The full horror of planned Syd/Melb population explosions revealed

By Leith van Onselen

Earlier this week I presented the latest population projections from the New South Wales and Victorian Governments, which forecast astonishing population growth for both Sydney and Melbourne.

According to these forecasts, Sydney’s population is projected to reach 6,421,850 by 2036, whereas Melbourne’s population is projected to reach 8,000,000 by 2051.

After presenting these “horrifying” projections, a reader emailed me with the following comment:

“I think you are being a bit alarmist about population growth in our major cities. Population growth was higher in the post-war period. Also, immigration isn’t to blame for our woes, but rather poor planning, infrastructure provision, etc.

If anything, in the medium to long run, increased immigration will actually help put political pressure to change the underlying issues”.

I emailed the reader back and stated that I agreed that poor policy, planning, etc shares much of the blame. But that importing a whole bunch of people for the sake of it makes these blunders so much worse.

I also asked why they assumed the policy situation would magically turn around? That is, our governments have failed so miserably at catering for the past 12 years’ population explosion, so what makes them so confident that they will cater for the next 30+ years of rapid growth?

To add further insight into why the population projections for Sydney and Melbourne are so ghastly, I have plotted both historical and projected population growth at the state level.

The first chart shows the historical populations of New South Wales and Victoria since federation, along with the respective state governments’ projections:

ScreenHunter_14932 Sep. 14 14.56

And the next chart plots New South Wales’ historical and projected population change:

ScreenHunter_14936 Sep. 14 15.05

Since the Second World War, New South Wales’ population has grown by an average of 67,482 people per year, which includes the past 12 year’s frenzy whereby the population has grown by 85,000 per year.

However, over the next 25 years, New South Wales’ population is projected to grow by an average of 108,531 people per year!

The situation is even worse in Victoria:

ScreenHunter_14935 Sep. 14 15.05

Since the Second World War, Victoria’s population has grown by an average of 56,199 people per year, which again includes the past 12 year’s frenzy whereby the population has grown by 89,000 per year.

However, over the next 36 years, Victoria’s population is projected to grow by an average of 115,155 people per year!

The above charts highlight in all of their hideous glory why both Sydney and Melbourne residents are facing a huge shock to their living standards. Both cities are already straining under 12 years of rapid population growth and are ceasing to function properly. And yet population growth is projected to remain at unprecedented levels for decades to come.

With both city’s populations growing at roughly twice the pace of the post war period, they will need unprecedented infrastructure investment just to keep up with the population expansion, let alone make up for past shortfalls.

Sadly, our governments’ record on this front is poor to say the least, with both cities already facing huge infrastructure deficits, which have helped cause crippling congestion, deteriorating housing affordability, declining overall livability and hollowing out of tradable sectors. There is nothing in our politician’s skill sets to suggest that they can cope with the extraordinary ramp up. The evidence is, if anything, that Australia’s political economy is itself neither sufficiently clever nor robust enough to deal with it.  Then there are the social and strategic implications.

Don’t just take my word for it, the Productivity Commission has also raised concern about the government’s ability to mitigate the negative impacts of rapid population growth:

High rates of immigration put upward pressure on land and housing prices in Australia’s largest cities. Upward pressures are exacerbated by the persistent failure of successive state, territory and local governments to implement sound urban planning and zoning policies…

Urban population growth puts pressure on many environment-related resources and services, such as clean water, air and waste disposal. Managing these pressures requires additional investment, which increases the unit cost of relevant services, such as water supply and waste management. These higher costs are shared by all utility users…

Immigration, as a major source of population growth in Australia, contributes to congestion in the major cities, raising the importance of sound planning and infrastructure investment. While a larger population offers opportunities for more efficient use of, and investment in, infrastructure, governments have not demonstrated a high degree of competence in infrastructure planning and investment. Funding will inevitably be borne by the Australian community either through user-pays fees or general taxation.

Again I ask: where is the government’s plan to cope with the projected population explosion, and why is it desirable? And how do our politicians propose that our big cities accommodate this never-ending flood of people without adversely impacting existing residents’ living standards? How will this impact social harmony and our strategic position in the region?

The case for a “Big Australia” has never been made, which is why Australia desperately needs to have a national discussion about population policy before the situation gets too far out of hand.

[email protected]

Leith van Onselen


  1. Who gives a fuck about gay marriage !!

    This is the most pertinent issue facing our country right now.
    How do we get the mainstream ignorant electorate interested and active on this issue?

    Thanks Leith for your persistence on this issue

  2. It seems the government want to use the benefit from population growth to reap in more tax for political purposes, but don’t want to pay for services or infrastructure.

      • That in a nutshell sums up the business case for most profitable business in Australia over the last two decades. From education to the FIRE sector most profitable businesses have been selling something that is cnnected to or has been made more profitable by mass immigration. And clearly selling off the commons will continue until there is nothing of value to sell. Which looking at the state of the rest of the world today could be a while away. Clearly the message from the Government and from Parliament is Sell On…

    • Sydney and Melbourne are growing at the rate of developing world cities. What people don’t understand is to do that you have to adopt developing world standards of governance and service provision, otherwise you’ll end up with crappy infrastructure. The choices are between the Chinese model (bulldoze communities, heritage and the environment in order to build infrastructure and residential buildings at a furious pace) and the Indian (pack people in to ramshackle buildings with delapidated infrastructure).

      The Chinese model seems to have particular appeal for NSW state government. The Chinese follow this path against the objections of many of their citizens, because they expect an urbanization dividend for the broader economy. The Chinese manage to carry the majority of people with them, because they are used to living under an autocratic regime, and this one appear to be improving things on the whole, and is relatively benign compared to the past. It is difficult to see how any similar benefits would apply to Sydney and Melbourne as Australia is already highly urbanized. All they appear to be doing is degrading the overall quality of life (aside from property developers).

      To build infrastructure and provide services at developed world standards is expensive and takes time and planning. I doubt it can be done in a hurry, definitely that’s not the experience of recent years. At very least they have to show some benefit to the broader economy than some vague (and incorrect) theory about improved demographics.

      • It can’t be done in a hurry, but it could have at least started 15 years ago. Instead we have the government doing the opposite. Cutting money from services and infrastructure and delivering tax loopholes for rent seekers.

      • > The Chinese manage to carry the majority of people with them, because they are used to living under an autocratic regime

        Once mainland Chinese become a majority here and a spinoff from the CPC will win state and federal elections they can start bulldozing our suburbs and replacing our low rise houses with residential towers 🙂

      • We are “bulldozing our suburbs and replacing our low rise houses with residential towers” just fine now without the CPP. Also what is with it with drumming up fear of the Chinese. You are acting as if all Chinese are commies. Also you are forgetting more immigrants are not Chinese… For example Indians, Malaysians are very big too.

      • I’m more concerned about the system being imported here rather than the ethnicity of immigrants. China is run around a big property development model, the state is intricately involved in the property development business, and the party is the state. We\now have CCP controlled state owned Chinese property developers operating on large scale projects in Australia, building apartments to market to Chinese investors. To accommodate them the state government need to override the complaints of existing residents. Here in NSW Baird has sacked elected councils, brought in draconian anti-protest laws, sought to unseat the mayor through tinkering with electoral rules, all very similar to the way the CCP asserts its authority through the puppet government in Hong Kong. Meanwhile the corrupting soft power onslaught continues through the media, business and all sides of politics.

        I just don’t see this kind of thing happening with Indian, Malaysian or immigrants from any other country.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      “Let’s leverage off existing infrastructure.”

      Rememberthe 90s and early 2000s the catch cry of every politician, business leader and egg head economic commentator?

      …funny how they’ve stopped using that line in all their ponzi spruiking.

    • Reveals the stance against the boat people to be totally inhuman and based on a false premise as they are being used to convince Joe Dullard that immigration is under control. There has been relaxation of controls for ages now as the numbers show. Its normal behavior for our low IQ politicians as its all about deceit and pandering to their business mates at the expense of rest of the community. None of these clowns will be around when the cities grind to a halt and the quality of life plummets.

  3. So, long real estate, then?

    We’re seeing the MSM pick up on the bubble risks lately. It’s not because the end is nigh. It’s to help sell the public on this population boom.

    I don’t think it’s wise to hold a lot of investment properties (hold none myself), but if you’re one of the people holding off buying a home because of hope for a crash – maybe think about the risks the future holds in both directions.

      • What’s going to cause the crash? You and I both look towards the external account but in a world where the US just prints the reserve currency to finance everything, where we are perfectly prepared to accept that trash in exchange for any and all our assets, and this is all is accepted by the academic morons as all good, it’s hard to see where the crash is going to come from within any sensible time frame.
        Of course the current rising xenophobia about the Chinese just might do it……. and bring us a war!

      • Inconsistent? How so?
        Name a single CB that is not going to print? Germans? Note that some are in a position where they can print and some aren’t bur fundamentally the whole house of cards depends on the US printing. The Fed cannot back out of its current position although the brainiac in my family thinks they can – but he is really only talking a 0.25% rise in IR’s – not reversing the insanity.
        The current policy of priniting as much as possible to consume the planet at an ever faster rate is accepted by everyone in the bloody world excepting yours truly.
        So as long as the world is awash with printed money and we are both accepted as a good destination AND are willing to just flog off anything and everything to any foreigner with a handful of this toilet paper how is it going to stop?
        Your failure to recognise this has been the cause of your calle on housing.
        Sure as Herb said Íf something cannot go on forever it will stop’but WHEN? Strewth I’ve waited nearly 50 economically cognisant years for some clown somewhere to try to do the right thing and bring it to a screaming halt. It hasn’t happened. When it does it will be a conflagration such as the world has NEVER seen but I might be long erased from this mortal page.
        You only conclude I’m inconsistent because you refuse to grasp the nettle.

      • @H&H
        Crash? What crash?
        We’ve been holding off buying a house because of the fears of that crash and the only crash we’ve seen is the one I our nerves and hopes to buy a house
        The system is well designed to protect high prices ensuring that they only go higher
        It’s risky. But it’s working
        Let’s admit there is no and will be no crash

      • re:flawse. German = EU, so they’re printing already. Everyone know this is not sustainable, however since the first country that stops printing will gets all the disadvantages, everyone has to continue printing. It’s exactly like the nuclear arms race back in the Cold War days.

      • G’day Ronin
        German = EU Yes. I’m messing with the time frames a bit there. The EU cannot hold together in my view. My time frame is a couple of years – complex as hell so I don’t really have an opinion as to which pillar will fall and when..
        Agree CB’s Companies even individuals – all in a game of musical chairs…or a maze incorporating one-way gates.

      • There seems to be a lot of confusion between the concepts: “there will always be demand for quality real estate in a good location” and “there will always be demand for quality real estate in a good location – at any price”. Its just like conflating “the world is only going to consume greater amounts of energy energy” with “holy crap no price is too high for a barrel of oil” – remember that from a few year’s ago? Every bubble is founded on a spurious twist of logic following an unarguable premise.

  4. Why doesn’t somebody somewhere sometime ask these insane b….rds how the nation is going to finance all this? They should be asked to give us their plan to sell assets to foreigners over the next 40 years. Which companies? Which mines? Whose farms? Which suburbs? Who do we plan to sell to? The mad US lot who just print up whatever toilet paper to give us in exchange for our assets? The Saudis and their mad bloody extremism? Russkies maybe? Chinese? WHO??????

    Does NOBODY look at this and thing what the hell is the effect on the external account?
    I really just want to hear one person somewhere in the media ask the question. I just want to hear one politician somewhere explain it!
    Can we just hear this explained from just ONE of these irresponsible, nutcase, I’m alright Jack don’t give a f..k about you, don’t give a RA public servants who are planning all this!!

    • Nations that have a current account surplus like China, Japan Germany and US can print indefinitely. Nations that have a current account and trade deficit like Australia in contrast gets hollowed out. The printing acts as a way to prolong their unsustainable surplus.
      On a side note, the Saudi is in real trouble. The Saudi government have stopped paying their bills, and a lot of foreign workers have not been paid for 6 months. The war in Yemen is getting very expensive. The foreign workers don’t get paid, but they can’t leave the country either. Another 1-2 year of low oil prices may see ISIS take over the country.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Saudi is the modern Frankenstein. They create monster. Monster gets a tad unruly. Creator reneges on deal. Monster gets stroppy and necks creator’s mate and missus.

        Who is Saudi’s mate and missus? US would be one of them.

      • @Ronin
        Nations that have a current account surplus like China, Japan Germany and US can print indefinitely. Nations that have a current account and trade deficit like Australia in contrast gets hollowed out. “”

        Amazing how few people, at any level, seem to understand that simple concept.Just note, you must have had a momentary time out” the US runs a massive massive Current Account Deficit but can print the reserve currency to cover – hence the mass liquidity, and massive international’reserves around the ‘world. The mind boggles as to what would happen if the US decided not to run a CAD and altered its fiscal and monetary policies appropriately.

      • “They create monster. Monster gets a tad unruly. Creator reneges on deal. Monster gets stroppy and necks creator’s mate and missus”

        There you have it, the Mary Shelley elevator pitch 🙂

  5. I think we have to be really cynical and ask whether the government knows that the immigration program isn’t even particularly concerned about settling people here well. They probably know quite well that many migrants leave again but as long as the govt’s collecting profitable fees and the aeroplanes are full and there’s a turnover of dwellings with all the economic froth that generates, they’re delighted. I sometimes wonder how many immigrants leaving are financially poorer and shattered when they leave. (Departure card in hand having missed the box it should be dropped into).

  6. The lack of planning for infrastructure to support a larger Australian population is NOT an accident.

    Planning implies preparation which implies building infrastructure in ANTICIPATION of need.

    But to do that means decisions allocating current resources and that means less for current consumption and more for current investment.

    NONE of our politicians are prepared to actually proposal that.

    Our current political economic model is all about driving consumption with debt and a large chunk of that is borrowed off shore WITH both RBA and APRA approval and endorsement.

    The public have been conditioned over the last 20 years to a life style supported with expanding debt – mostly private but increasingly public and increasingly foreign.

    Building infrastructure in anticipation without even larger levels of debt would require a substantial reduction in resources devoted to current consumption.

    Which members of our political class are prepared to tell us that?

    The plan is quite simple.

    1. Stuff the cities with as many new people as possible.

    2. Beat up on boat arrivals as a distraction from the massive ramp up in immigration under Howard and since Howard.

    3. Allow the public transport – trains, buses and roads to become miserably congested.

    4. Keep housing supply in a state of permantent state of under supply – rental vacancy rates less than 3%

    5. Maintain a constant campaign against fiscal policy

    6. Use 2 and 3 and 4 to force the public to accept the sale of infrastructure ‘ooportunties’ to corporate donors who then gouge monopoly profits from user charges but increasingly from the fraud known as ‘value capture’ – which has little to do with ongoing charges on land to support the cost of infrastructure that supports land values.

    An entire generation of our leaders in politics and policy are convinced this is how you run a modern global economy and they are very very sure that they are right.

      • If there is a “plan” in existence anywhere, it is on the part of some malign interests colluding to defraud the general public.

        I have tended to be dismissive of conspiracy theories about Bilderbergers, The Illuminati, etc. But I must say that the top 0.1% are not that way because they are stupid, unlike the voting majority who cannot see the connections. It is very interesting to note the nexus between the most wealthy donors and the type of advocacy of organisations they support. For example, “smart growth”, conservation, limiting sprawl, urban planning that rations land, etc, might not be anywhere near as strong a force today without long-standing Rockefeller backing, and George Soros has joined in too. You could say the same about “globalisation” and multiculturalism and the “elimination of national borders”. There does not need to be a conspiracy hatched in a mountain hideout – just a few very rich people who know very well what side their bread is buttered on. When you own a portfolio of urban land worth, say, $2 billion that could inflate in value to $10 billion, what’s a few dollars tossed at useful-idiot advocates?

      • Phil,

        Once the objective is to place as many assets as possible in private ownership AND inflate the value of those assets the rest is largely a matter of strategy and tactics.

        Nothing wrong with lots of private assets in private ownership but there are a large number of assets that should remain in public ownership – even if management of them is outsourced.

        The key privatisation is efective control of public money creation and that was acheived when private bank promisory notes started being treated as if they were issued by the public sector. It was introduced with the ‘best of intentions’ to reduce the damage to the economy when large banks could not honour their promisory notes ( bank runs).

        Initially the significance of this privatisation was understood and it was subject to close and careful regulation but over the last 30 years that regulation was greatly reduced and almost all public control handed over to ‘independent’ regulators who quickly started to see the world through the eyes of those they regulated.

        Return real control over public money to the public and one of the key methods of pumping up private asset values will be significantly limited.

      • You don’t need a plan for that. When you need to take a dump, just wait ’til the last minute, run and hope there’s some TP at the end of it all.

      • Skips all about the right tie. Tell you what skippels I’ll fly up to wherever and we can smash some maritinis and try not to mention the war. If we’re still in furious barely disagreement we can report back to all and sundry?

    • Planning a population ponzi? Pfffft! You need a good lie down – like the idiot business sector no one planning beyond the quarter – unless you count meaningless waffle about strategy without any hope of execution planning…

      • Well the only part of the ‘plan’ that requires any active thought on the part of our pollies are the following concepts:

        1. Population growth is good.

        2. Private banks creating money and private corporate ownership of infrastructure is good

        3. Never pay today for that which someone else can pay for tomorrow.

        Believe in those three things and a specific plan is not required as you are now equipped with the neoliberal PRIME DIRECTIVE.

      • But… but… but the market is more efficient… freedom and liberty medals don’t lie….

        Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, from 1977 to 2006. He was also Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and was a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.

        Professor Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year. He is widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

        Mirror – Mirror on the wall….

        “Libertarians are profoundly anti-democratic. The folks at Cato that I debate make no bones about their disdain for and fear of democracy. Friedrich von Hayek is so popular among libertarians because of his denial of the legitimacy of democratic government and his claims that it is inherently monstrous and murderous to its own citizens. Here’s an example from a libertarian professor based in Maryland.

        [W]hen government uses its legal monopoly on coercion to confiscate one person’s property and give it to another, it is engaging in what would normally be called theft. Calling this immoral act “democracy,” “majority rule” or “progressive taxation” does not make it moral. Under democracy, rulers confiscate the income of productive members of society and redistribute it to various supporters in order to keep themselves in power.

        In order to finance a campaign, a politician must promise to steal (i.e., tax) money from those who earned it and give it to others who have no legal or moral right to it. There are (very) few exceptions, but politicians must also make promises that they know they can never keep (i.e., lie). This is why so few moral people are elected to political office. The most successful politicians are those who are the least hindered by strong moral principles. They have the least qualms about confiscating other peoples’ property in order to maintain their own power, perks, and income. In his bestselling 1944 book, ‘The Road to Serfdom,’ Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek described this phenomenon in a chapter [10] entitled “Why the Worst Get on Top.”

        But von Hayek’s critique of democratic government has proven to be the most monstrous blood libel of the post-World War II era – falsely declaring that democratic government must end in tyranny and the mass murder of its own people.

        The political scientist Herman Finer … denounced [The Road to Serfdom] as “the most sinister offensive against democracy to emerge from a democratic country for many years.”

        The economist Paul Samuelson, in a reminiscence of Hayek published last December, was more dismissive still. “Where are their horror camps?’ he asked, referring to right-wing bugaboos like Sweden, with its generous welfare spending. Almost 70 years after Hayek sounded his alarm, ‘hindsight confirms how inaccurate its innuendo about the future turned out to be.”

        Why the Worst Get on Top – in Economics” – snip

        Disheveled Marsupial…. National Medal of Science…. now that’s just having a go to see how much people will swallow… and some talk about stuff that was stolen…. wheeeeeeee~~~~~~~

      • mig…

        The very act of lending creates money, whether the lending is done by banks or by Aunt Susie.

        That is the fundamental difference between a loan and a gift.

        With a gift, money is transferred from “A” to “B.” The total quantity of money remains the same.

        With a loan, money also is transferred from “A” to “B,” but “A” also retains rights to the money — rights it can sell or use for trade. So after the loan is consummated, two entities have rights to the money and can spend the money.

        Thus, all lending creates money.

        There are two ways money is created, and two ways money is destroyed:

        1. Federal deficit spending
        2. Lending

        1. Federal taxation
        2. Loans being repaid.

        There is no way to lend without creating money. – RMM

        Disheveled Marsupial…. I understand reality can be confusing…. when applying optics which have no relationship – too – said reality…. worse is it distorts it…. that unfortunate state of affairs can cause mental anguish and its resultant side effects…

      • I’m not talking about money I’m talking about obligation – you know, the kind that bind you like chains?

      • Skippy,

        That is all fine except this

        “..There is no way to lend without creating money. – RMM….”

        Requires the qualification that ONLY lending by an ADI (licensed bank) creates money that is equivalent to that created by the public sector.

        That is a fundamental difference.

        Aunt Susie (and shadow banks and everyone else) can create promisory notes until the cows come home but the RBA will not (for now at least) accept them in exchange for currency whereas they will for ADI created promises.

        Now some say that ADIs should be allowed to keep SOME capacity to create IOUs that are equivalent to the publicly created type. Heavy restrictions is what we used to do so that is certainly a good place to start.

        We can then debate whether we can stop there or go all the way and limit the creation of public money to the public sector.

        and Yes – the IOUs (essentially private money) issued by shadow banks and Aunt Susie needs to be regulated as well even though buyer beware will get us some of the way.

      • 007…

        “It is functionally impossible for any form of money to be “debt free.” Every form of money, by necessity, is debt, because for money to have any value, it must be backed by (i.e. collateralized by) the full faith and credit of someone or something.

        All debt has collateral, which is what gives the debt value. The dollar has value because its collateral is the full faith and credit of the United States government.

        This is why gold is not, and never has been money (although gold COINS) have been money. Gold is not debt and is not collateralized by anything. It simply is an ore with exchange value.

        Gold coins are (were) money, because the had collateral. Note that the exchange value of gold coins differed from the money value.

        Bottom line: All money is debt, so the notion of “debt-free” money is as logical as “dry water.”” – RMM

        The Fed or banks is not your problem, its the ideological practitioners that have been running it, that also includes a wide swath of politicians in DC e.g. folding the Fed back into the Treasury does not change that state of affairs anymore than changing political party’s changes their economic advisors, of which, its largely been a linear progression, largely due to ideological funding.

        Ellen Brown unfortunately, well meaning or not, falls under the “The Creature from Jekyll Island” club – where history and aliens collide. Were she to take the time and educate herself on the deeper fundamentals wrt economic schools of thought and their resultant philosophical bents, she might have a more granular perspective to base her thoughts and theory’s on.

        The monetary system in its self has zero agency, not unlike the case with Bancor referenced above thread. It took bargaining power to effect that outcome, as much, as the change in how the Fed has functioned during its entire history.

        Disheveled Marsupial… I understand its much easier to consider fiddling around with money from a soverign perspective, than it is to delve into the deep end of the pond wrt the fundamental agency behind economics. Money is a tool… economics informs on how to used that tool… don’t blame the tool… but the tradesman… eh…

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        From Skips post above,….on sovereign money printing.

        “Part of the reason for this abhorrence is the myth that the practical result of “printing money” is, inevitably, the economic chaos of hyper-inflation. (This in spite of the fact that historical analysis demonstrates that the root causes of hyper-inflation—the infamous Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe, for example—have not been caused by “money printing” but, instead, by the collapse of the production capabilities creating things for the money to buy.)”

        I have always been suspicious, from my high school economics class days, of the Moral hazard/phsyco babble underpinnings, of why “we” can not print for essential services and government expenditure.

        As a tool, printed “out of thin air” money would be a much better and direct way of “controlling” inflation/deflation in the “real economy”.
        The current interest rate “tool” justs pumps ever staggeringly more amounts of “money” into a global speculative casino, for the benfit of high rollers only.

        Disheveled plumber – Good post Skip, Its quite remakable the number of people I know who spend almost zero time paying attention to matters Economic and yet “Knowingly” bring up the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe, at the first mention of the “Printing Press”.
        Dont tell em their indoctrinated though,…such an insult can turn many of them violent.
        Their opions are their own.!

      • Skippy,

        “…Bottom line: All money is debt, so the notion of “debt-free” money is as logical as “dry water.”” – RMM

        Well Randy, at the end of his 3 part mid winter ‘money must be debt’ rant did appear to accept the point that many including Michael Hudson makes so well. That public debt as money has important differences.

        If you want to call money created by the government a “debt” go ahead I am more than happy to do so as it gets one obsfucation / distraction off the table.

        BUT and this is a big but, because you constantly dodge it.

        Stop conflating ‘debt as money’ created by the public sector with ‘debt as money’ created by private banks.

        They are not the same thing and are very very different.

        Considering we are agreed on the importance of fiscal policy it is puzzling why you keep pretending that debt as money created by the government is just the same as debt as money created by banks.

        You even argue with need to have more of the former and restrict the creation of the latter.

        And for good reason – it makes sense – and we are in perfect agreement in that regard.

        As I said earlier the only we disagree about is how heavily we need to restrict debt as money creation by private banks to allow more room for debt as money created by the public.

        I should not need to point out that Weimar and Zimbabwe are scare stories designed to spook people about debt as money created by the public sector. In practice most inflation problems have been due to excessive debt as money creation by private banks.

        The most recent local example being a mountain of debt as money created by private banks pumped into housing assets.

      • Skippy,

        Doesn’t matter if you did stop reading because you have not been able to respond to my central point in the past either.

        But for all of those who are wondering whether my characterisation of Randy Wray’s discussion of “debt as money” created by the public v “debt as money” created by private banks was fair, here are the links to the 4 part (there is an extra part since I last looked) series.

        It is a long read but at the end of it ask yourself the question – Has Wray made a strong case for why over 90% of the public “money as debt” money should be created by private banks with a trailing commission (interest) attached rather than by the government of the people interest free, who give public money full faith and credit?

        And then ask yourself a second question. Why is Wray so antagonistic towards anyone who questions why the interest bearing IOUs of private banks should be given the protection of the full faith and credit of the public unlike the IOUs of any other private individual or organisation.

        The most obvious conclusion from an understanding of our clapped out modern “19th century” monetary model is it is broken and in desperate need of reform. At the very least by a massive dose of regulation that limits private bank debt as money creation and expands money creation (whether you call it debt or not) by the public sector.

        As for whether it was ranty – well there are a lot of people who seem to think so judging from the comments on Wray’s site and other sites.

      • 007…

        I stopped reading because you lost your validity by deploying emotive rhetorical devices aka rant… its an embellishment to attach negativity that is unwarranted. Your dramas with banks has more to do with the economic philosophy of libertarianism, it’s legal opinions and how that enabled so much unfettered poorly underwritten issuance and not anything to do with intrinsic qualities of MMT. MMT did not inform Milton to act as a bag man for the land developer lobby, nor did it force him to utilize NAIRU, or using 2% IR as a quasi gold standerd and a long list of his or his camps devices on not only American citizens, but other nations.

        As far as the rest goes I identified the incoherence in your beliefs above, of which you have not directly engaged, but trot out and repeat the same over and over again regardless.

        I will reiterate that you and yours are money cranks, as such monetarist aka all things are resultant of money perceptions, influence peddling, network effects, ideology, politics, et al are all secondary to it. You just seem completely oblivious that monetarism was used to weaponize money – finance in fighting an ideological battle during the cold war. Now that game is largely over its a bad case of trying to recreate an artificial environment to extend that paradigm by creating new foes and at the same time cannibalizing its own society in order to remain dominate.

        As a useful bar on money cranks…

        Criterion 1) a money crank is a person who views the money system from a position in which they have substantial emotional investment.

        Criterion 2) a person who believe that all, or the vast majority of, social ills are caused by the current money system and thus can be solved by implementing an imaginary money system that they have designed can be safely considered a money crank.

        In my experience most monetary cranks (the sort who will be directing ad hominem toward you in the comments today) meet both criteria, but they typically meet a third as well:

        Only their personal views on monetary systems are valid. Any effort to enact a reform which does not strictly adhere to their accepted ideas is a villainous trick by servants of dark forces. Therefore it is either their monetary system or the one we currently have, and they will work mightily to throw a wrench into the works should anyone else make an attempt to improve the current system. – BJ

        To which I would expand…

        The monetary system is not the means by which the Corporate Lords loot. Corporate governance and financialization and capture of regulatory agencies are the means, and they do not depend on whether you have a central bank or fiat currency or gold.

        Do you know how many depressions and financial crises happened in the U.S. while on a fixed-rate monetary system? Dozens. So they can loot with fixed-rate, they can loot with free-floating, they can loot with any system which can be implemented in the real world. That ought to be a big flashing neon sign that currencies are not the problem. – BJ

        Disheveled Marsupial…. look 007 you can’t address a multivariate problem with a singular approach [preconceived notion], you just cant seem to reconcile the entire enchilada, but only focus on one ingredient.

      • “its an embellishment to attach negativity that is unwarranted.” unbelievable!

        “I understand reality can be confusing…. when applying optics which have no relationship – too – said reality”

      • mig…

        Deal with the entire context.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. that I have on occasion stooped to the standards you and yours are comfortable with is just quid pro quo or as they say the enviroment – industry sets the standards… having ones own devises turn against them… only to cry foul… is a bit of crying in ones own beer…

      • Skippy,

        You still have not addressed the point.

        Why should the IOUs (debt) of one specific type of private organisation (banks) be given the protection of the full faith and credit of the public when there is no need because as you fully concede the public sector is more than capable of creating all of the IOUs (debt as money) that our monetary system requires?

        You simply dodge that point every time.

        Even though you clearly support more public money creation (expansive fiscal policy) and support sever regulation of private bank lending.

        Your position is inconsistent and while that is not necessarily a problem you never explain why.

        “…I stopped reading because you lost your validity by deploying emotive rhetorical devices aka rant… its an embellishment to attach negativity that is unwarranted. Your dramas with banks has more to do with the economic philosophy of libertarianism, it’s legal opinions and how that enabled so much unfettered poorly underwritten issuance and not anything to do with intrinsic qualities of MMT….”

        As for using “emotive rhetorical devices” and ‘negativity’ you are pretty good in that department as well – we are both trying to persuade and influence..

        What I am talking about has ZERO to do with big L Libertarianism and you know it.

        Neo-liberalism and big L libertarianism is constantly promoting the idea that the private sector creation of money (debt) is superior to public sector money creation. They are Austerians and deficit hawks for a reason – they simply hate the idea of the public sector creating public money.

        My position is the complete opposite as I am endorsing a much greater role for the public sector in public money creation.

        You are the one that needs to explain why you have a problem with just about every privatization under the sun EXCEPT the one that matters the most – the privatization of public money creation by the effective privileging of the IOUs issued by a specific class of private organisations.

        As I have noted before – MMT explains why the modern monetary system desperately requires reform.

        An understanding of MMT does not justify bizarre attempts to justify and defend the modern monetary system.

        We need to fix it – not preserve it.

      • 007…

        Sorry but I don’t do totalitarianism nor do I function in a vacuum contrary to all historical evidence.

        Disheveled Marsupial… your a Friedmanite… nuff said…

      • Skippy,

        Bingo !

        “..Sorry but I don’t do totalitarianism….”

        Sure you don’t mean communist, socialist, nanny state lover, european lefty latte lover, etc etc. They all have doubts about private banks controlling public money.

        Huh – so questioning why private bank IOUs should be underwritten by the public is now a sign of totalitarianism!

        A few minutes ago you said it was a sign of being a free wheeling anti govt liberty nut.

        Lets face it, Skippy you have some attachment to the current big business thoroughly neoliberal privatised model of public money that is completely inconsistent with your position on just about everything else.

        And to defend your incoherent position you will accuse people of everything from being Nazis to anti govt liberty nuts – often at the same time.

        Are you quite sure that it is only an emotional attachment ?

        Well played

      • 007….

        “Do you know how many depressions and financial crises happened in the U.S. while on a fixed-rate monetary system? Dozens. So they can loot with fixed-rate, they can loot with free-floating, they can loot with any system which can be implemented in the real world. That ought to be a big flashing neon sign that currencies are not the problem”. – BJ

        Disheveled Marsupial….re-address…

        PS.. “Lets face it, Skippy you have some attachment to the current big business thoroughly neoliberal privatised model of public money that is completely inconsistent with your position on just about everything else.”

        Again emotive rhetorical device, I have been since shortly after the GFC been out of the market [stated long ago – here] made a few moves in gold and punched out at post peak, then could not with a conscious engage anymore e.g. corporatism is not capitalism.

      • Skippy

        ““Do you know how many depressions and financial crises happened in the U.S. while on a fixed-rate monetary system? Dozens. So they can loot with fixed-rate, they can loot with free-floating, they can loot with any system which can be implemented in the real world. That ought to be a big flashing neon sign that currencies are not the problem”. – BJ

        What on earth does fixed or floating rates have to do with restricting or removing the public money creation privileges of private banks?

        Of course nothing. It is just a standard Skippy attempt to throw some dust in the air and hope the debate moves away to safer waters.

        But I note that you are still dodging the issue with the line “No need to do anything about the public guarantees for the IOUs of private bankers – we just need nicer bankers. It’s a people problem not a systems issue”

        It may not be impossible but it is a lot harder for a banker and most importantly those customers that they select and arm with public guaranteed IOUs to acquire valuable assets and streams of income, if they must first acquire the funds from someone who has earned them or has received them from the government in the course of providing the public with services.

        You love to talk about shadow banking and private equity but you repeatedly ignore that the only way they get actual banking system funds to ply their asset pricing pumping trade is from the debt as public money creation activities of the private banks. That article you posted about Franchise Finance does a fine job of explaining the connections if you are unclear.

      • 007…

        Please desist with the rhetorical suggestion that I’m avoiding anything when that is your bag, you can’t even reconcile a simple question without re-formatting the entire question in your ideological frame work.

        Its not hard 007…. your whole premise on that is there is some huge distinction between private and public [soverign] moeny when there is not. No more that when on a gold standard that people still created private credit, the drama only started after the residence of firewalls put in place post great depression. And again your desired construct does nothing to acutely rectify the driving ideological agenda which visited this upon all of us…. FFS coupons, bar tabs, frequent flyer – reward points, ad infinitum are all forms of money denoted in FRN… does it make it FRN… no…. its just a reflection of the value FRN afford it… in a relative point in space and time.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. by the way I don’t think you have the slightest clue about what the term neoliberalism means or encompasses, especially considering the fact that your peddling a theory by one of the greatest architects of neoliberalism… Milton Friedman and the Chicago boys

      • Skippy,

        Still cant answer the question can you?

        “..Why should the IOUs (debt) of one specific type of private organisation (banks) be given the protection of the full faith and credit of the public when there is no need because as you fully concede the public sector is more than capable of creating all of the IOUs (debt as money) that our monetary system requires?..”

        You have had months to find someone who can answer it for you.

        Why not ask Randy or gives a link to where he does.

        By the way you really are lost when it comes to the process and events by which the protection of the state was extended to private bank IOUs early 20th century. You seem to think it was Daniel Boone clutching an apple pie rather than a bunch of banking industry insiders protecting their business model at taxpayer expense.

        Just another bunch of corporate rent seekers but you have a soft spot for them.


      • 007…

        Are you spastic ?????

        You have not answered any of my quires… full stop.. you can only operate around an all most spiritual cogitation with the word debt regardless of all the historical evidence to the contrary.

        Hay fk’wit lets play your silly games e.g. no one is protecting private credit, what did occur is a bailout of the payment system because of ideological opinions by morons like yourself and mig blew up, because as noted above trade shocks fuck everyone…. moral or not….

        Disheveled Marsupial… I really don’t know if your fucked in the head or what, but, regardless your a neoliberal fuckwit in sheeps clothing and I’m not having a bar of it….

      • mig… you seem overtly concerned with other men’s anuses… psychology informs us of this state of mentality….

        Disheveled Marsupial… are you cruising mig….

      • Well mig… I must say your effeminate stature is a bit beguiling… if one was on a long sea journey… but hay its all situational… right – ????

        Disheveled Marsupial… btw thanks for your value added comment wrt the topic above,… misdirection is the forte’ of your stripe…. eh

      • “but hay its all situational… right – ????” all the world is a poorly cast stage, you and I inclusive.

        You’re much more fun sarky, the seriously petulant side is over *cough* bear *cough* ing

        Is that enough fag innuendo for one evening skip?

      • Fun – ???? – mig…

        Naw ….more like defection, you or 007 really don’t have the intellectual chops for this debate…. you both lean on mental crutches provided by others rather than being able to think for yourselves…

        Disheveled Marsupial… that is why both of you are mental ass bait… always looking for a master… but that is OK… because your just one of the herd…

      • Hay mig….. I’ll cop gramps at just over 50 for the fact that I can kick you ass up and down the street and then buy you a beer and tell you why your such a noob…

        Disheveled Marsupial…. books or philosophy have no meaning out side life experience wrong or right… it will be your turn soon enough…. can you own it tho…. or will you shirk it…

      • Skippy,

        Superb! Nice spray.

        But no need to blow a cog when pressed on why you support taxpayer endorsement and guarantees for the obligations of select private companies. At some point you will realise you are losing the argument because your position is a dud.

        However, the Australian Bankers Association will need you to wear a tie when you collect your lunch time achievement award. While they appreciate freelancers helping out their industry rent seeking operations and industrial obsfucations, even they have some standards.

      • Hay mig-i of non descended intellectual balls…..

        Intellectual means one does not irrevocably sink stakes in to the ground

      • Hay mig-i of non descended intellectual balls…..

        Intellectual means one does not irrevocably sink stakes in to the ground and cling to them because new information might make you look like an asshat…

      • Skips all about the right tie. Tell you what skippels I’ll fly up to wherever and we can smash some maritinis and try not to mention the war. If we’re still in furious barely disagreement we can report back to all and sundry?

      • Good grief Mig-i is that supposed instill the Hayekian fear in me… dude move to Texas like huge evangelizes… the spaceship will come….

      • The spaceship did cum! It sprayed a warm sticky load of American exceptionalism on us all. You could even call it Americanprogenic Global Mindwarping

      • Mig…

        If you come up I’ll more than happy to pick you up and share a feed and grog [happy to start off on a martini but always end up on Grand Marnier on the rocks (150 Year stock or refined tequila)] tho I think is wise that you find your own accommodation… my wife and kids would have you for lunch like Kiz’nt kittens… anywho – Red Dwarf Season 06 Episode 01 Psirens –

      • I can manage accommodation, when the mood strikes I can be charming enough to acquaint myself with the cabin crew ?

      • You do not understand mig… my youngest son at 12 weights as much as you and is a losehead prop with a turn of speed like a back [rare commodity in the game], eldest daughter gets high distinctions in Uni and has a penchant for fashion [cough mecca], the eldest son [20] would have you for lunch if you attempted to sing your ideological whale song [is well versed in all of it – I gave him quite the reading list back in the day].

        Disheveled Marsupial…. so as above…. any thing to actually add or are we back to sniffing butts….

    • the plan is:
      “less (effective and enforced) regulation = more profit”

      Now the game has been taken to its logical conclusion the venal rich and bogan alike want everything they can get their hands on. The conspiracy of greedy self interest amid the gouging of community.

    • The plan is just a common sense agreement from the elite perspective. They are axioms. PFH has laid it out perfectly. The results may seem ludicrous, but they are just the effects; meaningless externalities from a managerial point of view. If these people were so stupid and there are no axioms making up the plan, why is the issue, marvellously articulated by Leith and David, completely forbidden in the mainstream media, including the ABC?
      Phil is right, these people are not stupid.

  7. It is correct to say that Australia has had high population growth in the past, but back then the “credit growth” went into the funding of infrastructure and building new houses on land uninflated in price, so the growth was “real”, with multiplier effects. The current “growth” is pure Ponzi and heavily based on zero-sum inflation of asset values.

  8. In Sydney, they will soon close off one lane in Parramatta road for 2 years to facilitate the building of West Connex. The idea is to make the busiest road in Sydney so congested that motorist will use the new toll road, so that the rest of Parramatta road can become lots of apartments. This is ‘infrastructure planning’ overtaken by real estate lobby.
    What may made Parramatta road less congested are overpasses/underpasses at a few major intersections. That is however not going to make money for construction and real estate companies.

    • It’s been done before with good success. Sure, a couple of pawns lost their heads, but their masters are all alright, Jack.

      This being Australia – it will work a treat – and no pawns will be harmed in the process. Win-Win, no?

  9. It’s very simple

    The Labor Party will never argue for reduced population growth because of their links with the CFMEU, which wants high levels of net immigration to support building activity

    The Liberal Party will never argue for reduced population growth because of their links with business, which wants high levels of net immigration to support credit growth and consumer spending

    The Greens will never argue for reduced population growth because it gives them an upset tummy at the thought of being racist and hurting the feelings of poor immigrants

    If it takes a party like One Nation to make immigrants feel that little less welcome here, then so be it.

    It’s not for nothing that the full force of the government was thrown against Hanson by the Libs 20 years ago in an attempt to erase her from this nation’s consciousness. She dared to threaten the very core of the two parties’ key economic plank – high net immigration to support economic activity.

    Now the ABC and every bedwetting soft-cock progressive is going to throw their weight against her to defend the economic status quo, all under the guise of crimes against multiculturalism.

  10. If immigration stops – the ponzi banking system will implode. As that tribe control the world, there will be more immigration – much more.

    The banking system will continue to hover up every last penny of people’s discretionary income

  11. Position yourself to protect against it with:
    – Self employment offering non-discretionary, value adding products and services
    – Limited to no requirement for road or infrastructure use to operate your business
    – Mobility
    – No debt
    – Pinch your pennies like a mofo
    – Eat less

    • – Self employment offering non-discretionary, value adding products and services
      – Limited to no requirement for road or infrastructure use to operate your business

      no worries. next!

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      When I was an apprentice in the late 80s, I worked with an old Scottish plumber, who would tell me of his apprentice days in his Scottish village/town (1940s-50s) and how his boss who couldn’t afford a horse or Vehicle, and so instead used a human pulled cart to get all the plumbing tools and materials from job to job. A trully “local” Plumber.
      I still rember him describing how to lead wipe two pipes together, love to give that a go and master it before the apocalypse,… could come in handy.

      If the same situation was to develop here in Sydney, I just thank Christ (Im an anti-thiest actually) that we dont use Lead, Cast iron and earthenware pipes any more.


    • – Don’t get married and don’t let your partner move in.
      Wives and defactos in Australia have developed a habit for taking half.

  12. NSW Historical Population growth has spikes and troughs all over the shop.
    Projection has horizontal straight line from now to 2041.
    Seems legit.

    Victoria has similar peaks and troughs but projection is nice smooth increasing curve.
    Equally legit.

    • It does seem courageous to predict that a country entirely dependent on immigration for population growth (given TFR is under 2.0) will increase its population growth while the rest of the world slows down, especially in the face of the boomer death bust.

      • Yes, however it is not fertility that is the issue, it is the projected (not predicted) actual number of deaths. They double to around 300K pa as the boomers depart the home planet.
        We are growing at approx 150kpa from natural growth and that may drop to zero, or even negative moving forward.
        Add to this that an ageing nation will never accept a NOM double or treble what it is not to compensate for the dramatic fall in our natural growth.

        I am not sure why Leith wants to totally ignore this.

      • To me what will never be accepted is a migrant intake that is drawn almost entirely from the only area of the world left that hasn’t already seen big falls in fertility, which is pretty much the only way to further increase NOM from here, and keep increasing through to the middle of the century.

    • If what you say is correct willy_nilly surely you just increase immigration to offset the natural decline. Its not like there’s any lack of people wanting to come here.

  13. I was just reading an article about an increase in NSW Road deaths on SMH (yea sorry it happens)
    Gist of the article is that there has been a large increase in road deaths in Men aged in their 30’s and 40’s, the suspected cause is Fatigue.
    The deaths are highest among Tradies driving light trucks and working long days (up to 17 hour by some accounts).
    Hmmm I wonder why middle aged men are working insanely long hours? surely it cant be as a result of over priced RE and the need to save huge sums for a deposit and than pay off $1M mortgages …naha that can’t be it!.
    Of course SMH comes to other conclusions and hints at solutions that only a Nanny state would ever endorse, not a single mention of insane RE prices not even a hint that this might be what’s behind the trend….what is it my Dad used to say?…There are none so blind as those that do not want to see!

    • Curiously revenue collection from roads has ballooned, here I thought all that revenue raising was in aide of road and public safety. Because government bwaahaahaahaa

    • Easy fix. A camera in every car focused on the driver. If more than 5 yawns per minute then issue fine to driver.
      We can measure speed and issue fines. We can measure alcohol and issue fines. Why not measure fatigue and issue fines?
      After all, it is impossible to measure the safety of a driver. So govt makes money from what it can measure with a simple machine.

  14. While I agree with the underlying concerns as to the level of immigration I think it would be better to show immigration not only in numbers, but also in percentage and source. The success of our multicultural society will be brought undone if the rate of immigration from sources with greater cultural differences gets to a point where a significant majority of the population rebel against the immigrants. Rebellion is also made more likely by failure to provide services to assist in a more rapid integration such as language and education.
    And of course the principal reason for resisting such high levels of immigration is that it is not in the direct economic or amenity interest of existing citizens. There might be indirect benefits to some such as shareholders because oligopolistic companies will see increases in share prices, but against that there are a whole raft of other indirect costs to existing citizens, simple things like a higher proportion and greater number on public transport having to stand for more than 15 minutes.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about governments continuing with the boiling frog policies of only building additional infrastructure when everything is at 140% of design capacity.

  15. The rate of growth can be misleading. There is a big difference between 2% of 1,000,000 people and 2% of 4,000,000 people. Many more through the turnstile each year. And most appear to be escaping overpopulated countries. Ironic that is.