RBA versus the Banks

For years the spread between the RBA base rate and the mortgage rates for the banks remained constant at around 1.82%. The RBA started to increase the base rate in May 2006. The RBA rate hit a high of 7.25% in March 2008.

In April 2008 and July 2008 the banks increased their interest rates independently of the RBA – by around 0.14% and 0.16% respectively, to a high of 9.62%.

In September 2008 the RBA started to cut the base rate. Since then the RBA has cut the base rate by 4.25%, to the current level of 3.00%. But the banks have only cut their rates by only 3.88% – meaning that the banks now have a spread of 2.74%. The spread is now nearly as much as the RBA base rate – and increase of 0.92% over the long time spread.

If the banks were to return to their old spread of 1.82% this would translate into a saving on a $300,000 mortgage of over $2000 per year. How much good would that $2000 do for the economy?

RBA vs Bank

Note: the mortgage rates are taken from various source and are only an indication of the average standard mortgage rates.

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165 Responses

  1. Joni..those stats are worth a write-up in the major newspapers.

    It seems to me that there was ‘a rule’ that while rates were on the increase to keep the margin of 1.82% but once rates started to decrease..out the window with the rule book.

    I wonder if we’ll ever get our 1.82% back? That will rely on the generousity of the Big 4 or..competition.

    And agreed most definitely, syphon a little from the banks’ profits to put 2,000 into householders pockets.

  2. Good catch, joni.

    In other words, the banks and corporations are using the “crisis” as an opportunity to widen their profit margins while people are already hurting. You know, kind of like looting peoples homes after/during a natural disaster. Except the banks/corps are going to keep the profit margins up when the crisis is over.

    This needs more attention by the “mass media”

  3. Thanks Min and Ben… to get the information took a lot of work, and it is something that everyone who has a mortgage needs to know. The Banks are now taking nearly 1% extra. This is wrong!

  4. Excellent post joni.

    And I agree with Ben. The banks are using the “crisis” as an excuse for not passing on the rate cut.

    They say that their costs of lending have gone up, but this is the stuff of nonsense, particularly with the Govt now guaranteeing all bank deposits.

    They’re like a gang of four renegade cowboys, meanwhile a number of smaller providers have passed on the full rate cut..

    How can the big four reconcile the fact that ‘smaller’ providers can pass on the full rate cut when they claim that they are unable to do so?

    Their argument just doesn’t stack up at all…

  5. Somebody’s been doing a lot of ferreting. (Nice graph, too.)

    Good work, Joni.

    They’re like a gang of four renegade cowboys

    But, but, they’re the Four Pillars. How could that be?

    /sarc

  6. Yes, well they’ve gotta fund those executive packages somehow, I suppose.

    I mean, if they don’t pay their senior management mega bucks they’ll leave and go elsewhere, right? Just like those geniuses at Bear Stearns.

  7. And agreed most definitely, syphon a little from the banks’ profits to put 2,000 into householders pockets.

    Just imagine how much of a boost that would give the economy.

    I dare to say, however, that judging by the habits of most Blogocrats it will see a massive boost to our wine industry.

    That’s a good thing.

  8. Mig

    *clink*

    I raise my glass in agreement.

  9. Can’t access our Sports Thread – so:

    GO BRONCOS!

  10. Not sure of your source Joni, but the numbers do seem to correspond. Was it the RBA?

    The gap between the official interest rate and bank rates is costing customers

    By Ben Butler | April 10, 2009
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/money/story/0,26860,25316229-5015795,00.html
    * Rate gap biggest in 10 years
    * NAB has not cut rates at all

    THE gap between official interest rates and the rate that banks charge for home mortgages is the widest it’s been in a decade, costing borrowers about $165 a month.

    Tuesday’s cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia brought the official rate to a 49-year low of 3 per cent, but trading banks have held on to most of the cut, the Herald Sun reported.

    The NAB has not cut rates at all, while most other banks and lenders have cut rates by 0.1 percentage points.

    Because banks have held back, the gap between official rates and the average mortgage rate offered by the big four banks has blown out to 2.765 percentage points, according to data prepared by analysts at Canstar Cannex.

    That compares with a 1.82 percentage point gap in October 2006, just before rates started to rise.

    An average home buyer with a loan of about $300,000 would be paying about $165 less each month if the gap had remained the same.

    Banks blame the blowout on increased funding costs caused by the turmoil in global credit markets and competition for deposits.

    Announcing the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to pass on just 0.1 percentage points of the cut on Tuesday, its retail boss Ross McEwan said the cost of funding remained “inflated”.

    But Canstar Cannex data shows the margin between the home loan rate and the 90-day bank bill rate, which reflects the price banks are paying to borrow money in the wholesale credit market, has also blown out.

    Canstar Cannex financial analyst Frank Lopez said banks were now more afraid people would not be able to pay back what they borrowed.

    “There is an increased premium for taking out a loan,” he said.

  11. John

    I do say that my figures are taken from a number of sources, but the basic premise of the post is correct – in fact, I come in at the lower end of the spread.

  12. I don’t mean any offence Joni, I’m just interested in the sources.

  13. Interesting and timely article.

    Cut-throat behaviour makes empathy flow
    http://business.smh.com.au/business/cutthroat-behaviour-makes-empathy-flow-20090409-a270.html?page=-1
    Nicholas Gruen is the chief executive of Lateral Economics. Ross Gittins is on leave.

  14. Goodness John, what an unusual article.

  15. Sources: banks, RBA, home loan sites.

  16. Migs

    I’ve often said that economics is a social science and that interpretations of Smith’s work have been so warped that his brilliance as a social thinker was completely ignored. The missing ingredient of his ‘invisible hand theory’ was the foundational need for markets to be governed by ‘moral sentiments’ . It acknowledges the limits of capitalism and the need for balance and oversight. Smith understood humanity and the propensity toward greed, corruption and incompetence and that’s what he feared most.

    Smith wrote in The Theory of Moral Sentiments ( 1759)

    “In the courts of princes, in the drawing-rooms of the great, where success and preferment depend, not upon the esteem of intelligent and well-informed equals, but upon the fanciful and foolish favour of ignorant, presumptuous and proud superiors; flattery and falsehood too often prevail over merit and abilities…This disposition to admire or, and almost worship the rich and powerful, and to despise or, at least neglect, persons of poor and mean condition…is…the great and most universal cause of the corruption our moral sentiments.

  17. John McPhilbin,

    I have cited Smith on numerous occasions to counter your assertions of Capitalism’s failure or at least your statements which have alluded to it. So which is it then, has Capitalism failed or simply followed its natural course? The “moral sentiment” a.k.a. “regulation” was missing in all this and hence for my assertion that capitalism has not failed, once again it is mankind that has failed or in this case it is the inevitability of mankind that we now find ourselves in the current dilemma…..I am usually lambasted here for reaching such conclusions over CEO bashing. It would appear that you agree with me?

  18. …capitalism has not failed, once again it is mankind that has failed…

    Do you realise just how naive that sounds? Capitalism is an economic system and in this world, where humans are the market, that means it needs to deal with the human parameters… Hell, capitalism only begins working because of greed (a human vice).

    The reason Communism fails is because of the human factor (humans with power tend to want more and take it at the expense of others). Last I heard, you were pretty much against that sociopolitical system.

  19. “Do you realise just how naive that sounds? Capitalism is an economic system and in this world, where humans are the market, that means it needs to deal with the human parameters…”

    Naïve? I am not sure what you’re on about but that is kind of my whole point, a system that takes into account the “human parameters” is essential. Communism is in direct conflict with “human nature” hence its repeated failure………The minute you start taking the fruits of one man’s labor to pay for the fruits of another man’s short comings you are doomed to fail.

    “Hell, capitalism only begins working because of greed”

    Well the term “greed” is highly subjective… some would call it hard work!

    “The reason Communism fails is because of the human factor (humans with power tend to want more and take it at the expense of others). Last I heard, you were pretty much against that sociopolitical system.”

    How does it go, “the definition of lunacy is repeating a failed idea with the expectation of different results”? Yes, I am “pretty much” against stupidity at the expense of my family! You will never rid the world of greed, especially in a free society that values individualism over anything else…….

  20. Hell, capitalism only begins working because of greed (a human vice).

    Others, like Smith, might not use the term greed at all, but instead call the same motivating force self-interest. From Gruen’s article:

    Like his compatriots in the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith felt that self-interest was too powerful a force to be demonised in moral philosophy, as he felt Christian teaching had done. As he observed: “The appetites of hunger and thirst, the … sensations of pleasure and pain, of heat and cold, etc may be considered as lessons delivered by the voice of nature herself … Their principal object is to teach [us] how to keep out of harm’s way.”

    Smith’s great theme was that self-interest was healthy if balanced by similarly powerful forces tending towards the public good. In economic life in freely competitive markets, competition and self-seeking behaviour would – miraculously – serve both private and public interests. So long as a bargain was free and informed – for instance free of a merchant’s monopoly power or of fraud – it would improve the lot of all concerned.

    Personally I believe the term greed has been used as a convenient catch-all that shifts the blame to the demonised Wall Streeters, where the true causes of the GFC are much more complex and widespread than that.

  21. Tony,

    Indeed……

  22. Tony

    Smith’s great theme was that self-interest was healthy if balanced by similarly powerful forces tending towards the public good. In economic life in freely competitive markets, competition and self-seeking behaviour would – miraculously – serve both private and public interests. So long as a bargain was free and informed – for instance free of a merchant’s monopoly power or of fraud – it would improve the lot of all concerned.

    Now we’re getting somewhere. Sounds simple enough, but like most things involving human behaviour and motivation, it’s always likely to be messy and less than perfect.

  23. I go back to a larger and broader view of what we’re now seeing.

    Land of Plenty: guest post by Mark Davis
    http://blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/land_of_plenty_guest_post_by_mark_davis/P20/
    “To be exact leadership does not seem to be aware that the normal functioning of our economy leads to financial trauma and crises, inflation, currency depreciations, unemployment and poverty, in the midst of what could be virtual universal affluence. In short, financially complex capitalism is inherently flawed.”

    Hyman Minsky 1986

    Minsky would not attribute the crisis to ‘irrational exuberance’ or ‘manias’ or ‘bubbles’ Those who were caught up in the boom behaved rationally, at least according to the ‘model of the model’ they had developed to guide their behavior. That model included the prospective course of asset prices, future income, behavior of policymakers, and ability to hedge risks or shift them onto others. It is only in retrospect that we can see the boom for what it was: mass delusion propagated in part by policymakers and those with vested interests.

    However, a large part of the blame must be laid on the relative stability experienced over the past couple of decades “the tranquility that made the boom possible also created fragility because,according to Minsky, stability is destabilizing.

    The super-boom got out of hand when the new products became so complicated that the authorities could no longer calculate the risks and started relying on the risk management methods of the banks themselves. Similarly, the rating agencies relied on the information provided by the originators of synthetic products. It was a shocking abdication of responsibility.

    It think it is far too simple to attribute the current crisis to a speculative boom in real estate, to excessive monetary ease, or even to lax supervision. The causes are complex and have developed over a very long period.As such, solutions will also be multifaceted, tentative,and contingent upon continued evolution of the financial system, with an eye to longer-term trends that have made the system much more prone to crisis, in my opinion..

    John McPhilbin of NSW
    Tue 23 Sep 08 (01:43pm)

  24. Confirms what I’ve been saying all along?

    Survey reveals banks have not become stricter on first homebuyer lending

    By Bridget Carter | April 11, 2009 12:01am
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/money/story/0,26860,25319421-5015795,00.html
    * Big banks will lend up to $465,000
    * For first homebuyers earning $70,000
    * “A disaster waiting to happen”

  25. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 11th, 2009 at 9:46 am Said:

    direct conflict with “human nature”

    Always amusing when ‘human nature’ is cited to support an argument, particularly when no effort is made to tease out the concept. The we have extra non-sense

    The minute you start taking the fruits of one man’s labor to pay for the fruits of another man’s short comings you are doomed to fail

    So families which are based on that very understanding can’t and don’t work. And ‘altruism’ defined as the deliberate pursuit of the interests or welfare of others or the public interest is a useless concept because it has no explanatory power.

    Sparta it’s time to put Ayn Rand aside and take off the ideological blinkers. And in the spirit of kindness, can I suggest a reading of the following.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_nature

  26. I do hope you aren’t corrupting the mindmaps of the youth of Sparta, with your tales of an Atlas Hugs, N5. 😉

  27. John McPhilbin, on April 11th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Me being me, and only because I’m bored, it’s perhaps interesting to run Smith’s observations up against Kevin Rennie’s reporting (via the Intratrade information derivatives thread) of the glimmers of hope Obama (or his posse of insider traders advisors) see in a dilution of accounting standards to mark-to-model, secret stress testings and stage-managed reporting, and the vanishing of ‘legacy liabilities’ in quarterly profit results, etc.

  28. Ayn Rand:

    Man’s unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.

    But then Rand was never much of an environmentalist.

  29. Legion, on April 11th, 2009 at 12:42 pm Said:

    aren’t corrupting the mindmaps of the youth of Sparta, with your tales of an Atlas Hugs

    No Legion, certainly not. The corruption was achieved long before my arrival. An apparent addiction to laconophilia says plenty.

    But on ‘human nature’ and its variability, Rand did say in The Fountainhead

    Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.”

  30. Nature 5..Rand did indeed say many noble things, it was just in the practical application that things have fallen down in a heap.

  31. Min, on April 11th, 2009 at 2:16 pm Said:

    it was just in the practical application that things have fallen down in a heap.

    Min her problems neither start nor end with the ‘practical’ but are much more extensive. Her take on egoism, as argued in Atlas Shrugged and in The Virtue of Selfishness, is a rather confusing cocktail of appeals to self-interest and claims of the great benefits to society that would result.

    Strangely enough, one of her great admirers was Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who praised her whan he was promoted to that lofty position. I suspect he hadn’t read too many of her works because I doubt that he thinks the same way today.

    text

  32. Nature, my first read of Atlas Shrugged was in ’68.

    I agree it was all about egotism. I could never understand where people such as the disabled fitted into Rand’s reading of the world.

    Re Fraser..I would check up with him now (he might have changed his mind). I find that Rand’s appeal is to egotistical adolescents and those who have never outgrown this stage.

  33. Min, on April 11th, 2009 at 2:42 pm Said:

    I find that Rand’s appeal is to egotistical adolescents and those who have never outgrown this stage.

    Indeed! And I would add (some) ‘Libertarians’ although to be fair, Rand claimed not to be a libertarian and intensely disliked libertarians. Perhaps it is best to say that her views are compatible with Libertarians. Lol.

  34. Nature. I doubt that Rand liked nor appreciated anything or anyone much other than herself.

    However, she is a very interesting person being a Russian of Jewish extraction.

    The essence of Objectivism, according to Rand, is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”[60]

    (from Wiki).

    And this is where the whole nicey-nicey theory became unglued: (as per above)..’his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life..’. Gee by wilikers, one’s own happiness is umm ‘a moral purpose’. Can’t wait until Rand and Bishop Pell meet up in heaven.

  35. Min, on April 11th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    doubt that Rand liked nor appreciated anything or anyone much other than herself.

    Probably a bit tough. Alan Greenspan, for example, was a great friend and admirer also a member of the ironically named ‘The Collecitive’. As for:

    Can’t wait until Rand and Bishop Pell meet up in heaven.

    If they did meet in the future, the atheist Rand would be surprised indeed and Pell would certaily know he was in the wrong place. Lol.

  36. Self interest, greed… to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to… Let’s just call the whole thing off. 🙂

    Seriously though, switching from the word “greed” to “self-interest” is playing word games while the concept remains the same. Capitalism as it is applied today, not as the “pure concept” is defined (which, like Communism, is a crack-pipe dream), is about getting as much for your “labour” &/or “investment” as possible without necessarily considering the effects it has on others. Two seconds thought would bring up the concept “It’s not personal, it’s just business”. This is where current capitalism (as applied to trillions of dollars everyday) stands.

    Ayn Rand’s concept is as much a fantasy now as it was then. It has never worked as she wanted it to and, as long as man is in control of his own decisions, it never will. As such, we need regulations to control the extent to which “self interest” can be pursued in business… much the same way we have laws doing it on a personal level (you know, the “Criminal Statutes”).

  37. Slightly off topic, but…

    Does Kevin Rudd wear a wig?

  38. Reb, I dabble in the sale of wigs and can usually pick one a mile off. Unless Kevin is wearing a custom make human hair wig, I would say not.

  39. reb, on April 11th, 2009 at 6:03 pm Said:

    Does Kevin Rudd wear a wig?

    No! But rumour has it that Turnbull own a Merkin. Lol.

  40. Don’t just talk about it, if you want to make the banks change their behaviour switch all your business to a building society or credit union.

  41. “Sparta it’s time to put Ayn Rand aside and take off the ideological blinkers. And in the spirit of kindness, can I suggest a reading of the following.”

    Well I appreciate the “kindness” there #5 but it is more like “condescension”, quite the forte of many here I think. I just love when someone suggests I “read” and then I will see the light. No, it never occurs to them that perhaps I already have and it simply led me back. I am amazed by the level of arrogance on this site at times but then again…..I have no “blinders” on sir, I am open to many different points of views but in terms of an economical model, I have seen none put to practice with more success than capitalism. For all of its pitfalls and failings, it is a system that continues to survive the test of time. Besides, with globalization it seems ridiculous to try and apply a system to many countries that simply don’t play by the “rules”. Many are screaming “regulation” I would agree to the extent globalization like many types of software has left behind many traditional regulations we have relied upon in the past. However, we already have plenty of laws in place and writing new ones isn’t going to make a hell of a lot of sense if they aren’t enforced either! ENFORCEMENT is what was missing from this debacle by those who tried to “recreate” capitalism; the “free-market deregulators” and the “digressive-social engineering crowd”.

    “No Legion, certainly not. The corruption was achieved long before my arrival. An apparent addiction to laconophilia says plenty.”

    Laconic usually…say for this forum…..So what is your vision then #5 or do you not have one? Hopefully you’re not another “Social-Democrat” looking to repeat the failures of Europe? I would be curious to get your philosophy on this instead of just your usual remarks? Is it your belief then it is the system that is to blame and not those who are a part of it? Perhaps another Marxist that is convinced in the purity of mankind and it is the world that is to blame; the nature vs. nurture argument? Interestingly though, we have millions fleeing to this system that is so corruptible from all walks of life, religions, cultures, and economic systems? Is it their nature or nurture that drives them? What is the commonality in your opinion, chance? With all due respect, perhaps you should do a bit more “thinking” and bit less reading……

  42. I’m still intrigued by this statement…

    The minute you start taking the fruits of one man’s labor to pay for the fruits of another man’s short comings you are doomed to fail.

    …I am not familiar with that particular piece of unparsed doublethunk-as-dialectic and would be interested in knowing which primitive Communist penned it. 😉

  43. A step in the right direction: http://www.news.com.au/business/money/story/0,28323,25321017-14327,00.html

    Australian banks and non-bank lenders on credit notice…BANKS and other lenders which push unwanted credit cards and increased credit limits onto people who can not afford it will lose their licences under new national laws.

  44. Min

    Bravo, but who will police and enforce these laws?

  45. John..it would seem that these laws will rely on complaints from consumers…which shouldn’t be too difficult to find…

    And it seems that the enforcement will come from:

    They will be overseen by the financial watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which will be given extra powers to police the credit-card market.

    and the grunt being the risk of loss of licence as a credit provider.

  46. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 12th, 2009 at 3:05 am Said:

    I have no “blinders” on sir,

    blinders? Never used the word. I spoke of ideological ‘blinkers’. Comprehension problem?

    Laconic usually…say for this forum

    Laconic. No I used the word Laconophilia and I did so deliberately. For future reference:

    Laconophilia is love or admiration of Sparta and of the Spartan culture or constitution. The term derives from “Lacones,” a poetic term for the Spartans or Lacedaemonians, from Laconia, the part of the Peloponnesus which the Spartans inhabited.

    As for your questions they are worthy of a response but then again so are mine You failed to respond to my very basic question re families and how they continue to function in contradiction to the ‘capitalist’ nature of relationships. Too difficult? No answer?

    Perhaps another Marxist that (sic) is convinced in the purity of mankind and it is the world that is to blame

    And ‘perhaps’ not. Finally we have:

    perhaps you should do a bit more “thinking” and bit less reading

    Sparta you provide abundant evidence that a lack of reading guarantees a closed mind. Understanding Sparta’s role in our history would be a good beginning, and then perhaps not, because you have all the answers. Or so you think. Lol.

  47. “No I used the word Laconophilia and I did so deliberately. For future reference”

    Yes, as I used Laconic, deliberately…….

    “You failed to respond to my very basic question re families and how they continue to function in contradiction to the ‘capitalist’ nature of relationships. Too difficult? No answer?

    No, it just wasn’t a very applicable analogy and so I “chose” not to answer! Families are hardly in contradiction to a system that is based on needs there sport. From their foundation somebody is getting something. Surely you see this or you not “thinking” again?

  48. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 12th, 2009 at 2:18 pm Said:

    From their foundation somebody is getting something.

    getting something. Why am I not surprised that you invariably see life in terms of ‘getting something’. So transparent. So predictable. And it’s all your own work. Blinkers still on.

    Sparta it may come as a surprise but there is almost an infinite range of meanings that can be attributed to any given ‘event’. Certainly the establishing of a family can be viewed through the lens of ‘somebody getting’ and if you have that theory you will identify any number of facts that will confirm that theory.

    But also, on the other hand, one can view the family as an opportunity to give, to share, for sacrifice and the like, and if one has that view one will also be rewarded with mountains of evidence. Giving not getting Sparta. Ring any bells? No I thought not. To busy ‘thinking’ no doubt.

  49. “To busy”

    Try ‘TOO busy”. Lol.

  50. “getting something. Why am I not surprised that you invariably see life in terms of ‘getting something’. So transparent. So predictable. And it’s all your own work. Blinkers still on.”

    Umm….now your confusing yourself there number #5. First of all it was your very weak analogy to try and use family as some “altruistic” unit that “contradicts capitalism”. I think if you had “thought” before charging in you might not have stepped on your own feet. Why do people breed, out of altruism? Are you really that out of touch? People begin by “wanting” to have a family, “wanting” sex etcetera…human nature chief……Darwinism and all? Try taking off your “blinders”.

    “ Sparta it may come as a surprise but there is almost an infinite range of meanings that can be attributed to any given ‘event’. Certainly the establishing of a family can be viewed through the lens of ’somebody getting’ and if you have that theory you will identify any number of facts that will confirm that theory.”

    Try and understand something, your view of the world, although admirable, is far removed from reality. Actually, there isn’t an infinite range of meanings, just an infinite range of interpretations…..Anyway, it was your analogy and I find it hilarious and very contradictory that you bellow on about there being many different meanings in one sentence and then basically proclaim your meaning as the “right one”.

    “But also, on the other hand, one can view the family as an opportunity to give, to share, for sacrifice and the like, and if one has that view one will also be rewarded with mountains of evidence. Giving not getting Sparta. Ring any bells? No I thought not. To busy ‘thinking’ no doubt.”

    Well, you never asked me what my “view of family” was, too busy “trying” to come across as intelligent? You proclaimed families as some sort of omnipotent fact, I simply gave an example that says otherwise. Your response, to once again try to preach to me about life, as if I am not living one. Another thing genius, I “give” plenty, my whole life has been about “giving” but I do so on my terms. Not by the leave of some moronic overpaid politician telling me why my family should sacrifice more, so he/she can feel good about themselves. It does not make me callous to question that government will do what they say with the fruit of my labor. History has shown countless times before that government cannot be trusted, but perhaps not in your world.

    Ironically, nothing stops these same “do-gooders” from giving more of their own personal wealth but most do not, why do you think that is? Wake up and welcome to the real world Nature. You can quote philosophers or writers all day long but for once, try thinking for yourself…Really, it is ok to question life instead of walking around in a state of narcosis.

    What, all done? Not going to tackle my question/s? Never really thought about the works of those you like to quote? Yes, very typical indeed……

  51. Legion,

    Great article, I don’t disagree with most of it. I notice the author repeatedly makes reference to government? You mean it isn’t just the fault of greedy Wall Street and overpaid CEO’s? You wouldn’t know it listening to the critiques of many here. He does tend to lay into the “elite” a bit but again, nobody was forcing the “individual” to act on their own behalf……

    I also can appreciate the authors bravery in calling out the individual citizen in all this, after all, all the scheming and policy in the world would not have worked if not for one thing, the greed of the individual homeowner/consumer. That belief that they should have what they want when they want, regardless if they could actually afford it……..a belief that is still ingrained and now being confused with a “right”! “Wants and needs” have now amalgamated into “rights”……..

    Wall Street and Uncle Sam bare a lot of responsibility as their role is to keep an eye on the system but the point I am always trying to make and that many here completely refuse to really address is the culpability of the average citizen. The average citizen’s responsibility is discounted as the natural way of things, or downplayed into obscurity while failing to recognize they acted with the same instinct that drove the politician and Wall Street idiot to look the other way……

  52. Cheap rent tax break is pushing up house prices

    SMALL investors are being encouraged to cash in on a Rudd Government scheme offering tax benefits of up to $8000 a year on investment properties, provided they are leased at 20 per cent below market rent.

    But analysts warn that the scheme, intended to increase the supply of cheap rental accommodation, is contributing to a boom in house prices under $500,000, making home purchase more expensive…

  53. Just in:

    Gouging by banks revealed
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25325854-601,00.html
    THE major banks are making $450 a year more from each average home mortgage today than before the global financial crisis as they exploit weaker competition from non-bank lenders.

    The cash grab by big banks, revealed in an analysis conducted for The Australian, threatens to further increase tensions between the banks and the Rudd Government.

    The banks have cried poor, declaring they cannot afford to pass on the full benefit of the Reserve Bank’s latest 0.25 percentage point interest rate cut because they are suffering from increased costs.

    The ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac have cut mortgage rates by only 0.1 of a percentage point while the NAB has given mortgage holders nothing.

    However, an analysis of bank funding costs by Fujitsu Consulting shows the banks have increased the profit margin on home loans over the past two years.

    The major banks are making at least $450 a year more on the average mortgage now compared with two years ago, at the peak of the economic boom and when interest rates were higher.

  54. You beat me to it John.

  55. Of interest is firstly we have: http://www.news.com.au/business/money/story/0,28323,25321017-14327,00.html

    The new laws are designed to stop predatory lending practices by banks, card providers and finance brokers.

    And then the counter-punch from: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25325756-5013404,00.html

    THE nation’s banks have urged the Rudd Government to rethink major changes to consumer laws, which they say will restrict the flow of credit and drive up borrowing costs at the worst possible time.

    But Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen has vowed to press ahead with the changes, which include a ban on unfair terms in standard-form contracts used by banks, mobile phone companies, gyms and other businesses.

    Conclusion: according to ‘the nation’s banks’ if their predatory lending practices are curtailed in any way, this will restrict the flow of credit?

    But But But..we have from: http://www.news.com.au/business/money/story/0,28323,25319421-5013951,00.html

    Survey reveals banks have not become stricter on first homebuyer lending..FIRST-HOME buyers are being warned that generous loan criteria could land them in financial stress, after revelations that the top four banks will lend up to $465,000 to a purchaser on a salary of $70,000 a year.

    Mr Spock to Kirk, This does not compute.

  56. It computes perfectly…on the Holodeck…where (mark-to-)model(s) rule, Min. Don’t question the blackboxes!

  57. Legion..

    And a double counter suddenly appeared this arvo under the title of: Bank gouge claims overstated

    http://business.theage.com.au/business/bank-gouge-claims-overstated-20090413-a4mf.html

    Interesting to watch how the game plays..the punches and the counter punches. Haven’t seen this for a while since I was a Howard-watcher.

  58. Too easy:

    Debt relief’s all too easy as more middle class earners declare bankruptcy

    * Job losses, bad loans push middle clash into bankruptcy
    * Seen as the ‘cheap and easy option’
    * Personal insolvencies jump 50pc

    MIDDLE class and high income earners are increasingly taking advantage of cheap and easy insolvencies to escape debt and go bankrupt.

    Australia is experiencing a boom in insolvency activity and Victoria is the epicentre of the debt crisis.

    In the three months to March 31 this year the number of consumer debt agreements entered into skyrocketed up by almost 40 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

    Bankruptcies were also up 16 per cent, with the vast majority of those being non-business related.

    Personal insolvency agreements, which are generally undertaken by higher income earners who cannot repay consumer debts, jumped up by more than 50 per cent off a low base.

    The Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia reports that total insolvency activity was up 18 per cent across the nation in the March quarter.

    But the Victorian statistics are particularly alarming with total insolvency activity up more than 22 per cent. Only Tasmania showed more growth than Victoria in the numbers of people who cannot repay their debts.

    Debt counsellors say bankruptcy is a relatively cheap and easy option for people who have lost their job and cannot repay their debts.

    “Bankruptcy can be a pretty cheap option if there are no real assets and no capacity to pay,” says John Beecroft, an insolvency specialist in South Yarra.

    “We do the paperwork and send it off to the Insolvency and Trustee Service where it is basically a paper entry.”

    Digby Ross, the official receiver at ITSA, agrees that bankruptcy can be a cheap and easy option for debtors.

    “It is a fairly straightforward process,” says Mr Ross.

    “They have to prepare a one-page petition and a statement of affairs covering their creditors, any property they have, and their personal details.

    “That is filed with us and when it is accepted the person is bankrupt. There are no court appearances required.”

    A bankrupt person is generally denied credit for three years. A permanent record of the bankruptcy is placed on the National Personal Insolvency Index, an electronic public register.

    John Beecroft from http://www.debtassist.com.au says there has been a noticeable change in the type of people asking for assistance in the past few months.

    “When rates and fuel prices were high we were seeing lots of people from the outer suburbs, now we are seeing more from middle class suburbs and above.

    “People who have used their credit cards to buy shares and had a margin call is pretty common — or property investments that have gone wrong,” said Mr Beecroft.

    Bankruptcy is a common option for people losing their jobs, he says

  59. John, I suspect this one is a furphy. Surely the first port of call is a debt agreement and if one’s financial advisor is suggesting bankruptcy as an ‘easy option’ then they have rocks for brains.

    For example, once a person is declared bankrupt you can own a car only to the value of $5,900 or double the amount of value if your partner/wife declares bankrupt with you. [doesn’t buy much of a car these days does it].

    You may also have $3,000 worth of tools of trade. [for many not enough tools to be able to continue in their trade].

    Also:

    any savings or valuable goods acquired during the bankruptcy may be taken away;
    bankrupts must not obtain credit for $4,145 (indexed), or more, from any one source without disclosing that they are bankrupt. To do so is an offence;
    bankrupts must not write a cheque or cheques for $4,145 (indexed), or more, to pay for goods or services without disclosing the fact that they are bankrupt. To do so is an offence;
    an undischarged bankrupt has a duty to disclose the fact they are bankrupt if they trade under any business or assumed name;

    Yep just a barrel of laughs being a bankrupt and having to declare same for up to 10 years.

    The above from: http://www.legalaid.tas.gov.au/Factsheets/Bankruptcy%20General%20Principles.html

  60. Oh dear Sparta you do come clean over time as most RWDBs do. Lol. Let’s start:

    The minute you start taking the fruits of one man’s labor (sic) to pay for the fruits of another man’s short comings you are doomed to fail.

    you are doomed to fail LOL. Sparta, do you pay taxes? Yes, No? Do most people in the US pay taxes which are always used to support the ‘other’ in some form or other? If the answer is Yes, then is the US system therefore a ‘failure’? What evidence can you provide that supports that statement? Don’t be shy now. Here’s your change to provide the master stroke.? Your chance to be an intellectual. Lol.

    Then we have:

    You will never rid the world of greed, especially in a free society that values individualism over anything else

    that values individualism over anything else. Right! Free society equals greed. Says heaps but honest at least. The Virtue of Selfishness rears its head yet again. Sparta, I am at a loss as to why you are sharing your ‘absolute’ knowledge with other contributors here? Surely you don’t need reassurance? Or are you suddenly motivated by altruism? Lol.

    The we have the ‘clincher’:

    Another thing genius, I “give” plenty, my whole life has been about “giving” but I do so on my terms. Not by the leave of some moronic overpaid politician telling me why my family should

    do so on my terms. Obviously living in a fantasy world. Or perhaps a parallel universe where taxes are optional and social obligations are … whatever And then there is the final revelation:

    History has shown countless times before that government cannot be trusted, but perhaps not in your world.

    Clearly talking about Bush.

    Look ‘sport’ or ‘genius’ or whatever perjorative term you like to use, you need to do better because most of your arguments are ideological claptrap, But maybe it’s ‘human nature’.

    I await your response. At least it will keep you off the streets.

  61. Min and John

    I went into bankruptcy after my daughter died, mealtdown etc. It was quite a straight forward, easy thing to do. It did involve a court appearance.

    You don’t necessarily lose everything. It all depends on what you are earning, and whom you are able to repay, eg car loan, you are able to keep the car.

    If you are able to pay the mortgage, and have little equity, the bank usually lets you stay. It’s up to the individual lender, really.

    In my case, the car and house went, everything of any value went to someone else’s house, tools of trade were left. If you ask for a loan, it automatically registers with CRA that you are bankrupt.

    I was under the impression that they took everything, but that is not the case. It’s a very , very long story, too much to put down here. I might add, (not taking into account the death of my daughter, which was awful) that the time spent in bankruptcy was one of the happiest times of my life.

    It was like taking the lid off a pressure cooker, everything blew up, and then it was gone. No stress about robbing Peter to pay Paul, no juggling the car loan with the creditcard and mortgage. Of course, still had to pay electricity etc. and rent, but no pressure.

    I think I’m trying to say it was not such a bad experience, once you accepted it. Accepting it is the key. My parents went broke in a business and elected to pay every cent back, it took them many years and ultimately killed my Dad.

    You have to be pretty bad to be kept as a bankrupt for over 3 years, like Alan Bond, Christopher Skase etc., hiding money overseas, transferring property into someone else’s name, that sort of thing.

    It could be in the background for me again, with no work in sight. If it happens, I guess it happens. There are worse things in life than being a bankrupt.

  62. Nature 5, on April 13th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    You may wish to add to the refresher reading list the Preamble to the US Constitution…which does seem to include a few references to things like ‘we’, ‘the people’, ‘union’, ‘common’, ‘general’, ‘our’, all of which seem to be collective notions establishing a grundnorm for the City Upon the Hill and wellspring of citizenship .

  63. Nature 5,

    Sigh…….

    Please tell me there is more to you then condescension? Have I wasted my time responding to a child? Here is how it works high speed, since “you” decided to comment about one of my posts with an asinine analogy you forced me to address, which I did, you might do me the courtesy of the same? If you are as intelligent as you seem to think you are than you should have no trouble answering my “very basic” questions? You can even continue to use Wiki if needed……

    The point of a blog or debate is for each side to put forth their argument and for the other to respond. I notice it to be a trend with some that they never really answer anything, just continue raising questions or throwing insults but never offer their point of view? Why is that, afraid I suppose that you really don’t have an argument? I know it is much easier to make a comment or attack another rather than actually take a stand on anything but do try….Produce an actual response to one of my questions and I will be glad to oblige you further. If you’re unclear, ask…Sorry, the “I am rubber your glue…” argument is usually reserved for the playground, perhaps where you really belong. I am amused at the label of “right winger” though; perhaps you can start there and tell me why my positions are right wing? Another “easy” one I am sure you will fail to address….So, the next insult is???????????

  64. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 14th, 2009 at 8:22 am Said:

    Simple question: Do you pay taxes?

  65. Nature,

    Are you serious? Yes, I pay taxes and your point is?

  66. I think the point might be your comment at 946am on 11th April:

    The minute you start taking the fruits of one man’s labor to pay for the fruits of another man’s short comings you are doomed to fail.

    That comments seems to indicate that taxes are doomed to fail.

  67. “That comments seems to indicate that taxes are doomed to fail.”

    No, taxes are essential in any system it is the manner in which they are used that troubles me….I can give a litany of examples where government says we are being taxed for A but uses it for B. Why do I as a citizen have more responsibility than another if I happen to work longer hours and make more money for my family than the next?

    Please explain to me why I as a citizen should pay for the health care, education etcetera of a non national that has come into my country illegally for instance?

  68. Um, compassion.

  69. “Um, compassion”

    I am sorry Joni, but I give to multiple charities, volunteer with my wife when we can and both work in fields that serve people etcetera…But you’re response says much. It is your belief then that the citizenry of a country should be “forced” to care for those of another?

  70. Where did I say “forced”?

  71. Agreed joni..a bad look for any country to have refugees dying in the streets. And re education, because then they can make a contribution to the country.

  72. Joni,

    One is “forced” to give a certain amount of their income etc. It is gone before we even get the check, would you say that makes it optional?

  73. Min,

    I am not talking about refugees…..but even if I was, I find the idea of caring for refugees when there are plenty of “citizens” in need, a disgrace…..How about cleaning up our own backyard before we attempt to clean up another’s?

  74. Sparta I thought that you were talking about refugees when you wrote

    Please explain to me why I as a citizen should pay for the health care, education etcetera of a non national that has come into my country illegally for instance?

    I do not see the difference in people..legals/illegals – citizen/non-citizens. All should be treated on a needs basis.

  75. Min,

    You must understand the situation my country is dealing with. Try imagining a land bridge to Asia from Australia and million upon million simply walking over to Australia demanding to be treated like a citizen. Surely you see your country would cease to exist? No country’s infrastructure could survive that reality, not even the “bountiful” Australia…

  76. And if those “million upon million” left your country your country would come to a stop. Who would do the jobs that they do?

  77. “Who would do the jobs that they do?”

    Who did the jobs prior to them coming?

  78. And so there must have been a time prior to all these “millions” coming into your country? When was that?

  79. Try 1990…………

  80. We are currently facing our own crisis regarding illegal arrivals:

    The resurgence of illegal arrivals will dominate discussions between Australia and Indonesia at next week’s Bali conference – a ministerial-level meeting of more than 50 countries tasked with cracking down on people-smuggling and transnational crime. The conference will be attended by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Immigration Minister Chris Evans.

  81. Really – there were no illegal immigrants in the USA prior to 1990.

  82. Of course there were, there have always been people taking advantage of the system but never before in the history of this country have we ever dealt with these kind of numbers. Hospitals are closing, schools are closing, health care is through the roof etcetera… It is a mess but where were we going with this? Lets just say Reagan started this fiasco with his Amnesty in 86……….

  83. From: http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/illegal_immigration_mexico.html

    For many generations Mexicans have illegally crossed the border into the United States.

  84. Tony..it’s not a crisis, it’s a slight increase. If you want a real crisis try the USA and Europe.

  85. Joni,

    If your interested you can take a look at this…Instead of discounting the site, verify there stats if your suspicous…….

    http://www.fairus.org/site/PageNavigator/site/PageNavigator/facts/suggested_read/

  86. Tony,

    I can appreciate your concern but have a look at these numbers……

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/data/fy2007RA.htm

  87. Min,

    “If you want a real crisis try the USA and Europe.”

    For once we agree….but can you tell me how such a crisis is facilitated?

  88. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 14th, 2009 at 9:55 am Said:

    “I find the idea of caring for refugees when there are plenty of “citizens” in need, a disgrace”

    Sparta, refugees are in need of special care. They’ve had to flee their country, their culture, their home, their family and friends to escape persecution and war. Many of them have seen and experienced first-hand horrors we cannot conceive.

    To deny them a helping hand is to deny our own humanity. After all, we don’t know when we may be in a similar situation and need a help, care and compassion.

  89. To deny them a helping hand is to deny our own humanity.

    Not necessarily – it depends on your definition of humanity. I think this one has merit.

  90. “this one has merit.” – only if you think about what they say for less than 25ms and then dig a little deeper on the site & discover where the authors are coming from:

    Dogs are of course, much like Leftists.

    * They are supposedly loving, warm and only want to be friends with everyone.
    * They are cowards when they are alone with something bigger and more powerful than they are.
    * When they mob together in sufficient numbers they attack anything and everything weaker than they are.
    * They have no responsibility for anything they do.

    This, of course, qualifies them to be ‘man’s best friend’, or maybe even ‘friends of the Earth’.

    And

    Leftist: one who subscribes to confusing and often contradictory ideology of the left.

    The phrase that best describes the left ideologies is ‘the rich must pay’, but the emotion of envy plays a strong role in policies. Most leftists don’t like to see other people making money. This is normally justified by a zero-sum-game view of competition, but in practice they try to take people down even when there clearly no tangible benefit to others.

    See

    * Communism
    * Socialism
    * Feminism
    * Aborigines
    * Globalization
    * Australian Democrats
    * Passivists
    * One Nation
    * Right Wing
    * Compassion

    Compassion

    D: Willingness for personal sacrifice in order to benefit others.

    In particular, compassion is not spending someone else’s money. Spending your own money is compassion. Spending someone else’s money without their consent is theft.

    Source: http://bovination.com/

    Charming site Tony…

  91. then dig a little deeper on the site & discover where the authors are coming from…Charming site Tony…

    Of course, if you take seriously every thing that particular site has to say, your delicate sensibilities might be offended.

    Then again, if you dig even deeper still, you will find things like this, which even you might consider to be mildly humourous satire.

  92. we don’t know when we may be in a similar situation

    And therein, perhaps, lies the short-sightedness of supreme selfishness, and the long-sightedness of other, extensive, delayed gratifications and categorical ethics. It might even be the difference between the echolalic cant of ‘my terms’ and the Kant of ‘fair terms’ or ‘just terms’; within a social contract that admits both of atomised, appetitive, utility-maximisers and of a system within which those atoms seek synergistic rapprochement over time.

  93. *humorous*

  94. Does anyone but me find it strange that there’s a wave of ‘illegals’ entering a nation which effectively stole land under force of arms and whose theft still registers in a raft of funny Spanish-Mexican names still being appended to the atlas? Moreover, has anyone done the short-term cost-benefit analyses on nett contributions to economy(ies), including contributions to domestic demand and reduction in inflation, of those migrations; or the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns? And to think that the WASPs will soon be in a minority to the Hispanics, all quite legally and independent of any illegalities, too, both numerically and in terms of economic growth as a demographic segment. 😉

  95. And to think that the WASPs will soon be in a minority to the Hispanics, all quite legally and independent of any illegalities, too, both numerically and in terms of economic growth as a demographic segment.

    Yes, and we in Australia need look no further than Sol Trujillo as a shining example of that.

    😉

  96. Jane,

    “Sparta, refugees are in need of special care. They’ve had to flee their country, their culture, their home, their family and friends to escape persecution and war. Many of them have seen and experienced first-hand horrors we cannot conceive.”

    I understand where you’re coming from Jane but really, the heart doesn’t pay the bills, one needs to employ a bit of logic in all this as well…Also, you must understand that the broad definition used to define a refugee can essentially be applied to any Non-Western citizen these days. So if you have the room for about 4-5 billion, then by all means….The answer is to change the conditions they face at home, not to continue importing them….

    “To deny them a helping hand is to deny our own humanity. After all, we don’t know when we may be in a similar situation and need a help, care and compassion.”

    Again, nice sentiment but not a realistic view…Who will come to your aid, Indonesia, Fiji, East Timor, Sir Lanka; perhaps Sudan or Lebanon?

  97. Maybe you could send them to Iraq or Palestine? I hear there are plenty of vacancies there.

  98. “Maybe you could send them to Iraq or Palestine? I hear there are plenty of vacancies there.”

    No, I suggest Australia, you guys have plenty of room and endless wealth apparently……

  99. “Does anyone but me find it strange that there’s a wave of ‘illegals’ entering a nation which effectively stole land under force of arms and whose theft still registers in a raft of funny Spanish-Mexican names still being appended to the atlas?”

    Does anyone but me find it funny that some seem to think the history of the Southwest United States begins with the Nation of Mexico? How about we discuss the Aztec, Mayan or more recent the Apache, Navaho etcetera? Get over it already Legion, you can lead the charge to give Australia back to the Aboriginal or give it a rest already and leave your hypocritical sanctimonious notions for Hollywood…..I bet your packing your bags right now……

    “Moreover, has anyone done the short-term cost-benefit analyses on nett contributions to economy(ies), including contributions to domestic demand and reduction in inflation, of those migrations; or the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns?”

    Really, it doesn’t make you come across any smarter so you can give it a rest already. I surely hope you know how to communicate in life better than you do in cyberspace? Yes, most of us that are living through it have crunched the numbers and the net cost after all is calculated is a loss genius…This phenomena is of the last 15 years, nothing more so again, stay on a subject you really understand. We are Mexicos GDP, not the other way around….

    “And to think that the WASPs will soon be in a minority to the Hispanics, all quite legally and independent of any illegalities, too, both numerically and in terms of economic growth as a demographic segment.”

    Oh, and to the heart of Legion’s tirade, he is nothing more than a racial agitator obviously one who finds himself wronged by the evil white man. Some of us don’t see the world through colored lenses dude. I know, if only “whitey” wasn’t in the picture the world would be such a better place…..Thanks for revealing your cards their chief, nice to finally have verification of the source of your animosity towards me….

  100. HAHA!!

    I just watched a US doc on the sub-prime collapse. My god, what a mess greedy bankers and the largest insurance company in the world managed to make.

    And the spinoff caused. Tut, tut. No sympathy for you.

  101. “And the spinoff caused. Tut, tut. No sympathy for you.”

    No problem, not all of us took out subprimes or spent beyond are means…….Many actually had the credit history to qualify for reasonable loans. Even better, some of us just refinanced for under 4%!!!

  102. Well, I guess you are lucky you had a good credit history to refinance at 4%. You obviously had a job as well.

    Sadly, I don’t have a job. That is because I am a victim of the spin off. I do however, have a house with a mortgage, and savings only go so far.

    So, no sympathy.

  103. hehe, and what really cuts sparta to the core is the dig about WASP’s becoming the minority. Quelle horreur, the nightmare comes true! You’re being downright nasty legion, stop playing the race card you’re frightening sparta with the thought of all them brown skin bebbies!

  104. “Sadly, I don’t have a job. That is because I am a victim of the spin off. I do however, have a house with a mortgage, and savings only go so far.”

    I am sorry to hear that….It has become very hard to get by these days, I know…There is alot of luck involved..The reality is, anybody can find themselves in such a situation, including myself! I have been there before………Don’t give up though, this will pass…

  105. “You’re being downright nasty legion, stop playing the race card you’re frightening sparta with the thought of all them brown skin bebbies!”

    LOL…..I grew up in Phoenix Kitty…my first love was a bi-racial gal, my second a Mexican gal and my earliest best friend an Asian……Phoenix isn’t Little Rock Arkansas….LOL….

  106. I’ve been there before too, and I’m not giving up.

    Anyway, night all.

  107. Angel – did you watch the next doco on SBS about Argentina?

    I wonder if sparta will want us to show him some compassion when the same thing happens in the US.

  108. Tony of South Yarra, on April 14th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Indeed, the wolves in sheeps’ clothing have never been great respecters of the fences for the pastures green and greener yet which the bovines taxingly still like to call home. From what I can muster, this globalisation stuff might become even more good fun, the more ownership and management become detached, and the more that business processes become pixelated in their competitive drives for best of breed operations.

  109. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 14th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Talk is cheap, Sparta. Unless you’re betting something valuable when you’re laying down your wagers, they don’t count anywhere in the known Cosmos…ditto with blanket claims in black-and-white terms about complex and contentious issues with non-revelation of your evidences and reasonings.

  110. “Talk is cheap”

    Or in your case, the nonsensical….

    “ditto with blanket claims in black-and-white terms about complex and contentious issues with non-revelation of your evidences and reasonings.”

    You call it “black-and-white” I call it English! Fortunately, most of the time a spade is a spade regardless of how it is dressed. Some people go out of their way to make things more complicated than they really are, or in your case are at pains to……

  111. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 15th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Yes, most of us that are living through it have crunched the numbers and the net cost after all is calculated is a loss genius

    You can ignore the most of a mythical posse you like to have backing you up; you can ignore the anecdotal evidence and spin. My very simple challenge to you is to prove your assertion, empirically, in the domain of numbers through the use of reason. Sure, eminent economists and a host of other social scientists present a variety of evidences which tend either way on the issue, such that the matter remains opaque without supplying something more to limit the scope of enquiry or to emphasise certain data over others, but The Simplifier has ‘crunched’ the numbers, and now I’d like him to a) present the numbers he crunched; and b) the computations he performed in their crunching; and c) compare and contrast the absolutely black-and-white conclusions of his Madoff-style bottom-line accounting vis-a-vis the conclusions of those many other number crunchers who have spent time on a ‘subject they really understand’.

  112. Legion,

    “You can ignore the most of a mythical posse you like to have backing you up”

    On this site it most definitely is mythical but I am not trying to “play to a crowd” or “score points’ as obviously you try so hard to do…

    “My very simple challenge to you is to prove your assertion, empirically, in the domain of numbers through the use of reason.”

    Sure, first you can start by providing the opposite there big guy since you are claiming otherwise. Please provide “evidence” that illegal immigrants are a “net benefit” to my country and I will be more than happy to provide the links to the contrary, at nausea…I will give you the bankrupt state of California for starters. Try reading the link I provided Joni above, the evidence abounds (plenty of stats and numbers even you can understand)…I grow most tired of always being “challenged” even after I have met said challenge only to have you or others scramble away or just present another challenge without acknowledging the original has been met……..What is your evidence to anything exactly other than another boring tirade or link to an opinion piece? Quoting past thinkers (especially off of Wiki) is just evidence of somebody who has no thought of their own. So please, you provide evidence to the contrary if you’re going to make such a claim. If you’re going to call me a “liar” now instead of implying I am a “racist”, it is for you to prove……News flash, you hardly are a man/woman of “logic and reason” chief, more like all emotion. Most logical thinkers don’t operate in the world of “grey” they tend to see things in “black-and-white” and we know your aversion to that reality. Miglo I believe called me a liar only to have me provide the evidence that he was in fact the one mistaken. Did I get an apology from him? Did anybody here say anything to acknowledge he was mistaken? Of course not…nobody ever does here but that is expected……Says much….

  113. No, I made inquiry…

    Has anyone done the short-term cost-benefit analyses on nett contributions to economy(ies), including contributions to domestic demand and reduction in inflation, of those migrations; or the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns?

    You volunteered that you had…

    Yes, most of us that are living through it have crunched the numbers and the net cost after all is calculated is a loss genius…This phenomena is of the last 15 years, nothing more so again, stay on a subject you really understand. We are Mexicos GDP, not the other way around….

    You further claim that…

    Try reading the link I provided Joni above, the evidence abounds (plenty of stats and numbers even you can understand)…I grow most tired of always being “challenged” even after I have met said challenge only to have you or others scramble away or just present another challenge without acknowledging the original has been met.

    Unfortunately, your supplied links fail to answer my initial inquiry re: a) contributions to domestic demand; b) reduction in inflation; c) the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns.

    So, have you crunched those other numbers or not?

  114. Important figures to keep an eye on

    Bad debts top $20bn as banks struggle in crisis
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25339752-643,00.html
    THE bad debts of Australian banks have hit nearly $21billion as the major institutions face a sharp rise in corporate and business borrowers striking trouble as a result of the worsening economic slowdown

    Research by Restructuring Works, an adviser to distressed corporates, shows debt provisions by the banks during the past year were four times than the historic average of just $4 million a year.

  115. “Has anyone done the short-term cost-benefit analyses on nett contributions to economy(ies), including contributions to domestic demand and reduction in inflation, of those migrations; or the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns?”

    Fine, call it what you will but who gives a rat ass about the “short term”? How about a housing bubble that has popped? Again, look at the link I provided. You will be able to find most of the stats I refer to and also be able to do the “simple” subtraction as well on your own…..

    “Yes, most of us that are living through it have crunched the numbers and the net cost after all is calculated is a loss genius…This phenomena is of the last 15 years, nothing more so again, stay on a subject you really understand. We are Mexicos GDP, not the other way around….”

    See above………..

    “Unfortunately, your supplied links fail to answer my initial inquiry re: a) contributions to domestic demand; b) reduction in inflation; c) the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns.”

    You might have to actually navigate the site…….Inflation, well that depends on the economist….Most items written pre “housing bust” seem to refer to the “underground” workforce being a slight “positive” but that was “pre-bust” mind you……..It isn’t that hard though Legion to make the deductions, do try….Writing a “thesis” in order to convince you seems hardly worth it let alone doing the research for you…..If you want to suggest I am liar than prove it…Otherwise give me a break already…

  116. The point being that the ‘data’ as you call it both flows from and contributes to a model according the assumptions of the data-collector and model-maker. The ‘data’ and the ‘model’ you offer up as evidence of something or another isn’t sufficient to sustain your claims, nor should someone else’s model just be uncritically accepted as a ‘proof’ of anything. But it’s up to you how you run your mental software and when you feel you can gift yourself a break. Perhaps, not until after you have reconciled how teachers and doctors employed in providing costly services to unauthorised immigrants manage to yield no income tax receipts, nor apparently do the businesses in which unauthorised immigrants happen to be employed pay any taxes either, according to the ‘data’, mostly taken from Huddle 1997 and the CIS, variously. As a law-abiding, tax-paying American I’d imagine you’d be more than mildly peeved that some of your fellow countrymen are letting you carry the weight of that heavy tax receipt shortfall in the model’s data, it being completely ignored in the calculations of a shortfall of c.0.3 0.5% of GDP (depends on whose study they’re quoting) for an additional c.3.3% population of producer-consumers. 😉

  117. Just watching QandA and the comments about the stimulus package being a failure because people saved the money and did not spend.

    Maybe I am stoopid [sic], but doesn’t that mean that the saved money went into banks which means that they have more money to lend to people – which means that there is more credit for the banks to lend? And isn’t the credit squeeze the root of the problem?

  118. Dunno, Joni but the hairless apes are hard-wired for gain acquisition and loss-of-a-gain avoidance, so arguably a windfall pre-saved for them was always going to go into the loss-of-a-gain pile, whether isolated as a windfall gain to be lost by spending it or as a future ameliorative to a loss-of-a-gain, in a pessimistic environment.

  119. “The point being that the ‘data’ as you call it both flows from and contributes to a model according the assumptions of the data-collector and model-maker.”

    Yes well then I suppose it is all relative in your mind Legion but as you are not living it, hard for you to grasp I am sure…

    “The ‘data’ and the ‘model’ you offer up as evidence of something or another isn’t sufficient to sustain your claims, nor should someone else’s model just be uncritically accepted as a ‘proof’ of anything.”

    Well thankfully your “opinion” is hardly “evidence” to the contrary now isn’t it? One does not need a model to explain the closure of Hospitals but perhaps you could just utilize the “inflationary” distracter? After all, maybe hospitals just continue closing their doors in response to inflationary speculation or their books suddenly became dissolvent in the face of “real wages”? Or perhaps, providing free medical care to the 3rd world plays a role? Hmm….12-20million people that routinely use ER services at whim…. Nope, got be a bad “model”……You’re hilarious….

    “But it’s up to you how you run your mental software and when you feel you can gift yourself a break.”

    Yes, it must all be in my head, thank you for that now if you could just pass that along to the education system, labor force, health care and the Democratic Party…

    “Perhaps, not until after you have reconciled how teachers and doctors employed in providing costly services to unauthorised immigrants manage to yield no income tax receipts, nor apparently do the businesses in which unauthorised immigrants happen to be employed pay any taxes either, according to the ‘data’, mostly taken from Huddle 1997 and the CIS, variously.”

    When you reconcile that we do not have “universal” health care and realize that neither Doctors nor teachers are paid by the patient/student …Perhaps a severe shortage in both those fields insures stronger employment prospects if said professional is willing to move, family and all to where the work may be. I wonder, what happens to the “locals” who now have fewer physicians and teachers? What if they get sick or have kids that need an education? I wonder what happens to the “cost” of health care and who “actually” pays when hospital’s bill the government only to receive a fraction of the original cost towards caring for the poor illegal? Where pray tell is that reimbursement coming from; thin air perhaps? Perhaps the funds needed by the schools for each additional child materializes from some great unknown as well? Hmm…..

    Businesses…who is talking about them? They are part of the problem….

    “As a law-abiding, tax-paying American I’d imagine you’d be more than mildly peeved that some of your fellow countrymen are letting you carry the weight of that heavy tax receipt shortfall in the model’s data, it being completely ignored in the calculations of a shortfall of c.0.3 0.5% of GDP (depends on whose study they’re quoting) for an additional c.3.3% population of producer-consumers.”

    Yes indeed, starting with those in Washington….Shortfall, so is that a “net gain” in your mind? Yea, 10 billion is chump change at the low end of .3 percent…..After all; a 10 billion dollar “LOSS” isn’t really anything but “something or another” in Legion’s world……….. Seen the losses of the individual states..Try starting with California………..

  120. And the other 49 states? How are they going? Just fine and dandy, or has someone had to bail out 9 states at severe risk of bankruptcy, and inject funds into another 34 states which have been heavily cutting back on essential services, like Cali, in their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? Does ‘correlation does not imply causation’ ring any bells? Why do you think that pointing to a high immigrant population in Cali and a funding shortfall there would remedy a calculative model which fails to capture total flows in a system? In other words, how is the accuracy of the FairUS modelling in relation to Cali any better than its modelling in relation to any other of the 49 states or the US as a whole? 😉

  121. Legion,

    Reality seems to be your enemy at this point? Pick a state….

    http://www.fairus.org/site/PageNavigator/facts/state_data/

  122. Legion,

    Well that didn’t take long for you to start questioning the source? Excuse me, the model………LOL

  123. Legion,

    http://pewhispanic.org/

    You might like this site a bit more sympathetic to your cause but even they have difficulty disputing the “models”……”Data” is exactly that…yes it can be manipulated to fit an agenda but boy is it getting harder and harder to do in relation to this subject…..

  124. Yeah, I went there before responding to you, previously. Posting the link is kinda redundant, that being so.

  125. Legion,

    Well excuse me………..

  126. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 17th, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Oh, I don’t have a cause; I don’t actually much care either way, and it wasn’t a topic I felt a pressing need to address to begin with on a thread about the RBA versus banks, but I must admit I’m still intrigued about a suggested real ‘reality’ which calculates the costs of unauthorised immigrants being ‘there’, but doesn’t really attempt to measure what production or other economic flows and inter-relationships emerge from their being ‘there’ beyond those for which a cost can be attributed, and which completely ignores the American side of the ledger in that dynamic echange for which there isn’t any such cost, which seems a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to seeking even a tentative answer to whether unauthorised immigrants do or don’t pay their way in aggregate.

    Apparently, my concerns about such a ‘reality’ aren’t all that novel, also, given that the Congressional Budget Office recently found similar difficulties, with reference to existing estimates and their embedded models and assumptions, when the CBO attempted to generate a coherent analysis for ‘The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments’ (2007); it, too, questioning:

    Are all costs and revenues captured? Many of the estimates took into account certain selected costs and revenues; no study, including those that reported net costs, attempted to look at total costs and revenues. (emphasis mine)

    So, given that situation hasn’t changed and that no such comprehensive study has been conducted, I still find it really quite amusing perverse that Sparta insists he’s crunched the numbers and knows for sure what the answer is even before the numbers have been collected and run. Additionally, no amount of data collated in the manner in which FairUS does can have anything much reliable to say, and particularly in the way in which that data is then applied by its authors to a working model which is at the lower end of comprehensiveness (by design one suspects) among the many possible models available in the literature from which that cherry-picked data is abstracted…all imho, of course. I will, however, acknowledge in passing that the salience given to unauthorised immigration is presently very keen, just as another economic commentator, Gordon Hudson, does, and for the reasons, perhaps, that he attributes for the eistence of that high salience.

  127. “So, given that situation hasn’t changed and that no such comprehensive study has been conducted, I still find it really quite perverse that Sparta insists he’s crunched the numbers and knows for sure what the answer is even before the numbers have been collected and run.”

    Yes, lets just go with that one Legion and leave it there, you will go blind otherwise. I realize your ego gets in the way of “common sense” but then again not really. Hmm….bankrupt states, entitlements to non citizens numbering in the millions? Just an anomaly I guess or coincidence… Did you even read the link you posted? Try page 11 of the CBO report you provided for instance and please tell me how it differs from what I have said all along…….One common theme no matter how this particular “report” tries to downplay it, is “net loss”!!!!!!!!!! Apparently you are NOT GETTING this!!!! The numbers have been crunched………The only thing perverse here is your utter denial but again, hardly a unique phenomenon in your camp….

    “Additionally, no amount of data collated in the manner in which FairUS does can have anything much reliable to say……”

    The old, “I can’t win this so will proceed to trashing the source”? How about starting with your own? The best you can do is an opinion piece or a report that substantiates my claim? Move on already, your desperation is obvious……

  128. Who wants to win anything or set up camps, Sparta? I simply want to know the answer and don’t care either way what that answer happens to be, so long as it’s tending towards being an accurate answer. And, yep, in that context, I will place a premium on methodologies, their virtues and flaws, before claiming something is either ‘proof’ or counts as ‘knowledge’.

    How about you; where do you tend to lie on the ‘reality filter’ scale? Did you manage to explicate your reasoning processes for what you gleaned from some element of page 11 of a report of 24 pages length, before declaring yourself ‘victor’ in something or another (who knows because it’s an invisible ‘victory’ without your actually revealing what winning thoughts you had)?

  129. “And, yep, in that context, I will place a premium on methodologies, their virtues and flaws, before claiming something is either ‘proof’ or counts as ‘knowledge’.”

    Your word or opinion is supreme regardless of a number of sources to the contrary to include the one you provided? Since you cannot find anything to contradict me or my opinion the “study” must be flawed or incomplete……give me a break….

    “Did you manage to explicate your reasoning processes for what you gleaned from some element of page 11 of a report of 24 pages length, before declaring yourself ‘victor’ in something or another (who knows because it’s an invisible ‘victory’ without your actually revealing what winning thoughts you had)?”

    Well unlike you, I usually read the links but why mention the minutia when the report nicely summarizes its findings to begin with? Clearly you didn’t even make it to page 11 now did you genius….Only a carpetbagger would continue trying to sell your case! We need more evidence, different models….. You seem desperate to muddle the discussion in jargon….Many politicians do the exact same thing despite the house burning down around them…….

    What winning thoughts I have, you mean like the statement where I referred to the costs of illegal immigration being a net loss on society? The one which triggered your obsession with proving otherwise but only resulted in utter failure? It is very simple, if you’re going to be a wise ass and antagonize, have an idea of what the hell you’re talking about…Unlike many here, your poorly chosen verbiage and incessant reliability on discombobulated syntax speaks volumes about an underlying insecurity, in my humble opinion. Ego is not a virtue sport…

    So along this discussion….Who is going to pay for the care of the 31 asylum seekers that have been flown to Perth? Do you need a model to explain this one? The cost will be paid by somebody, most likely not the asylum seeker? Here, let me help you. It will undoubtedly be paid by you and other Australians….It really is not as complicated as you try to make it………Now suddenly you have 12-20 million to care for in all aspects of their lives…GET IT…….I have only touched the tip of the ice berg on this subject but if you insist on harping on I will be glad to oblige you but something tells me nobody is following us anymore so you can slip away now……….

  130. Well unlike you, I usually read the links but why mention the minutia when the report nicely summarizes its findings to begin with? Clearly you didn’t even make it to page 11 now did you genius

    Why? Because you’re attempting rational discussion of an interesting topic, and it’s important to share your reasoning as an aid to mutual understanding in most communicative events. Again, what do you think page 11 says, and now also page 1 since you’ve raised it, and have obviously thought something about that information?

  131. Now suddenly you have 12-20 million to care for in all aspects of their lives…GET IT…….I have only touched the tip of the ice berg on this subject but if you insist on harping on I will be glad to oblige you but something tells me nobody is following us anymore so you can slip away now…

    Ooh, given you’re a veritable font of knowledge, and while your hands are straying lower on Pineapple Pete, do you think you could rustle up a guesstimate of how many Americans are earning a living directly and indirectly in doing this carefully costed ‘caring’; and, also, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, what quanta of personal and corporate tax receipts is attributable to the surplus value generated by firms’ employing an additional c.7.6 million unauthorised labour units at ‘depressed wage’ rates in a competitive global economy? Ta, in advance.

  132. Legion….

    Defeated, in denial and utterly moronic………One more time, Doctors get paid by the hospitals (until they go out of business) and those in private practice do not service this population in general unless they have insurance which most do not!….Districts must lay off educators when their enrollment exceeds the budget or raise taxes..Find out what it costs to educate one child in general and what has happen to current class sizes in those states most impacted….There are plenty of sources you can refer too…..

    “given you’re a veritable font of knowledge”

    Never said I was but on this subject, you make me appear as such….You just happen to be clueless is all……

    One for you to answer for once chief, who is going to pay for the asylum seekers in Perth getting treatment? Who is paying for those currently being processed on Christmas Island….Can you answer that one or will you offer another “mish mash tirade” about “models”…….

  133. Defeated, in denial and utterly moronic

    I’m really enjoying you pretend that unauthorised immigrants freely ranging around your mighty nation go there for the impotent Communist government and its totalising command economy…fyi, the businesses employing the hired hands would need to generate circa $3820 in productive surplus value per labour unit per year directly or indirectly (back-of-the-envelope calc. only, by dividing the $29 billion FairUS cites by the number of workers Pew cites; if some lazy American native economist obsessed with only a fraction of the economy did their job, there’d be an actual estimate of those amounts, and any overs or unders) to offset the costs attributed by FairUS to governments’ turning a blind-eye to whatever else is occurring in the ‘unreal’ economy outside the CBO’s pick-a-page-to-half-understand meta-study of spiffy, significantly limited, and somewhat unreliable estimates. Not much is it before everyone with a vested interest is in the clover? Might explain why there’s notta lotta happening to crack down on the border-hoppers, and why there’s a decadent sweep of unauthoriseds-into-new-citizens once a decade or so, despite the really high angst it causes among the existing sons and daughters of immigrants, particularly the crotchety babyboomers who will be relying on somebodies to do the heavy lifting and fill in for the labour pinch down on the farm when they’ve retired to Florida for the next 20 or so.

    Oh, on capturing compleat data on the economic flows in the house that Jack Pedro built, wouldn’t it be terrible if the private practice optometrist magically had his income shrink or grow because Pedro-the-bricklayer did or didn’t visit his local shopkeeper, Chuck, who sadly has a semi-blind right eye needing corrective spectacles to overcome his short-sightedness. Speaking of which, what is the multiplier on money passing through unauthorised immigrant hands, and its effects on the velocity of money while we’re on the topic of money flows, as part of the ‘unreal’ economy beyond the ‘real’ one to which you like to keep referring, do you know? Never mind, you’re too busy looking at the fiscals of municipals to inquire about what’s happening in the ‘unreal’ economy, even if your standard of living might depend on it, presuming you’re anyone but an employee of the Communist government and its total micro-economy shutting down its hospitals and schools in the face of budgetary constraints relating to population ageing and increased services demands companies relocating overseas to remain competitive, and general corporate decline in uncompetitive industries the Gens Y and Z mini-boom reaching school age choose your own unexamined variable, because it’s a nation-wide clusterf*ck for America in healthcare and education unauthorised immigrants.

    Oh, I imagine the Australian Government will be paying for the 31, and indirectly me; money well-spent on being civilised and compliant with international obligations it is, too, even if it costs me more than the few cents I pay a year for my Prime Minister, as is very likely without knowing their circumstances. I hope they’re doing ok, all things considered.

  134. “Oh, I imagine the Australian Government will be paying for the 31, and indirectly me; money well-spent on being civilised and compliant with international obligations it is, too, even if it costs me more than the few cents I pay a year for my Prime Minister, as is very likely without knowing their circumstances. I hope they’re doing ok, all things considered.’

    I appreciate you proving my point for me once again despite another tirade to mask you stupidity…It is always nice and makes one feel warm and fuzzy inside to know it is somebody else’s dollar going to your very “sugar coated” view of the world. However, I doubt you would be so “compassionate” if you had to “personally” take responsibility, fiscal or otherwise for the lives of these individuals….Unfortunately, in caring for every individual that washes up you take from another, very logical indeed genius. Unless Australia has no homeless, hungry, or poverty stricken population it is the most vulnerable in your mists that get to experience the end result of your “compassion”. You guys are all the same……As long as the “real expense” is somebody else’s problem or conveniently “spread out”, your all about “compassion”; at least until it effects you personally….Alas, all your conflated diatribe and you turn out to be just another “wealth distributing” race agitator….LOL……How very typical……

  135. ……As long as the “real expense” is somebody else’s problem or conveniently “spread out”

    And what is wrong with that?
    It’s only the greedy selfish who insist that they should never have to contribute to their country by way of paying their fair share of taxes. Of course they are happy to have tax cuts at the expense of the ‘spread out others’ and they are also happy to profit on the backs of others labour when they use the very same people in their ‘minimum wages and conditions for them but huge profits for me’ industrial relations workers poverty system.

  136. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA

    Crunched the numbers on the 31 as part of a larger cohort, and in the context of a completely different set of parameters, for a WHOLE ECONOMY yet, Sparta? I find that quite unlikely on your part, since you still haven’t attempted to construct a workable set of data-based comparisons which capture a reasonable amount of the economic flows for doing that, not for one economy, and certainly not for two (or more). If I was going to set about constructing a two-country/two-economy model, me being me, or even me being you and vitally concerned about self-interest in the short- and long-runs, I’d probably choose to begin with the inquiry already started, and the 2nd part of the question I originally asked, particularly as those two economies are effectively inter-meshed and have been since the day dot (a distinct point of difference when you’re attempting to run a comparison; although, arguably, perhaps not when one considers that Afghanistan is now a failed garrison state of NATO, and formerly a puppet state of the Pakistan garrison state).

    I’ll agree, though, as the putative ‘stupid’, someone smarter, or at least better trained, than either of us, again, could probably have done a better job of teasing out all the economic flows that NEED to be estimated, better or at all, to reach a RELIABLE conclusion. Perhaps some nice American native economist making a living providing canon to the cherry-pickers at FairUS will get around to doing it, eventually, in a decades-old public debate that seems to proceed more on public sentiment about ‘outsiders’ than any genuine attempt to compare ‘total revenues with total costs’ or ‘costs and benefits’.

  137. kittylitter, on April 18th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Shhhh, kitty, don’t say things like that or someone would be tempted to include those business profits on the benefit side of the ledger, and use, at least, the tax on that portion of those business profits attributable to marginal labour to offset the costs of that labour in a total system; but as we know, the master’s eyes do more work than his hands do, and the hired hands do none, apparently, so the workers must be robbing The Man blind. 😉

  138. Shhhh, kitty, don’t say things like that

    yeah legion, these wealth crazed individuals forget that when they are paying minimum wages and conditions and raking in their profits that they are also demanding the ‘welfare’ system pick up the shortfall of them not paying a wage that someone can live and provide for a family on. Who pays? the ‘spread out others’ of course, the taxpayer, business expenses socialised to the taxpayer.

    However, I doubt you would be so “compassionate” if you had to “personally” take responsibility, fiscal or otherwise for the lives of these individuals….

    I wonder how many wars the US would instigate if the only taxpayer funds available to pay for them came from the war supporters, the war profiteers and their cheerleaders?

  139. kittylitter, on April 18th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Oh, we don’t do ‘wars’, we do ‘uses of force’, because actually declaring a war has consequences, and paying the tab would involve an actual repair of attacked nation out of the aggressor’s pocket after the smash and paw, not deftly shifting the repair costs onto the smashed and pawed and holding their treasury in trust to do the repairs and/or to be looted. Actually having to pay for aggression, of course, was somewhat of a disincentive for the doing of war, but no such challenge need apply when a good semanticist is on hand from Wonderland to do a little redefining of terms. Sure, it looks like war, the activities are all war-like, and all the folk talk about it being a war, but there has been no American involvement in any actual war since 1945.

  140. Addendum: that’s why there’s always a whole lot of guff about a government regime being illegitimate, and talk about being friends of the people, while attacking their government regime and national army cadre of thug enforcers…hey presto, it’s not really a war, because there’s no legitimate government to declare war on, and no nation of people being attacked while the bombs are dropping on their homes…because the people of the nation involved we say so, and we’re sure that they and we will like the new regime we select valid government better.

  141. Both of you miss the point as usual….As a taxpayer I want my taxes to go to those most in need amongst us and to improve the infrastructure/services of “MY COUNTRY’ as they are meant to be used. It is why I give where I can to “charities” I know and trust….When these taxes began to be used by the billions for “global welfare” and the care of every soul that stumbles across our border (over a million a year) with their hands out, yes I get a bit peeved? How long do you think it can go on? California isn’t bankrupt because of bad luck….Must be a bad “model”….LOL

    Apparently Australia is extremely wealthy, so again, just build a land bridge to Asia or better yet, why not just start a daily ferry operation to Indonesia? You two are both delusional I think……..I can almost bet neither one of you with all your compassion give more than your required as well, if employed at all…I gave more to charity last year than Mr. Obama who made about 3 million in 2008. Giving less than the national average (less than 1,800.00), which tends to be the usual play of those calling for more taxes…Hilarious….

  142. Excuse me……..As a percentage of their earnings….

    “He and first lady Michelle Obama donated $172,050, or about 6.5 percent, of their adjusted gross income of $2.66 million, to 37 charities.”

  143. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 18th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Since, we’re being constructive, I imagine ‘it’ will go on as long as you are too cheap to pay into consolidated revenues the amount of money required for a big fence, and for Americans generally to forego the enlarged productivity of 7.6 million low-pay workers and to re-acquaint themselves with farming, building, cleaning; and food preparation instead of trading off a complementary economic division of labour which has some of them swanning around in hospitals, schools, and businesses’ management offices. Incidentally, will the cost of building and maintaining a big fence be more or less than what is presently devoted to a costly ‘people management and caring exercise’ in this wondrous new America for Americans of the future, Sparta?

  144. Legion,

    Or they could just sign the guest book like millions have done before them on the way in…..What a concept…….

    “re-acquaint themselves with farming, building, cleaning; and food preparation”

    Re-acquaint…Again you show your stupidity on this subject….LOL

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/back206.pdf

  145. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 18th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    This stupid sees your whatever and notes that your latest act of dummyspit-and-run involves a link which begins with a model built around assumptions, referred to as methods and data, before it almost reaches a horrible conclusion (I say almost, because the conclusion would need to match its premises, but, alas, the author reverses one premise at the last in forming an invalid conclusion, which thankfully avoids revealing the obvious) on the author’s otherwise forgotten early ‘puzzle’ question to you, the intelligent reader:

    Figures 1 and 2 are important because they show that the problem of declining native labor force participation and work is not confined to just one year, but has continued despite a significant improvement in the economy. Of course, as already mentioned, it is immigrants who are the primary beneficiaries of job growth since 2000. That itself is the puzzling question: Why are natives, particularly lesseducated natives, doing so badly? Or put a different way: why are immigrants getting all the net increase in employment?

    I also draw your particular attention to page 9, where the author says he can’t be bothered doing some rather important piece of analysis which affects the validity of the entirety of the rest of his analysis, and excuses that methodological lapse away with the excuse that someone ten years earlier hadn’t been bothered to do it either, as if two lazy wrongs make a right. And that’s but one of the methodological flaws; others might include a failure to evaluate the impacts of technological change, global competition, and changes in the industrial landscape as variables in the same time-frame.

    Otherwise, I see you foray into the realms of the ‘real’ continues apace…

    Or they could just sign the guest book like millions have done before them on the way in…..What a concept…….

    So, how’s that alternate ‘reality’ going? Well, I assume. and we aren’t having this chin-wag??

  146. Legion,

    Please tell me this isn’t your area of expertise….and you have thus far provided your “opinion” which is hardly evidence of any kind…Please keep trying though, this is fun watching you squirm…..In short your “model” is to say “the model is wrong” and since Legion says so it must be…Please, don’t take that big red nose off or quit with the balloon tricks…Your entertaining as hell……

  147. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 19th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Oh, those ancillary methodological concerns were in addition to noting that the number of employed immigrants, whether merely as a total immigrant stock or particularly the unathoriseds, exceed the unemployed natives by a fair margin in tables 6 and 10 for the top 6 occupations or so, so it really does look like some Americans higher up the food chain will have to prepare themselves for getting their hands dirty again; either that or some ‘capital substituting for labour’ on Camarota’s wishlist of yet-to-be-invented-and-costless-r&d technologies will have to occur, but mechanization, of course, isn’t immigrant-specific in its impacts even when it is applied.

  148. Legion,

    Regardless of your personal supposition on the matter/models or context, those occupations you mentioned lack anything approaching a majority of jobs filled by Illegal’s but in fact are mostly filled by natives (work Americans are still doing). As I have said many times before, it is the most vulnerable amongst us that suffer under the undue burden of competing with an endless labor pool (which circumvents classic “supply and demand” models) willing to work for much less and a government/business community looking to exploit both the depressed native and illegal at the expense of the middle class….This is another subject all together though from the original which was whether or not “illegal immigration” was a “net loss” on society from a fiscal point of view…You conceded as much long ago with your own link although trying to make humor out of a mere “10 billion” on the federal level and conveniently discounting individual state deficits and have proceeded since from one tangent to the next…

    What is clear from the glimpse you have given into your “personal ideology” is that it is an act of “compassion” that Governments/Australian’s (in the case of Asylum seekers) should take on said debt….Again, conceding my original contention that the culmination is a “LOSS” for the tax payer. However, in your world, we as average tax payers have a “moral obligation” to endure the responsibility of rescuing all who make it to our shores or cross our borders…….. I simply could not disagree more! It is an asinine philosophy that is unsustainable on all accounts. Coming from somebody that purports to be a man of “stats” please show me any model, study etcetera that projects the sustainable “utopia” that you seem to think could emerge from your “version” of compassion. I submit to you, there exists none and embracing such a personal philosophy as you do is counter intuitive to the persona you attempt to “pass off”. Honestly, it is disappointing you turn out to be peddling the same tired contradictory philosophy that has ruined country after country and brought untold misery to millions..

  149. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 19th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    This is another subject all together though from the original which was whether or not “illegal immigration” was a “net loss” on society from a fiscal point of view…You conceded as much long ago with your own link although trying to make humor out of a mere “10 billion” on the federal level and conveniently discounting individual state deficits and have proceeded since from one tangent to the next…

    On the contrary, good Sir, may I remind you once again, even as you place the cart before the horse in your rush to project your own inadequate grasp of the whole topic and failure to consider the entire issue, what you thought and think was the question quite specifically was not…

    Legion, on April 15th, 2009 at 11:53 pm Said:

    No, I made inquiry…

    Has anyone done the short-term cost-benefit analyses on nett contributions to economy(ies), including contributions to domestic demand and reduction in inflation, of those migrations; or the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns?

    You volunteered that you had…

    Yes, most of us that are living through it have crunched the numbers and the net cost after all is calculated is a loss genius…This phenomena is of the last 15 years, nothing more so again, stay on a subject you really understand. We are Mexicos GDP, not the other way around….

    You further claim that…

    Try reading the link I provided Joni above, the evidence abounds (plenty of stats and numbers even you can understand)…I grow most tired of always being “challenged” even after I have met said challenge only to have you or others scramble away or just present another challenge without acknowledging the original has been met.

    Unfortunately, your supplied links fail to answer my initial inquiry re: a) contributions to domestic demand; b) reduction in inflation; c) the long-term necessity for near trading neighbours to contribute to complexifications in productive capacities and bilateral trade patterns.

    So, have you crunched those other numbers or not?

  150. So, there’s still yet another necessary piece of trivia we’ll need to add into our developing model for total costs and benefits in a whole economy consisting of flows, since we weren’t asking about fiscal arrangements, and we can’t just focus on an assumed possible depression of wages of low-educated natives and an assumed possible reduction in their labour market participation in the face of stiff competition from unauthorized immigrants; there is a flipside to consider, which is what immigrants are actually being paid according to their statuses as unauthorised or legal vis-a-vis natives and how that might impact on any substitution of an American native for an immigrant in Camarota’s and Sparta’s grand re-design (and especially given how good Camarota and Sparta think it would be if those wages just increased, in the absence of pesky immigrants; but that will involve the further consideration of the viability and competitiveness of those businesses and industries in domestic terms, and as against imports of final products/export of those jobs in external terms), or simply wage-push inflation right now, in those industries most heavily reliant on that additional labour to meet their present labour requirements, and ostensible shortfalls when immigrants are removed from the equation. Mmmm, another number crunching exercise…have you got the numbers on those things, Sparta, cuz I don’t, and since you’ve already crunched them I’m sure it’d only be a small matter for you to share your insights?

  151. Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA, on April 19th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Honestly, it is disappointing you turn out to be peddling the same tired contradictory philosophy that has ruined country after country and brought untold misery to millions..

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    Irony, much? Do you recognise the fragment?

  152. Legion,

    Umm….hello, genius….you questioned whether my assertion that “illegal immigration” is a net loss to society…Hello, you out there, still with me……Again, one more time…Shall we use the link you provided or the few that I provided to highlight this phenomena? Or shall I just declare your analyses inadequate and declare victory as you seem to think this is enough…
    Legion, you have NOTHING to dispute my claim/ or sources other than a misplaced confidence in your own opinion…again your “opinion” is nothing but that and since you are not an authority (accept in your own mind of course) on the subject we are addressing, what are you trying to debate now? I have provided more than one source and you have provided “nada”……

    Provide something to the contrary (other than your opinion) or are your “abilities” limited to criticizing what you don’t understand with bad grammar? I wait with baited breath…….Hello…do try to focus….

    “Irony, much? Do you recognize the fragment?”

    Again, try to grasp….I know it is instinctive to run for cover when your ousted but do try. We take on about a million of the huddled masses every year that know how to use the front door.

  153. And the great sparta who’s opinion is always right speaks again.

    I love how all his posts are fact, but others are just opinion.

  154. Joni..any chance of a Favorite 5 this weekend..it’s gone missing.

  155. Kitty: you post an excellent piece on Rudd’s $8000 giveaway to investment property owners.
    IMHO, Rudd has completely misread the dire Aus housing situation, and acted so slowly to rectify the situation.
    Surely the macro management of the housing situation by the Feds can only be addressed after the most basic of all economic principle of supply and demand is dealt with.

    Its interesting to recall how Rudd prioritised the now defunct notional ‘fuelwatch’, ‘grocerywatch’ ahead of ‘housingwatch’, while property prices and rents (in WA) were soaring upwards.

  156. Joni,

    Again you chime in adding what exactly…

    Unlike Legion, I don’t pretend nor feel I am an expert, which explains why I provided more than one source to substantiate my assertion, in which he has been unable to disprove with anything other than his own rhetoric or claims of “a bad model”…Surely you understand the difference?

  157. Pointless sniping is all I can do today – the effects of man-flu are devastating.

    And yes – we will have a top five – any suggestions?

  158. Yes Joni, and good morning (WST).

    Top 5 live musical performances witnessed by blogocrats, anywhere in the world.

  159. Joni..you haven’t checked your emails have you..

    What about 5 favorite Business Names. I’ll start the ball rolling mine is a local septic cleaner business. It’s called Mr Whiffy 🙂 And given the health dept assessments re a number of restaurants in NSW..there might be a few of these to kick on with also.

    Sorry to hear that you’re still suffering from the male version of the ‘flu. Eldest’s b/f is still suffering from an obscure version of eczema…it of course can’t be the viral thingy that I told them about. That would be too easy to believe mum.

  160. I did see email min, just that my brain is clogged. I will get one up on Top Five liver performances later this afternoon.

  161. Joni..don’t worry gorgeous. And so it’s going to be something medical? re:

    Top Five liver performances

    Or cookery??

  162. LOL – Oh dear – I really am sick.

    Maybe Top LIVE performances.

  163. That’s a shame, the correction…I was going to nominate this one, which seemed somehow apt…

    Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

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