How long does it take to go from prosperity to despotism

For those watching and paying attention to Venezuela, Australian should remember that but for the grace of God go we. Or perhaps not.

Venezuela was once one of the most prosperous nations in the world, blessed with ample natural resources and a nice climate (sound familiar). Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels as of 1 January 2014 and as such, should be one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Then in 1998, the Venezuelans elected Hugo Chavez as president. Chavez was reelected in 2000, 2006 and 2012. Chavez died in 2013 and was replaced by his protege, Nicolas Maduro who remains President until today.

During his presidency, Chavez used then record oil prices to massively expand the size and scope of the Government. He nationalized Venezuela’s largest telephone companies, electric utilities, steel, food plants, rice, coffee, banks. Following his death, Maduro followed the policies of his mentor Chavez.

Combined, their policies and regulations have destroyed the Venezuelan economy such that basics, food, medicine, toilet paper are barely available. The economy was so damaged that last year, 75 per cent of the population has lost an average of 8.6 kilos in weight.

In 2007, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network invited (then living) Hugo Chavez to visit Australia to advise our leaders on how to run a country and economy. That invitation was co-signed by:

  • Phillip Adams (ABC broadcaster)
  • Lee Rhiannon (Senator – Australian Greens)
  • Kerry Nettle (Former Senator – Australian Greens)
  • Sylvia Hale (Former NSW MLC – Greens)
  • Meredith Burgmann (fromer President of the NSW Legislative Council – ALP)
  • John Pilger (independent journalist and film-maker)
  • Keysar Trad (Islamic Friendship Association)
  • Natasha Stott-Despoja (Former Senator – Australian Democrats)

Together, Chavez and Maduro have governed continuously for 19 years.

In December of this year, Australian’s will “celebrate” the 10 year anniversary of the election of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, a man who currently lives in New York and maintains his own vanity website.  Since then, Australians have seen 4 changes of Prime Minister – an average tenure of 2 years for the 5 post John Howard Prime Ministers.  From Rudd to Gillard to Rudd to Abbott to Turnbull.

Over this period we have had, among other things:

  • Pink bats
  • NBN
  • Gonski 1
  • Gonski 2.0
  • Not 1 single budget surplus and nearly $600 billion of commonwealth debt
  • School halls
  • The highest electricity prices in the world
  • Loss and recovery of border control for untold costs
  • Increased income taxes
  • $50 b leaky French bathtubs assembled in South Australia
  • Increased labour market regulation

And now, our entire political and media establishment is focused on ….. same sex marriage, a republic plebiscite and Aboriginal recognition.

There is an old saying, if we don’t change our direction, we will end up where we are headed.  In December 2007 we changed our direction and we are now headed straight for Caracas.  Forget the banana republic Mr Keating.  Try tin pot despotism.

The case study of Venezuela should be taught in schools and told before every Australian election to remind people of the consequences of the policies proposed, and in fact enacted, by some of Australia’s political class. If taught in schools, it might crowd out some of the other daffy material such as safe schools and so all the better.

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52 Responses to How long does it take to go from prosperity to despotism

  1. rebel with cause

    But equality is no longer an issue in Venezuela.

  2. Irreversible

    Not so sure about despotism. More like narcissism. Our Parliament is full of people who live in bell jars, endlessly cheered by the sound of their own voice. Fact is they know the key issues: the main issue with power is the gas price disaster, which was flagged years ago in very public statements by business people like Dick Warburton and was ignored by the then govt (ironically it was the Abbott Govt); the main issue in budgets in middle class welfare yet even today there is no sensible limit on public subsidies for people with ample means; no one has taken on the unions and bureaucrats over education performance and the notion of performance pay, etc. Instead we get bullshit arguments about SSM, religion in schools, subsidised power stations etc etc etc.
    La La Land.

  3. Carpe Jugulum

    Australian citizens, you have a couple of choices;

    1. Become a prepper
    2. Go off grid
    3. Or get the hell out of Oz – you could live like a millionaire in PNG, Solomons, Thailand, Phillipines or Tahiti. If you like a few more 1st world comforts there is always Japan, Taiwan or even Bali.

  4. Brett

    No, No No … you misunderstand; Chavez and Maduro didn’t implement true socialism, and none of the failed communists states did either. There has been no proper implementation so we can ignore all of the failures. When the left finally takes over in Australia it will be done correctly, for the first time, and we will all live in an equality paradise. Or maybe not.

  5. zyconoclast

    I bet Chavez is glad he keeled over when he did.
    He took all the glory and none of the heat.

    The socialist 7 listed above will never be asked to recant.

    It was Maduro what dunnit

  6. Saltwater

    Indeed, let’s get this SSM over and done with, and focus on the things that matter:

    Rising government debt
    Opportunities for our children
    The expanding bureaucracy – including how on earth the ABS could even be trusted to run a chook raffle after the last debacle
    Electricity prices
    Why we can’t all have avo on toast for breakfast every morning!

    Unfortunately I fret that once SSM is done, the foc us will deflect straight onto the next virtue signalling cause instead. Changing the date of Australia Day! Banning Santa Claus! Who knows where it will end up. The only certainty is that the government – regardless of who’s in charge – will happily let these conversations run, to detract from any meaningful discussion about where the nation is heading.

  7. .

    Why we can’t all have avo on toast for breakfast every morning!

    Oh God. Not this ridiculous Bernard Salt shit, how about the average proportion paid being taxes and governmental charges on a new home in Sydney is 46% of the total sale price.

  8. Barry 1963

    I think the spike in electricity prices occurred with Abbott policies. The prices under the carbon tax were stable. The carbon tax was a market based approach, and it worked well in practice. Abbott replaced it with something worse for political reasons. These are the sorts of things that damage our economy.

  9. The case study of Venezuela should be taught in schools and told before every Australian election to remind people of the consequences of the policies proposed, and in fact enacted, by some of Australia’s political class. If taught in schools, it might crowd out some of the other daffy material such as safe schools and so all the better.

    I mean well, but the only thing that comes to mind is what planet do you live on? The entire education system is run by an ostensibly Marxist regime and the media is in bed with those Marxists. All governments (I don’t actually believe that even the Labor Party is on the Marxist side) have proven to be too spineless to address theses issues.

  10. rickw

    For those watching and paying attention to Venezuela, Australian should remember that but for the grace of God go we. Or perhaps not.

    There ISN’T a lot of wrecking in a nation.

  11. rickw


    1. Become a prepper
    2. Go off grid
    3. Or get the hell out of Oz – you could live like a millionaire in PNG, Solomons, Thailand, Phillipines or Tahiti. If you like a few more 1st world comforts there is always Japan, Taiwan or even Bali.

    1. Covered
    2. Under consideration
    3. Missus currently running recon in Thailand, my preference is Texas. 50% of wealth already shifted offshore.

    6th Generation Australian, 5th Generation on same farm, reluctant to leave, but this isn’t Australia anymore, it’s a social experiment re-running every shit and disproven socialist / globalist idea that can be found.

  12. Chris

    These are the sorts of things that damage our economy.

    Quite right. If socialism were truly implemented, it would have succeeded.

  13. Art Vandelay

    I think the spike in electricity prices occurred with Abbott policies. The prices under the carbon tax were stable. The carbon tax was a market based approach, and it worked well in practice. Abbott replaced it with something worse for political reasons. These are the sorts of things that damage our economy.

    Nonsense. The very point of a carbon tax (and an emissions trading scheme for that matter) is to increase energy prices so that less energy is consumed (and this thus leads to lower emissions). It’s in any standard microeconomics textbook.

    The real reason for the massive increase in power prices is the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the $2-3 billion of subsidies it provides for renewable operators (all of which are ultimately paid for by consumers). Not to mention the fact that the RET forces retailers to buy expensive renewable energy over much cheaper coal power which puts coal plants out of business.

    Abbott’s direct action policy is stupid and a waste of money but has nothing to do with energy prices.

  14. Woolfe

    Rickw, you going the EB-5 visa route for USA?

  15. Snoopy

    * $50 b leaky French bathtubs assembled in South Australia

    * Landing craft that when carrying their purpose-designed cargo ride dangerously lower in the water than expected.

  16. stackja

    Kev 07 created the problem. TA started a solution. MT added to the problem. BS is not a help.

  17. RobK

    “Over this period we have had, among other things:
    -Water law reform
    -signing Kyoto agreement
    -strengthening of EPBC Act covering wetlands, making most agriculture potentially illegal.

    Property rights have erroded to the point where it looks like they ain’t comming back.

  18. egg_

    In 2007, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network…

    Phatty Adams (ABC broadcaster) et al?

    That’s yer problem, right there!

  19. Tim Neilson

    $50 b leaky French bathtubs assembled in South Australia

    Well, to be assembled in SA some time in the next 50 years.

    Like ordering a few squadrons worth of Sopwith Camels to be delivered in time to take on MiGs in Vietnam.

  20. Neil

    I think the spike in electricity prices occurred with Abbott policies.

    I wonder what this govt policy did to electricity prices?

    http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/delivering-a-fair-share-for-victorians/

    The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to ensure Victorians get a fair return for the use of our state’s natural resources.

    Victoria’s coal royalty rate has not changed for over a decade, and it’s time to bring Victoria into line with other states, including New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

    The 2016/17 Victorian Budget will increase the brown coal royalty rate three-fold from 1 January next year, raising $252 million over the forward estimates.

    Power companies can easily absorb this change, and there is no reason for it to be passed onto consumers.

  21. Graham Jose

    We will be there soon enough. What we are doing is totally unsustainable.

  22. Squirrel

    These wise words, from 43 years ago (almost to the day), are once again very relevant –

    http://australianpolitics.com/1974/08/11/robert-menzies-freeman-of-kew-speech.html

    There’s a superficial difference in that the official CPI figure does not show a high rate of inflation (because it conveniently ignores the greed-driven madness in our property markets), but the broader points are absolutely spot on, still.

  23. [email protected]

    That list of names for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s invitation for Chavez (up or sideways), should become Tim Blair’s next voting project – The Annual Blight-Brats Award.

  24. Empire GTHO Phase III

    I think the spike in electricity prices occurred with Abbott policies. The prices under the carbon tax were stable. The carbon tax was a market based approach, and it worked well in practice. Abbott replaced it with something worse for political reasons. These are the sorts of things that damage our economy.

    Horseshit and you know it.

    For the record, the MRET was introduced by the Howard govt. The target increased in 2010 under Liars and was reduced in 2013 when TA was PM.

    The beginning of the end for our natural bounty of cheap energy began with this perverse price fixing by the state. The overt war on coal fuelled by the thermageddon delusion was incited by the communist lying mole Julia Gillard.

  25. Sid Shanks

    Excellent post. Mises Institute regularly posting articles on Venezuela also

  26. Roger

    For those watching and paying attention to Venezuela, Australian should remember that but for the grace of God go we. Or perhaps not.

    Come on down, Venestralia!

  27. Rabz

    That invitation was co-signed by:

    Phillip Adams (ABC broadcaster)
    Lee Rhiannon (Senator – Australian Greens)
    Kerry Nettle (Former Senator – Australian Greens)
    Sylvia Hale (Former NSW MLC – Greens)
    Meredith Burgmann (fromer President of the NSW Legislative Council – ALP)
    John Pilger (independent journalist and film-maker)
    Keysar Trad (Islamic Friendship Association)
    Natasha Stott-Despoja (Former Senator – Australian Democrats)

    Bluddee hell – that’s one almost indescribable assemblage of stupid. Note the last addled imbecile, appointed to a plum taxpayer funded sinecure and bully pulpit by Abbott in one of his first acts after becoming PM.

    #toostupidtosurvive

  28. a happy little debunker

    stackja

    Kev 07 created the problem. TA started a solution. MT added to the problem. BS is not a help.

    Knowing the difference between BS & CS is important knowledge to every society.
    To tell the difference find any field that has experienced bovine occupation.

    In that field find any randomly left bovine pats.

    Throw the pat up in the air, if it falls to the ground it is a common garden variety cow pat – otherwise it is total BS.

  29. duncanm

    Green Left Weekly — even now clinging to the Venezuelan revolution.

    viva la diet!

  30. duncanm

    ‘Fake news!’ says GLW.. FMD

  31. duncanm

    The dissembling from that clown at 3min onwards is amazing.

    > 100 deaths — nothing to do with security forces or starving people trying to loot food stores (bakeries etc). Its all those nasty right wingers.

  32. .

    Bluddee hell – that’s one almost indescribable assemblage of stupid. Note the last addled imbecile, appointed to a plum taxpayer funded sinecure and bully pulpit by Abbott in one of his first acts after becoming PM.

    A conservative or libertarian government MUST cut as soon as it is in office. It must cut hard and deep. There is no mercy in not making cuts. Each cut is a mercy. Each dollar of tax paid is paid painfully and under pain or further punishment.

  33. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    “Over this period we have had, among other things:

    The highest minimum wage in the world.

  34. Siltstone

    Hugo Chávez daughter is the richest individual in Venezuela, report claims

    She sold lots of Green Left Weekly door-to door?

  35. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Can’t argue with the need to avoid Venezuela. Australian Conservatives have policies out today.
    Looking good.

  36. Chris M

    Missus currently running recon in Thailand

    Don’t even think about it, only for holidays. Many westerners are leaving there now; very corrupt, dangerous and deteriorating, farang cannot own land. Read Stickman or other westerners with experience there, the good days are past.

  37. Crossie

    Indeed, let’s get this SSM over and done with, and focus on the things that matter:

    And then it will be the republic referendum to consume us all and after that let’s change the constitution for Aborigines etc, etc, etc.

    If SSM is only a distraction why do we have to do it first? I thought we should do the most important things first like fix the economy, cheap energy, terrorism, government debt. But what do I know?

  38. Paul Farmer

    Duncanm……thanks for posting the link to green left weekly. Wow, stunning…….. the self delusion these Venezuelan socialists folk have is breathtaking……..the scale of their arrogance, ignorance and stupidity simply can’t be summed up in words that give justice to their complete and total mind numbing indoctrination.

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the language used by green left weekly, the Orwellian speak everywhere highlights how these people have become a parody of themselves . The sobering part as Spartacus notes is these sort of people could well be in government sooner than we realise the way the turnball government is going.

  39. max

    The rise of the permanent political class in Washington came with the rise of a vast government apparatus with unprecedented amounts of money and power to control and corrupt individuals, institutions and the fabric of the whole society.

    There are now people in Washington whose entire adult lives have been spent in government, in one role or another. Some begin as aides to politicians or as part of the sprawling empires of the federal bureaucracy. From this they progress to high elective or appointed offices in government.
    Turnover in Congress has been reduced almost to the vanishing point. Political alliances within government and with outside special interests, as well as the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, make most incumbents’ reelection virtually a foregone conclusion.

    This kind of government must constantly “do something” in order to keep incumbents’ names in the news. In short, big government has every incentive to create bigger government.
    Throwing the rascals out will not get rid of this political pattern. The first step in limiting, and then scaling back, government itself must be limiting the time that anyone can remain in office — preferably limited to one term, to make it harder to become career politicians, a species we can well do without.

    Thomas Sowell

    THE BUREAUCRATIZATION OF AMERICA
    The greatest single threat to liberty in the West is what it has been for at least a century: the expansion of administrative law. This system is extending the power of central governments into every nook and cranny of the West. Bureaucracies have created administrative law courts that have been substituted for civil courts all over the West. Bureaucratic agencies provide their own judges. They serve as their own juries. Then they execute the laws that they have interpreted autonomously. This process is well developed, and it appears to be irresistible. It is the overturning of the Western legal tradition, as described by Harold Berman in his Introduction to Law and Revolution (1983).
    This process is relentless. It is not affected by politics. It is protected in the United States by Civil Service rules. All over the West, comparable protections exist. These people are tenured. They cannot be fired. Their word is the law. This system is manifested in the United States by the Federal Register, which publishes over 80,000 pages of fine-print regulations every year.
    There is only one way to stop the growth of administrative law: budget cuts. Nothing else offers any hope whatsoever.
    Gary North

  40. OldOzzie

    Cost of public services balloons, analysis finds

    Inflation in the cost of public-sector services is rising at more than five times the pace of the private sector, and is equivalent to a tax of more than $800 a year on the average household.

    With consumer confidence suffering its longest run of weakness since 2008, the Turnbull government has declared rising living costs are a central econo­mic issue.

    Following a meeting yesterday to broker a deal with electricity retailers to make it easier for consumers to compare prices, Scott Morrison said: “The government­ understands the flat incomes that Australians have been dealing with now over some years put real pressure on those family budgets.”

    The Treasurer said the ­meeting stemmed from a key pledge in the budget to put “downward pressure on the rising­ cost of ­living”.

    Deutsche Group analysis of inflation data shows the problem is much more widespread than electricity. Over the past five years, private-sector goods and services have risen in price by just 5 per cent, while prices set or influenced by the public sector have soared by 27 per cent.

    The spiralling cost of essential services including childcare, utilities, health and education is cutting­ living standards at a time of record low wages growth.

    Deutsche Group chief econo­mist Adam Boyton said the rise in government-influenced prices was equivalent to a tax.

    “Unlike other types of inflation that are the result of a strong economy, this is a form of inflation that entrenches the weakness in household disposable income,” Mr Boyton said.

    “If the government wants to ease cost-of-living pressures on households, these numbers would suggest it should look at the impact of government decis­ions on the whole range of prices that consumers pay.”

    Mr Boyton noted that, during the 1980s and 1990s, governments made concerted efforts to improve the efficiency of those parts of the economy dominated by the public sector in a drive to lower costs. The last time that private-sector and public-sector prices were rising at the same pace was in 2007-08, before the global financial crisis.

    Since then, private-sector prices have risen by just 10 per cent against a 60 per cent increase for prices driven by government.

    Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler said yesterday the key driver of rising energy prices was “the policy paralysis that has bedevilled this nation in energy under the four years of Abbott and Turnbull”.

    Mr Butler said that yesterday’s discussion between the government and energy retailers would bring little relief to consumers.

    The rise of public-sector inflation partly reflects federal, state and local governments pushing their financing problems onto consumers while rising costs for services such as childcare, energy and health are the result of poor policy at all levels of government.

    Childcare has recorded some of the biggest cost increases, up by 44.5 per cent over the past five years, while there have been big price rises for medical and hospit­al services (38.5 per cent), property rates (31.8 per cent), gas (30.6 per cent), electricity (25.2 per cent), and education (25.1 per cent). The biggest increase has been 76.1 per cent in tobacco prices, reflecting higher taxes. Government has succeeded in containing costs in a few areas, including pharmaceuticals (1.5 per cent), and public transport fares (4.3 per cent).

    The last detailed Australian Bureau of Statistics survey of household spending in 2009-10 showed that government-­influ­enced services took about 20 per cent of household budgets. Based on inflation since then, that would have risen to about 25 per cent.

    The cost of government-influenced services would have risen by about $800 a year, reaching $19,000 for the average household in the 12 months to June, compared with private-sector costs of about $55,000, which have been rising at $550 a year.

    A majority of consumers have been pessimistic about the economy and their finances for the past nine months, according to the Westpac/Melbourne Institute con­­sumer sentiment survey for August. It is the longest run of negative responses since 2008, during the global financial crisis.

    The index dropped 1.2 per cent to 96.6 points this month, with a measure of 100 marking the point at which equal numbers are ­optimistic and pessimistic about the outlook.

    The number of people who say their family finances have deteriorated over the past year ­exceeded those recording an ­improvement by 21.9 percentage points, the largest margin since 2014, in the wake of the Abbott government’s controversial first budget.

  41. OldOzzie

    BIS: New apartment building to halve

    The wave of cranes will disappear from capital city skylines over the next three years with high-rise apartment construction to halve and overall building to decline 17 per cent, stripping out a key ­support of economic growth, according to BIS Oxford Economics.

    National building starts reached peak levels over the past two years, with $107.3 billion of work started across the commercial and residential sectors in 2015-16 and a similar level expected for last financial year.

    The peak levels are 22 per cent above those at the end of the ­resources boom in 2012-13, the ­researcher found.

    “Overall, we expect 2017-18 will be the peak in high-density residential completions, but that part of the market will slump around 50 per cent in the subsequent two years,” said Robert Mellor, ­managing director of BIS Oxford Economics. “By contrast, a milder decline is forecast for detached houses. The saving grace is that the floor in residential commencements is likely to be higher than in previous busts.”

    The forecasts are more bearish than those of federal budget and last week’s Reserve Bank statement, Mr Mellor noted.

    Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said the “current high level of residential construction is forecast to be maintained for some time before gradually easing”.

    BIS expects residential building starts will fall by about 31 per cent over the next three years.

    The drop would be similar to the residential downturns in the mid-1990s and the introduction of the GST in 2000/2001, according to the researcher.

    However, the firm’s Building in Australia 2017-2032 report expects the value of non-residential building commencements to rise further in 2017-18 — following a cumulative increase of 25 per cent over the past two years.

    The broad slowdown in building starts would challenge the 3 per cent growth targets for the Australian economy outlined in the 2017-18 budget, the firm said.

    “The strong growth in building commencements since 2012-13 provided a welcome boost for the Australian economy at a time when resources-related investment and construction activity fell heavily,” BIS’s associate director of construction, maintenance and mining, Adrian Hart, said. “But with residential building activity in particular now set for a sharp decline — along with its multiplier impacts on industries such as construction, manufacturing and retail — the Australian economy will need new investment drivers to support growth and employment.”

    The forecast is also more downbeat than the predictions of the Housing Industry Association, which represents the residential market. The HIA expects residential starts to fall a more modest 24 per cent from their peak to a trough in 2019, and then to remain at historically high levels.

    But if new home starts were to fall even more sharply, supply shortages could emerge in key markets such as Sydney and ­Melbourne given the level of population growth, HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said.

    “We’d obviously be in a situation where we’re under-building relative to long-term requirements,” Mr Garrett said.

  42. Fulcrum

    No despot promises to rip a country’s constitution apart or promises to terrorise the civilian population.
    So the answer is it takes just takes 1 day to elect a depot and usually a lifetime to remove them.

  43. Boambee John

    Max at 2317

    There are now people in Washington whose entire adult lives have been spent in government, in one role or another.

    There are people in Canberra who are third or fourth generation public servants. Their only experience outside the bubble comes from their holidays, spent in locations patronised by their own kind.

    Fixed for you!

  44. struth

    There are now people in Washington whose entire adult lives have been spent in government, in one role or another.

    We have women in Australia that make the news because they deserve a government job and couldn’t get one.
    She had even gone to uni and couldn’t get one, so was refusing to get pregnant until she did get one, so she could get the maternity leave and not turn up to it.

  45. Leo G

    Try tin-pot despotism.

    You mean absolute rule with little political credibility, but self-delusions of grandeur?
    Well, we’ve been plowing that sea for seven years without sighting Gran Colombia. Perhaps we might find absolution with the shorter El Libertador.

  46. Andrew

    I think the spike in electricity prices occurred with Abbott policies. The prices under the carbon tax were stable. The carbon tax was a market based approach, and it worked well in practice. Abbott replaced it with something worse for political reasons. These are the sorts of things that damage our economy.

    The WBCT had nothing at all to do with market-based approaches. Anyone who believes that the incredibly destructive pro-renewables policies PLUS a gigantic tax would be better need to join 8675309 mOron G. Stuyvesant in the bin.

  47. The Countess

    1. Become a prepper
    2. Go off grid
    3. Or get the hell out of Oz – you could live like a millionaire in PNG, Solomons, Thailand, Phillipines or Tahiti. If you like a few more 1st world comforts there is always Japan, Taiwan or even Bali.

    1. Covered
    2. Under consideration
    3. Missus currently running recon in Thailand, my preference is Texas. 50% of wealth already shifted offshore.

    6th Generation Australian, 5th Generation on same farm, reluctant to leave, but this isn’t Australia anymore, it’s a social experiment re-running every shit and disproven socialist / globalist idea that can be found.

    1. Under consideration
    2. Have scoped out possibilities.
    3. Not an option.

    4th generation Australian and raising the 5th. Can’t believe what has happened to this beautiful country.

  48. The Countess

    top bit was supposed to be block quoted too…sorry to OP

  49. Speedbox

    Become a prepper
    2. Go off grid
    3. Or get the hell out of Oz – you could live like a millionaire in PNG, Solomons, Thailand, Phillipines or Tahiti. If you like a few more 1st world comforts there is always Japan, Taiwan or even Bali.

    1. No thanks, not for me.
    2. Nope, not that either.
    3. Underway.

    I will repeat what I have said on previous posts…..

    Anybody that is not actively preparing to protect their family and wealth will likely be disappointed at their indecision.

    By the way, Thailand is ok but there are better places. Do your research.

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