“Pro-Beijing groups linked to the Chinese consulate in Sydney were mobilised to support embattled Ryde deputy mayor Simon Zhou, who has been condemned for playing the “race card” after being referred to the NSW corruption watchdog.
Mr Zhou used a council meeting on Tuesday night to call on Chinese-Australians to “fight back and stand up” amid cheers from the public gallery packed with his placard-wielding supporters.
*The Australian Financial Review has discovered these supporters were not a local community group as their signs suggested, but mostly from the Hubei Homeland Association, which has links through its convener to the Chinese consulate in Sydney.
The group was organised via Chinese messaging service WeChat, with those involved told they needed to let “bad people” in the media and on Ryde City Council know that they did not agree with the recent attacks on their “Chinese representative”.
The group was organised by a person using the WeChat handle Wolf Grandma, an apparent reference to the patriotic Chinese movie Wolf Warrior.
On an adjoining WeChat group one person noted this was not a grass roots organisation and warned others that the organiser was “working for and connected” to Chinese authorities.
The person said the organiser’s husband was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army and remained in contact with those at China’s consulates and embassy in Australia.
The group was told to meet at Eastwood railway station at 6.10pm on Tuesday and take the 515 bus together to the council chambers.
Professor Feng Chongyi from UTS said the “race card” was too often played by Chinese people. Steven Siewert
Feng Chongyi, an associate professor of Chinese studies at UTS, said the show of support for Mr Zhou had the Communist Party’s fingerprints all over it.
“Whenever these issues emerge they rally to put on a show,” he said.
“But you can easily see that the Chinese consulate and so-called patriotic leaders are behind it.”
Simon Zhou, left, with disgraced Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo.
Sydney deputy mayor went to Communist Party training camp Professor Feng said the Chinese consulate in Sydney had changed tactics in recent years and now preferred to use “homeland associations” or cultural groups for pro-Beijing causes, rather than patriotic organisations, which had become too high profile.
Mr Zhou has been referred to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption after failing to declare a $4 million connection to disgraced property developer Huang Xiangmo.
Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale used his own casting vote to keep his job. Jeremy Piper
This followed Ryde council granting a key planning approval for the redevelopment of Eastwood Plaza, owned by Mr Huang’s Yuhu Group.
Mr Huang put the site on the market after planning permission was granted and stands to make a $135 million profit. Mr Zhou does not stand to benefit from the planning decision.
Some Chinese like to use so-called racism as an excuse to protect what they have done wrong. — Din Lin, Chinese-language columist
Tuesday night’s council meeting was convened to ask Mr Zhou, who sits as an independent, to step aside as deputy mayor while any ICAC investigation takes place.
Labor mayor Jerome Laxale has referred himself to ICAC, but has not disclosed the details.
Mr Zhou responded to the motion with an impassioned speech, breaking into Mandarin at times, to say the attacks against him were racially motivated because he was born in China.
“These attacks are aimed at bringing down a successful Chinese immigrant,” he said to cheers from the gallery. “It’s time we immigrants fight back and stand up against this bullying and harassment.”
*Chinese-language broadcaster and columnist Din Lin said the criticism of Mr Zhou had nothing to do with racism.
“Some Chinese like to use so-called racism as an excuse to protect what they have done wrong. This is nothing about racism,” he said.
His comments were echoed by Professor Feng who said the “race card” was too often played by Chinese leaders when they were under attack.
Mr Laxale was forced to use his casting vote to break a deadlock on council and defeat the motion that sought to have Mr Zhou and himself step aside.
Mr Laxale’s casting vote was also used to water down a motion for council to formally refer the pair to the ICAC.
Rather, it “noted” a referral had already been made and said if the ICAC was to investigate, then council would fully co-operate.”
Ryde deputy mayor Simon Zhou with his supporters on Tuesday night.
Earlier this week, we learned that construction insolvencies are booming, according to ASIC:
Insolvencies in the $150bn residential and non-residential construction industry remain at a high level… insolvencies in the three months to September jumped 78 per cent in Victoria, 41 per cent in Queensland and 7 per cent in NSW.
This was a significant contributor to the 5 per cent increase in year-on-year national defaults to 2309 across all industries, with 22 per cent coming from construction.
Comparative figures for the past 12 months were 8232 insolvencies, of which 20 per cent was in construction.
Today we learn that property developers – both domestic and foreign – are being forced to sell:
“We’re definitely seeing an increase in mortgagee in possession come into the market,” [Capio Property Group chief executive Mark Bainey] said.
“Many high interest rate private loans taken out for sites that were purchased at the height of the boom are now starting to mature and lenders aren’t extending the loan terms… It’s a growing trend with the proliferation of non-bank lenders”…
“I think there will be more distressed assets coming into the market, particularly the vacant land,” [Ray White Commercial Western Sydney selling agent Peter Vines] said…
Mr Bainey said the distressed sales were mostly coming from small- to medium-sized local and Chinese developers.
This comes as developers are showering incentives on buyers amid rising vacancy levels as projects started during the height of the property bubble are completed, and as demand evaporates amid growing concerns of dodgy building standards, flammable cladding, as well as falling overseas buyer demand.
Sydney’s water storage levels are on track to be at their lowest in history by next year as authorities grapple with how to stave off the looming prospect of a Sydney “day zero’’ — the day we run dry.
The current decline in water reserves has been so swift that Greater Sydney’s combined water storage is set to be smaller than what was recorded in the millennial drought by late next year. And it is understood that a planned expansion of the city’s desalination plant will only temporarily hasten the decline in water levels when the plant is forced offline for a month…
Current forecasts say Sydney has enough water to last only until May 2022.
Asked about the crisis, Water Minister Melinda Pavey said “Sydney is not immune to the drought” and added that the decline in water since August 2017 was the biggest drop in storage ever recorded. “NSW is in the worst drought on record, city and country,’’ she said.
“We all need to be doing our bit to conserve as much water as we can”…
Ms Pavey said Sydney faced “the biggest decline in water storage on record”.
The key difference between now and the 2006 water storage low is that Sydney’s population has grown by around one million people (~20%) over that period, which has dramatically increased water demand.
As we know, Sydney is the nation’s prime immigration gateway, importing an extra 77,100 people in 2017-18:
Sydney’s population is also projected by the ABS to balloon by 94,000 people a year for the next 48 years, effectively doubling the city’s population to 9.75 million people. And all of this growth will come from net overseas migration (NOM):
Even as droughts become more common and severe and evapotranspiration rates skyrocket:
Photo: Daily Telegraph: Sydney Desalination plant
A ballooning population alongside water-draining climate change is obviously a dangerous combination that will inevitably lead to chronic water shortages and the need to construct an entire battery of energy-hungry desalination plants up and down the coast.
This situation is made worse by the fact that most new migrants locate in Sydney’s West, which is farthest away from the ocean and makes desalination less viable (and more expensive).
This planning lunacy will mean Sydneysiders will die of thirst long before its population targets are met.
WHAT it boils down to as evidenced by numerous reports … the same policy bastardry is still happening ….
Scarcely a day goes by without another headline of wage theft involving temporary migrant workers …students, visa holders, tourists all work for nothing to gain longer terms visas
The notion that employers will only go to the trouble and expense of making a TSS visa application when they want to meet a skill shortage skims over a range of motives an employer may have for using the TSS visa …
– reluctance to invest in training for existing or prospective staff
–or a desire to move towards a deunionised workforce
WHAT is the most dangerous animal in Australia? In the great land Downunder?
The mass immigration economy does not do wages growth
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and again and expecting a different result, then Aussie economists are bonkers, at Domain:
BIS Oxford chief economist Sarah Hunter said the wage figures were dismal, adding they meant the RBA would have to take official interest rates down to 0.5 per cent next year.
…NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the RBA rate cut would come with the bank outlining plans for “unconventional” monetary policies including the purchase of government debt.
Senior research fellow David Richardson [at TAI] said GDP would lift by $10 billion for every percentage point reduction in the jobless rate. Such a reduction would see about 134,000 people get full-time work who would also put upward pressure on wages.
The business dailies don’t even cover it. Why would they? They love it. At least useful idiot Greg Jericho offers some nice charts:
The latest wages growth figures released on Wednesday by the bureau of statics show that growth has distinctly slowed, with the worst results since the middle of last year. The results confirm that, for yet another year, the government will be forced to revise down its overly optimistic predictions for wages growth that were made in the budget.
…And that is bad news all round. Already this week a report by Deloitte has revealed that retailers are expecting one of the worst Christmas shopping periods for some time.
…The lack of energy in the economy is highlighted by the fact that half of the 18 industries tracked by the ABS have lower wages growth now than they did this time last year:
It very much suggests a stagnation that puts absolute lie to the government’s own wages projections.
In the April budget, the government predicted that by June next year wages would be growing annually at a rate of 2.75%, and 3.25% 12 months after that:
…In order to get wages growth up to 3.25% the underemployment rate would need to fall from the current level of 8.4% to 7% – the equivalent of nearly 200,000 fewer workers underemployed than are currently.
During the mining boom it took four years for the underemployment rate to fall 1%pt. The government predicts it will fall by more than that in little over 18 months in order to produce 3.25% wage growth:
Were that to happen it would be more than double the previous biggest fall in the underemployment rate over such a time frame.
Of course it’s not going to happen. Wage growth is going to keep falling next year as the growing terms of trade shock is automatically passed though to the labour market owing to mass immigration.
As I wrote yesterday, the macro-economic evidence is clear:
Australia has carried a massive output gap – that is, too much supply – ever since the GFC but much more so since 2011 as the twin growth drivers of mining and houshold debt-funded consumption both stalled.
*As you can see, before 2008, as a nation we always allowed immigration to fall when the output gap appeared, to prevent too much competition in the labour market.
*But afterwards, we did the opposite and ramped up immigration. Worse, the sources of immigration deteriorated radically from highly paid, skilled workers into desperate and cheap warm bodies from anywhere in the Third World.
*Under this macroeconomic regime, any and every time that economic slack appears it will always land on the labour market in the form of weak wages.
*The rest is history: a permanent income depression for workers as every time the output gap closes, more cheap foreign labour floods in to widen it again, despite the demand that they also bring.
*So, what began as an external shock under Labor, which was too idiotic to cut immigration lest it be labelled racist, has since morphed into a worker-devouring Kracken of permanent Coalition policy that today has Australia rivaling Great Depression USA for falling living standards.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that it had to be this way. It didn’t.
*Although there was always going to be some adjustment after the mining boom as national competitinvess was repaired, the use of mass immigration to hide the correction has ensured that certrain sectors are protected while other suffer more than they should.
Households and tradable sectors have born the brunt of the adjustment while property, banking and retail (until recently) were protected.
*This happened instead of the far better national interest policies of productivity reform, competitiveness reform and crashing one’s own currency.
Alas, the same policy bastardry it is still happening and the income depression is therefore not over. Ahead, the Chinese economy is going to slow to a virtual standstill and the second leg in the falling commosity price story will transpire, denuding the nation of huge slabs of income once again.
With the Coalition determined to pump in cheap foreign labour to support capital, while Labor inexplicably cheers it on, that will again direct all of the adjustment onto labor as Australia’s Great Income Depression runs for another lost decade.
So is the micro-economic evidence:
For years we have seen Dominos, Caltex, 7-Eleven, Woolworths and many other fast food franchises busted for rorting migrant labour.
Mid 2017, ABC’s 7.30 Report ran a disturbing expose on the modern day slavery occurring across Australia.
Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, told Fairfax that people on visas continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, particularly those with limited English-language skills. It was alsorevealed that foreign workers are involved in more than three-quarters of legal cases initiated by the FWO against unscrupulous employers.
Then The ABC reported that Australia’s horticulture industry is at the centre of yet another migrant slave scandal, according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.
AUNSW Sydney and UTS survey painted the most damning picture of all, reporting that wages theft is endemic among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants.
A few months ago, Fair Work warned that most of Western Sydney had become a virtual special economic zone in which two-thirds of businesses were underpaying workers, with the worst offenders being high-migrant areas.
Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute latest released a report, based on 2016 Census data, revealed that most recently arrived skilled migrants (i.e. arrived between 2011 and 2016) cannot find professional jobs, with only 24% of skilled migrants from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (who comprise 84% of the total skilled migrant intake) employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50% of skilled migrants from Main English-Speaking-Countries and 58% of the same aged Australian-born graduates. These results accord with a survey from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, which found that 53% of skilled migrants in Western Australia said they are working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived, with underemployment also rife.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest Characteristics of Recent Migrants report, revealed that migrants have generally worse labour market outcomes than the Australian born population, withrecent migrants and temporary residents having an unemployment rate of 7.4% versus 5.4% for the Australian born population, and lower labour force participation (69.8%) than the Australian born population (70.2%).
ABC Radio recently highlighted the absurdity of Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration program in which skilled migrants have grown increasingly frustrated at not being able to gain work in Australia despite leaving their homelands to fill so-called ‘skills shortages’. As a result, they are now demanding that taxpayers provide government-sponsored internships to help skilled migrants gain local experience, and a chance to work in their chosen field.
In early 2018 the senate launched the ”The operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct” owing in part to systematic abuse of migrant labour.
Then there is new research from the University of Sydney documenting the complete corruption of the temporary visas system, and arguing that Australia running a “de-facto low-skilled immigration policy” (also discussed here at the ABC).
Then Alan Fels, head of the Migrant Workers Taskforce, revealed that international students are systematically exploited particularly by bosses of the same ethnicity.
Academic research also supports it. Below are key excerpts from Chapter 13 entitled Temporary migrant workers (TMWs), underpayment and predatory business models, written by Iain Campbell:
This chapter argues that the expansion of temporary labour migration is a significant development in Australia and that it has implications for wage stagnation…
Three main facts about their presence in Australia are relevant to the discussion of wage stagnation. First, there are large numbers of TMWs in Australia, currently around 1.2 million persons. Second, those numbers have increased strongly over the past 15 years. Third, when employed, many TMWs are subject to exploitation, including wage payments that fall below — sometimes well below — the minimum levels specified in employment regulation…
One link to slow wages growth, as highlighted by orthodox economics, stems from the simple fact of increased numbers, which add to labour supply and thereby help to moderate wages growth. This chapter argues, however, that the more salient point concerns the way many TMWs are mistreated within the workplace in industry sectors such as food services, horticulture, construction, personal services and cleaning. TMW underpayments, which appear both widespread in these sectors and systemic, offer insights into labour market dynamics that are also relevant to the general problem of slow wages growth…
Official stock data indicate that the visa programmes for international students, temporary skilled workers and working holiday makers have tripled in numbers since the late 1990s… In all, the total number of TMWs in Australia is around 1.2 million persons. If we include New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, who can enter Australia under a special subclass 444 visa, without time limits on their stay and with unrestricted work rights (though without access to most social security payments), then the total is close to 2 million persons… TMWs now make up around 6% of the total Australian workforce…
Decisions by the federal Coalition government under John Howard to introduce easier pathways to permanent residency for temporary visa holders, especially international students and temporary skilled workers, gave a major impetus to TMW visa programmes.
Most international students and temporary skilled workers, together with many working holiday makers, see themselves as involved in a project of ‘staggered’ or ‘multi-step’ migration, whereby they hope to leap from their present status into a more long-term visa status, ideally permanent residency. One result, as temporary migration expands while the permanent stream remains effectively capped, is a lengthening queue of onshore applicants for permanent residency…
Though standard accounts describe Australian immigration as oriented to skilled labour, this characterisation stands at odds with the abundant evidence on expanding temporary migration and the character of TMW jobs. It is true that many TMWs, like their counterparts in the permanent stream, are highly qualified and in this sense skilled. However, the fact that their work is primarily in lower-skilled jobs suggests that it is more accurate, as several scholars point out, to speak of a shift in Australia towards a de facto low-skilled migration programme…
A focus on raw numbers of TMWs may miss the main link to slow wages growth. It is the third point concerning underpayments and predatory business models that seems richest in implications. This point suggests, first and most obviously, added drag on wages growth in sectors where such underpayments and predatory business models have become embedded. If they become more widely practised, underpayments pull down average hourly wages. If a substantial number of firms in a specific labour market intensify strategies of labour cost minimisation by pushing wage rates below the legal floor, it can unleash a dynamic of competition around wage rates that foreshadows wage decline rather than wage growth for employees…
Increases in labour supply allow employers in sectors already oriented to flexible and low-wage employment, such as horticulture and food services, to sustain and extend strategies of labour cost minimisation… The arguments and evidence cited above suggest a spread of predatory business models within low-wage industries.37 They suggest an unfolding process of degradation in these labour markets…
And below are extracts from Chapter 14, entitled Is there a wages crisis facing skilled temporary migrants?, by Joanna Howe:
Scarcely a day goes by without another headline of wage theft involving temporary migrant workers…
In this chapter we explore a largely untold story in relation to temporary migrant workers… it exposes a very real wages crisis facing workers on the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (formerly the 457 visa) in Australia. This crisis has been precipitated by the federal government’s decision to freeze the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers since 2013… the government has chosen to put downward pressure on real wages for temporary skilled migrants, thereby surreptitiously allowing the TSS visa to be used in lower-paid jobs…
In Australia, these workers are employed via the TSS visa and they must be paid no less than a salary floor. This salary floor is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). TSMIT was introduced in 2009 in response to widespread concerns during the Howard Government years of migrant worker exploitation. This protection was considered important because an independent review found that many 457 visa workers were not receiving wages equivalent to those received by Australian workers…
In effect, TSMIT is intended to act as a proxy for the skill level of a particular occupation. It prevents unscrupulous employers misclassifying an occupation at a higher skill level in order to employ a TSS visa holder at a lower level…
TSMIT’s protective ability is only as strong as the level at which it is set. In its original iteration back in 2009, it was set at A$45 220. This level was determined by reference to average weekly earnings for Australians, with the intention that TSMIT would be pegged to this because the Australian government considered it ‘important that TSMIT keep pace with wage growth across the Australian labour market’. This indexation occurred like clockwork for five years. But since 1 July 2013, TSMIT has been frozen at a level of A$53 900. ..
There is now a gap of more than A$26 000 between the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers and annual average salaries for Australian workers.
This means that the TSS visa can increasingly be used to employ temporary migrant workers in occupations that attract a far lower salary than that earned by the average Australian worker. This begs the question — is the erosion of TSMIT allowing the TSS visa to morph into a general labour supply visa rather than a visa restricted to filling labour market gaps in skilled, high-wage occupations?..
But why would employers go to all the effort of hiring a temporary migrant worker on a TSS visa over an Australian worker?
Renowned Australian demographer Graeme Hugo observed that employers ‘will always have a “demand” for foreign workers if it results in a lowering of their costs’.
*The simplistic notion that employers will only go to the trouble and expense of making a TSS visa application when they want to meet a skill shortage skims over a range of motives an employer may have for using the TSS visa.
*These could be a reluctance to invest in training for existing or prospective staff, or a desire to move towards a deunionised workforce. Additionally, for some employers, there could be a belief that, despite the requirement that TSS visa workers be employed on equivalent terms to locals, it is easier to avoid paying market salary rates and conditions for temporary migrant workers who have been recognised as being in a vulnerable labour market position. A recent example of this is the massive underpayments of chefs and cooks employed by Australia’s largest high-end restaurant business, Rockpool Dining Group, which found that visa holders were being paid at levels just above TSMIT but well below the award when taking into account the amount of overtime being done…
Put simply, temporary demand for migrant workers often creates a permanent need for them in the labour market.
*Research shows that in industries where employers have turned to temporary migrants en masse, it erodes wages and conditions in these industries over time, making them less attractive to locals…
*A national survey of temporary migrant workers found that 24% of 457 visa holders who responded to the survey were paid less than A$18 an hour.
*Not only are these workers not being paid in according with TSMIT, but they are also receiving less than the minimum wage. A number of cases also expose creative attempts by employers to subvert TSMIT. Given the challenges many temporary migrants face in accessing legal remedies, these cases are likely only scratching the surface in terms of employer non-compliance with TSMIT…
*Combined, then, with the problems with enforcement and compliance, it is not hard to conclude that the failure to index TSMIT is contributing to a wages crisis for skilled temporary migrant workers… So the failure to index the salary floor for skilled migrant workers is likely to affect wages growth for these workers, as well as to have broader implications for all workers in the Australian labour market.
It’s not just temporary visas. It is the entire mass immigration model:
students, visa holders, tourists all work for nothing to gain longer terms visas;
their numbers are endless and so is the labour supply shock;
and that endless flow has now generated a supply side adjustment to businesses that thrive on cheap foreign labour – basically service economy dross – that holds up empty calorie growth, boosts asset prices and the currency, holds own productivity via capital shallowing, and hollows out tradables in an era of global lowflation.
*But, of course, we can’t talk about that because “racism”.
Previously from Jericho:
Immigration – because there are many desperate to hate – must be treated with extreme care by politicians and journalists, and certainly with more care than Abbott seems capable. The inherently racist parties will seek to use any discussion and any seeming evidence of the negative impact of migrants as fuel to burn their fires of hate.
Why it’s OK to hate Aussie workers is not made clear.
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.
– I said to a friend 18 months ago, to watch what happened with the Chinese money pouring into real estate, and what happened in Canada and Ireland with their bubbles. He looked at me blankly, because he didn’t really know what happened in Canada and Ireland, and only heard whispers about the Chinese Laundry.
About a month ago, he told me he now sees what has happened and what may be just around the corner.
SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE FOR:
–Anti money laundering legislation shelved
–real estate gatekeepers exempted
–visa workers; visa manipulation
–FATF and Transparency International
THE SOLUTION …. LABOR Oppose thecheap foreign labourto support capital and … persist with your Policy to implement the second tranche of the Anti-money Laundering Legislation
Yeh. The elite will tell you that you’re a whinger or a racist. To suck it up and move on. But you aren’t. What has happened to Australian income is not only abnormal. It is historic. Worse, it is only half over.
The OECD describes real net income per capita * (RNNPC) in the following way:
While money may not buy happiness, it is an important means to achieving higher living standards and thus greater well-being. Higher economic wealth may also improve access to quality education, health care and housing.
Household net adjusted disposable income is the amount of money that a household earns, or gains, each year after taxes and transfers. It represents the money available to a household for spending on goods or services.
In other words, it is the best measure of per capita living standards in the national accounts.
*Why is that you didn’t know that? Why are you plied with GDP and other useless gauges instead?
Simple. GDP is easy to generate for politicians. You just need more inputs for more outputs. The challenge is to get more from the same number of inputs, that brings home the bacon in the form of rising living standards.
International real GDP Growth Comparisons: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Pollies hate *RNNPC.
It means tough decisions and sectional losers for collective gain. It means they have to actually lead rather than lie, something our current scum are incapable of.
So, instead we’re stuck with GDP as a measure of your living standards even though it is so manipulated these days that it is not only misleading, it is actively hiding an historic crash in your living standardson a par with the Great Depression.
How can I say something so preposterous? It’s a simple fact:
*In terms of the best measure of living standard that we possess, real net disposable income per capita, post-GFC Australia has its nose just in front of the US Great Depression and it’s about to fall behind.
Yeh, that’s right. All of those sepia stained photos of shabby men in trench coats lined up at soup kitchens and in the dole queue. That’s you.
How can that possibly be? How can you not know it?
It’s because the structure of economic slack is today different than it was in the 1930s. The “output gap” – a ratio of excess supply over demand – that drives high unemployment is more hidden.
In the1930s, if an industrial economy ground to a halt then mass layoffs of blue collar workers would result. It was obvious what was happening to all. *
These days it is very different.
*Our jobs are much more in the services industries which can limit hours more easily without doing layoffs.
It can also slash or steal wages more easily, another effectively hidden job cut. As well, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your job then you can work for Uber. Sure, your living standards collapse but you’re not some obvious problem for everybody else.
*And so we have The Great Australian Income Depression hidden in plain sight.
What’s caused it then? How can be addressed so that living standards rise again? Who is to blame.
*It began with the GFC. That was the first signal that the pretend economy that Western nations had created would crash as they outsourced their real economy to China. *
For a short while Australia was protected from that owing to its massive mining boom. But when that went belly up in 2011 the real trouble began. The crash was expressed through a terms of trade shock that didn’t end until 2016.
Falling iron ore and coking prices represented a massive national pay cut that, over time, was distributed nation wide in falling profits and wages.
But that was four years ago and those same commodity prices have boomed ever since so why hasn’t the income depression ended, I hear you ask? There are a number of reasons but the most important is captured in the following chart:
*Australia has carried a massive output gap – that is, too much supply – ever since the GFC but much more so since 2011 as the twin growth drivers of mining and houshold debt-funded consumption both stalled.
*As you can see, before 2008, as a nation we always allowed immigration to fall when the output gap appeared, to prevent too much competition in the labour market. But afterwards, we did the opposite and ramped up immigration.
Worse, the sources of immigration deteriorated radically from highly paid, skilled workers into desperate and cheap warm bodies from anywhere in the Third World.
*Under this macroeconomic regime, any and every time that economic slack appears it will always land on the labour market in the form of weak wages.
*The rest is history: a permanent income depression for workers as every time the output gap closes, more cheap foreign labour floods intowiden it again, despite the demand that they also bring.
*So, what began as an external shock under Labor, which was too idiotic to cut immigration lest it be labelled racist, has since morphed into a worker-devouring Kracken of permenent Coalition policy that today has Australia rivaling Great Depression USA for falling living standards.*
Don’t be fooled into thinking that it had to be this way. It didn’t. Although there was always going to be some adjustment after the mining boom as national competitinvess was repaired, the use of mass immigration to hide the correction has ensured that certain sectors are protected while other suffer more than they should.
Households and tradable sectors have born the brunt of the adjustment while property, banking and retail (until recently) were protected.
*This happened instead of the far better national interest policies of productivity reform, competitiveness reform and crashing one’s own currency.
Alas, the same policy bastardry it is still happening and the income depression is therefore not over.
*Ahead, the Chinese economy is going to slow to a virtual standstill and the second leg in the falling commosity price story will transpire, denuding the nation of huge slabs of income once again.
With the Coalition determined to pump in cheap foreign labourto support capital, while Labor inexplicably cheers it on, that will again direct all of the adjustment onto labor as Australia’s Great Income Depression runs for another lost decade.
Leaving you far worse off in terms of the magnitude of drop in your living standards than those sorry gents in the faded pictures of 1940.
Thebiggest difference between Australian renters and home owners is around feeling confident of being able to remain in their communities.
–52% renters harbour a fear of being forced out due to expense
–only 19% of owners worried about the same thing
–across all respondents, 22 per cent were “spending more than I can afford on housing”
–45%renters feeling financially overstretched by their weekly rent
–young people are over-represented in the ranks both of renters and anxious people
-78% of renters home ownership is not a realistic option for most young Australians
WHY is this so?
BECAUSE … meanwhile black money is awash in Australian Real Estate because the Real Estate Gatekeepers have been excluded from the Anti-Money Laundering Laws (October 2018) …
… temporary Visa holders can gain a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’ after they buy our real estate!
SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE to find more about Visa manipulation … the large number of Visas on offer … the FIRB ruling allowing developers to sell 100% of ‘new homes’ to foreigners … the May 2017 Budget Regulation
Australia Talks: Renters and home owners see the world through different eyes
As property prices bolted away in the last decade, it’s no secret that a growing proportion of Australians began to come to terms with the likelihood that they would remain renters for ever.
In the Monopoly game of life, their objective isn’t to buy Mayfair and stack it with hotels; it’s to live where their resources and community ties permit, while hoping Chance doesn’t deal them a nasty surprise.
But what the Australia Talks National Survey reveals is that the answer to the question “Do you rent or own?” is predictive of much, much more than whether the respondent feels free to put in picture hooks at whim.
In fact, renters and owners feel differently from each other across a range of issues: some obvious, and some more surprising.
The home ownership divide
Thebiggest difference between renters and home owners is around feeling confident of being able to remain in their communities.
*When asked whether they feared they might be forced out of their area because it was getting too expensive to live there, more than half of renters — 52 per cent — confirmed that this was a fear they harboured.
*But only 19 per cent of owners worried about the same thing.
Interestingly, this was not about income. Across all respondents, the fear of having to move for economic reasons was fairly consistent across all income groups; among the poorest Australians, living on up to $599 a week, fear of having to move was felt by 26 per cent. Among the top wage bracket — more than $3,000 a week — the fear was still palpably present, at 16 per cent.
*But it’s the home ownership divide that most strongly dictated sentiments.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that over the 25 years to the most recent national Census, the proportion of Australians who own their own home outright has fallen, while the ranks of tenants and mortgagors have expanded.
*In the 1991 Census, 41.1 per cent of Australians owned their homes unencumbered by obligations to a financial institution; by 2016, that proportion had fallen to 31 per cent.
*Renters were only 26.9 per cent of the population in 1991, but that rose to 30.9 per cent over the subsequent quarter of a century.
*And the fastest-growing group — people who co-own their homes with the bank — swelled from 27.5 per cent to 34.5 per cent.
Back to the renter vs home owner data.
Some of the differences in responses are clearly related to the already established increased rates of financial insecurity among renters.
Across all respondents,60 per cent said they felt they could handle a major unexpected expense.
But among renters, only 42 per cent shared this confidence to any degree, while among home owners, 67 per cent felt prepared for a financial shock.
But other differences were less explicable by circumstance of accommodation.
Renters are more anxious
The Australia Talks National Survey shows renters are more anxious than home owners. When asked about their anxiety levels, 7 per cent of tenants said they “always” felt anxious, while 30 per cent said they “frequently” felt that way.
Among home owners, however only 3 per cent always felt anxious, and 18 per cent frequently.
*An important note of context is that young people are over-represented in the ranks both of renters and anxious people; home ownership tends to increase with age, and anxiety decreases, according to the Australia Talks data.
On a range of other factors, there are pronounced differences of opinion between the home-owning and home-renting communities.
Renters were more likely, for instance, to disapprove of the Australian media. While 54 per cent of owners agreed that the media “generally do a good job” of keeping the population informed, only 40 per cent of renters felt the same way.
Renters were more likely to support the legalisation of marijuana, and to worry about the time they spent on social media.
*While owners — perhaps because of their statistical under-representation in some of the other worry factors — had a rosier view of life in Australia;74 per cent felt this country was the most liveable in the world, while only 60 per cent of renters felt the same way.
So, is owning a home achievable?
Most significantly, this optimism gap extended strongly to the future of the housing sector itself.
*When asked whether home ownership remains a realistic option for most young Australians, 78 per cent of renters — the vast majority — answered that it doesn’t.
Only 56 per cent of home owners shared their bleak outlook; possibly, they were thinking of the children listed in their wills.
An Indian strategy to boost economic ties with Australia will recommend skilled Indian workers “fill the gaps” in the Australian economy.
Former ambassador Anil Wadhwa, who is writing the Indian government’s response to a 2018 Australian report on the bilateral trade and investment relationship, said Indian health workers, infrastructure specialists and security guards could fill labour shortages in Australia…
He said security was “a growing area in India”, offering the potential for Indian security guards to work in Australia.
Since when have security guards been regarded as ‘skilled’? Surely these low-skilled roles can be performed by Australians?
Australia’s skilled visa system should not be based on nationality, and should only import highly skilled workers at high rates of pay (e.g. above $100,000 a year), like under the new Global Talent Scheme.
Otherwise, Australia’s visa system will continue to be abused by employers as a general labour market tool to undercut local workers and crush wages, in turn stifling productivity and overloading our cities.
While NSW’s politicians continue to fight a phoney war over Sydney’s ‘overdevelopment’, while ignoring entirely the mass immigration causing the said development, NSW voters have delivered another damning indictment.
Yesterday, a Newspoll survey revealed that 80% of voters in NSW do not want the state’s population to increase, with majority support across all three major political parties:
Of course, you can add this result to the conga-line of recent opinion polls calling for lower immigration, including:
“What the recent trends in unemployment data tell us is that there’s quite a few people who are perhaps not actively seeking employment, who we would have formerly called unemployed, but who, if the right job comes up, will jump at it, and take it,” Ms Hunter said.
“They do want to work, but we’re just not quite picking them up in that employment figure right now.”
Health care sector continuing to lead in terms of wages growth in Aust (although partly due to an adjustment to public salaries in Victoria). Info media at the bottom.Construction near the low end too.#ausecon (Goldman Sachs chart)
Workers in some industries have been getting pay rises, though.
Wages in the healthcare and social assistance sector rose by 3.3 per cent over the past year, reflecting growing demand for these services.
And Victorians celebrated average pay rises of 2.8 per cent in the year to September.
Even so, private sector wages remain weak across the board, with six industries registering annual wages growth below 2 per cent, and wages in Western Australiarising no faster than the current rate of national inflation, at just 1.6 per cent.
That spells more bad news for the broader economy, according to Callam Pickering, APAC economist with global jobs site Indeed.
He described wages growth as “one of the key challenges for the Australian economy” and said it was unlikely to improve anytime soon.
“It is the key for household spending, inflation and monetary policy,” he said.
“We need an unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent (currently 5.2 per cent) and an underutilisation rate of around 12 per cent (currently 13.5 per cent) to get wage growth back to 3 per cent.”
‘Big Australia’ mass immigration shills claim that Australians no longer want to live in a detached house with a backyard, and are instead choosing high density living and renting:
Danni Hunter, Victorian chief executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia… said density would
“grow stronger … and that’s really good for the diversity of our cities, our suburbs and our population.
People want to live in apartments. People want to downsize to townhouses,” she said.
“Density in particular is making some really great changes to the way we live and is helping people come together in a community sense.”
Sydney Metro; glitch … helping people come together
[Bernard Salt] said many young people had “different values” and few wanted large homes with a mortgage in any case.
“The homogeneity of Australian society has shifted from mum, dad, four kids to the cosmopolitan diverse community we have today,” he said. “They want greater flexibility, greater fluidity, and the idea of an early life commitment to a mortgage … just doesn’t sit with the vast majority of the millennial generation.”
CAAN Photo: Chinese State Based Real Estate Greenland ‘Lachlan’s Line’ and Chinese Country Garden ‘Ryde Garden’ in the background North Ryde
*These claims are contradicted by a recent Westpac survey, albeit from New Zealand, which shows that most Millennials still pine for a house with a backyard:
The Nexus Planning & Research survey of 1,008 people aged 18 and over shows 49% consider a backyard essential when buying a home, and another 42% think one would be nice to have.
*“It’s interesting to see that people consider having a backyard much more important than living close to work, public transport, parks or schools,” says Westpac’s Robert Hill.
“Owning a home with a nice backyard has traditionally been central to the Kiwi dream, and the recent rise in house prices and increase in apartments doesn’t seem to have dented that.”
CAAN Photo: The Godzillas of Meadowbank
I can count on one hand the number of Millennials that I have met that would prefer to live in an apartment or townhouse over a house with a backyard, if given the choice.
*The reason why they are increasingly living in apartments is not by choice, but rather necessity. They have been forced into apartment living because that is all they can afford. Apartments also tend to be rented, rather than owned:
*While apartment living might be fine when living as a single or a couple, it is a sub-optimal choice when it becomes time to have a family. And this is a problem because Millennials are being locked out of family friendly homes, according to BIS Oxford Economics:
Investor demand has seen apartment construction boom — particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — but Mr Zigomanis said the studio, one and small two-bedroom apartments that are attractive to Generation Y as they rent in their 20s are unlikely to hold the same appeal as they age…
The large-scale, high-rise developments that sell apartments off the planto investors do not hold the same appeal to owner-occupiers…
The growing over-65s segment of the population is not tipped to favour smaller apartments either.
BIS notes downsizing has been growing at a “glacial” pace and, even if it picks up, demand is not expected to be fulfilled by small, high-rise dwellings.
“Previous research that we’ve undertaken suggests that many baby boomers would still like to stay in the area that they’re living in, where they’ve already made friends and social connections,” Mr Zigomanis said.
The situation looks particularly dire in Sydney, which is Australia’s immigration capital. According to projections from the Urban Taskforce, apartments will make up half of Sydney’s dwellings mid-century, whereas only one quarter of Sydney dwellings will be family-friendly detached homes:
That’s the death of The Australian Dream right there. And this is celebrated by the Big Australia boosters, who continue to gaslight the population into believing it’s in their interests.
CAAN Photo: Chinese Greenland ‘Lachlan’s Line’ North Ryde looms over the village of North Ryde who had no say!