Is Australia the next Hong Kong?

It’s a question that you need to ask because if present trends are allowed to develop then Australia will be the next Hong Kong within twenty years or more. Will you like it when Carry Lam is running the joint for Xi Jinping? Via Domain:

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has labelled protesters the “enemy of the people” and vowed they “will never win”.

Lam’s stern language came a week after meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on the mainland, and on a day in which 60 people were injured, two seriously, as police appeared to toughen their response to protests.

An unarmed 21-year-old protester was shot in the chest with live ammunition by police in the morning, and a man was set on fire by protesters several hours later.

Err…who is the enemy of the poeple again, Carrie? Via Bloomie:

Yeh, worse than our scum by a wide margin.

Clive Hamilton has new book coming out that’ll be another must read:

We have learned that the independent publisher Clive Hamilton has also received the manuscript for the follow up to his much-discussed book Silent Invasion.

That book about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia was originally going to be published by Allen & Unwin, but they dropped it.

After selling more than 50,000 copies, it seems Hardie Grant has no regrets about stepping in.

The follow-up by the Charles Sturt University professor has been co-authored by Berlin-based sinologist Mareike Ohlberg and is titled Hidden Hand.

It’s due out in May and will follow the original thesis about CCP influence around the globe.

Or maybe just lie back and sell the CCP another property instead, at Crikey:

The seemingly bland news that Chinese property developer Poly Global has its eye on a major Sydney property with a $260 million price tag was published like a standard press release in The Australian‘s commercial property section this week.

But anyone with even a passing knowledge of China’s 102 state-owned enterprises (SOE) will have pulled up with something of a start. The China Poly Group Corporation, the ultimate parent of Poly Global, is one of Beijing’s most powerful and opaque companies, widely regarded as being controlled by the People’s Liberation Army.

The group also owns manufacturer Poly Technologies, one of China’s — and the world’s — biggest and most notorious arms dealers, supplying regimes in Zimbabwe and Myanmar.

Poly Group is set apart from other large Chinese companies by its opaque system of control by former senior military officers. Analysts believe it only nominally reports to the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the arm of government that controls the major SOEs.

From the PLA with love.

Houses and Holes

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 fouding 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.

Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)

Comments

  1. baah – Australians are more like sheep – other than a few fringe climate protesters we will never take to the streets.

    Many HK citizens or their parents escaped from the mainland. Aussies have been brought up to believe that they need to “respect other cultures” even if that culture is a despotic dictatorship.

    Aussies will be impoverished by mainland China and then slaughtered like sheep, all the time clinging to an ideology that bears no semblance to reality.

    • “Aussies have been brought up to believe that they need to “respect other cultures””

      Well it goes beyond that now, now we’ve been taught to yield to other cultures.

      This is the perception amongst many Asian leaders, and even ‘pro-business’ voices here. Look at Mahitir’s voice last week… that the demographics will change to be less white and more Asian.

      Express as a prescription more than anything, as if there is an inevitability about it. That we are now a people too feeble to resist what foreign parties are thrusting upon us.

  2. What are the chances that , like the English and the Americans before them , the CCP are “ weaponising “ drug exportation? The compromising of Australian society by the scourge of drugs such as ice is counterbalanced by the return of profits to the Chinese suppliers . As the CCP appears to be the ultimate outcome of organised crime in China , it seems spurious to discount the possibility that they would not have the fundamental vice of drug production within their control.

    So the sanctioned / official flow of drugs into Australia is the win/win of weakening our culture and providing an enviable profit stream.

    Heh, maybe it’s pure fantasy….but stranger shit has happened before.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/opium-trade

  3. Never will happen as Wrigley said above Aussies are sheep but most are to lazy to fight. Majority of population will take it like the little b$%ches they are…..

    • The various (self-identifying) large and small ethnic groups will just look around at each other and at first quietly wonder and then loudly proclaim at each other … “Why aren’t YOU doing something about this!!!”
      I also suspect that they will get really angry and frantic when they are told (and realise) that their property prices just fell by over 50%.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      When you have the Federal treasurer spouting this nonsense and the ALP basically in mufti trying to avoid public recognition then it is time for insurrection…..

      For peace and prosperity, recapture the spirit of Bretton Woods
      https://www.theage.com.au/national/for-peace-and-prosperity-recapture-the-spirit-of-bretton-woods-20191111-p539dr.html
      By Josh Frydenberg

      Since Federation, the transformation of the Australian economy has been profound. We are now more urbanised. We live longer. We have a more diversified economy and are no longer reliant on the United Kingdom and the “sheep’s back”.

      Dear Josh, our economy may be more diverse, but only insofar as human existence is more diverse. The substance of Australia’s economy is no more diverse than it was circa 1860. For the record as we look 2020 in the eyeballs about 2/3 of Australian export income comes from coal, iron ore and gas, and most of the rest comes from the population Ponzi backed sale of Australian citizenship via education visas – making Australian university courses the most expensive on the planet while, at the same time, trashing their intellectual merit.

      Apart from a few thousand people involved in the production of iron ore, coal and gas, and some agricultural producers, almost none of the people of Australia are globally competitive at their workplaces. Australians are amongst the most heavily indebted people in the world, and policies of your government have been central to both exporting the export competing industries Australia once had, and encouraging Australians to speculate in real estate like no other nation, as well as facilitate the nationals of other nations speculating in Australian real estate, and pricing that real estate far beyond the plausible reach of all but the wealthiest future Australians.


      John Maynard Keynes speaks to the Bretton Woods conference in July 1944.CREDIT:AFP/IMF

      Is there anything more genuinely fake than a piece by a Torrynuff Treasurer being illustrated with a pic of John Maynard Keynes?

      In the early 1900s the life expectancy of an Australian was 56; now it’s 83. Two-thirds of Australians lived outside of the capital cities and now it’s the other way round. Agriculture was 20 per cent of GDP and now it’s less than 3 per cent. And neither China, Japan nor Korea were listed in our top 10 export markets; now they make up the top three.

      Dear Josh, take a look around you – South East Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe – people are actually living longer everywhere. That reflects the demise of intensively manual labour and the advent of machinery, as well as a quantum increase in agricultural production. We all learned these same points at school generations ago and are no longer really all that impressed by them. The reason Australians have become urban rather than country is because that is where the jobs are, and their labour is no longer needed in the country.

      Instead of singling out agriculture for declining from 20% of GDP to 3%, why not think about what has grown? Services have grown, Josh. Some of those services are useful and required, some of them are pure frippery, and all of them are by global standards eye glazingly expensive – from the education to the medicine to getting a haircut or a massage, it is all far far cheaper somewhere other than Australia than it is in Australia.

      Just as Australia’s economy has changed, so too has the world’s. From islands of isolation, the continents of Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia have become plugged in to each other, interconnected by technology and the forces of globalisation like never before.

      With a few clicks on a keyboard, you can order your shirts from London or a book from New York. Global supply chains mean the iPhone in your pocket has components from 43 countries, and Boeing in Australia makes wing parts for planes assembled in the United States and sold to the world. As new markets opened up, economies that were largely agricultural have turned into manufacturing hubs, generating rapid export-led growth.

      Josh, the facts of life. The only thing generating export-led growth in Australia is digging things out of the ground and loading them on a boat – and we were doing that in the 1850s. The people doing that in the early 1900s were carrying far fewer people with the taxation on them, and they weren’t living in the most expensive houses on the planet (and in 1900 Australia had about the highest standard of living in the world).

      Almost every Australian knows about those few clicks you mention, because it is the same few clicks they access to get whatever product they want cheaper than buying it from somewhere in Australia. Many Australians are also concerned about those few clicks because they work in the service industries which could conceivably be relocated offshore somewhere to increase profitability of some large corporate which probably also doesn’t pay much tax here, and does also nail wages to the floor with the most ‘flexible’ (read irregular, parsimonious, family unfriendly) employment arrangements it can visit on employees or even the most stress inducing hand to mouth scrabbling for sub – contractors.

      In case you are wondering the manufacturing hubs, painstakingly crafted by your political predecessors in the wake of the fright WW2 gave us that we couldn’t produce an awful lot of strategic requirements to fend for ourselves, have pretty much gone. Next time you pop down to Boeing ask them how much longer they are planning on being around and see if it is longer than what they have existing contracts for?

      While the world’s population has increased from 1.7 billion to 7.7 billion people today, median incomes have risen dramatically, with more than 50 per cent now classified as middle class. More than 40 million people per year have moved from rural to urban areas and, in the process, more than halved the number of people living in poverty from 1.8 billion in 1950 to about 750 million today – a figure even more remarkable given that over that time the global population has almost tripled.

      While you are on about population Josh, could you shed any light on how Australia fits into that increased population dynamic as far as your government is concerned? How many more immigrants are we planning to fit in, and what will be the quality of life, and environmental consequences of that increased intake? Could you dig up some answers for us of why there was a doubling of Net Overseas Migration after 2005 when ordinary everyday Australians have never actually been asked about that. Should they get a say, Josh? Or even, Josh, do you think we need to start working out how to get very large volumes of water flowing down our major river system, and maybe getting more of those coastal Australians to live inland? (or do you reckon they wont be put off by drinking algal blooms caused by your friends hoarding the existing flows to grow cotton and launder the profits through Bermuda?)

      But just as growing wealth, new technologies and improved access to health and education have lifted global living standards, there are a new set of challenges that, if not addressed, will put at risk the progress we have made. These challenges are as diverse as demographics and debt, environmental sustainability and great power relations. Individually, each challenge is enormous and cannot be solved by any country alone.

      Josh I don’t know how to tell you this but the guy you call boss once carried a lump of coal into parliament, and the leader of your major partners was only yesterday claiming global warming was a figment of the collective imaginations of inner city greens voting types.

      The street cred of you or your party is pretty low when it comes to you plausibly having any answers to any problems. Indeed the overarching suspicion of far too many Australians is that every time someone from your government says, like you, that something can’t be solved by any one country alone, it is code for stating that Australia wont be trying in any way to solve any of them, and will only be dragged kicking and screaming to any plans agreed to by other nations which do lead a response.

      With average life expectancy now more than 30 per cent longer than in 1960, it’s estimated we will move from one in 11 people aged over 65 in the world today to one in six by 2050. In countries such as China and Japan, the ageing of the population is particularly pronounced. By some estimates, China’s population will begin to shrink as early as 2027, and by 2050 China will have more women over the age of 84 than there are people in Australia today.

      It’s interesting you note this Josh because your party was once handed over a world leading plan for paying for the ageing population. It was called superannuation. It was your political predecessors who transformed it into a world beating tax avoidance, inheritance preservation and real estate speculation mechanism, underpinning a crowd of ticket clipping frauds, that Australians know today. More importantly it is measures enacted by your government, as well as the governments before, which are adding to the anxiety of a large number of Australians about whether they will ever be able to afford to retire, before they think about the sheer terror involved in the aged care system – from the scabies and the beatings by ‘assistants’ to the bonds and deposits required by aged care operators, which make it look like a bi-product of the investment banking world.

      As this ageing demographic shift takes hold, economies will come under pressure as the proportion of the working-age population falls and the demand on health, ageing and pension systems increases. As more people save for retirement, global savings increase. This produces surplus savings that drive down the price of funds and ultimately interest rates, a contributing factor in a low-interest-rate environment that is evident in the world today.

      Josh, it is your political bequest that Australia will have two key drivers of its ability to increase funding for aged care. These are:-

      (1) Taxing a consumption based economy featuring the world’s most heavily indebted people, with the world’s most parlous competitive position, who have not experienced meaningful wages growth in a decade, in an economy which has been hollowed out of export competing and globally competitive production or services provision by ideology, Free Trade Agreements (often signed sight unseen), and the mining boom which has held the Australian dollar far higher than it may otherwise have been.
      or
      (2) Taxing mining based revenues of mainly profit shifting and transfer pricing global companies, employing relatively small numbers of Australians and providing essentially (a) coal, (b) iron ore, and (c) gas for a world which is increasingly looking like easing off the (a) coal on global warming concerns which haven’t yet made their way to the LNP side of Australian politics, for one major (b) iron ore customer which may not have all that much heavy building to do, and which may have strategic interests of the type which caused Australia to craft a manufacturing industry after WW2, and for a world awash with (c) gas but which your government has inexplicably made the world’s most expensive for Australians.

      Then there is the not inconsiderable issue of that taxing being done by a political process (both sides) touting small government and low taxes – while at the same time feeding a zoo of gouging monopolistic corporate players, or the same dependent on ripping off taxpayers with large government contracts, and sending ordinary Australians roboletters for services or having those companies record their calls for coaching purposes when they have a query (or more).

      Do you get a sense of some of the bases of anxiety and concern about what you, the government you are part of, and the menagerie of vested interests and monopolies who now seemingly control the Australian economy may do insofar as it affects ordinary Australians, Josh?

      With interest rates low, global debt levels are being managed. However, with global debt levels up 15 per cent in the past three years, to now be at a record high of $US188 trillion ($273 trillion), or 230 per cent of global output, concerns are rising. At these levels, the ability to respond to future shocks is more constrained; the impact of any future shock is more amplified and future generations will be left to deal with the consequences.

      Just on that subject Josh, has your government, or governments you’ve been part of, done anything to push that debt into anything economically productive? Or has it been pushed into the economically non-productive via real estate speculation? Would you care to tell those of us that your current game plan for the short term future of the Australian economy is to spark even more real estate speculation to give it the appearance of health, and maybe get those with the real estate assets to spend some more to create a wealth effect? Could we ask you if this will benefit most Australians?

      With the world’s population estimated to grow by another 2 billion people between now and 2050, the pressures on the environment are increasing. In Asia alone, energy consumption has quadrupled over the past three decades, the demand for raw materials has surged and the impact of human-induced climate change has been real.

      Josh did you clear that last line with the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Nationals? Could we just get a comment from you about whether you think human induced climate change may be a factor in reduced average rainfall readings across most of eastern Australia, higher average temperatures across most of eastern Australia, and the potential for increased bushfire potential across most of eastern Australia?

      History tells us that as economic weight shifts, so does strategic weight. In 1980 China and India accounted for 1/20th of the world’s GDP. Today it’s one-quarter and growing. As China has risen, we have seen greater tensions with the United States, which are now spilling over into the global economy. The reciprocal imposition of tariffs by the United States and China will, according to the IMF, reduce global output by 0.8 per cent, or $US700 billion over the period to 2020. This is harming not just the protagonists but bystanders as well.

      So let us pose the question Josh. Has a government you have been part of signed Australia up to reliance on selling commodities or laundering corruption proceeds for a nation with whom we may have strategic interests so separated that those economic ties have become a tool for that nation advancing its strategic interests vis a vis Australia with relative impunity and conspicuous disregard?

      In today’s global environment, characterised by changing demographics, elevated debt levels, environmental pressures and great power tensions, it’s critical that we pursue reforms at home that retain our competitiveness, openness and fiscal discipline, and that globally we remain a strong advocate for a transparent and rules-based global economic system that has strong multilateral institutions.

      Well Josh, when you say ‘we retain our competitiveness’ could you identify any particular part of the economy apart from mining and some parts of agriculture that you thought was actually competitive? Without signing us up to selling citizenship via an education visa?

      And then, when we get to motherhood statements about rules based international orders, do you think a significant number of nations may now be seeing that rules based order ‘though the prism’ of some weapons of mass destruction which never were found in Iraq, and that some rather big nations who we helped to bring into that rules based order are now seeing it through the prism of their own national interests, without actually agreeing to any rules whatsoever?

      Are we signed up to that dynamic Josh?

      The compact at Bretton Woods that was agreed 75 years ago provides us with a framework based on co-operation and co-ordination that has underpinned our peace and prosperity. We need to recapture that moment and the lessons that got us there. Conflict between nations, aggressive currency devaluations and protectionism were the backdrop for that 1944 meeting in the little town of New Hampshire. There was a recognition that from such conduct all parties paid a price.

      As a result, those nations present reached an agreement on a new pathway forward that would see the establishment of the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank – organisations that have been and continue to be central to the amelioration of tensions between nations.

      As then-US secretary of the treasury Henry Morgenthau said of the 44 nations present, including Australia, they had not “found any incompatibility between devotion to our countries and joint action. Indeed, we have found on the contrary that the only genuine safeguard for our national interest lies in international co-operation.”

      It’s a little difficult to say this to you Josh, given your own family history and all. But WW2 was the backdrop to Bretton Woods – circa 40 million dead. Yes, another rules based order overturned by a dictatorship and allies seeing the world, and flouting those rules, through the prism of their own interests. And it may interest you to know that there were more than 44 nations in the world in 1944 Josh. The 44 nations who met there were meeting about the developed world and what it may conceivably do to prevent one financial collapse which had triggered a world war from being repeated.

      The real reason they were meeting was so that the United Kingdom – which had financially exhausted itself – could hand over to the United States the role of chief policymaker, and financial system backstop. The other nations (including Australia) were just there to agree. The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO were established to underpin US ideological primacy and protect the interests of larger corporates.

      Some of the advice shelled out by the institutions is now part of the prism though which rapidly developing economies see the primacy of their own interests and disregard interests of nations like Australia, which after all has sold off its ability to economically compete with these nations, or even sustain itself economically without the support of these nations, for an economic position revolving around flipping real estate to one another at ever increasing nominal prices.

      Today, Australia wants to see the WTO reinvigorated with a more effective dispute-settling mechanism and a broader remit to deal with e-commerce and the opportunities created by the digital economy. So too with the IMF, we would like to see change to the governance structures reflecting the greater role played by emerging economies, particularly in Asia. With these reforms, these important institutions will be even stronger and more relevant to the task before them.

      Josh, could we pose the idea that some of these nations are only interested in dispute avoidance mechanisms insofar as they can hide behind them while protecting their own vested interests? And those opportunities you mention with regard to the digital economy – is there any opportunity greater than tax avoidance enabled in the digital age? And from there what happens to Australia (up to its gills in real estate speculation, citizenship based money laundering, exporting carbon intensive climate change agents) if there is no enhanced WTO or IMF, and if globalism – the financial form which has never recovered since being exposed as utter bull in 2008 – had its high point a decade ago and we are now in a world of ‘managed’ globalism? (as the Chinese, the Indians or the Russians might care to frame it). Could Australia find itself ‘managed’ to irrelevance? And could Australia find itself having impoverished its future – in terms of both the opportunities available to future Australians and the price they need to pay to actually be in Australia?

      As the world set out on a destructive path to World War II, Sir Robert Menzies espoused in 1939 an important role for Australia on the world stage, saying: “It is true that we are not a numerous people, but we have our vigour, intelligence and resource.”

      His statement was as right then as it is now.

      Given Australia’s strong strategic, political and economic ties with key partners both near and abroad, we are well placed as a nation to play an active and constructive role. Australia has benefited greatly from the transformation of the global economy, of which we have been a key part. But there are significant challenges ahead. Working together and invoking the spirit of Bretton Woods, we can meet these challenges and secure peace and prosperity for all.

      Josh, I have a final question for you. What the F**k does ‘but we have our vigour, intelligence and resource’ actually mean in any sort of applied sense? Our vigour has us running a population Ponzi to give the appearance of growth, our intelligence has seen us export our competitive position and trash our education sector, and while we have resource, how much are they going to be worth to the Australians of the future?

      Josh Frydenberg is the federal Treasurer.

      Josh is an intellectual fraud and lightweight of the 55% in a Year 10 history essay sort

      • Yes, but his claim to fame is actually first hand experience in being involved in things that crumble and collapse after reckless design flaws. From his own Wiki page:

        “He and his father were present at the 1997 Maccabiah bridge collapse…”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maccabiah_bridge_collapse

        Rest assured, we have the right man for the job then. Josh Frydenberg’s career highlights makes for interesting reading. It is almost as if someone had him picked for a life in politics at a very early age and he needed to gain the brownie points:

        Well promoted refugee and immigrant family background – tick
        Minority status – tick
        Victim status – tick
        Law – tick
        Sporting credentials – tick
        University politics – tick
        Oxford – tick
        Harvard – tick
        MBA – tick
        10 minutes on a bank board – tick

        Future PM material I would say. Shake and bake stuff:

        “…adviser to Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, a post he held until 2003. From 2003 to 2005 he was a policy adviser to Prime Minister John Howard, specialising in domestic security issues, border protection, justice and industrial relations. In 2005 he took up a position as a Director of Global Banking with Deutsche Bank in the company’s Melbourne office.”

        The obligatory 10 minutes on the board of a bank is also on the Kelly O’Dwyer career path. This sort of stuff, taken together, is revealing. No actual experience achieving anything. Instead it is a life of grooming Josh for public life in the same model as the ALP apparatchiks where they have been spawned and sheltered by past politicians using public funds to grow a malignant political parasite (e.g. Jim Chalmers). They have been too busy training in a role to have any competence demonstrated in any field.

        Is Josh a:

        Lawyer? – not really
        Banker? – nope
        Tennis champion? – yeah, right.
        Specialist in international relations? – erhh, did a course.
        Business manager? Did an MBA
        Specialist in industrial relations, security and boarders – did 2 years as an ‘advisor’

        The ‘advisor’ lurk is the way that the taxpayer foots the bill for anointed succession. Political parties should have to pick up this cost themselves. Alexander Downer’s office also gave us Innes Willox (Anus Bollox). The gift that keeps on giving…

        My reading is that Josh Frydenberg is not someone of any proven capacity for the role he is currently in. He’s a political harlequin and cyborg – living tissue over a cynical exoskeleton, trained in one thing only – to have the fretwork and image of substance without having the actual substance. He’s there to do the bidding of those who put him there for a life in politics. For what exactly does Josh Frydenberg believe in?

    • He’s preventing insurrection, actually.

      (a) With quality analysis he has always identified the potential potholes in the road ahead and (b) the apparatchiks have dutifully filled them in or papered over them, so when we arrive at that spot in the road, it’s nice and smooth.

      When the road is smooth, there will be no insurrection. People are well fed enough to not riot.

      He is too focussed on (a) to notice that (b) keeps happening, …and that (a) is the enabler of (b)….so the insurrection never occurs not in spite of HnH, but, to some extent, because of HnH.

      Forewarned is forearmed, see….

      • Interesting perspective but I figure not that much has changed since metamorphosis from The Distillery to Houses and Holes. Except mining is even more important and houses have made the average Joe in Sydney and Melbourne, rich.

  4. scottb1978MEMBER

    Maybe, that depends on how far they get with the current influence operations here. They have made alot of ground but the envrionment isn’t as inviting as it was previously and will likely get worse. Also, I’m pretty sure the US and most of Aus would rather have us be the 51st state than let China take over.

    What the CCP have made abundently clear is at some point in the near future the PLA will be set to task on either taking over or raising to the ground Taiwan.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Log in now