The ‘Population Ponzi’ – Employment, Migrants, Incomes and Manufacturing & Australia’s lost Economic narrative

In the 1950s and 60s Australia had a policy of supporting manufacturing development in Australia, and its capacity to absorb large numbers migrants largely reflected its industry protection. Given the operation of the then Industrial Relations Commission, those industries tended to have remuneration outcomes which enabled both the migrants coming to Australia, and the pre existing Australians, meaningful wage outcomes – generally families could live off one income. There were also exceptionally large infrastructure projects which contributed significantly to the national employment basis over a long period of time (Snowy mountains, outer suburban infrastructure in the State capitals, expansions of transport and road networks etc). Immigration and the Australian economy had a 35-40  year sweet spot as a result, making Australia one of the worlds multicultural and immigration success stories.

Australia of that era had a significantly higher domestic birth rate.  A significant factor in this was that Australian (working class in particular) families could actually afford to have more children, and were more confident of their ability to remain in employment with incomes keeping pace with costs of living. House prices of that era were vastly lower (in relative terms) than now, and rental costs were also considerably cheaper. Suffice it to say that the experience of large scale immigration (both from the migrant’s side and from the pre existing Australians side) was far, far different then.




2 charts on the dynamics of Australian housing prices over the course of more than a generation.  The only way has been up.


Any look at ‘living standards’ now (both that being experienced by pre existing Australians, many of whom are descendants of recent migrants, and the migrants coming to become Australians) would identify that employment is not as secure, that housing costs are considerably greater (see housing stress data), that employment related travel times are significantly greater and slower, and, of course, wage growth has seemingly ended (a decades worth of RBA forecasts of significant income growth 18 months out notwithstanding).


Australian wages have been nailed to the floor for some time


Immigration volumes in Australia have been driven significantly higher since 2005 by government policy. Initially this was seen as a mechanism to head off the risk of a wages outbreak upon the onset of the (China related) investment phase of the mining boom. In the 30 odd years leading to 2005 Australia averaged an average Net Overseas Migration volume of about 80-90k per annum. The last ten years have been more than double that (and nearly triple) despite it being fairly obvious since circa 2011 that the resources boom (like all resources booms) was finite and was essentially over.


Australian Net Overseas Migration since the early 1980s.  The sluices were opened in late 2005, and have remained open ever since.


In this context questions about immigration volumes by an increasing number of Australians (if not their political parties) make considerable sense. The lived experience of large numbers of Australians over the period since 2005 will drive such questions.  The complete inability of politicians (particularly Liberal and Labor, who have either been in government or aspiring to be in government) to even mention immigration largely reflects the immigration volumes now being used as a sort of economic policy spakfilla to mortar in between 2 conceptual points.


The first is that outside mining Australia has about the worst economically competitive position of the developed world. Australian employees are about the most expensive on the planet. Australian land costs (underpinning not just real estate but commercial land use) are likewise. A generations worth of utterly palsied energy policy has Australia with some of the world’s most expensive energy. That means that any demand for the skills migrants may have is essentially only about providing skills to face the domestic economy.


Absolutely none of this is the fault of immigrants to Australia. But the question for a large number of Australians then becomes one of ‘If we are to continue with an expensive inward facing economy revolving around government redistributions of resources revenues and housing speculation, with the most expensive economic inputs – incomes, land and energy for starters – then why arent we simply (expensively) educating our own to provide the skills we ‘need’ and why are we importing people in such volumes in a nation which economically speaking is only on about selling off its natural bequest?’ (and looking to divide that between ever increasing numbers of people).


Part of the answer to that reflects the second conceptual point being spakfilled into place with immigration insofar as governments (both Liberal and Labor) need to continue to deliver ‘growth’.  The radically increased immigration volume numbers since 2005 has been a sure fire way to continue to deliver both aggregate demand growth – the all important GDP growth (as opposed to GDP per capita growth) – and corporate growth (recognising that corporate Australia revolves largely around retailing, banking, telcos, the media etc who will harvest the increased numbers of people they are serving and post profits year in year out, except for the media) in the absence of other (economic adjustment pain free) options which might involve pain for vested interests (particularly the inward facing Australian corporate interests, but also the higher and vocational education interests – now totally addicted serving up some of the worlds most expensive courses to putative immigrants because these want to migrate to Australia [effectively doing nothing more than ‘clipping the ticket’ of immigration demand and transforming these to  ‘education’ revenues to the laughable extent that some commentators refer to ‘education exports’ while ignoring the costs imposed on domestic students]).



Your lived experience is above, but we keep voting for governments based on the chart below going up.  The only way to make the chart below keep going up while we are experiencing the chart above trending down is to make sure there is more of us – a lot more.


Once again none of this is the fault of the immigrants, but it does reflect the Australian political & policy prioritisation of those vested interests in the short term (the next GDP numbers, the next quarterly corporate posting, or the next remuneration negotiation for Vice Chancellors) over the lived experience (the flatlining wages, rising accommodation and education costs and the ever more congested infrastructure) of the vast majority of Australians.  For a long time the ‘shoosh’ response to such an observation was to point out how many Australians might lose their jobs if immigration volumes were pared in any way, and/or to highlight the implications of Australia ‘ending’ immigration [as though this were remotely being sought by anyone, or was feasible].  Now that the immigration volume has been vaporised by the COV19 response, with the economic pain which was portended by any curtailment of immigration now being experienced, there will no doubt be questions of why would we go back to heavy immigration volumes?  Or there should be.  It currently appears that the return to heavy immigration volumes is not just being exhorted by a range of interests, but is being portended by Government.


The backdrop to this is ideology and/or political exigency. The high point of NeoLiberalism  – let’s say from the fall of the Soviet Union through to however long it can remain credible about now  has seen Australia ride a debt boom (see the explosion of private debt), a China inspired resources boom, and a ‘population Ponzi ‘ (the post 2005 near trebling of Australia’s Net Overseas Migration numbers)  yet for the last 10-15 years the lived experience of Australians has stagnated.


That era has seen remarkable unanimity between the Liberal and Labor sides of politics about (inter alia) euthanizing manufacturing and signing free trade agreements (often unseen) explicitly punishing import competing or exporting economic sectors outside resources agriculture and tourism for greater access to foreign markets for resources and agriculture and more tourists here.  Australians know that mining employs circa 1.5% of them, and agriculture less, and that both can experience major downturns in prices and demand (and in the case of agriculture  capacity to supply due to drought/flood etc).  Australians also know that the vast majority of employment opportunities in tourism are low skill and low remuneration.   The vast bulk of the much touted ‘services’ growth is inward facing.



Australian exports.  If you add food processing and metals processing to tourism, agriculture and minerals that leaves most of the rest of us trying to squeeze into the inward facing part of the Australian economy.


If our jobs aren’t scarlet or at least orange, then it is highly likely we are part of the bubble an awful lot of us know we are living in.


And if that commodities sector, which has been elevated for circa 15 years, should ever return to what it averaged between 1985 and 2000, then we are in for some pain.


Do we want to create a better economy for future Australians?

If this is the environment in which they are to raise children and bequest to them as their economic inheritance then it gives rise to the possibility that their politicians have coughed them up, with the population Ponzi being the only remotely plausible way of being able to point to any upside – though reading headlines about holding the record for unbroken economic expansion may not cut much mustard for double income families in debt stress.  The credibility chasm which has opened between Australians and their politicians over the years since the early 2000s suggests it may not be plausible for that much longer, regardless of the management of the COV19 economic recovery.

Similarly, in encouraging immigration in the volumes Australia has done for the last 15 years, in the context in which it does – sans a meaningful economy – Australia is squibbing on the expectations of many immigrants. Do they want their children ransomed in an uncompetitive economy with high housing costs, low incomes growth, and crowded infrastructure?  Do they want their children to find careers in Australia? How many of them really want to buy some of the world’s most expensive houses and pay them off with feeble incomes growth?  Looking at these questions brings to light other potentially significant differences between Australia’s past immigrants and those of today.

Who wants to be a future Australian?

40, 50 & 60 years ago their Greek, Italian and Vietnamese (Turkish English Irish, German etc) predecessors tended to be refugees of economic or political misfortune (eg the WW2 destruction in Europe, the collapse of South Vietnam, political upheavals in Greece, Turkey or Cyprus) and once they came to Australia they had to make the best of it.  For good or bad they were in it in the same way as the locals, and had to make their choice work, and generally they had to make it work through the fruits of their labours here in Australia.  Unquestionably they did, and they helped create a way of life which had (and still has) considerable allure, and has made Australian cities (in particular) amongst the world’s safest and most multicultural.

Fast forward to 2020 and many of the recent immigrants are different.  They are arriving from the now rapidly developing economies of Asia – particularly China and India.  They are no longer the scrappers but often the more affluent of those societies, and their sources of affluence often remain in those nations.  Indeed questions remain over how many may potentially be beneficiaries of corruption in their homelands, given the lack of data about how vigorously this is looked at by either immigration authorities, Austrac, or the Foreign Investment Review Board.  But beyond even that there is a further question arising largely due to their relative affluence – how many are here because they want to be in Australia, and want their children to be Australians, as opposed to how many want capacity to be here in case something happens in their homeland, be it political or legal?  Are they coming to Australia to become one of ‘us’ or are they coming to Australia to become a better sheltered one of ‘them’?

Is Australia using immigration to benefit Australia?

They dominate (particularly the Chinese) the ranks of the Special Investor Visas governments around Australia use to cultivate greater investment in Australia, when all this seemingly spurs is ‘investment’ in financial paper or real estate, and it’s linkage to employment outcomes or general economic benefit to Australia is pretty marginal.   This too is nothing to blame immigrants for.  We have made the opportunities available and they have taken them up.  If we don’t regulate the opportunities we make available through our policies to foreign nationals it is not their fault – it is Australia’s and particularly Australia’s political and media (and the corporate pressures impacting on that media) elites.  And what we manifestly aren’t doing is making the additional people fit into a national narrative about where the country is going economically.

Accountability 101 – the answer starts with ‘Us’ ‘We’ & ‘Our’

Ultimately it is ‘Our’ fault.  Australians have watched on as Australian Universities became so wedded to foreign students that of course they bend to the political imperatives of the home of those students.  At the same time we have watched on as property developers almost solely focussed on creating dog box apartments in our inner urban areas exhort more, more, more when it comes to foreign demand for Australian real estate.  We have watched on as foreign nationals buy Australian real estate through the flimsiest of regulatory processes and our regulators and politicians have looked the other way.  We have watched on as the heaviest immigration we have ever known was shunted not into something productive, not into something requiring the deployment of skills, not into something adding the the economic substance of the country, but to pull up an abode and join the consumption rush.

Even more pathetically, we have watched on as one of the major sources of that immigration became ever more aggressive in terms of pushing its line on us – be it security officials knocking on doors in pursuit of corruption beneficiaries who have migrated here, or security officials toning down protest in Australia, or ships being delayed at ports after Australian politicians or regulators did something that country wasn’t happy with, or openly bribing Australian politicians, corporate or educational identities to get them to exhort that nation’s line to us in Australia – as Australia’s economic dependence on China, deliberately crafted by our elites over a generation, amplified that risk. How monumentally stupid are we?  I say that as someone who actually believes that if we do have a legitimate need for migrants, then the vast bulk of Chinese migrants are pretty much what we want – they tend to be hard working, respect science and educational attainment and encourage that in their children, they are generally very law abiding, and they tend to want a quiet peaceful life for themselves and their children.  A significant number of them, particularly the migrants from the Tienanmen Square era are also often exceptionally hostile to the Communist regime in China.  It is we who have managed our immigration in such a way as to allow this potential source of highly motivated contributors to Australia’s economic future to become such a major economic risk.

It is us who have stuffed Australian immigration policy, by stuffing us with more migrants than our economy can usefully handle, and it is our politicians and ‘elites’ ignoring our concerns and feeding us half baked lies about the costs, benefits, volumes of, and reasons for ‘our’ immigration, as well as where it fits in an economic narrative sense. It is we who have bamboozled ourselves behind the faux ‘racism’ of even questioning immigration volumes.  It is us who have been sold time and time again fibs of the ‘we need migrants to pay our pensions’ or ‘we need skills we don’t have in Australia’ kind.  It is us who have listened to ‘there will be a major economic shock if we don’t continue running heavy immigration’ and assumed we just keep running it – sort of like a drug addict knowing the substance they abuse is bad for them but wanting the extra hit anyway.

Where to from here?

So here we are in 2020.  The immigration has crashed, the economy is going backwards. Already we have our ‘elites’ flagging a need to get that immigration back to somewhere near what it was just six months ago, despite widespread doubt we are in for anything other than a protracted economic downturn. But still nobody seems to want to step forward to say how we are going to use the immigration, what it is that the migrants will bring with them that we as a nation will economically benefit from, and how we will use that immigration to create a better economic bequest for future Australians – including the migrants coming here and their children, who for the most part will be future Australians.  At best we seem to get the half baked assumptions that we can again boost aggregate demand, possibly minimise price falls for some of the most expensive real estate on the planet, or fairytales about how we will become green energy giants or become part of the global space industry.  Does anyone actually believe any of this will deliver much for the person on the streets?

Part of the reticence to actually identifying, using data, what we are doing with immigration, as well as actual immigration volumes, reflects a political and policy mindset of not wanting governments to choose winners, and allowing ‘the market’ to sort things out.  That may seem, and may well be, a great policy position, but the simple fact of the matter is  our policymakers have been choosing winners and losers all the way along.  The demise of carmaking and manufacturing was government policy.  The eye glazing expense of housing is government policy.  The world’s most expensive university courses are government policy as is our corrupted vocational education sector. Our flatlining incomes and your debt stress are government policy, as is the casualisation of employment.  Our completely insane energy costs are government policy.   An Australian dollar nailed to the roof by bank borrowings from global capital markets is government policy, the same as regulatory toothlesness in the face of corporate malfeasance.  A taxation setting punishing PAYE taxpayers and rewarding speculation by those with access to capital is government policy. Placing all of our economic eggs in a basket belonging to a nation fundamentally ill disposed towards liberal democratic traditions has been Australian government policy.  It is time to be a little more up front about all this, and to put in place policy to make policy work for all Australians, including migrants and their children who will become Australians.

How about a bit of honesty with the Australian public?

Australians aren’t that ill disposed towards migrants, and nobody in their right mind thinks that ending immigration per se is going to be anything but a painful experience.  While I don’t doubt that plenty of recent migrants here have experienced something they would associate with racism, as someone who has lived much of his adult life overseas I don’t think Australians are particularly racist and are probably less racist than many other societies – including those from where most of our migrants come from.  Racism may drive questions about immigration, but the lived economic experience drives more.  And it’s time for our politicians and policymakers to start addressing the lived economic experience of Australians, and tailoring Australia’s immigration volumes to that experience.  Somewhere in our political system needs to identify the shortcomings of the lived experience and map out a growth strategy which alleviates those issues and incorporates immigration meaningfully. And until that political entity arises, the credibility of our politicians, policymakers and ‘elites’ will continue to erode.

Now that the economy is in free fall, we are no longer defending ‘growth’.  We need to go out and create it again.  And if we want heavy levels of immigration we should be pretty clearly mapping out – with hard data – what sort of immigrants we need and how they will fit into the growth narrative, as well as measuring how we are progressing against that narrative.  And if we aren’t measuring up, we shouldn’t be taking the migrants in the numbers we have been.  If we do, all we are doing is selling a pup to ourselves and the migrants we encourage to join us.

Latest posts by Gunnamatta (see all)


  1. 1

    My only critique is the stupid meme of “don’t blame immigrants” needs to go away much like “skills shortage” and “education export.”

    Migrants are taking advantage of our stupidity sure, but when you put sugar on the table you mainly attract pests. They’ve made a decision to take advantage of us as some of us have taken advantage of them. They know what they’re doing as much as what Andrew Robb and co have done. I blame both parties.

    You don’t get a free pass because you have made a conscious decision to move from another country, which should be the same anywhere on the globe. Someone tell that to the “multicultural communities” currently fking up over COVID in Melbourne because Wuhan Dan certainly won’t.

    • McPaddyMEMBER

      This is a bad take Kriss. People will always follow opportunity. It’s fanciful to think they wouldn’t and it distracts you from your true enemy: the political class that you employ to guard your interests.

      • Yep, the political classes have been filling their boots, all the while pretending to be defending the interests of the country and looking after those of its citizens. At some point we became a plutocracy and pollies started to serve the moneyed classes instead.

  2. robert2013MEMBER

    It is madness to give your children’s inheritance away to the children of others.

  3. Excellent contribution – who can argue with the logic? The observation that immigration policy post WW2 fitted the context of yesterday, and not the conditions of today, is spot on.

    Our success as a multicultural society in the 20th century came down to a partnership and mutual benefit; immigrants arrived without wealth and/or education and drove the development of industries and opportunities that no longer exist. Today, immigration has been commodified and is part of an economy that is selling up public amenity and targeting foreign wealth. It is a form of exploitation and economic discrimination – exploiting both immigrants and locals for the benefit of very few and the erosion of a multicultural consensus that grew from a once successful model that fostered communities.

    The lie that mass immigration of today is a seamless continuation of a consistent policy can only be sustained if we are too wilfully ignorant to notice that the main proponents of this Ponzi are the few who benefit and the useful idiots of the radical Left who have become the far Right’s best friend. It is an ideological pathology where the truth cannot be discussed lest it offends adherents of a new religion.

    Claiming that Australia is an institutionally ‘racist’ nation is insane if you examine the cultural tribalism and active economic and human rights discrimination in much of Asia. Enculturated racism happens in places where it is so deeply ingrained that is it unquestioned and not discussed. True racism is getting the underclass of “racially inferior” citizens to work nights building your cities for peanuts. That sort of racism passes without complaint as the underdogs have no power or capacity to complain. It takes a special type of idiot politician to take lectures about race and bigotry from the CCP.

    • “Multicultural success” and “multicultural consensus” – in my 2 cent Opinion terms that are essentially oxymorons. We’re headed for Brazil at our current rate of “multicultural success.”

      I don’t recall there being a public vote in 1973 when the immigration restriction act was chucked at the behest of walter lippman and co, in favour of a repeatedly unproven policy of post modernist zealotry, that is now considered heresy to critique despite the observable reality of its failings. Case in point, Melbourne right now and it’s “multicultural communities.”

      Can’t have a proper debate on immigration without the debate on culture and that’s what The ABC and Sky News both agree on and are terrified of. Hence their concerted efforts to gatekeep that conversation.

      That being said, I do agree with what Stewie has said before that multiculturalism is the social lubricant that was adopted by the super wealthy, to get the working class of western countries on board with the mass importation of a even poorer third world slave class to undercut them and provide them with cheap labor and debt consumers.

      • My use of ‘multi-cultural success’ recognises that until circa 2000 Australia had very few cultural tensions or ethnocentric political agendas that have defined and troubled other ‘multicultural’ cities/nations. In part that’s because the secular nature of our brand of governance was a bulwark against it. This is essentially a truth that observes nothing more than our nation of many peoples and cultures worked better than most. Multiculturalism isn’t a politically loaded term – as it can be good or bad. For instance, it has been far more successful in Melbourne than Paris. Paris is multicultural, but a success it is not. So one does have to pick an adjective.

        What I refer to as a multicultural consensus is where race, ethnicity and religion were de-emphasised for a process of assimilation where as long as key values were upheld, people worked with it. That broke down with ‘globalisation’ and the idea that ‘diversity’ and ‘vibrancy’ is the moral goal of multiculturalism. Today, even the Scandinavians have found that to be tosh. Plenty of cultural diversity and vibrancy in Paris too. But overwhelmingly the lack of cultural security is driving a revolt against the social engineers and opportunists who rather conveniently decided it is about race. It’s not, its cultural.

    • this is a great example of a typical conservative idealisation of the past

      even back in 50s and 60s things were not much different, immigrants were brought here to be exploited working on assembly lines while being paid as little as possible for the situation. Our failed multiculturalism was created back than with most of non UK immigrants living in ethnic ghettos in bubbles isolated from the society. Large majority of these non-UK background imported factory workers never assimilated, never became Australians and many even 50 years later cannot speak much of English.
      Back than immigrants were also mostly benefiting the wealthy class and pushing local wages down as well as driving costs up and quality of living down.

      And while almost all of “second generation” people in America and Western Europe acculturated that’s not the case in Australia. There are large parts of Australia where you can see teenagers born here (sometimes even parents born here) who look and behave like they just came from some other countries.

      our multiculturalism today is as failed project as it was in 60s

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        doc, the only immigrants to truly assimilate were the pre Cook Dutch, as apart from teaching the Aborigines how to cultivate, spoke aboriginal language and adopted the Australian way of life, although the aboriginal language has some Dutch words counter assimilated.
        How can we complain about new immigrants not assimilating when since the first fleet rather than assimilate, forced the existing population to speak a foreign language and adopt a way of life contrary to the well being of Australia in general.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Some of the best Aussies I know are postwar immigrants and their children and Grand children.
        WTF are you on about X

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        DocX – not even I would say ALL Migrants and their kids have failed to integrate, because not all migrants are the same because not all population groups are the same.

        I will say though that some migrants and their cultural proclivities or behaviors have been particularly resistant and hostile to intergrating into broader Australian society, particularly those Musl!ms from the middle east and just about every African community.

        This is the immigration policy I support:

        Conditions of immigration into Australia
        Australia’s immigration policy is directed towards the maintenance of a socially cohesive and homogeneous nation. It seeks to avoid the creation of permanent minority groups resistant to integration even through successive generations. The policy does not exclude persons of any ethnic origin; but it does exercise prudent caution in the matter of accepting large numbers of people with substantially different backgrounds, characteristics and customs who may resist general integration even in the long term.

        It is based on the reality that some groups are inherently difficult to intergrate into our existing society and that existing Australians should have a right to live peacefully within their own society, and that this right exists over and above the rights of any population group to immigrate into Australia.

        We apparently have the right to discriminate in terms of our immigration in respect of economic matters i.e. skilled immigrants, but not in respect of social matters – more evidence that Australia ISN’T a society but an economic zone.

        • I agree. It’s not our fault people from South Sudan come from a war torn, dysfunctional society. We are not responsible for all the problems in the world. Our responsibility is to Aboriginal Australians and no one else. People from war torn Africa should be settled in neighboring countries with a similar culture. We have no historical ties to Africa and shouldn’t be bringing in any migrants or refugees from there. Let other countries like ex-colonial powers and neighboring countries take responsibility. It goes without saying we couldn’t expect them to take responsibility for themselves.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Yup – Australia’s immigration policy should be directed towards the maintenance of a socially cohesive and homogeneous nation. It should be tolerant of difference, but intolerant of any attempts to undermine our identity or deliberately seek to replace or reduce to a minority, the people and culture who founded Australia and made us the envy of the world.

            Existing Australians have the right to peacefully go about their lives, without an intolerant minority seeking to bend us to their will, or lecturing us as to our supposed moral failings that only exist because of their cultural differences in values or general neurosis that come with living in a culture different to their own. Likewise we should not be forced to coexist with large, difficult to integrate and behaviorally problematic population groups.

            That fundamental right, at the core of definition of nationhood, exceeds the right of any individual immigrants right to come and reside in our nation.

      • I never said that no immigrants or their kids acculturated. What I said is that much larger percentage of immigrants and their kids failed to accept the dominant culture and in many cases they actively resent it.

        And to be clear I don’t blame only them, our ruling elites (bot cultural and financial) never really want to assimilate them, they were seen as someone who will spoil the Anglo heritage by assimilating.
        They were always simply seen as imported temporary workforce … nothing more than that.
        Talk to some of postwar wogs and ask them about their experience when they arrived, about their experience of xenop*obia and rac*sm

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Fair enough – I’d agree with most of that, especially “much larger percentage of immigrants and their kids failed to accept the dominant culture and in many cases they actively resent it”.

          I might quibble about the belief that they were only going to be viewed as a temporary workforce, if that were the case then why the emphasis on MultiCult in the first place when at the end of the day they would all be going home? But apart from that I’m in agreement with you.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      TL;DR: Some places are worse therefore we should not try to be better.


      Enculturated racism happens in places where it is so deeply ingrained that is it unquestioned and not discussed. True racism is getting the underclass of “racially inferior” citizens to work nights building your cities for peanuts. That sort of racism passes without complaint as the underdogs have no power or capacity to complain.

      Describes the last 20-odd years of Australian immigration policy to a T, and arguably a lot of it for generations before that.

  4. Vive la resistance, Gunna. See my companion piece “Expect a swift snapback to Big Australia” of June 24.

    After Keneally’s plea for the workers, Morrison went on record (May 5) for a return to 160-210K mass migration. Albanese clearly aligns with Morrison – not Keneally. While Bandt pleasures himself with the Green “New Deal”. Traitors.

  5. Jumping jack flash

    Its an interesting perspective but you can also look at all these things through the lens of rampant debt expansion kicked off by interest rate manipulation in the late 90s (until just recently because we all manipulated them to zero!) to avert the dotcom bust.
    It worked great, and kicked off the mining boom because with all the new debt, everyone needed cheap Chinese everything.

    Then as the prices of the assets used to secure the debt rose, as they needed to, and eventually became the most expensive, debt became essential.

    And it remains absolutely necessary to obtain enormous quantities of debt until this day.

    This of course caused Australian workers to become the most expensive and our cost of living to skyrocket, and the requirement for multiple household incomes (i had dinner with a mate of mine and he and his wife live with his wife’s sister. 3 incomes are required for their debt load!), and the cheap immigrants to be herded in, and the interest rates to be periodically cut, and all those other things you point out.

    This is all done to maximise the amounts of debt that can be taken on by any person or houehold. Or, as i call it, the “quest for debt”.

  6. “nobody seems to want to step forward to say….”
    Dick Smith has and does.
    Surely, that’s got to be some sort of public awareness starting point?

  7. Would love to see the MSM pick this up.

    Hard data is the key and too often it’s misused or swept under the carpet, assuming it’s even captured. One element I’d like to better understand is the notion of ‘They are no longer the scrappers but often the more affluent of those societies’. No doubt we’ve received plenty of genuine wealthy types plus the dodgy charlatans bringing over their ill gotten gains and hence affluent, but my gut (and Mike’s data) tells me there are plenty from the ‘third world’ as he puts it, making the journey. The uni’s love them, so too the slum apartment operators and pro-exploitation businesses. It would be very useful to know what that composition would look like in the data.

  8. There’s a broad band of support for the facts you have raised, but the bigger question is who will lead the revolt what organization is able to resist and what will be the outcome for the splintered groups?

  9. BoomToBustMEMBER

    Gunamatta – Its called the Lima convention which was signed up to by Australia. Its goal was always to reduce our manufacturing capabilities:

    The UN is a disgusting, evil and corrupt left wing organization that is massively entangled into our global society, everything it does appears to have noble goals but in reality its masking its real hidden agenda to bring everything under a single authority and give them ultimate control of all world governments.

    One of the main tools they use is to create a problem that then requires a solution to fix, for instance high immigration from african nations causing high levels of crime in Australia, so now we need more Police and more Police powers. But we as a people are de-empowered to speak against this for fear of being labelled racist.

    Unfortunately in this once great country of ours the 10% highly vocal left wing are active in supporting the destruction of our nation, the happened in Nazi Germany. If you look the left wing really are supporting a Maxist / Communist society and most people are willingly allowing it to occur.

    • Jumping jack flash


      I was talking to a bloke a while ago and he mentioned membership of IMF or something like that causing a ton of problems for us as well, including the subscribtion to the idea of “small government” and a central bank.

      Apparently this was all done around Keating and Howard’s time and explains why we decided it was necessary to sell off all public services at that point.

    • All these supra-national organisations have a globalist bent — the (official) reason we sign up to be members of such organisations is that we want to be instrumental in ‘shaping the way the world evolves’, but this is nonsense as they serve only a narrow band of people. We should withdraw from all of them – and save ourselves a truckload of cash in the process.

  10. Good Job Gunna.
    If I was going to add anything it would only be that real Education reform is the key to recreating enduring labour. value. For the last 30 odd years Australian education has been firmly stuck in reverse (especially when compared with the education reforms undertaken in much of East Asia) and this shows in our complete inability to create the new products and services of tomorrow. These new products are the only products with sufficient margin to support our current standard of living and cost of living.
    In my mind it’s binary, either our collective labour is simply a worthless impost on our Mineral led economy or our collective labour becomes, in and of itself, of value to the global economy.
    Education is the only tool we have available to increase the global value of Aussie labour, making Education the key to our future.

  11. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    What a great read! A thoughtful article. I love the admission that federal governments have been creating through migration what they were unable to achieve through Workchoices.

    ‘Is Australia using immigration to benefit Australia’?. I take it there is no need to ask if immigrants are using Australia to benefit themselves.

  12. I think you all forgot: the nation collectively decided back in 2001 what kind of immigration they want. Hello, Tampa, children overboard? The Rodent and the son of the Rodent, who take away the sins of the nation, have mercy upon us…

  13. Another free pass given to the elephant in the room–central banks.
    Stable interest rates and money supply meant families could enjoy a decent life on one income because the currency actually had purchasing power. Now we have rampant money creation, debt and asset inflation and we think society as a whole is better off.

  14. drsmithyMEMBER

    They are arriving from the now rapidly developing economies of Asia – particularly China and India. They are no longer the scrappers but often the more affluent of those societies, and their sources of affluence often remain in those nations.


    They dominate (particularly the Chinese) the ranks of the Special Investor Visas governments around Australia use to cultivate greater investment in Australia, when all this seemingly spurs is ‘investment’ in financial paper or real estate, and it’s linkage to employment outcomes or general economic benefit to Australia is pretty marginal.

    Have you guys got the stats on this ? Eg: what percentage of immigrants come in via SIVs ? We already know the median “skilled immigrant” is not earning a particularly high income, and it seems fair to assume all the people rorting student visas are at the lower end of the income scale, but what’s the distribution look like ? Are there a large number of immigrants earning a lot, and a large number earning a little, or is it more bell-curvey ?

    There seem to be two conflicting narratives here, it would be good to see what the data says. Does it even exist ?

    • Sexy SydneyPlumber

      The family across the road from me are recent Chinese arrivals. The bloke has very poor English skills (his wife’s English is quite reasonable though) He is a Gyprock contractor and employs many fellows with no English skill what so ever and Im pretty sure he is Paying them below any legal “Award” rate of pay.
      A number of times he had me do minor plumbing repairs when one of his boys damages some plumbing and I notice they are all very tight lipped around me, in away that seems to go beyond the usual language barrier.
      So even though Im sure his employees are very low paid he is doing quite well,…performing a very expensive renovation on the house he purchased for over 1.1 million only a few years ago and is tripling its floor area.
      The wife drives quite an expensive Mercedes 4×4 and he always seems busy with work.
      He is a Hard and consistent worker and I respect him for that, but he clearly has an unfair advantage in the Market place by being able to access cheaper labour, through our rorted immigration system.
      There are literally no non Chinese contractors in his area of operation in Sydney. There are reasons for this and that needs to be discussed and debated.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The same scenario played out decades ago, just with different nationalities. They were the immigrants described above:

        40, 50 & 60 years ago their Greek, Italian and Vietnamese (Turkish English Irish, German etc) predecessors tended to be refugees of economic or political misfortune (eg the WW2 destruction in Europe, the collapse of South Vietnam, political upheavals in Greece, Turkey or Cyprus) and once they came to Australia they had to make the best of it. For good or bad they were in it in the same way as the locals, and had to make their choice work, and generally they had to make it work through the fruits of their labours here in Australia. Unquestionably they did, and they helped create a way of life which had (and still has) considerable allure, and has made Australian cities (in particular) amongst the world’s safest and most multicultural.

        If you are not old enough, ask people who are. They will remember the one or two English-speaking site bosses and the squadron of non-English speaking workers they directed.

        The biggest differences were back then, workers were generally unionised, so the exploitation part was much more difficult and, living was cheaper so it was a lot easier for them to settle permanently and integrate. We also had leaders more interested in nation-building than self-enrichment.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        We also had leaders more interested in nation-building than self-enrichment.

        Because our leaders back then were primarily existing Australians and identified with the boring mono-cultural Australian society that existed back then, and weren’t simply power hungry migrants looking to see how much they can extract from the EZFKA for themselves and their community.

        Like Kris said, the rot really started back in the 1960s with Walter Lippman lobbying to do away with “integrate and assimilate” as precondition to entry into Australia.

        As I mentioned the other day with the analogy with the Wood Ants, it doesn’t matter what your cultural values are, what matters is the cultural values of the elites (or most of the influential ones) within our society.

        I watched a fascinating documentary from David Attenborough once on Wood Ants – do you know that the Wood Ant queen sneaks into the Field Ant nest and gradually takes on the nests ‘scent’.

        Then after a while she eventually tricks one of the worker ants into feeding her, which provides her with the complete pheromones of the nest, effectively dooming the host Ant society. Workers then start feeding her and caring for her young, which when they hatch make sure to kill the existing Field ant nest Queen, if their queen hasn’t done so.

        Pretty soon afterwards, that field ant society is transformed into a wood ant society, and all the workers are gradually replaced and the field ant nest becomes a wood ant nest.

        But for the likes of the Professor, while ‘elites’ may exist, apparently culture does not. He is aware of the change in the elites behavior, but remains mystified as to why that behavior has changed other than ‘greed’ (which has always been eternal – even back then).

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      A big load of SIV stats here

      Rich migrants pay $5 million to move to Australia. But how fair is that deal?

      The above piece is talking about 7000 Business and Investment – not just SIV – visas per year

      Behind investment visas

      About 7,000 visas are granted each year across the entire business and investment visa program.

      Business innovation and investor visas, not SIVs, represent the majority of grants under the scheme. These apply business and investment requirements as well as a points test, which values migrants with youth, English language ability, qualifications and experience.

      But larger investments arrive through the SIV scheme, which does not apply a points test. Plus, SIV holders qualify for permanent residency if they have spent just 40 days in Australia per year.

      There were 183 SIVs were granted in 2017-18, with the program on track to deliver a similar figure for 2018-19, according to figures released in February.

      Eighty-seven per cent of SIVs have been given to Chinese nationals since 2012, ahead of Hong Kong (3.2 per cent), Malaysia (1.5 per cent), South Africa (1.3 per cent) and Vietnam (0.9 per cent).

      The first permanent visas under the program were awarded in 2017-18. Approximately 700 had been granted at January 31, 2019.

      Bearing in mind the Home Affairs stats suggest 85-90% of them come from China where an average salary is circa 15-20k USD (from memory) that could trigger some questions about the wealth accrual process facilitating anyone slapping about 5 million for an Australian passport, although I know there is an entire industry in Australia revolving around getting people to look like they have 5 million, getting that invested in whatever paper complies with the SIV visa, then using that as collateral to borrow the 5 million back for whatever purposes suit them.

      • “Bearing in mind the Home Affairs stats suggest 85-90% of them come from China where an average salary is circa 15-20k USD (from memory) that could trigger some questions about the wealth accrual process facilitating anyone slapping about 5 million for an Australian passport.”

        SOP is that funds are transferred and parked in accounts (for a fee) during the visa application process. Much of the genuine wealth has been created through the deindustrialisation of the West that has included large-scale theft and/or gifting of Western intellectual property by foreign corporations. In China “assets” such as housing are not a genuine asset from our perspective, as land can only be rented in China and title not owned – that’s why our RE industry sells dog boxes to China. If Australians cannot own land, factories and key listed equity in China, why on earth should wealthy Chinese be allowed to own titles and deeds in Australia?

        Our concern from human rights evaporates as long as someone has 5 million – it’s disgusting. What a great opportunity for the CCP to position the worst of the worst to interfere in Australian democracy and influence key institutions at an ever mobile 5 million a hit.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Right, so that’s talking about a large proportion of those specific types of visas being given to Chinese, but I was more talking about what proportion they represent of all immigrants.

        Because if the narrative is ‘immigrants today in general are different because most of them are already wealthy’ – and that is how the “Who wants to be a future Australian?” section reads – then that isn’t really supported if a relatively small proportion of all immigrants are entering based on those “investment” visas.

        Was there a historical equivalent to these investment visas ? “Equivalent” in the sense that the well off could essentially buy their way in, regardless of any other constraints that might exist ? Or is it simply the case that under “populate or perish” principles nobody really cared ?

  15. rob barrattMEMBER

    100% on explaining the problems Gunna. The only thing missing is the solution. That’s probably because there isn’t one. Australia will gradually erode under the pressure of globalization. “Australian employees are about the most expensive on the planet” says it all. When we see 2 identical products with different prices we choose the cheapest. That’s it. We simply cannot compete. The dirt and the Ponzi debt machine are keeping us like a tiring swimmer struggling just above the surface.
    It cannot last.
    Our politicians are only a representative subset of us. They will not do anything which puts them out of a comfortable job, and that’s exactly where they would be if they suggested any effective medicine for our ailment.
    And what’s the medicine? – Work harder for less. No one will take it. No, eventually it will be forced down their throats by a crushing economic failure. Even if we did miraculously develop manufacturing again, we still have to face the spectre of automation replacing labour.
    Globalisation (and to an extent technology) was always going to be the death of the lucky, far too comfortable country.

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      PS I do not feel that executives should be overpaid or that multinationals should be able to avoid tax in Aus.
      But those are issues about sharing the profit. My point is, you have to make a profit first.

  16. nexus789MEMBER

    House price graph is interesting as asset inflation appears to take off after the RBA was established. We are going to become like Argentina and evolve to become like Zimbabwe if we don’t change. Third world migrants will accept living marginally better than they do in their country of origin.

  17. Frances Perkin

    Unfortunately the vast majority of Australians won’t read this, and they wouldn’t understand it even if they did. Put a lobster in a pot of cold water and heat it slowly and it won’t ever realize it’s being cooked alive. So long as the media/politicians/corporate elites keep telling Australians that life is good, Australians will believe it.

    Willful ignorance and outright stupidity will always, always be taken advantage of by people in a position to take advantage of it.