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Baby Boomer to Gen Y on home ownership

(Article by Sally Pepper)

Hello, I’ve heard that some of you are resentful and angry with our generation because we were able to buy houses and pay them off with one salary in a short time. Well I’m not sure that many of us were able to do it all that quickly but we were able to service a mortgage even at high interest rates on one salary. This meant that you, Gen Y had one parent who could, if they chose not to work full time outside the home, devote quite a lot of time to you in your early years when you needed it. Furthermore, the main bread winner and mortgage-servicing parent, usually the father, did not work the long hours expected now, which meant that actually both parents were able to spend a respectable amount of time with you, Gen Y, at that critical time called childhood.

Who pays for the cost of housing?

So, dear Gen Y, at least you were secure in growing up in a house you could call home and in many cases had a back yard to play in.

Whilst it is truly regrettable that you, Gen Y, will not secure houses of your own as did the Baby Boomers and many of Gen X, it is Gen Z and those who come after, who I feel really sorry for. They probably won’t even experience the pleasure of living in a home which their parents own or are paying off. They have spent or will spend time in crèches and child care as their parents frantically try to maintain two incomes to pay the rent on an apartment or, if they are lucky, to pay off a mortgage on a house with a small back yard on the city’s fringes.

We are all in this together

If you think logically, is it the fault of one generation for whom it was achievable to become the owner of a house with land on one salary, without working hellishly long hours, that the next generation can’t? Is it reasonable for that generation who benefited during childhood from the situation which brought this about, to resent the people with whom they shared this good fortune ?

The fact that Gen Y struggles now for home ownership actually impacts also on the previous generation, their parents, who in many cases, not without stress, still accommodate their adult children when the generation before that, Gen Y’s grand parents, were free of this responsibility at the same stage of their lives.

This was possible because teenagers and young adults could afford to rent or buy a roof over their heads and now they can’t.

As you can see, the decline in ease of attaining home ownership impacts differently on all generations but it impacts all in a negative way. The majority of Baby Boomers get nothing out of this situation and did nothing to bring it about. The dispossession of Gen Y and those beyond is nothing for any of us to feel satisfied about. It is a crisis! In fact the Baby Boomers and some of Gen X largely raised Gen Y, thus it would be perverse and pathological in some way for them not to want them to have at least what the previous generation had! Not to be able to pass on the expectation of home ownership is a terrible failure.

But this is not where the stripping of the hope of real estate ownership from ordinary Australians ends.

Government Stealing your inheritance to pay for Aged Pension


Recently there have been suggestions that the family home be assessed for eligibility for the Age Pension. Some of Gen Y may applaud this, but what it could easily mean is that the family home has to be sold to provide for people in retirement or a reverse mortgage has to be taken out to achieve the same thing. Your despised Baby Boomer parents may well end up without a family home to pass on to you, who so sorely need it! In Australia , the family home is a family’s main asset and this is the main opportunity for the next generation to gain a vestige of financial security. The family home which may have cost your parents only $20,000 -$50,000 when they were earning $10,000 – $15,000 a year could now be worth nearly $1,000,000, a dizzying inflated number that would have made any Baby Boomer gasp back in 1980. The trouble is that owning such an asset does not make the Baby Boomer rich or any less in need of an Age Pension in retirement. It is still the same home.

It is your inheritance!

This was your only chance and it could go.

No time for misplaced resentment

Don’t waste time idly resenting the ordinary rank and file Baby Boomers or Gen X. Neither has stolen from you. They want to hand on to you what is rightfully yours but it may become impossible.

High population growth, 60% from immigration and the selling of real estate overseas to much larger markets is placing enormous demand on housing in Australia. Both these factors are relentlessly pushing up prices. How will you catch up?

Growth pushers want to divide and conquer ordinary Australians


The people who push for this type of growth in demand for real estate love it when kids hate their parents’ generation for having it easy where they don’t. Growth spruiker, Bernard Salt, ridiculed widows living in ordinary houses in ordinary suburbs, saying they were "rattling around" in them and intimating that they should move out.

There has been a lot of propaganda against the Baby Boomer generation who are largely ordinary people who made some sacrifices in order to attain home ownership (interest rates were very high at times) and on the whole did their best in the situation in which they found themselves. They did not steal from you. You were part of it, you were there too ! You were beneficiaries in fact. We would like this situation back. We must regain our autonomy and our unity as a society and get back our relative equality.

Comments

I didn’t quote everything, for the sake of brevity.

My second response is to treat this as an existentional question. Existentional in the sense that argues that political engagement is how we define ourselves, recognise eachother and become socially alive. Without political engagement, humans remain isolated and confused, unwell, depressed, impotent... I think you may be right to accuse the babyboomer statistical cohort of containing a significant number of existentionally disengaged members. The cultural cringe that Edna Everedge lampooned portrayed a set of somehow still immature elderly people reduced to communing with garden gnomes, their only identity material assets and mementos of sparse initiation ceremonies, like weddings and RSL membership.

Aristotle said that man is a political animal, and I don’t really like the “Boomer” term, and generational trends are very, very general. And again, I don’t want people to think that I blame boomers for everything, I don’t, they had poor role models in my opinion.

"[...]The ideology of multiculturalism was developed between 1966 and 1975 by a small number of academics, social workers and activists initially located on the fringe of the political arena of migrant settlement and welfare, a political arena that itself was not large, despite the fact that these issues affected the lives of so many. " [Al Grassby was not initially inclined to multiculturalism but one of his speechwriters was a multiculturalism activist and Grassby profited from having clear concept and direction from this"

This is the conclusion that I have come to as well, that these social changes were pushed for minority interests and were created by academics and politicians rather than any kind of ‘awakening’. I note that there was never a mass movement to change Australia’s make up, or in the UK, USA or Europe, but it happened and some people did agitate for them. People assume that this social change was voted for, it wasn’t. Over time, it was adopted after the fact, a fait accompli.

But every social change is always pushed by a minority, with the majority eventually going along. However, I can also see how it was allowed, and see the mentality of the day which made it permissible.

As to whether people should have interpreted 'ending the White Australia policy' as meaning mass immigration, I seem to recollect there was quite a lot of fear about this at the time, but it was managed by propaganda. People who expressed antipathy to asian immigration were ridiculed - for instance Bruce Ruxton. Ruxton, as I recall, was a working class passionate returned soldier advocate, lacking in sophisticated airs. The Vietnam War and conscription protests also helped to make him an easier target. What he stood for were largely the values that the government of his day had promoted, but fashions had changed and he was tarred as an anachronism.

“Sophisticates” thought that their advances sensibilities were better than what working class people believed. They knew were society should head, and those saying otherwise were impeding progress. This is part of the upbringing, that the professor, the expert was more knowledgeable, and the average guy was ignorant and should listen to them.

I don't understand what you mean here. Do you mean that those same people will complain elsewhere about lack of social cohesion etc? I was at that meeting too, but I thought that Kelvin Thomson's view was (a) the multicultural horse has left the stable so closing the door is no longer effective and so it is a non-issue, and (b) the concern of Victoria First is numbers, not ethnicity. Thomson had already announced this and for me the logical thing was, if people wanted to have an organisation about what kinds of immigrants Australia takes, then they would be welcome to form one and to invite people to join it.

It seems to me that there are two concepts here: One is How many immigrants and the other is What kind of immigrants? It seems to me that the first one has precedence.

There is nothing wrong with Vic Firsts approach, if it wants to deal specifically with numbers. But these two concepts relate to ‘how do we control our borders for our benefit’. Yes, one is numbers and one is type, and to you they are separate, but it is easy for the growth lobby to frame the argument as ‘do we accept people who say no to immigration to protect outdated ideas’? The issue is, if you’ve failed to be neutral on the second concept, then you yourself have answered that no, there are some cases where it is not acceptable and that it is OK to say to people that they have to surrender some personal vision or self interest to avoid a particular immigration restriction.

Despite this a lot of people continued to attend those meetings. Finally, John Howard made noises as if he was quite sympathetic to the reasons that people supported Hanson. This probably caused a lot of Hanson supporters to direct their preferences to him over the ALP. Then, in the wake of the Port Arthur Massacre, he banned guns. This endeared him to the middle classes and fashionable intellectuals who had formerly hated him because he seemed not of their class and because he had been sent into the political wilderness years before for expressing anti-Asian immigration ideas. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that he managed to bott quite a large portion of Hanson's support base for a while.

Yes, all through the Western world, centrist parties are adopting the rhetoric of right wing ones to draw voters from them and prevent the more extreme parties gaining support. Howard made noises about “we will control who comes here”, opened up the borders and made a big deal about refugees so he could look like he was tough on immigration.

Perhaps more important, what did people seeing what happened to Pauline Hanson learn? They learned that, not only could you be embarassed and even beaten up if you tried to fight high immigration because of your social values, but that the Australian Government would have no qualms about throwing you into prison for it.

But, infinitely worse, infinitely shocking, so bizarre and unthinkable that people may wonder if they imagined this, our current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, raised the money to prosecute Pauline Hanson which permitted her to be prosecuted and sent to prison.[6]

Both parties belong to the same ideological class, neo-liberalism. They are happy with other parties, as long as those parties also agree with them. They don’t believe in democracy, but there are ‘valid’ views, and ones which fall out should be eschewed or banned or marginalized. The totalitarian mindset. They view the country as just a resource, a collection of tax payers and voters. They probably don’t understand why anyone would care what it was made up of. We’re just numbers, interchangeable parts. But that’s all they have to care about, because they only get assessed on economic matters, and how many votes they get. If they can import voters, then why shouldn’t they?

The question is, what moral argument do people have against a nation being seen as nothing more than a collection of tax payers and voters? That argument has been degraded over the decades, but no one takes responsibility here. At the heart of most peoples ideology, is an acceptance of this. Pauline Hanson didn't learn this lesson either, which is why she perhaps her party devolved over time. No one was sure what it was really about. In the end, it wasn't about anything.

I was not aware that this was a 'baby-boomer' achievement. I thought it was a cultural change engineered by successive governments. I always thought that racism in Australia was grossly exaggerated, and used as a label to gloss over other more acceptable objections - like wanting to protect your job, or wanting to stop more housing developments. Certainly calling people racist has been used often to try to shut people up who objected to overdevelopment. These days they even intimidate people into saying, "We're not against 'development', just 'poorly designed developments' etc. as if it were somehow unreasonable to be against having everything covered by infrastructure.

I think that the property lobby was in on this from the beginning. They have funded a ton of pro-big population and multiculturalism literature from academics for years now. There has been no-one to fund the counter-arguments. The property development and business lobby have done this in Australia and in Britain for centuries. The Liberal Party was founded by immigrationist forces around the time of Federation.[5]

I doubt from the beginning, but early on. They pushed it, but didn’t invent it. Racism was invented by Trotsky, and the Eastern European communists had a term to describe ideas in line with the part, it was ‘political rectitude’. Sound familiar? I think this had more to do with the outcome of WWII, and the rise of Liberalism than economic lobby’s. No doubt growth lobbies saw the opportunity to exploit it, but I don’t think they engineered this. The removal of immigration restrictions happened almost simultaneously in Europe, the UK, USA and Australia, all around the mid 60’s. This had been a work in progress since the end of WWII and was largely a reactionary move to counter ideology which was seen as ‘nazi’. This manifested itself in several forms. The push to prove there were no racial differences, the push to remove any racial discrimination, the push against the acknowledgments that traits were hereditary, nurture over nature, openness over nationalism. Also, the ideology of self destruction.
These ideas were largely accepted, but now starting to fade as a new generation and scientific evidence is rolling in.

What has happened recently is that the internet has permitted a huge globalisation of the property market at the same time as we have lost almost all protection via the National Foreign Investment Board. In a country like Australia where there is no decoupling of work permits from immigration and where permanent immigration means real-time permanent, rather than just a year as it does in most of Western Europe, this means disastrous loss of control.

But this doesn’t account for local investors. Also, this problem is occurring because of a bubble. Bubbles are self perpetuating, a positive feedback cycle. As people jump on, prices go up. Prices going up mean more profits, people are more eager to jump on. This creates a feedback cycle. All it takes is a few triggers to start it, then it takes a life of its own. In this case, low interest rates and cheap, easy credit at the turn of the century and a few small concessions like the FHB grants starts a frenzy. Properties are being subdivided everywhere because people realize there is money to be made and there are eager people who will buy with the expectation of making money. Remember, this was global, not just Australia. Lax lending standards, low interest rates and being able to borrow against home equity just made the market go boom worldwide.

Even without foreign investors, we still would have had a bubble, it just may not have lasted as long, or been as big. I don't think property developers were able to coordinate a worldwide conspiracy to make a global housing bubble. All analysis points to the banks and credit. The bubble will burst when credit is not longer available to inflate the bubble, which could happen quickly.

What happened was that the market charged whatever it could get and it went after both salaries. In other words the market profited from a social change that was clamoured for as a benefit. Of course, it wasn't really the "market" it was a government of land-speculators making rules whereby they helped to inflate the price of property. But you are talking to a land-tenure sociologist here and I know that women all once had land, just as female bears do. We lost it in many cultures, but not all, along the way, and overpopulation was part of the reason. In a socio-economic system where most citizens don't own much property, being able to earn a wage is a means to some freedom, and why would women not want to be free? However real freedom is owning land and assets and having a home to stay home in, IMHO. I personally would like fifty per cent of seats in parliament to be for women (not for 'women's issues' but for women's bums on seats) and I personally want our inheritance system to be reformed so that male and female children cannot be disinherited by their parents in favour of the spouse; so that male and female children all have the possibility of inheriting assets, preferably land; so that there would be no need to compensate a widower or widow for their partner's decease because the widow or widower would have their independent fortune. (This is the Napoleonic or Roman system that is in almost all European countries and similar systems prevail in many places. The Anglophone systems are very disempowering.)

Prices in a free market system are always the most the market will bear. Increase earnings, and the market can bear more. Should household income increase (double), the market can bear more to pay for the ‘house’ part of household. This creates an inefficiency, because now more resources are expended to purchase the same product. No one sees it that way, because the mentality was consumption creates wealth. The more people spend, the better, even if they get the same. The idea that if people spend more for the same outcome, it's an economic positive is insane, but thats current economic thinking.

It is no wonder we are drowining in debt.

I don't think people saw this coming, any more than they saw most things coming, because of their ignorance of how big business and government work together, because of their naive faith in an entirely false belief that they lived in a democracy and were empowered, and because they emotionally followed fashions as they humanly sought identity and political engagement. It was easy to mislead a bunch of disorganised, poorly educated, disaggregated, statistical cohorts who suffered from cultural cringe and an absence of historical knowledge.

I would say its basic economics. If everyones wages were to double tomorrow, prices would double, yet if you said you could double everyones earnings, they would clamour for it. Why?

I think our system will dispossess anyone, white or brown. I believe that what is happening to Australia is the same thing that happened to Africa and India, the Solomans and Easter Island - disorganisation, dispossession, loss of self-government through colonisation by superior numbers and or forces.

Have you ever asked yourself why it is assumed that the USA, UK, Canada, Europe will change colour, and why this is seen as inevitable, and why no one at all demands this of Japan, Kenya, Korea, Liberia, Swaziland, Pakistan, Bangladesh? It is a morality so ingrained and so obvious, that no one sees it.

I don't believe that changing colours will make all that much difference, but you probably don't either.

Actually, I do. Countries control their borders. If those borders or population policy is managed in a way where an identifiable group disappear, or are threatened, then that is a crime against that group. Remaining 'neutral' is just as bad. Our politicians, ALL OF THEM, remain 'neutral' because the democratic system only grants them power if they are neutral, so they are, immoral and criminal.

What really changes is one's social organisation; one's real empowerment through clan and territorial connections. See Demography Territory and Law, The Rules of Animal and Human Population, Countershock Press, Australia, 2013. (Kindle) Also available as paperback here: Paperback edition. My book is all about this.

The fact that I think the British-inherited system we live under is totally wrong means that I am not a person who believes that a solution for us lies in British immigration (as Pauline Hanson did, I believe). I think we need to allow our population to decrease, but I have already written a lot about that.

I don’t believe in just opening up to Britain either, especially since they’ve done a good job creating problems there.

I was personally always shocked by the injustice and judgementalness and the sheer disregard for democracy meted out to people who tried to stand up for their rights as they perceived them. I was disgusted and dismayed at the impact of wedge politics which seemed to use these differences of opinion to corral people into very narrow associations and to demonise people who, at time of Federation, would all have talked civilly together. I saw what was happening as the destruction of democracy. I made a decision that the message I wanted to get out was ecological; it was the disappearance of green spaces and freedom to move, of biodiverse surroundings. To get that message out I could not afford to get involved in defending specific peoples' rights, however I did get to expose what was happening, as I am doing now. I also received a lot of poor treatment myself by people who mistakenly thought that I was fighting for discriminatory immigration policies

I suspect that’s it’s just 20th century thinking, that political ideology is everything. The future of the world depends on whether people adopt the right words or not. It’s almost religious. People treat politics as a religion, so those who disagree aren’t just adversaries, but heretics. Our very existence depends on people adopting the right ideas!

Opposing ideas are now treated not as just an alternate perspective, or different interests, but as some kind of mental illness. The Soviets used to treat dissenters as mental patients, because they believed anyone who objected to the system coulnd’t have been thinking right.

Yes, you are right; it did not fit with the ideology that the middle classes and fashionable intellectuals casually absorbed or that was taught to them from kindergarten through primary school and secondary school. As to why people did not imagine what could happen further down the track in terms of huge populations, skyrocketing prices and loss of human rights - it seems to me that most people responded to herding. They were afraid of what would happen to them if they resisted going in the direction they were being pushed and they accepted with more or less relief any rationale that the dogs herding them gave for forcing them into ever-narrowing choices, rationales that suggested that Australia was a big rich land, that we would all get cleverer, that sacrifices must be made for 'progress' and that 'progress' was an evolutionary pathway of a chronologically forward nature which always led to more and better stuff and to freedom and power in the end.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Asch

Interesting experiment here, people do act in a herd manner! But the lesson here is that it only takes a few to change the direction too. Just a few people speaking up can change everything.

I can't comment on where it is most prevalent. I was counselling a 30 year old mentally ill man recently who lived in utter precarity. He had a one room flat in public housing that he was too afraid to sleep in because someone had died in it before he moved in and their imprint was still on the carpet and the level of violence in those flats was terrifying. He said, "I'm tormented by my racist thoughts of resentment towards all the refugees that have public housing and contribute to the difficulties and violence." This was the first time I had thought about the impact that refugees (including accepted asylum seekers) might have on public housing demand. Until then I had thought that the number of refugees is so tiny that they pale into insignificance next to economic immigrants. However if there is an accumulated concentration of several thousand refugees over a few years in a limited quantity of public housing, it is obvious that there will be an impact. It's a fact that a lot of poor refugees do finish up in the public housing system and that it is full of violence. This guy did not feel that he could speak up because to him his resentments seemed to have a racist basis. So he could not formulate a statement that he had a right to decent housing as a citizen and if that right was being negatively affected by numbers of immigrants, then he had a right to demand a reduction in immigration. His solution was to couch-surf and sleep on benches, as he slid towards suicide. You will not be surprised to hear that he felt entirely worthless.

This sounds similar to someone I know, who also is depressed and had an attempt on his own life. Last time I spoke to him, he was wracked with guilt over what happened to the Aboriginals and what “we” did to them. I found this odd because his parents were immigrants from Greece, but identifying as European, he took on the burden of European colonization of this land. It seem so religious to me, like the idea of ‘original sin’, a sin you are born with and forever guilty for. He studied philosophy. Poor guy must have been brainwashed into thinking he born as wretched scum, forever to be an oppressor and creator of misery. Unfortunately, this thinking isn’t that rare.

As I have written, if they saw it coming, they were afraid, or, if they fought it, they were made to suffer. It helps that generations now have lived in cities and have no idea of how all the other creatures depend on their local ecology remaining intact. And that we do ultimately as well, and that you cannot self-govern via the global market.

I guess you bring me back to reality here. I do not believe that I ever did this. However I have seen groups revel in righteous indignation and the pursuit of people they thought were political outlaws. Once people did this to the tribe down the track when they had a bone to pick. Now our 'tribes' are temporary alliances, like brands, formed through identification with marketed values etc; and our loyalties and controls are easily manipulated; there are very few real sources of orientation. In an industry where I work, I have seen over 20 years, a degrading of trust and work conditions, a kind of dog-eat-dog ethos, a psychopathic pursuit of power and the reduction of normal people into cowards and tell-tales. This seems to me to be the result of bureaucracy and the abolition of the seniority system, which at least gave a lot of organic social structure to industry before, tempered the naked ambition and brought stability and safety. The majority of people, as far as I can see, don't want this, but they don't know how to get out of it. I think the way out is to talk about it, as we are doing here.

I agree. I consider the treatment of certain politics today akin to religion. People aren’t built to live in mass society, by the millions in a global space. The mental space is too large. People have transient alliances and constant change actually has been shown to delay mental maturity. It also leads to trespasses against others. The people developing your neighborhood aren’t your neighbours. The people you affect with your decisions aren’t people you have to answer to day to day. One thing I have learned from older people is the loss of a sense of ownership. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, people had a real sense of ownership over their society and their country. I’ve heard many people who grew up back then talk about how they felt they owned their country and how they lament the fact that people today can’t experience that. They had freedom to do stuff without people interfering or external forces controlling them. Life was less regulated and there was a community. People could let their children do things which today would have DOCS on your doorstep. There wasn’t a camera on every street corner.

Here is a story that explains this concept

(source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/abstractions-versus-the-real-world-economic-models-and-the-apologetics-of-greed/29270)

"Offshoring production to underdeveloped nations gives needy people jobs, increases their incomes, reduces poverty, and expands their nations’ GNPs. It also enables people in developed nations to purchase products produced offshore at lower prices enabling them to consume a wider range of things. As a result, everyone everywhere is better off.

Convinced? Most economists are, but it hasn’t worked that way. Everyone everywhere is not better off—as the whole world now knows. Why?

In the latter part of the 80s or early part of the 90s, a large retailer (don’t remember which one) thought it would be a good idea to bring an employee of a factory in Bangladesh to America to see how the clothing the factory was producing was being marketed to Americans. So a Bengali woman was selected to represent her factory and brought to America. This idea didn’t work out well. The woman not only saw how the products were being marketed but how much they cost and she was infuriated. She knew what she and her coworkers were being paid, about two percent of the price of the garments. She did not remain silent and was quickly sent back to Bangladesh. Here is the gist of her story:

She said she and her coworkers were not financially better off after being hired by the factory. Yes, the wages were better than those that could have been earned before, but they weren’t much benefit. Why? Because when the paychecks began to arrive, the local landlords and vendors increased prices on everything, so just as before, all of their incomes went to pay for basic necessities. The landlords and vendors got the money; the workers were not better off, and those in the community who were not employed by the apparel factory were decidedly worse off. It fact, it quickly became apparent that the workers were working for nothing. They did the work; the landlords and vendors got the pay. But, of course, the country’s GNP was better, which is all that matters to economists who still claim that Bangladesh’s economy is improving.

And although Americans were able to buy the apparel more cheaply than they could have before the manufacturing was offshored, the American apparel workers who lost their jobs are decidedly not better off.

Two conclusions follow from this scenario: employment alone is not a sufficient condition for prosperity; full employment can exist in an enslaved society along side abject poverty, and an increasing GNP does not mean that an economy is getting better. Remember these the next time the unemployment rate and GNP numbers are cited. Those numbers mean nothing.

More than thirty years has now passed and nothing has changed in Bangladesh. Most Bengalis still continue to live on subsistence farming in rural villages. Despite a dramatic increase in foreign investment, a high poverty rate prevails. Observers attribute it to the rising prices of essentials. The economic model described above just does not work, not in Bangladesh or anywhere else. Explaining why reveals what’s wrong with economics and why current economic practices, which have not essentially improved mankind’s lot over the last two and a half centuries, won’t ever improve it.

Economists build models by what they call “abstraction.” But it’s really subtraction. They look at a real world situation and subtract from it the characteristics they deem unessential. The result is a bare bones description consisting of what economists deem economically essential. Everything that is discarded (not taken into consideration in the model) is called an “externality.” So the models only work when the externalities that were in effect before the models are implemented do not change afterward."

Last week I received a call from a property development company inviting me to an investment seminar. Normally I refuse such invitations but in the light of this article and the subsequent comments I decided to go to see what sort of people are considering this type of investment. I was mainly interested in the age group. There were about 40 people in the audience with a large age range represented from twenties to about 70 with more in the middle of this range than at the extremes. I took that in quickly, so mission accomplished, but decided to stay and listen as the presenter assured the audience that it would go for only 1 hour. The presenter was a late Gen X or early Gen Y depending on the definition (she gave her year of birth as 1977) She told us she was the child of Italian immigrants and referred to the adopted land often during the talk as “this wonderful country”. Very early on she revealed that the company was not only a property developer but that they are migration agents assisting more people into “this wonderful country” She explained that property investment was the way to secure one’s financial future as there are “tax incentives galore”. She showed very clearly on a power point slide how the gap between the average wage and the average house price has been widening since the 1960s and pointed out that the purchasing of a house is now out reach for many. (my note -That makes them either homeless or renters) Underpinning all this she pointed out with a series of figures on immigration and births (didn’t mention deaths!) was population growth. She tapped into inflation and the probable increase in the GST as further accelerants to the recipe of certainty for the wisdom of buying property using “other people’s money” to secure one’s future. To successfully take this step, she and the audience determined that you need “guts, patience and the ability to see ahead 10 years” - as that is the time which it will take for a property to double in value. The tax concessions were all new to me. It was more than “negative gearing. It was about the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which is for investment in pre -approved developments in areas where there are acute rental shortages and where approved renters can rent for 20% below market value. The government sets the rent and also pays the investor $10,350 p.a. indexed and tax free for 10 years. This, our presenter spelled out meant about “$130,000 from the government tax free!” for investors. The recipe was, in summary- continued population growth, inflation, housing scarcity, tax incentives. Disclaimer: Do not take this as investment advice!

Great report. This is basically "talking up the market". You convince people that water can run uphill, then they'll invest in your uphill hydroelectric power station.

One thing I note with these "investment" try-hards, is when you discuss economic basics their mind jams up, or, quite often, they become hostile. It's part of being trained to be a spiv. You have to develop a disdain for people who have the 'wrong attitude'. Mention reality or basics, and they are trained to view you as a loser trying to put them down. They are told they are winners, with the right attitude. Attitude is everything and they view who deserve the wealth as solely on who wants it the most. Actual work and productive activity don't count. I've gone to similar seminars myself and always leave feeling depressed. "Wealth Creation" without actually creating anything of value. What a joke,

The idea of using 'other peoples money' makes me quite sick actually. These people are simply parasites, who are simply learning how to be a more efficient parasites. They're not investors. Investors invest to start a business, to fund a project, to make an invention commercially available. These people are parasites who use a system to extract wealth from those who create it. What's worse, they bleed the country to do it. If she really loved the country, she wouldn't be making a living of the backs of others, but I know the type. She doesn't love the country, just loves the free ride and easy cash. I know some who were born to S. European immigrants who have this 'use other peoples money to secure your future' mentaility. They didn't care how the money was made, just that they could take a share. I just point out that Italy/Greece are broke, and that this idea of just taking and sitting pretty doesn't work in the end.

You are right speculation is a blight on society. There is nothing wrong with seeking to provide housing for renters, etc. But when you do it just to make money - not for the benefit of others - then it is parasitic. This is where the selfish mindset sets in: when speculators make money of house prices rises, government schemes, etc - where do they think that money comes from? It comes often from families, or disadvantaged people, etc - reducing their opportunities. And even worse - as you mention Dennis - it takes money away from productive investments that would create work and opportunities for these same exploited people. Quite frankly, it is disgusting that people promote profiting from others in this way. We have 20,000 homeless (or more) in Victoria - not to mention many stuggling and stressed due to house prices - causing domestic violence, relationship breaksdowns - destroying families and childrens' lives - so some people can get rich doing nothing! It is absolutely outrageous - and the whole scheme is backed by our politicians who promote it with money, tax breaks, high immigration etc. They are all morally bankrupt! They probably all give to charity etc and perhaps think themselves generous because of it, yet profit from this truely filthly lucre! Speculation should be called out for what it is - and those who participate in it should hang their heads in shame!

Money for nothing - speculators think beyond yourself and who pays! Selfishness, and greed is what stops people thinking too deeply these days.

Matt

Your observations, Denniss about "attitude" fit in well with what I heard at this informative little investment event. A man in the audience, later identified as a developer played a very active part in answering all the questions put to the audience He largely agreed with the presenter and gratuitously gave his own exmaples of property investment successes, even giving the addresses of the said properties. Towards the end of the hour, from his seat in the audience he tried to issue a word of warning for the future and briefly foreshadowed that things may not keep going "to plan" over the next few years. This self declared veteran (he talked of investments going back to the 60s) of property investment was swiftly silenced and the meeting was tidily wrapped up in upbeat mood with no Q and A. (I don't know what the motivations of the developer were to be there and to be so vocal.) The audience was then ushered into a room where they were given refreshments whilst assistants circulated, asking people if they would like to sign up for appointments. The incentive to stay was a lucky door prize of $100.00 and 2 bottles of red wine as prizes for the correct answers to 2 questions.

Now imagine this in a bank or large financial firms. Those who doubt the wisdom of the 'way we do things' simply don't get promoted, leading to nothing but yes men at the top.

So when they say "we couldn't have known there was a problem" when the crisis comes, it's kind of true. There was no one around them who dissented. Selection was based on those who had the right attitude.

They just don't get exposed to contradictory views.

Margaret,
Your comment is extremely valuable and worthy to be made an article - if I get the time to transform it. These investment seminars have a religious quality and are conducted in many different forums at many different levels, to professionals, amateurs and government.

The industry marketsits message continuously via multiple channels, organised at local, state, national and global level. See many views on this here: http://candobetter.net/?q=GrowthLobby We can take as many reports like yours by people attending such seminars as they are able to provide. The message gets into peoples' heads and overwhelms their common sense by dint of repetition. So, please everyone, attend more of these seminars and tell all, repeatedly.

Dennisk wrote:

...how many boomers in the 60's and 70's wanted immigration restrictions? How many wanted immigration laws loosened?

...

Or smaller homes. How many people back 30 years ago said we need to share our wealth, that we have too much? How many people even TODAY say we should share our wealth and space. ...

...

In ALL those examples, there were plenty of warnings. In all those examples, honest appraisal would have hinted at this outcome. But this wasn't allowed, because it didn't fit with the ideology.

What you write of is not the consequence of informed consent by the baby boomers. It is the consequence of Australian democracy (like the democracies of so many other countries around the world) having been subverted by the 1975 coup against the Labor Government of Gough Whitlam as described in the book the CIA – a Forgotten History 1 by William Blum. Chapter 40, entitled Chapter 40: Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust in 1975, shows how the Labor government of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Lionel Murphy and Rex Connor, which put the interests of ordinary Australians ahead of foreign and domestic corporations, was overthrown in the coup of 1975.2

What is not as well appreciated is that after the 1975 coup, instead of remaining an effective opposition, the Labor Party has been, since its defeat at the 1980 Federal elections (if not sooner), whiteanted by corporate glove puppets within, including Paul Keating, Anna Bligh and Peter Beattie and the well-known CIA operatives Bob Hawke and Bob Carr.

In subsequent years, when the Labor Party regained office at the national level and in various states, it implemented even more extreme free market policies than the supposedly more right-wing coalition of the Liberal and National Parties. Naomi Klein should have included a chapter in her book The Shock Doctrine (2007) about the mis-rule of Australia by Hawke and Keating. Sadly, she did not.

Footnotes

1. This book has since been re-published with the title
Killing Hope – U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II

2. The subversion of Australian democracy was also observed by Christopher Boyce who, in 1974, began work in a communications center in California through which CIA cables were routed. There, he learnt that the CIA acted to remove the Labor Government in 1975 and, prior to that, the democratically elected Chilean government of President Salvadore Allende. Allende died in the military coup of 1973. This convinced Boyce that he should oppose his own government by spying for the then Soviet Union. This is described in the book The Falcon and the Snowman and the movie of the same name.

Churchill said if anyone wanted a good argument against democracy, spend 5 minutes talking to the average voter.

It is a great ideal, but representative democracy I don't think can work. It is a system where people can vote themselves the treasury, where those who influence others gain power.

Science is now showing that people make decisions based on biology, their inbuilt prejudices, and HOW the problem is framed. Rationality has far less to do with it that we thought. Experiments have been able to see the brain making a decision and predict what it is, before the person making the decision has even started thinking about it. What appears to be a rational choice, was actually made before you thought about it.

Likewise, there is ample evidence to show that how a person makes a 'rational' decision has a lot to do with how the question is framed, or their psychology.

That is, I don't believe that democracy could ever provide decisions made due to informed consent. Democracy I don't believe, actually provide ANY consent. The democratic decisions is perhaps in a minority due to free will.

I think a lot of baby boomers, like me, didn't object to ongoing immigration levels during the 1980s and 1990s because we had jobs and housing was affordable. The levels were lower then, and so was our total population. Nobody thought it would continue to our detriment, but also be massively increased!

We assumed that our borders were under control, and so was immigration - that it would wind down once the effects became detrimental and heavy on living standards, jobs, housing costs and the environment. The "white Australia" immigration policy ended, so who would not have assumed that immigration itself would not wind up once Australia reached a maximum, comfortable population size? Also, it's incremental, making it easier to overlook, and harder to assess in the long term.

Also, baby boomers are not sitting on a mountain of wealth! Superannuation schemes have been slashed, due to the GFC. They find it hard to get jobs, due to age-ism. Pensions are almost impossible to get, and staying in the family home is expensive, due to council rates and cost of utilities. Many must maintain their adult children, in the family home, due to the impossible high costs of housing and mortgages.

It's convenient to pitch generations against each other at this diverts from the real cause of hardship - poor policies based on on-going growth and corporate greed.

I'm not sure why anyone would have assumed immigration would end. Was there back then, a goal which the government and academia spoke of? Or was it just wishful thinking? Even today, I ask people "at what point does Australia become 'diverse' enough?" and there is NEVER an answer. Because the answer is it never will be.

So I KNOW what will happen in the future, but no one really cares because it seems A-OK today. So a massive problem is unfolding, which of course, everyone will deny they ever supported when called to account.

Thats where I think there is a generation gap. Boomers I find still have faith in the system, just not some of the people. Your generation actually said that history had ended because the end had been reached! The world as it was when they grew up, they believe was good, it just went bad due to bad people. Younger ones distrust the system, entirely. They are realising that it was bad to begin with and see Boomers as people who got theirs while the getting was good. There is no going back now. There is no 'unwinding'.

In short, we know that history hasn't ended. The moral problems haven't been resolved. The final 'good' hasn't come.

As I said, when I discuss issues like this with older people, its always about 'planning permits', and 'this minister', or 'lobby this person/group'. When I discuss it with younger people, the problem is the system itself. It just occurred to me perhaps the reason the representation at Vic First was generally older was not so much because of young people being busy, but because its the older people who still have faith at a political solution, WITHIN our current system can actually work.

Dennis K wrote:

Your generation actually said that history had ended because the end had been reached!

Such a generalisation about the whole of the Baby Boomer generation cannot be true. As you should know, it was an individual right-wing 'free market' ideologue Francis Fukuyama who made this pronouncement after what was labeled 'socialism' was overthrown in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

As history was supposedly 'ending' in 1991, with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union by the corrupt drunkard President Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) the United States was starting a succession of wars against Iraq which have, so far, cost many hundreds of thousands of lives (3,300,000 according to one estimate). Other bloody wars which have begun since history supposedly ended in 1991 include:

  • The break-up the former republic of Yugoslavia;
  • the 9/11 false flag terrorist attack and the invasion of Afghanistan for which 9/11 was the pretext;
  • The invasion of Libya in 2011;
  • The terrorist proxy war against Syria which has so-far cost 130,000 lives;
  • Meddling in the Ukraine by the United States in order to replace a democratically elected government with a puppet of the United States;

Denniss, are you saying that Gen Y is more politically savvy than the Baby Boomers? Are you also saying that the Baby Boomers should have taken some sort of action or protested at a time when things seemed to be going OK yet now that things are obviously going down the gurgler, it's understandable for disillusioned Gen Y to sit on on its collective hands and blame its parents?

I don't think they are politically more savvy per se, just have a different attitude.

It's human nature. Young people like my wife and I who are trying to forge ahead aren't going to like it when at the open for inspection for the precious few affordable family homes in the area, there are Boomers there too. My wife asks "Don't they already have homes?". She's right, but they wan't something else too I suppose. The thing is, we can have children, they can't, hence the aversion. It's not a rational "weigh up the facts" aversion, it's a gut instinct.

Behind all the articles on the subject in the media, I beleive is a gut instinct and will to power. Our human nature makes us seek to procreate, to rear the next generation which will continue our genes. When a young person sees an old person filling an ecological niche, they react inside. The older person may either be wanting to maintain power, or simply stuck in their ways.

Thats what I think it is, ultimately. Those retirees in those homes are impeding reproduction, and this subconscious realisation then manifests itselfs as 'rational' arguments against the retirees. The problem is, that calls to view the old and young as 'equal' aren't going to work, because biologically they are not. Many people probably don't understand the mechanics leading to their decision making. Boomer morality says there should not be discrimination on age/sex/race but there always is.

So young people are inclined to observe the reasons why Boomers don't deserve the wealth, Boomers observe the reasons why they should keep it, and justify it by being able to help their own children (genetic interests). As this article did. This conflict is arising because living standards are decreasing, but as I said, its not that Boomers are the fault, the rot was set in before, its that boomers are the most VISIBLE manifestation of that problem.

Your conclusions are based, I think, on rational deduction but wrong assumption of what is normal. From anthropological and zoological data, one finds that, in a stable normally constructed society (organically grown with minor immigration component) the generations will cooperate on food production, housing and child-rearing. The competitiveness between generations that you take for normal are caused by disorganisation and scarcity. Most societies do not expect everyone to marry and raise children either. Most contain a goodly number of bachelors that cooperate with the breeding adults. This feature is present in the social organisation of other species, as the work I cite in Demography Territory and Law, The Rules of Animal and Human Population, Countershock Press, Australia, 2013. (Kindle) Also available as paperback here: Paperback edition, chapters 3 and 4.

You also do not seem to have picked up on the fact that elderly people become more dependent if taken out of their known environment. This competition for housing should also be understood as a sign that we are overpopulated. And as a sign that the cohort of age-of-childbearing immigrants has obviously exceeded the proportion that would have arisen with natural replacement. So, it sounds as if overpopulation is producing the kind of aggression that has been predicted by those who said Australia is growing too big. Aggression is usually enracinated by a sense of entitlement. All these things seem to be present in your attitude here, Dennis. I hope you will forgive me for this observation.

What was feared has come to pass.

I don't think you can assume, Denniss that the people bidding at auctions are the ones who are actually buying the properties. I got my mother to bid for me for a house. I missed out unfortunately that time, but my mum would have looked like an older person competing with a younger generation which was not the case. A lot of my friends get someone older to bid for them.

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