It's the economy, stupid!

 
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
People have less cash in their pockets, period.

Graduates are in hock for their degrees.
Car buyers sign up to financing to push the car market to over a million a year.
Home owners are in debt for longer than their parents and grandparents.

Throw on cost of living pressures which the abs assures us is only a few per cent per year. (!) My suspicion is debt financed consumer spending is largely exhausted. More income is devoted to debt service than is disposable.

"they're being ripped off by extortionate gas and electricity prices"

Governments are pandering to their big ticket supporters and the environmental lobby by declining to approve what used to be known as baseload coal fired power stations, and allowing companies to export our gas offshore for profits.

There is no longer any concept of serving electorate needs, if there ever was. There is only the imperative to win votes at the next election and retain power. This is best done by passing favourable industrial legislation that supports your key sponsor objectives. Otherwise, their helpful donations to your party will cease. Hans Herman Hoppe was right: Democracy is a god that has failed.

So what next?

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
People have less cash in their pockets, period.

Graduates are in hock for their degrees.
Car buyers sign up to financing to push the car market to over a million a year.
Home owners are in debt for longer than their parents and grandparents.

Throw on cost of living pressures which the abs assures us is only a few per cent per year. (!) My suspicion is debt financed consumer spending is largely exhausted. More income is devoted to debt service than is disposable.
locojoe67
My assumption has always been that this is what's at the end game for the Thatcherites; that it will reach a point where the public can't possibly assume any more debt and then it will be all downhill. The key sign is the fact that interest rates are still at record post-WWII lows and yet mortgage stress is hitting nearly a million Aussie households - if people aren't coping with interest rates this low then you have to assume the whole thing will tank if they ever start raising them... if they ever do that is.
Governments are pandering to their big ticket supporters and the environmental lobby by declining to approve what used to be known as baseload coal fired power stations, and allowing companies to export our gas offshore for profits. There is no longer any concept of serving electorate needs, if there ever was. There is only the imperative to win votes at the next election and retain power. This is best done by passing favourable industrial legislation that supports your key sponsor objectives. Otherwise, their helpful donations to your party will cease. Hans Herman Hoppe was right: Democracy is a god that has failed. So what next?
locojoe67
The gas thing is just gob-smacking - we actually don't get any royalties for the sale of our gas overseas at a fraction of the price we pay for it here and to add insult to injury they also don't pay any tax (as discussed earlier). Meanwhile we aren't allowed to build any coal fired power stations because of demands from the crazy green lobby and the result is more off-shoring of jobs, the most expensive domestic electricity in the world and an unreliable gas supply - despite the fact that we OWN the resource. Can you imagine Menzies or John McEwan allowing this to happen? In the past we actually had leaders who looked after the people who elected them to serve - now they serve the people who grease their palms before and after politics.

I don't think democracy has failed per se but I think we need to storm the Bastille and take the government back by installing people in there who actually look after our interests as Australians rather than serving some nebulous 'free-trade' agenda (Truffles is still banging on about how it's good for us and the fact that he wants to push ahead with the TPP) or allow key assets to be sold to foreigners because we need the cash. Look at the Chinese, they'd never allow a foreign entity to buy up their key assets yet that's exactly what we're allowing them to do to us.

The only solution I can see is to vote for the people that will actually shake up the system - which is why I have voted for Pauline and Nick Xenophon in recent years. People get upset when I tell them that I've given Pauline my vote and frankly she does make lots of mistakes but I don't consider that I have any other choice.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Four Corners tonight will be interesting.  The whole "Paradise Papers" leak looks like it's revealing a where a whole lot of cash of the rich and famous is stashed to minimize/evade/avoid tax.  It's an old and well known tactic...

I had to laugh when I saw Justin Trudeau's name mentioned!  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41877065

They're all in on it.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
McGrath Real Estate plunges to new lows after the announcement of lower than expected earnings - currently down to $0.50 after the dizzying float highs of over $2 (ABC);

The company also said, in a statement to the market, its results were also impacted by "lower volumes of listings in most markets we serve" and "lower agent numbers".

Unless market conditions improve, McGrath's board is not expecting its pre-tax earnings to exceed $16.6 million — which is the full-year estimate provided by stockbroking firm Bell Potter.

But in order to reach that target, the company foreshadowed it would need to "make significant cost cuts that may not be in the best interests of the business in the long term".

Sounds like it was exactly the wrong time for a float of a Sydney-based real estate firm and that the people who put their money in are unlikely to ever get it back.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Years back I considered growth industries to be labor hire, OH&S and health care.
Appears that creative/grubby/slimey accounting is the way to go.
And no I've never paid more tax than required, but as a PAYG earner, options are limited. Mega bucks would be paid to some forensic accounting boffin to examine all and every avenue to avoid a tax liability, all of which is tax deductible.

Will view 4 corners tonight with interest. Thanks for the heads up Carnot.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...People get upset when I tell them that I've given Pauline my vote and frankly she does make lots of mistakes but I don't consider that I have any other choice.
don_dunstan
I'm sure people aren't upset Smile  They might think you naïve for believing that woman and the likes of Trump are worth supporting.

Saying what 'disaffected' people want to hear may get you elected but the world won't return to the 1960's. Anyone who thinks that way is a sucker.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
...People get upset when I tell them that I've given Pauline my vote and frankly she does make lots of mistakes but I don't consider that I have any other choice.
I'm sure people aren't upset Smile  They might think you naïve for believing that woman and the likes of Trump are worth supporting.

Saying what 'disaffected' people want to hear may get you elected but the world won't return to the 1960's. Anyone who thinks that way is a sucker.
Groundrelay
I'm not looking to go back to a world of the sixties, I'm looking to go back to world where resources are distributed more evenly instead of being sold overseas for literally NOTHING, for no advantage to Australians - while we suffer under the highest electricity prices in the world. Ridiculous.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
And the fact is that Pauline is the only one who is actually talking sense on the great gas give-away, insisting that the gas pirates should actually have to pay royalties on our gas as they do in every other gas-exporting nation (WA Today);

Pauline Hanson wants the federal government to introduce a 10 per cent royalty on the wellhead value of natural gas, but the industry's peak lobby group says it is a "bad idea at the worst possible time"... "We have a mountain of debt our children can never repay. We can no longer afford to be Treasure Island for other nations," she said.

"It's time to lighten the load on taxpayers and get multinationals to pay for our gas."

The only reason the Petroleum Institute is against it is because they've cleverly structured things to advantage themselves with aggressive tax planning and they want things as they are - they have hundreds of billions yet to write off on the expenses list with their terminals (which is why they're paying nothing at the moment). Pauline is simply saying they should be paying something on every litre of LNG they're exporting instead of nothing.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I'm sure people aren't upset Smile  They might think you naïve for believing that woman and the likes of Trump are worth supporting.
Groundrelay
Don't you think what she said about gas royalties is eminently sensible - or will you keep voting for the Greens who want us to all live in mud yurts and poo into a hole in the ground?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting to read that with the purges happening at the moment in Saudi Arabia that the blow-back could affect lots of western companies where the House of Saud royals had money invested. Among those arrested has been multi-billionaire Prince Alwaleed whose holding companies are invested in many prominent multinationals including Twitter, Citigroup, Apple and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Prince Alwaleed has been a long time Rupert Murdoch friend and supporter and has voted to keep him in charge in the past; according to the Sydney Morning Herald:

Three years ago the Murdochs came within a few million votes – a wafer thin margin by corporate standards – of their fellow shareholders voting to unwind its dual class share structure, which allows the Murdochs to control the company via their tight grip on the voting stock... [Prince Alwaleed voted to retain the Murdoch special 'dual class share' power structure over News Corp]. Now it just happens that 21st Century Fox is holding its annual shareholder meeting next Thursday, and one of the items on the agenda is a vote to unwind the dual class share structure.

As of December 31, 2015, Prince Alwaleed's group owned 5 per cent of 21st Century Fox.

If the Prince no longer controls this stake, or has not voted on it yet, the voting result could be cataclysmic for Rupert.

Incredibly bad timing for poor Rupert but then again at 86 maybe it's time he retired from trying to influence global politics and took up gardening with his supermodel wife Jerry Hall? I suppose power is the ultimate aphrodisiac...
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
I'm sure people aren't upset Smile  They might think you naïve for believing that woman and the likes of Trump are worth supporting.
Don't you think what she said about gas royalties is eminently sensible - or will you keep voting for the Greens who want us to all live in mud yurts and poo into a hole in the ground?
don_dunstan
Talk is cheap. It’s pretty clear a vote for her is simply a vote for an increasingly reactionary Liberal Party.

Mind you that habitual political gold-digger is the gift that keeps on giving. Launching that Battler Bus with Champaign! Razz

P.S. I have never voted Green as many of its policies are too OTT. Not a great believer in piddle-down-on-them economics though.
You believe supporting those from the Adolf side of politics will somehow make your life better. As a student of history, you may be right. Those of the right racial profile probably were better off. Plenty of them were more than willing to put his policies into effect. Was it worth it?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Talk is cheap. It’s pretty clear a vote for her is simply a vote for an increasingly reactionary Liberal Party.
Groundrelay
I read Margot Kingston's book about her 1998 campaign and I felt quite sorry for her, she was exploited by anyone and everyone including the far right and the Liberal Party themselves. Tony Abbott orchestrated her being thrown into jail, something that was definitely wrong. But she certainly appears to have learned a lot from that experience and this time around she has a cogent message and has developed some actual policies - she's also dumped lots of the unnecessary stuff like the racism and homophobia, in fact she even has support amongst some of the Aboriginal communities in QLD because she took the fight to Canberra about the cronyism going on with the land trusts etc. She has cleverly broadened her appeal but I think a lot of people still want to tar her with the right wing reactionary brush because it suits their agenda - what she does need to do is to focus on making her policy positions firmly known and to also make sure that she selects appropriate people to represent her political party - she still lacks the discipline and/or proper advice to make it work like an actual political party.

She made an excellent speech in the Senate a few weeks ago about the fact that we simply don't have the money or resources to maintain the existing turbo-charged immigration program that is overflowing Sydney and Melbourne and yet not one mainstream media outlet reported on it. She also spoke about the need to ensure that we looked after programs like Medicare and Centrelink because we are giving family reunion and parental visas away too cheaply and it's going to be huge drain on our economy as these people age - which is bang on the money, she's a hundred percent right. Why does nobody report on this - because there's a loose agreement between the dominant political and media forces to keep her marginalised?
Mind you that habitual political gold-digger is the gift that keeps on giving. Launching that Battler Bus with Champaign!
Groundrelay
No - I think she's one person who is definitely not there for the money.
P.S. I have never voted Green as many of its policies are too OTT. Not a great believer in piddle-down-on-them economics though. You believe supporting those from the Adolf side of politics will somehow make your life better. As a student of history, you may be right. Those of the right racial profile probably were better off. Plenty of them were more than willing to put his policies into effect. Was it worth it?
Groundrelay
Oh dear, you're not really going to invoke Hitler are you? Some of Pauline's policies are simply old-fashioned protectionist along the lines of Jack McEwan's National Party of old, I think that's probably who she has most in common with in terms of Aussie history. Frankly if I could vote for Jack McEwan (or Chifley, Curtin... even Menzies was practically a benevolent socialist by modern Thatcherite standards) I probably would, but we don't have that option in 2017, instead we get these stupid so-called "free market" idiots who are determined to drive our once great nation right into the ground and they are permeating both sides of the house so you don't really have a choice. Bipartisan idiocy.

We really need Pauline right now, believe me. If the only choice was to vote LNP/Labor/Greens I would probably throw my vote in the bin and just refuse to participate - I'm one of the disenfranchised who doesn't believe in our system any longer because it's become so infested with parasites trying to set themselves and their mates up for life. The fact that the dominant political hierarchy is popping a vein over her (all of them) should show you that Pauline is in danger of destroying the oligarchy that has become so very entrenched in Aussie politics. Do you have any other ideas for trying to turn this thing around? I don't.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Our contemporary crony capitalism is not a free market. Not when protectionist legislation ensures small to medium businesses will never threaten the established status quo in almost every industry.

The occasional disruptors like airbnb or uber invariably get regulated ("for the public interest") and end up looking very similar to the previously dominant industry players. With pricing to match.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
"we simply don't have the money or resources to maintain the existing turbo-charged immigration program that is overflowing Sydney and Melbourne and yet not one mainstream media outlet reported on it."

The keynesian growth narrative is all we have. High immigration and 457 visas are justified on the basis that we aren't re-populating 'enough' to support the constant consumist economic growth paradigm. To question it, and the accompanying immigration levels, is to encourage accusations of racism, and xenophobic nationalism. Or just be called Hitler. A common tactic with social justice warrior activism.

As the libs moved to centre left, any politics that invokes traditional conservative thinking will be tagged as 'far right' and 'extremist'. This is how the game is played. The question is how this will evolve as the electorate slowly realise neither of the dominant parties have any real answers to stagnating growth, knee-jerk populism and more-of-the-same thinking.

Democracy has become a game where everyone attempts to benefit at everyone else's expense. This simply isn't possible, at least not indefinitely. Much as I dislike the warmonger Churchill, he was astute on his observations of the average mug: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Pauline may well be right on gas, but one swallow doth not a summer make.
Look at some other notable pronouncements.
"We're being over run by Asians."
That one didn't work so, "We're being over run by Muslims"
Then in an attempt to tell the Navy how submarines work, she informed a Rear Admiral in a Senate enquiry that a water jet-powered submarine could only stay submerged for 20 minutes. The Admiral tried hard to tell her that water jet is a propulsion system, not a power source, and wasted his breath as it went straight over her head.
Unfortunately, Pauline is an expert on everything and knows very little about anything.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

There are smarter people and parties than Pauline and One Nation when it comes to alternative options to the existing regime.

The problem is that the banks and so on have us by the family jewels - ie. Sovereign Risk etc.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The banks and the housing market ARE the economy now. And it's not just a problem here; keynesian monetary expansion invariably creates warped valuations,  asset bubbles and malinvestment that ends up bursting messily.

Look at the FANG valuations: google, fakebook, Amazon, and Netflix. What sort of culture is this that values entertainment, self promotion and p0rn download speed so highly?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Look at the FANG valuations: google, fakebook, Amazon, and Netflix. What sort of culture is this that values entertainment, self promotion and p0rn download speed so highly?
locojoe67
A culture enthralled by Bread and Circuses.  And with echoes of the Weimar Republic...
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Unfortunately, Pauline is an expert on everything and knows very little about anything.
Valvegear
I'm not going to hold that against her - as I said earlier, give me an answer to the current problem and I'll vote for them. In the meantime the nearest approximation is Pauline so she gets my vote. We badly need someone to disrupt the current corrupt oligarchy, otherwise we'll just keep circling the pan till we actually go round the S-bend.
"We're being over run by Asians."
Valvegear
Go to Box Hill or Glen Waverley and tell me she was wrong. I think even Chinese people themselves will probably tell you that these enclaves are not what is needed here.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Look at the FANG valuations: google, fakebook, Amazon, and Netflix. What sort of culture is this that values entertainment, self promotion and p0rn download speed so highly?
A culture enthralled by Bread and Circuses.  And with echoes of the Weimar Republic...
Carnot
Incredibly weak and corrupt government, look at the flailing around again today over gas - the gas pirates have said that they aren't going to adhere to the agreements about eastern seaboard gas that Malcolm negotiated only six weeks ago because it doesn't suit them any longer. Malcolm is way too busy trying to save his own job to even comment about it.

I will not be surprised if the lights go out all across the eastern seaboard this summer because of inadequate gas supplies - our country has become worse than any tin-pot banana republic you could possibly dream up.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Look at the FANG valuations: google, fakebook, Amazon, and Netflix. What sort of culture is this that values entertainment, self promotion and p0rn download speed so highly?
A culture enthralled by Bread and Circuses.  And with echoes of the Weimar Republic...
Incredibly weak and corrupt government, look at the flailing around again today over gas - the gas pirates have said that they aren't going to adhere to the agreements about eastern seaboard gas that Malcolm negotiated only six weeks ago because it doesn't suit them any longer. Malcolm is way too busy trying to save his own job to even comment about it.

I will not be surprised if the lights go out all across the eastern seaboard this summer because of inadequate gas supplies - our country has become worse than any tin-pot banana republic you could possibly dream up.
don_dunstan
Weak - yes.  Corrupt - not really in comparison with 90% of the rest of the world.  Incompetent - often.

We might be moving more and more towards being a Banana Republic, but we're not a patch on countries like Zimbabwe or Venezuela.
http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/africa/country-on-the-brink-of-collapse/news-story/92ed14e31fbe96466d01c740e217624c
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Weak - yes.  Corrupt - not really in comparison with 90% of the rest of the world.  Incompetent - often.
Carnot
We're riddled with soft corruption, a gentle bending of the rules and the precursor to hard corruption. I would point to things like the well-worn trail between parliament and the lobbying jobs of the private sector; Andrew Robb's acceptance of a $800,000 p/a job with a Chinese entity immediately after negotiating the CHAFTA was nothing short of treasonous and yet Truffles just brushed it off. Also Dastyari and Wong accepting largesse from the Chinese Communist Party and seeing nothing wrong with it is really troubling; it undermines what's left of our democratic processes because the people that the CCP don't like won't get any money or favours and in the end we will have Mark Latham's conga line of suck-holes all telling us how wonderful a communist dictatorship is for our country and anyone who resists is clearly racist.
We might be moving more and more towards being a Banana Republic, but we're not a patch on countries like Zimbabwe or Venezuela.
Carnot
We aren't in the same league as Zimbabwe yet but we're slowly and surely getting there; even some very modest proposals to ban foreign donations and influence in Australian politics were howled down in parliament (that's racist that is). The Chinese Communist Party openly intimidates and harasses any and all opposition and human rights groups on Australian university campuses now-days - apparently with absolute impunity. How long before they openly start dictating Australian government policy... or else?
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Go to Box Hill or Glen Waverley and tell me she was wrong. I think even Chinese people themselves will probably tell you that these enclaves are not what is needed here.
don_dunstan
You think! Have you asked them? What is your definition of "over-run"? Is it the same as Pauline's, or are you both just racist in your own ways?
Please don't answer with, "I'm not racist, but . . . . . "
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Go to Box Hill or Glen Waverley and tell me she was wrong. I think even Chinese people themselves will probably tell you that these enclaves are not what is needed here.
You think! Have you asked them? What is your definition of "over-run"? Is it the same as Pauline's, or are you both just racist in your own ways?
Please don't answer with, "I'm not racist, but . . . . . "
Valvegear
When Fraser switched the official policy to "multi-culturalism" I'm pretty sure large single-race enclaves were not what he had in mind. It's not good in the same way that Redfern wasn't really helping Aboriginal people to advance.

You keep looking for excuses to say that she's either intellectually not up to the task or that her observations on Australian society are wrong. My argument is that we urgently need some sort of change - any change - from the current system or we have no hope of changing course and before we know it we'll be like Brazil or South Africa with a wealthy corrupt minority in charge and the majority have no power, no money and no hope.

And even if you still don't like her or what she stands for then my hope is that her rise will actually frighten the crooks in the LNP/Labor duopoly to actually change direction and offer something that I can vote for instead of the same old same old. I ask you yet again: If we want to break up the current corrupt political oligarchy then who do you vote for?
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
My argument is that we urgently need some sort of change - any change
"don_dunstan"
No; not "any change". We don't need Pauline Trump or Donald Hanson.
The most urgent thing we need are people with brains and an ability to think beyond self-preservation, and I agree that would require a massive cultural change.
Preselection of faithful party hacks is a cardinal sin of the political process. I'd like to see well known, skilled candidates standing as Independents, and a voting public who would actually think about what they're voting for. Unfortunately, with our system, the people who don't give a damn rock up and mark a ballot paper because they think they have to when, in fact, all they have to do is turn up, get their papers, and drop them in the boxes unmarked. I cannot see very much virtue in so-called compulsory voting.

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