Heil fasco-housing complex!

Nine years ago I wrote:

Australian housing doesn’t have anything to do with economics. It long since ceased being a “market” at all.

Rather, it is a political complex – a quango – that represents the single largest page in the socio-economic contract between the government, the Australian financial system and an ageing baby-boomer population.

When the baby-boomer generation first took power and reshaped Australia in the 1980s, the promise was for a new kind of meritocracy. The old “Australian Settlement” described brilliantly by Paul Kelly in the End of Certainty – a protectionist social contract between unions, industry, government and the people – was swept aside in favour of a neo-liberal vision. The new world demanded an open, more dynamic Australia. An Australia that rewarded entrepreneurial effort and flexibility. A productive Australia.

For a while it worked. Australia dropped its tariffs, deregulated government enterprise, most especially the banks, and after a false start at the end of the eighties, embarked on an historic productivity boom.

But at some point a distortion began to grow at the heart of the new vision. It’s dark seed was sown by the original architects of the new world when they back-tracked on the removal of negative gearing tax policy for housing in the 80s.

By the late 1990s it had become a cancer eating away at the achievements of the baby-boomer generation and a second wave of bipartisan supporters of the new vision took power only to further deregulate finance and install fabulous capital gains tax privileges on property investment.

As we entered the 2000s, the new vision threatened to stall and the same baby-boomers that had convinced us all to embark on their neo-liberal journey deployed new, more direct subsidies for houses, in the form of first home buyer grants that sought to co-opt the baby-boomer’s children in the same now rapidly distorting vision.

Through the 2000s, the neo-liberal vision became virtually unrecognisable. The dynamic and open Australia mutated into a speculative abomination based almost entirely on houses. Our precious capital, freed in the 80s to find the most productive outlets possible became instead the key stone in a system of offshore borrowing and asset inflation.

The final death knell of the new vision surely came in 2003 when the old national good luck arrived in the nick of time. As the housing quango lay dying in 2003, along came a commodities boom the likes of which nobody has seen in century. The transformation was complete. The entrepreneurial vision of those pioneering 80s baby-boomers replaced with happy-jack dirt salesmen and a bloated entitlement state that now had the money to keep its most hideous progeny, the great, quivering housing sack that hung from its belly, alive.

In 2008, when the world woke up and the mutated vision was revealed in all its horrible form, the government deployed every available mechanism to keep the thing alive. Unheard of guarantees across the financial system, moral hazards like leaves in the wind, wholesale immigration, massive direct subsidies, huge general stimulus.

This might be forgiveable if it was at least honest and openly declared. But it wasn’t and isn’t. Instead, those that had sat outside the system, hoping for a house or sagely planning to swoop when the bubble burst, are insulted with blandishments about how robust the system is, how they missed out on the “market”. Even though this so called “market” long since ceased to bear any relation to laws of supply and demand.

I feel sympathy to my bones for those that are running the buying strike campaign and those that participate in it. I understand completely where they are coming from. A buyers strike is an entirely appropriate and justifiable response to the Australian politico-housing complex. It is a political act targeted at a political system that lies to their face.

Ever since, we have watched the same politico-housing complex throw successive generations into a property mincer that has now consumed the entire economy.

Which brings me to my point. The evolving new level of real estate bastardisation, irrationality and power in the nation’s capitals is more totalitarian in nature than the exercise of interests over government. It has moved well beyond the simple influence of lobbying or spruiking in the press. The politco-housing complex has evolved into a structure so complete that it is now a world view, a complete, closed-loop ideology, bound up with nationalism, geopolitics and power.

There is an inexorable logic to this. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that the politico-housing complex had become a parasite killing its host. The complex had so distorted the underlying economy, had so corrupted national identity, and had so compromised national security, that it was either going to die or had to evolve.

The first of the great challenges to the politico-housing complex was economic. Over the past two economic cycles, the politico-housing complex has flattened households under a mountain of debt that has killed inflation and monetary policy. Thus the complex has become ever more dependent upon fiscal support for life, both for funding and supporting a gutted underlying economy.

The second great challenge to the politico-housing complex was that its core pillar, mass immigration, was directly undermining Australian living standards. Wages growth has been destroyed. Public services like roads, rail, health, education and law have been crush-loaded and debauched. The Australian backyard is history and the great outdoors itself is gone as shoddy apartments have predominated in dwelling construction.  All of this has happened without a vote for it. Indeed, all polls indicate strong resistance to further population growth.

The third great challenge for the politico-housing complex was political. The last election presented a generational threat when Labor sensed the marginalisation of younger voters was a political opportunity.

But, from the verge of extinction, the politico-housing complex suddenly evolved to confront each of these three challenges. The key moment was a Property Council of Australia coup at the last election, with its former head of research, Scott Morrison, appointed PM. That has entrenched the power of a cabal of public and private oligarchs that have taken control of national interest policy in the name of real estate. The first order of business has been to capture fiscal support for the economy and more credit. The coup has been followed up with the co-opting of regulators using classic fascist techniques of show trials and personal favours. Next underway is the cultural war to bring all “business” into line as well. Daily now, business leaders are bashed by marauding ministers of the new ‘fasco-housing complex’.

The second feature of the newly formed fasco-housing complex is to sustain mass immigration no matter the cost to economy, living standards, democracy or security. In classic fascist practice, the deleterious impacts are disguised through the use of relentless mass propaganda, disseminated forcefully by oligarchic aligned media. Its greatest trick is to endlessly debate solutions to the destructive flow of peoples as if that is the answer, while misrepresenting any and all resistance to the flow itself using public shaming, via such tags as “racist”. A terrific example of this is underway today at Nine’s metropolitan newspapers as it conducts a gala event around how to manage population growth. Fresh from running fasco-housing complex fund raisers for Property Council Generalissimo ScoMo, Nine has dedicated days of debate to the topic without once mentioning that we could simply cut the migrant intake. The truth is that there are no solutions to the fallout from overly fast immigration within the Australian system, nor are there intended to be. The debate only serves to provide the illusion of choice as the putsch goes about its daily business of building shoddy apartments for money-laundering Chinese and propagating new generations of ‘fasco-housing complex youth’.

The third leg of the fasco-housing complex is political transformation. Since the election of the Property Council PM, the fasco-housing complex has set about distorting the results in every way possible. The truth is that the Property Council PM only fell over the line thanks to Queenslanders who voted for nationalist fringe parties seeking tighter borders. But that has been completely repackaged as a fulsome embrace of “aspirationalism” – read fasco-housing code for higher house prices – permanently erasing any prospect of future political push back against the complex. Yet behind that lie is the truth that the Queenslanders were right. We do need tighter borders. The political system is reeling from an inundation of cashed-up foreign influences, mostly sponsored by the Communist Party of China and, again, revolving around property. These are now distorting the political system itself to more and more resemble the mobster patronage system of the CCP, the world’s greatest fascistic state, not to mention sailing Australia further into its sphere of influence. Freedom itself may end up being the ultimate casualty of the fasco-housing complex.

Like all fascistic systems, the fasco-housing complex is pre-enlightenment, preferring religious zeal to reason in the formulation of national goals. It uses force to bring objectives to fruition, including ultra-nationalist bullying of conscientious objectors, the use of mass brainwashing propaganda via an effectively nationalised press, and the seamless fusion of public and private elites in a unified oligarchy of nationalist destiny.

That it revolves around realty is a uniquely Australian evil, best left as a banal footnote in the history of such systems.

Comments

    • Sadly these seems like a correct analysis of what went wrong.
      MBs voice in the wind is as popular as the Russian Opposition in Moscow.
      But the property parasite will not kill the host, only eliminate the lower half of the middle class. The asset rich class will still boom, like in any third world economy.
      The only voice that mentioned population in the population summit was in code from Rob Stokes, the NSW planning minister, who could not even state the equation and had to talk in coded (balanced statements).
      Statements on lowering the high immigration intake were met with “beware what you wish for – this would be lower house prices (an obvious Bad)”

  1. Yes HnH … it has been a continuously corrupting process that the sheeple have enthusiastically engaged, thinking of themselves as clever, millionaire property ‘investors’ … if it wasn’t all so pathetic it would be hilarious – for mine, I cannot think of anywhere else (with the possible exception of Ireland) that has so completely rejected its societal norms, history and culture for the appearance of ‘wealth’ …

    While I absolutely agree with your sentiments about the elites, it did not have to be this way and could very easily have been different had even a reasonable number of mid level policy workers, private sector managers and media types had simply said “No. What you are doing is wrong and contrary to national interest.” – the whole sale adoption of enforced, compulsory ‘multiculturalism’ was the the start and the property ponzi and all else that followed has simply been the inevitable consequence of the destruction of our societal norms ….

    poor fella my country …

    • The Boomers had this misty-eyed, sugary vision of rising prosperity for future generations …. and then decided they’d rather keep it all for themselves instead.

      The temptation was just too much — like the ‘ring that binds us’ the lure of great riches has consumed them.

      • Goldstandard1MEMBER

        You just have to have a positive attitude about taking on a level of debt that you know is too much, but its fine because everyone is doing it!! Visualise how your house will ALWAYS be worth more than your mortgage – The Secret.

    • I gave up and resigned myself that it will not be fixed in my lifetime after 2012. It’s been painful watching a new batch of hopefuls on this site go through that 2012 experience all over again.

      I also want to leave, but have nowhere to go. The Australia I knew is gone in such a short period of time it is staggering. I have no idea if this grand experiment will end in tears but I honestly don’t care anymore.

      Like yesterday’s climate story, I reckon it will be up to the kids in school today to fix this sh!t. Gen Xers like me are too jaded and cynical and have just given up. Millennials are too busy cultivating their social media presence. Boomers are too busy cashing in.

      The kids of today will have nothing to lose because they will have nothing. So I leave it to them. And if I’m still alive when they riot I’ll be the first one in the street with a can of gasoline.

      • Great post. I’m mid 30s looking for a house currently. It’s truly disillusioning going through this nightmare, and terrible for mental health and relationships. But I too have given up on anything ever changing. #straya

      • Yup. I’m going to eventually buy something that is a reasonable value compared to what else is on offer, so that I don’t have rent payments and do have security of tenancy in my old age. I’m well aware that 10 years after I buy it, it may be worth considerably less than what I pay for it, but I’m willing to wear that because I know I can pay off even an inflated price for a non-Sydney suburban block, so that peace of mind is worth it to me.

        I harbour no illusions that the block will in fact be worth less than I paid for it 10 years later (that’s just a worst-case scenario), but am prepared to deal with it if it is.

      • The kids of today won’t be fixing anything any time soon, because they have all been brainwashed by the multiculturalism ideology that is preached in our education system, the key to the Asianisation transformation of our society, they are oblivious to the ruinous effects of the imposed massive Third World immigration. They demand action on climate change, but not a squeak about massive immigration into the West. However it’s not their fault … the elites started this societal transformation long ago, they are surely smiling smugly, as each year, a newly minted batch of altered school leavers enters the system.

  2. proofreadersMEMBER

    HnH – your lead photo for your superb reality-check article also sublimely sums up the emerging reality of what Straya is now perhaps very soon destined for. The photo enacts that old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words.

  3. The only reason it isn’t an excellent comprehensive commentary, is that H&H now seems to have decided to ignore the “save the planet” land-supply rationing racket. Every other factor that is a problem, would in fact have its harm miminized if only the supply of land for urban growth was truly elastic. There is no other factor in which it can more truly be said that the problem is that “there isn’t a market at all any more”. The existence of a market, presupposes that the resources required, will be allocated to their best use by market price signals. This is certainly not true of land around Australian cities.

    With truly elastic supply of land, population growth, easy credit, and negative gearing would actually have the beneficial effects that they are claimed (by some) to have. The downside of land price bubbles would be absent; but housing supply would be increased, with attendant economies of scale; home ownership would be maximized and household discretionary income maximized; and rental property supply would be maximized and hence rents kept low for the unfortunate who do not wish to be owners. The “easy” capital would be getting directed to productive parts of the economy, including the actual production of housing and its attendant infrastructure.

    This beneficial paradigm has been demonstrated abundantly in modern history, virtually everywhere in the west for several decades following WW2; and still is being demonstrated in the parts of the USA that progressives love to hate. The joke is actually on the rest of western civilization; the people doing the most sneering about “stupid” heartland and southern Americans, are actually committing a form of societal suicide themselves, and the objects of their derision are refusing to participate. If you want to criticize the mass immigration that is in fact still present in the USA’s median-multiple-3 urban areas, you are obliged to do it on grounds other than “it’s bad for house prices and cyclical stability”. In fact some of these urban areas have growth rates that are the highest in the first world, higher than any Australian city.

    It is sad that someone capable of writing as incisively as H&H, lacks clarity about this. Australia could have been the Texas of its global hemisphere. It’s got the land, it’s got the resources, and at one time it seemed to have the no-nonsense, can-do attitude.

    • Whilst you may be right in some ways, writing a blog entry that makes a point, versus writing a full essay (which no one will read), are different things…

      I sense that HnH wanted to tie increasing Australian Fascism (particularly through the current, smiling, LNP) to housing, and the nexus they have – rather than elaborate a full comprehensive critique….it’s just too hard, and probably much less effective for the masses…

      I think he’s struck a decent balance, and it is elegant and effective, even if not comprehensive – I even shared it on Facebook.

    • What you propose would make life better for a lot of people, but we can’t just ignore the population growth. People see that Australia looks big on the map and think that it can therefore support a huge population. The truth is that most of what isn’t desert is semi-arid range land that might feed a scattering of sheep or cattle in a good year. Only 6.2% is arable (World Bank figure for Australia’s area of arable land divided by its land area). The average quality of that arable land is very low compared to Europe or North America. We get around 2 tonnes of grain per hectare in a good year, while France gets 7.5 (World Bank and Index Mundi figures). If you multiply arable land by yield in both cases, you can see that France can feed more people than Australia, even when we are having a good year. Forget that “food bowl of Asia” nonsense. Unlike France, our long recurring droughts make food production far more unreliable. In a bad drought year, as in 2004, we are lucky to get an average of 1 tonne of grain per hectare.

      Our agriculture is also completely dependent on imported oil and phosphate. We have serious problems with land degradation, and all this isn’t even considering what climate change might do. We already had to import grain this year. Our elite and the politicians that do their bidding are only interested in looting Australia in the short run. They aren’t even considering how we might survive a global collapse or even a bad global depression. Nor are they considering the damage that is being done to the environment in general or our social cohesion, adding to the danger of fracturing along class, ethnic, or religious lines. We need to stabilise our population as soon as possible.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Yeah nah. This is the silliest thing I’ve read about our great housing market in ages. It’s just simply good achieving people making decent profits off of a common asset all back by government so that everyone who strives wins.

  5. At the risk of being obtuse.

    “…The new world demanded an open, more dynamic Australia. An Australia that rewarded entrepreneurial effort and flexibility. A productive Australia.

    For a while it worked. Australia dropped its tariffs, deregulated government enterprise, most especially the banks, and after a false start at the end of the eighties, embarked on an historic productivity boom…”

    “..Our precious capital, freed in the 80s to find the most productive outlets possible became instead the key stone in a system of offshore borrowing and asset inflation….”

    Surely you don’t still believe that?

    Deregulating credit creation by banks was nothing more than inviting a bunch of nasty foxes to take up a residency at the core of the national economy.

    Credit creation by the banks must always be closely regulated because deregulated banks will NOT “naturally” allocate capital to the most productive purpose. They will allocate capital to the most profitable purpose and that will be asset price pumping.

    The deregulation of banks mumbo jumbo is just pure nonsense and we are surrounded by mountains of evidence from experience of this.

    Credit creation by banks must be carefully structured and regulated if the allocation of capital to productive purposes is the objective. It will not just happen. One need only look at our most successful trade partners to see they think (or have thought) a lot more deeply about how careful one must be to avoid bank credit creation in a monetary system causing exactly what we have seen in Australia.

    You keep claiming APRA and the RBA are corrupt when they are simply pillars of the deregulation of bank credit creation. They are doing exactly what they are designed to do in the post 80s Aussie deregulation model.

    That it is a failed model is the problem. That few are talking about that failure precisely and the need for fundamental reform is a tragedy.

    Everything else you discussed above is correct but you must let go of the idea that deregulated credit creation by banks will be productive and peachy keen if only we fix the other public policies encouraging speculation and unproductive resource allocation.

    Deregulated credit creation by banks has unproductive capital allocation hard wired in. Deregulated or “free” international capital flows are also fundamentally flawed when our trade partners explicitly are using their banking and monetary systems as weapons of trade warfare. But I digress.

    • The RBA is corrupt. It’s a matter of historical record. APRA is corrupt as well. It’s not in its job description to allow the collapse of lending standards.

      I’m happy to concede that corruption of regulators per se may well a feaure not bug of the current monetary system but that does not let the current crop of crooks off the hook for ignoring their own rules.

      • Is the RBA corrupt, or complicit? I know the difference is technical, but the practical difference makes the narrative. Can the same be said for APRA?

        Saying they’ve broken their own rules is going to be really hard to both prove and hold them to account for – if I was them, and the government, I’d just invoke higher generalities and callings, like National Interest, financial system stability, etc, etc…slippery as fish…

        When faced with conspiracy and incompetence (complicity, in this case) I usually tend to invoke the latter.

        It matters because the narrative formed is the “stay out of jail card” those responsible almost literally need; it also matters because those responsible will also argue that no one could have known, and that there isn’t much wrong with the status quo, just a few tweaks here and there; it’s not my fault, it was external forces; it’s not my fault, I was just doing what everyone else was doing; etc.

        I hope the above made some sense…I got distracted drinking my cup of tea 😉

        • The RBA are either corrupt or incompetent – take your pick.

          I mean lettuce suppose that those numpties actually believe the tripe they learnt at Uni (Economics majors). That would suggest that they probably do believe in the models they’ve become slaves to, and so, reducing rates perpetually looks perfectly acceptable under the circumstances. The problem, for them, is that under any law of this country ignorance is no defence.

  6. Yes, buddy. You certainly underestimated the extent of the evil, the greed, the laziness, the stupidity. You were optimistic at every turn.

    Apart from that too-nice disposition, you read the environment pretty clearly.

  7. Imo overplaying the aatribution of the Queensland election results to the desire for tight borders / lower immigration. The reason is more prosaic and covered in other points – these are either debt-soaked households theeatened by reformist ALP policies on negative gearing and CGT and retirees facing ‘increased’ tax on dividend incomes and coal-dependent communities getting harangued by Southerners. The only candidate campaigning explicitly on immigration was Anson and he got practically zero votes; Clive and Pauline on the other hand campaigned on one or more of the household issues and got the protest votes that were redistributed to LNP.

  8. Would have liked more on the evils of the current tax system, it’s vertical fiscal imbalance and the lack of transparency in political donations which drives the housing/CCP lobby interference in public policy.

    • I’m a lone voice here, but used to it now — most of the iniquities we rail against wouldn’t exist were it not for the existence of a monetary system that allows virtually limitless money to be created out of thin air at a fixed price.

      Fiddling with the taxation system will not fix that problem.

  9. “Heil fasco-housing complex!”
    Wow that’s some sentence, personally I’d just say that Australia has created the ultimate “Wendy Economy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXhRoY-Utxo
    The real pity is that we’ve optimized our education system to route our kids straight into our “Wendy Economy”. Our kids deserve better, they need real world skills that enable them to make real world choices ….the obvious choice being to leave Australia!
    But in the mean time lets just hope that Boomers rot in their festering diapers. Rectal necrosis is such a small price to pay for owning a Million dollar Fibro shack.

    • 80% of Baby Boomers don’t own an investment property and have little more than a modest house, which they bought when they were affordable, if that much. You are mostly blaming ordinary people who have had very little say in anything, and not blaming a lot of the people who should be blamed. The major parties are in power because most younger people, who far outnumber the Baby Boomers, have been voting for them.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-10/fact-check-would-voters-aged-under-30-possible-elect-a-green-pm/7467068

      Our government is mostly Gen X. Just look up the ages of our Cabinet ministers. Your sort of bigotry is what the greedy people at the top really want. They want the peasants blaming each other and fighting among themselves, instead of uniting against the real culprits.

      • There are many perspectives out there on this Tania. And I like yours. I genuinely do.

        There is definitely a lot that gets achieved by having the underclass fight amongst themselves for a share of scraps rather than uniting against the true enemy.

        On the other hand, whilst boomers individually might be largely innocent, as a group, it is abundantly clear to me that they have been undertaxed. Much of that untaxed wrath is stored in their houses.

        Now, that doesn’t mean that the solution is to now tax them/take their houses. But it does mean that it could be part of the solution. Or, at least, the solution needs to be one that remedies this inequality.

        But this talk about solutions is largely moot. For now, and so long as those in control remain in control – nothing will change.

        Nothing will change until something changes. Something outside the control of those in control.

        I hope that makes sense. 😉

      • Your sort of bigotry is what the greedy people at the top really want.
        bigotry? What a strange way to describe me fortunately GIMF

        bigotry
        noun
        intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.

        Hmmm Intolerant to differing opinions, (like your’s) yeah that’s me, you nailed it
        Seriously, in what world can one profit from a rigged system, do zero to change it (actually actively support it as the 2019 election proved) and claim that you’re in no way responsible for the inbuilt outcome???…there was no other way for this to end.
        I guess I’ll leave it with a proverb
        There are none so blind as those who will not see

        • Do you really want to claim that 100% of Baby Boomers voted for the major parties? I am a bit too old to be a Baby Boomer (born during WWII) and have been putting the major parties last for decades. If I were less educated and less well informed, however, I might be voting for them, too. After all, the mass media have been doing their best to convince people that there is no alternative, so they might as well vote for the one that will put a few more dollars in their pocket. Why do so many younger people vote for them after all?

          I also dispute that the average Baby Boomer is benefiting from a rigged system. No investment property = no negative gearing or capital gains tax concessions. Owner occupiers don’t benefit from high house prices unless they intend to sell up and move far away to someplace where housing is a lot cheaper. Most won’t do this, because it would mean giving up their jobs and/or because they have ties to their families, friends, and local community. All that they get out of it is higher rates and insurance premiums, and maybe having to make sacrifices to help their children. Reverse mortgages are a scam. According to the Australian Superannuation Funds Association, the median balance for people retiring in 2015/2016 was $110,000 for men and $36,000 for women. Those people must be drawing enormous tax free income from all that wealth, not to mention that 70% of retirees are on a full or part Centrelink pension and there is a 50% effective marginal rate on private income over $86 a week. The singles pension is 63% of the minimum wage, less per person for the married rate. Pensioners who aren’t home owners are living in really dire poverty.

          • SO I’ll go there.
            What steps have YOU yes I mean you Tania taken to decrease house prices OR increase wages to compensate for Australia’s absurdly high house prices?
            Nothing you say, it wasn’t my fault you say, I’m not to blame you say…..
            Keep living the lie because if you ever faced up to the truth your guilt trip would probably kill you!
            As far as I’m concerned your entire generation should die a painful neglected death. Personally I would leave you rotting in your adult diapers until you (as in your generation) agreed to pay young people a living wage (one sufficient that they could afford to buy your house at no more than 4 times their yearly wage)

          • Agreed with the commenter. Saying, “I didn’t light that fire,” “I didn’t fan the flames or hand kindling to those who were helping to establish it”, doesn’t mean that you tried to put it out, either. Maybe those trees were in the way of your view, so you were pretty OK with them burning as long as you avoided personal feelings of culpability for it happening. A lot of Boomers who own but say “it wasn’t me! I’ve never even owned an investment!” remind me of that Liu chick who’s saying that those signs advocating a vote for her that looked like AEC materials in Chinese saying that to avoid an invalid ballot, you had to number the LNP square 1 and only then use other numbers for the other squares, wasn’t her fault, she didn’t direct anyone to do about it or even know about it. Hey, I’m not responsible for this directly, but I won’t give back the positive results for myself out of this either.”

        • Being a bigot includes a lot more than just being intolerant of other opinions. You qualify in spades. Since I am not rich or powerful, like most people, it is not clear what you think that I could have done, other than voting against the major parties and trying to convince other people to do the same, as well as donating to Sustainable Australia and other organisations that are trying to make a difference. Why don’t you younger people get out and protest, maybe even riot, as in Hong Kong, instead of blaming retired shop assistants and hospital cleaners, and wishing them horrible deaths? When the Baby Boomers were protesting the Vietnam war, for rights for black people, and for equality for women, they didn’t expect their parents to do their fighting for them. Go and do likewise.

          • OK lets make it simple.
            Are you Tania committing to pay aged carers (if or rather when you need them) a yearly wage equal to 1/4 the value of your property?
            Simple question and an area where you personally could make a difference.
            In Sydney that would mean Carers should receive a median yearly wage of a little under $250K
            That’s stupid I hear you saying ….but no where near as stupid as constructing a system of Debt slavery and expecting all young Aussie to willingly stick their neck into this debt noose.

            The underlying problem is that we (Australia) simply can’t afford the Entitlement system that has been created, our solution is to depress wages and sanction rampant asset inflation. It’s the only path that can function (for a little while longer) but that doesn’t make it a morally righteous path. Unfortunately it’s a pathway that is enslaving an entire generation and that’s just plain wrong however you cut it.

        • I don’t live in Sydney or Melbourne, and the value of my house can be cut in half for all I care. It is where I live. In fact, I would be better off, because I would be paying less for rates and insurance.

          Elderly people are already divested of most of their property if they need aged care, although very little of it filters down to the actual carers. This is from the US, but it gives an indication of how many elderly end up in nursing homes and need a long stay, not just hospice care at the end of life.

          https://www.rand.org/news/press/2017/08/28/index1.html

          I agree with you about the problems. I just disagree about who is responsible (although I am not disputing that some Baby Boomers really are guilty as sin). I also disagree about what course of action is needed to fix them.

          • In the Butt wipe economy, that Australia has created, the only significant service that can be with-drawn (by way of protest) is the very act of “butt wiping” .
            But you dodged the question….regardless of where you live ….Are you personally committed to paying any carers, that you might need, a wage (proportion of the value of a house in your local area) equal to that which you would have expected to receive 30, 40 or 50 years ago? If not than why not?

            Because I don’t have to is the obvious answer, but if this is your answer than please don’t presume to lecture me on either morality or Bigotry.

        • Fisho,

          I hope to leave my house to my younger son, who gave me enormous help with my badly disabled husband. He and his partner are already giving me some help with the really heavy jobs. If I am unlucky enough to need significant aged care, I am likely to lose everything that I have. If you don’t think that the carers are getting a fair share (and I agree) from the enormous profits of the nursing home proprietors, then take it up with the government. You are blaming an ordinary person for the policies of our oligarchs.

          Hobbit,

          I have just shown (in detail) that most Baby Boomers benefit little or not at all from the rorts. Most of them have little more than a modest house and just want to be left alone to go on living in it, not to rip anyone off. How you can blame them for neoliberal government policies escapes me. If you want to blame them for being conned into voting for the major parties, then you also have to blame the majority of younger people, who did exactly the same thing.

          • They benefit a lot from warm fuzzies of setting their kids up for life with a home or at least a HEFTY deposit toward one. Sorry, a boomer who’s an owner and feels like they’re “left with nothing from the rorts” still has a crapload more than middle aged me, the immigrant, who arrived too late for my savings rate to allow me to get in before the property price rocket took off. Compared to me, an owner boomer is *rolling in it*, whether they choose to cash out before death and rent til they die, or stay in-situ and pass it to their kids tax free, setting their kids up for a better future than I as a professional with 2 degrees and a steady employment record can ever hope for.

      • I understand your frustration, but the accusations here towards baby boomers are accurately assigned.

        I raised here about 4 years ago the chronology of government largesse towards baby boomers their entire lives. This largesse has crystalised an entitlement in their minds which is what everyone else is fighting against. Admittedly, there are other generations who suffer from this entitlement, and they would have made the same decisions if on their watch…

        But,
        Menzies bought in child endowment, only for it to be abolished once the baby boomers kids grew up and they’d no longer receive it
        Whitlam gave them heavily subsidised childcare, only to be abolished when their kids left
        Whitlam gave them free university, only to be revoked when they finished tertiary education age.
        Hawke enforced uniform health insurance prices when they got old and this made the young subsidise them.
        Howard granted peak CGT and income tax cuts when they’re at their peak earning powers.

        And now all old age reform is to give them more as they are starting to retire.

        What is clearly observable is that at every stage of their lives, government dollars have been overwhelming diverted away from other generations and towards boomers, at whatever their lifestage is at, and only to have them revoked for other generations. This is just the transfer payments.

        Then look at other polices, such as ramping the population ponzi.. hell even working hours were continuously reduced from prior generations, to be the lowest ever on record for the boomers working lives, only for them to reverse and increase upwards now.

        Sure, I have this conditioning is inevitable regardless of the generation of the recipients and make them pampered, entitled and spoilt….. but it is the baby boomers who are the recipients, thus they are quite rightfully regarded as pampered, entitled and spoilt.

        However, this is the thing that grates…. the boomers made hay, fine…..

        But we’ve been saying “it’s time… to … stop. We can’t afford this anymore, it is now costing too much”, the reaction hasn’t been (rightfully) “Ok, seems we need to reconsider what we’re entitled to”… but a response of scorn, derision and a deflecting of blame towards younger generations.

        • What you are documenting is the capture of our government by neoliberal politicians backed by our oligarchs. This has nothing to do with the Baby Boomers as such and everything to do with our elite (and in fact global elites) believing that they no longer need to pander to ordinary people. They aren’ t needed to fight major wars, so the oligarchs don’t have to worry about masses of disgruntled young men coming home with military training. Communism has been discredited, so it easy for the mass media to convince people that there is no alternative to neoliberalism (TINA). Baby Boomers had it better because they spent a fair bit of their lives in the period before neoliberalism really took hold, although there were incipient signs of it as far back as the late 1960s and early 1970s. Ronald Reagan wasn’t a Baby Boomer, and neither was Margaret Thatcher. Younger people are in the majority now, both in Parliament and in the electorate as a whole. It isn’t clear why they would want to to favour Baby Boomers. That is why I believe that your problems are really a class issue.

          If you want change, Gen X and Millenials should stop mostly voting for the major parties, but it may take more. Look at the period after WWI when the American people shut down the first era of globalisation.

          https://aeon.co/essays/history-tells-us-where-the-wealth-gap-leads

          • Yes agree. The timeline is just the rollout of neoliberalism.
            My experience is that those who enthusiastically supported neoliberal policy/ideology especially Keating are the first to blame boomers and others. Why? Because blaming neoliberalism leads to uncomfortable questions.

        • weird…I seem to be locked out of replying to Tania. …which is a pity because I had an excellent reply but alas apparently I’m being argumentative ….wouldn’t want any of that now would we

  10. Here’s a novel thought…run as your local member and put yourself in a position where you can actually do something about the problems you air so passionately about.

  11. With the interest rates dropping as they are the gap between mortgage and rent seems to be closing fast. With FHB stimulus coming next year I might have to capitulate. Housing bears I know are also considering capitulation and investors are salivating like Reusje.

      • I resemble that remark.

        I find myself as a well-paid (just above Sydney household median), mutliple-degree-holding, many-years IT professional, who is (inexplicably to anyone from any other first world country) locked out of the housing market — because I migrated right at the beginning of the price rocket and couldn’t save fast enough to get in before things spiked out of reach.

        I was sold that bill of goods years ago of, get a uni education and a good job, and you’re firmly in the middle class. Wow, so totally not the case for many. People can still do it, if they partner up with a similarly well-situated spouse, or if they or their spouse have rich and generous parents who’ll go guarantor or hand over a deposit gift or loan. But for many people, those things don’t apply.

        I’m a well-educated, $100K-earning member of the underclass, below unemployed kids of Woolies clerks who’ll be inheriting property I could never even dream of affording — as impossible as that may seem to the rest of the world. The ridiculous is reality, in Australia.

        • That is well summarised. Especially the last bit about the woolies clerks.

          There might be some hope that those people (as a class) are forced to sell after they inherit – this could readjust the relativities between land and wages. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. With population growth running as it is, they could just sit on the inheritance & collect $40k/year rent forever.

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Oh, Peachy. 😨

            40k? 40? Lettuce think this through for those checkout serfs whose relies checkout who are smart enough to hang on to their family properties when their parentals’ toes turn up.

            200 a week for a bed. Conservative. Minimum of 4 beds to a room. At least three actual bedrooms in these houses. That’s a lot more than 40k a year.

            You thinking they wouldn’t ‘have a go’ like everyone else here who becomes a landlord? What if they were from Coles? Would that change your thinking?

          • Wilbur, guessing Peachy was being convservative on the rental income after expenses. Try $200 per bed, 4-per-room, in Wollongong. You won’t get very far with that.

    • Same (I’m 38), minus the deposit…

      Not much we can do – keep speaking up, petition local state and fed pollies, hedge with investments (against housing going nuts again, against AUD getting shafted, etc), speak out some more, put your money where your mouth is, help the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised, work hard, look after friends and family, contradict the prevailing narrative and insist on alternatives as higher-quality; etc…

      Just do something and do what you reasonably can. Then you can say you did what you could.

      • I’m 54, with half the deposit. I’m doing what I can. Friends (including rich retirees with $2.5MM homes) already know me as “the girl who won’t go out” or “the girl who drinks only water when we go to the pub” or “the girl who won’t come on our weekend to the spa in Victoria” or even “the woman who’ll do without anything she can’t buy at an op shop or garage sale”, but from what I can tell, it’s still going to leave me in poverty as a pensioner if I can’t get into an owned property. I’ve got no living relatives. I believe the technical term is “screwed”.

          • Nah, more like “that poor girl who’s poor despite a great salary and rent just barely below the Sydney average”, given that “barely below the Sydney average” is still darn high, and then health cover, electricity and gas, and so on get added to it before one can even consider starting to allocate $$ to savings.

  12. I keep thinking how the RE industry, the RE agents, the developers the spruikers etc will all get out with cash and a good time had by all and it will (and is already) the taxpayer and the chumps who will wear the can. Morally disgusts me

    • When I think about the deadshits I went to school with who went on to become real estate agents and how they have made out like bandits for 20 years… Gawd it’s depressing.

  13. Thankyou H&H as you have simply nailed it in your well written and passionate article of what has gone wrong here in Australia. The changes I have seen transpire over the past 25 years have sucked the life out the country that I once thought was the best country in the world. It’s carefree and relaxed attitude to life made me decide to become a citizen after seeing the writing on the wall of what was starting to happen to the UK back then (of what is now happening here now). Sadly we have morphed into a similar mindset and Australia is starting to lose it’s quality lifestyle and identity, due to mass corruption and mass immigration that has also destroyed the quality of life back there and Europe. It saddens me greatly that my young adult children are living and working so hard in trying to get ahead with so many headwinds which in are currently now in place. Especially rental prices and high cost of living that traps them in a “catch 22” situation with them struggling to save up for a big deposit (and be forced to take on massive debt levels) because homes are ridiculously too high based on the huge multiples of average earnings and other factors.

    • Yup, catch-22 of trying to get out of the rental poverty trap, but having rents be so high that it’s impossible for most singles to save up a deposit without help from a spouse/partner/relative. That’s my situation. I could easily make mortgage payments on my own property. What I can’t do is make mortgage payments on a landlord’s property AND save up a deposit to get into my own, at the same time. And work’s already said no, it’s not acceptable for you to go homeless for a year to save $$. (I tried it and it only lasted a couple months before work complained that it was a bad look.)

  14. Yep, Australia has truly morphed into Idiocracy at this point. Property Investors are, by and large, morons (with a small percentage of exceptions) and yet they, along with the Real Estate industry as a whole, are celebrated and looked up to. What has Australia become?

    Much of the rhetoric around Australia’s miracle economy reminds me of the Celtic Tiger talk in the mid 2000’s. When you look closely it all just looks like a giant ponzi scheme.

    I think many Australians know the truth to some degree, deep down, but are afraid to face it for fear that it will all collapse. I think many Australians prefer things the way they are, less than ideal that they are, for fear of what facing the truth means. For them it’s blissful ignorance. Or maybe it’s more accurate to call it, “not so painful” ignorance.

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