Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Meet One Salient Oversight... or OSO

My name is Neil Cameron. My internet name is "One Salient Oversight". People have struggled over the years in what to call me. Some call me Salient, some call me Oversight or even "Mr Oversight". No one calls me"One", though. I prefer "OSO" because it is short and you can't mistake the three letters for anything but me, so call me OSO.

I'm 39 years old. I live in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Newcastle is the largest non-capital city in Australia and is locatedabout 160km (100 miles) North of Sydney on Australia's East coast.

I was born and raised in Sydney. I moved to Newcastle in 2000 just before the Sydney Olympics.

My wife is Anna. We married in 1993. She is 38 and is a Social Worker but at the moment is looking after our children and her sick mother (who has cancer and may die in the next 12 months).

My own employment path has been a bit more "interesting". In the late 1980s I worked as a purchasing officer for a company that made high-tech medical ultrasound equipment. In 1992-1993 I went to Sydney Missionary and Bible College and in 1994-1995, I worked as an "apprentice pastor" at our Sydney church. In 1996 I went to Macquarie University to study to become a High School teacher.

Since 2000 I have worked as a "substitute teacher" in Newcastle. Since then Anna and I have had two kids. Aiden (born in December 2000) and Lillian (born in March 2005). We don't plan on having any more.

I am a "self-taught" economist. Whilst at University studying History and English literature I would often sneak off to the library and lookat economic stats.

During my time at university, the Howard government came into power and made some amazing economic changes, most of which I supported. When I left university I was probably more economically and politically conservative than when I entered, despite having leftist lecturers and tutors for that whole time.

After university I began swinging politically and economically to the left, probably as a result of the Howard government's big flaws (racismin the early days followed by persecution of immigrants). Moreover, since 1996 I had created a series of economic ideas that, unbeknownst to me, were actually quite leftist. The more I learned about economics, the more ideas I ditched but the more I came up with. Some, like a zero unemployment idea formulated in 1997, have gone unchallenged by what I have learned since then.

Since that zero unemployment idea I have also formulated a defence of zero inflation monetary policy and created a zero tax system. I read somewhere on the internet that brilliant people don't realise they're brilliant, they just wonder why everyone else is so stupid. I say this because there are only two conclusions I can come to about my economic ideas - I am either so brilliant that I will one day win the Nobel prize in economics, or I am a complete crackpot. I am not, however, so conceited as to rule out that second possibility.

I am a regular "guest contributor" on the "Angry Bear" blogsite, a "left of center" economic and political blog run by real economists. I guess if I was a total crackpot they wouldn't be publishing my articles.

Politically I fall into a "Centre left" category which means that if Iwas in the US I would probably vote for the Democrats but remain an independent voter. To find out more about my basic philosophy, look up"Social Democracy", "Ordoliberalism", "Social Liberalism"and "Social Market Economy" on Wikipedia, all of which give a broad description of my political stance. The political/economic philosophy of "Democratic Socialism" is the line which I won't cross into because I do not see anything at that point or left of it as workable. Socialism andCommunism have been gigantic failures and I wouldn't vote for a party that espouses them.

In essence, I believe that government, as representatives of the people, should create a broad regulatory environment for the market to flourish in without favouring one market/business over another. What the market cannot produce well by itself the government should either help with or replace. I also think that the government should get out of areas that the market can do better. I believe in free trade and I support supranational entities like The EU and UN.

Anyway, I've written too much.

If you are wondering why I've asked an Australian to be a contributor it is because I am interested in the views of others that are not American and live in places where their government system is different from ours. We can read about other governments and how things work but I think it is much more interesting to hear from someone who is actually living within that system about their personal experiences and how it works in their every day life. OSO also seems to have a grasp on other countries other than just Australia and the U.S. Like I do with all of the contributors, I look forward to what he has to say.

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