It's the economy, stupid!

 
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
the unfortunate reality is that our universities rely on full-fee paying overseas students to survive as the government's contribution doesn't cover the cost of local students.  This means that even if external pressure is not applied directly to the institution they may be loathe to be seen to be doing something that risks lowering their reputation in the countries providing those students.
HardWorkingMan
Yeah but we have a proud tradition of being allowed to speak out about crooked leadership and bad things our government might do - allowing those Chinese students who come here to be repressed by their own government on our soil is not on in my opinion. If you are in Australia then you should be free to speak your mind about anything without fear of reprisal. We may not have a perfect history as a nation but at least we have a society with a history of relative openness and accountability; we need to stamp out any repression that's being carried out on our soil otherwise we're endorsing it. The fact that its being carried out on university campuses is even more outrageous.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
THE WA and NT governments are both facing financial crisis conditions at the moment - the NT government the most indebted in the nation (per capita) with debts expected to peak at over $5.3 billion in four years (News);

Independent MLA and former Country Liberals treasurer Robyn Lambley says the government's spending spree is "out of control".

She questioned how Labor would pay for the child protection and detention inquiry's recommendations, noting no money was allocated in this year's budget.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has pledged $50 million towards setting up new youth prisons following the closure of Don Dale and expects the federal government to match it, but no guarantees have been made yet.

WA has a similar position with $30 billion plus in debts but no solution as to how to bring those debts down... the mining boom is officially a memory and now for the hang-over...
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Gotta love this Razz

"13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

...36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16.

An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the data with Australian Electoral Commission disclosures of donations in that year found that 13 companies that paid no tax despite total incomes of $33bn also donated $1.7m to the major parties."

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/11/greens-single-out-13-companies-that-paid-no-tax-yet-donated-to-major-parties
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Gotta love this Razz

"13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

...36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16.

An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the data with Australian Electoral Commission disclosures of donations in that year found that 13 companies that paid no tax despite total incomes of $33bn also donated $1.7m to the major parties."

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/11/greens-single-out-13-companies-that-paid-no-tax-yet-donated-to-major-parties
Groundrelay
Well that confirms that Gas companies, toll road operators (Transurban) and media companies (Ten and Newscorp) are taking us for a ride.
https://thewest.com.au/news/australia/report-reveals-which-big-companies-pay-no-tax-ng-b88684429z
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Gotta love this Razz

"13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

...36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16.

An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the data with Australian Electoral Commission disclosures of donations in that year found that 13 companies that paid no tax despite total incomes of $33bn also donated $1.7m to the major parties."

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/11/greens-single-out-13-companies-that-paid-no-tax-yet-donated-to-major-parties
Groundrelay
Well that confirms that Gas companies, toll road operators (Transurban) and media companies (Ten and Newscorp) are taking us for a ride. https://thewest.com.au/news/australia/report-reveals-which-big-companies-pay-no-tax-ng-b88684429z
Carnot
I don't think you'll get any argument from anyone on this board that the behaviour is a blight on Australian society - the very biggest paying next to nothing. As Kerry Packer said though anyone who doesn't minimise their tax needs their head read.

Ultimately the government lets them get away with it because lots of them already have their own trusts etc as the Paradise Papers showed us; Malcolm himself amongst others.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties
Grounrelay
'We are using our wealth to spread our power and influence' if you disagree with us your a 'evil commie nazi'
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...I don't think you'll get any argument from anyone on this board that the behaviour is a blight on Australian society - the very biggest paying next to nothing. As Kerry Packer said though anyone who doesn't minimise their tax needs their head read.

Ultimately the government lets them get away with it because lots of them already have their own trusts etc as the Paradise Papers showed us; Malcolm himself amongst others.
don_dunstan
Well it's not good enough, but then again it's the comforting blanket of apathy that allows it to continue.

Clearly something isn't right when companies bringing in billions don't need to make enough profit to be taxed Confused
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Transurban owns the Victorian Government of both colours.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Transurban owns the Victorian Government of both colours.
YM-Mundrabilla
It was inevitable that whoever got elected was going to be giving Transurban a big free kick on a then unannounced road project; surely as the sun comes up.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
A white-collar criminal working for the Commonwealth Bank as a financial planner forges the signatures of 18 different clients and gets a $3000 dollar fine and no conviction is recorded (Fairfax);

The magistrate noted he now had a family and "recording a conviction will pose difficulties in obtaining further employment. So I certainly take that into account. "

But mostly she felt that the forgery wasn't done for personal financial benefit.

"There is no allegation that is the result of these – this forgery, he financially benefited, unless I take into account the fact that he was receiving a wage from his employer."

But surely that doesn't matter if you were doing it just to get ahead at work - it's still criminal conduct and people lost money over it. Really there was no punishment at all - which is generally how it is when you are a white-collar criminal.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
How weird, don't understand this decision at all - (Daily Beast);

Policy analysts working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were told on Thursday about a list of forbidden words being imposed by senior CDC officials, according to a report in The Washington Post. The forbidden words are reportedly “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.” Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services, reportedly led the meeting and did not say why the words were being banned.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Dick Smith calls openly on Harry Triguboff to donate some of his billions to trying to better Australia - from the Dick Smith Fair Go website;

Harry, I have benefited from growth, and you certainly have. The Australian Financial Review now lists you as being worth $11.4 billion – you’re the wealthiest bloke in Australia, up from $4.8 billion just 5 years ago. Business articles say that you have built over 65,000 apartments, and now own 6,500 apartments personally, that you rent out to people – most of course who can’t afford to buy one. Yep, you’re incredibly successful.

Harry, I meet hard working Australian families all the time who can’t even afford one apartment, let alone a house on a ¼ acre block. The prices have just driven them out. The latest figures on population growth show Australia at 1.7% – the highest in the developed world.

And it’s pretty clear that high demand from population growth is one of the reasons for increasing the prices in the marketplace of housing. Most of our growth comes from record high immigration levels. It used to be 70,000 per year under Mr Keating, it’s now about 200,000 per year, and here’s what you said to The Australian Financial Review when there was going to be a problem with house prices. You said:

“I’ll simply bring in more migrants.”

Yeah dunno if Dick is wasting his breath there, Harry would have no interest in reversing the situation in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where he has made most of his billions building apartments. Dick then goes on to point out that Harry originally hit on the idea that Australians should all live in apartments in the sixties because nobody else was doing it... but Harry would never personally live in one himself:

However, as Channel 7’s Today Tonight showed, you don’t live in high rise at all. In the words of Today Tonight...

Harry: “I saw that that’s where the movement was and I saw it fifty years ago, not today and I had lots of fights, ʼcause they were telling me how Australians have to have a ¼ acre block and I told them that’s not true, some do, some don’t.”

Laura: “That was the dream, wasn’t it?”

Harry: “That used to be the dream, so what?”

Laura: “Not now.”

Harry: “They can’t do it.”
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
We need to follow Trump's lead and cut company tax rates or be left behind according to Morrison.

So Right Rolling Eyes
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Right, RIGHT? HA HA HA HA Laughing
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
For umpteen years now, we have been hearing that lower company tax rates will mean more jobs. I worry that some of the politicians who parrot this line might actually believe it to be true.
Lower company tax means higher profits - it's that simple.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
@Valvegear I couldn't agree more
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Much schadenfreude this week with the pyramid scheme that is cryptocurrency copping a beating:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/bitcoin-value-latest-trading-suspended-exchange-crash-cryptocurrency-investment-a8126116.html
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Regarding cryptocurrency, my simple question is, what can Bitcoin do that normal currencies can't?
Then, my layman's understanding is that currencies are backed by some form of valuta - gold, for example. What backing does Bitcoin have? What makes it worth anything?
  georges Train Controller

Regarding cryptocurrency, my simple question is, what can Bitcoin do that normal currencies can't?
Then, my layman's understanding is that currencies are backed by some form of valuta - gold, for example. What backing does Bitcoin have? What makes it worth anything?
Valvegear
   
Money has three main functions:

  • A medium of exchange (a convenient means of payment)

  • A store of value (it must hold its value over time)

  • A unit of account (a common measure of the value of goods, services, assets and liabilities)

Bitcoin (₿) performs none of these functions. Its volatility prevents it from doing so - its price is all over the place. Even making payment in is expensive. The market in meets the classic definition of a bubble. That is, people now buy not to use it but in the hope that its price will rise above what they paid for it and they can sell it for a profit. All bubbles burst. Think Dutch tulips in the 1630s. There are many more examples.

There is nothing that Bitcoin can do that normal currencies can’t.

There was a time when the issue of currency by governments (a liability in their balance sheets) had to be matched by a tangible asset, usually gold. None of today’s currencies are wholly backed by gold. Remember that banknotes represent only a small proportion of a country’s money supply (about 4% in Australia). Most of the money supply consists of currency plus deposits in banks and other financial institutions. Central banks (agents of governments) now control money supply by influencing interest rates – the price of money. The quantity of gold they hold to ‘back’ the currency on issue has become irrelevant.

Like gold itself, Bitcoin is backed by no asset. Like gold it is ‘mined’, or produced, with great difficulty, by those who choose to do so, through the use of computer programs to solve elaborate puzzles.  There is a limit on the total amount that will be issued, though that limit may be changed once it is reached. Like any asset the value of is what people are prepared to pay for it.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Thank you, georges; that is a good, thoughtful piece that a layman like me can understand. I must say that I started with the suspicion that Bitcoin was not adding anything new.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Georges; isn't the encryption also part of its features/appeal?
  georges Train Controller

Georges; isn't the encryption also part of its features/appeal?
don_dunstan
   
Encryption is the main attraction to those wanting to make payments anonymously.  But even those who operate in the black economy want a reliable means of payment. Bitcoin is not a convenient way to transact because of the formalities of making payment, though its anonymity may offset that disadvantage for some. Bitcoin fails the store of value and unit of account tests. It may have done this in its early days but no longer does. Bitcoin’s volatility makes it difficult to use when transactors do not even know what its value will be within a very short time of making or receiving a payment - in most cases the recipient of Bitcoin will need to convert it into a ‘normal’ currency.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Okay thanks Georges.

I read somewhere last year that there's several billion being hoarded in Aussie $100 and $50 notes overseas mostly in China (not really that surprising) the reason being that there's not a lot of trust in the local currency or banking system.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
US life expectancy shortens for the second year in a row, mostly due to prescription drug overdose deaths and obesity (The Verge);

The leading causes of death in the US are still heart disease and cancer. But the opioid epidemic is taking a heavy toll — particularly on young and middle-aged Americans. Last year, over 63,000 people died of drug overdoses, a 21 percent increase from 2015. The last time life expectancy dropped for two years in a row was in 1962 and 1963, when a particularly bad flu season caused lots of deaths, according to the Washington Post.

While on the topic of the United States it looks as though there's a debt crisis on the way in the United States and by extension the rest of us... US Treasury 3-month bond yields have been steadily increasing as discussed further in this CNBC article.

These bonds are the type of bonds that Treasury sells when there's a problem getting money supply through Congress and the Senate - if it keeps going up then it shows the markets don't believe there's any solution to the US debt-crisis on the horizon (which there isn't - Trump wants to give tax cuts with even more borrowed money) and therefore a credit-crunch could be on the way?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
and weirdly enough Cuba's Life expectancy has gotten higher.... Dam Commies

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