It's the economy, stupid!

 
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
any goods are only worth what they will sell for.  Housing, cars, whitegoods and electrical equipment is where most people will haggle with new items.  With second had goods it's always fair game and the rarer or more individual the item the harder it is to compare against others to determine trends
HardWorkingMan
I used to have arguments all the time with my old man about what the value of something might be. For example, he would say that a collectable car was worth $30,000 but I'd point out that if you advertised extensively and the most you could get was $20,000 then its real value was only twenty grand - it doesn't matter that you think it should be worth thirty. There's also the insured value which is how much it might cost for you to find the exact same thing but as you say they do factor into that the degree of difficulty in finding a specific item on the second-hand market, which is why 'insured' values are a bit more.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Colin Barnett's government has decided that they can't rush through the fire sale of Western Power before the next state election as their preferred model is a float and it will take a while to organise (WA Today); they have also stipulated that only a maximum of 49% can be sold to foreign investors. I guess they've done this for political reasons in the wake of the refusal to allow the NSW government to sell Ausnet to Chinese quasi-government interests.

Also interesting to see today that the baby formula Chinese export gold rush might be coming to an end for Australian dairy companies - Tasmanian produced Bellamy's Infant Formula failed to meet expectations for sales on the Chinese Single's Day last month and their shares have plummeted 44% in the wake of more bad news today that Chinese officials will further tighten and regulate imports in order to strengthen their own domestic production (News.com.au). I guess it was to be expected in the longer term, even though we have a so-called "free trade" agreement with China in reality there's no such thing as an open market.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The Aussie economic officially shrinks for the first time since the GFC (ABC News), with a sharp contraction in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.5% in the September quarter. Apparently a recent turnaround in iron ore and coal prices wasn't enough to turn it around with a steep decline in building approvals and business activity being blamed for the bad result.

We are on our way to the official definition of recession now - we only need another quarter of negative growth to be there. Perhaps the Reserve Bank could hold an emergency meeting and cut interest rates yet again - looks like they were too complacent to leave rates on hold yesterday until their next meeting in February?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Too funny, the economy shrinks and all that Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison can do is pull a Sargent Schultz and ask us collectively to "see nuthink..." (ABC). Scott Morrison says that people who think that we might be headed for a recession are "alarmist" while Malcolm would much rather talk about whether or not Australia should 'ban the burka' (News.com.au). As a point of fact, Malcolm calls the shrinking GDP a "bump in the road" and that "...it's up to us to decide if it's going to be a pothole or a cliff". Really, Malcolm - I thought it was up to you and Scott Morrison - aren't you in charge?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting article on the use of 457 visas in the IT industry, further to Hardworkingman's observations about the industry - by Bob Kinnaird. Australian graduates from our institutions in Information Technology are experiencing very poor outcomes with only 67% finding any kind of work on graduating in 2015 - down from 87% in 2008 - and the flow of overseas workers into that industry has increased enormously in that time.

I didn't realise but the IT industry constitutes the largest group of 457's issued in Australia and by and large they are from India and are paid (on average) much less than Australians - as Hardworkingman observed earlier. And there is also no labour market testing of any occupations where the workers come from a country that we have a "free-trade" agreement with (China, South Korea, Japan) - so employers are free to import as many workers as they wish from those countries... and we are currently in the process of negotiating a "free-trade" agreement with India so you can only guess what will happen to the IT graduates from Australian institutions once that happens.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
For another view on 457s and FTAs

https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/chafta/fact-sheets/Documents/chafta-myths-versus-realities.pdf
arctic
Yeah but the official line is that nobody is underpaid on 457's and clearly that's not the case - that's not an anecdote, I've personally seen it happen and there's plenty of evidence that it's endemic and not just small hospitality concerns (7/11, Caltex). Why should I believe the DFAT official propaganda when they clearly don't police the existing system?

Show me evidence that the existing laws are being regularly enforced without prejudice and across all sectors and I'll have cause to change my mind.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Further to the above, ABC's Fact Check completely debunks those DFAT claims about labour market testing - which is a sham process anyway.

This is one issue where the unions are a hundred percent correct, CHAFTA is going to slaughter Australian jobs - especially trades professions on large foreign-owned and operated projects.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Just another view Don....since you have evidence then maybe take it to the media or authorities?
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
I can tell you from experience that companies are using 457 visas to push down wages and conditions in the IT industry.  I currently do casual work for 4 IT companies. I have an agreed rate with them  They offer 457 visa works $15 an hour or $16 if they set up their own company (and take on the responsibility for super, liability insuances etc).  This is for people with degrees and higher qualifications

The minimum wage is around $20 per hour.  These companies see no issue with you traveling 180km each way to do an hour or two's work. at $15 an hour it doesn't even cover fuel let alone parking or put anything in my pocket for labour.  I have set a rate that I won't go under but it means I only get work when the cheaper labour isn't available. The rate varies depending whether I can claim travel or not (time or km) and how far away it is.  After all there is no point working if I lose money out of my pocket on the deal.

In any case unless you set up a company at that low rate they don't pay your super as they ensure you less than $450 a month when they are forced to actually contribute it to your fund however the hourly rate they quote you includes super so it looks better than it really is
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Just another view Don....since you have evidence then maybe take it to the media or authorities?
arctic
Arctic - what's the point, you'll just get obfuscation and denial. If there was any kind of official level investigation the result would be the same as Kelly O'Dwyer's investigation into foreigners illegally buying housing... "we don't know ... but then again we really don't want to know".

The thing that annoys me the most is that the Labor Party, formerly the party of the working class, doesn't seem to give a damn at all... it's as if their core constituency doesn't exist any longer.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I wonder if we are going to have a Trump-induced trade war with China sooner than we think... the President-elect was on Fox News on the weekend explaining why he took the phone call from the Taiwanese President:

“I mean, look,” he continued, “we’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation; with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don’t tax them; with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing; and frankly, with not helping us at all with North Korea.”

All of that is true of course, but I'm not sure that the newly-aggressive realpolitik stance is going to win him any friends in Beijing. And where will that leave us with our own foreign policy... somewhere in between the ANZUS treaty with several US-military installations on-shore on the one hand and our new-best-friends in the People's Republic on the other...? I think we're about to be wedged, good and proper.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I wonder if we are going to have a Trump-induced trade war with China sooner than we think... the President-elect was on Fox News on the weekend explaining why he took the phone call from the Taiwanese President:

“I mean, look,” he continued, “we’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation; with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don’t tax them; with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing; and frankly, with not helping us at all with North Korea.”

All of that is true of course, but I'm not sure that the newly-aggressive realpolitik stance is going to win him any friends in Beijing. And where will that leave us with our own foreign policy... somewhere in between the ANZUS treaty with several US-military installations on-shore on the one hand and our new-best-friends in the People's Republic on the other...? I think we're about to be wedged, good and proper.
don_dunstan
But can China afford to have a trade war with the U.S?  Will they back-off if threatened with big tariffs?

Nevertheless, grab some popcorn....
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
The US cant do without China . Look at Walmart , same as our shops where everything has a made in china label on it . There is so much chinese junk flooding the market  , look at  their intermodal trains running out of the west coast ports ,  mainly one way traffic as the containers  do not go back as empty  , it's down to the scrapper to get  cut up. One trip & gone back to china or india as scrap metal . American factories  pay very low wages & its  slave like conditions they work under . Same with most other low paid workers   long hours & no incentive to try to get a higher position .


Some of us may not like unions but  we have to have them to look after the lower class of workers who exist on meagre wages . The slave trade is still alive & doing a flourishing business over there . We saw farm workers living in junked cars  or tin shantys when we visited Florida a few years ago . Away from the tourist areas it is another world compared with what we have in Oz for unskilled workers .



 Cheers    wally .
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
My experience on 457s is from the employer side up to 2013. Firstly we were unsuccessful to recruit locally to get the skills. This took 3 months min. Then we could do a 457. Salary was the same either way.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Gosh that was fast - infant formula maker Bellamy's has today gone into a trading halt to try and stop the plunging share price (ABC News). It's unlikely that the company itself is in any sort of financial trouble but the projections of only a few months ago showing 300%+ increases in sales are really quite unlikely to be met now - blamed in part on newly-announced import restrictions but also changes in Chinese consumer's tastes.

Could Blackmores and A2 be the next casualties?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
But can China afford to have a trade war with the U.S?  Will they back-off if threatened with big tariffs?

Nevertheless, grab some popcorn....
Carnot

The US cant do without China . Look at Walmart , same as our shops where everything has a made in china label on it ...
wally-wowser1
The United States has a much more diversified economy than ours, they could probably survive better without China than we could. However China also has a lot invested in the United States, both debt and asset-wise. If there is a substantial unwinding of the wonderful border-less money system that we've cultivated since the 1980's then it will be interesting to see what actually happens... as Carnot says, grab some popcorn, it's gunna be an interesting ride...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

A friend just sold his house for about $100K over reserve last weekend in an outer-eastern suburb of Melbourne the day before it was to go to auction.  Madness!

And yet outside of Melbourne you can still pick up heaps of bargains since the market is as flat as a tack.  Move to the country, people!
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Good article on the ABC website today: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-13/the-recession-we-are-already-in/8113052

This stood out to me:
"Anecdotally, I can tell you that university lecturers are warning graduates that it may take some time for them to find work, and that settling for an internship (no pay) or something less secure might be a better option for a while.
I understand the final year of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney, currently has an overflow of around 100 students. The same is also true for many law courses."

Too many wannabe hipster architects and Ally McBeal's....
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Good article on the ABC website today: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-13/the-recession-we-are-already-in/8113052

This stood out to me:
"Anecdotally, I can tell you that university lecturers are warning graduates that it may take some time for them to find work, and that settling for an internship (no pay) or something less secure might be a better option for a while.
I understand the final year of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney, currently has an overflow of around 100 students. The same is also true for many law courses."

Too many wannabe hipster architects and Ally McBeal's....
Carnot
A firm in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, that specialises in placing part-time workers tells me business is booming.


From the article linked above.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It's official, the $100 note is doomed.

The Financial Review is reporting today that the Turnbull government will create a "cash economy" taskforce headed by KPMG executive Michael Andrew, and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer has already confirmed that the $100 note is in their sights:

“We’ve got three times as many $100 notes in circulation as $5 notes and we’ve got about $30 billion worth of $100 notes in circulation at a time when increasingly we have people more and more using electronic payment systems,” she said.

“It does beg the question ‘why’ and that’s something the black economy taskforce will focus on."

As I have said before, I think the renewed interest in removing cash from the economy is really more about forcing people to use banking systems and services more than trying to stamp out illicit drug money or welfare fraud; we have a former Goldman Sachs exec as our CEO after all.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I haven't even sighted a $100 note for aeons. But then, I hardly ever use cash for anything really.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
It's all to do with control  The RBA has control over money as it is in the banks but not when it is circulating as cash.  Earlier this year they forced banks to change term deposits so you can only get them out on the due date or after 31 days notice if you are in financial hardship.  I tried to close one off to pay some unexpected repair bills  after the company I was working for closed but as the credit cards were not maxed out and we hadn't missed any credit card payments we were deemed to not be in financial hardship - the fact we then had to use credit cards to buy groceries and then pay interest on that as we couldn't access our money didn't count.

so much for teaching people to take financial responsibility for yourself Sad
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
It's official, the $100 note is doomed.

The Financial Review is reporting today that the Turnbull government will create a "cash economy" taskforce headed by KPMG executive Michael Andrew, and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer has already confirmed that the $100 note is in their sights:

“We’ve got three times as many $100 notes in circulation as $5 notes and we’ve got about $30 billion worth of $100 notes in circulation at a time when increasingly we have people more and more using electronic payment systems,” she said.

“It does beg the question ‘why’ and that’s something the black economy taskforce will focus on."

As I have said before, I think the renewed interest in removing cash from the economy is really more about forcing people to use banking systems and services more than trying to stamp out illicit drug money or welfare fraud; we have a former Goldman Sachs exec as our CEO after all.
don_dunstan
Not arguing in favour of the cash economy but if removal of $100 bills is the government's solution to our problems we are going to be in even more trouble in the future than we are at the moment if this childish solution is the only answer that Turnbull and Co. can come up with. Do they really believe that it will stop people simply using twice the number of $50 bills?
Bloody pathetic.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The intent is to criminalise cash usage, starting with the higher value notes. Cash is a problem as the merest hint of banking system insolvency means lines out the door. Removing higher value notes from circulation is part of the strategy of both maintaining the viability of a rigged system, and pushing more people into it against their will.

There can be no bank runs if there is no cash to withdraw. Electronic transfers can be blocked. Banking holidays weren't originally just a day off. They were a day to restructure debt and hide the skeletons whilst peoples lives and savings hung in the balance.

And as for cash. Well, clearly anyone who uses it must be  portrayed as a criminal, part of the black economy, and not paying their share of ransom money to the govt of the day. Hence the vilification.

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