It's the economy, stupid!

 
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
....a real Muslim....
don_dunstan
What on earth does that mean?

Are you saying that Muslims are only Muslims if they act like the way that you think Muslims act when they do their, you know, Muslim thing? Do you have the misapprehension that all Muslims are religious?

And again, how is that different to people of other faiths?

I will adopt your way of thinking and label you as a non-Christian if you don't go to church, regardless if you were christened or not.

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  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
If you've got a spare week, have a gander, someones got some serious pooh on their liver :

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/11/freelancer-ceo-matt-barrie-goes-nuclear-australian-meltdown/
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
....a real Muslim....
What on earth does that mean?

Are you saying that Muslims are only Muslims if they act like the way that you think Muslims act when they do their, you know, Muslim thing? Do you have the misapprehension that all Muslims are religious?

And again, how is that different to people of other faiths?

I will adopt your way of thinking and label you as a non-Christian if you don't go to church, regardless if you were christened or not.
DirtyBallast
I don't intend to keep diverting the thread and I feel I have already said enough about these things - but the non-consumption of alcohol is pretty central to the Islamic faith and there's pretty much no branch of Islam (even the very liberal ones) who will accept you as part of the faith if you drink on a regular basis. It's not my personal opinion - it's a matter of fact.
  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

DD
YOU Started all of this mess so man up admit you used wrong wording and be less argumentative instead of constantly being like a spoilt child.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
DD
YOU Started all of this mess so man up admit you used wrong wording and be less argumentative instead of constantly being like a spoilt child.
Clyde Goodwin2
If I'm so very wrong then find me an Islamic community where the drinking of alcohol is welcome.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
If you've got a spare week, have a gander, someones got some serious pooh on their liver :
wobert
Yeah he certainly does... but he's not far wrong. Some of the most interesting points I would fairly strongly agree with. As re-posted on News.com.au;

With an economy that is 68 per cent services, as I believe John Hewson put it, the entire country is basically sitting around serving each other cups of coffee or, as the Chief Scientist of Australia would prefer, smashed avocado.
Successive Australian governments have achieved economic growth by blowing a property bubble on a scale like no other.
A bubble that has lasted for 55 years and seen prices increase 6556 per cent since 1961, making this the longest running property bubble in the world (on average, “upswings” last 13 years).
In 2016, 67 per cent of Australia’s GDP growth came from the cities of Sydney and Melbourne where both state and federal governments have done everything they can to fuel a runaway housing market. The small area from the Sydney CBD to Macquarie Park is in the middle of an apartment building frenzy, alone contributing 24 per cent of the country’s entire GDP growth for 2016, according to SGS Economics & Planning.

Sydney and Melbourne real-estate simply isn't worth what people are currently paying for it, of that I'm convinced. We're simply too reliant on exports of coal, LNG and iron ore to keep it all going and as he rightly points out, the Chinese simply can't keep consuming our stuff at the pace that they have.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Yeah Don,  I trawled through it, and even if their half right, oh ship.


I know i'm selfish, but the weather board humpy valued at stuff all,titles in hand, when, if. armageddon strikes  the powers that be can go and get stuffed.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I know i'm selfish, but the weather board humpy valued at stuff all,titles in hand, when, if. armageddon strikes  the powers that be can go and get stuffed.
wobert
My retired friends in country VIC had the same idea, they have their own house that they own outright on an acre, grow a lot of their own food, live pretty simply - as I was saying on the other thread though, they didn't realise that power/gas was going to get as expensive as it is. I guess we all just have to spend less on everything else don't we... I noticed that retail sales slumped again last month. People just don't have any money, it's all being gobbled up by electricity and gas bills.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Anyway, a long read here but a worthwhile one and it covers lots of bases. I would agree with 90% of the article but reckon he goes off-tangent when he blames NSW lockout laws as part of the problem. Sydney's nightlife was garbage anyway before they brought them in:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/australias-economy-house-cards-matt-barrie
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I have a felling the mods are going to split this thread...
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I have a felling the mods are going to split this thread...
Dangersdan707
Nah, we've finished with Pauline - if someone wants to continue the discussion we could open a special thread but I'd suggest we should confine politics to the "Malcolm's government is a dying blowfly" thread.
Anyway, a long read here but a worthwhile one and it covers lots of bases. I would agree with 90% of the article but reckon he goes off-tangent when he blames NSW lockout laws as part of the problem. Sydney's nightlife was garbage anyway before they brought them in:
Carnot
Thank-you for that link, interesting but long - the original thesis that Matt Barrie based his book on.

I think if you were going to give a synopsis of what the "doom-sayers" agree on the most important points would be that:
  • Our economy was formerly quite diversified in areas such as manufacturing and now it is almost entirely reliant on services (68% of GDP) and energy/mineral exports (pretty much the rest of GDP).
  • We are far too reliant on China for capital inflows and as our biggest export market; as well as international students the third highest source of capital inflow is into 'investment' in housing and businesses here, mostly from China. If anything goes wrong with China then we'll go down with them. At the same time the value of a tertiary qualification from an Australian University has plummeted with only 70% of graduates in employment 12 months after graduation and fewer than 20% of graduates in many courses ever likely to find work in their chosen field.
  • Our number one export is iron ore to China, there's a possibility that with a slump in China they will simply stop buying our products. There are numerous large producers such as Brazil who could undercut us; and despite the huge amount of bulk commodities being sent off-shore the miners themselves still struggle to make money as it is.
  • Manufacturing in this country is pretty much dead; it won't revive even if the $AU crashes. Traditionally a larger employer it has lost 300,000+ jobs since the turn of the century.
  • At the same time we've had a chronic over-investment in housing being furiously pumped by (since 2003) the largest mass-migration program into this country ever. An average house in the Sydney basin area is $1,000,000 but at the same time wage increases have been going down and currently sit below inflation. In fact even our regional housing is among the most un-affordable in the world with Tweed Heads, Tamworth and Port Macquarie among the most expensive places to buy houses globally.
  • Aussie households also among the most indebted in the world with $1.90 leaving every household for every $1 earned, clearly unsustainable.
  • Financially our banks are also highly exposed to any volitility in the mortgage market, internationally the highest exposure to a domestic housing crash compared to any other country. Added to that the fact that 40-50% of their mortgage books is in interest-only loans and you get the idea that they've pushed this thing as far as it can go. Maybe not all the way though - 50 year mortgages, split titles being proposed as solutions to un-affordability.


Did I miss anything?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Bill Evans at Westpac looking a bit gloomy this morning - consumer confidence is in the toilet and the official wages figures have come out indicating a very anaemic 0.4% growth for the quarter when 0.7% was expected. Demand for labour is pretty much non-existent which doesn't gel with the seemingly low unemployment rate of around 5.5%. I'd speculate that the 'official' unemployment figures are actually rubbish - as we've discussed on this board before - and that in reality jobs are far and few between, especially outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Bill Evans at Westpac looking a bit gloomy this morning - consumer confidence is in the toilet and the official wages figures have come out indicating a very anaemic 0.4% growth for the quarter when 0.7% was expected. Demand for labour is pretty much non-existent which doesn't gel with the seemingly low unemployment rate of around 5.5%. I'd speculate that the 'official' unemployment figures are actually rubbish - as we've discussed on this board before - and that in reality jobs are far and few between, especially outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
don_dunstan
The unemployment figure is that manipulated that it doesn't mean much.  It's a ratio using the number of active job seekers against the total active workforce. It contains some inconsistencies. This is what I have learned over the last couple of years.

1) if you average an hour or more of paid or volunteer work a week you are working and not unemployed (but may be still reliant on Centrelink payments to make ends meet)
2) if you are over 55 and doing 15 hours or more of volunteer work then you don't have a Centrelink job search requirement so you are not deemed unemployed even though you may be actively looking.
3) It doesn't include those who have temporary health issues (eg an arthroscope on a knee meant that statistically I wasn't unemployed but 'recovering from medical issue' which removed me from the figures even though I was still actively looking for full time work at the time)
4) it only includes people looking for full time work not those looking for contract or part-time work

So someone like me who does break/fix work for about 1/2 a dozen different companies/agencies isn't considered unemployed even though I average about 1/2 to 1 day of paid work a month and am on Centrelink with a Job Search Requirement (must apply for a specified minimum number of jobs a month - which I usually exceed by a comfortable margin)
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I get the distinct feeling that all of this fits well with the old saw, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
In the last few weeks I've heard mention of the economist and theorist Joseph Schumpeter a few times - and interestingly yesterday it came from Reserve Bank Board member Dr Luci Ellis when she was trying to explain away the Reserve's inability to change the direction of the Australian economy (Sydney Morning Herald);

Reserve Bank board member Luci Ellis has said Australia should stop searching for the next mining boom or "an identifiable engine of growth" and accept that future economic prosperity will come from several directions...  "Economic growth is far more conducive to innovation than recession is," she said. "Recessions do not engender creative destruction. They produce liquidations, which are destructive destruction."

Schumpter, an Austrian economist, first coined the phrase in the forties to describe what he considered to be a necessary part of the capitalist cycle. From Wikipedia:

According to Schumpeter, the "gale of creative destruction" [also known as Schumpeter's Gale] describes the "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one". In Marxian economic theory the concept refers more broadly to the linked processes of the accumulation and annihilation of wealth under capitalism.

So I think Dr Ellis inadvertently invoking Schumpeter has actually drawn an important point - 25+ years without a (technical) recession in Australia would seem to point towards the fact that we have become very complacent that these events, part of the natural capitalist market system, are not ever going to happen again because we have somehow tamed the beast. Perhaps Rudd spending our way out of the last recession is going to make the next cycle down even worse? Dr Ellis also seems to think that the magical government spending and services fairy will rescue us. From the same SMH article:

Dr Ellis, the Reserve Bank's assistant governor [economic], said most of the recent growth had been in household services such as health and education, which led some people to dismiss it as "bad growth". "Are people presuming that it's all driven by the public sector and therefore somehow artificial? Or is it that they think jobs in service industries are low-skill, low-wage jobs and therefore bad jobs?" she asked the audience at the annual Stan Kelly Lecture in Melbourne. She said growth in health and education sectors could provide sustainable growth, driving productivity and welfare in other areas.

She's telling us here that the lowest wage, most unstable jobs are going to form the engine of growth for our economy in the next few years - that sounds really likely doesn't it - that combined with even more jobs being created in health and education, all funded by the government of course. Of course, the government has an unlimited amount of money to keep spending on providing services to the public, doesn't it. Kind of reminds me of that image of a snake eating its own tail...?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting article I thought I'd post here - China's mass surveillance system is an Orwellian nightmare - actually I'm not sure Orwell could have ever imagined something technologically so powerful. Presently China is trying to integrate all of its street-based surveillance into a real-time system that can instantly recognise faces, voices or even gait, so that every individual is tracked at all times - South China Morning Post;

The system can be connected to surveillance camera networks and will use cloud facilities to connect with data storage and processing centres distributed across the country, according to people familiar with the project...The system was being developed for security and government uses such as tracking wanted suspects and public administration.

Ostensibly used for public safety but in reality its already being applied on a small scale to do things like publicly shame jaywalkers or deny people toilet paper if they have already asked for too much in public toilets (!) And I can't possibly imagine that it would ever be used for evil purposes like actively suppressing legitimate dissent... would it?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Too funny, renovators hoping to find a pot of gold in doing up total dumps in places like Balmain NSW find themselves deep in debt and unable to pay off their loans after buying dumps in the hope of flipping them... (news.com.au) ;

RENOVATORS inspired by hit shows such as The Block have struck a brick wall in a cooling property market, reselling uninhabitable homes they bought for millions after abandoning plans to flip them.

Sydney’s softer housing prices have lowered the potential profits renovators can make from home transformations.

Many inexperienced speculators are also backing away from projects after realising the true scale of the work required to fix their properties up.

Looks like the guilded age of Sydney property is finally over... can't flip renovated property for whatever you ask for it any more. And why should a renovated home in Balmain be worth $3 million on completion anyway? Sydney really isn't that special - although the people who live there often think its the centre of the known universe.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
"Did I miss anything?"

I think Matt covered off the issues pretty well. That the farce continues is what most point to as their main rebuttal.

The real economy has been moribund since the gfc. Stagnant productivity, minimal wage growth, high indebtedness, rising stocks drven by debt financed Buybacks... It's a long and slow collapse, which this author described neatly in this piece:

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/11/14/the-unbearable-slowness-of-fourth-turnings-part-two/
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Hey Joe, I was interested to read news from your part of the world that the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is set to cost the Queensland government an absolute fortune. Many of the projects being constructed have blown out by tens of millions, ticket sales are very poor and sponsors aren't coming to the party either - so much so that Games Chairman Peter Beattie recently got the begging bowl out and took aim at the wealthiest corporations in Australia - the banks of course! - telling them that for some reason they had an obligation to tip in. Gold Coast Bulletin (paywall);

"We would like a bank onside. We still don’t have a bank yet, and we would love a bank," he told the Bulletin, urging customers to make their voices heard on the matter.

“It’s up to customer power — people on the Gold Coast, get onto your bank, ring the headquarters and say ‘Where are you? … you make reasonable profits, we’d like to see you sponsor the Games’.

“C’mon banks — you can get behind Australia’s athletes,” Mr Beattie said.’

I was living in Melbourne for the last Commonwealth Games and it was a good buzz in the city at the time but a billion dollars plus for what is essentially a big party is questionable - although at that point the VIC government was swimming in stamp duty so they could well afford it. At this stage it looks like the 2018 Gold Coast games are going to cost a cash-strapped QLD government at least twice that - no wonder Peter Beattie is in a panic.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
“C’mon banks — you can get behind Australia’s athletes,” Mr Beattie said.’
"don_dunstan"
I thought the Commonwealth Games were held for athletes of all Commonwealth nations. I had no idea that sponsors could chip in for a particular country, or is Mr Beattie being just a teeny weeny bit partisan?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Wonderful news for people in Victoria - their electricity bills to accelerate from January 1st by another 14.9% and gas by 13.5% - it's on top of increases that Victoria has had on July 1st (Herald-Sun; paywall);

The Sunday Herald Sun can exclusively reveal the state’s third largest energy retailer — Energy Australia — is rolling out significant price jumps in 2018 that will push electricity bills up by 14.9 per cent and gas bills by 13.5 per cent.

From January 2 the average residential customer will be slugged an extra $278 a year for electricity, pushing their annual bill to $2134...

The surge in electricity charges has been blamed on the steep climb in wholesale energy prices — electricity bought by retailers on behalf of customers — and the closure of coal-fired power stations including Hazelwood. Energy Australia’s chief customer officer Kim Clarke said wholesale electricity prices have risen about 55 per cent since the start of the year.

This is unbelievable - I guess South Australia and the other states won't be far behind. We already have the most expensive domestic electricity in the world and they're making it even more expensive in one hit - how will people like pensioners be able to pay their electricity bills? We need the government to step in and nationalise the industry; this situation has gone far enough.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I must write another "thank you" letter to Jeff Kennett for privatising all the utilities we used to own.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
“C’mon banks — you can get behind Australia’s athletes,” Mr Beattie said.’
I thought the Commonwealth Games were held for athletes of all Commonwealth nations. I had no idea that sponsors could chip in for a particular country, or is Mr Beattie being just a teeny weeny bit partisan?
Valvegear
No - he's just trying to shore up a huge loss-making enterprise known as Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018; I'm sure he doesn't really give a damn about Aussie athletes.
I must write another "thank you" letter to Jeff Kennett for privatising all the utilities we used to own.
Valvegear
It was privatised and then not properly regulated - then the government decided everyone had to pay to subsidise the green-wash. Then they approved the utilities gold-plating the networks due to accelerated depreciation. Who else can you blame but the politicians, they allowed all of this to happen.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
"...then the government decided everyone had to pay to subsidise the green-wash. ...
don_dunstan
As opposed to your black-wash, continually overstating the actual impact of renewables on energy prices.

"The ACCC’s preliminary findings are that, on average across the NEM, a 2015-16 residential bill was $1,524 (excluding GST). This average residential bill was made up of:

   - network costs (48 per cent)
   - wholesale costs (22 per cent)
   - environmental costs (7 per cent)
   - retail and other costs (16 per cent)
   - retail margins (8 per cent)."

http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/electricity-report-details-affordability-competition-issues
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I have said it before; I would like somebody to show me just one benefit that I personally have received as a result of privatisation.

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