Weekend Links 16-17 May, 2015

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Ritualised Forms
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  1. Hey Gunna, great links.. but you missed the story of the day: Johnny Depp’s dogs Pistol and Boo made international headline for crossing into our borders illegally….

    …..meanwhile overseas hot money continues to hit our auctions undetected…

    • No one wants to stop the Chinamen and their money from enriching our good honest hard-working mum-and-dad battler property owners except dour sexyless losers who didn’t get on the property ladder and want everyone else to be poor.

      Now that the winners have made a motza selling off the odd property from their portfolio to chinamen, and satisfied their other needs such as annual holidays to Europe and petrol for the V8 land-cruiser, they want to chillax to more interesting news; like articles about Johnny Depp’s rat-like dogs.

      • I can hear the Chinese military thinking up plans to create lots of empty residential real estate in Australia and then saying to themselves ‘have fun paying off those mortgages fellas’

      • China’s domestic jet engines are now superior to those of the west – astonishing. Their fighter jets and stealth are also outperforming anything from the US or Europe – quite astonishing. Truly amazing.

        Their nuclear subs are not on the US level yet, however they are still so good as to go completely undetected.

        Chinese swarming autonomous robotic fleets are ahead of US at this stage which is really freaky.

        US is leading the way in space militarisation with permanent nuclear attack craft in space, China is developing ground based anti-space weapons.

        China’s navy is seriously waaaaay too much for the US – they are simply going to stretch themselves to breaking point – there is no way they can compete. The Chinese military manufacturing costs, time frames, capacity all devastate the US – churning out subs, destroyers, patrols etc at a pace that makes the US completely overwhelmed.

        The US’s entire military strategy is totally wrong. The idea of overwhelming the Chinese In China is just completely retarded. So moronic.

        Anyway – China will get reserve status this year, will devastate the US currency, and appreciate the Yuan forcing radical global shifts.

        The market correction this year will be Chinas emergence of a currency powerhouse COMBINE that with the new CRIPS platform and things are going to be VERY DIFFERENT – first cab off the rank will be a resurgent, independent Iran.

        Well done US – you weaponised everything which was meant to remain neutral, from economic tools like SWIFT, global currencies and global shipping lanes. Now you are stretched so thin that you are vulnerable everywhere and dominant no where.

        Meanwhile your countries infrastructure is collapsing and your reserve status is ending.

      • I agree with Borris in terms of military might.

        The US at their peak couldn’t win the korean war (I’d call it a draw) and lost the vietnam war.

        The reserve stuff is a while away I think. Both China and the US aren’t going that well.

      • Borris,
        Your comment on Chinese commercial jet engines is rubbish, can you quote your source for this? Don’t see Boeing or Airbus sticking them on their A/C. Their native design C919 is being produced with western engines and avionics.

        Can you quote who your source is re mil A/C, even the US pilots say they don’t what Chinese 5th gen fighters are like and while your at it your source on the subs.

        The Chinese are nowhere near US capability in the air, on or under the water. As to the Korean War, you know that was a land war and back in the 50s, don’t you, and that they’re far more advanced tech wise than the rest of the world?

        I seriously doubt that a war with China will be one that involves many boots on the ground, unless it’s one in support of Taiwan.

  2. hm… quite a few articles about oil prices recovering. Did I miss something? Did OPEC cut production or high cost US shale producers caved in?

  3. US Farmers In “Dire Straits”: JPM Warns Of Imminent Liquidity Crunch | Zero Hedge

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-15/us-farmers-dire-straits-jpm-warns-imminent-liquidity-crunch

    Despite the government’s ‘advice’ to young debt-laden students, the tragedy of the American farmer continues with worryingly pessimistic views on the future of the industry. With farmland prices falling for the first time in almost 30 years, credit conditions are weakening dramatically and the Kansas City Fed warns that persistently low crop prices and high input costs reduced profit margins and increased concerns about future loan repayment capacity, and JPMorgan concludes, the industry is currently in dire straits with the potential for a liquidity crunch for farmers into 2016. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Don’t know about NZ Hugh but the Australian farmer situation is terrible. Financially stricken! Depression and suicide way way above averages.
      But who gives a rat’s arse? They’re just here to be effed over by government policy. Anyway it’s a good thing – just ask skippy and R2M The sooner we have no farmers the better!!!

      • Ditto, NZ, Flawse.
        According to Federated Farmers, a staggering 22 farmers committed suicide last year including seven women, showing how mental health on-farm is not a male preserve. Six farmers were under the age of 24 and ten over the age of 50.

      • Anyway it’s a good thing – just ask skippy and R2M The sooner we have no farmers the better!!!

        Most of the suicides are occurring in areas of persistent and unusual drought.

        Now I wonder what the cause of that it is? Could it be climate change? 😯

      • “Most of the suicides are occurring in areas of persistent and unusual drought.
        Now I wonder what the cause of that it is? Could it be climate change?”

        No.
        It is more likely the harsh reality that their lives are being ruined by the ignorance and stupidity of people in the city who imagine that they know what is best for everyone else.

      • El Ninio is here, and by all predictions is going to be devastating – so that should fix things…..no wait…actually will help the US drought.

      • Borris, just wait for the flooding, destructive rains in California. There will be howls of protest about it, but very few news bulletins will mention AGW.

      • Being a farmer isn’t an easy life and is only going to get worse with a Solar Minimum upon us. With planting and harvesting delayed resulting in plummeting yields, who in their right mind would want to be a farmer.

        Cold weather pushes back vegetable growing season

        http://foxct.com/2015/04/23/cold-weather-pushes-back-vegetable-growing-season/

        Cool, wet weather delays crop planting

        http://wlfi.com/2015/04/28/cool-wet-weather-delays-crop-planting/

        Crop Outlook: Cold Weather Affects Numbers

        http://news.aces.edu/blog/2015/04/16/crop-outlook-weather-affects-numbers/

        Winemakers say cold weather has hurt grape crop

        http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/winemakers-say-cold-weather-has-hurt-grape-crop/31651096

        Cold Weather Delays Maple Syrup Harvest

        http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/2015/02/25/wgrz-maple-syrup-cold/24036893/

        Winter slows strawberry crop

        http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/local/2015/03/30/winter-weather-delays-local-strawberries/70691030/

        I could go on, but you get the picture.

      • Jagster said:

        I could go on, but you get the picture.

        Yes, and the picture I am getting is of an astroturfer using irrelevant links about US farming in a vain attempt to muddy the waters.

        For those who may be confused by astroboy Jagster’s references to cold weather, please view the excellent ABC Catalyst program on how global warming is changing the jet streams, bringing a “polar vortex” to the US:
        http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3796205.htm

      • How much do farmers in this country have themselves to blame? I come from generations of them and have this theory…farming suffers from the ‘dumb son syndrome’. Generation after generation sent the smart kids of to school and the less bright ended up on the land. This undoubtably has lowered the gene pool and the average farmer (particularly in the parts of the world that Minister Joyce loves being part of) is not as intelligent as he should be. The best farmers are still making a good quid. I say let those that need to go broke, go broke. Their farms would then be taken up by people who know how to farm. The country would be much better off.

      • So polar vortexes reaching more southern latitudes across the northern hemisphere is being caused by Global Warming??? Really… You don’t say… Well by that logic then, warmer equatorial vortexes reaching into more northern latitudes across the northern hemisphere would be caused by Global Cooling….

        Why didn’t I connect the dots earlier!!

      • That’s Jagster’s way of saying “Er … I got nothin'”. 😉

        Notice that when challenged, they never come with data or studies. 🙄

      • Revert to Mean .. Tosh!

        You are all class. Scoring cheap points off other peoples misery to promote your own pet topic.

        You should go out to the bush and try your smug little point scoring barb on a family who has lost someone to suicide. They might set the dogs on you.

      • You should go out to the bush

        I live in the bush, Einstein! 🙄

        … and try your smug little point scoring barb on a family who has lost someone to suicide

        Who’s been trying to score points off farmer suicides, me or you? I’m telling you exactly why they are committing suicide (AGW → ☼ Drought ☼ → financial pressures → Suicide), whereas you are making some obscure point about city slickers legislating in a way that disadvantages the bush (¿? puzzlement).

      • Revert to Mean

        You may think you live in the bush, but I doubt that very much. My family have been graziers in the the Upper Burnett for many generations. I don’t remember any smarmy little weasels like you.There was an 11 year drought up there from about 1956 to 1966 or so .. no surge in suicides. That was because there was a social structure and the filthy banks were less criminal.

        Droughts are not new to Australia. What is new is people like you. You should try a bit of 1080 – it is an acquired taste I hear.

      • Well, fuck you too, “Dark Matter” (why not just call yourself “faeces” and be done?) As I look out onto my paddock here in the country, I wonder what motivates filth like you to make statements that are completely devoid of fact or reason, to accuse me of lying about where I live, to suggest that I eat poison (I’d break your neck if you said that to me in person!) and to talk unmitigated shit about what is causing farmer suicides. Now if I want any more shit from you, I’ll squeeze your head. Meantime, fuck off and die. 😈

    • I still have the feeling that one way or another ultra low or zero interest rates are initially bubble blowing and (asset) inflationary, these same strategies are deflationary. But this hole has been dug and climbing out has no easy options. Step 1. normalize interest rates its the foundation of a functioning market capitalist system.

      • Imagine that? High interest rates with slightly lower house prices means Joe six pack still can’t afford a house while foreigners get a bargain.

        We’re [email protected]#ked.

    • Via the Interest Co NZ comments thread above …

      I found this Radio NZ interview with comments by RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler … followed by Alison Dewes, a farm consultant in the Waikato, most interesting …

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201754230/consultant-says-debt-levels-among-farmers-are-a-worry

      Ms Dewes is of the view around 50% of the famers are vulnerable, should prices stay low for an extended period … higher than the RBNZs estimates

    • Those farmers, in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are competing with cretins using labour practices like this…………

      Covino Farms: Food company at centre of ‘slavery’ scandal continues to work with disgraced contractor

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-15/food-company-at-centre-of-slavery-scandal-launches-new-venture/6470812?section=business

      They provide salads for major supermarkets and fast food outlets including KFC, Red Rooster and Subway……..

      • I didn’t have any real ambitions for a career until I spent time out in the country.
        Spending six months in rural South Australia and seeing how vulnerable you are if you don’t have money behind you put a boot up my bum and got me back to uni to study for a gig with a guaranteed job.
        All of the seasonal workers would talk about who to work with and who to avoid.
        Country Australia is just as bad as China Town in Melbourne in regard to workplace exploitation.

        My current job has me visiting rural communities in Victoria.
        Things only seem to have gone downhill in the past ten years.

      • Primary producers are as complicit as their contractors.
        Retailers, especially the big two, are as well.

  4. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/survey-says-wed-rather-eat-out-than-save-money-2015-05-14

    Well that’s a good thing!!! Isn’t it? In a modern economy we neither want nor need no damned savings!!!!! Now if the gov can run big enough deficits we’ll close the ‘output gap’!!!!
    What’s the sudden regret? This is ZIRP working just as we want it to. Same in Aus! Screeching tyres! Roaring engines! Tattoos! Coffee shops and restaurants! Westfields! Drugs! Booze! Drunken violence!
    The world has sure become a beautiful place thanks to ZIRP!

      • “When the debt supercycle collapses under its own weight, the violent upheaval within society will sadly trigger changes we are ill-prepared for.

        Families will suffer due to financial hardship
        Banks will fail
        Government will default on their debts
        More people will join the Centrelink queue on grounds of financial hardship.
        Savings (in the form of share and property values) will be decimated.
        Criminal activity and angry street marches will increase.
        Entitlements will be cut, creating a negative feedback loop into society unrest.
        This is the endgame of the public policy disasters that have shaped the society we live in today.”

        Yup!

  5. StomperMEMBER

    This is a f***ing joke………….

    Inquiry On Home Ownership Launched .. to repeat all the same points covered in recent Senate affordability Inquiry http://t.co/uU3DBzN2nw

    and yet again nothing will be done……

    • Of course the Government (of either side) will do nothing, that’s why there’ yet another inquiry, buys the Government 6 months. The inquiry will report in December which means the Government will sit on the report over summer with findings to be released on the Thursday before the Easter long weekend. Meanwhile housing affordability will deteriorate and the Government will simply deflect any response or action ti the inquiry. You have to remember this Government is berreft of any ideas, there policies are provided by the IPA or inquiries, they have zero policy inititives, the policies are someone elses, that’s why they can’t sell them.

      • When elected, the Libs wanted to smash and punish the lefties. Except that Australia doesn’t really have any. So they went after those who most look like lefties to them, that being the poor, the young, and the powerless.

        … and Australians didn’t like it. And now the Libs have realiised that further attempts to smash ‘lefties’ (they will never admit to themselves that Australia basically doesn’t have any) will result in them being thrown out at the next election.

        So now they’ve got nothin’! Nothin! They don’t believe in anything; look at their direct action policy, for God’s sake! It’s top-down command and control bullshit; if Labor proposed it they’d be calling it a Stalinist plot.

        All the current crop of incompetent zealots running the country have left is running continuing deficits while rearranging spending between the middle and lower classes, while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy; especially those who hold assets. Tax breaks for aged asset-holders is now essentially the only thing this useless government believes in.

  6. “This is a massive redistribution of national income to profits and away from wage-earners and the gap is widening each quarter.”
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30914
    What is it with Mitchell? He always displays the depth of thinking of gnat! His number5s are surely correct, However it hasn’t really been about redistribution from wages to profits. It’s been about the redistribution of wealth and income from every productive sector to teh FIRE sector where the wealth generated has been corralled by a few.

    • @flawse. I am skeptical about these increases in wages. Are these in aggregate, surely not per capita. How can we loose 50 – 60 thousand mining jobs at $100K + per year and square the numbers with barista jobs? Something odd here.

  7. Okay, so what is the truth of the situation with regard to iron supply and Australia’s pricing power in the world market?

    This article posted above paints a tale of woe for the West African producer countries who cannot make mines break even at $60 per tonne – what price do they need to justify the capex to get the mines operating? The article seems to be suggesting that some of these mines will not get out if bed for less than $100.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/us-africa-iron-insight-idUSKBN0NZ1WR20150515

    This is important because much of the mockery of Twiggy this week has assumed that Australia has no effective pricing power and therefore any attempt to limit Australian production at a national level to hold prices at a higher level will not work as other low cost producers will rush in.

    But will they if their cost structures are such that the price would need to rise to well north if $60 to get them interested? What are the cost structures of other potential serious producers. If only Vale can get close to Australia’s production costs and volumes, that would suggest that apart from Vale, real competition for Australia may be increasingly limited as prices get lower and lower under $100.

    Why wouldn’t it be in Australia’s interest to manage the supply of its lowest cost of production ores into the international market to ensure prices remain at the point where other producers are not prepared to take the risk of entering production.

    Why supply the international market at $60 when we have burnt off large chunks of the competition at $70, $80, $90 or even $100

    Articles like this suggest the price could be significantly higher than it is now and much of the competitive production will remain mothballed. Even that huge mine in Guinea is not going to be producing ore for 5 years – assuming they build their 600k railway. Will they bother to build massive CAPEX and fire up production if prices are at $70 or $80 and they know Australia can up its national export volumes to punch them in the guts if the need arises.

    Sure $180 per tonne gets even the dodgiest mine business case over the line but there is a lot of twiggle room between $180 and $50.

    Sure none of this helps Twiggy because if Australia did limit,at a national level, export volumes ( alone or in co-operation with Brazil) the lowest cost producers could out bid Twiggy for the volume BUT that is no argument against having an enquiry as to whether Australia should be allowing two foreign owned miners flood the market with our prime lowest cost deposits well south of a price that other off shore producers can compete with.

    The idea that once they have driven all the domestic and off shore competition from the market they will regain pricing power is odd as it assumes that Australia will some how magically acquire pricing power that this idea claims we can never have. And even more magically, those companies will then roll over and happily share a larger chunks of the pricing power profits with the taxpayer.

    Bring on the inquiry but make sure national volume limits either going alone or in oartnership with Vale are on the table.

    Oh and as for what China thinks about such rough play – take a look at the South China sea. This is not a world full of nice guys.

    Just because Iron Ore industry went nuts on CAPEX and now want to use their shiny toys does not mean it is in the national interest to let them.

    A market flooded with our best and lowest cost deposits at prices well south of the point the off shore competition can match is not in Australia’s national interest.

    National maximum export volumes auctioned off to the highest bidders is the way to protect the national interest without nationalisation.

    • While I have some sympathy with your view, China has domestic production and has been buying capacity in Africa. If they can keep the IO price low enough for long enough they will be buying more Australian distressed assets. They wouldn’t do that to their good friends the Australians would they. So, let’s just double the Marines and place more air assets in the North. Mining is a market taking not a market making activity… in a Global marketplace. If we value added with metallurgy activities of various sorts we might have marginally more power. We didn’t diversify when we could have. Accept that and move on.

      • But as the article I linked to makes clear the cost of production of those African mines and the Chinese domestic mines are much higher than Australia’s deposits.

        “…Most West African projects require a long-term price well above $100 per metric ton (1.1023 tons) to achieve an acceptable return, he said. BHP and Rio have average iron ore costs of around $20 a metric ton in Western Australia and are cutting that further.

        In current market conditions, it looked unlikely that Australian firm Sundance Resources’ Mbalam mine in Cameroon would get developed or even the massive Simandou project in Guinea, in which Rio Tinto holds a stake, Gray said.

        “It is not looking good, it is looking worse by the day,” Gray said. “Those projects which were looking shaky beforehand are now well and truly dead.”…”

        The point I am making is why allow two private companies trying to control market share sell Australian ore at a price well below the cost of our off shore competition?

        Sure if the Chinese want to pay a higher price for their domestic ore or for higher cost ore out of African we can do nothing to stop that but why on earth would we choose to sell them our ore at a massive discount to the cost of those alternative suppliers.

        The only discount we need to offer is enough to stop those competitors entering the market. Just like OPEC does with the oil supply to make sure their oil sets the price in the market.

        Sure the miners are trying to make use of their over the top CAPEX spend but that is their problem not ours.

  8. I am skeptical about these increases in wages. Are these in aggregate, surely not per capita. How can we loose 50 – 60 thousand mining jobs at $100K + per year and square the numbers with barista jobs? Something odd here.

  9. MY BUDGET REPLY: The country is fucked – and no one has any balls to change it!

    Once again the spastics in Canberra think we are all idiots, and have tried to sell the budget with a three world slogan ‘Have a go’. This slogan actually sums up the Abbott Government, because it is telling us to ‘do something’, but not actually providing us with any ‘direction’ on how to get there. It leaves me asking the question ‘Have a go at what?’. They talk about creating jobs, but is the future really about creating jobs, and what is a job anyway. Australia hasn’t invested (either through education or smart business incentives) to unlock the potential jobs of the future. Nor has it had a recession in the last 25 years to encourage businesses to look at streamlining business operations, or using technology to unlock business performance. All we got this year was a pre-election budget, not about the right decisions for the country – but about increasing the likelihood that the current buffoons in Canberra get re-elected. For the record, I hate all major parties equally – and most people in Canberra wear the tag of ‘silver spoon fuckwit’ in some way.
    The whole system of society in Australia is in a race to the bottom. We desperately need change, and hard decisions to be made. There are many hard decisions that could be made (tax on super for the wealthy, the end of negative gearing) that would actually have a majority of support from voters – but no government wants to take on the big end of town. The reality is that the big end of town funds the parties, and no party wants to bite off the hand that feeds them. Instead of getting a government that actually makes decisions the majority of voters would agree with, we instead get a set of policies designed to protect and grow the wealth of the 1%.

    The Australian voter is to blame. Since John Howard removed teaching students in early high school how the political system works, we have got dumber and dumber. Walk into any Year 12 class, and ask them what a ‘Bi-Cameral System’ of parliament means – and they will all look at you with a blank face. Australian voters are the first to complain on social media about politicians (usually based on what they hear in the main stream media), but lack the ability to actually dig any deeper and have an informed political discussion. Many voters are pig-headed with a “she’ll be right” attitude. Unfortunately for the good of the country, it “has been right” a few times. Rapid credit expansion from the late 1990’s to 2008 fuelled false economic growth, then we had the China fuelled mining boom. China is peaking, and the Australian consumer’s credit card is now tapped out. This time, “she won’t be right”.

    If you dig deep down (pardon the mining analogy), you can find no matter what sub-issue you look at (whether it is Pensions, Childcare, Business Investment, etc.) – the reason causation of all of our problems is excessively high land prices. When the price per square metre for a vacant block of land is higher in Alice Springs then it is in New York – you know the country is fucked! Land should be our competitive advantage – given we have so much of it. There is no good reason (other than governments and developers colluding with each other) why we can’t have some of the cheapest land in the world. If you want to look at a disgusting example of this, read up on VicUrban and how the Victorian Government setup its own ‘Commercial Land Banking Company’ to manipulate the land market in Victoria.

    A major recession needs to happen, and a smart government would engineer it to happen, in a way that those people that ‘milked the boom’ lose some of the cream off the top. Maybe it’s time all of those salary packaged car driving, negatively geared, self-managed super funded people actually paid back some of the rorts they have been receiving over the last decade.

    Jobs

    The world is changing from a work perspective, but the political mindsets are not. The problem is that most people who are in Canberra are career politicians, and have rarely spent a day in their lives working in a real business. Factories are closing and self-check-out and check-in is popping up everywhere. How many thousands of people used to be employed around the country at various airports ‘checking people onto flights’? How many tens of thousands of people have been displaced by Supermarkets having self-check outs? (not to mention how many school kids are now missing out on that very important entry level job). The list goes on, from booking travel, movie tickets, booking restaurants/take away, and internet banking. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs (if not over a million) that existed 20 years ago – that simply do not exist today due to technology.

    The reality of the future is that we all can’t just sell lattes to each other, and be traffic controllers. Innovation must be rewarded. Where is the government putting millions of dollars up as rewards for the ‘next Facebook’? ‘next Wikipedia’ ? ‘best idea for health tech’ ? Instead of watching people stroke their own cocks on Masterchef talking about the delicious jus they put on their expensive cut of duck – we should be having national competitions that drive innovation. You would think that all this country can do is cook food, lose weight, and renovate houses by watching mainstream TV.

    Education must be a priority – but not just people doing courses at their own free will for the sake of it. Students’ must be encouraged to study the industries of the future – not just sign up to be primary school teachers and do arts degrees. There needs to be alignment between industry growth and university intakes. If the birth rates are going down, then teaching intakes should go down. If the population is aging, then medical placements should go up. Thousands of people shouldn’t be able to study Marine & Freshwater Science if there are not thousands of jobs available at the end of it.

    The Tax Rort

    The first one that stares me in the face is Salary Packaging. Why should this even exist? If you are required to drive a vehicle for work purposes, then it should be enshrined in law that your employer provides for it (either by a fully maintained vehicle, or car allowance). If you looked up ‘cottage industry’ in the dictionary – then you would find a logo of Leaseplan under it. Under the taxation rules, private travel (which includes driving to and from work) is not tax deductable. However, under a salary packaged vehicle – private travel is tax deductable. There are over 1.5 million salary packaged vehicles in this country now. I applaud Kevin Rudd for trying to get rid of this rort leading up to the last Federal Election, but he was met with calls like “Holden and Toyota will close down if you implement it”. Well guess what? Salary Packaging remained and the car companies still closed down.

    Salary Packaging provides a perverse incentive to choose to travel by car, over public transport – effectively making any future public transport projects look less viable then they otherwise should be. The worst thing about Salary Packaging is actually how the public sector manage have implemented it. Did you know that nurses and teachers have access to a Salary Packaging deal that allows them to package up to 75% of their wage? There are people that work in the public sector that salary package their mortgages for fuck sake. The argument is that ‘it’s allowed in the public sector to compensate for the fact they get paid lower than the private sector’. I call bullshit on that, because the tax advantages of being able to salary package your mortgage are far greater than any pay discrepancy between the public and private sector.

    The next tax rort that has to be altered (not abolished) is negative gearing. Why should someone be able to write off the loss of an investment property, against their personal income from another source? Property investors should be forced to setup a separate ‘business’ for their property investing. The business then runs at a loss, and any capital gains (if they occur) received from investing are the business income. Under no circumstances are any ‘business losses’ to be written off against peoples ‘personal income’. If my Superannuation has a bad year, and the value of my balance goes down $10,000 – can I claim that loss against my taxable income from my employer? No, because super is quarantined away as an income stream separate to personal income. Why should property investing be any different?

    The next rort is super. Why should people be able to put money into a system ‘tax free’, and then deduct is ‘tax free’ when the country is $400 billion down the chute? Once your super balance reaches $500,000 – any ‘income return’ derived from that should be taxed at a rate of 15%. Once that balance reaches $1,000,000, the ‘income return’ rate climbs to 20%. This ensures that the wealthiest people do not use Superannuation as a tax haven.

    The last and most blatant way that people avoid tax is through small business structuring. I’ve dealt with many businesses over the years which operate as ‘trusts’ and ‘nominees’. These structures often enable a person of sole income (tradesperson, IT Contractor) to split their income across the family (including children) to limit taxation. Why should a tradesperson be able to structure his income that way (when he isn’t being paid in cash..) , when a normal PAYG worker cannot. On top of that, the expensive vehicles that are purchased for ‘business use’ and written off against the business need more scrutiny as well. In a previous life working in car finance, I used to see many ‘mum and dad’ car deals under a business name – where the SUV clearly was not going to be used for business use.

    The Land Rort

    Land developers own huge amounts of land on the fridges of the capital cities in Australia. You wouldn’t know it, but many of the farms on the outskirts of these cities sold out years ago – and are simply still working the land on an operating lease basis. No government provides any incentives to develop the land. High land prices are good for state governments, as they derive billions of dollars from property stamp duties on the transfer of property. The higher the property price (see land price), the more the states receive in revenue. So to put it simply, any government that proposes a policy that develops more land (and drives down the price), could be seen to be shooting themselves in the foot.
    The best way to change all this is to abolish stamp duty (which is a pointless volatile tax, purely dependant on people moving house), and replace it with a land tax. The land tax needs to be designed to be an extension of the council rates that people pay each year. If the land tax is tied to the property value (2% of land market value per annum), then it would actually be in everyone’s interest to keep land prices as low as possible (in order to pay the least tax). If an area of land has been zoned as residential, but a developer is sitting on it as farmland – then they are land taxed at the residential land tax rate (not the agricultural land tax rate as they are today). As soon as you lump land tax bills worth 10’s of millions of dollars at land banking companies (I struggle to call them developers), they will either develop or sell the land quick smart. Laws should be developed to confiscate land from developers without compensation if they do not develop land within 5 years from date of zoning change. Infrastructure for new developments (poles & wires) should be paid for by government through income derived from land tax – not through developer adding it to purchase cost. The incentives should also be skewed towards making our regional towns have much larger populations. This takes infrastructure pressure of the capital cities, and also makes infrastructure projects in regional centres much more viable (due to scale in population numbers). .

    The beauty of attacking this issue from the fringes of the major cities is that it will have a ripple effect through the suburbs. In most functioning economies of the world, the average house is worth 3 times the average household wage. In Australia, it’s nearly 7 times. The average household in Australia has an income of around $80,000 per year – meaning that the average house price should be around $240,000. This would suggest that houses in fringe and lower socio-economic areas should be around $150,000, whilst the blue collar suburbs may be closer to $500,000. This was roughly what prices were around 10 years ago, before everyone lost their minds.

    Pension Income Stream System

    I propose a new system that manages income for older Australians. Pension Income Stream System (otherwise known as PISS). The acronym is quite ironic because this is what most elderly people do in their pants once they reach a certain age. The system needs to combine Financial Assets (Super, Shares, Cash, Bonds, etc.), Physical Assets (Properties, Businesses), and Welfare requirements. Part of this model defines a minimum ‘basic income’– most likely the current minimum wage of $640 per week.

    At Age 50, every person has a PISS review with a qualified financial planner that works within Social Services. The person’s entire financial assets are reviewed, to determine what income stream the individual could have based on those assets through to age 90 (40 year view). If a person has enough total assets to enable them to receive annuity payments for 40 years at a minimum of $640 per week – then they may retire. If they do not have enough assets to meet the minimum, they are told to keep working, and come back each year until they do. If they still do not have enough assets by age 65, the government will provide the ‘basic income’ amount as a funded pension. If there is evidence that people have siphoned off funds to children, or made irresponsible purchases (expensive holidays, boats, cruises, etc.), then they will not qualify for government support. Some people have significant wealth locked up in Super and houses, and would love to retire earlier and enjoy life. Provided they are paid an annuity (and not a lump sum to blow on an APT cruise up the Rhine), then why shouldn’t we let them? In a future where we have less and less jobs available due to technological advancements – we need to find ways to unlock the remaining jobs for younger generations.

    Once again, if the cost of land was cheaper – the cost of living would be cheaper for all Australians, and people would need less money in order to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

    System for Early Childhood Support

    We need a fair system that encourages people to have children. I propose the ‘System for Early Childhood Support’ (otherwise known as SECS – the main reason many non-test-tube babies exist). Many people don’t realise that Australia’s population wouldn’t grow (meaning limited economic growth) if it wasn’t for immigration. The current birth rate of 1.93 per couple is below the replacement rate (it was 2.4 in the 1990’s). We actually need to encourage more women in Australia to spread their thighs and make babies – not less. The current social environment only makes it more and more difficult for people to consider starting a family.

    In my view, the main driver for the declining birth rate is the high cost of living. When couples feel like they need to earn two wages just to put a roof over the head, and food on the table – they make decisions to have fewer children. If we had cheaper land prices, the cost of living would come down significantly – and it would be possible for more women to stay at home for longer.

    The Government should pay a ‘basic income’ just like the retirement stream to new mothers – and similar ‘wealth tests’ should occur. There is no reason why a combination of ‘some super, some reversed mortgaged home equity, some government support’ can’t be used. Our wealth (through all assets) needs to be looked at as a bank – and when things like retirement and maternity leave come along – we dip into that bank. If the safety net is the same at the end, we need to move away from the pissing contest that is that men often have a higher super balance than women.

    Once again, if the cost of land was cheaper – the cost of living would be cheaper for all Australians, and people would need less money in order to raise children.

    • Be careful about your rant about tax and income splitting particularly your IT professional mates. Check out the operation of the personal service income legislation and continue on to further see how Part 1VA can be applied. It is not as easy as you obviously think and what you are seeing is probably illegal.

      • I know what I’m seeing is illegal – however is anyone enforcing it?

        People who contract in professional services earn the wages to pay accountants to come up with these elaborate schemes.

    • Raglan.

      Pay a basic wage to those to have babies (after a means test)?

      Pay for one child or two or three? What’s your limit. You probably want 3 so that we have less immigration.

      But why only have the poorer of us reproduce?

      How much do taxes need to rise to pay for it? How long does the payment last for?

      As for your notion of having a smart nation, which I want us to be, there is a real risk that many will not and cannot go on that journey. I fear we’ll always have those left behind to serve coffees and clean high tech consoles and swipe cards at machines to push a button to clear an error.

      • Yes – the concept of basic income will become more and more prevalent in years to come – as technology takes away more jobs than a society can replace. A means tested basic income to produce ‘future tax payers & innovators’ is what this country needs.

        The basic income is payable for three children. (i.e. 3 periods of 6 months each – maximum of 18 months). If families are planning on having more children – they can elect to receive a lower amount of a longer time frame.

        Poorer reproduce under that strategy.

        Richer reproduce between Long Service Leave should be abolished (given no one stays with a company for 10 years anymore anyway). Employers currently pay 12 weeks long service leave for every 10 years of service. Most employers currently ‘bank’ this entitlement themselves due to the fact people move on so quickly. As a replacement, Paid Maternity Leave should be made a mandatory commitment. Employers that don’t hire women as a result (or show discriminatory processes) still get hung out to dry.

        If we got rid of all the tax rorts mentioned in my reply – it would basically pay for it.

      • @Raglan,

        On paper a BIG sounds like heart strings plucked yet its a corporatist wet dream, so easily gamed, and in my book it would hasten more privatization. Baltimore et al is a good example imo.

        Why not a small BIG w/ a localized JG which permits more democracy through community action and earning power…. anythings better than scraps under the masters table or kitchen back door.

        Skippy…. a straight up BIG just looks like a consumerist approach which ends up just being an epic corporatist subsidy.

    • RaglanParade, an excellent precis of the situation, and some of your suggestions are great too. However, your suggestions are unlikely to be taken on board by politicians. It does all boil down to our housing bubble, epecially high land prices. But remember, housing affordability is not on the agenda of any government. Politicians don’t have trouble buying houses so where’s the problem?

      There is so much that needs to be fixed in this country, but as long as our housing is among the most expensive in the world we look as though we’re doing well. It’s understandable, I guess, to feel rich if your house is worth $1 million, even though every other house within a reasonable radius of Melbourne and Sydney is also worth $1 million (or well over). And debt levels? While interest rates are low, it doesn’t seem to matter how big the mortgage is for many.

      To tackle the affordability problem means doing things to make prices fall, or better yet, to remove some (or all) of the props artificially keeping them ridiculously high. But realistically, no government is going to do that, which means we’re headed for more of the same until one day the bubble bursts under its own weight, which will, of course, cause more pain than if we pricked it now.

      I don’t know why you think we need to grow the population, though. I certainly think we should lower the immigration rate but given that the reason we have such high immigration is to prop up the housing bubble, why do we need more babies? Let’s try and cope with the population we have first, rather than grow for its own sake.

      • Given the lower birth rate – there is actually a coming ‘overcapacity’ in childrens services coming.

        Why do you think they are trying to get more people into Childcare now?

        A low birth rate puts pressure on growth in these industries. The organic growth isn’t there, so “they have to get more mums back to work” so these cronys that run childcare empires can afford the Mercedes.

        We need to cut immigration, and boost the birth rate.

      • Sorry Raglan, but I still don’t get why you want to increase birthrates. The only reason you’ve given is to give jobs to those in childcare. That doesn’t seem a good enough reason to promote having more babies. I think we need to stabliise or reduce our population for many reasons. I can understand that there is room for growth in the country towns, but certainly not our main cities. They are big enough already and bigger isn’t going to make them better.

      • I’m not talking about jobs in childcare – to the contrary really:

        We need more children because:

        – Our entire education system is built around a certain number of births. The fewer the students, the lower the economies of scale.
        – My proposed changes would hopefully enable more mothers to be able to make the choice to be ‘stay at home mothers’ if they wish (for at least longer anyway).
        – I don’t want more childcare jobs, I actually want less. Like ‘Traffic Management’, Childcare is just another cottage industry born out of regulation.
        – There aren’t enough jobs to go around. And there will be even less jobs in the future. We need to actually encourage people who add nothing to society out of the workforce. In some cases, it makes a lot more economic sense for a family to have a stay at home mother with a lower cost of living.. then the stresses that come from managing partners with two full time jobs and childcare. The only reason childcare is such a hot topic is because the whole society has been built around the cost of living requiring two wages.
        – We need to build the tax payers of the future. Immigrants have proven time and time again, that they are happy to come here and pay no tax (cash only Italian, Greek & Asian businesses), and milk our country for what they can get all the way to the grave.

      • I understand it would be great if only one wage was needed to pay a mortgage, and I can understand that if your ideas were adopted, then price of houses would come down so that could happen BUT on its own, how would having more kids enable mothers to stay at home? That doesn’t make sense. The higher the population, the more pressure there is put on property demand, and prices go up. We need to empty out our cities a bit so that prices can fall.

        And why do we need more taxpayers? To build more roads, more schools, more hospitals to keep up with a growing population? No, we need LESS people, and less taxpayers so that we are not in a position where we are trying to play catch-up. Let’s just deal with the population at hand.

        In any case, this is all hypothetical. The government is committed to a Big Australia to keep the housing bubble growing, and if it has to come from immigration, then just what they will keep doing. They are certainly not going to listen to me.

      • Remember the 700,000 vacant houses in Australia too.

        There is surplus housing stock, however there are no incentives to unlock it.

        We have a declining worker to retiree ratio — and only children will level that up.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        We have a declining worker to retiree ratio — and only children will level that up.

        In a future when most jobs will be done by robots, why do we need more people ?

        The relevance of “number of workers” to “wealth” has been declining since the industrial revolution kicked off.

      • We have a declining worker to retiree ratio — and only children will level that up.

        Sorry mate, you’re about half a generation too late.

        Like you’re ideas. The problem being, there won’t be more taxpayers, just more mouths too feed if there are no “jobs”.

        There is no easy solution to the ageing problem….

      • I think a bit differently on this.

        I think the jobs will be there – but they will be tech jobs. We still have so much further to go on automation – and given our reluctant to change, there is probably a good 50 years work.

        In particular – We are only touching the surface of Agriculture Super Intelligence – and that should be our focus.

        At the moment, other countries around the world out “out-smarting” us on the tech front.

        We have the option.

        Fight to become a leader on the tech front.

        Or become a backwater nation.

        Both the major parties are going the backwater nation path at the moment.

      • @Raglan

        We can increase our tech sector a hundred fold but it will still only provide a fraction of the jobs in Australia. The other problem is that a tech sector needs skills and it needs to be globally competitive.

        Both are extremely uncomplementary to the current economic narrative and environment here. That needs to change first.

        There is little incentive to do anything productive here…

    • You’ve got my vote. Unfortunately, people that make sense don’t get anywhere in this country. We just end up carry the weight of the world while the idiots go about eating up Tony’s marketing plan, washing it down with a $4 latte and worrying about what happened on Game of Thrones. They care more about gazing into their smartphones than whether their superfund will actually be there in 30 years for them to retire. I’m starting to think they deserve what’s coming, and that the politicians are actually the smart ones for recognising you can’t make sense with this mob, so you might as well pick their pockets and live comfortably on their ignorance.

      • Many friends urge me to get into politics – however I’m not interested in ‘playing the game’.

        I’m interested in good policy – not circle jerking in Canberra.

      • Lol…..not laughing at-choo here, laughing at same situation I found myself twice over the years.
        Best not to get ‘slimed’ I decided.
        Agreed,you can do more for this beautiful country & wonderful people by working goodness from outside this insidious political ‘circle’ ;

        …..one mosquito against a herd of stampeding rhino’s etc etc
        http://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/inside-report/id/320/the-power-of-little-things.aspx

        Not only should we be teaching in our schools how to budget on what you have and teach the evil of the credit card…..we should teach Human Rights. This would put a stop to a lot of rubbish!

      • Rass,

        Credit is more about the metrics associated with issuance. From a historical perspective wages have been ruthlessly attacked from the mid 70s onwards, yet the underwriting standards wrt credit have fallen to ludicrously low levels. All whilst some made just as absurd levels of profit from this screw ball paradigm.

    • Australian TFR was certainly not at 2.4 during the ’90s or anywhere near replacement. It hasn’t been above replacement since the mid seventies.

      If you really want to increase TFR, you need to improve parity of wages between men and women, and reduce the effect on people of both genders’ careers of temporarily suspending those careers for a few years to parent pre-school children. But actually getting even mildly above replacement is very unlikely.

      EDIT: A lack of money is only half the story wrt why people have fewer babies. Of greater importance is that as completing school and university has become substantially more common, parents invest heaps more time in their individual children. The helicopter and tiger mum models just aren’t achievable with five or six kids.

      • I fondly remember a Toyota add in the 90’s with 2.4 kids in the back seat !.. (that’s where I pulled that figure from).

        I have a different view to the world on men vs. women’s pay.

        Currently – on an ‘apples vs. apples’ basis – wages are largely the same .

        However women are attracted to lower paid industries (health, education, retail, hospitality, etc.).

        You can never give high wages to those industries just because they have a high percentage of female workers – it doesn’t make sense.

        We actually need to move the debate away from men vs. woman. We need to respect that men and women are different, and will most likely always be different. Instead of trying to make a lot of people be something that they are not, we should build the system to create the outcomes they want.

        Get a bunch of 25 or 30 year old women in a room – and they care less about wage equality, and more about the ovaries that are ticking inside them – and the best deal they can get to support it (husband, house, ring, etc.)

      • The 2.4 is plausible but probably still wrong because they implicitly excluded people who didn’t have children from their calculation.

        There has been little change in the numbers of people who want to have children. What has happened is that those who have the have far fewer. My proposal is that make it more doable for couples to have four or more children – which you will need to do to get average up – is that wages need to equitable within couples is they can spread time away from the workforce between them.

    • RaglanParade,
      You hit the nail on the head in many of the areas that you mentioned. Unfortunately, there’s significant cultural, political, and economic resistance to change. It will take either a very charismatic, unconventional, creative, and visionary leader (good luck finding that) or a major economic correction that people will remember for the next 50 years to change things. short of that, it’s the status quo..

      • I’d do it myself – but i’m too colorful.

        I like to crack jokes about wogs and asians, and drop too many f-words when frustrated.

        Parliament would need to install beepers. haha.

  10. 10,000-Year-Old Antarctic Ice Shelf Could Disappear Before Decade’s End, NASA Study Finds – IB Times

    “Although it’s fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it’s bad news for our planet.”

    I do hope that nobody here has invested in property below an altitude of, oh, say 10m above sea level, hoping to bequest it to their children. 😯 Once sea level rise starts accelerating, the bottom will fall out of property near sea level….

    • SoMPLSBoyMEMBER

      Good one R2M!

      I always thought that 150 years of burning fossil fuels would have ‘some’ effect on the original biosphere ( and her biospherians) but never dreamed the efforts to hide and mitigate what is happening would be so outrageous.

      With ionospheric ‘heaters’ (HAARP), and AL oxide and aerosol laced ‘chemtrails’, no one should be surprised about arctic ice death spirals, droughts, floods and earthquakes and what’s coming down the road.

      Seems the ‘ultimate’ business model is financing and repairing a deliberately wounded planet.

      http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/

      Levon, Levon likes his money
      He makes a lot they say
      Spends his days counting
      In a garage by the motorway

      Elton John -Madman Across the Water

      • Ding ding ding! Astroturfing fruitcake alert.

        Somewhere, some PR person thought “if we can’t challenge the science of climate change, we can at least pollute forums with sockpuppets who claim to accept the science, but also believe in a set of other whacked out conspiracy theories. We’ll discredit the science by association!”

        Chemtrails has to be one of the dumbest conspiracy theories for a long time; even derpier than the 9-11 truthers.

      • Not sure what point you’re trying to make, 2D, in referring to Mig’s tweet about Mt Kilimanjaro’s glacier. The fact is that:

        Almost 85 percent of the ice cover disappeared from October 1912 to June 2011. At the current rate, most of the ice will disappear by 2040 and “it is highly unlikely that any ice body will remain after 2060”

        That quote is from a 2013 study

      • to SoMPLSBoy ref. ‘ionospheric ‘heaters (HAARP) and AL oxide and aerosol laced ‘chemtrails’…..yes.
        I ‘look up’ regularly and I see. Unfortunately we then have those that purport this is just ‘conspiracy theorists’ at work and crazies spinning tales of fantasy. Easier than confronting the damage being done I guess. This meddling with our planets natural systems is the biggest threat to ours and planet’s well-being imo.

      • SoMPL,
        Sorry, but you should ditch that loser website, chemtrails is nothing but complete bullshit. You CANNOT go adding additives to aircraft fuel willy nilly, for starters to get that approved requires the approval of the aircraft and engine manufacture aswell as the aviation regulator. Any additives would need to be noted in the A/C Maintenance Log. The fuel companies would need to be involved.

        The chemtrails bit just shows that site as crap.

    • Oh, don’t worry, they’ll engineer a bailout for that. Wasn’t their fault mate, no one told them!

    • Yep, exactly. Big pharma follows on from big internet and big mining and pays no tax.

      Their representative in Canberra (the head of Treasury) calls for reduced personal tax……so we drift towards nobody paying tax and the little people paying mostest until the end…..

      Its a great model, for which the only answer is social revolution. And that revolution (whatever form it takes) for mine requires heads on sticks.

      • Gunna,
        I read that piece and it made me choke. Net migration to NZ, the lying misleading wanker! If what I’ve seen here is correct is that is just Kiwi’s going home with the end of the mining boom. I’m tired of reading the lies and misrepresentation of information.

        As to heads on sticks; will never happen. Unlike the image we like to portray we don’t have the stomach for that. Look how the French farmers responded in the 80s/90s, HK last year, the Greeks and Italians. We are a soft @@@@ nation.

        As to us as an egalitarian country….hahahahahahahahaha. We were, when most of us were in the same boat, but once we could see an opportunity to gain advantage we took it. I’m tired of listening to co-workers etc whining about their hard work and the tax they pay and dole bludgers and those whoreish single mothers. Most of those I work with are in the top 10%, but the whinging and bleating never stops. I’m also sick of listening to uneducated bums and tradesman in mining whining about taxes when they get want they do because of our political system, not because they earnt it.

        Basically, the average person shits me, greedy and self entitled, and that’s up and down the food chain. No one seems to be happy with want they have, it’s always more and it matters not that it’s at someone else’s expense.

        End of rant/

      • Yes. It is Kiwis returning home; and from our side of The Tasman, not going to Aussie in the first-place. But we are the Rock-star economy !! See…look how many people want to come and live HERE. We are it….Or so our propaganda machine tells us…..Anyhow, thanks for your rant 🙂 It saves me from having to write something similar. I never really understood why my mother used to pointlessly shout at talk-back radio, back in time. Now, I do ! A good weekend to you…..

      • Oh Gunna,
        Back to heads on sticks, 3d’s should be first for playing a lead performance as Goebbels reincarnated.

      • Hey Dennis, why dont you get a job in the mines if its so easy and fruitful, or alternatively STFU bagging people who work long hard shifts doing productive work.

      • Jaybonehead,
        Go back to school and learn how to read and comprehend. Do you know what STFU means? Just asking.

      • STFU bagging people who work long hard shifts doing productive work.

        You mean like the man holding a lolly pop at the construction site? He gets paid more than my mate who is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and is on a rotating 1 year contract, without promotional increases. And guess what, because there is no money from the government, he is also an engineer, a computer scientist, an IT specialist, an architect, a removealist and a precision manufacturer.

        You wouldn’t last a f**ken day mate!

    • Further to your link,
      Low interest rates also worried the treasury secretary. “I have got to be very careful what I say about interest rates….. but I worry about the losers,” he said. “All my parents wanted to do in their retirement was put some money on deposit at 4 to 5 per cent. These days….. the best you can get is (a low) per cent…… it’s unfair. We have broken the social contract with a large group of people.”

    • It is a little concerning that a supposedly apolitical Treasury Secretary is already running out the Right wing theology of there must be lower personal tax rates. MW and co. show that many multi-national companies (and people) do not pay the their share by income shifting / super games / NG / trust structures. He is obviously a disciple of Starve the Beast which the LNP has now adopted as its own theology direct from the Tea Party and its wealthy (Koch, Murdoch, etc.) backers. Petone does not have one original idea, apart from an obsession to be a lapdog for the IPA.

    • John A. Fraser (born 8 August 1951) is an Australian public servant. He commenced in his role as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury in January 2015.
      Life and career

      Fraser graduated from Monash University in Australia in 1972 with a first class honours degree in Economics. He worked for the Australian Treasury, including two international postings to Washington DC, firstly at the International Monetary Fund and then as Economic Minister at the Australian embassy. He was Deputy Secretary (Economic) of the Department of the Treasury.[1]

      Fraser joined the UBS Group in Australia in 1993 and was named Head of Asia Pacific for the Business Group in 1999. From 1994 to 1998 he was Executive Chairman and CEO of Swiss Bank Corporation’s division SBC Australia Funds Management Ltd.[2] He was Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management from December 2001 until December 2013.[1][3] Prior to that, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of UBS Asset Management and Head of Asia Pacific.[4]

      In December 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced John Fraser’s appointment as Secretary of the Treasury Department, to commence 15 January 2015.[5][6][7][8] The appointment is for five years.[9] Treasurer Joe Hockey said that, in his new role, Fraser would be asked to undertake a thorough review of the Treasury Department’s resources and capabilities.[10]

      Fraser is a member of the Board of Governors at the Marymount International School in Kingston-upon-Thames.[when?][citation needed] – snip

      “Another controversial topic Fraser did not shy from was fiscal austerity measures, and fiscal stimulus packages.

      He said he was not opposed to fiscal austerity. He said the United Kingdom’s austerity policies in recent years had been successful. And I think he’s conceptually right when he says there’s a place for austerity in the right circumstances. I don’t think anyone seriously suggests that the United Kingdom government didn’t need to significantly rein in government spending at the time when David Cameron came to office. Given the size of the deficit he had at the time he had to do something in the same way that the United States probably needed to curtail the rate of growth of government spending.”

      “http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/new-treasury-secretary-john-fraser-fan-of-controversial-economic-theory-20150303-13tlyj.html

      Skippy…. Fondly remembers the Raygun years….

      • Strange? No comment from JF on the financial regulation? I guess he did mention even his kids are drawing on the parental CU. Austerity, where bankers realise the banking system might be in a bit of strife….

    • to a.j. ref. “I see it with my own children, although they have an old man who helps them. I see other young people pushed into a life that doesn’t automatically reward hard work. I am extremely worried by what’s happening with housing. The growing divide is a real economic drag.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC-A6SP3EsQ
      ….jokes aside. I am not a zealous religious nut but years ago I was and still am, mightily impressed by the ethos of ‘community’ to be found within the Jehovah’s band of merriment. When one of their flock needs a home, house, building they all come together for a weekend/week and simply build one.
      I guess it is going to take awhile for this sort of behavior to catch on as it takes planning and a degree of selflessness for a few days-and the reward is not a monetary one it appears.

  11. From the self- appointed genius article above,

    “As Dunning and Kruger put it, “the incompetent cannot recognize competence in others,” which prevents them from learning from them.”

    And there we have one of the reasons why change for the better is hard to come by.

    • Yes! From the same piece – I thought it fitted Reus’ image of IP owners
      Lake Wobegon effect” — named after Garrison Keillor’s fictional Minnesota town where, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

      Perhaps we can call them the ‘Wobegoners’

    • In the interest of open and free speech they’ve put the article behind a paywall.

      • And it’s a paywall that almost all “small minded narrow thinking bigots” have paid to access. 😉

        The Australia is big on preaching to the converted. 🙄

      • You lost an ‘n’, but it still seems to have resulted in a factually correct sentence.

      • @Reverttomean. You throw that bigot word around a lot. It’s kind of the smack down comment that shuts down the debate.

        You left wing idiots are missing most of the issues but think you know it all. Flyingfox told me how wrong I was about populatio. How Australia could sustain double our population then linked a site proving it that didn’t consider the ecology. You people are destroying Australia with your ignorance.

        Grow the fuck up you juvenile morons.

      • Rich42 spewed:

        @Reverttomean. You throw that bigot word around a lot. It’s kind of the smack down comment that shuts down the debate.

        I was directly quoting your fellow traveller, 3d1k 😕

        How Australia could sustain double our population ….your ignorance.

        You’re confusing me with someone else. I’m all for lower population (as are most Greens, if you talk to them one-on-one). I’m a paid-up member of the ZPG Society. In fact, I firmly believe that a die-off of billions of humans is inevitable in the next 100 years. 😯

      • Flyingfox told me how wrong I was about populatio. How Australia could sustain double our population then linked a site proving it that didn’t consider the ecology. You people are destroying Australia with your ignorance.

        If you spent more time doing research (which you would if you were an actual scientist) and less time shooting you’re mouth off, you will see that the underlying models of of the simple interface includes ecology as well. Read the papers.

      • @flyingfox. ” if you were an actual scientist”..You’re still talking that BS?

        If it includes ecology it is woefully wrong. We’re the biggest killer of species in the world. What gaga land are the people in that wrote that BS program?

        You’re not an environmentalist. You’re a nutter socialist Green. Can you people stop lying?

      • @rich42,

        Eugenics and “Socialist Greens”…. clutching your peals again?

        Skippy…. watch it or your going to end up like 3d1k, mig-i and posse…

    • 3d1k, at least their minds are bigger than yours and they are not paid to be ‘their Masters Voice”. Why is that right wing reactionaries are so touchy when their paid mouthpieces are caught out?

      just because Yankee Rupert provides all on your side an unchallenged platform. The nuttiness in the News Ltd press far surpasses a few students in WA.

      Why do you need the WA uni position apart from to give the man some undeserved credibility?

      • Anybody taking anything they read at face value in a Rupertarian newspaper or accepting anything they saw or heard via a Rupertarian broadcast media outlet needs to go and think about why they would do so given the absolute reams of direct journalist exposure of the sorts of underhandedness the organisation is party to, and the standard management defence of such exposure.

        Veracity accuracy context and projection you should not be seeking in such outlets, but rather a focus on that which make more money for the Rupertariat or furthers Rupertariat causes, and will do anything (cultivating fear bigotry etc) legal or illegal to further that.

      • Aj, Lomborg wrote the response, and it is worth reading. The Centre was to housed in the School of Business, it’s primary focus the economic aspect of programs across the aid spectrum – from social through to environmental agendas. An attempt to ensure most bang for your buck. This was not to be a climate science research unit, rather an economic one.

      • As for NewsCorp – my preference is for the Australian, our best paper. Balanced reporting, big issues. SMH & Age have occasional forays into this type of journalism and have some top journos on board, alas the overall lean to the Left frustrates.

      • the Australian, our best paper. Balanced reporting, big issues

        Fox News, Faux News, Fixed News.

        Fair and Balanced: We Distort, You Comply … [or in my case] We Distort, You Deride …. 🙄

      • This was not to be a climate science research unit, rather an economic political one

        Almost right, fixed now.

      • R2M, latest research (via The Cat)

        “A new study, released last week, casts doubt on the importance of CO2 as a driver of global warming. Two researchers at the University of Inner Western Sydney have uncovered a link between the playing of cricket and prolonged periods of hot weather over the past 100 years in both northern AND southern hemispheres.”

      • I do have some sympathy for the newscorp journos. They are herded into a corporatist duopoly and whilst some live the ethos, many are prob trying to do the best they can in a career where the corporate executives hold the lash.

        I don’t mind the Aus, but when push comes to shove it’s always obvious what the interests of the Lords are.

      • 3dik, “The Cat” is a site run by Sinclair Davidson of the IPA. The IPA a right-wing, corporate-funded think tank based in Melbourne that has close links to the Liberal Party of Australia. Davidson is an ex-South African fwit who campaigns for a flat tax, to advantage his wealthy mates.

        And you’re surprised we ignore most of your posts?

        For a laugh, here are some of the monographs Davidson has written. Are they a give-away or not?

        “Who Pays the Lion’s Share of Personal Income Tax?” (the rich, he claims)
        “Personal income tax in New Zealand: Who pays and is progressive taxation justified?” (no justification for progressive taxation, he claims)
        “Are there any good arguments against cutting income taxes? ” (no, he says)
        “A flat tax for Australia?” (yes please, he says)
        “Back to Basics — Why Government funding of science is a waste of our money” (BUT government funding of closet deniers like Dumborg is good)

      • “As for NewsCorp – my preference is for the Australian, our best paper. Balanced reporting, big issues.”

        Golly, the 3inchK character never tires of plugging Murdoch’s crapsheets. It better be careful, the minerals council might think it’s being cheated on. Surely they taught us to be more subtle than that bro ?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        News corp is def a media commentator we should trust eh 3d?

        When you absolutely, positively, have to load every opinion and spin every story, accept no substitutes.

    • 3d1k, Please stop spreading lies and misinformation. Bringing the Lomborg’s Australia Consensus Centre was a political move by a denialist government. It did not meet any of the criteria required for a research centre within a major university:

      “Normally they have to demonstrate they will contribute to research output of the university and the reputation of the university,” he says. “They must have at least six full-time equivalent academic staff engaged in research at the university, a viable plan for the growth of the centre, the capacity to be self-sustaining. They must have an academic and a business plan, a clear indication of the resources, facilities, funding, negotiated targets for research, training, publication volume, output quality and how that will all be measured.”

      He continues, citing the criteria listed on the UWA website: “It must also have the approval of the academic council, normally has to have an interdisciplinary role, and to have demonstrated consultation with other parts of the faculty that might be involved.”

      The list of requirements and processes is detailed, but Mazzarol’s point is simple. “This one didn’t go through any of those steps.”

      The funding for this “research centre” has been funded directly by the government and shopped around several universities before they found one stupid enough to take the dirty money (UWA). Pyne thinks he’ll find another university that will take the bribe. I don’t think he will.

      http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/05/16/why-the-abbott-government-wants-bjorn-lomborgs-consenus-centre

  12. Clumsy desperation advanced by pejorative proclamations only high lights your mobs and Murdock’s ilk [mockintin ;)] pathological nature….

    Skippy…. the bum got turned out and those that promoted him lost just about the last remnant of any creditability.

    • That won’t last all that long – the ones being assisted won’t have the scratch to do the same when it’s their children needing assistance.

      • I would also imagine that a lot of those parents who are handing out money also fail to recognise the effect that this will have on them in the future. They are eating into their retirement in order to allow their kids to take part in a rigged game that they will most likely end up losing. In my view it is one of those situations where for most you would need to be cruel to be kind. Assist to keep them healthy and safe, but don’t pamper and raise expectations that their is always money in the kitty.

  13. This….is unusual for us! An announcement on a Sunday morning:

    “(NZ Prime Minister) John Key announces Budget 2015 changes to crack down on property traders selling within two years; requires all property buyers to provide (Tax) numbers; requires foreign buyers to get NZ bank account and (Tax) number…Everyone – whether from New Zealand or overseas – should pay their fair share of tax according to the law. So we need to ensure the existing law is enforced”

    • Well that ought to help the Kiwi’s provide more reliable data about which middle Kingdom citizens are buying abodes in NZ for Operation Foxhunt, and should slow down the numbers of people buying properties in NZ with bags of cash.

      There was quite a big piece in the SCMP recently about a former Chinese bureaucrat who has done a runner for NZ and gone big into real estate.

      • truthisfashionable

        Sadly I think most will think that NZ is now too risky to hide their money and focus on Australia instead.

        I never quite understood the multiple meanings of ‘Chinese Laundry’ but now its become clear that it is a legitimate business encouraged by the FIRE sector with full support of the Government.

        The only hope is that someone in the ATO wants to make a name for themselves and targets a similar initiative for similar reasons.

    • Won’t that mean more graduates, leading to more medical practitioners, which obviously leads to more competition within the market and decrease in costs for the public. He is just displaying his mad pro-market skills. (Tongue in cheek)

      • Well the pro market side of me would actually support TestosterTone on that basis (I strongly suspecting Australian medical training is about as closed a shop intended to support price outcomes for practitioners as I have ever seen)

        …..but the former hard core IR practitioner deep within (one who has had exposure to the AMA in its IR guise) has extreme reservations about the capacity of the Torynuffs to organise with the complexity which would be required to address that, the ability to communicate that message to the public (in the face of what I am 1000% sure would be a well funded and clear considered and targeted campaign by the AMA) and would suspect that balaclava clad dog handlers in medical centres may not be a good look……

    • The Patrician

      OMG! Contrary to popular belief. We have an oversupply of Australian trained doctors! lol
      The AMA is shameless

  14. The Patrician

    The “Recent comments” box, usually in the far right column, has disappeared from all my MB pages
    Anyone else got the same issue?

    • Yeah, there have been a few technical issues this weekend – the website was down last night for a while and I think it may have been for a while yesterday morning too. and it seems a lot slower.

    • I use mobile version, recent comments visible – you hit far right log in button, comments unfold below.

      • Thanks FF. ” include Tones and Joe”. I tried, it won’t let me. I’ll look in to it tomorrow.

  15. I’ve only just started tuning into the weekend links, but I’m finding them a great part of the MB service offering. Keep up the great work.