It's the economy, stupid!

 
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Elon Musk's Telsla has another spectacular failure.
don_dunstan
Are you gushing? The bloke is pursuing his interest in a technology driven low emission world and putting money into it. The automobile side is more a boutique brand and never likely to challenge the likes of GM and Ford. He's as much about R&D as building things.
Musk’s a visionary with an ego but there is a positive contribution to the world. His is a far more beneficial pursuit than the great white hope’s preoccupation with twitter and golfing.

Astonishing, we should vigorously prosecute anyone found counterfeiting any of our stuff overseas though - our brand is incredibly important.
don_dunstan
I’m not into emotive China bashing - we need them more than they need us. Imagine how low-income families would cope if we banned cheap imports. That said we do need to be far more vigilant and protect Australian’s from unscrupulous practices. However not all political parties are pro-active when it comes to consumer protection as they see it as interference in a free-market.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Are you gushing? The bloke is pursuing his interest in a technology driven low emission world and putting money into it. The automobile side is more a boutique brand and never likely to challenge the likes of GM and Ford. He's as much about R&D as building things. Musk’s a visionary with an ego but there is a positive contribution to the world. His is a far more beneficial pursuit than the great white hope’s preoccupation with twitter and golfing.
Groundrelay
You just adore him because he talks of some guilded green future (that doesn't exist by the way); take off your rose-coloured glasses and have a good look.

He's nothing but an updated Richard Branson with a "let's save the world with technology" angle; PT Barnum for our age. Look at what he does: He makes a string of announcements a few months ago about an electric truck and a new electric sports car, all of which have to be paid for up front if you are actually buying one - but then the Model 3, supposedly the basic car in the line-up - still isn't in the hands of most consumers who probably long ago paid for them.

What do you think is more likely in 2018 - that he will turn a corner or that he'll be come a gutza? I know what my money is on.
I’m not into emotive China bashing - we need them more than they need us. Imagine how low-income families would cope if we banned cheap imports. That said we do need to be far more vigilant and protect Australian’s from unscrupulous practices. However not all political parties are pro-active when it comes to consumer protection as they see it as interference in a free-market.
Groundrelay
I'm not China-bashing, I'm just pointing out that we need to protect our brand in a country with a notorious history of allowing counterfeiting.

But while we're on the subject, China are definitely headed for some kind of Cold War with the West, there's absolutely no no doubt in my mind. The South China Sea is just a little bit of insight into their long-term territorial ambitions - unless we abandon ANZUS altogether there will be a confrontation there. Chinese diplomats have already been talking about economic sanctions against anyone participating in the 'freedom of movement' exercises - I can't see this ending any other way than a confrontation.

We can survive without China, believe me. There will be some inflation but the production of many basic things will move back on-shore providing work for people; the working class have suffered terribly under the neo-liberal 'free-trade' thing and they'll have a chance to recover what's been lost in the last 40 years. Losing China as a trading partner will hurt but we will survive economically, it won't be the end of the world things will change that's all.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Tesla is about to run out of money anyway - Seeking Alpha;

A rational investor would question the value of any company with any of the following characteristics:

Never turned a profit in 14 years of operation
Burdened by massive debt
Burning cash at an alarming rate
Consistently fails to meet targets for introduction of new products...

...In the past, whenever Tesla has needed cash, it has been able to go to the capital markets and issue more equity or debt. It has never been necessary to conserve cash, because cash was always available from investors.

The company has a market value of over $50 billion, so an equity raise of $5 billion would only dilute by 10%. If I were a Tesla investor, I would welcome that dilution, because it takes the bankruptcy option off the table.

The last fund raising was done by way of an issue of junk bonds which are now trading at about 95% of their issue price.

So the last time they tried to raise cash they issued junk bonds which are now worth less than their sale price? I think the markets have already had a say on what they think is about to happen to Tesla.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Elon Musk has been an ambitious visionary, albeit an over-optimistic one.  Case in point - the Tesla truck would require a 1.6 MW power input to provide the 30 min charge for a 400 mile range. And its battery would need to be about 14 tonnes. There goes a big chunk of payload...

I can see his companies being sold off before too long.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...You just adore him because he talks of some guilded green future (that doesn't exist by the way).
don_dunstan
I don’t think anything of Musk, but every bit of R&D brings humanity closer to a sustainable clean world and why is that so bad Razz

It’s certainly realistic because technology will continue to advance and there’s this huge power source called the Sun and an enormous heat source within our own planet being underutilised.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...We can survive without China, believe me. There will be some inflation but the production of many basic things will move back on-shore providing work for people; the working class have suffered terribly under the neo-liberal 'free-trade' thing and they'll have a chance to recover what's been lost in the last 40 years. Losing China as a trading partner will hurt but we will survive economically, it won't be the end of the world things will change that's all.
don_dunstan
Did I say we couldn't Don?

The place is never going back to the halcyon days of some nostalgic past. Look at all the things we import, find an Australian competitor if there is one, then check the price difference. You ignore all the factors than make them more competitive, many of which we have no hope of matching. Be realistic.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Did I say we couldn't Don?

The place is never going back to the halcyon days of some nostalgic past. Look at all the things we import, find an Australian competitor if there is one, then check the price difference. You ignore all the factors than make them more competitive, many of which we have no hope of matching. Be realistic.
Groundrelay
You said that we need them more than they need us; and also that low income families would bit hit hardest.

If the Aussie dollar was where it should be (around US$0.40) then we'd be able to compete against Thailand and China; because we sell our government bonds overseas, because we allow people from overseas to buy up real estate here the dollar is double that. It's artificially manipulated to keep it high.

I like your 'ignore the working class' attitude - like Bob Hawke telling everyone that that they'd be wiping bums and making coffee in the future, much better than having stable, well-paid manufacturing jobs. Give the working class no hope of ever lifting themselves out of their poverty - let's not worry about them, they're on the fringes of the big cities where we don't see them anyway.

Love the cake.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Elon's SPACE X venture hits a hurdle... launched yesterday with a top-secret spy satellite and (oops!) lost it somewhere... (News.com.au);

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that US politicians had been briefed about the apparent destruction of the secretive payload — codenamed Zuma — burned up in the atmosphere after failing to separate from the upper part of the rocket.

The wrecked satellite is worth billions of dollars.

Wonder if it was insured?
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
There was an article published this morning that I found interesting. The inference was that low interest rates are not helping the economy due to productivity growth being dragged down by inefficient companies staying afloat far longer than they ought. Higher interest rates would actually stimulate the economy because the dead wood would be shaken out, and the companies that are able to thrive will grow faster due to freer credit:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-10/low-interest-rates-lower-productivity-keep-zombie-firms-alive/9316738?section=business
Personally I couldn't care less if interest rates were suddenly raised to test this theory; in my opinion it would all be for the greater good. The minority of Australians who are mortgagees might have a different opinion though.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...I like your 'ignore the working class' attitude - like Bob Hawke telling everyone that that they'd be wiping bums and making coffee in the future, much better than having stable, well-paid manufacturing jobs. Give the working class no hope of ever lifting themselves out of their poverty - let's not worry about them, they're on the fringes of the big cities where we don't see them anyway.

Love the cake.
don_dunstan
Aren't Trump and the local red-head your working class saviours Rolling Eyes

What jobs do you have in mind? Something realistic rather than simplistic wishful thinking. You proposing a revolution comrade?
You'll need to get red-neck radio and News Limited on-board and who do they ultimately represent.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
...I like your 'ignore the working class' attitude - like Bob Hawke telling everyone that that they'd be wiping bums and making coffee in the future, much better than having stable, well-paid manufacturing jobs. Give the working class no hope of ever lifting themselves out of their poverty - let's not worry about them, they're on the fringes of the big cities where we don't see them anyway.

Love the cake.
Aren't Trump and the local red-head your working class saviours Rolling Eyes

What jobs do you have in mind? Something realistic rather than simplistic wishful thinking. You proposing a revolution comrade?
You'll need to get red-neck radio and News Limited on-board and who do they ultimately represent.
Groundrelay
That's complete rubbish, you know me well enough to know that I don't think that way at all. I don't care who delivers the change but it's needed badly, we are on a collision course with mass poverty in this country not seen since the thirties or the nineteenth century - maybe even things like shanty towns given my experience the last time I visited Melbourne and walked around the CBD where there's already lots of homeless shanty-towns around - every capital city has a big homeless problem.

What we are witnessing is a complete undoing of the advances made since the 1890's; people who live in the bottom half of Aussie society will never be able to escape their poverty traps or have full economic participation - something that we've at least had in the last 100 years. The unions are gone, less than 10% of the private sector and yet Scott Morrison keeps imploring employers to raise wages for their workers ... what a load of cr*p, all they've done since Hawke/Keating is progressively dismantle conditions for the average Aussie worker and now they're desperately trying to find a way to undo all their damage - give me a break - there's absolutely no mechanisms to increase wages in this country because the labour market is actually terrible, much worse than we're being led to believe. They'll never be able to turn the deficit around, $420 billion in government liabilities and no plan to fix it, worse all the time - we are in for a big fall, believe me.

And we desperately need something to increase economic participation of the bottom half of this country, they've suffered terribly under this Thatcherite wave since the 1980's and inequality in this country gets worse all the time - Turnbull's government gave us the first contraction in Aussie living standards since the Great Depression - these are really desperate times for many people in this country, unable to afford even basic shelter in the big cities. Something has to give...
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
increase wages in this country because the labour market is actually terrible, much worse than we're being led to believe. They'll never be able to turn the deficit around, $420 billion in government liabilities and no plan to fix it, worse all the time - we are in for a big fall, believe me.

And we desperately need something to increase economic participation of the bottom half of this country, they've suffered terribly under this Thatcherite wave since the 1980's and inequality in this country gets worse all the time - Turnbull's government gave us the first contraction in Aussie living standards since the Great Depression - these are really desperate times for many people in this country, unable to afford even basic shelter in the big cities. Something has to give...
don_dunstan
I agree with much of your history lesson.

Please summarise your strategy to turn back time. I'm just not smart enough to come up with something that'll actually fly Razz
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
both @don_dunstan and @Groundrelay make good points, I agree with elements of both arguments. I do not completely agree with one side. both are valid arguments and the don history lesson I largely agree with. Ground is ignoring that most trump voters were middle class Americans that usually don't vote. like I have stated I understand both of your concerns.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
both @don_dunstan and @Groundrelay make good points, I agree with elements of both arguments. I do not completely agree with one side. both are valid arguments and the don history lesson I largely agree with. Ground is ignoring that most trump voters were middle class Americans that usually don't vote. like I have stated I understand both of your concerns.
Dangersdan707
Trump says tax cuts that deliver billions to corporations and the most wealthy like himself will boost the economy. I am sceptical this will turn around the 'rust-belt'. Nevertheless the disaffected types will continue to vote for him or anyone else that will tell them what they want to hear.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
all we can hope is that they don't elect another celebrity....
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
both @don_dunstan and @Groundrelay make good points, I agree with elements of both arguments. I do not completely agree with one side. both are valid arguments and the don history lesson I largely agree with. Ground is ignoring that most trump voters were middle class Americans that usually don't vote. like I have stated I understand both of your concerns.
Dangersdan707
Trump says tax cuts that deliver billions to corporations and the most wealthy like himself will boost the economy. I am sceptical this will turn around the 'rust-belt'. Nevertheless the disaffected types will continue to vote for him or anyone else that will tell them what they want to hear.
"Groundrelay"


There's almost three years till he faces polls, there's also mid-terms this year so an opportunity for the American people to pass some judgement. Ultimately (unlike Chairman Xi) the people can get rid of him. Incidentally, Chairman Xi has recently reiterated his calls for 'total loyalty' to the Party - code for 'we aren't going to tolerate dissent' I'm sure.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
increase wages in this country because the labour market is actually terrible, much worse than we're being led to believe. They'll never be able to turn the deficit around, $420 billion in government liabilities and no plan to fix it, worse all the time - we are in for a big fall, believe me.

And we desperately need something to increase economic participation of the bottom half of this country, they've suffered terribly under this Thatcherite wave since the 1980's and inequality in this country gets worse all the time - Turnbull's government gave us the first contraction in Aussie living standards since the Great Depression - these are really desperate times for many people in this country, unable to afford even basic shelter in the big cities. Something has to give...
don_dunstan
I agree with much of your history lesson.

Please summarise your strategy to turn back time. I'm just not smart enough to come up with something that'll actually fly Razz
"Groundrelay"


Two words: Militant unionism.  Even the private sector has been lamenting the double-edged sword of falling wages and living standards. It's how we turned Australia from a Squatocracy into a modern, egalitarian nation.

WE also need some fiscal reforms to devalue the dollar and bring jobs back on-shore; stop selling Australian Government bonds to overseas investors and stop some kinds of 'foreign investment'. Australians aren't even allowed to own real estate in China - why do we have this laizzez faire situation where foreign nationals are allowed to come and buy whatever they like?
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Two words: Militant unionism.  Even the private sector has been lamenting the double-edged sword of falling wages and living standards. It's how we turned Australia from a Squatocracy into a modern, egalitarian nation.

WE also need some fiscal reforms to devalue the dollar and bring jobs back on-shore; stop selling Australian Government bonds to overseas investors and stop some kinds of 'foreign investment'. Australians aren't even allowed to own real estate in China - why do we have this laizzez faire situation where foreign nationals are allowed to come and buy whatever they like?
don_dunstan
"Militant unionism" won't fly. Cash-for-comment media will run the mother of all scare campaigns. The current government together with One Nation and the F-off-I'm-Allright'arians aren't exactly fans of organised labour.

Crazy going head to head with China as many of our remaining successful (and growing) enterprises thrive because of China. However we have corporations bringing in billions in revenue but paying SFA tax. There is far more scope to use on-shore capital.

It won't change because the majority of Australians aren't hurting enough to 'revolt'. In fact many are out buying new cars, 2017 being another stellar year in sales.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Historically unprecedented interest rates combined with easy credit are masking the problem at the moment but as time goes by the problems will magnify. Part of the problem with the unions is their alliance with the ALP - Hawke and Keating seemingly consigned them to historical irrelevance with the Accord I & II - but labour will eventually organise again and get militant, people will see it as a way of striking back against declining living standards. You seem to have no faith in people to be able to push back against the problems they experience - I'm the opposite, I think change is inevitable.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Two words: Militant unionism. Even the private sector has been lamenting the double-edged sword of falling wages and living standards. It's how we turned Australia from a Squatocracy into a modern, egalitarian nation. WE also need some fiscal reforms to devalue the dollar and bring jobs back on-shore; stop selling Australian Government bonds to overseas investors and stop some kinds of 'foreign investment'. Australians aren't even allowed to own real estate in China - why do we have this laizzez faire situation where foreign nationals are allowed to come and buy whatever they like?
my username is of a south Australian Premier from the 70s
sounding like these people Don
https://redflag.org.au
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Wages still pointing downwards, much lower than the budget forecasts from Scott Morrison last year (Fairfax today):

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, wage growth has been stuck at historically depressed levels, but the latest figures from the department show the pinch is set to continue, particularly in the private sector, where newly approved agreements hit a 25 year low of 2.4 per cent.

The figures are significantly below the 3.5 per cent wage increase negotiated between employers and workers in September 2014 and will fall behind the forecasts in the federal government's mid-year economic update... Those in the struggling industries of retail, telecommunications, media and transport will face some of the steepest hurdles to getting their pay packets above inflation after signing agreements at 2 per cent or below in the three months to September.  More than 3000 Qantas flight attendants signed an agreement that will see their wages increase by just 1.8 per cent a year, while 2000 Ikea employees will take home a pay rise of just 1 per cent.

EDIT: Can't get hypertext to work, no link, no italics on the quote.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Historically unprecedented interest rates combined with easy credit are masking the problem at the moment but as time goes by the problems will magnify. Part of the problem with the unions is their alliance with the ALP - Hawke and Keating seemingly consigned them to historical irrelevance with the Accord I & II - but labour will eventually organise again and get militant, people will see it as a way of striking back against declining living standards. You seem to have no faith in people to be able to push back against the problems they experience - I'm the opposite, I think change is inevitable.
don_dunstan
I tend to agree with you but the problem is nowadays it is the employers who are militant.

Look at the CUB dispute from a few years ago, labour providers at Glencore and BHP also tried it, now it is happening at Esso/UGL, where employees are farmed out to a new subcontractor on vastly inferior agreements signed off by people irrelevant to the job. Although the Federal Court has made a ruling against such sham agreements, employers are falling over themselves to see if they can get away with it.

http://www.afr.com/news/policy/industrial-relations/federal-court-cracks-down-on-sham-enterprise-agreements-20171113-gzk12z
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
There's a certain irony in the Treasurer complaining about the fact that wages are falling below inflation when every single policy in the last 30 years has been about removing power from workers and giving it to employers. Scotty seems to think that if employers get more tax cuts that they will automatically raise wages for their employees like a benevolent charity but that isn't going to happen.

Wages are going to keep falling - I wouldn't be surprised if we actually had some industries with negative growth this year. This is not what should be happening in a healthy economy where labour is in demand - all the indicators point to the opposite happening.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Yep, spot on, and it also reconfirms that the trickle-down effect does not work.

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