Weekend Reading: 9-10 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

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Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Comments

  1. The first comment of the day is brought to you by the letter “i”

    – impeachment
    – interest (rates)
    – impropriety
    – intransigence
    – idiocy
    – iniquity
    – inequality
    – ideology
    – inability
    – ineptness
    – impoverished

    • -insanity.

      The Democrats attempts at impeachment are going to hand Donald Trump the next election in a landslide. Not only that but he will be able to do whatever he wants in his next term as anything they do after that will destroy their reputation even further.

      I’m far left wing. But the idea that investigating Biden and his sons flagrant and unquestionable corruption is impeachable offence is so off the reservation its not funny.

      Seriously its just utterly bizarre.

      Their reliance on a secret whistle blower who heard the conversation second hand and was an integral part of the Obama team just makes this look even worse.

      People just think its ok because anything that is said about Trump MUST be true.

      Middle America is going ballistic over this and the Democrats are simply totally out of touch with the country in the Washington bubble.

      ..

      • Yep. The disconnect is cavernous. Heaven forbid they actually question the billionaires of financialisation and their economics – they are of course free to roam – and donate.

      • Narapoia451MEMBER

        You don’t seem to understand why they are impeaching him.
        It’s not because Ukraine did or didn’t investigate the Bidens. It’s because a sitting president used state resources, diplomacy and pressure to force a foreign country to take an action against local political opponents.

        If any democratic president did that they would be impeached by the Republicans so quickly and with so much outrage that fox news would be nothing but white noise for years.

        The personalities involved are irrelevant to the actions that have been taken and openly admitted to. The tragedy is that Trump has so normalised criminality, fraud and dishonesty in the office of president that people have difficulty determining the severity of each subsequent revelation.

        Like many other things he has done, this would be the end of any president before him.

      • I agree with your sentiment Rob, but looking around me in the southern US at the moment I see an extraordinary unwillingness on the part of entire sections of the population to even pretend they will look at issues outside a DNC/RNC dichotomy. The MSM is of course a major part of the problem …

        There may, however, be reason to hope – the recent sweep of positions by Republicans in Kentucky a week ago (other than the Governorship, though that is still being debated and seems to have more to do with some voters being pi$$ed off by swamp style behaviour by individuals vs party allegiances) including electing a in your face supporter of Trump – 30’s black guy – as the state’s AG gives me hope that more people are seeing through the BS …. time will tell …

        • Narapoia451MEMBER

          “I see an extraordinary unwillingness on the part of entire sections of the population to even pretend they will look at issues outside a DNC/RNC dichotomy. ”

          Says the person dismissing posts he doesn’t agree with by saying:

          “LOL DNC trolling”

          It’s not often you get such a lack of self awareness playing out within two comments in a thread. Congratulations.

          • ohhh, sorry tweetums. You seem ‘offended’.

            I dismissed nothing. I made a cryptic observation as a reply to a series of assertions that are straight off the MSM/DNC song sheet which assertions seem to me to demonstrate part of the problem which exists in Oz as much USA – idiot, partisan ideology as a substitute for substantive, informed commentary that makes at least some attempt to look at relevant facts rather than parrot partisan BS …..

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Ooops, the above was a reply comment, not a response to the one above. That arrived while I was writing.

            Edit: that said, having now read it, it would seem we have a new record for demonstration of lack of self-awareness through comment contradiction – one comment being the new record. We’ll be counting characters typed next.

            I’ve certainly absorbed my irony quota for the day btw.

          • Narapoia451MEMBER

            You be sure to let me know when you have some “substantive, informed commentary that makes at least some attempt to look at relevant facts rather than parrot partisan BS” to offer.

            And we can have a discussion. So far you are operating on the Republican rhetorical equivalent of “ok boomer”.

        • Different take on it here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-virginia-mississippi-and-kentucky-can-tell-us-about-2020/

          “Any discussion about Virginia and partisan lean, though, should include the caveat that the state is well-educated (only five states and D.C. have a higher share of the population over age 25 with a bachelor’s degree or higher) and highly suburban (nine of its 11 congressional districts are classified as some level of suburban, according to CityLab) — traits that might make it more likely to rebel against the Republican Party in the age of Donald Trump. Indeed, most of the few seats where Republicans did better than partisanship would suggest were in more rural areas. Meanwhile, districts Democrats flipped were largely suburban.”

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I was chatted about my messages sent out to inform people of training times. Train at RMIT but somehow….somehow…it just kept on coming out MMIT. Every. Single. Time.

        I blame this place and my low IQ.

        • “And empirical work trying to link shifts in interest rates with changes in economic activity finds only weak connections”.

          What?
          eg. Romer and Romer 2004 – statistically significant effects
          eg. Chris Sims’ work: “Interest rate changes engineered by open market operations do have substantial effects on the economy, both on real output and inflation… effects of monetary policy on output are fairly quick; effects on inflation take longer to play out”
          Australia 1989-90
          US 1979-82
          UK 1979-82
          US 2006
          Japan 2000
          Japan 2006
          ECB 2010

        • “Post Keynesians have long held that the link between interest rate changes and capital formation is weak and that monetary policy is not an effective tool for counter-stabilisation.
          MMT builds on that view”

          Post-Keynesians believe demand for money is inherently unstable so CB efforts to offset positive money demand shocks will likely be inadequate. They do not from what I’ve read believe policy rate changes have no/indeterminate effect on the economy v baseline.

          “Investment decisions are, in the words of Keynes, dependent on the “state of long-term expectation” because it is a forward-looking process, where firms form guesses about what the state of aggregate demand will be in the years to come”.

          Keynes clearly had interest rates on the vertical axis of his MEC schedule. So yes the state of long term expectations and estimates of prospective yield would lead to shifts in the schedule, but it would be downward sloping. eg. for given long term expectations the level of investment would depend on the interest rate. propective yield and the money rate co-determined the level of investment

          See Ch 11. “Now it is obvious that the actual rate of current investment will be pushed to the point where there is no longer any class of capital-asset of which the marginal efficiency exceeds the current rate of interest. In other words, the rate of investment will be pushed to the point on the investment demand-schedule where the marginal efficiency of capital in general is equal to the market rate of interest… It follows that the inducement to invest depends partly on the investment demand-schedule and partly on the rate of interest”.

          • Keynes was not omnipotent and one can not discern the totality of it all without using others to put it all into context, hence:

            Karl Marx, Das Kapital (1867)
            John Maynard Keynes, General Theory (1936)
            Kenneth Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values (1951)
            John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
            Amartya Sen, Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970)
            Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971)
            Michal Kalecki, Selected Essays on the Dynamics of the Capitalist Economy (1971)
            Paul Davidson, Money and the Real World (1972)
            Hyman Minsky, John Maynard Keynes (1975)
            Tony Lawson, Economics and Reality (1997)

            Just to start with after a back drop into anthro and natural history, with a wary eye to the “philosophical” value [tm]-tradition departure dead end.

            Keynes gave us an alternative path first and foremost, lest we make him something he detested.

          • Mitchell is the one citing Keynes.
            I just noted what he actually said ie investment demand is a function of the MEC schedule *and* the interest rate.
            and btw the others you note; I don’t believe any would support MMT.

      • Have these clowns wilfully mislead an ignorant public or are the central bankers themselves so ignorant they have no clue just how much damage their policies have done?

        This is the question ..

        Either way, they go down as, last time I looked, ignorance is no defence

        • They know, but they’re immoral and paid to be wrong. Any central banker that acknowledges QE is a failure is essentially acknowledging that “trickle down” economics is a failure.

    • How is that Egyptian-American creature even allowed entry to Australia? She publicly promotes murder and violence – against men. And not in a joking way. She is an utter racist and sexist by definition of the words. Either she is simply mentally unstable or just a genuine violent and offensive psychopath. In any case, she should never have been allowed entry and certainly never given any airtime. But, this is what you get in Australia – where feminism has evolved to espousing violence and murder of males, and it is considered empowerment or something.

      • It’s open season on white people – and men in particular these days. Frankly I’m surprised that Caucasian males can even get jobs in the public sector any more.

        The good news though, is that these feminazis are digging their own grave by being so extreme.

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Not only that, but her hatred “towards the patriarchy” is actually hatred towards a majority of women as well. Most women in Australia are interested in raising their kids in the society they grew up with her in Australia, seeing their values passed on and support policies that help support the perpetuation of their society and culture i.e. families.

          The “Patriarchy” is just short hand for families, especially traditional families, men and women.

          Mona’s values are an outgrowth of cultural mind virus, picked up in our Universities of values rooted in individualism – self over society. These people can only exist and are given voice, when other traditional families turn over the additional surplus that they create, into generating the welfare that allows these pink haired freaks to exist. Paid academics such as Mona without having ever done any work in their life, and more often than not without having a single maternal instinct in their entire lives, are elevated to positions of authority and given pulpits to spread their hate from, completely unquestioned by progressives.

          Consequently Pink haired freaks like Mona are not arguing in the interests of most women, but mainly in the interests of those women who just want to do their own thing, including ‘tearing down the patricarchy’ that provides the stable society and social welfare responsible for not only her existence, but all women in our society.

          If evil is defined as doing deliberate harm to society, then this woman is just as evil as any psychopath talking head that the right has produced.

    • Someone that is clearly unstable and extremist shouldn’t have been given airtime to promote violence against men. Imagine if it were the other way around. Wouldn’t expect anything else from qanda though that is the most biased show going on abc. If it wasn’t for ch22 I’d hope they defund the whole propaganda network entirely.

    • Thanks for sharing that link. I watched the episode live and FMD , the Egyptian American commentator should be deported immediately.

      We are part of the commonwealth , the reason it was once nice here is because of that, remember that.

      Defund the abc !!!

  2. 3 hours ago

    If People Were Paid by Ability, Inequality Would Plummet

    Some may argue that top earners, whatever their occupation, are simply super skilled. But empirical evidence shows that skills cannot explain their pay.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/08/upshot/inequality-paying-by-ability.html

    The skills that really matter in the workplace are much more evenly distributed than many people assume. Most low-wage workers are underpaid relative to their measured intelligence and personality traits, and many of the highest-paid professionals — including doctors, lawyers and financial managers — are overpaid according to the same metrics.

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      Please name me a surgeon you think is overpaid and then nominate an alternate person who isn’t a surgeon whom you’d allow to operate on you.

      • There are different intelligences. I guess it depends a bit on the quantity of each. Just the same, because of our massive economic distortions we are, in most cases, overpaying the wrong people (Bankers, RE agents and lawyers being classic examples). Others, who work in jobs and industries where the economy works against them, are way underpaid.
        OTH I don’t know how the hell most CEO’s justify their pay!!! Doctors? Maybe but the CEO of every 2-bit company, who got 5 pass concededs in Commerce, gets paid a Mill or 2 or more. Doctors are the alphas – they’re probably underpaid.

          • ?
            I guess I’m talking public companies. I’m a sort of CEO myself and get about the same as my storeman 🙂
            P.S. The case of distortion in the economy being reflected in pay the Bank CEO payments illustrate the point. People in entertainment (at the top), in all its forms, would be another great illustration. If you don’t get my point here (and it is a process few ever think about – not a put down) it would take a lot of typing to explain. I’m a bit over that just for the moment.

        • Doctors get high pay because entry to that profession is limited, especially tentry to medical specialties. Then they work really long hours. This will change as more and more doctors graduate or are imported.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Have a look at who gets into a medicine course at Uni in Australia – last time I looked it was those with an ATAR North of about 99 .

        Then ask yourself what the attributes actually are of someone who gets an ATAR of 99+. Is it more likely to be they are more intelligent than the rest of society or are they more likely to have been kept in a bubble by relative affluence around them? And if they are more intelligent, is that actually the intelligence we want to see in our surgeons?

        And while you are at that point, ask yourself what sort of secondary education scores are required by other education facilities in other parts of the worlds. If its 99 you need anywhere in Australia, then what sort of secondary education score can you get into medicine with elsewhere?

        Then if you are thinking to yourself that any doctor finishing their medicine course (which involve an awful lot of work) in Australia needs to do a considerable period of time as a registrar in a hospital in order to qualify – often working insane hours in emergency wards – ask yourself how many of those places are available in relation to the number of graduates from the medical courses (let alone how many may actually be ‘needed’ by society at large, or how many may want to do the stint). What sort of organisation argue for limits on those places? Would it be the sub units of the AMA? And when they argue for these limits (often with quality as their mantra) are they effectively running a Union line of nobody works without a ticket and nobody gets a ticket if they have done X and there are only so many X’s available?

        Then think about the ladies and gents sitting across the desk from you when you go down to your local medical centre. Do you find yourself thinking that an awful lot of them arent actually Australian? Thats because lots of doctors are bought into Australia as part of the immigration program (and good on them, they are often kind courteous knowledgeable and happy to be here, and many country centres are very happy to have them). There are restrictions on what the foreign imports can actually do – in terms of distance from Melbourne or Sydney (eg a non citizen medically qualified person can practice as a GP in Colac but not Geelong), and they need to pass some very intense local examinations (which are thousands and thousands of bucks) before they can become a GP.

        Now you are possibly thinking most GPs just sit and listen to people for ten minutes and write them a certificate or tell them to take a panadol, after googling whatever they need, or they write referrals or prescriptions for inordinate fees. This reflects a situation where most owners of medical practices know that most of their money comes from medicare in relation to the number of people seen per hour. So many of these newly immigrant GP (and aspiring GP) types feel under considerable pressure to churn through the punters, and they do. Also worth noting the last time I looked an average salary for one of those guys sitting behind the desk in a community medical centre was circa 200-250k.

        But, I hear you say, we are talking surgeons.

        So from there, both for locals who have gone through the medical training system here (done the medicine degree plus time as intern/registrar) and for the foreign imports, there are very serious needs to do lots more training before they can specialise. Think all specialists and surgeons (for starters).

        They need to do additional study (courses) and additional time under supervision (wherever specialises in whatever field they are entering) – extra internships, fellowships and the like. The extra coursework and time is often very expensive to access, and of course the ‘accredited’ places available for those spaces are often limited by the organisations working effectively as unions on behalf of the medical professionals. Many of those placements involve time overseas (look on the walls of many surgeons and you sill see stints in UK, US and elsewhere).

        An awful lot of people cant be bothered going that far.

        So what we effectively have is a largely public system at the community health level, which morphs into a private system for any sort of specialised need and where the people providing those specialities are protected by access to the basic courses (the 99% phenomena) and placements (the AMA as Union), all using immigrant doctors as a community health pressure release valve (the AMA and governments being rightly sensitive to a lack of doctors, particularly in remote locations) but with a further safeguard of lots of additional expense involved in specialising (eg as a surgeon) which is of diminished marginal utility for many people who may consider doing so.

        Also worth noting that much of the equipment used in diagnosis of any medical condition is highly likely to be imported and eye glazingly expensive.

        As someone who deals an awful lot with the medical profession (including their representative organisations) I would observe we are probably not far from a situation where AI – and an attachment measuring pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, maybe weight, and possibly taking an eye scan plugged into everyones computer, probably reading through everyones health records – will replace GPs as a regular front line of condition diagnosis. That will likely shunt a lot of people into specialising and lead to considerable pressure to upskill (and consequent demand for places to do so, and cheaper courses/exams involved).

        It is worth noting that ordinary GPs in Australia tend to be better paid than peers offshore (hence why being a GP in Australia looks pretty good to people who have trained in Turkey, UK, India, China etc) and that many specialists have better remuneration outcomes in Australia than all but the upmarket/elite crowd in US or Europe.

        On any given week I bump into GPs and surgeons (and other specialists) who will tell me straight out they think the medicine/health system in Australia is insane, is often a ripoff of public funds – but that they are system takers and not system shakers (which I tend to agree with). Also worth noting that the most lucrative medical treatment centres for the big chains (providing pathology, physiotherapy etc) tend to be right near large ADF training locations – and when the soldier sailor or airperson comes in saying they have XYZ symptoms, they test for ‘everything’ [and Joe Public pays].

        Finally worth noting that most medical professionals go into the field because they want to help people.

        The doco below on Youtube, is a sighter of the process pitched at people wanting to embark on medicine as a career, which goes through the steps. It is also a sighter on how drawn out (and why it is drawn out) the process is. It is also a sighter in how the process is expensive. Note reference to ‘glut’ of graduates, and ‘competitive’ access to internships. It is also a sighter on why the process of becoming a doctor in Australia is expensive, and from there why specialists (and players throughout the system – those sub contracted/employed by larger commercial players – those who can pay for the medical equipment – are remunerated the way they are).

        Entry into medical school and medicine in Australia
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7wr6zirhYA

        • Plenty of inaccuracy their. One wonders where you get your information. It does help me however evaluate future postings on areas and fields I know little about.

        • Yes Gunnamatta has a bizarre hate boner for doctors

          It is obvious he has absolutely no idea how medical school, medical training, medical AI, medical workforce or medical unions function

          Just reams of text with impeccable punctuation and spacing, but full of complete nonsense

          Here’s some points for you:
          -most Australian medical schools are now either post-graduate only or require interview/psychometric testing for admission rather than just “ATAR”

          -a disproportionate number of trainee doctors come from ethnic backgrounds (indian and chinese in particular), rather than from rich white families.
          That’s because medicine is too much actual work. Children of rich white families go into banking and law as they can network and play the game of mates

          -the AMA has nothing to do with the number of registrar positions created in hospitals, those positions are created and funded by state government health departments, with requirements for a certain amount of supervision/consultant specialists determined by the specialist colleges

          -training for surgical specialists is not expensive (for the trainee). There are a few courses required which cost a few thousand each, but the actual training is on the job while they are paid as accredited or unaccredited registrars

          -Medical AI is largely a scam/hype to raise VC funding or boost share prices. These salesmen have been promising the AI revolution for several decades now (particularly in imaging), and it has come to nought. This is standard tech company bulldust

          f you know little to nothing about the field, its best you keep your mouth shut before you open it and remove all doubt about your stupidity and arrogance

          • You missed the point that a Medicare provider no. is a wonderful high yielding meal ticket. Based on the range of medical professionals I have dealt with in the last messy three months, half do not justify their cost. I am now having to untangle the mess that some questionable medical providers have done to me.

            I live across the road from a cram school for Asians. I suspect the aim of many of their parents is to get them into medicine – a Medicare provider no.

          • Really?

            Medicare rebate for a GP visit is $36.50
            You consider that high yielding? My wife’s hairdresser makes more

            Even if was actually high yielding: Why is it a bad thing to pay people well for an important and useful job?
            Especially when anyone who aspires and has the ability can get into it?

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            Thanks Dr Coming. Always good to see you here. Sorry about the delay in replying – I just needed to groove my hate boner. Thank you for the compliment on my punctuation and spacing skills. I was thinking of applying for a job with google, do you mind if I use you as a referee?

            OK.

            -most Australian medical schools are now either post-graduate only or require interview/psychometric testing for admission rather than just “ATAR”

            Yeah OK. But has the ATAR score needed come down? Can any old jaffa with secondary school score of maybe 80 or 85 in VCE or IB or whatever think ‘I might do medicine!’ Are no medicine places available for those straight from secondary school? Or are you just saying those thinking of medicine can do another degree first? (and what sort of marks do they need to get in those other courses?)

            -a disproportionate number of trainee doctors come from ethnic backgrounds (indian and chinese in particular), rather than from rich white families.
            That’s because medicine is too much actual work. Children of rich white families go into banking and law as they can network and play the game of mates

            Yeah OK. Did I say anything about the ethnic makeup of trainee doctors?
            I apologise sincerely if you (or any other reader of what I hastily typed up this morning) thought I had any issue whatsoever with the ethnic makeup of Australia’s medical field. I don’t. For the record the two GPs I tend to personally bump into are Russian and Kurdish.
            I tend to agree with you on medicine being hard work. I tend to disagree with any suggestion (if that’s what you were suggesting) that Indian and Chinese persons are under- represented in the fields of banking and law.

            –the AMA has nothing to do with the number of registrar positions created in hospitals, those positions are created and funded by state government health departments, with requirements for a certain amount of supervision/consultant specialists determined by the specialist colleges

            Yeah OK. That’s your position. My (first hand) observation is that for many politicians a call from the AMA on anything is treated with considerable reverence, and that the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, GPs, Anaesthetists etc don’t hide their lights behind a bushel when they jump on the blower to the AMA to go and get into the public domain and give some proposal a rubbishing. State governments in particular make it a sine qua non not to get the doctors offside.

            -training for surgical specialists is not expensive (for the trainee). There are a few courses required which cost a few thousand each, but the actual training is on the job while they are paid as accredited or unaccredited registrars

            Yeah OK. But you would agree then that there are additional costs? Those costs may look expensive to some?

            -Medical AI is largely a scam/hype to raise VC funding or boost share prices. These salesmen have been promising the AI revolution for several decades now (particularly in imaging), and it has come to nought. This is standard tech company bulldust

            Yeah OK. Change will never ever come to the medical profession, and medical diagnosis. And all those squillions being pumped into accessing health records (be it insurance companies, the Chinese, the Americans, the government) and using them in some way as a dataset, will never ever amount to anything. I have no doubt there has been vast amounts of bullshit spewed forth on the benefits (or otherwise) of AI, but I tend to the view that in amidst the bullshit will be some practical applications somewhere.

            f you know little to nothing about the field, its best you keep your mouth shut before you open it and remove all doubt about your stupidity and arrogance

            Yeah OK. Comment on medical matters, no matter how abstruse, should be left to medical professionals. The medical profession should be sacrosanct and inviolable, and individual doctors are infallible. Only doctors should question doctors, and they should never do it in public. Even if the public is paying for their services.

            I have little doubt you are some sort of medico. If your reasoning and writing style are typical of your profession then I would suggest it is all the more reason to take a seriously good look at the whole medical profession box and dice – maybe an anal cavity examination.

            Thank you once again.

          • So basically you admit that you were wrong and I was right?
            And admit that you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about besides your experiences at your two local GPs?

            You’re welcome, I guess

            And then the straw-manning at the end to save a bit of face

            Stick to your copy-pasted charts next time

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            So basically you admit that you were wrong and I was right?
            And admit that you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about besides your experiences at your two local GPs?

            Well if thats your version of reality I guess it must be true.

          • Coming,

            “.. with requirements for a certain amount of supervision/consultant specialists determined by the specialist colleges…”

            Tell us more about,

            1. the decision making processes of the specialist colleges when it comes to determining the numbers of trainees for those colleges.

            2. the examination / admission processes to determine when specialist training is “passed”

            3. the testing required of specialists on an ongoing basis to demonstrate that they remain current

            4. The significance of the above processes for the demographics of various specialties and general practice.

            I have found the issue is not general practice where there is usually good access to competent relatively low cost practitioners.

            The specialist colleges are the ones that need some attention.

          • @Coming, @Gunna.
            This reply is brief, but that doesn’t mean I have not thought about the subject a lot. Doctors are very highly trained, and that training is very demanding. But they are trained exclusively to have a lot of knowledge. Not at all to be able to analyse and reason. Therefore we have a self-appointing elite who can justify their elitism by how much they know about their special subject, but who have no special skills at all when it comes to making difficult decisions about politics, morality, ethics or any of the other subjects they like to have their position taken seriously on. Doctors are technicians. It would be good it that was more generally remembered by themselves and others.

          • Gunamatta – what other conclusion would I come to when your response to every one of my statements of fact is “Yeah OK”

            Pfh – some of the specialist colleges restrict numbers to ensure they maintain good incomes, and can charge above bulk bill rates.

            You’ll note this has absolutely nothing to do with the AMA despite gunamattas demented rantings
            The AMA is largely filled with general practitioners and public health PhDs who seek their own self-aggrandisement or political promotion, or are ideologues. They do nothing to protect the incomes or interests of either general practitioners or specialists

          • Coming,

            “.. You’ll note this has absolutely nothing to do with the AMA despite gunamattas demented rantings..”

            I will note?

            I said nothing about the AMA.

            I made a point about the specialist colleges that you appear to agree with.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            Pfh

            some of the specialist colleges restrict numbers to ensure they maintain good incomes, and can charge above bulk bill rates.

            That’d be your ‘fession right about there of the substance of the discussion.

            Dr Coming’s a little toey as he sees people out to get medicos everywhere. You will note.

            All the rest is a blame apportionment exercise.

          • imo the average doctors marginal product and contribution to society far exceeds the combined sum of journalists, lawyers, politicians, executives, property developers, mortgage brokers etc. etc. so complaints re. their income is pretty far down the list.

          • Sweeper,

            “.. so complaints re. their income is pretty far down the list…”

            What an inane “what about” thing to say.

            I will pass it on to the specialist colleges so they can add it to their long list of talking points as to why they should continue to get to rig the supply of specialist services.

            “there are more important market manipulators to deal with first”

          • Gunna,

            I think we need to be more understanding.

            I suspect Dr Coming either aspires to specialist training, is currently training or has completed specialist training. Biting the hand that feeds is never easy especially when entry to a specialist college is literally in the lap of the gods.

            This response was hilarious.

            “.. some of the specialist colleges restrict numbers to ensure they maintain good incomes, and can charge above bulk bill rates…”

            Good incomes?

            Above bulk bill rates?

            Snort!

            The specialist colleges are a lot more ambitious than that and are constantly working to maintain those “good incomes”.

            They are also very effective at pressuring GPs to not complain about the scam.

          • Lmmao ….

            I just cut everyone off at the pass …. Kenneth Arrow’s paper in the 70’s made it pretty clear that the market was not a sound methodology for delivering health care full stop, market based incentives preclude delivering such social goods due to its incentives. Private health is always more expensive due to admin costs and profit – 15%+, share holder value issues – income expectations attached to equity price, non medical policy agendas driven by MBAs … just go look at the most expensive and falling standards of the U.S. Medical Industrial Complex …. Chortle~~~~~

            But yeah …. clinical people getting payed too much … ZOMG!!!!

          • Skippy,

            “..I just cut everyone off at the pass ..”

            LOL – another good talking point for the specialist colleges

            “Supply and demand do not exist in relation to medical specialisations”

            How about you actually answer the questions I posed that Coming dodged. You should be able to considering you like to claim near insider status on medical profession issues.

            Be specific, as to which specialist colleges you are talking about (as they are all a bit different) and how they ensure that supply management is never a factor in their determinations of how many training spots to offer and their processes for assessing whether someone has ‘passed’ their specialist training.

            If you have time also elaborate on how the colleges handle rumours that a member of the college may have “gone off the boil a bit”

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            Actually my issue is not so much ‘doctors get paid too much’ – doctors are well paid everywhere, and for good reason – but rather the more general………

            1. ‘The economics and dynamics of medicine provision can’t be questioned (except by people with hate boners)
            2. ‘This dynamic is underpinned in Australia by public funding (Medicare)’
            3. ‘Some medical specialities restrict supply of the speciality to have a labour supply effect akin to a union (and that the public is paying for this both in terms of supply of service and rates being charged);
            4. ‘Access to medicine as a profession is diminished by a range of measures including high secondary education attainment which may not actually be warranted, and is notably higher than in many other countries’ (notwithstanding that we dont want thickheads taking up medicine) and
            5. Medical representative bodies – notably the AMA, and the various Royal Colleges – influence and lobby political and administrative decisionmaking processes . [and can include in protection of their working conditions and remuneration]

            Comings spurious vim doesnt get us away from the seeming observation that he and I are in agreement on all these positions except 1 and 5.

            He’s a sensitive petal always alert to the possibility that the adulation levels arent up to speed for his world.

          • The only reason it’s an issue is because people know doctors are valuable so they want more / lower cost. I would prefer to pay for a service which serves genuine need makes lives better but may be rationed (99% for quality reasons). Than one which largely makes lives worse only exists due to induced demand, is extractive.

        • Your text is half BS.

          Surgeons might be slightly smarter than average, but the main reason that they are paid so much is that the College of Surgeons severely limits supply. They will only train 6 or 7 per specialty every two years.

          This ensures obscene profits for medical specialties, long waiting times and is a huge reason private health insurance is dying.

        • Your text is half BS.

          Surgeons might be slightly smarter than average, but the main reason that they are paid so much is that the College of Surgeons severely limits supply. They will only train 6 or 7 per specialty every two years.

          This ensures obscene profits for medical specialties, long waiting times and is a huge reason private health insurance is dying.

          • Ronin8317MEMBER

            ATAR of 99+ is definitely way smarter than average, it’s just that being good at academic performance doesn’t automatically guarantee real life performance.

        • Newcastle UNI did have a medical degree (may still have) that was not predicated on stellar ATAR’s. Not to say you didnt have to do well, but not 99% well They were looking for motivation and soft skills as well as good academic ability. And lets face it the medical degree although busy is not as demanding as say pure physics or Maths from an intellectual standpoint. Its more a rote Iearning degree. I have always thought law and medicine and a waste of intellectual horsepower.

      • I was actually going to leave out doctors from the quote but I decided that the quote should be verbatim.

        Just look at old hypocrites who negatively gear or get franking credits.

      • LOL
        when people talk about inequality they don’t talk about surgeons but people who make in a weekly deal as much as surgeons in a year
        surgeons are almost as poor as people on minimum wage when compared to truly rich

        Just think of it:
        a surgeon gets on average what $400k that’s just 10 times more than what someone on minimum wage gets

        now compare surgeon with someone who makes a lot but not exceptional, just an average CEO of an average company, like Raleigh Finlayson from Saracen who made $12m that’s 30 times more than surgeon. And these CEOs are not really the once where inequality creates the problem. How about those who make $40m or $100m per year or billions usually from passive investments. The best surgeon out there makes less than 1% of what these rich people make – surgeons are truly poor compared to someone making $40m or more because they make less than 1% of their income

        the lifestyle difference coming from financial situations between surgeon and a median wage earner is same food, more expensive house and a better car, but substantially no difference in lifestyle.
        Now compare surgeon and a child (almost no skills) of a rich person

        • Why would anyone complain about people exchanging their labour for money in an open and competitive market place?

          The people that need to be resented are those making money from capital gains, generally due to insider-trading or government influence or the simple inflation of the money supply
          There are a number of petty capitalists who frequent the comments section who enjoy these unearned profits

        • You’re not selling it to me – I personally know a surgeon who has an $8m home, various other properties, only works 6 months of the year and travels globally the rest. His wealth has come from constantly investing the surplus earnings in various assets. Anyone who did that between 1990 and 2010 has done extremely well. And yes he is a regular family guy too.

          • so what is your point?
            that some surgeons can make money by doing something they are not trained to and they got lucky?
            and somehow that proves that surgeons are not wage “slaves” who work hard job, long hours and make less than 5% of what just mediocre CEOs do less than 1% of what rich kids make?

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            There is nothing wrong with Dr’s earning obscene salaries – the issue is they enter into similar industry cartel structures, protected by their ‘Colleges’ as any other Monopolist organisation. Just because they’re little guys, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be judged by the same moral standards.

            That said, I have no issue with Dr’s earning more, and your points about them being appropriately rewarded for spending the most precious thing they have, their own time, to earn a living over some Wealthy dued living off is capital is perfectly valid.

            I just don’t believe their forming a cartel to limit their supply in order to earn those super normal returns are justified.

        • I’m with you on this one doc. Compared with the tax treatment of corporations and their employees, professionals make little and some are taxed very highly and are often personally liable for their stuff ups.

        • What would you like to happen here – the Govt to regulate what Rayleigh Finlayson earns?

          You resent him because he’s probably as mediocre as you say he is and earns a fortune you think he doesn’t deserve. There are heaps of people like him and envy of people like Rayleigh is why socialism still appeals so widely these days.

          I once knew a woman, about 3 years my senior, who had a PhD and was a researcher in a gubbermint run lab. I had just joined the graduate trainee scheme at an investment bank and was earning a lot more than her already. She screeched and screamed that she ‘deserved’ to earn more than me because she had a higher qualification (which implied she was, um, more ‘intelligent’ than me) and that she was doing something that was socially useful and I wasn’t.

          I have no truck with the ‘socially useful’ claim but as I explained to her: remuneration must, in the main, have some connection to the organization’s earnings. Somebody with a peanut for brain would normally grasp such a concept, but not our resident PhD, sadly. Social usefulness does not pay the bills and nor does virtue signaling, social justice [email protected] or any other associated whining.

          Some people are smarter than others, taller, better looking, luckier etc etc. that’s just the way the world is. Being envious of others is a cast iron route to a bitter and miserable life.

        • Just look at Gina Rinehart – she is a billionaire because her father died.

          Look at Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer.

          editor who investigated how the rich buy their children’s way into elite colleges reflects on the latest scandal—and remembers when affluent readers mistook his expose for a “how-to” guide.

          • Of course, Jacob, dumb luck. Gina, James and Lachlan are as dumb as dogsh!t to boot, but what can you do? It like winning the lottery. That’s life, suck it up.

    • Skills / intelligence are irrelevant when it comes to success. It comes down to drive.

      Some people just want a chilled 9 – 5 job and some people want to work 12-15 hr days and grind their way to the top. You need those people, otherwise nothing gets done.

      • You left out opportunity. While luck does favour the prepared, two people in different envorions will be have different opportunities provided to them. These are both the standard ones and those that have to be spotted and acted upon.

        • Yup, that too. To be fair though, luck is a big factor. I knew a guy who was pretty average but happened to get a job at a small hedge fund just doing some mundane admin job. The hedge fund grew and so did the profits and bonuses and he just rode the coat tails of the firm’s success – got wealthy while doing a job that would, in any other organisation, have paid him very modestly.

      • so you believe in grit bullsh!t

        now when it became so obvious that hard work, skill or intelligence have very little to do with success especially financial success, media is creating this false image that lack of the success is caused by lack of effort or persistence rather than lack of fairness in the system.
        In other words they want subjugates to think that their failure is entirely their blame even if they are gifted and silled and that system still offers equal chances to everyone.
        This grit ideology is just another component of a modern neoliberal indoctrination.

        bill gates became the richest person in the world because he was hard working and persistent not because his mother was banging IBM CEO

        • I ‘believe’ in nothing. I do however, observe.

          There are plenty of people vastly more successful than me (assuming success is measured by money earned or position held) who I’d consider much less intelligent or intellectually capable.

          Bill Gates is a bright guy but what differentiates him is not his intelligence but his vision. Ditto Steve Jobs. You can count these people on the fingers of a couple of hands. Which disqualifies them from the general debate.

          • did you ever considered that unequal opportunities could be responsible for the fact that less intelligent, less skilled, less hard working, … are more successful and make more money than you
            how about luck?

          • Well, yes , doc. I’ve always considered myself to be a much better driver than most of the prima donnas making gazzilions in Formula One but I just didn’t get the opportunity. If there’d been equal opportunity I’m sure it would be me standing atop the podium most race weeks soaking up the accolades.

            Instead of people whining about being born into a working class family in straya perhaps they should be thankful they weren’t born into a poor family in Syria.

          • ‘Unequal opportunities’. Perhaps, but characterising those unequal opportunities is important. After years of policy that favours inner city asset owning elite (progressives and conservatives), the institutional support of the regional areas has collapsed. The lack of opportunity is not a lack of welfare, there’s heaps of that. It’s a lack of stable caring families, hardworking parents and loving mums and dads that can breed kids with the character and skills needed to face the world. It’s a lack of strong intellectual role models that don’t sell bile and simple answers with identity politics. It’s a lack of meaningful stable jobs that provide certainty and value, it’s a lack of protection from marketing that sells vice of every kind mercilessly and without restraint. We need to move past this idea that lack of opportunity is the main factor, that cheaper housing and better access to services is the answer, it’s clearly and patently not. There’s a great quote in Hillbilly Elegy where he quotes a teacher that says “how can we be shepherds when the parents are wolves”.

            So this is where we find ourselves now. Staring at the generational and structural inequality that years of unabashed neoliberism and market theory have wrought. Made doubly worse by staring at the global biodiversity collapse and the global pollution disaster that confronts us and requires the best of human character to solve.

          • @ dominic
            maybe you don’t understand what opportunity means
            some kids on year two of their bachelor of art degree get opportunities to do internship in an investment bank where his dad is partner while some on 4 year of engineering or business degree have to work in local subway to pay off their bills.
            surely the one getting internship is more intelligent, more hard working and smart …

            poverty is not hunger but lack of opportunity relative to people around
            that’s why those stats using $2 or $10 dollars per day are meaningless

          • @Morgs
            How does a govt, through ‘policy measures’ even begin to address an environment such as you describe:

            “the institutional support of the regional areas has collapsed. The lack of opportunity is not a lack of welfare, there’s heaps of that, it’s a lack of stable caring families, hardworking parents and loving mums and dads that can breed kids with the character and skills needed to face the world …. etc etc”

            On the whole, Govt is not a force for good. They fcuk up more things than they tend to do good and there’s a fairly solid reason for that: self-interest. They sort themselves and their mate$$ out first and then policy tends to revolve around reactive prescriptions i.e. pretend you’re addressing a problem the public cares about but really, it’s just window-dressing and therefore a waste of money. In truth, what Govt does these days ranges between useless and catastrophically damaging.

            The less Govt does the better off we’d all be. The one single thing that Govt could do that would bring about extraordinary change (for good) is to abandon the debt-based money system that has enriched all the asset collectors at the expense of the ordinary Joe. But they won’t do that because their wealthy mates are the main beneficiaries at the one end of the scale while the welfare system is kept afloat at the other. As long as the debt-based money system remains in place wealth inequality will continue to grow. That’s a dead set guarantee.

          • You’re making some big assumptions here about how people get where they do. I flunked Grade 12 entirely. My life was a mess at the time. I went out to work as I obviously couldn’t get into Uni – I was earning a sum that people on Newstart today would laugh at. Besides which, my parents were not in a great way financially and I didn’t want to burden them while I partied and pretended to study. Eventually, I decided I had to get a degree and got my Bachelors through night school. It took 5 years and I worked full time throughout. After that I did a Post-grad in Finance & Economics (at night school again), again working full time. I’d managed to buy a small apartment a few years prior but I sold that and used the little equity I got out to fund a Masters Degree full time. I asked my employer at the time whether they’d assist but they laughed and wished me well, so I consumed every dollar of my ‘wealth’ renting a small place, paying general living costs, plus the exorbitant course fees. After that I landed a job at an investment bank and my fortunes turned round quickly from there.

            If I don’t sound that sympathetic to people who expect to be handed opportunity on a plate you now have some idea why. The pervasive sense of entitlement in this day and age does not sit comfortably with me. Sorry.

          • If I got it right you are basically against more fairness in the system only because you did not see it in your life?

            wouldn’t be better for everyone (you personally and the community) if you (and everyone) were given a chance not to go through decade or more of low wage “suffering”. If the system gave you the chance early on, it would have been paid off with extra “profit” via increased tax due to your higher income for years.

          • Perhaps the mistake here is to cast the discussion as a simple good/bad binary. Years ago, as part of a relocation project, we looked at the role of the head office (centralised functions) in corporate outcomes, including scale and function. The process was interesting. Firstly, everyone brought their own prejudice to the table on size and function, and secondly, the data actually showed it didn’t matter. What mattered was the quality of the work the head office did within the organisation, ie how effectively it functioned.

            That is, the big/small discussion is a cop out for both progressives and conservatives. We have ‘working class’ heros that are prepared to earn millions (even hundreds of millions) from policy that has very little merit for the poor or from organisations they they spent their life pretending to regulate. Just like we have conservative ‘leaders’ that will trash their family without a thought and happily hold economic interests in organisations that undermine family values and the rule of law.

          • @doc
            ‘Fairness’ sounds good. But that’s all it does. What is fair? It’s so subjective, it’s not true. I tell my kids to do something and they say: “That’s not fair.” It is to me but not to them. If you got a hundred adults in a room and asked them to complete a nuanced multiple-choice questionnaire on ‘fairness’ you’d be lucky to find two people in the hundred who thought identically what fair really is. Would you implement ‘fairness’ via statute? How would that work. Would a judge be able to rule on such a concept?

            What’s not right (and arguably not ‘fair’) is that the Govt supports and enforces the use of (worthless) paper money, which itself impoverishes the citizens but more so those at the bottom of the economic pile. They have the power to make the situation more ‘fair’ but only by having less to do with citizens’ lives not more. If there is any genuine unfairness it’s entirely a Govt construct and the main beneficiaries are the uber-wealthy.

          • @morgs
            When I first signed up here at MB I must have said something derogatory about the ALP and everyone jumped down my throat and accused me (assumed I was) an LNP supporter. They have since discovered that I am neither, just critical of Government in general. You’re right, there is no black and white here govt/private, no binary situation. There never is. However, I really don’t know how you address the issue of fairness — and in particular in an environment where progressive attitudes rule the day. Ironic, I know.

            Think about it: commonsense dictates that if you hire the most capable / bright people your organisation is more likely to go places (public or private). I like to believe I’d be a beneficiary of a system that could effectively and efficiently sort the wheat from the chaff – mainly because I am not a self-promoter and have a tendency to think I will be discovered. However, as a Caucasian male in a progressive world I am increasingly likely to be discriminated against and people less capable than me will get roles that I’d be a better candidate for. What this means, in practical terms, for the economy as a whole I can’t say but it won’t be (can’t be) positive.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        I agree with Gunna with his opinion of some doctors. I come from a medico family on my mothers side and have seen the best and the worst that the medical profession has to offer.

        Currently getting into Medicine is basically an IQ game, which in our Meritocracy means the Red Queens game – running faster and faster to essentially stay in the same spot. Throw in Multiculturalism, and the Red Queens game can become a sorting mechanism by population group IQ as well, leading to the stratified society and ethnic technocraticies that we are developing. Including some of what we are seeing across the medical profession.

        When the sole purpose of education becomes income maximisation then that can unfortunately attract a certain mindset that is only pursuing it as a vocation for the money – Dr’s can be incredibly arrogant. Some of the biggest serial killers in the world have been doctors.

        But Coming also has a point around the steps that the medical profession and the Universities have taken in order and try and filter out those applicants who are doing medicine for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately much of this reform and signalling has stopped at the University level and doesn’t extend through to their post-Uni Medical college specialisation programs.

        All that said I do feel though some of the ‘alooftness’ or ‘arrogance’ is simply the fact that so many of them do have super high IQs that it can be isolating for them. The same gap exists between someone with a high IQ of +140 to 100 (median white population IQ), as exists between 100 to less than 60, which is mental retardation. Not everyone, even very bright people, are good communicators and are always able to form meaningful connections with other people.

        • Medicine actually lends itself well to these kind of folk-they do pathology etc.The real issue I see is one of common sense that can be lacking also they are not necessarily trained well(for instance in recognising their own psychological pitfalls eg consistently adhering to a diagnosis despite evidence that things are not going well).Most doctors I know are really honourable people-yeah there are a few psychopaths(goes with the intellect)they are generally weeded out relatively quickly(having said that have on occasion seen it take time-they can be very clever).The big sacrafice I see is that of your youth.The hours when a junior are terrible and often not paid and placed under stressful situations(there is an old adage in medicine-watch one do one teach one-you were expected to learn quick.Then you have the shift work when your on your own in the middle of the night.In addition they don’t earn real money until they are in their thirties.The real advantage monetarily comes from earning good money in recessions and also doctors tend to be conservative folk(ie they don’t borrow excessive amounts and invest in dangerous stuff).Yeah certain of the college’s tend to limit numbers(dermatology Opthalmology etc) but some are very reasonable.Finally with a view to the future I have recommended to the medical students that I know(a few) that they leave the country if they can and some who are really capable(one is very good with coding)that they not pursue medicine any further and leave the country(I generally recommend they try and gain entry into USA)

    • A scenario for you Flawse – ‘Trump re-elected and chooses Tulsi as his Secretary of State’ …

      stranger things have happened & personally she strikes me as one of the most attractive candidates given the substance and quality of her interviews that I’ve seen, sort of a DNC disruptor, almost Trumpian in potential??

    • She’s a good person but she needs to be a bit nastier to her detractors. Like, for example, point out that she has served in the defence of her country whereas those like this weasel Behar have done nothing of the sort. People in the media are very good at casting stones but they would be the last to stand up and be counted. She needs to nail that point home — tell them how spineless she thinks they are.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      Tulsi is awesome – I maintain, she’d be the biggest threat to Trump. I think the MSM are deliberately under reporting her and working against her interests/narrative.

      The way the big networks covered up the Epstien affair because of the potential harm it could have done to Clinton’s campaign is outrageous. IMHO the US attorney should be investigating whether ABC dropped that story for political reasons.

    • I’ve been following Tulsi from day one when she nominated. I knew the establishment will go hard and nasty. But it seems she, being smart as she is, was waiting for them. She is not holding back.

    • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

      Tulsi’s profile boosted hugely with a recent twitter dispute with Hillary (which gave HRC renewed relevance as well). Tulsi gets onto the democrat-aligned ABC and gets in an argument on the View as per your link. Follow what’s happening here. Tulsi will get increasing media profile on major corporate media with arguments that appeal to Trumps base. Combined with her military background which is also pushed heavily she’ll be perfectly positioned to run as an independent after missing out on DNC nomination. Purpose of the deliberate strategy being to split Trumps vote to open the way for a Democrat. My bet is Hillary but that’s not clear yet. Whoever the DNC candidate is, Tulsi role appears a DNC political play to split Trumps vote.

  3. Was interesting to read the Labor analysis after just having read Hillbilly Elegy. There does not appear to be anything in the Labor narrative that looks like it can connect with a disaffected regionalised working class poor that now have generations of entrenched learned hopelessness. In fact, it’s not really a narrative issue at all, it’s the product. There is no questioning of the financialisation of everything, no questioning of the economics of extreme urban growth, no contextualisation within the global biodiversity collapse and pollution disaster. It just came across as vapid.

    • My personal favourite: Recommendation 6: Without compromising existing support, Labor should broaden its support base by improving its standing with economically insecure, low-income working families, groups within the Christian community and Australians living in regional and rural Australia.

      What does this really mean? Don’t upset our inner city progressives, or our developer/finance donors but sell a good story?

        • That was the upshot of the ‘Hillbilly Elegy’. It is now entrenched poverty with bad culture being passed down generationally. Like all forms of entrenched poverty it is almost unfixable in the short-term and certainly more welfare will do little to change things other than making progressives feel better about their extreme wealth disparity. Rich well educated city folk (including labor progressives) will not find much to connect with anymore. Long term structural reforms on employment and environment are required but these things don’t always make inner city property skyrocket.

          • Long term I think the inner cities are screwed anyway. A hive of unsustainability and half of the men working in offices these days can handle a hammer.

            When things go bad it’s those on a few acres who can send for themselves and live off grid who will do well in my opinion and that’s part of the reason I was looking further out.

            The family I bought my house off are moving out Mansfield direction. The son is into hunting and fishing and uses it to feed the family. He recently caught snapper and they were saying how it’s getting harder and harder to catch them, so I think they are acutely aware of Environmental change and want to get ahead of the curve by moving out that way.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            Everyone seems to have forgotten that the Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine planted at the formation of the Labour Party was poisoned a few years ago.
            The resluts can be seen today in the slow death of the party.

    • Labor sympathises with people from the regions and outer suburbs. These people can’t help it that they are so stupid and don’t ‘get’ modern progressive (bwahahahaaaa!) wokesterism.

  4. “Elizabeth Warren Confirms Her Medicare for All Plan Will Cover Illegal Immigrants” Are politicians this out of touch in the west? This reminds me of Labors medicare for overseas parents brainfart. As a working and tax paying citizen, whytf would I want to vote for someone that will fund healthcare for non-citizens?

    • All this QE and wealth imbalance seems to be pushing the uneducated towards supporting socialism/communism thinking they will get a slice of the pie under this scenario. Yeah right, look at Cali. Highest house prices in US, illegals everywhere, high crime, high congestion, homeless and poor as far as the eye can see, highest taxes, highest drug use and poo on the streets, rich still getting richer, what a utopia!

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            You mean the Climate change induced wild fires ?
            They have sure spread in NSW and QLD , but of course here we never say Climate Change.

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            Bolstrood, for some reason I just envisoned Ralph Wiggum saying proudly and confidently “We say weather!”.

          • @Flawse
            Thank you for the link to Cliff Mass ‘s work.
            He lays out his case well.From the comments it is clear that he is a highly repected reseacher.
            There are particularly interesting points raised in the comments, i.e. arboreal die off causing heavier feul loads.
            I do not disagree with his statement that Climate Change did not cause the fires, but like our present predicament ,I do disagree with him that climate Change did not enhance them.

        • There is an exodus from NSW too. Leith has published graphs that show the exodus.

          People who were born in Sydney are moving to other states and “skilled” immigrants are moving into flats in Rouse Hill because slums in the third world are even worse.

        • Gav …

          Again time and space seem to befuddle some … Texas just hikes up the skirt for C-corps and bills the consumer for it. Once you get enough immigration from Calif in Texas it will become like Calif, already Texas is becoming more liberal democrat E.g. Texas is getting a short term bump in people selling high priced RE to relocate with that equity gain and buy into the Texas market [subsidized and low environmental reg].

          WRT others talking about social goods that will over load local resources you’ll always get that in a developed country with high wages without international wage – labour standards, something that has been going on since colonialism imo.

        • Medicare for illegal immigrants won’t work for anyone can you imagine how many people will flood the border and hospitals! They need medicare for citizens only

      • California is exactly the opposite of socialism/communism
        it’a place where individuals can earn as much as 1/3 of state population and keep all of it
        high tax for ordinary doesn’t equate with socialism/communism

        most of eastern european communist countries didn’t even have income taxes

        • Eastern European communism is different to the style of the Chinese. Cali, and even down under are moving to that style where you have mega rich and the rest are highly controlled slaves who can’t even afford an exorbitantly priced house. Chinese have it sorted well, the west see how good it is and want a piece of it now

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          California is America’s most multicultural state – the great IQ sorter can explain the vast majority of the social and ethno stratification and inequality.

          From a social point of view California is the ultimate expression of Meritocracy. The Red Queens game that the meritocracy encourages has everyone running as fast as they can, each trying to out do the other, and staying exactly where they started.

          Even more perversely it turns every man into his own slave master, ordering himself to give up more and more of his life.

          Ultimately the Meritocracy results in every population group running up against its own populations groups median capability barrier, and so the social stratification commences, society fragments and people move away.

          Pretty soon you no longer have a society, but an economic zone.
          As it is with California, as it is with ourselves.

        • …most of eastern european communist countries didn’t even have income taxes

          True but one was given only equivalent of the net income here, employers (mostly gov’t owned) were paying other “contributions” towards pension, unemployment benefits and to gov’t what is equivalent of income tax.
          Technical differences, net benefit is trivial in Aus model.

          • similar benefits/contribution are never included into taxation data in the west
            None includes payroll tax, GST and super into tax here or various taxes like local, state or property taxes and health care costs in US or VAT and other taxes in west europe

            if these numbers get included the story of low taxation in the west vs. high tax in the communist east becomes meaningless

            Just think of US,
            once you include 7-8% FICA tax, few% local income tax, 5-10% state income, few $k property tax, 3-5% for 401k, and $20k for health insurance, 5-10% sales tax, someone officially making $100k has has to pay $60k-$70k in taxes/contributions on gross wage of 120k-130k

    • the problem with ZIR and QE is that it prevents the only negative feedback that makes capitalism more efficient – price of money
      with price of money at zero – there is no way to distinguish between good and bad investment
      with IR at zero capitalism gets converted into a planned economy where banks plan and control economy at will

      what would have a capitals economist say about communist system that gives tens of billions of free money to a public transport company that loses $5-$10b per year by subsidizing transport cost of millions of people?
      that’s UBER
      what would they say about a car company that for years only makes poor quality cars that cost much more than what they are sold for?
      how about TESLA

      • The so called price of money theory went walkabout with unregulated insurance, lest we forget the GFC was about that and not wonky mortgages. Huge naked and mercenary shorts triggered a Minsky which at the end of the day is more about contracts imploding and investor psychology. Seems the insurance was not baked in yet, but I guess its far more easy to focus on over simplifications of a complex subject because the human mind [psychology] desperately needs to ascribe fault to resolve internal conflict.

        Per the MMT thingy … the price of money is after expectations of profit in enterprise, especially when lead in times [years] and scale [T1] is a big factor, sundry small business are largely funded off seed monies, CC, and family, not that fail rates are over 95% in the first 5 years.

        That does not even begin to factor in decades of ratchet like effect wrt mercenary survival of the fittest extractive capitalism sold through wonky ideological propaganda …. only the market can distribute freedom and liberties.

        • the insurance and other GFC issues were caused by total lack of accountability
          people who took those insurances knew they are not worth the paper they were written on but they know that at the end when everything collapses they are not going to be responsible for anything and they’ll not only be allowed to keep profits they made on the way but also get even better deal after.

          Simply the concept of private ownership has been watered down and degraded to a point where ownership doesn’t include control over corporations.

          • Wellie some seem to think its been a bumpy learning curve and its all sorted now aka baked in, remember the worlds wealth is actually at the bottom of the oceans swirling around through cables. Property is about legal rights and the hierarchy of that, this is non Kansas anymore toto.

  5. NEW ZEALAND HOUSING DEVELOPMENT: Belatedly getting proper debt financed infrastructure in place …

    Phil Twyford hopes new legislation will make it easier for the cost of infrastructure in new suburbs to be covered by homeowners; an arrangement Crown Infrastructure Partners says is proving difficult to pull off beyond an Auckland development … Jenee Tibshraeny … Interest Co NZ

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/102493/phil-twyford-hopes-new-legislation-will-make-it-easier-cost-infrastructure-new

    … extract …

    … Will legislation help?

    Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford hopes to introduce a Bill to Parliament before the end of the year that will make it easier for the Milldale model to be replicated elsewhere.

    He told interest.co.nz the aim was for the legislation to give developers a framework they could use, and cut out some of the red tape involved – especially when more than one developer is involved. … read more via hyperlink above …
    .
    .
    Property owners and developers want more councils to be directed by Government under new planning rules … Marta Steeman … Stuff NZ

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116615782/property-owners-and-developers-want-more-councils-to-be-directed-by-government-under-new-planning-rules

    … concluding …

    … (Local Government New Zealand says …) … The real obstacles to development were a restrictive planning regime, too much risk on councils regarding building and the inability to open up land for development because of poor infrastructure funding and financing tools.
    .
    .
    … The New Zealand Labour Party July 2017 … then in Opposition …

    Infrastructure announcement too long coming … Phil Twyford … NZ Laboour Party

    https://www.labour.org.nz/infrastructure_announcement_too_long_coming

    Posted by Phil Twyford on July 23, 2017

    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle.

    Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted rates back.

    “You certainly could not accuse this Government of being even a fast follower. Now weeks out from an election, and after nine years in office, they are desperate to look like they are doing something.

    “This Government cannot be trusted on housing and urban growth. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Is it possible we will be forced to restructure the economy away from consumption not just because of environmental reasons (although this is the most pressing) but just because anti-consumerism may just lay waste to the current economics due to the banality of the product? Nearly everyone wants to buy their kids less stuff not more, so we get the population ponzi to prop up the bad economics, but consumption is dying anyway, and the backlash against the extreme urban growth model is gaining momentum.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Consumption v consumerism is a debate that doesn’t take place often enough outside of shut-in minimalists but it is one that has to happen.

        It’s like every other problem facing this country though in that the media and the gubmint will muddy the waters so the proper debate never happens. We’ll end up arguing over wants and wants instead of needs and wants until we’re all exhausted and go out to buy something that will make us feel better.

        • Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong! We export:

          – tourism
          – 3rd rate edu-ma-cations
          – dirt
          – homes (to foreigners)

          That’s a top quality list of things we ‘export’

      • consumerism doesn’t have to be buying not-needed plastic
        in can be buying services like not-needed useless diplomas and degrees, or not-needed books, or not-needed healthy organic food … or going to concerts one doesn’t like …

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Got to admit I agree. I’m not really interested in buying stuff other than the sociable goods because I have so much stuff already. I’ve got more cars than I can drive and more gadgets than I can ever pick up. So I spend my money on experiences. Like the other day, I was at the relations shop and picked one of each of the different Chinamen-like races that were there and took turns with them all at once. It was a buzz and funny because they couldn’t communicate well with each other and not just me. So we all just grunted. Good times.

    • There never was going to be a consumer revival of what, on average return of 300 quid. The money was already spent on every day cost of living expenses. The government can’t keep subsidising pay rises through tax cuts.

    • Young people have been told for years that they need to avoid wasting money and save to get into property, so any anguish about the demise of retail should be directed towards property spruikers.

      People also need space to store things, and if they can’t afford a house or have unstable accommodation due to short term rental leases it makes complete sense that consumerism is suffering.

      The removal of penalty rates has probably hurt those most likely to spend, and the much hyped tax cuts have simply failed to deliver. That of course, should come as no surprise as we know that any spare capacity is simply being used to repay debt.

      • Very good explanation, as a renter I’ve tried to minimise the amount of stuff I have, since it just means moving more stuff later. Now that I’m about to move into a longer term home, I am going to be throwing a lot of crap out rather than moving it, but also trying to to add more crap to my life. Since it all requires storage at the end of the day.

        Honestly outside of good clothing, decent furniture (that lasts) basic electrical appliances, internet connection, TV, stereo and a laptop and perhaps a basic car. What else do you really “need” in life?

        • Guitars. At least a dozen. Four or five amps. About 20 effects pedals. I’m just building a Paul Cochrane Timmy as we speak because I absolutely needed another overdrive..

          And beer.

  6. bolstroodMEMBER

    New Zealand yesterday became the first nation to legislate action on the Climate Crisis by passing a Zero Carbon Bill.
    The voting was nearly unanimous. They are to be congratulated on their achievement.
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/new-Zealand-passes-historic-zero-carbon-bill-with-near-unanimous-bipartisan-support-33500/

    The Kiwi action could not be in starker contrast to their nearest neighbour, us.
    We , Australia , the only nation asking for Kyoto carbon credits to be used to offset our Paris GG emission targets.
    Remember that PM Howard blackmailed the Kyoto meeting by with-holding his governments signature until it was agreed that Australia was a special case because of our reliance on Fossil Fuel,
    and should therefore be allowed to INCREASE our emissions for the duration of the Kyoto agreement.

    Now we have to front up and explain ourselves in front of the world.
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-silent-about-climate-talks-that-will-discuss-its-dodgy-credit-plans-19185/

    • It’s very disappointing to live in a country with such backward attitudes. Not that I think Jacinda is doing a good job, mind you.. but better than ScoMo.

  7. An extract from an historical review that miss the point and fails to lay the blame where it should sit. This is one is from one of the great sources of ignorance and self preservation of at all costs, the Catholic Church.

    “[The Catholic Church] failed to grasp the profound non-literal meaning of the Scriptures when they describe the physical structure of the universe.” Cardinal Paul Poupard in 1992 on why the Church persecuted Galileo and denied the heliocentric model that was been forwarded as an improved explanation of the natural world.

    I wonder how they will explain the institutional abuse that they knew about and enabled in a few centuries time.

      • Being a single gent it is good to know that there are single ladies out there. The problem seems to be that they are “out there”. This is a troublesome predicament for a lazy shut in. Much thought needs to be applied to this problem. Perhaps a review is needed. Yes, that’s it. Reviews solve everything. Anything less than 200 pages in length and costing less than $500,000 will be considered bunkem.

          • We just decided that we’d become better friends than partners. No scandal or drama. We’ll still chat a few times a week. It’s been good for both of us. Thankfully there were no kids and no debt.

          • Sorry to hear that. Very insensitive of me.

            Did she finally meet the primitive technology guy?

        • ErmingtonPlumbing

          “I’m constantly meeting other great women, but it seems to be quite a rare thing to meet a man on the same level”

          I would like Anna to define what she means by the “Same Level”

          I think you should think carefully Footsie about persuing young women like Anna.

          I find her,…”abstaining from sex before marriage — something that, as a Catholic, she doesn’t want to compromise on.”
          Problematic,… especially in combination with her saying,
          “It’s very difficult to find men who are even willing to entertain the notion of entering into a chaste relationship.”

          Has me thinking that this young and possibly confused Catholic might be suppressing some,… “unholy preferences”,…if ya know what I mean.
          😉

          • I read the article the other day, unfortunately the market of men interested in not very attractive dried out ovaries women who will be unable to provide Children at this point, but also are obstaining from sex until married would be very thin indeed.

            If I met a smoking hot 20 yrd old woman who was waiting for marriage but wanting to get married within 2 years and start a family before 25 but was Catholic and wanted to wait to have sex that’s a far different equation.

            These women are wanting the Mountain to come to Mohammed (to use a bad metaphor haha) rather than go to the Mountain.

            I see a lot of desperate single people like this, unwilling to look inwards and compromise on their wants, when they have to realise they are not a perfect catch themselves and others may be dating “down”.

            There is also the fact that many women now are better educated than men and earn more, but also tend to want to marry “up” which limits eligible men for them. When in fact they might find a really great guy if they compromised and dated slightly down (in terms of earnings etc..).

          • ErmingtonPlumbing

            “not very attractive dried out ovaries women who will be unable to provide Children”

            WTF Gav!,…I thought you were a feminist!

          • On the bright side, if there’s anything in the genes for this kind of people, they’re doing a bang-up job at removing themselves from the gene pool… I think huzzahs are in order!

  8. So much pessimism in this weekend reading comments section. Just got done watching Joker, read all these comments and now feel quite depressed lol. Hope all you shut ins get some relaxation in amongst all the deep state impeachment non binary ABC is fvcked conspiracy theory debates. I’m shaking off the negativity, taking advantage of the weather and going fishing.

  9. What is it that these fools don’t understand???
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/ambitious-and-expensive-export-bans-on-waste-prompts-pleas-for-federal-funding-20191108-p538sh.html
    Recycling (as in real recycling) is a form of manufacturing with the added difficulty of making the product out of collected garbage.
    Re-manufacturing is subset of Manufacturing but since we don’t do Manufacturing we certainly don’t do Re-manufacturing (aka Recycling)
    So if they ban exporting than what possible use is there for Recyclables except landfill?
    Seriously am I confused or are they confused?

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      +100
      Glass, paper & a small fraction of plastic is about all our manufacturing base could manage. (We still make glass, paper & plastics!)
      Most of the cost of recycling is in the sorting. Residents presorting into separate plastic, paper & glass bins along with a public education campaign would be needed, but as the article says, no funding.

      • Is successful Recycling really about residential level sorting?
        Think about it this way: What is the collection cost per Kg of recyclable plastic bottles collected at the individual household level.
        with some back of the envelop calculations I’d guess that a typical recycle bin full of plastic water/drink bottles probably contains less than 1/2kg of plastic. The bin takes about 30 seconds to collect (from my observation) and probably has an all in human labour cost of double that if we include sorting and transport costs. If driver plus rig and fuel costs are say $100/hr than we are collecting 30kg of plastic waste per $100 of costs. Is raw recycled plastic actually worth over $3/kg to potential manufactures IF not than what possible social or business benefit can be derived from separate collection of the Plastic waste?
        Believe me I wish this weren’t so, but even if this business can be made to break-even today the trend is certainly not your friend when it comes to long term escalation of waste/recyclable collection costs.
        From what I can see this whole enterprise only makes sense if the density of the collected material is dramatically increased through some sort of pre-compaction at the household level. (but good luck sorting it if someone somewhere accidentally throws some non-recycleable plastic into the compactor)
        I would love to get the inside skinny on how this business really operates because the whole undertaking makes no economic sense to me.

          • I suspect you are correct however the problem is that IF you are correct than there are absolutely no possible solutions to the underlying problem.
            If all the participants in the recycling industry are not doing so to facilitate the efficient collection of “recyclables” for reuse as feed-stock by some sort of manufacturing industry than why are they involved in this business? If the financial incentives are misaligned with the requirements / costs of a Re-Manufacturing industry than Perverse outcomes are to be expected.
            If for instance I Invented a waste plastic compactor / sorter that was suitable for deployment at an individual household level than the logical consequence would be that household plastic waste would only need to be collected maybe once per quarter rather than once a week. Each bin would still only contain about 7kg of Plastic but the collection cost per Kg would be dramatically reduced..
            Would the Waste collection industry be pleased with this outcome? I suspect the waste collection Industry would fight tooth and nail to prevent the implementation / introduction of any Efficiency increasing tools (like a residential level recycling waste compactor / sorter) but maybe I’m just a cynic.

          • At a very practical level, the Red Queen race (as Stewie likes to call it) in our global mega-cities does not lend itself to the time taken to care about the environment. The answer in the short term probably lies in incineration (which the progressives hate and fight against because it doesn’t address consumptions) or regulation of the type of plastics/materials that can be used to mitigate sorting (which the conservatives hate because it limits market freedom). The answer is the long term is technology and choice that transcends non-biodegradable packaging.

            If we stick with market solutions then the best approach would probably be to price the negative externalities (environmental and cleanup) into the product to incentivise innovation and choice.

          • Yeah Pricing externalities into the initial cost of the product would be great but it invariably drives the industry to take silly and somewhat fraudulent steps to avoid these arbitrarily imposed costs (Inventing a new type of plastic not because it is better but rather simply because it is not specifically taxed) (there’s ample evidence to suggest that Dow Chemicals engaged in just this sort of bogus science wrt Refrigerant gases )
            I know that there were several companies in China specifically making gasses like R22/R23 so that they could collect European Carbon credits for disposing of these gasses responsibly .
            I don’t pretend to know the answer but I do know that continuing to pretend that stuff really gets recycled is not the answer.

          • Applied at a consumer level most of the regulatory tricks are manageable, but agree the bad will towards the regulatory system makes even this approach harder than it needs to be. For example companies trying to sell plastics as biodegradable where in fact they are merely degradable or bio-degradable only in very special cases etc etc.

            But that’s correct about recycling, there really isn’t any significant evidence to show this is other than a facilitation myth. And in fact there is some good literature to show it was right from the start a concoction of the big polluters to deflect the waste problems that revealed themselves very early in the process.

          • The other thing we didn’t mention is R&D, and lots of it. We didn’t stop the sewage problem in our growing cities by stopping sewage, we designed a sewerage system (which was quite incredibly pushed back against at the time by conservatives as being too costly).

            Plastic and consumer waste is the new sewage.

  10. So – Domain auction results. This boomlet might be breaking down a little.

    OK that might be unduly optimistic but hear me out.

    Sydney: 79% reported clearance rate but only 66% of results reported, that is right back down to the poor reporting levels of the period when prices were falling. Actual sales 469/813 ie 57%. Discouragingly, median price rather high at $1.262m

    Now: Melbourne. 71% reported clearance rate but only 69% of results reported, again very very poor reporting, which I take to mean a lot of bad results to suppress. Actual sales a phenomenally crap 484/957 ie 50%. And median price massively lower than Sydney at $865K.

    Rounding it out: Canberra: 68% reported clearance rate, 75% of results reported, that is low for Canberra which seems to report more thoroughly than the big markets. Actual sales 42/81 ie 52%.

    Three auctions I was following this weekend: one passed in, one passed in with zero registered bidders, and one was withdrawn prior to auction (auction cancelled). Happy days!

  11. Repost from last night

    https://www.macrovoices.com/736-macrovoices-192-keith-mccullough-inflation-accelerating

    Erik Townsend and Patrick Ceresna welcome Keith McCullough to MacroVoices. Erik and Keith discuss:

    Q4 2019 Macro themes–What is next?
    Inflation or stagflation – is time to own gold?
    What is next for the Chinese economy?
    Outlook on US dollar
    Equity markets – FOMO vs. deteriorating earnings expectations
    Perspective on the market melt up
    Labor share of income and corporate margins
    Long short pairs trade in software industry

  12. This morning I tried to fix a broken fan, the fan was recently purchased from Bunnings (I believe but I’m not sure)
    So I pulled the fan cover off and used my multimeter to check the continuity of the wiring. I quickly discovered that the Active wire was not connected so I pulled the fan switch off to investigate once I did this the 240V AC active wire just fell out of the switch connection. My first thought was damn they didn’t tighten the screw properly BUT on closer inspection I discovered that they had use push-in wire clamp connections (that obviously didn’t clamp to the wire)
    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here was a stripped length of Active wire less than 1mm away from the Metal case of the fan that was held in place by wishful thinking.
    The fan didn’t have any Earth connection to the metal case so if the wire had rubbed against the metal frame it would have all been live and could have easily ended in death for someone just trying to move the fan.
    I know costs are important but F’me sideways this isn’t some cheap 5V USB connector we’re talking about it’s a 240VAC input that can easily kill people. yet here we have the AC active wire that simple fell out of a dodgy push-in clamp style wire connector … F’me Is this was passes for Australian Standards? I mean this seriously who the F approved this product?

    Just to be clear. I don’t want a refund but I do want an explanation and a written apology for putting my family at risk.

    • If parts of the appliance body are metal then either:
      A) There should be a 3 pin plug with earth connected to metal parts
      B) The appliance must be double-insulated and labeled as such.

      Are you able to post a photo somewhere?
      I would (and will) pursue this and get Bunnings to recall the dangerous appliance.

      • You’re correct that’s how it should be done.
        I’ve made Bunnings aware and will see how they respond before shamming them with pictures of an appliance that’s not even close to meeting Australian safety standards.
        Maybe there’s a good explanation

    • @Fisho, does the fan nameplate have the RCM symbol?…it should have as household fans are In-Scope Equipment under the EESS and are designated Level 3 in-scope electrical equipment (high risk) which means the equipment must:
      – be electrically safe and meet the relevant standard
      – be marked with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)
      – have a valid Australian or New Zealand issued certificate of conformity, and
      – be registered in the national EESS database and linked to the registered responsible supplier.

      https://www.eess.gov.au/equipment/risk-level-definition/.

      Do a search on the ERAC public database to see if it’s listed (it should be given the mandated risk level):
      https://equipment.erac.gov.au/Public/

      Don’t let them off…report them to Product Safety Australia:
      https://www.productsafety.gov.au/

      …this is what can happen.
      https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news/2019/pump-importer-prosecuted-for-townsville-electrocution-death

      • Yes the product does have RCM approval
        Triangle with semicircle and Tick (E209) under symbol.
        I intend to report the product because I genuinely can’t believe they’re selling a product that is so badly designed from a basic product safety perspective .
        there are simple and obvious fixes for that would at least ensure the product was safe even in the event that a wire fell out of the clamp.
        But in this case it’s not just any wire It’s the 240V active that is unsecured.
        I gave the Bunnings manager a piece of my mind and was told to calm down because they are not responsible for the quality of the product that they sell. Seriously I was told that they’re just Employees and that it’s basically my problem if they sell me a product that endangers my family…being sold deadly products is something that I should expect apparently!
        Was not impressed but will see haw they follow up.

      • <iIDo a search on the ERAC public database to see if it’s listed (it should be given the mandated risk level):
        just searched the ERAC database and I can’t find any approval for this fan
        Serial Number is 1431312679

  13. https://youtu.be/6zwiArr3jYE
    Meanwhile in Italy, Police not interested in doing any work. Lol. No wonder Europe is a dump now. Scammers everywhere. If you’re wondering why people are voting for extremist anti immigration parties. This is probably a factor. Illegal immigrants trying to exploit tourists and nobody doing anything about it.

    • Post GFC austerity Gav …

      If you look at second and third world countries having a nana its got noting to do with immigration, even still in the northern hemisphere transportation costs and taxation on the unwashed seems to set off Rwandan like social triggers. Financial elites are out of sight and mind, not that they feel the aforementioned effects as their risk is distributed internationally.

    • I just spent a week in Italy and it’s a lovely place spoiled by Italians.

      The place is full of fcuking scammers and rip off merchants.

      We got hit by a a scam on a bus trip. Our eftpos swipes apparently hadn’t worked even though the bus driver had let us on. 64 euro fine each, thank you very much…and the eftpos worked fine on the ticket inspectors machine.

      We got home and discovered Avis Italy had pinged our card for 350 Euro without explanation. Disputed that and had it refunded.

      Cafes and food joints at tourist spots like the Vatican and Coliseum will charge you 30 euros for a coffee or a sanga if you don’t check the price first. Etc etc…

      It’s not a first world country. If you go there be very very careful because everybody…well…almost everybody… is out to rip you off.

      • Maybe the Italians not profiting from the tourism industry wish you’d fck off as well, as well as their countrymen milking you for their own individual profit and driving up costs for locals

      • I had a similar experience in many parts of Europe. Sitting down to lunch and they bring out bread rolls to begin with and I asked for 2 bottles of water. 16 euro it cost just for that. We had a very basic lunch which cost 60 euro or so. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth since they bring the bread out and you think it’s complimentary.

        I never got badly scammed in Europe aside from stuff like that and it was always the tourist areas, so you quickly learn to eat a few mins up the road and pay local prices.

        Mind you I had similar challenges in the middle east and Asia also (especially taxi drivers) in a way I like Uber as it’s made it hard for dodgy taxi operators to rip you off abroad. But I still don’t like Uber as a company.

        Lots of these countries the scammers are from Eastern Europe with mafia ties who are there to exploit the tourist traps. In some of these places going to the police means you get robbed twice 😁.

        • I got pinned with the bread scan in 1986. Then don’t forget the Cheese scam with what goes on the Bolognese Spaghetti! They have been ripping off to rest for over 1000 years. It goes with the territory.

          • Bahahaha! Being born and raised on the other side of the line, I avoided instinctively ‘the first’ and ‘the second’ choices on the trip back to the old country… had good cheap fodder and coffee on the ‘less obvious’ choices. Same thing in Austria… stray well off the beaten path and man, you’re in for a superb surprise, remain comfortable and your wallet takes a beatin’ you’ll not forget easily. Went to visit the natural sciences museum in Vienna, it was full of families and kids all locals. Go out in the streets, it was like f*ck*ing Shanghai. Go and watch the Lipizzaners, again, 90% Europeans, 10% Americans, go out in the streets, China again… best time I had was watching the Piber girls show… oh man! They were beautiful. And, again 99.99% Austrians, locals and otherwise. I felt out of place and I felt good.

            Mmmm …

        • I got pinned with the brain scan in 1986. Then don’t forget the Cheese scam with what goes on the Bolognese Spaghetti! They have been ripping off to rest for over 1000 years. It goes with the territory.

    • Gav – Police in Italy stopped doing any work many years ago. Organised crime runs the country and no law is enforced for many years. Most of their agri land became dump for toxic waste and causing massive rise in cancer rates. I actually avoid buying any food made in Italy these days.

    • while tourism has been presented as the ultimate economic good it’s hardly anything any country would want these days

      it reduces quality of life of local population while it provides them with very little – usually low paid jobs with bad working conditions (nights, long hours, …). even these jobs are usually reserved for immigrants not for locals
      only few get all the benefits while everyone suffers
      places like Rome, Venice or Paris live in this nightmare for decades and they are sick of it

    • A shabby article. More anti-China bias promulgated by FiveEyes influence and Oz spooks adoration of the US military security apparatus. Eliza Borrello demonstrates zero understanding that Western Australian exports to China benefit the entire nation.

      Clive Hamilton? Any reporter that uses Hamilton as a go-to is only interested in pushing the anti-China line and cannot be taken seriously. Hastie is almost as bad. Why go to two opponents of China influence if balance is what you seek.

      China has proved an excellent trading partner – we should encourage this relationship and not hinder it with ill-informed sniping. If not for China, Australia would already be well on the path to becoming Lee Kuan Yew’s poor white trash of Asia. Whether we like it or not, China stimilus has supported (saved) the Australian economy post GFC.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Yep. Don’t know what Oz would have done without that stimilus. Stimilus is always awesome.

        Developed policies that didn’t rip the guts out of local manufacturing? And tourism? And housing affordability? Perhaps. Maybe that’s what it would have done.

        But yeah, go stimilus. And rates teh cuts. That’ll fix thing.

          • The stimulus helped, but it may not have been necessary if the tables hadn’t been so badly tilted to start with – so connected. I agree with trade, but I do think we’re playing with venomous snakes – perhaps from a lot of angles – Although I’m not always keen on what goes on & it needs to be looked at, I’d choose to be subject to the poison I know over the new wannabee’s regime.

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Ohhhh… stim-u-lus. Stimulus. I see.

            So it’s perfectly ok for the Government to spend tax-payer money profligately, while incurring moar debt. Got it.

            As long as it’s not an Australian government and (might) benefit Australia just as much as all the other countries China imports IO from.

            I completely see where I’ve gone wrong now. Thank you so much for clearing that up.

            Though that’s probably hardly the first time you’ve heard that.
            Edit: Sorry. Said. I meant said.

          • It was necessary and revolutionary. Contrast China response with US QE trillions to the banks. Sure as heck US could have done with some major infrastructure spend to upgrade existing, install new and employee thousands. China chose a path that helped its people with a vision to the Great Middle Kingdom of decades to come.

            I don’t know why people have some idea the Chinese want to be our overlords. Any more, than economically, they already are 😉

          • “So it’s perfectly ok for the Government to spend tax-payer money profligately, while incurring moar debt. Got it.”

            Rarely see Australian voters rejecting this. Except perhaps following the Labor policy shambles of 2019.

          • “It was necessary and revolutionary. Contrast China response with US QE trillions to the banks. Sure as heck US could have done with some major infrastructure spend to upgrade existing, install new and employee thousands. China chose a path that helped its people with a vision to the Great Middle Kingdom of decades to come.” Does that put you in the MMT camp?

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            The surplus must be protected at all costs.

            I have despatched an-about-to-be-swallowed-by-a-small-dog-battle-group to ensure its survival.

            Under no circumstances may our plans for the surplus fall into the hands of the rebels.

            If we give it to the surplus anymore it’ll blow, Captain.

            A thousand-generations of slayers sacrificed their lives so this surplus could come to pass.

            Without a surplus our attack plans have no chance.

            Don’t use the surplus Josh, that path leads to the Darkside of the Force…

            … is more the sort of economic dogma I’d expect you to be regurgitating… has the IPA and/or LNP changed its tune already ahead of the next election? Already?

            Wow.

          • Wilbs. You appear confused. On one hand you ridicule government spending and rising debt. On the other, protecting a government surplus.

            Where do you stand?

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            I stand on the far side of whatever rock you are currently attempting to crawl out from under. Not being paid to post, unlike some, it may be of interest to others as well as myself to know what directions owners of said rock may have set for you. Hence my earlier query that you have chosen to ignore.

            The good readers of this outspoken trumpet have little care or need for knowledge on where I happen to stand on, well, anything. But they might care who is paying you to comment. This time.

            Maybe. I wouldn’t put real money on it though.
            If it helps, I think Bathurst should be re-run this year and that DiDi is great value for money. Goodness knows how the vehicle operators make a viable living though (after costs).

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Yeah, well Australia’s body politic, including your Torynuffs 3d have been setting Australia up for this for years.

        Western Australia may as well be Xinjiang, and get itself some reeducation centres. In fact it should set itself up as a reeducation centre for other Chinese locales which want to do their reeducation somewhere remote…

        • HK post Lam rescinding the offending proposed laws has US agitprop written all over it. US aim is to destablise CCP/China on every level: governmental, economic and diplomatically. Australia has brought into this enthusiastically via Turnbull and aspects of media, the yellow peril never but a surface scratch away.

          Interesting to see the comparatively moderate response against the protesters vis a vis Chile and France. Wise move. Let the protest movement exhaust support and eat itself.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Strayans are still very much on the path to white trash …..renting their homes from Chinese owners ……….Hastie and Hamilton need to be disappeared………they just can’t get with the program

  14. Banana ManMEMBER

    So living in nature sounds like heaps of fun right? Pretty much just scantily clad utopians gathering from the Earth, maybe some stargazing to keep occupied? Maybe somewhere, but it’s not near me. I am under siege from animals at the moment. There are about 8 that I can count, regularly trying to gain entry to my residence. Just even cruising around, the work that they create is unbelievable, knocking over stuff and breaking anything that isn’t made of steel basically. The bush turkey is my nemesis though, fer won’t even get in the trap. On a brighter note, junior possum took the bait and was relocated a couple of nights ago. The mice don’t even seem to care about me anymore, one looked at me last night, took a crap and then cruised off. They just keep coming, no matter how many are dispatched.
    One of the water fittings also blew off, just lost half a tank of potable water. Fkn.
    Lovely cool breeze blowing. If only I could open my doors without inside lizards. Fkn. Big Fkn.

    Get back to nature they said. Fun it will be.
    Whoa Nelly, the dream is often nicer than the reality.

    • Yeah that’s pretty much how my wife feels about nature, it’s all well and good but it belongs outside.
      I could happily live in the country but for her it would have to be a place where the wild animals knew their place and stayed where they belong.
      btw how did you relocate the Possum? in NSW they can only be relocated a maximum of 50M. Seriously what are you suppose to do? move the possum 50M away and make sure you run over them with a car as they scamper back to their little hidey-hole (your roof)
      I try to obey the law but damn I hate cleaning Possum droppings off the back porch every day (at least 5 or 6 big sloppy ones every day)

      • Banana ManMEMBER

        Possum went more than 50m. Was extremely lucky lucky to get relocated. I was actually dissapointed that I took my morning piss before I got to the trap. Was going to give that thing a dirt nap.
        If it didn’t find any tucker, it would show me its displeasure by wrecking the inside of the place.
        There are 3 big goannas trying to get into my plkace right now, I have to go outside and chuck things at them every 20 minutes. Ah, if only I could go back to my youth. I’d get my bangstick and kill them.
        I’m beginning to understand how Reusa feels at those homo parties he attends.

        • Banana ManMEMBER

          Just to add to the ambiance, there’s a raging inferno at the bottom of the hill. 5000 peeps in emergency shelters not allowed to go home. At least its a good 50km away, aye.
          Lucky it’s not really hot and windy. Oh, hang on. Yep, hot and windy.
          Fire moves much slower uphill though, right?

          • Banana ManMEMBER

            Fck. Hope I don’t get fingered for moving my possum more than 50m.
            Should be right. I’m sure this site is encrypted. Actually, the internet, as a whole, is pretty safe these days. They’ve overcome most of those bugs from the olden days.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        A guy I once knew before becoming super wealthy through property investment used to keep a very large and sharp blade attached to the end of a long bamboo stick. Said the law meant the only way he could get rid of the possum pests (they totally destroyed every plant and birds eggs) was this way. Started making a stew he did. Buried the rest.

    • Depends where you go. Mum had 2 acres in the country and you see rabbits all over, sometimes a roo, wombats keep to themselves, bird life is nice (although cockatoos are known to destroy things for fun), tiger snakes in summer and then there are the bugs.

      Biggest issue is rabbits trying to get into the food mum’ is growing on the land. So she puts up wire mesh and other barriers to keep em’ out.

      She has big water tanks and is adding more, seems she enjoys taking care for the place. Too much grass for my liking though. Weeds too.

      Still I’d rather deal with all that BS than office politics.

  15. Whilst link is in mod due to tripwires in link I would proffer:

    “Mayor John Bowler need not worry, Kalgoorlie’s reputation for prostitution and big holes in the ground isn’t going to be ruined by a Facebook poll.”

    Lulz an upgrade on houses and holes ….

  16. My comment from Nov 7th:
    “as I called it in the Macro Morning it seems China and US are making up again and gold is going down. Hope it hits $1475usd by tomorrow morning.
    There will be some buying opps for:
    SAR below 3.40
    SBM below 2.65
    RRL below 4.70
    ALK below 60c
    AMI below 47c
    NCM (long shot but possible if gold prices stay down for a week or two) below $27

    Enjoy cvnts.”

    I did buy some SAR, RRL, SBM and some ALK day ebfore at 63c but nothing on Fri as ALK did not hit the my limit.
    AMI did not hit the limit so no buy.
    Tomorrow I expect all to go well below those limits and will be buying some or some more.
    SAR below $3.33
    RRL below $4.48
    SBM below below $2.50
    ALK below 60c
    AMI below 46c

    Side note: if NCM goes below $27 will probably buy few and if they fall below $25 (I doubt though) will definitely buy few. Havieron starts to look like Cadia v2 or or at least tier 2 deposit. The fact Havieron is in Oz removes any geopolitical risks and with shares below $27, I don’t think market is pricing any value for this discovery. I know it is early days but the number of intercepts, widths and the gold grade component is way to high for this to be an average deposit. Plus there is some Cu credits there.

    But if anyone wants to test the waters with these companies please read Chris’s comment from Friday arvo wrap – his response to my query. Gold can go much lower and these shares will trade at even lower prices than what they will trade tomorrow.
    Considering the risks around the world, I think the China/US romance will fade away in few months (even if they exchange rings and make up) and CBs will have to continue to do “not” QE and “whatever it takes” in order to keep the Markets elevated. Eventually faith in the fiats will be lost and I really think we are not far from that point now. FED now responds to what Wallstreet tells him to do which has nothing to do with the health of the economy but all with preventing markets to go into meltdown.
    Also, no matter what deal China/US make, China and US are decoupling and that means protectionism coming near you. Unless US agrees to let China becomes the next world super power – what are the odds of that?
    And global slowdown started way before US/China frictions. Most of it is a result of lack of another once in a lifetime stimulus aka 2016 China stimulus. Not sure anyone else can afford to do that ever again – not without destroying their own currency or currencies of these is joint global effort. Gold will trade, under such scenario at $2k usd?? $3k usd??

    Anyway I am putting it out there and if my calls turn to be wrong few will enjoy rubbing it but fck it.. I am trying to get people to collaborate (in my own way) as there lot of smart heads here and we we put our views out there we can come up with some really smart ideas on where/when/how to play next cycles or geopolitical developments.

    Further in the future I see Nickel, Lithium, Copper, Graphite and few other metals that play big part in the battery industry to be big winners.
    Nickel stocks might be overpriced right now but if there is a crisis first, as I predict, those stocks will fall hard while gold stocks will fly high. That would be to point to switch. Sell what the herd is buying and buy what the herd is selling.

    will appreciate any constructive opinions, views, comments from any cvnt and the ladies.

    • I saw that Trump said he hadn’t agreed to lift tariffs so basically markets are trading on coat tails of rumours. Any rally’s are empty hope as far as I’m concerned.

      • they will sign some sort of fake deal which will push gold further down – my view that is.
        But if that does not happens and talks break down then gold will jump in an instant – hence why I started accumulating bit early.

        • i dont think gold is priced as it is primarily due to the trade war. I think that gold is priced where it is because the Fed are doing totally-not-QE, Europe is still doing QE, and many places are now talking about MMT. That IMO is the reason for the surge in gold price

          • Believe the BIS Basel III change that re-designated gold from a tier 3 asset to a tier 1 asset on April 1 2019 was a significant factor. Effect is that the asset weighting changed from 50% to 100% market value.
            That together with central banks buying it, some for the first time in years has given it some momentum.

          • MMT PK has been around decades and has roots that go back further, funding and other roadblocks set up by self serving elites kept the unwashed in the dark. As neoliberal ground zero the U.S. and U.K. have been besides themselves to keep a lid on it because it challenges the ideological propaganda dressed up as economics [dominate] off the political table and the narrative from being challenged. Now as the final act in the play Trump is taking the dereg and defunding of government to unbefore seen levels all whilst core social and economic metrics are accelerating downwards.

            Does the price of gold have anything to do with any of the above or do some think Capitals original social control tool is its life raft. Gold has always favored Capital over Labour and not just as a store of price adjusted, keeps them in power even in bad times, set for the next boom times.

    • I can see the gold dip thesis & if it happens my Super will favourably tilted that way. Mebbe consider Phosphate stocks as well, as per MB’s Thursday podcast……

      • Agreed. Selling soil fertility will be a future one to watch.
        We have got ecosystems begining to collapse everywhere- the reef is going, gondwanna rainforests burning in NSW (they don’t burn, ever), the worlds largest wetland burning in Brazil, Congo forests on fire, California on fire, fires in spain and Greece earlier this year… soil errosion everywhere etc.
        Control of soil fertility and water is going to be massive.

      • I take it you have a self inflicted low information issue, by your reckoning the great depression would never had happened. That’s not to say the economic and political administration of any currency issuer proceeds what ever system is operative. That was the whole point of the comment above and perception by some, but you keep believing the memes and ideological PR out of mobs like Heritage and Peterson – no self serving incentive of course. I mean the bond holder thingy pops up a lot don’t you think ….

          • You use of obvious is not a statement of anything, I can not check on its veracity, only your belief in it. If you have dramas in policy please do check the historical record and square that with monetarism and now quasi monetarism, add on the dominate economics during the period and unless your in a cave I don’t think the Greenspan put or Milton’s share holder value had anything to do with MMT PK.

            MMT PK only points out the policy scope on offer without all the watery ideological PR dressed up as economics. Not that under the gold standard boom and bust economics was deemed logical let alone the wars over it and in the U.S. case an attempted coup.

    • it’s a money creation question

      the difference may come from who gets the money
      in case of QE money goes to big financial players who use it to drive prices of shares, housing … and other assets so asset inflation increases
      in MMT case more money would go to ordinary people so CPI inflation would increase

      having high CPI vs asset inflation is not so bad because it accounts for lower costs (housing is usually the largest cost) and more importantly higher CPI would help people deleverage quicker and make them less likely to get into new debt (due to higher rates)
      MMT would give us more of economy of 70s while QE gives us more of the same of post GFC

      • Yeah being an ex Dallas resident
        what was Lee Harvey Oswald doing in a part of the Dallas Police station that could be easily accessed by Jack Ruby?
        Hmmmm F’ed if I know
        there’s more to this story, that I guarantee you.
        Yeah How do you say vory v zakone in proper Strayn

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