Road to a big Australia is in poor repair

Today in The Australian

Like a python that has swallowed a pig, we are struggling to digest the population bulge the resources boom left behind. Unless immigration levels are reduced, the costs of that adjustment will only continue to mount, undermining public support for the migration program and jeopardising our ability to continue reaping the large gains migration brings.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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61 Responses to Road to a big Australia is in poor repair

  1. EvilElvis

    I’m sure there’s a positive explanation regarding the influence Sudanese and Middle Eastern immigration had on the resources boom. Anyone, anyone? Seriously, wtf Australia?…

  2. struth

    The large gains for who?
    That’s the real question.
    Because immigration is only benificial to the few at the cost of the many.
    Immigration into a socialist welfare shithole a benefit?
    Spare me.
    And when our traitorous government nominatas islam as a requirement to get in, well, I’d call the immigration we are experiencing , a hostile invasion.

  3. stackja

    1940s migrants came and helped build up Australia. Many recent migrants seem intent in creating problems.

  4. Entropy

    I seem to remember this article was in the work hard copy a few days ago. All good points.

    Anyway, I am surprised the professor hasn’t got himself in trouble for equating immigrants with a pig. And Australia as a snake trying to swallow it. But the pig analogy mostly. Obviously.

  5. John Constantine

    The head of Australia Post would never have been able to have a Melbourne mansion worth over forty million dollars without the mass migration property Ponzi scam.

    Gross growth nailed to bottom end poverty is one of the ways that Homo Davos, the alien invaders that have occupied Australia, collect their tribute.

    We now have their Davos Class with decamillionaire dwellings and decadences, while the proles can’t afford to have kids.

    Ponzi uber alles.

    Ponzi micht frei.

    Comrades.

  6. struth

    The poverty of Venezuela can be fixed by importing people?
    Of course not.
    So why would it be any different here>

  7. Nob

    EvilElvis
    #2792865, posted on August 19, 2018 at 6:34 am
    I’m sure there’s a positive explanation regarding the influence Sudanese and Middle Eastern immigration had on the resources boom. Anyone, anyone? Seriously, wtf Australia?…

    They had nothing to do with the resources boom in general.

    Some ME & African engineers of course, from countries that had O&G and mining industries.

  8. struth

    Henry is a moron based on what I get from the small blurbs above.

    Enough of these half baked nobodies given full credit for their opinions.

  9. EvilElvis

    They had nothing to do with the resources boom in general.

    I was vaguely taking aim at that, yes.

  10. Ellen of Tasmania

    I don’t subscribe to ‘The Australian’, so I can’t read Henry’s article. This is just a more general observation.

    When the government has control of something, we tend to see that something as a box and never open it to actually see what’s inside. So – government education is this shiny, expensive box and it takes a long time before anyone decides to find out exactly what the goals of such an education are, what their means and curriculum. Just around about the time that some parents realise their kids can’t read, but they know all about another alphabet.

    To say that ‘immigration is good’ – as if, it too, is a shiny, expensive box that doesn’t need looking into, is equally dangerous, IMHO. But I think it would be good to open it up and have a look – what are the goals of immigration, how are those goals being achieved? Who are the migrants? What are their goals? And so on.

    When there is an over-inflated government involved it is necessary to know the specifics.

  11. Iampeter

    Unless immigration levels are reduced, the costs of that adjustment will only continue to mount, undermining public support for the migration program and jeopardising our ability to continue reaping the large gains migration brings.

    Yes. Heaven forbid rights-violating, bloated government is actually reduced so that capitalism would allow infrastructure to meet the demands of population increases and movements.
    Clearly the solution is more big government by regulating immigration.

  12. Tel

    Gross growth nailed to bottom end poverty is one of the ways that Homo Davos, the alien invaders that have occupied Australia, collect their tribute.

    Do you count “bottom end poverty” as including the immigrants themselves? They must think they are better off by coming here, else they would go some place else. Therefore immigration improves someone’s life at least.

    Probably you are talking about poverty inside Australia, but the poorest Australians are still much better off than probably 90% of the rest of the world, so this is really about redistribution of wealth. I can understand why someone working a minimum wage job in Australia (a high rate by international standards) is going to be much worse off if someone comes and takes that job, but they won’t fall into “poverty” they get a metric shedload of safety nets in this country (again, compare to almost everywhere else in the world).

  13. struth

    Clearly the solution is more big government by regulating immigration.

    Anarchist fear of government.
    Apparently government has to grow to change a policy (that will decrease government).
    Wankers.

  14. bollux

    Considering our population reached 25 million about 27 years ahead of schedule, and our infrastructure is always in catchup mode, do you still think it’s a great benefit Henry, and when will the benefit happen?

  15. Tel

    The poverty of Venezuela can be fixed by importing people?
    Of course not.
    So why would it be any different here?

    If you ask a large randomized sample of Australians, “Do you want to go live in Venezuela?” most of them would say “No”. If you do the same thing in Venezuela and ask if they want to move to Australia, most will say, “Yes”.

    This tells you there is something better about living in Australia as compared to living in Venezuela, we don’t know exactly what causes that, but let’s go with the simple null hypothesis being the “magic soil” theory… anyone who stands on Australian soil instantly becomes better off. Thus, for each person you move from a poor country over to Australia allows one more person to stand on the magic soil and become better off. Keep doing it and eventually you have improved the life of everyone.

    Moving people over to Venezuela won’t help because they only have ordinary soil, nothing magic about it, and that answers your question about what is different.

  16. I think the more important issue is the source of immigration. When the government says ‘ humanitarian intake’ or ‘ refugee’ the electorate hears ‘ potential terrorist’ , ‘ welfare bludger’ and ‘ crime increases’. As a country I believe we are pretty much over seeing new arrivals that bite the hand that feed them. As someone once said if you knew that one of those lollies in the bowl would poison you would you be willing to eat a handful? Don’t think so!

  17. John Constantine

    Australia is allowing the tragedy of the commons to occur.

    Those selling access to the Australian commons never used them, the Australian commoner family that used to have one wage paying for a quarter acre family home, with a dog and barbecue and pool and three or four kids?.

    Now camp childless in a tiny rented apartment they need two wages to pay for. But they have lovely shoes and holidays.

    Debtfunded.

  18. Mr Black

    I regard any person who approves of or enables 3rd world immigration as an enemy of civilisation. Justice would see them exiled to the Congo, to live in the society they claim to want to import.

  19. struth

    If you ask a large randomized sample of Australians, “Do you want to go live in Venezuela?” most of them would say “No”. If you do the same thing in Venezuela and ask if they want to move to Australia, most will say, “Yes”.

    This tells you there is something better about living in Australia as compared to living in Venezuela, we don’t know exactly what causes that, but let’s go with the simple null hypothesis being the “magic soil” theory… anyone who stands on Australian soil instantly becomes better off. Thus, for each person you move from a poor country over to Australia allows one more person to stand on the magic soil and become better off. Keep doing it and eventually you have improved the life of everyone.

    Moving people over to Venezuela won’t help because they only have ordinary soil, nothing magic about it, and that answers your question about what is different

    I’m hoping this magic soil stuff is sarcasm, Tel.

  20. John Constantine

    There is an entire convoy of stale pale male Australians that were driving around when ‘Kylie starred in Neighbors’.

    These men are one hint of bad luck away from spending the rest of their lives in a cheap and tiny caravan in a trailer park out where the trains don’t run.

    New Australian reality, from swags to central heating to swags in three generations.

  21. Confused Old Misfit

    Thus, for each person you move from a poor country over to Australia allows one more person to stand on the magic soil and become better off. Keep doing it and eventually you have improved the life of everyone.

    Puhleeese!
    That person from the poor country had better be able to demonstrate a capacity to contribution in a positive economic and social manner to Australia. “Keep doing it (without these strictures) and eventually you have improved destroyed the life of everyone.

  22. EvilElvis

    Doesn’t sound to bad, John Constantine. Swag in the middle of nowhere beats a pissed on mattress in the brave new world, immigration fuelled inner suburbs.

  23. Tel

    I’m hoping this magic soil stuff is sarcasm, Tel.

    I think it’s fair to start from the prevailing paradigm as a first approximation, even if there might be some weakness in that. The “magic soil” theory is what most social scientists and legal theorists use right now. For example, anyone born in Australia statistically counts as an Australian exactly the same as any other Australian, if that’s not caused by “magic soil” then what? This applies to economists too, they calculate aggregate metrics like worker productivity in Australia, plus foreign investment flows and then they add some immigration numbers to that and presume productivity stays the same. Ohhh, there’s “magic soil” at work again. Workers are modeled as amorphous goop, countries are modeled as buckets, so you squirt more goop into the bucket and GDP goes up by 15%. Woot!!

    It may sound weird to say it in explicit terms, but that’s fair because so many people use it as their basic assumption and then don’t bother stating it at all. Of course you are welcome to criticize the mainstream consensus, many of us do around here, but you asked why Australia is different and I’m giving you the broadly accepted explanation put in simple terms so you can see how it operates.

  24. mh

    …we are struggling to digest the population bulge the resources boom left behind

    The population bulge was not left behind by the resources boom. 90 percent of immigrants move to Melbourne and Sydney, and they are brought into Australia by government to consume. This is what Treasurer Scott Morrison says himself.

  25. H B Bear

    Treasury and their useful idiot SloMo are mortgaging Australia’s future for an extra 1% in debt funded Gross GDP.

  26. struth

    but you asked why Australia is different and I’m giving you the broadly accepted explanation put in simple terms so you can see how it operates.

    You are giving me the socialists explanation.
    It’s not the broadly accepted view at all, but thanks for enlightening us as to the insanity of their argument.

  27. RobertS

    Damn right it’s in poor repair. I just googled Australian Government Debt and Wiki says it was $60.45 billion in 2008. Then I googled Australian Debt Clock and today it’s $647 billion+. WTF! A ten-fold increase in ten years! The traitorous bastards running this country ought to be hanging from lampposts. Decimation of the political classes! NOW!

  28. Not according to the self appointed National thought police at their ABC. Just who do they think they are pitching to?

  29. struth

    …we are struggling to digest the population bulge the resources boom left behind

    A straight out lie.

    We are struggling to digest the population sent to destroy us by the global socialist UN and their puppet Australian pollies.

  30. Terry

    Tel
    #2792915, posted on August 19, 2018 at 9:17 am

    “If you ask a large randomized sample of….”

    Lifeboat occupants, “Do you want to jump into the freezing water?” most [all?] of them would say “No”.

    If you do the same thing in the water and ask if they want to get in the lifeboat, most [all?] will say, “Yes”.

    This tells you there is something better about being in the lifeboat compared to freezing to death in the water [well, der], we don’t know exactly what causes that [I am going to guess frigid water], but let’s go with the simple null hypothesis being the “not exhibiting suicidal tendencies” theory… anyone who is in the lifeboat instantly becomes better off.

    Thus, for each person moved from the water and into the lifeboat allows one more person to become better off.

    Keep doing it and eventually you…CAPSIZE the whole fucking lifeboat turning that once safe environment into a liquid morgue.

    Yay for us.

  31. Tim Neilson

    but they won’t fall into “poverty” they get a metric shedload of safety nets in this country (again, compare to almost everywhere else in the world).

    Fact check – correct, but dangerously incomplete.

    Yes, they “get” those things (present tense) but will they continue to get them if we trash the nation beyond repair? Even in the USA there are already municipalities and even states that are technically insolvent because of their welfare/pension obligations.

  32. Entropy

    To say that ‘immigration is good’ – as if, it too, is a shiny, expensive box that doesn’t need looking into, is equally dangerous, IMHO. But I think it would be good to open it up and have a look – what are the goals of immigration, how are those goals being achieved? Who are the migrants? What are their goals? And so on

    H B Bear
    #2792986, posted on August 19, 2018 at 10:42 am
    Treasury and their useful idiot SloMo are mortgaging Australia’s future for an extra 1% in debt funded Gross GDP.

    Your answer right there, Elle. The goal of a massive immigration rate is it ensures the C and G inputs in the GDP calculation are bigger than they otherwise would be. Imagine how poor the GDP measure would be without the current rate of immigration. What it does elsewhere is irrelevant to the political class.

    That shops in shopping centres are closing, the shift of manufacturing offshore is accelerating, that the cost of living is rising and quality of life is in decline, housing getting ridiculously expensive and infrastructure unable to cope etc. etc. is not relevant, as the political class has ensured itself and its adherents are paid very well, sufficient to be shielded from such petty concerns.

    The political class doesn’t mix in those negatively impacted circles, these worries are worries that distracts from internal political games, and it would also require listening to the icky voters rather than the political lobbyists for those gaining rent from the current situation.

  33. Tel

    Keep doing it and eventually you…CAPSIZE the whole fucking lifeboat turning that once safe environment into a liquid morgue.

    Oh silly… Australia is an island, it can’t possible capsize.

    Tasmania perhaps could do, but not all of Australia.

  34. .

    I would not attack this from the cyclical perspective, it argues policy for the left. The debt accumulating from 2008 is a reason not to go down that path.

    [Also note that 647 bn does not include State debt (at least 400 bn+) – but it’s okay because Morrison has projections that the current year deficit will improve…]

    Overcrowding can be dealt with through (some) immigration reform, but largely through decentralisation and reducing the size of government. At present government acts as an attractor for workers (see the economic “gravity” model).

    The cost of housing is mostly taxes and regulation. Most of the fringing areas of Sydney are national parks. You can’t build too far up either. As for capacity, the process for approval is absurdly long and for example, look at how many major dams have been built in NSW since the 1960s. This is why we “run out” of water.

    That feeds into the cost of living and we have absurd policies like childcare subsidies where paying people with taxes (more than what they pay in) in aggregate is meant to create more GDP. It doesn’t and it can’t. If the work was productive enough, it would not need subsidisation.

    Immigration certainly brings benefits. The concern is that the net benefit is marginal in recent years and that too many migrants are living off the public purse.

    Immigration firstly should never consider welfare for anyone who is not a non-citizen. Refugees simply are not oppressed in ar or by tyrannical governments. Immigrants should always make their own way. The cost is 15 bn a year for this. If this was ended and the funds were directed to (admittedly, State) payroll tax abolition (and other nuisance taxes like FBT); unemployment would fall as well. The length of time to citizenship should be significant. Maybe never for the 1st generation? At least 10 years.

    That solves the issue about the quality of migrants to a large degree. You can tack on a price, ESL rules, IQ tests and security requirements as you like.

    The non-payment of welfare, ESL competence and an IQ test would do most of the heavy lifting. If you said 1 S.D. above the mean Australian IQ was the minimum to be approved, you’ve knocked out 84.1% of applicants in one hit. Then apply ESL rules and an immigration fee and the sample goes down more and they’re going to be high-quality migrants. You can still vary the price and apply travel bans and character requirements, on top of specific criminal & security concerns.

    Maybe you can restrict immigration on a general security concern but actually ending immigration outright for a number of years is simply harmful.

    We don’t need a “moratorium on immigration”; if 1000 US doctors came to Australia, they’d be welcome and very useful. We need to change immigration policy and a few interrelated policies.

  35. .

    http://ro.uow.edu.au/commpapers/3204/

    Do migrants rob jobs?: new evidence from Australia

    Gary Gang Tian, Flinders University
    Follow

    Jordan Shan, Victoria University of Technology
    RIS ID

    38251
    Publication Details

    Tian, G. G. & Shan, J. (1999). Do migrants rob jobs?: new evidence from Australia. Australian Economic History Review: an Asia-Pacific journal of economic, business and social history, 39 (2), 133-142.
    Abstract

    This study contributes to the recent debate on immigration and unemployment in Australia by investigating the causal linkage between immigration and unemployment. The question of whether `immigrants rob jobs’ is examined by identifying the sources of unemployment through causal linkages between unemployment and other key variables such as immigration. The research finds no Granger causality between immigration and unemployment, but does run from industrial structural change to the high unemployment rate in Australia. This research also finds that both GDP growth and immigration inflow reinforce each other in the course of economic development in Australia.

  36. Boambee John

    Dot at 1259

    The length of time to citizenship should be significant. Maybe never for the 1st generation? At least 10 years.

    And the length of time to gain voting rights should be the same as for the native born, 18 years after arrival.

  37. Roger

    We need to change immigration policy and a few interrelated policies.

    I’m sure the electorate would agree, if asked.

    The reality is that immigration policy is devised to please certain interest groups which lobby the political parties for influence, not the electorate.

  38. Terry

    Tel
    #2793063, posted on August 19, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    “Oh silly… Australia is an island, it can’t possible capsize.”

    Yes. Apparently, an unsinkable lifeboat made of magic soil where the single-horned horses frolic in their rainbow-coloured raincoats.

    That’s some serious weed going on there… 😛

  39. Fang

    Im curious to know what commenters think, if, “a next goverment!” Put a moratorium on immigration for a complete term of that goverment, and what consequences that would have on both people and economics of Australia? Surely, it would have to have postives?

  40. Iampeter

    Most of the countries that everyone will say they want to move to have one thing in common that is not politically correct to point out

    Actually the real reason everyone will want to move to one type of country over another is perfectly politically correct to point out but vile collectivists like you wouldn’t know anything about that.

  41. Fisky

    Oh wow, Japan’s GDP per capita is now growing faster than Australia’s! Oops, how ever could this happen??

  42. Fisky

    This is a Democrat congressman condemning the arrest of an illegal alien wanted for murder in Mexico. The Left’s official position is that illegal aliens should not be deported for any reason, even if they are dangerous criminals. So it’s not very wise for the libertarian movement to be promoting Leftist open borders on a bunch of conditions (deporting criminals, banning welfare) that the Left will never support in a million years. Especially as it’s the Left who will be in charge of immigration policy after Trump’s gone, not “libertarians”.

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  43. John Constantine

    The tragedy of the commons.

    Our Davos Class that fly over the traffic jams in choppers are monetising the amenity that was enjoyed by wide open spaces and backyard suburbia and barbecues and one wage paying a house and raising a heap of kids culture.

    Monetised the legacy wealth of the commons and spent it not on the infrastructure needed, but on decamillion dollar mansions and bollards of diversity and paying war reparations for colonialism to the Homo Davos transnational looting cartels.

    Comrades.

  44. Tel

    Terry #2793130,

    I notice you have yet to throw any alternative theory up as an alternative to what I put forward as a “null hypothesis”, for that matter neither has Struth. Anyhow, consider these possibilities:

    If you believe that the wealth of a nation comes from the people themselves (i.e. building, creating, respecting one another, teamwork, etc) then logically based on the idea that the wealth comes from those people, then also the wealth belongs to those same people who created it and therefore they have no particular reason to share it with anyone (they could choose to share it, but there’s no fundamental reason why they must). Under this theory, immigration is either a case of individual generosity (if someone sponsors an immigrant and contributes their own wealth voluntarily) or forced wealth redistribution (if immigration happens without the consent of the people).

    If you believe the wealth of a nation comes from government, then the immigrants are coming here to live under the same government as existing citizens so they automatically contribute to that wealth just by being governed. One would guess there’s no upper limit to this, because government can always happily grow larger. This is fairly close to the “magic soil” theory.

    If you believe the wealth of a nation comes from culture, institutions, tradition, and behavioural norms then there’s no one in particular who could be considered to “own” this, because these things belong to whoever adopts them. Immigrants are welcome to also adopt them, or even contribute their own variations on a theme. Some immigrants don’t adopt the local culture at all, and based on an evolutionary principle, they are making themselves worse off because they are doing what failed in their home countries… but let them figure that out.

    So now you have this belief that immigrants will come here and destroy our culture and replace it with their own, making everyone worse off. Why is our culture so weak and worthless that it gets replaced so easily? That’s our fault. If we can’t stand up and believe in something, why the heck would anyone else be excited by adopting what we have? So in this last case, people who feel all fragile about their culture can fight to defend it if that’s what they want to do.

    Personally, I believe a little bit of all the above, but mostly individuals and groups of individuals are the generators of wealth, together with some ideas and a bit of governance. Let’s suppose I have this idea that it is easier to walk through an open doorway than it is to ram your head through the wall… it works for me, I find it a convenient rule so I follow it. You want to do things differently? OK, hit the wall, your choice. I’m not going to fight to defend that idea, it can defend itself without my help.

    The real question is whether people who generate wealth can keep what they produce. We already know you get to keep approx half or what you produce in Australia, but maybe that’s slowly getting worse. We would like to convince as many people as possible not to rob us, but failing that we gather together into groups (i.e. freedom of association) and try to avoid the loss where possible. Being able to control borders and keep out the people you don’t think will contribute is part of freedom of association at a national level, but the same thing applies at every level from a basic household, to a club, to a corporation, or anything in between.

  45. Boambee John

    All immigration, skilled, unskilled, family reunion, humanitarian, to be sponsored by individuals, constituted groups or companies.

    The sponsor accepts FULL financial responsibility for the immigrant for 10 years or until the immigrant becomes a self supporting productive worker?

  46. Squirrel

    What passes for our national economic model is “growth” through – imported people, consuming increasingly imported goods, funded (substantially) with imported money and asset sales. What could possibly go wrong?

    If the Big Australia bulldust was starting to produce results in terms of large-scale export industries which might help to keep the circus afloat when mining revenues and ever-growing foreign borrowings no longer cut it, there would be a point – but there is no sign of that, and none of the spruikers ever talks specifics in this way, it’s just fast-talking, generalised, fact-lite (at best) blather about “growth”.

  47. Tel

    All immigration, skilled, unskilled, family reunion, humanitarian, to be sponsored by individuals, constituted groups or companies.

    The sponsor accepts FULL financial responsibility for the immigrant for 10 years or until the immigrant becomes a self supporting productive worker?

    That would be the approach that supports property rights and freedom of association, for those who think those things are important.

    Not our current approach by any means.

  48. .

    Squirrel what are you talking about?

    Imports do not add to national income. What asset sales fund foreign investment? That concept itself is bizarre. We have an agricultural surplus of about 30% in stuff we’re good at making so what is wrong with importing seasonal food and so on?

  49. Entropy

    This research also finds that both GDP growth and immigration inflow reinforce each other in the course of economic development in Australia.

    According to how GDP is calculated, sure.
    GDP =C+I+G

    If I is stuffed, as any fool can see wandering into a shopping centre and observing the growth in boarded up shops, or wander onto any number of floors in CBDs and note the wide open spaces, or the decline in new car sales, any measure really that is not favoured by an economist, to the politicians the obvious solution is to crank up G and C by bringing in hordes of tax eaters that require services provided by G. And lo, GDP is suddenly booming! Simples!

    Meanwhile I runs off to other countries, or just dries up rather than exhaust itself feeding G.

    I have spent a lot of time with economists over the years, and most are idiots that forget that while models are very simplified versions of real life, models aren’t in fact, real life.

    The most evil, of course, are the pricks that thought GDP could be a benchmark politicians measure their performance by. A politician, by default, is a bullshitter that will always find ways to game the system. Especially if they have awarded themselves such good salaries they are immune from the consequences.

  50. .

    Welfare isn’t actually included in “G”.

    The amount of govvy. C & I involved to deliver services to migrants in addition to native-born is pretty low. Operating a Centrelink office likely sees economies of scale with each marginal (new) client.

    any measure really that is not favoured by an economist

    What on earth are you talking about? In one of my old jobs, we always looked at new car sales, commercial vacancy rates, housing starts, building materials costs, loan formation, monetary aggregates, and private capital expenditure and so on etc. That joint was also left-leaning, despite being in the private sector.

    Sort your notes out before giving a lecture.

  51. egg_

    Immigration into a socialist welfare shithole a benefit?

    Sh1t in = sh1t out?

  52. egg_

    According to how GDP is calculated, sure.
    GDP =C+I+G

    If I is stuffed, as any fool can see wandering into a shopping centre and observing the growth in boarded up shops, or wander onto any number of floors in CBDs and note the wide open spaces, or the decline in new car sales

    If C(reffos) = 20 y.o. clunkers, what does that do to the economy?

  53. Iampeter

    The real question is whether people who generate wealth can keep what they produce.

    This shouldn’t really be a question to anyone not on the left wing side of politics.

    We would like to convince as many people as possible not to rob us, but failing that we gather together into groups (i.e. freedom of association) and try to avoid the loss where possible.

    Freedom of association also includes the right to NOT gather into any groups. It goes both ways. When you call for rights violations like regulating immigration its no different to calling for half our wealth to be seized. You’re not on the side of freedom of association or any other individual rights either.

    That would be the approach that supports property rights and freedom of association, for those who think those things are important.

    The state regulating who gets to live where by regulating immigration even for these reasons VIOLATES property rights and freedom of association and individual rights in general.

    You never see this total confusion from progressives. You never see them argue for capitalism without realizing it as much as you see conservative argue for socialism without realizing it.

  54. Kneel

    ” You are giving me the socialists explanation. It’s not the broadly accepted view at all,…”

    Isn’t it? Other than a handful of die-hards, it really IS the “mainstream” explanation.

  55. Kneel

    “You never see this total confusion from progressives. You never see them argue for capitalism without realizing it …”

    How about “market-based carbon trading”? That was all the go for a while – still around, AFAIK.
    Yeah, create a forced “market” in something that no-one otherwise cares about and skim a percent or two off the top – good work if you can get it, but not very “progressive”, forcing an energy tax onto people, is it? Given that energy taxes always hurt the poor more than the rich.

    More total confusion examples from the progressive side include:

    It’s racial discrimination if you DON’T take account of a persons skin colour;
    30 years of glacially slow improvement for natives is evidence of Govt incompetence, while 30 years of stagnant or worsening life for natives under “self determination” means… umm, WE NEED MORE MONEY!;
    allowing fossil fuel companies to make the same tax deductions as any other company is a “subsidy” for fossil fuels;
    Taking an Aboriginal child is always wrong, unless they get killed, in which case why didn’t you take them to safety you heartless monster?
    9% of your salary is sufficient super for anyone – unless you work for the Govt, in which case you get about double that, and aren’t limited to taking out only what you put in (plus interest);
    Building HELE coal fired power stations is bad – even though if we did it and got rid of the old clunkers, we could meet our Paris goals much more easily;
    PDT has no idea about anything, despite the fact that GDP growth is up, company profits are up, wages are up, and unemployment is down. Well, thank God we didn’t have someone who knew what they were doing, eh, or the US economy would be “over-heated” by now, because the “progressives” would have used exactly the opposite – more tax, more regulation.

    Sorry, running out of time and space to go on…

  56. Iampeter

    How about “market-based carbon trading”?

    That’s not confusion. That’s intentional dishonesty. Progressives know exactly what they’re doing when they make up absurd concepts like that.
    Now this wouldn’t work if there was any opposition to progressives that could coherently put together any alternative ideas but sadly there isn’t.

  57. Tel

    Freedom of association also includes the right to NOT gather into any groups.

    Sure. A householder can lock the front door, which excludes others. A customer can decide not to visit a shop. A shopkeeper can refuse service to a customer (well, often no they can’t but if the shopkeeper is google or Facebook then yeah they can so this is inconsistent, but it should be consistent), and employee can decide not to work for certain companies, a potential shareholder can decide not to buy shares. Anyone can decide not to join a club, and the club can decide not to allow certain people to join (again, in practice this is applied inconsistently, but in principle it should be consistent with the others).

    Indeed, we even have an established international principle that groups of people have the right to demand independence and secede from a larger group. The modern precedent was set when Kosovo became independent, explained here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_independence_precedent

    The precedent continues with the acceptance of the vote in Scotland (they did not become independent but because the UK agreed to accept they outcome of the vote, they could have broken away if they wanted to) and same with the vote in Quebec.

    It goes both ways. When you call for rights violations like regulating immigration its no different to calling for half our wealth to be seized. You’re not on the side of freedom of association or any other individual rights either.

    In what way do people all over the world have a property right that guarantees access to Australia? Who gave them this property? What exactly has been seized?

    Suppose the bouncer at a gay club prevents you from entering because you aren’t gay, what piece of your property has been taken from you?

    You can’t have property rights without the ability to exclude others, else it’s nonsensical. Not through any part of human history have individuals been given the right to arbitrarily travel through the territory of others. Sometimes permission is granted, but it’s never been a “right” as such.

  58. Iampeter

    Sure. A householder can lock the front door, which excludes others. A customer can decide not to visit a shop. A shopkeeper can refuse service to a customer

    And you should be able to move into a house down the street. What’s the issue?

    well, often no they can’t but if the shopkeeper is google or Facebook then yeah they can so this is inconsistent, but it should be consistent

    Yes, all private enterprise should be able to refuse service for any reason. This is only “inconsistent” to politically illiterate conservatives who don’t understand how rights work and don’t support rights protecting government (because they don’t know what that is) and so to them a Christian baker has property rights but tech companies are “public squares”. You really don’t need Marxists when you have conservatives.

    Indeed, we even have an established international principle that groups of people have the right to demand independence and secede from a larger group.

    Only if they are establishing a rights protecting government. Not that this has anything to do with the immigration question, but its hard to answer questions of policy with no theory of government which is why you’re left grasping at random straws like this.

    In what way do people all over the world have a property right that guarantees access to Australia? Who gave them this property? What exactly has been seized?

    No one said any such thing. This is total confusion. People have individual rights, which involves any action you decide to take that does not violate the rights of others. This means people have the right to buy/rent/move in with relatives/other non-rights violating method into Australia. The end.

    You can’t have property rights without the ability to exclude others, else it’s nonsensical.

    I agree. And someone moving into a house down the street from you doesn’t violate your property rights.
    But using force to prevent them from making this move for some reason IS a rights violation.

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