Another Domain journo ignores evidence to spruik population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen

Another Fairfax journalist, Jacob Saulwick, has rushed to the defence of Australia’s population ponzi, choosing to completely misrepresent the Productivity Commission’s (PC) research on the issue to paint the picture that mass immigration is good for the economy and living standards.

Let’s dissect Saulwick’s key points:

The state government is spending record amounts of money on transport infrastructure, while a record amount of new homes are being built in Sydney. Neither development seems to be touching the sides of the city’s congestion woes, or reducing the pains of the housing market. Maybe there are just too many people around.

Absolutely. Sydney’s population grew by more than 800,000 people in the 12 years to 2016. And official state government projections have it growing by some 1,650 people a week (87,000 people per year) over the next 20 years – representing total population growth of 1.74 million people, which is the equivalent of 4.5 Canberra’s:

ScreenHunter_16493 Dec. 07 09.23

No wonder infrastructure and housing cannot keep up! Back to the article:

“The key thing in all this should be the evidence, and not just opinions,” says Glenn Whithers, professor of economics in the Crawford School at Australian National University in Canberra.

And on Whithers’ account – and on the account of many economists – one of the issues opponents of migration rates have to grapple with is that the evidence is that current levels contribute to the performance of the economy.

“We know it has a substantial economic expansionary affect,” says Whithers. “We would not have weathered the GFC as well as we did without a strong expansionary migration program.”

This is true in an aggregate sense: more people (inputs) equals more outputs (GDP). But what matters for living standards is everyone’s share of the economic pie. And on this account, the mass immigration experienced over the past 14 years has been a disaster. As shown in the next chart, 10-year annualised growth in real GDP per capita has slumped to the lowest level on record – even below the 1980s and 1990s recessions:

ScreenHunter_17716-Mar.-01-12.35

Moreover, once adjusted for population growth, Australia did in fact experience a recession during the GFC, only this was painted over by the massive immigration intake at the time, which inflated headline GDP:

ScreenHunter_17737 Mar. 02 08.36

What’s the point of running a mass immigration program – and making congestion and housing affordability worse, as well as damaging the environment – if everyone’s share of the economic pie is not increased?

Back to the article:

“What is very clear from the evidence is that they contribute more to the public purse than they take out from the public purse,” says Whithers. One of the reasons is that migrants tend to be younger than the population as a whole.

When Abbott was prime minister, his government commissioned a Productivity Commission inquiry into the issue. That inquiry did find that high migration rates put pressure on housing costs (which, of course, benefits existing home owners).

But the inquiry also found that maintaining the migration intake helped the economy overall, and, importantly, per person. If the rate of net overseas migration was cut to zero, the modelling said, the cost to the economy would be about $7000 a year per person.

“It’s a legitimate question to ask whether immigration does any more than simply adding to demand,” says the economist Saul Eslake. “And the answer according to these studies is that it does.” More of us have better paid jobs because of the country’s migration rate. Governments have more resources, in total, to cope with the pressures of population.

Did any of these economists actually read the Productivity Commission’s (PC) report, nor any of its earlier studies on immigration and the economy? Because the PC paints a totally different picture to the one above.

In 2006, the PC completed a major study on the Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth, which modeled the impact of a 50% increase in the level of skilled migration over the 20 years to 2024-25 and found that it caused real GDP to be 4.6% higher than would otherwise have been the case in 20 years time (more labour inputs equals more outputs).

The PC found that real income per person would increase ever so slightly. That is, 20 years later real income per head would be 0.7%, or $380 a year, higher than would otherwise be the case.

However, “the distribution of these benefits varies across the population, with gains mostly accrued to the skilled migrants and capital owners. The incomes of existing resident workers grow more slowly than would otherwise be the case. Here’s the money quote:

The increase in labour supply causes the labour / capita ratio to rise and the terms of trade to fall. This generates a negative deviation in the average real wage. By 2025 the deviation in the real wage is –1.7 per cent…

Broadly, incumbent workers lose from the policy, while incumbent capital owners gain. At a 5 per cent discount rate, the net present value of per capita incumbent wage income losses over the period 2005 – 2025 is $1,775. The net present value of per capita incumbent capital income gains is $1,953 per capita…

Owners of capital in the sectors experiencing the largest output gains will, in general, experience the largest gains in capital income. Also, the distribution of capital income is quite concentrated: the capital owned by the wealthiest 10 per cent of the Australian population represents approximately 45 per cent of all household net wealth…

Hence, according to the PC in 2006, opening the spigots to skilled immigration would make the existing resident workers worse-off because they would earn less income than would otherwise be the case. Hardly a ringing endorsement, is it?

The PC’s latest modelling, released last year, found that maintaining positive net immigration would boost economic activity in per capita terms by increasing the proportion of the population participating in employment. Although this boost would be transitory:

Assuming that net overseas migration (NOM) continues at the long-term historical average rate (0.6 per cent of the population), by 2060 Australia’s population is projected to grow to nearly 40 million, with NOM adding some 13 million people to the population.

The continuation of an immigration system oriented towards younger working-age people can boost the proportion of the population in the workforce and, thereby, provide a ‘demographic dividend’ to the Australian economy. However, this demographic dividend comes with a larger population and over time permanent immigrants will themselves age and add to the proportion of the population aged over 65 years.

The Commission’s economy wide modelling projects that with NOM continuing at the long-term average rate with its current young age structure, by 2060:

– real gross domestic product (GDP) per person is projected to be some 7 per cent ($7000 in 2014 dollars) higher than if NOM was set to zero. In practice, this result cannot be extrapolated — limits on Australia’s absorptive capacity in terms of economic, social and environmental factors mean the modelling results do not shed light on the likely economic impact of very high rates of immigration

– a higher employment to population ratio associated with immigration will relieve some of the pressure of ageing on government expenditures (as a proportion of GDP), and moderate wage pressures particularly in high growth sectors…

However, labour productivity is forecast to decrease under current immigration settings, as are real wages, versus a zero NOM baseline:

Compared to the business-as-usual case, labour productivity is projected to be higher under the hypothetical zero NOM case — by around 2 per cent by 2060 (figure 10.5, panel b). The higher labour productivity is reflected in higher real wage receipts by the workforce in the zero NOM case.
ScreenHunter_14902 Sep. 12 16.24

Thus, the PC’s latest modelling showed a situation whereby ongoing high immigration improves per capita GDP by 2060 by boosting the proportion of workers in the economy, but this comes at the expense of lower labour productivity and lower real wages. Moreover, the benefits on workforce participation would only be transitory, with the migrants themselves aging and dragging on growth after the forecast period.

Prior work by the PC also found that any boost from immigration would only be temporary as migrants themselves also age:

  • PC (2005): “Despite popular thinking to the contrary, immigration policy is also not a feasible countermeasure [to an ageing population]. It affects population numbers more than the age structure”.
  • PC (2010): “Realistic changes in migration levels also make little difference to the age structure of the population in the future, with any effect being temporary“…
  • PC (2011): “…substantial increases in the level of net overseas migration would have only modest effects on population ageing and the impacts would be temporary, since immigrants themselves age… It follows that, rather than seeking to mitigate the ageing of the population, policy should seek to influence the potential economic and other impacts”…

Most importantly, the PC’s latest research explicitly cautioned that higher real GDP per person does not capture the negative externalities from immigration, such as worsening housing affordability, infrastructure bottlenecks, and environmental degradation. Nor does it account for any distributional impacts. Hence, policy needs to take a broader focus that improves “community wellbeing”:

While the modelling suggests that the Australian economy will benefit from migration in terms of higher GDP per person, whether migration delivers an overall benefit to the existing Australian community will also depend on other factors, including the distribution of those economic benefits, and the broader impacts of immigration, notably the associated social and environmental impacts…

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.

Hardly sounds like a slam dunk for mass immigration, does it? Quite the opposite in fact. If you want traffic congestion to get worse, to pay more for utilities and housing, and to see the environment get degraded, then continue with current mass immigration settings.

Back to the article:

Cutting the immigration program to reduce pressure on urban infrastructure like housing is the kind of simple solution that has complicated and negative ramifications. It would be better if governments faced up to the complicated solutions required to provide lasting responses to the issues facing places like Sydney.

Here, Lowe also had a suggestion. The “best” housing affordability policy, the governor of the Reserve Bank said, would be investment in urban transport infrastructure. This investment would increase access to cheaper land, and provide the amenity needed as cities become more dense.

The Abbott position is a cop-out. It would be absurd to undermine one of the best things about Australia because governments have failed to do their jobs well.

Just building more infrastructure to cope with the greater population is wishful thinking.

In already built-up cities like Sydney and Melbourne, which also happen to be the major magnets for new migrants, the cost of retrofitting new infrastructure to accommodate greater population densities can become prohibitively expensive because of the need for land buy-backs, tunnelling, as well as disruptions to existing infrastructure.

We have seen these diseconomies of scale time and time again. For example, projects like Melbourne’s now defunct East West Road Link was expected to cost 18 billion, whereas Sydney’s North West Rail Link would cost $8 billion. That’s an astounding $350 million to $1 billion per kilometre.

Hence, running a high immigration program becomes increasingly costly for existing residents. The huge infrastructure costs also force unpopular asset sales, increased debt borrowings and austerity – none of which is a desirable outcome.

In November 2013, the PC released its final report on An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future, which warned that total private and public investment requirements over the next 50 years are estimated to be more than 5 times the cumulative investment made over the last half century:

Australia’s population is projected to increase to more than 38 million by 2060… The likely population growth will place pressure on Australian cities… In response to the significant increase in the size of Australian cities, significant investment in transport and other infrastructure is likely to be required. This is true both within the cities themselves and for the links between regional and major cities. Policies will be needed to reduce congestion problems, and to ensure adequate infrastructure funding and investment efficiency…

Total private and public investment requirements over this 50 year period are estimated to be more than 5 times the cumulative investment made over the last half century, which reveals the importance of an efficient investment environment…
ScreenHunter_15679 Oct. 25 14.39

The report also warned that without such massive investment, multifactor productivity – the key driver of living standards – would fall:

With MFP growth projected to be 0.7 per cent per year under the base case, the remaining share of labour productivity is driven by the accumulation of capital. Given assumptions about the capital share of income, this study estimates that the capital/labour ratio would increase by around 1.8 per cent per year over the projection period, only slightly less than the long-run growth rate from 1974-75 to 2012-13 (figure 4.7).

ScreenHunter_15680 Oct. 25 14.45

The implied level of investment to drive such capital accumulation is large — estimated at around $38 trillion dollars over the projection period in constant 2011-12 prices (table 4.4). To put that in context, in the more than fifty years from 1959-60 to 2012-13, total investment in Australia has been around $8.2 trillion. While different assumptions about capital income shares, multifactor productivity growth and depreciation affect the projections, they all produce qualitatively similar outcomes: Australia will be buying and building a large amount of physical capital. Without the efficient allocation of that capital, the achievable labour productivity growth rate would be considerably lower.

The bottom line is that running a high immigration program requires massive investment and costs a lot. Australia’s governments have failed dismally on this front, preferring to take the sugar hit from added demand while leaving the problems to be solved down the track on somebody else’s watch (i.e. never). Yet Saulwick magically believes that the situation can be turned around and that Australia can easily accommodate the flood of new residents without straining infrastructure, the environment, or living standards.

Saulwick argues that those arguing for a immigration cut are either racists, political opportunists or greenies and that economic “evidence” comes down against all three. You can’t make that claim unless you look at the evidence, Jacob, which you have self-evidently NOT done.

[email protected]

Comments

  1. “”Saulwick argues that those arguing for a immigration cut are either racists, political opportunists or greenies and that economic “evidence” comes down against all three. You can’t make that claim unless you look at the evidence, Jacob, which you have self-evidently NOT done.”” – keep up the good work UE, it must be quite frustrating to continually have to debunk this garbage

  2. I’d really like to see a journalist or commentator with the opposing view to Leith argue their case in comments from an economic perspective.

    • I don’t think they exist – this is a case of people discovering what their client is paying them to discover, and I doubt Fairfax is about to lend legitimacy to MB by paying its correspondents to write replies in these comment sections.

    • Mr Saulwick is arguing from an economic perspective.
      His employer’s revenue stream depends on it.

    • It’s a real shame that gems like this (and gas) on MB don’t get a wider run or picked up in the mainstream.

      Perhaps they could do a weekly ezine print and distribute at train stations – really stir the pot with the proles but fire up on the populism

      THE REAL REASON YOUR ENERGY PRICES ARE THROUGH THE ROOF – AND IT’S NOT RENEWABLES
      THE 3 WAYS OFFSHORE ENERGY GIANTS ARE ROBBING AUSTRALIAN BABIES – THE TRUTH WILL SHOCK YOU

      etc

  3. I don’t know what ‘another’ means here – Fairfax management have a policy on this, the people they employ write according to the policy. 1000 more names could appear on the by-line of articles on this topic, and they would all reach the same conclusion.

      • The journalist who wrote that piece has to keep his job, look what happened to Michael West. Sometimes you can see clues that they don’t agree themselves which the article with their name penned too it, – contradictory statements, poorly written piece, a form of sabotage.

      • Could be.

        There seemed in days of yore to be a practice of keeping one or two journos at each masthead who didn’t toe the party line, as a way of pretending that there was no party line. I always assumed that this was why at one stage the Australian, for example, had a political correspondent who had been a Trotskyist organiser at uni (Patricia Karvelas, now at the more suitable ABC RN).

        Anyway, this seems to be getting less common, possibly as the money dries up, and the will to keep up the pretense fades away.

        @Azaros,

        Maybe not sabotage. Maybe the contradictions are just the mark of the difficulty of arguing a position you really don’t agree with – it’s not at all easy.

      • @Lorax,

        If you are referring to my comment, my conspiracy theory amounts to ‘newspapers employ someone – often with the job title ‘Editor’ – who commisions and/ or selects articles for publication partly based on their understanding of the image the newspaper’s owner wants to project’. I reckon it would make an extremely boring X-Files episode.

  4. The willingness of otherwise intelligent adults to publically put their name to claims that housing demand is not a function of population growth is astounding
    Why would you so publically sacrifice your credibility denying such an easily and obviously provable fact?

    • Um, because you are paid to do so, and you need the money? That is, the same reason pretty much everyone who goes to work stays at their job even when presented with specific tasks they find distasteful.
      It’s not like journalists – especially print journalists – are in a great position to pick and choose where they work.

  5. It’s difficult to be “Independent. Always.” when your main game is selling realestate advertising.

    • Perspective: it really means “independent news for the property industry” or “independent from reality” or similar

  6. @Robert “Maybe the contradictions are just the mark of the difficulty of arguing a position you really don’t agree with – it’s not at all easy”
    I saw that with Malcolm Turnbull, arguing the party line with negative gearing policy last election.

  7. Bulldust.

    We all know that one can take 2L Coke and pour 1 litre of water to get 3 litres of Coke.
    I’ve learned this 50% brutto product increase technique at tender age of 7 when I got micro-immigrational surge in the form of more thirsty mouth guests and not enough available resources aka Coke.
    If your guests complain it is not fizzy, you just pour 1 litre of club soda and “voila!”

    • OMG !! I have seen this in the UK, Ireland, Spain and the USA so many times …

      Just one property has to stop paying rent or interest rate goes up a 1 or 2 percent. Or any external / international calamity … and you are FCUK my friend . But i wish you luck. For we know history does not repeat ….

      Classic

    • How people don’t see this as a sign of the upcoming apocalypse, I have no freakin’ clue. This is almost straight out of the US recent history book. And Ireland. And Spain. And…

      • The Patrician

        This guy was 16 during the GFC
        Crashniks have been unsuccessfully forecasting the “upcoming” Australian apocalypse his entire adult life

      • http://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2009/sp-so-150409.html

        Read this analysis from Luci Ellis on her take on GFC, here is the extract and three reasons why it happened according to her. This guy is little soul in this big game, I am sure Luci knows it and is ready to reprint a copy of this again for what will happen to Australia while Phil is ensuring he can blame it on Stevens(aka Greenspan):

        As with any large event in any field of human endeavour, it is never about just one thing. There were many causes of the financial crisis, some recent and some longstanding. I would like to focus on three of those causes today: the misperception and mismanagement of risk; the level of interest rates; and the regulation of the financial system.

        Perhaps the most basic underlying driver of the crisis was the inherent cycle of human psychology around risk perceptions. When times are good, perceptions of risk diminish. People start to convince themselves that the good times will go on forever. Then, when the cycle turns, risk aversion increases again, often far beyond normal levels, let alone those seen during the boom.

  8. Abbott’s statement has shaken the FIRE sector to the core
    All hands on deck
    It’s a “green on blue”

  9. My partner and I are attempting to buy a house because we need a roof to keep the rain off our heads. I know, I know….

    Anyway, I went to look at a townhouse on Tuesday. The other people at the inspection were two prosperous Indian looking couples with kids all speaking a foreign language to each other, so I presume they were immigrants.

    These fucking people come here with their tribes of kids and haven’t paid a cent of tax. They drive on the roads I’ve paid for over a 30+ year career, send their kids to the schools I’ve paid for, use the health system I’ve paid for etc etc, and now I’ll end up competing with them at an auction and paying more than I need to for a fundamental necessity of life like shelter.

    Well fuck ’em. I’m boiling with anger, and I’ll be voting for Pauline at the next election. She’s a bloody ratbag, but this is bullshit and she’s the only one who seems interested in stopping it.

    • “Anyway, I went to look at a townhouse on Tuesday. The other people at the inspection were two prosperous Indian looking couples with kids all speaking a foreign language to each other, so I presume they were immigrants.”

      Have you considered that you could be totally wrong in your assumptions here? How do you know they haven’t been here for just as long, and worked just as hard as you have? I feel your frustration re: house prices but your sense of entitlement here may be misplaced.

      • All things are possible. But when I saw a middle aged couple speaking to the agent with thick foreign accents and then talking to each other in a foreign language and their kids wandering around also talking to each other in a foreign language the phrase “Dinky-Di sons of ANZAC” didn’t immediately flash across my mind. And then a second couple wandered in shortly afterwards who were exactly the same.

      • ^ Fair enough, look you may very well be right, I just think it’s important to temper ones own emotions in these cases.

        Me and my partner attended a strata meeting yesterday and ALL of the audience were clearly of Asian descent. Interestingly, though they spoke to each other in Chinese or Indian, did have thick Aussie accents. You just never know.

        Fwiw there are probably some advantages in being able to speak a second language at a rental/sales inspection! I wish I could.

    • This comment is disgraceful. You will be voting ON because you are a racist. No more , no less. The real joke is you meet 2 prosperous immigrants families at an open hour and wallow in self pity that despite 30 + years in the Lucky Country, they might outbid you at an auction.

      • Mate, you can call me racist all you like and I really don’t give a shit. Racist racist racist….see…that doesn’t work any more. My point is that these people are rolling in to Australia from all over the world at the rate of a couple of Jumbo loads every day, and it’s fucking the country. I’m not wallowing in self pity, I’m angry at the politicians and other institutions in our society who have caused this debacle which has been well documented on MB for many years. I’m now competing with foreigners for shelter and I don’t like it. Should I be dancing in the street and offering them a big hug because I’ll have to bid against them at the auction and pay a shitload more of my hard earned for the privilege? If it takes someone like Pauline to disrupt this crap then good on her.

        And for what it’s worth, my first long term relationship as a young bloke involved spending 8 years with a Chinese woman who I almost married. One of my best mates is a Sikh…etc etc. I don’t give a shit about the colour of someone’s skin. You should be ashamed of yourself you pompous drongo.

      • Comments identifing race as a relevant issue in this area are generally made by those seeking to derail an otherwise reasoned discussion about sensible sustainable population policy.
        Best to ignore them

      • Whilst it might be phrased in a bit of an aggressive way I can feel LSWCHP pain here. And I say this as an immigrant to Aus myself.

        I’m naturally sympathetic to immigration. But the problem we have is that we are living in a completely distorted world where asset prices have been bid up to ridiculous levels at the same time as peoples income is being hollowed out, at the same time as we are seeing unprecedented levels of global migration.

        You can’t expect people to just take this lying down. Govt has to represent the interests of the electorate first and foremost. Its clear that is not happening right now so people are getting pretty pissed off.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The vendor of the townhouse LOVES new immigrants, as everyone will pay more to buy their house. The scale is heavily tilted in favour of those who own houses against those who do not.

      I will avoid bidding in areas which attract a lot of immigrants unless you want to flip houses. The price of housing in the area I live in, Wentworthville, is popular with Indians immigrants, and prices went up by 100% in 5 years, much faster than the Sydney average. Places like Blacktown and Mt Druitt used to be affordable, but now houses are 1 million plus. It’s totally insane @[email protected]

      • Correct. I have to find a place for me, my partner and two kids. And on Tuesday arvo, the relatively abstract problem of excessive immigration suddenly became very concrete for me when I was looking at this place I really liked and thought we could buy and was suddenly face to face with people who I am fairy sure (nod to Kipron4747’s point) were recent immigrants and who I may well be bidding against at auction in a couple of weeks. And the consequences of that are that I may well be paying an extra $40-50 K or more for the place, which I will have to borrow from a bank, which gets the money from overseas. Or I may not be able to afford it at all which means more renting crappy flats and living apart and spending my weekends looking at houses.

        I’m talking about obtaining shelter for me and my woman and my kids here, and while I may come off as overly intense, this is a profoundly personal and shitty and painful experience as Dave suggests above. I’m a highly paid professional, I’ve worked hard all my life and now I’m struggling to find and pay for a roof over my head, while faced with competition from foreign blow-ins and being called a racist. It’s bloody surreal.

    • sorry to hear that mate, I have friends just like you and one was briefly suicidal, this country stopped looking after its own a long time ago, its a cultural holocaust

      • Thanks Alby. There’s a whole lot of people I’d shoot first before I got around to doing myself in, but I understand how someone could get to that point these days. What should have been a happy time for both of us in finding a new home together is turning into a depressing and distressing nightmare. It’s not just immigration of course…negative gearing, CGT policies, greedy bastards in parliament and the FIRE sector have all made their contributions…it’s a disaster.

      • he’d convinced himself that because he didn’t buy 10 years ago and cannot afford to now he had set up his kids for eternal poverty – what a country hey

    • Now you know how an aboriginal might have felt when you try to boss over them. This is how they would have felt and still do.

      I classify myself as new migrant, been here just over 10+ years. Have a thick accent and when viewing open-houses, hell yeah, I will only speak in a language that the RE agent does not understand. You seem to proud of the fact of having a 30+ year career paying taxes. f88k me mate, living within the confines of a safe city and harping about “hard work”…. I have been here for 10+ years and already served in the forces, you know put my life on the line for Australia… like you know life/death kinda life-on-the-line.. Have you put your life on the line for Australia?
      Would you have felt so “angry” if the language they spoke was German and had blonde hair and blue eyes. Didn’t think so…

      I know you are angry and frustrated, you seem to be educated, mature and some professional stature, you could do a lot better than “they took our jerb/house” line!

      • LSWCHP is angry that he is being forced to compete against 1,650 people flooding into Sydney every week, mostly via immigration. He is well within his rights to be angry. He is being sold out, like the rest of Australia’s youth, via a myriad of bad policies (not just immigration, but also foreign buyers, shitty tax policies, etc).

        You being a migrant and a self-proclaimed war hero does not change the facts on the ground. Immigration levels are way too high and are destroying life in the big cities to the detriment of the average person (and the benefit of the elites).

      • “Have you put your life on the line for Australia?”

        Yes, I have. RAINF 1979-88.

        “Would you have felt so “angry” if the language they spoke was German and had blonde hair and blue eyes. Didn’t think so…”

        My oath I would have. I have 3 children and I’ve spent the last 20 years telling them it doesn’t matter what colour someone’s skin is, it’s what they say and do that counts, but we have excessive levels of immigration from all over the world in this country.

        What I’d like to happen is zero net immigration until our infrastructure, our schools, our housing, our economy…our whole society…becomes functional again and provides the things that a society is supposed to provide to it’s citizens. Basic things like affordable shelter. I don’t have anything against immigrants as individuals, but I’m furious at immigration policy, and what the disastrous and deliberate mismanagement and manipulation of that policy is doing to our country as a whole and to me personally right now.

        Personally, I’m finding it hard to go past “they took my house” as an argument, because that seems highly likely at the moment. Have you tried buying a house lately? If not, you should. It’s an illuminating experience.

      • UE & LSWCHP,
        There is no point in berating poor sods who rock up to auctions/bus stop/train/job interview. You should be berating the policy makers and powers to be. Not the ones who follows the rules set by the politicians!

        Sorry, LSWCHP’s post was awful… everyone knows who uses the line “..i am not r****t …my best friend is XXX..”

      • Leith, LSWCHP may well have a right to be angry but the references to thick accents and foreign languages is both irrelevant and unnecessary. Would it be ok if LSWCHP mentioned they had slanty eyes? The people he was bidding against could just as easily been a whiter-than-white Aussie tradie and family who were buying their fifth IP. What people look like and how they speak should not be part of the discussion. Period.

      • Yeah there is 1650 whiter then white tradies (racist ?) flooding into straya every week lol

        This is the result, everything is racist and no one wins not even the self righteous SJW who probably should be watching racist porn on sbs

      • If you didn’t figure out LSWCHP was a digger from his title, I call bullshit on your service. No Aussie ex-serviceman says ‘forces’.

  10. “Saulwick argues that those arguing for a immigration cut are either racists, political opportunists or greenies and that economic “evidence” comes down against all three.”

    It is evident Saulwick is a member of a certain segment of the population who defends unbridled immigration and multiculturalism as a means reaching dominance through societal and economic subversion of native populations worldwide. Therefore everything he writes has to be seen in that light.

    See also: fifth column

  11. Depressing reading the comments. So many obviously paid shills (at best), and complete simpletons (at worst).

  12. the rise of Hanson shows that the public is starting to realise that labour and liberal (and useless greens) have fed them nothing but bullshit. I am mid 40’s and will hopefully make it though before this country turns to outright shit but do feel sorry for the mess left for the next generation. However, they appear oblivious to what faces them. brainwashed? ignorant? Very peaceful for a group utterly screwed over. What is wrong with them? Where is the fight? Must be the fluoride in the water. Good teeth though.
    A young couple goes to an auction to buy a dwelling for $500K. 6 x income. Twice what the parents paid. They must compete with foreign investors for the property. They get outbid and end up renting the property from the foreign investor. The rent is paid to an overseas investor. WTF is wrong with this country to treat our own this way?
    What type of people are we to put foreign students ahead of our own blood?
    Bloody disgrace. he shit will hit the fan (hopefully) soon.
    I see the casualization of the workforce placing enormous stress on many young. Workplaces are reducing casual hours from 5 days per week to 2-3 days per week. How can the young survive on a handful of days per week. These people are in their prime and are treated as second class citizens. Yet we continue to have this huge immigration rate that only creates more working poor. Any surprises the crime rate is escalating? Time for a reality check.

  13. In many suburbs in Sydney a Chinese with a suitcase of cash is far more welcome than a young person born and raised in that very suburb.
    Why do I say that? Because the Chinese gets a house ahead of the young Aussie.

  14. I worked for Fairfax for years – the reality is probably actually that these journalists have no idea they are lying – they actually believe the stuff they write.

    The whole organization is locked in a massive thought bubble. They even as of this week believe and spin to their staff the notion that print has a future – many of the young journos buy -into it – and they will produce stats to back it up.

    Their managers are out in force on social media this week high fiving the great work they have done generating a large net profit over last year (never mind the more than billion dollar write offs last year…or the other years before).

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.