Socially Innovative and Socially Responsible Commerce Examination Essay

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Socially Innovative and Socially Responsible Commerce: Examination of Carbon Tax in Australia

In a November 8th 2011 report in the Australian Times it is reported that as the final hurdle to carbon emission tax was cleared by the Federal Government of Australia, "Prime Minister Julia Gillard avoided saying the passage of the controversial impost would mark a turning point in Labor's fortunes." It is related that a new polled demonstrated "a modest uptick in its primary support." (Australian Times, 2011) The new tax is geared toward a reduction in carbon emissions in theory however; it is likely that the carbon tax is in reality more focused on government receipts in terms of its revenue. This issue will be examined through the lens of theorists Senge (2000) and the Dynamics of Systems, Jenkins (2008) and value and identities, and Beinhocker (2006) theories and global commerce.

Carbon Tax in Australia: An Overview

It was reported in August 2011 that Carbon Tax would result in the destruction of commerce in Australia. Lord Mohckton stated that the carbon tax passage would make Australia "just another third world banana monarchy without even bananas with the prices they've been charging for those at your local supermarket already." (Australian Times, 2011) Mohckton stated that Australia did not need the carbon tax. (Australian Times, 2011, paraphrased) The report relates clearly the worry of Australians about this tax and it is noted that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had promised during her campaign that there would be no carbon tax were she to be elected. In yet another June 2011 report it is related that Holden's managing director, Mike Devereux stated that the proposed carbon tax would make operations costs higher and held that there was need to be a co-investment scheme introduced to cut some of the costs. While emissions need to be reduced there is a need for a public-private partnership of some type for the purpose negotiation. There's no question that we have to reduce emissions & #8230; but there has to be some public-private (Australian Times, 2011, paraphrased) Devereux stated that there is a need in Australia for 'smart industry policy', which was present in the government policy in the past referring to the Green Car Innovation Fund ended by the government in January 2011. Devereux additionally stated that the Australian government is well aware of the requirement of "investment certainty" for automobile and other manufacturers due to the "long lead times and new model cycles." (Australian Times, 2011)

II. The Result of Australian Carbon Taxes

The result of Australian Carbon Taxes is beginning to be reported and in the most recent report by the National Greenhouse and Energy Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency it is stated that Australia's largest 430 carbon dioxide emitters will have to pay "…the full price of the $23 a ton carbon tax which comes into effect on July 1, minus any assistance provided by the government. Their final liabilities will also depend on other factors such as corporate structure." (Australian Times, 2012) The carbon tax bill stated for the top 50 carbon dioxide emitters is an approximate $7.3 billion and the top ten carbon dioxide emitters will be liable for an approximate amount of $7.3 billion less assistance and other changes in the emissions reported. (Australian Times, 2012, paraphrased) It is reported that the largest carbon dioxide emitters for the years 2010 and 2011 are as follows:

(1) Macquarie Generation,

(2) Delta Electricity,

(3) Great Energy Alliance Corporation,

(4) International Power and (5) TRUEnergy Holdings." (Australian Times, 2012)

The report states that the government has proffered assistance programs to the industries that are the worse hit which includes such as makers of steel and aluminum as well as cement companies and refiners of petroleum. (Australian Times, 2012, paraphrased) It was related by climate change minister in his speech to the parliament that many of these businesses would have a reduction of carbon tax from $23 to $1.30 per ton. Additionally stated in the report is the beginning of regulations that will serve to establish "the Jobs and Competitiveness Program under the government's clean energy laws. The program would provide significant assistance to help emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries manage the impact of the carbon price, while maintaining incentives for them to reduce their carbon pollution." (Australian Times, 2012)

IV. Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking is the foundation of the field of system dynamics, which was founded by MIT professor Jay Forrester in 1956. Systems' thinking has been found to be valuable in the following areas:

(1) complex type problems that are in the areas of providing assistance in enabling all parties to see the overall picture rather than only part of the picture;

(2) problems that reoccur and those that have been worsened by past attempts in applying ineffective solutions;

(3) issues where the action affects the environment or where the action is affected by the environment; and (4) problems for which there is not an obvious solution. (Aronson, 1998, p.1)

Systems thinking can be defined as "an umbrella term for various approaches to acknowledge the complex and feedback-intensive nature." (Luoma, 2007, p.281) According to Ralph D. Stacey et al. there are two possible problems underlying the assumptions held in systems thinking as follows:

(1) Individuals have the ability to make choices about their goals as well as their actions by stepping aside from the system they are part of;

(2) An individual becomes enslaved to their personally held mental models and it is this that determines the individual's behavior in their environment;

V. Identity and Interests

Identification of social institutions can be accomplished in part by examining the interests of the social organization and as noted by Jenkins (1998) it is almost impossible to distinguish between interests and identity. The way in which the individual identifies themselves is a good indicator of their interests. The pursuit of specific interests on the part of the individual might result in their being identified in one way or in yet another. Jenkins additionally sates as follows:

"So, while identi-cation may be connected to motivation and behavior, the connection is not straightforward or predictable; which suggests that identity matters when Rogers Brubaker, for example, insists that ethnicity is a cognitive matter, of classification and categorization." (Jenkins, 1998, p.7)

According to Jenkins:

"Identi-cation is, at the very least, consequential and reciprocally entailed in the speci-cation and pursuit of individual and collective interests: in practice, interest and identity claims are closely intertwined. What I want is in some sense shaped by my sense of who I am. On the other hand, in clarifying my interests I may sometimes begin to redefine my sense of self. But there remains for me a fundamental distinction between my objectives that do not threaten my identity and those that do." (Goldstein and Rayner 1994: 367 -- 368 in Jenkins, 1998, p.7)

Senge's system thinking is such that provides a tool that can be utilized in the thinking process and subsequent to make sense of what is going on in one's world. "(Luoma, 2007, paraphrased)

VI. Organizational Characteristics and Members

Jenkins states that organizations are both formal and informal in nature and that the size of organizations is varied as well as are the levels of complexity. Member of organizations are not always clear and there are norms and customs connected to behavior within groups insofar as group procedure and rules and in group goals. These may be obvious or they may be unobvious. Even with turnover the group will continue to function. According to Jenkins, the influence of organizations is such that affects the "identities of non-members through categorization during the allocateion of resources and penalties." (p. 1998, p.198) Identification and allocation are reported to be "mutually entailed in each other. Identity is consequential in terms of allocation: how you are identified may influence what, and how much, you get. Allocation is part of the process that generates identification: being deprived of or given access to particular resources is likely to color the individual sense of what it means to be an X or a Y." (Jenkins, 1998, p.199) An experience that is shared in being treated in specific ways is stated to Jenkins to have the potential to "generate a sense of collectivity where none existed before.' (Jenkins, 1998, p. 199) According to Jenkins, identification is "consequential in everyday life. It is in those consequences that what an identification means -- whether individually or collectively -- is generated. Consequences vary from place to place, and epoch to epoch, but in those consequences the virtualities of identification emerge." (Jenkins, 1998, p.199) The way in which individuals categorize one another is reported to be "as much a part of our subject matter as self-identification. Categorization makes a powerful contribution to the everyday reality of groups. Who we think we are is intimately related to who we think others are, and vice versa. Categorization also makes an important contribution to the distribution of resources and penalties, and is central to both conflict…

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