declining standard of living in Australia

Discussion in 'Australia, NZ, Pacific' started by kazenatsu, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Living standards in decline as real wage growth stagnates

    Australian standards of living have been going down. People are struggling. There is already more poverty than there used to be (and the inevitable plethora of "social problems" that come with that).

    What nobody seems to want to touch with a 10-foot pole is the role migration has played in all this.

    1.7 million people have been added over the last 10 years, resulting in an 8 percent total population increase. But the effects on the labor market are much greater than that, because when we look at the total Australian population, much of that total is composed of older retired people. So we are really talking about an increase of the labor force closer to 13 percent, more likely. You can't do that without it having an effect keeping down wage levels. No wonder real wage growth hasn't been increasing.

    And then there is a little geographic economic distribution problem. While Australia has plenty of wide open space, most of the good job opportunities are concentrated in just a handful of the major cities. Cost of living in proximity to these cities has become an issue in the last several years. Australia's economy has not been growing geographically evenly. And then guess where most of the migrants settle. It's not in the rural areas.

    We can see this by the so-called physician shortage in rural areas. It's not because there are no doctors who would want to live out there; the issue is there's less money out there, away from the big cities.

    And the cost of rent in Melbourne is just insane.

    This can't go on. Australia has another decade or two at best. Most Australians have little idea what day-to-day living conditions are actually like in other countries like Indonesia or Pakistan, or that Australia is slowly headed towards that direction. Opinions in Australia will change, but it will probably have to become a lot more obviously severe than it is now before there is a reaction. That's not uncommon; most societal and governmental policies are knee-jerk reactions after a problem has been left to grow for long enough that it becomes obvious there should be a change in course.

    Some of you will no doubt propound more socialism as solution to all these ills. Well, as idyllic as that sounds, the reality is simply that there's very little realistic chance that socialistic policies would ever be implemented to make a substantial difference. You will, no doubt, continue to keep on in denial of this. Go on, advocate for socialism if you must, put your hopes in that, but don't have that alone as your singular comprehensive plan. Living standards will go down the toilet and I'll tell you I told you so, because you were too brain-dead and stubborn to listen. I know this is a little anticipatory, but I know how you people think. BRAIN-DEAD, because you wouldn't listen to reason, you wouldn't think about it. What part of 'socialism isn't going to come to rescue' don't you understand? Sure, maybe you'll get a progressive party coming to power, but it will mostly be lip service, they'll never institute socialism to an extent that it would make a serious dent in the average standard of living. I'm just being pragmatic here. You need to have a plan B.

    Just to clarify, I'm not calling for no immigration, I'm just saying the numbers will need to be restricted until economic growth and real wage levels can catch pace with the population numbers.

    Australia is GOING to be a second-rate country. People will not enjoy quality healthcare or a middle class lifestyle. All that is going to be gone out the window. In it's place is going to be permanent poverty. You have natural resources, but we know where all that wealth goes in natural resource-rich countries (I'm saying don't count on those resources to make a difference in the standard of living, and that there's countless examples of this in other countries and places around the world). With poverty will come crime too, won't be able to leave anything outside without it being carried away, violent crime too, just trying to drive that point home. I'm not simply talking about a little less money in your purse.

    Make whatever decision you want in the end, but just listen and fully consider the line of reasoning in this post. Are you truly 100% sure this won't happen? And if it did happen, would that be a sacrifice you would be consciously willing to make as a trade-off for other goals?

    Look, if we just have a few quotas we can still have all our favorite Indian and Chinese restaurants. (I never was a fan of Indonesian food anyway, so what do we need them for?)

    This post has sort of turned into a long rant and, sorry, didn't mean to have it be all about migration. That's just an aspect that rarely seems to get brought up into the open when having discussions about issues involving living standards. Fact is Australia is not on a good course, and I'm open to discussing other reasons why that may be so, and what can be done to turn the ship around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
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  2. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    The Australian? The failing Murdoch flagship. Written by and for reactionaries. The real reason our economy is going belly-up is the Coalition's policies and mis-government.
     
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  3. scarlet witch

    scarlet witch Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You are right Australia is very expensive, it's not immigration causing our expensive lifestyle and homes/rentals. It's a range of things like;

    • high minimum wage... we don't tip our waitstaff but pay them good wages added to the price...it's going to cost the consumer
    • double housing bubble caused by negative gearing and Chinese real estate investors... also fed by migration who rent investment properties but this makes Australians with investment properties wealthier.
    • over regulated industries - cost of license fees and training/certification courses add to the price of the end product/service
    • Education - I sent my son to a good public school and it cost me A$4500 for the year to get him through the door.
    • Food is expensive - I spend $300 a week on groceries for 4 people and we're not eating caviar - lack of competition (hopefully Aldi will wipe the floor with Coles and Woolies)
    • clothing is expensive - most Australians refuse to wear Kmart and pay a premium for designer labels... in many ways we're our own worst enemy.
     
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  4. truthvigilante

    truthvigilante Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I've said it before but what the heck. Murdoch has sold us furphies from the time he dominated the Australian written media landscape with ownership of over 80% of Australia's print media along with fox. The guy is swaying elections or was, but hopefully now losing impact with the advent of a plethora of online media outlets, which include social media.

    America is the richest country in the world, per capita...."per capita" the operative word! Money does not exponentially grow, it circulates! If it exponentially grew by itself, inflation would be massive in any given country. The money changers know this and Murdoch himself, from whose newspaper you have quoted knows this. The disparity in wealth distribution is absolutely massive in America. The most obvious issue is how their money is circulating and who is manipulating its circulation. Now poverty is growing in America.....but wait up......they are the richest country in the world! How can that be? The simplist answer and attitude is to point the finger at a group of people! What are they doing in America and attempting to do in Australia?........blaming the migrants!!!! In fact immigrants based on numbers alone have increased Australia's wealth just for being a person living in a western country.

    Now of course poverty is growing in Australia like it is in America because the circulating money is being ushered into the accounts of the elitists, in effect increasing the broader poverty!

    Blame, immigrants as much as you like or wrlfare benefits because that is what they want you to believe in their game of smoke and mirrors!
     
  5. truthvigilante

    truthvigilante Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  6. Denizen

    Denizen Well-Known Member

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    Lifting minimum wages in an environment when average wages are not growing compresses the range of incomes in the workforce.

    If this rate of wage range compression is maintained, nobody will want to spend the time and money on education when the differential between minimum wage and new entrant starting wage is very low.

    Average wages in the UK are not much higher than Australian minimum wage.

    In regard to property prices, politicians are all invested in properties and gain from high prices and therefore have an interest in maintaining high immigration rates. The industrialist financiers of politicians also have an interest in high immigration rates to suppress wage growth.

    Poverty is bound to increase as the 1% take all the profit from economic growth.
     
  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Blame it all on the 1% and new technologies.

    No one is going to ask WHY the 1% are becoming more wealthy than they were before? What in the current economic climate has changed to tip the balance in their favor.

    Here's a little hint for the not too bright: Compare Australia now with Australia 30 years ago, and look how the economy, trade, and demographics are different.
     
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  8. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Donor

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    OKAY

    At least you admit it is going belly up. That is genuine progress.
     
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  9. Latherty

    Latherty Well-Known Member

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    It is a mix of new technology and abundant labor via immigration and importation.

    Our society naturally reduces its birth rate to stagnation, but other cultures use the latest medicine in less enlightened societies, causing astronomic population growth. These societies are pushing their labor supply into our economies either with actual people or through under-cutting domestic production.

    At the same time, the technology means that less actual labor is required to meet our consumption.

    Labor wages are the means of re-distributing profit to the consuming populace.

    So the rising populace is unable to afford the consumption associated with a developed-world lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  10. alexa

    alexa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Neo liberal economics is the reason. It was the response to the democratic socialism of the post war years. By the 60's the richest became aware they were a little bit less rich and it was only a little less rich. They were still very rich.. This led to neo liberalism in the 80's. Deregulation, privatise everything, no problem with monopolies, reduce welfare, get rid of unions and so on ...so that now we find ourselves with the same sort of economic problems that there were in the 30's which Keynsian economics were put in to sort out. In most Western Countries all parties turned to neo liberalism, social democracy and its values and thinking were bit by bit put in the bin. They became taboo. We are now a plutocracy - that is our governments answer to the wealthiest few - and guess whose interest they have? Something like 68 (I once heard someone say 8 of the richest people in the world own more than the bottom half of the world - that is 3.5 billion people. IMO whether we move to something worse - despotism - which is where some political theorists believe we already are - or fascism depends on whether we are able to get our democratic values working again.

    Democracy is dying – and it’s startling how few people are worried
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  11. Denizen

    Denizen Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the combination of low inflation and low interest rates is financial rocket fuel for the wealthy 1% and accelerates their wealth gain.

    Property price inflation is the exception to low inflation of other asset costs. Given that population growth is 1.4% in Australia (0.7% in USA), population growth is not driving property price inflation. Rather it must be asset accumulation by the wealthy who are competing with prospective resident owners and the wealthy investors outbid prospective resident owners and force up prices. Higher property prices are then used to justify higher rents.

    There must also be a swing towards renting rather than ownership to complement the growing investor ownership of property and justify property investment by means of satisfactory returns. This could also be a sign of a more mobile workforce whereby people are considering that their mobility is impeded by home ownership, therefore creating more demand for rental properties than resident owned properties.

    The financial landscape is changing and the poor are likely to be left out because investors are unlikely to acquire low-cost rental properties because of inadequate returns. The only direction this can go in is cheaper, smaller, and shabbier low-income properties far from economic centres.

    There is no driver to change the trajectory of the poor-rich wealth gap and it is difficult to see how such a driver could emerge without a political change to communism. Such a change could come only from revolution rather than evolution.

     
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  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Very insightful. :thumbsup:

    Lower interest rates help prop up property prices. However, this type of property price inflation does not push up rents (at least not directly). For that you must look to other causes.


    I'm not sure about that.
    But a little math tells us that at that rate the population of the country would double in 50 years—basically a little under two generations.

    Keep in mind that the population in the cities may be increasing faster than the country as a whole, which has a lot of rural areas with older people who are not having children. Thus a connection between population growth and property prices could be bigger than that statistic suggests. (People in the outback don't have to worry so much about property prices, they have to worry about jobs)

    I really see Australia being relegated to a resource exporting country, a bit like all those poor countries in Africa that were colonized to have their resources extracted and sent elsewhere. If that's the case then more people will not really be an asset.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  13. alexa

    alexa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You don't need to change to communism. What Corbyn is suggesting is more like the UK was prior to Thatcherism. Capitalism and democracy do not necessarily go together. Capitalism has to be held in check so that it does not become a Plutocracy. This our governments have failed to do with neo liberalism. One of the reasons capitalism and democracy have not worked being that the work place is not democratic. If you think of Communism as it presented itself in for instance Russia. It failed in this regard. The workplace was not democratic. Rather it engaged in State Capitalism.
     
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  14. verystormy

    verystormy Active Member

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    This is not at all what Corbyn stands for an never has. Corbyn is a old fashioned dyed in the wool far left socialist. If you want to understand what he stands for, look at Venezuela where he has repeatedly called its leadership and system "inspirational".

    As for looking at what the UK was like pre Thatcher, please do. It was a mess. The country was bankrupt and had been bailed out by the IMF - a parody of Greece today. Inflation was out of control. The winter of discontent resulted in mountains of rubbish in the streets, the dead not buried and even electricity in short supply - we were lucky if we had it 4 hours a day, though many days we had none. Living standards were a fraction of today. We didn't even have a inside toilet until 1976.
     
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  15. alexa

    alexa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Oh is this the latest. I have found lots of links complaining that he has not condemned Venezuala but not one of him saying Venezuela is inspirational. Please provide one.
    Absolute nonsense. Britain was getting into problems largely due to the oil Embargo. We had our own oil coming through shortly and did not really have that much of a problem. However the Labour Party went to the IMF and accepted the loan which was for more than we needed and had the austerity measures attached. This was what resulted in the winter of discontent as workers were having to live on less and less and having trouble putting food on the table. You should do a bit of proper research rather than just looking at the mail.

    However you are correct that there is a connection to what was going on with us then and Greece now - austerity.

    Note to everyone. Do not follow the text on this video. Amusing though it is you will miss the video!!



    there is a second part of this which probably will be available if you watch the first.

    Obviously this is not the 70's. We would not be going back to the 70's but nor do we need to go to what we know as communism to get the needed change. Ending neo liberalism and regaining our democracies will do just fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  16. verystormy

    verystormy Active Member

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    A two second google search http://news.sky.com/story/jeremy-corbyn-under-pressure-to-condemn-venezuela-10970635

    As for the pre Thatcher years, I don't need to research it, I lived through it.

    The economy was a total mess. The unions were in charge. The 3 day week was normal. Businesses were being driven to the ground because of the most pathetic union walk outs. My dad was called out on strike because the steel yard changed the brand of tea bags in the canteen - Twice! And again when they reinstated the original because they reinstated it without consulting the union!

    The country was broke and an international laughing stock
     
  17. alexa

    alexa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Exactly and that is exactly what I said. There are plenty of links complaining that Corbyn will not condemn Venezuela but I could find not one in which he says as you claimed that he finds the 'system and leadership' of Venezuela inspirational. I wrote that I could not find it and asked you to provide a link on that. Simply providing one in which he refuses to condemn is no answer. Now provide a link in which Corbyn says that he finds the present leadership and system of Venezuela inspirational or admit you were being dishonest.

    tough luck for you, so did I.

    The three day week was from 1 Jan 74 to 7 March 74 that is it lasted about two months when there was a minors strike. Hospitals, Supermarkets, newspapers and so on were exempt. The minors strike was caused by the rate of inflation and them needing a pay rise to cover that and further it was a Tory Government. On all areas you fail.

    as I suspected you know nothing about it. Right I am not going to waste any more time on this. However you are taking this thread totally off topic - and even worse because you don't know what you are talking about. If you want to waffle more I suggest you start a new thread in the Western Europe section. It would fit in better there.
     
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  18. LeftRightLeft

    LeftRightLeft Well-Known Member

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    Since when has Russia been communist, I mean communist, not the American definition of communism i.e. Not Capitalist, but communist. Very few countries have been true communist countries. Australia once was, pre 1788
     
  19. LeftRightLeft

    LeftRightLeft Well-Known Member

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    If I went and got into a Holden and started driving like an idiot, running down pedestrians, hit and run accidents, driving like a hoon, does that make Holdens bad cars?

    Now tell me what is wrong with communism or socialism
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  20. alexa

    alexa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I agree with you there. That is why I said 'as it presented itself in for instance Russia'.
     
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