Highrise Harry caught in the immigration, wages pincer

Harry Triguboff at The Australian:

Billionaire apartment developer Harry Triguboff says average Australian wages are too low and are adding to the drag on the weakening housing market.

Prices for his new projects had dropped about 15 per cent in the past year, the Meriton founder said. “Buyers still say they can’t ­afford it,” Mr Triguboff said. “Wages here have to be higher.”

An average Chinese buyer can afford a unit in Sydney, but an Australian cannot, despite the falling prices, said Mr Triguboff, who also markets his apartments in China

Australia was losing skilled jobs, such as those for pilots, to countries where wages for such roles were higher, he noted.

Previously Highrise has been the immigration bull to end all bulls:

Billionaire property developer Harry Triguboff believes Australia’s population will soar to 55 million by 2050, but hopes it will reach 100 million.

With a new person being added to the country’s total population every minute of the day, Australia’s population growth is faster than Britain, the US and the EU.

The federal government favours a “big Australia”, and wants to increase the country’s headcount from 22 million to 35 million by 2050, largely by immigration.

Mr Triguboff believes that figure is too conservative.

“I don’t think there will be 35 million but about 55 million,” he said on The 7.30 Report.

And herein lies the problem. Sure you can have mass immigration to the moon. You just can’t have it and wages growth as labour market slack is never absorbed:

So, is the answer more immigration? More rich Chinese that can afford Highrise’s homes? Or is it maybe to reboot Australian income growth which cannot be done without capping immigration that will hurt hours prices?

This lose, lose equation captures something about Australia’s current growth model that is not often discussed. Bob Birrell appeared at The Australian on the weekend to ask a sticky question:

Bob Birrell, president of the Australian Population Res­earch Institute, has warned that the eastern seaboard infrastructure binge may be overcooked because of the potential for fewer people to enter the country than under the existing intake.

Speaking after Victoria vowed to pump $50 billion into a new suburban subway system, Dr Birrell said too few people were prepared to question whether the forecast increase in immigration would remain at current levels.

He said the numbers were treated as “sacred’’ when people should be considering that in the past there were drops in net overseas migration, brought about because of changes in policy settings and community sentiment.

“My reaction to these grand plans is to look at the population assumptions beneath them and what we are seeing is just straight-line projections,’’ Dr Birrell told The Weekend Australian.

…Dr Birrell said there was the ­potential for fewer students to enter Australia and there was popular discussion about whether or not current immigration rates were appropriate.

Quite right Dr Birrell. It will stop and much more quickly than it appears. The polling makes it inevitable:

  • Australian Population Research Institute: 54% want lower immigration;
  • Newspoll: 56% want lower immigration;
  • Essential: 54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high;
  • Lowy: 54% of people think the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high; and
  • Newspoll: 74% of voters support the Turnbull government’s cut of more than 10% to the annual permanent migrant intake to 163,000 last financial year.

This popular resistance already killed the Turnbull Government. Others will follow. We are already seeing desperate policy in Hail Mary spending and crazy notions such as “migrants to the regions”.

The problem is threefold. Population growth of the magnitude that we are experiencing has never been given a popular mandate. The mass immigration growth model that drives it lowers broad living standards, including per capita income. That means pollies must lie about it by referencing headline over per capita numbers.

As one reader put is last week, this is classic “gaslighting” of the polity by the elites, a kind psychological abuse as leaders disavow the lived experience of the people. It drives an unusually enraging wedge between the two which is the stuff of constant political upheaval.

Returning to the travails of Highrise Harry, his pincer between foreign buyers and falling wages is an illustration that mass immigration is actually a population bubble, based upon the unsustainable injection of ever more people to support politically unsustainable economic valuations to the locals.  That stands as a warning for those most leveraged to it, via AFR:

Transurban’s eye-watering $9.3 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Sydney’s WestConnex toll road – almost double what analysts and the NSW government had expected – is based on the assumption that Sydney’s population and economic growth will continue for a long time yet.

While Australia, a country of 25 million people, debates immigration levels and what is the optimum population size for an island continent, Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton is banking on Sydney’s population hitting 8.5 million by 2061.

The listed company – which operates15 out of the 19 toll road concessions in Australia – predicts population growth in the WestConnex corridors is expected to top 2.4 per cent through to 2026 – well above the national average.

This adds further oxygen to the dynamics of the population bubble as such enormous firms become rent-seekers for its continuation, adding both to the need for more people, more lies to cover up the falling living standards and more fury that it is happening.

Like all bubbles, this can run longer than anyone expects then burst and collapse very fast indeed. A few years ago nobody thought negative gearing would be touched. Then nobody thought the banks would be touched. Until recently, nobody thought that gas and energy firms would be touched. Now nobody thinks that immigration will be touched.

It will be and the bubble will burst resolving Highrise Harry’s little dilemma for him.

David Llewellyn-Smith

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Comments

  1. What time zone are you in peach?
    Only foreigners and fanatics are here at this time I know which one I am.
    D

  2. “Billionaire property developer Harry Triguboff believes Australia’s population will soar to 55 million by 2050, but hopes it will reach 100 million.”

    One thing’s for sure, Mr Triguboff’ isn’t going to be around in 2050 and with any luck our children will be well rid of all those of his ilk profiting from the destruction of our society hand in hand with our so-called “leaders”.

    Once a proper debate is allowed to happen concerning population those people who want a sustainable Australia will increase to the vast majority.

    The arrogance and self assurance of those like Triguboff who are making massive profits from this form of social vandalism and exploitation speaks volumes.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      And what does Triguboff depend on to make his dog boxes into the stuff of dreams beyond envy? Real estate inflation to concentrate the country’s wealth in his hands. How does he achieve this miracle? By getting his mates in high places to flood the country with ever more third worlders who are willing to live for less and less and bankers to supply debt to them to get shelter. He and the legions of mini Triguboffs, local and foreign, their mates in high places and the faceless bankers who finance them are nothing more than economic parasites who have turned a basic utility, shelter, into a financial ponzi scam of colossal proportions. Under the guidance of the RBA, this has become Australia’s economic model. And then all that fake heart ache over falling wages, homelessness, flat productivity and Australia’s pathetic level of business innovation and now the inevitable amazing shrinking Aussie dollar as the world wakes up to the fraud this country has been for a long, long time. Surprise!….oh wait….no it f-ing isn’t !!!!!!!!

      I know I’m stating what everybody knows, but it needs to be stated clearly again and again.

      • Keep on saying it.

        “…Under the guidance of the RBA, this has become Australia’s economic model. ….”

        Though the private bank apologists might call you a bank and/or money crank.

        The role of the RBA (and APRA) is quite simple.

        It is about supporting the operations and business model of private banks.

        The other functions are secondary.

        If you want to start dismantling this model a good first step is to DEMAND that the RBA provide deposit accounts to anyone who wants them

        https://theglass-pyramid.com/2018/08/22/fixing-oz-banks-pt-4-one-small-step-at-a-time/

      • Real estate inflation is a direct result of the fractional reserve banking system (capital based in straya’s case, but functionally similar) i.e. money is lent into existence.

        Dismantle the existing monetary system, go back to gold-backed money and Harry and the other property parasites will be history overnight. You mention the bankers making debt available to the plebs to buy Harry’s properties — well guess what, that scale of debt would simply not be available under a gold-backed system. Housing would go back to being the consumption item it was always meant to be — not a financial asset. It’s that simple.

      • St Jacques – this needs to be said many, many more times. The marketing of the new Australian “dream” of a dog box lifestyle is a large commercial and advertising enterprise that has required complicity between politicians and useful idiots of the left -who are so rusted on to their ideology that they are happy to paint Dog-Box Triguboff as a humanitarian. Fortunately, that’s pretty hard to do as the guy is clearly an unreconstructed Scrooge and carpetbagging barbarian like Harvey Norman and the small coterie of profiteers making a killing.

        But when the majority of our media runs a turbo-charged narrative that living in a dog-box is a stepping stone to wealth and true living you have to book Australian society in for a bit of a reality check. It’s a concrete dog box guys – and the owners and residents are being shipped in ’cause few Aussies wants this lifestyle.

        When Australians finally wake up to themselves that our “lefty” feel-good mass immigration program is just a way to make psychopaths rich by a concrete dog-box economy – that allows mindless politicians to keep blowing debt bubbles in a neoliberal bath – things will turn. But that’s not going to happen when half the population is glued to some ‘real estate porn’ and failing to discern marketing from news in our newspapers – or debt from wealth from that matter.

        Our society has been raped by these parasites – supervised by the very people who we vote for to protect our amenity and quality of life. A poorly adapted parasite kills its host – and that’s just what Triguboff and Co have done – because such people, like poorly adapted parasites, never know when to stop.

  3. Australia was losing skilled jobs, such as those for pilots, to countries where wages for such roles were higher

    Yeah. The LNP has decided that regional aircraft pilots in AUS should not be paid more than $65k/year and is therefore giving out work visas for that profession as well. The useful idiots, the Greens, do not stop any of this because it would be “racist” to.

    The other useful idiots, the ALP, would rather fund basket weaving diplomas instead of training an Aussie to fly regional aircraft.

    • One aspect of pilot safety that just cannot be discussed in the current climate is cockpit culture. Korean Airlines had to introduce special training to encourage co-pilots to speak up. The normal heirarchy and respect actually led to crashes. Another example was the Lufthansa crash where the pilot was the senior trainer, so no one challenged his decision. Anyone that has travelled on interior airlines in certain countries that it would be ‘racist’ to name knows that some fly more like ex-fighter pilots than airliner pilots. Again Australia failing to train its own then employ its own. This will affect safety. Pilots should not be selected on the basis of another bum on a seat.

  4. Quality of life is falling rapidly in the inner city areas and people are fed up with it. Whole areas being turned into high rise canyons with no concern for existing residents. I do believe people want change and the government to start listening on the issue of population and development.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      The Government is to busy pursuing Union deregistration,due to some Union leader having his kid hold a sign saying Get Fked to the head of a Gestapo like organisation with special powers to discriminate against Construction workers only.
      I would have added Cnt to that sign, before posting it on Twitter.
      The media response was facinating,…to be expected the Wage suppressing Plutocratic Murdock press and Macquarie radio was all over it for a whole day,…but more interesting to me was 702 ABC radio denouncement of the “Outrage”.
      It seem the consensus is that Destroying our Childrens bargaining power and their future dignity is not as beyond the Pale, as having 2 of them holding a sign that tells those responsible to Fk off on Twitter.
      It seems the LNP and Mainstream media are in agreement that demanding Courtesy and Manners from the Plebs, is more important than the well being of Australian Citizens.
      What does that tell you about these Cnts.

      • It is just a sideshow to stop people from noticing ScoMo just opened the door to more Muslim immigrants via the Indonesia FTA.

      • The unions (as they have evolved in Aus through the executive positions on infrastructure projects and super) are much more embedded in this big Australia big destruction complex than you admit EP.

      • @aj
        +1000
        That needs saying and saying and saying again.
        Those people running Unions are not members of the Unions they run.
        They are a professional management class who could just as easily manage banks or department stores.
        It goes back to Bob Hawkes time as head of the ACTU, when he convinced the many unions they would carry more clout
        if they amalgamated into fewer “Super Unions”
        For the union movement it has been a steady decline from there.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        (Unions) “are much more embedded in this big Australia big destruction complex than you admit EP.”

        I don’t “not admit” any such thing.
        My view is that all instutional structures become corupted, Unions included,….thats why I believe in proper democracy, where the Rank and File of the Political parties, Unions and of the country of Australia, have the final say over any policy formation of any significance.
        If they (any leadership) are not held to account by active participating citizens,…then who the Fk do you think is going to do it,…our next wave of Colonial oppressors?
        I would say As big a problem as “Instutionalised corruption”, is the rank apathy of the Massive number of Australian Armchair Generals and Leaders who have much to say in criticism about those who are trying to work towards change,…but do sweet FA themselves. (Other than complain)

        Instead of trying to tear down one of the ever fewer remaining instutions that is supposed to represent the intrests of working people,…why dont you join one, grow some Balls and speak up.
        Probably not as comfortable as sitting at home in front of the computer in your Gamers Chair.

        https://youtu.be/ljaXy1t0I44

      • because “join one, grow some Balls and speak up.” achieves absolutely nothing, no matter how much you’d like to believe otherwise. The leaders of these organisations represent the members in the same way the pollies represent the electorate. If the system actualy worked that way, we wouldn’t need to join because we aould already be “represented”.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Your missing my point BJ,….the biggest political party in the country (by numbers) is the ALP and has only 54,000 members out of a population of 25 millio,…less than half of those would be politically active.
        If you want to see leglislative and policy change brother,…you’ve got to go and demand it where it happens,…in the parties,…its the only way.
        If 100s of thousands do attempt to bring about change this way and it doesn’t happen,…then yes,..then you can talk about the system being broken and the need for Revolution.
        But at the moment,…FA people are attempting to achieve any change at all!,…other than complaining on Social media echo chambers!
        Change requires hard work and participation,….most people are lazy and begrudgingly accept the status quo.
        Dont try and BS your not doing that,when you are.
        https://youtu.be/mLAeNmRwY3I

      • So representative democracy works, we just need more of it to make it actually work.
        I’ve heard similar arguments made for many things, and they are regularly proved wrong.
        The parties are simply parliament in minature with all the same problems.

      • No problem with the comments on participation EP (policy is often made by those that turn up). What i’m saying (again) is that your comments that the parties can be reformed by members is false – these institutions are corrupted completely. Our best chance of reform is to destroy the party duopoly we have.

      • In Melbourne those high rises will become highly sought after gated communities to keep out the roving African gangs LOL

  5. Tbh I can’t see anything changes until our version of a Trump is elected
    And the only person who could stand a chance in that sense is Pauline
    It might take 5 or 10 years
    But there’s a real chance in that period she ends up with 30 seats in the senate

    • Mark Latham is rumoured to be joining the ONP:

      Former Labor leader Mark Latham has quit the Liberal Democrats after an impasse over where he would run for the party, clearing the way for a speculated bid with One Nation.

      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/latham-quits-liberal-democrats-after-impasse-over-return-to-politics-20180903-p501ii.html

      Clive Palmer can probably be a politician again – why the hell does a miner need mass immigration? He does not.

      • I hope Mark takes over one nation.
        I liked mark as labor leader and think he could really connect with the broader electorate in a way that pauline can’t.

        We know an Aussie Trump is coming. I hope it ends up being Mark.

      • Our electoral system is highly rigged in favour of the encumbents, and the populace gets no direct vote on the PM, so you may be waiting an eternity for an aussie trump. The US is a far different environment.

      • Latham has a big enough brand to start his own party – as far as Aussie Trumps go, there could be a lot worse!

    • Pauline is an idiot and a control freak. That’s why she is disorganised, selects nutters that then implode, or if they have any ability at all decide they have to leave because they can’t handle the complete lack of people management skills and erratic micro management. The issues that drive her campaign are still there, but there will be a more organised party that will eventually arise and possibly rise quite quickly. Yes, Palmer fell fast, but exploded upwards fast too. There’s an untapped interest, but Hanson ain’t the one to lead it.

    • She is not a good enough politician. Every time she has a chance to be more than a single member she self destructs thanks to those she chooses as running mates. Poor judgement.

      She is not our Trump.

      Edit: what alterbrain said!

    • If there is an Australian Donald Trump lurking on the fringes of Australian politics I is Mark Latham.
      and we all know he is mad.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Would the SAP take Mark Latham?
      Serious Question.
      They need a High Profile candidate,…maybe Dick could jump on board too,…they could mentor eachother.
      Whaddya say Macrobusiness.com.au,…your the media arm of the SAP,…can this be made to happen!?

      • Seems a high risk strategy – Latham’s pretty narcissistic, and arguably more likely to destroy the party completely than improve its popularity.


    • And the only person who could stand a chance in that sense is Pauline
      It might take 5 or 10 years

      Then it’s probably too late – by the end of the next election cycle, she’ll be older than John Howard when he left office. She’s unlikely to still be actively campaigning in 10 years time when she’s 74.

    • Agreed. It’s coming.

      No doubt the Russians will be blamed when it happens. Couldn’t possibly be the ineptitude of the ruling classes could it?

  6. Yep, nothings actually be touched yet. You get the sense the pollies and elites are still hoping all these headwinds blow themselves out, and we can all get on with maintaining the status quo.

    Australia, is still very much flinching at its difficult conversations and decisions. Nothing has changed.

    A long way to go.yet.

  7. “Buyers still say they can’t ­afford it,” Mr Triguboff said. “Wages here have to be higher.”
    Higher wages are the answer, not LOWER house prices. LOL

  8. I’m sure that one thing we can all agree is that a successful Australia needs to develop Export oriented industries that leverage the skills and capitalize on the advantage of our educated population.
    If this goal is indeed our shared vision, then it is worth drilling down into the business statistics and understanding the who, the why’s, the when’s and the where’s of these newly created ventures. Do this exercise and one unpleasant fact jumps out at you: These new export growth oriented businesses are not being created by 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th…. generation Aussies nope. Fact is it’s almost always the first generation Australian’s that have nads to take their vision to the world. They drag better established Aussie onto the world stage and they do this with conviction, because they can see the advantage that is squandered. This global advantage is real to them and Advantage is what you leverage to create real wealth.
    Of course in any RSL level discussion on immigration, this inconvenient fact is never mentioned….bit like immigration discussions at MB…inconvenient facts become the first causalities of our cultural bias, but what’s really laughable is that we conclude we’d do so much better without the global businesses created by recent immigrants, of course we never drill down and understand just which of us 5th or 6th gen Aussies would ever venture outside their comfort zone to create these new global businesses.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      fisho it’s very, very simple to make Oz earn it’s way in the world instead of borrowing forever to pump up house prices and live of equity mate from imported capital and imported goods and tech: Smash the fricking housing ponzi with maximum prejudice. Try and jail the bankers for their crimes. Stop immigration. Send the country into a depression and only offer help to business that produce something, training to untrained and undertrained locals. The dollar will cave, people will get upset, but then the miracle will happen: Exports will grow, first slowly, then faster and faster. Happened in Ireland and Spain. Problem with those countries is, unfortunately, signs of backsliding into their old ways.

      • Trouble is it just doesn’t work out that way in Australia.
        Truth is we’d all be fabulously wealthy and able to buy new BMW’s every year if we could just return to the days when our continent was shared by less than 5M Aussies. This wealth we leverage is not born of human struggle but rather it’s a sort of birth right, our share of the mining loot. If the share is split 20M ways we’ll remain OK but if we’re forced to split it 50M ways well we’re all F’ed …that’s Leith’s message.
        To suggest that we’ll somehow create globally significant human capital businesses just because we have a recession is a little disingenuous.

      • @ Fisho
        Climate catastrophe could well see Australia with a population of less than 20 million by 2040.

      • @bolstrood I agree Climate change is a huge issue, however in any global case that would see Australia’s carry capacity reduced to under 20M by 2040, you’d also have massive global migration issues with huge population shifts (hundreds of millions if not Billions) occurring all over the Asian and African continents and Indian sub continent.
        These massive global population shifts on nearest neighbour continents will simply overwhelm our borders, making global over population our problem either now or later. There’s no head in the sand way to escape this problem, it’s coming so I’d rather start dealing with it sooner than later.

      • I’m ;not trying to be practical fisho, I’m rhetorically making a point based on real world experience.

    • No. That is not the core of the problem.

      This country should be running a sustainable model. It should be environmentally sustainable and economically sustainable.

      This means that our exports should pay for our imports and that we make for ourselves anything not paid for by exports. Net asset sales and running up net debt should be ended one way or another.

      Once trade is balanced, it doesn’t matter if “we” export/import 1% and make 99% or export/import 50% and make 50%. Once trade is balanced by correct policy then those export industries will rise automatically. You’ve actually got it the wrong way around.

      Fact is it’s almost always the first generation Australian’s that have nads to take their vision to the world.
      I know a few people who have come from China who continue to run businesses in China and do plenty of business with China. Is that what you mean? Would you expect 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th…. generation Aussies to do outperform in that arena?

      what’s really laughable is that we conclude we’d do so much better without the global businesses created by recent immigrants

      No. What is really laughable is that you make this comment on an article that is about “Billionaire apartment developer Harry Triguboff”.

      • Last I checked Harry is a first gen Aussie, last time I checked he sold a lot of property to rich Chinese which in my book is an Export business (of sorts). You may not like the way he does business but I suspect we’re all better off because of his ventures. Like it or not he creates additional supply and that’s what’s been sorely missing for many years.
        Would you expect 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th…. generation Aussies to do outperform in that arena?
        what?? my point is that they don’t outperform the recent immigrants matter of fact they just don’t perform at all, unless you include bitching and moaning as a performance metric.

    • Yes people with nothing to lose are less risk adverse. Entrenched wealth tends towards maintaining itself at the expense of innovation.

      But this is all just another argument in favor of burning down all these distortions that have been built into the Australian economy. Starting with the ponzi endless population growth structure.

      • So lets see: If I understand you correctly, you agree that it is primarily established Aussies that enjoy the advantage of our current system.
        They’re the ones with the capital (rich Mum’s and Dad’s) to fund and grow their own little RE empires, they’re the ones with the political pull to make sure that every new arrival is lumbered with enough debt to strangle their ambitions and keep them slaving away in our proverbial salt mines. BUT if I understand you it’s these established Aussies that will be the first to give up this life of privilege if we can just crash the system. It’s these lazy F’s that’ll overnight develop global business contacts and build significant export businesses…..ah yeah …like I said, in this respect, most established Aussies share one trait that being they’re completely delusional.

      • Fisho, your argument has some superficial appeal, but why on earth would Australians willingly cede even the idea of innovation to immigrants? I agree that’s where we are currently at, partly due to our gaslit reality. Where you “get ahead” by avoiding tax and depriving another family of the ability to own their own shelter at the same time. It’s the narrative that’s all wrong and it’s the narrative that has to change. I’d submit it’s ALWAYS been wrong, starting from Terra Nullius. Why work for wealth when you can take it? Why work for wealth when speculation (dressed up as investment) does just as well, or better, and is cheered to the skies in the media, instead of scorned as it should be? Real, sustainable and long term successful nations recognise this for the BS it is. That’s why their citizens come to Australia and can prosper. But this is a national illness to be fixed, not accepted.

      • but why on earth would Australians willingly cede even the idea of innovation to immigrants?
        From my own experience Wealthy Aussies don’t willingly cede anything, however Immigrant Innovation is not something that they can suppress. There is no doubt in my mind that wealthy Aussies actively suppress Innovation within their own population, you’ve only got to look at the growing dysfunction of our Secondary and Tertiary education systems to understand where/how the green shoots of innovation are stomped back into the dirt. Nope in my opinion we’ve got the economy that we deserve….The $64K is how can we ever transform this into an equitable economy that rewards rather than punishes innovation? I suspect this will be the question that perplexes us for the next 30 years but I still wouldn’t expect long term sustainable answers to flow from the mouths/minds of established Aussies they’re just not very good at seeing global advantage and they’re horrible at leveraging this advantage in global markets.

      • We’re pretty much on the same page. I just have a little more hope than you that the patient’s not terminal and destined to kill itself by slicing off tiny pieces of its own flesh to eat rather than walk to the fridge.

    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      The stats prove the complete opposite fisho, Leith has provided article after article on how we are essentially splitting our natural endowment between fewer and fewer people (as you mention). we’ve been running a huge immigration program for a while now 15-20 years…when are expected to see these amazingly innovative immigrants do their thing? keep in mind we are importing 20-30 year olds.. what companies are you referencing?

      • Truth is that very few immigrants choose this path, that’s undeniable, Even immigrants choose other paths and they make this choice because of the way we reward activities within our economy, that AND the absolute necessity for a steady reliable income so that you can service that mega mortgage.
        If we were to reducing the value of Aussie shelter to 1980 prices (3 to 4 times one adult wage) than we’d see many of the economic distortions simply disappear and simultaneously we’d see wealth delivered to those individuals that were capable of leveraging Australian advantage on the world stage.
        Leith is absolutely correct in saying that, to date, the results of leveraging our human capital are absolutely pathetic. I’m not disagreeing with this but simply pointing out that despite the terrible results, the vast majority of our global new business success stories are led by first generation immigrants. Additionally If we hope to expand (from a very small base) I suspect this expansion will be immigrant led.
        I don’t believe that anything I’m saying contradicts anything that Leith has statistically “proven”

    • There is a guy called Mike, or “mike mb” who will come along soon and post a VERY detailed reply explaining exactly what this house was.

    • Locus of ControlMEMBER

      I linked to it in daily links.

      The ABC could have spun three to four stories out of that one matter. There’s a lot going on there.

      The ABC have taken the ‘information asymmetry’ angle and I’m not denying that’s a legitimate problem (albeit one that can be somewhat mitigated if you do your due diligence).

      But there’s also the:

      – foreign buyer competing with local buyers angle (“Mr Dong, who is originally from China”)
      – the allegations of illegal use (“unregistered rooming house”) which the ABC article neither confirms nor denies
      – the ethics of elderly immigrants using our social/ health system when they’ve never contributed to it (assuming the parents are coming later from China and are not already here working) – “purchased the property in the hope that it could one day house his parents”
      – that people who buy property at huge expense (hundreds of thousands of dollars) and then plead poverty when maintenance issues (costing mere thousands) inevitably crop up (owner claims cannot afford $7800 for demolition or $8500 for permits). Has the housing market sucked that much money out of the economy that people can’t pay these unexpected expenses when they fall due? Hot water systems fail, rates need to paid, insurances need to be paid – surely you factor that in before you buy a place.

    • I like the bit where Ms Ludwell recommends ‘title insurance’ (provided by two American insurers) and says:

      “If you’re covered by that insurance then you’re actually home and hosed.”

      Until, presumably, the insurer shuts its doors and then you’re more ‘hosed’ than ‘home’.

    • The average Chinese buyer of Sydney housing is very different from the average Chinese person living in China.
      Of course the average person has one tit and one ball – for what that’s worth.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      He is not talking about the “Average” Chinese citizen, 600 million of which are still basicly pesants.
      Hes talking about the top 2 classes in Orwells 1984,

      “The class hierarchy of Oceania has three levels:

      (I) the upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority, who make up 2% of the population.
      (II) the middle-class Outer Party, who make up 13% of the population.
      (III) the lower-class Proletariat, who make up 85% of the population and represent the uneducated working class.”

      We are not getting Chinese Proles, Harrys not interested in them,…its that top 15 – 20% he’s on about,….240 million of them.

      • The average middle class Chinese has way lower average incomes than the average the middle class Australian. Mathematically speaking, there is no way a country with a GDP per capita of 1/7 of ours can have 15% of the population with higher incomes than ours .
        I agree that the top 2% are uber rich and can afford things that most can only dream of.

  9. It’s not that necessarily Australian wages are too low, it’s that land prices are too high and the problem is the state and economic structure that under pins it and Harry is part of that problem.

  10. Jumping jack flash

    Mate, I can fix low averages. Just pay the top end a bit more to cover up the falls at the bottom.

    Fixed!
    Sing with me: “Everything is awesorme….”

  11. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Funny that we never hear of Harry’s offspring, but other such rich listers have their children in the news (not always for the “good”reasons) so what are they and why don’t they speak up? He has two daughters, lets hear from them.