Sunday, June 18, 2017

Media claims we should be grateful for foreign buyers

So here we have the media actually acknowledging the existence of wealthy foreign buyers in the Australian Real Estate market, however one author writes that we should be grateful for them.

Now, the author might be correct, had the glut of apartments not been built specifically to cater to the demand of foreign buyers and only if foreign buyers were ONLY buying apartments.

In any economy there are multiple cycles going up and down at any given time.  In engineering, the perfect storm with salaries occurred just before the GFC when many industries were all peaking at the same time, putting a premium on engineers which, when the various industry cycles bottomed out at about the same time, ended with heaps of engineers all looking for work at the same time.

The same is true of property.  Of residential property, there are many sectors and sub-sectors.  Just because you've got a great 1-bedroom apartment in Newport isn't going to mean a thing if what's booming are 3-bedroom houses.

So the housing prices are in a completely different cycle to apartments, which are usually home to singles or couples without children.  Apartments don't come with a lot of land, making them less attractive to speculators due to the need for high returns and the risk that another 300 apartment block opening up next door that will compete for the relatively few tenants.

Claims that we should be grateful that foreign buyers are keeping the prices of apartments from collapsing (something that only the developers would really worry about and would normally stop creating more supply if they're unable to unload the last lot of apartments they built) are pretty stupid when it's the price of housing the average Australia cares about, NOT the price and vacancy rates of apartments.

The people already living in houses want them to only go up, the people trying to buy them would like to see them come down (at least long enough to get into the market).

Ultimately I think what the Media and the Politicians all ignore or avoid is that young people don't want any sort of unfair advantage, they simply want a level playing field, but the media is so bent on trying to remain positive about immigration that it's ignoring the fact that it's selling out locals for the security that higher house prices brings people who own their own home.

When a young couple from China in the 20's is able to buy a house in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne for over $1 million IN CASH, when they haven't got the sort of income needed to service a loan of that size, then we're not playing on a level playing field.  Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying to themselves or just to you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lindt siege psychiatrist stood down

So the disgraced psychiatrist who was advising police during the Lindt siege in Sydney is now claiming that it's the escapees fault that Monis killed people.

Like a true little liar, he's putting responsibility anywhere but himself.

He's quoted as saying (in other articles) that he wasn't aware that IS had put a callout for Lone Wolf attacks at the time the siege took place.

So, I guess he's blaming:
  • The people who escaped, to save themselves;
  • The lack of knowledge of the overall situation; and
  • Anyone but himself.

Now, most normal people would feel guilty for how this whole thing played out and would have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

Not this guy.  No, he's absolved himself of any responsibility because the events weren't allowed to play out how he thought they should and that he wasn't aware of the bigger picture.

In my line of work, if I'm making calls without considering ALL the information, including LOOKING UP information that may be applicable, I'm still liable if things go wrong.  Legally if someone dies, professionally if it costs my organisation money (no pay rise for the guy who blew our profit margins when he forgot to allow for a $1 million piece of equipment in the tender!).

I guess psychiatry is a bit like being weather forecasting: there's no accountability if you're wrong because you missed an important variable in the equation.

Except this time the psychiatrist made calls that got people killed, which is why I applaud him being stood down.

I also note that nowhere do they mention the radicalisation of Islam as a cause.  I guess this "non-terror attack" has found its scapegoat and the gods of public opinion have been appeased.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Another car jacking, no description of perpetrators

So here we have yet another case of a violent crime in which the description of the suspects is deliberately withheld.

Is that because they're trying to be sensitive?  Or is it simply assumed that from here on out all violent crimes are to be assumed to be by people "of African appearance" unless otherwise advised?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Selling ones virtue has a price

So the founder of Roxy has come out and told all about being a 'pleasure wife' of a Saudi arms dealer.

What's interesting to note is that she's on her 3rd (and hopefully last) marriage, so clearly living that lifestyle had taken a toll on her in more ways than just taking up her time.

I do give her full marks for telling her story.  Hopefully it will dissuade women in a similar situation to her from doing the same thing.  That is unless women today are more likely to treat relationships like this as transactions and attach less emotion to it.

A bit like prostitution.

The moral code wasn't dreamed up by a bunch of old men just looking to ruin the fun of everyone, it was developed over a long period of time by people who worked out that it works out better, in general, for people who follow it.

Yes, there will always be people who follow the code who don't do well and vice versa, but the moral code increasing the probability of success.  If wearing a seat belt increases the probability of you surviving a car accident, aren't you more likely to want to wear one?

Autistic boy attacked again by gang

So, here's a couple of articles that have appeared over the weeks that follow the usual 4th paragraph shenanigans:

So an autistic boy has been attacked by a gang again.

A bakery has be broken into, with the baker attacked.

No mention of the background of the gang members, despite the photos clearly showing a group who are anything other than white.

Par for the course, really.

I'm just waiting for a vigilante culture to spring up to take these thugs on.  It only takes a few hard men from Eastern European countries to band together to decide enough is enough.

Remember, Eastern Europeans don't care about being called racist.  They care about themselves more than that.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A penny saved is a penny earned - Benjamin Franklin

I thought I'd take some time off from writing about the onslaught of Marxism in our current society to focus on a few financial matters that I think everyone should know about to help them in the current world.

A lot of the things I write about may not apply in countries other than Australia, but a lot of the concepts are the same, regardless of where you live.

I'd like to start with the famous quote from Benjamin Franklin: "A penny saved is a penny earned".

I believe that statement is actually no longer true in this modern day.  His statement was true in his day and age when income tax rates were zero (and the money supply was governed by the government, not a private organisation, but that's a whole other kettle of fish) but a penny saved is actually less than a penny earned.

With income tax being what it is, the average salary for a male is $83,902 p.a. which falls in the 32.5% tax bracket in Australia.  So that means that for every dollar I spend (over the $37k income), I have to earn $1.48.  It may not seem like much but consider if I'm able to save myself $40 a week on something, say transport expenses.

Assuming I'm only working 48 weeks of the year (we have four weeks annual leave a year) and ignoring public holidays (because when you're buying monthly tickets, it doesn't always work out to have monthly tickets start & finish around those dates) that's $1,920 per year AFTER tax.

The BEFORE tax amount on this is $2,844 (rounded off to the nearest dollar).

For a person living on the median salary, that $2,844 is the equivalent to a 3.4% pay rise.  Given this current economic climate, I know heaps of people who don't even get that.

Think about that for a minute: small things we can do every day, that might save $5 here and $10 there add up very quickly and, when you start to think about money you're spending in terms of how much you had to earn rather than what you're paying, it becomes very different.

$4 per drink for morning tea and afternoon tea (which is more like about $4.50 for a bottle of soft drink in the cafeteria in my building)?  That's $8 a day or $40 per week right there!

The same also applies for big purchases too.  People who are upgrading their phones every couple of years (many of them unnecessarily so) may spend about $1,200 on the new iPhone or Samsung phone (not including the case or cover that a person should buy to protect their expensive new piece of equipment).  That's about $1,800 in pre-tax money.  Or the equivalent of 2.1% of the median salary.  So, putting off replacing an otherwise working mobile phone until the old one actually stops working (or becomes obsolete) is like giving yourself a pay rise.

People who kid themselves into thinking they've avoided that cost by opting to buy the phone on a 24 month plan, are just paying the same price (or higher!), with the spend just spread out over 2 years.

I'm not suggesting we should all live like monks and not enjoy living in our country, but the lifestyle we lead may be more expensive than we think it is and, with intelligent decisions on where to cut, where to substitute and where to find cheaper alternatives, we'll be far better off than arguing or begging for that pay rise to be 4% rather than 2%.

The money we save will go a whole lot further than incremental pay rises.  We may not have a latte with every morning tea or the latest mobile phone, but we'll be financially better off in the years ahead.

Remember how many people you know who say "I wish I'd drank more coffees over the years" vs the number of people who say "I should have started saving more money years ago".

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Anti-vaccination people forced underground

One really does have to wonder why, if we actually have freedom of speech, that people who want to see a documentary on the 'dangers of vaccinations' have to do so in secret.

Now, I'm all for vaccinations (my daughter has had all of them, but I'm so sick of people trying to make out that people who CHOOSE not to vaccinate their children are evil.

Much like how Medical companies have big funds set aside for compensation claims for people whose children have negative effects (why would they do that if the vaccinations were 100% safe?), the people who don't vaccinate are choosing to play the lottery the other way.

Are they putting other people's children at risk?  Maybe.  Are they putting their own children at risk?  Maybe.

Does the medical industry pretend like there's no risk?  Surprisingly, especially given how parents are expected to sign a waiver prior to being given the vaccination for every set of them.

I guess that's where the compensation fund comes in.  You're only signing away for mild side-effects like fever and illness.  If side-effects like death, disability or Autism were on the list, then you can bet your bottom dollar that:
  • People wouldn't choose to vaccinate
  • People who did vaccinate wouldn't have a right to compensation ("you signed it!")

Remember, you can only sign away your right to compensation for side effects they tell you about.  Anything else is fair game.  The difficulty is proving that your otherwise healthy and active child changed after the vaccination.

I was particularly annoyed when medical staff tried to claim my daughter's reaction "must have been something she ate", even though the rota-virus vaccine was THE ONLY common factor in her short term (as far as we know) symptoms.