the Resource Rent Tax. Can you integrate these ideas sir? Or would you prefer to repress? At least Andrew Forrest had the courage to see the error of his ways with respect to the Mineral Resource Tax. The greater shame is that you, as a owner-CEO have more to lose than the idiots at Rio Tinto and BHP who initially 'negotiated' with the deceitful Labor government.
I'd change your values sir, or you will be losing a lot of customers. We don't have to worry about your employees, as we have a welfare state, a very profitable mining industry, solid job growth, offering higher profit margins than your uncertain future. Your 'showroom' style retailing is the past. Only the grandmas will miss you.
Hiding behind small retailers will not help your position. Facts are more important than perceptions; at least they should be. Pity you are true to the worst elements of your craft - sales. Faking reality. You don't extricate yourself so easily from such a position. You either stand proud and confident or you apologise prefusely. You have lost your sales skills. Bad sale man!
Gerry Harvey: "That's not in my nature to run away - I'll stand up and fight".
Here is your problem. Stand and fight for what? Check your premises and you might just realise your were wrong.
Gerry Harvey: "If I think something is right I'll fight for it, always have. If it's wrong or I've been proved wrong I'll walk away and I'll apologise".
I would hurry up if I was you. Principled, honest men make decisions on a dim. Dishonest ones bluster and relentlessly drag it out for years. Dishonest men cause wars; honest men avoid them. Being self-righteous is going to cost you a lot of money. Remember, you have more to lose. Principles are practical - believe it or not - you just have to invest in facts and principles, as opposed to political pull, perceptions and smarmy sales talk. The problem is - you have to realise you are fighting the wrong battle.