58% of Australians Worry About Their Mortgage, 42% Worry About Becoming Homeless

Mish

A survey shows homelessness is a huge issue in Australia. The survey also shows an increased demand for "free" stuff.

Guardian writer Peter Lewis discusses Australian homelessness in his report Government Walked Away from Social Housing. Now We Pay the Price.

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One of my pet peeves is writers not linking to sources.

Lewis never mentioned who conducted the survey or what methods the survey used. He did not even bother naming the study. We have to take it on faith the survey is even in the ball park.

However, I am not all that surprised by the results. People start to worry when massive bubbles collapse.

Demand or Free Stuff

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What to Do?

Like every seriously-misguided socialist, Lewis wants free stuff. Heck, the survey itself shows 79% are in favor of free stuff.

The big question is not whether the government should do something, but what should it do?

Here’s the unspoken truth of the housing debate: it’s not about the transaction, it is about the homes and the responsibility of a decent society to ensure that everyone has one.

Economic Insanity

Lewis is economically illiterate. All socialists are, by definition.

The idea that government has a responsibility to provide everyone a house is economically insane.

Everyone Wants Free Stuff Until

Everyone wants free stuff until they are told the cost.

There is no such thing as "free" housing, "free" medical care, or "free" anything else. Someone has to pay for everything, either by business-destroying taxes, inflation, or both.

Undoubtedly, the poll would have a completely different set of answers if people were asked "Are you in favor of providing free shelter to the homeless if your taxes were to double or triple?"​

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Root of the Problem

The root of the problem, which never occurred to Lewis, is the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates too low, too long, while allowing banks to lend money to too many people who could not afford homes.

None of the major central banks properly factor in housing prices in their inflation estimates.

Spotlight Seattle

If you want to increase the problem, subsidize it.

Seattle spent $68 million finding homes for 3,400 homeless people in 2017. A 2018 Count puts the number of homeless at 8,600 and rising.

That is expected behavior. Homeless people from all over will attempt to get to a place that wants to hand out free housing.

Seattle then passed a head tax to support the homeless. This is what happened: Under Pressure, Seattle Reverses Idiotic Tax on Corporations to Support Homeless

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  1. Finding "Inspiration" in Socialist Bernie Sanders Wannabees
  2. "Free Stuff": Medicare for All Cost Pegged at $32.6 Trillion for 10 Years
  3. More Give Everybody "Free Money" Idiocy
  4. Bankrupt Chicago Ponders Universal Basic Income, Obama Sings Hallelujah

Some people object to the Medicare cost story. I do not know the true cost of "Free" Medicare for all, and neither does anyone else. But I do know that hundreds of government-sponsored "affordable housing programs" including "low-cost" government loans drove up the cost.

Tuition support did the same for the cost of education.

Government involvement in anything is bound to raise the price, cause massive tax hikes, or both.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (8)
No. 1-7
killben
killben

"Like every seriously-misguided socialist, Lewis wants free stuff."

Lewis and the like (any socialist for that matter) should be pelted with stones whenever and wherever we see them, so that they stop this theory of "privatizing profits and socializing losses" all in the guise of saving average citizens. Just ask the savers, retirees, prudent people who will be put under the bus and the tax-payers who will be bled for all their worth to pay for such ideas.

TheWindowCleaner
TheWindowCleaner

Both capitalists and socialists suffer from old paradigm thinking. The orthodox on both sides are always the last ones to embrace a new paradigm.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

It's The Guardian. An awful rag. Socialists love it. It walked away from ordinary citizens years ago.

pgp
pgp

Australia is and always has been a welfare state. People there automatically think that the government owes them stuff. Inevitably most of the taxes collected there go to welfare. The country has avoided bankruptcy by selling its land and riches to China. Nevertheless to keep 70% of the country employed the government naturally supports the building industry. Seeing the errors of its ways the government has started to poor money into the defense industries in an effort to create the missing technology jobs that have plagued the economy for a decade. Without China to sell chunks of dirt to or the building industry to build apartment blocks its a socialist banana republic relying on sales of natural gas and agriculture. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Instead of looking in the mirror and reforming, govt's always become more tyrannical, and blame the people or some foreign boogeyman, who must be made to pay for govt fraud, abuse, incompetence, and corruption. Citizens move if they can, as we have seen in IL, NJ, and CA. Unfortunately, the average Ausi has little choice, and must stay and fight. Our turn is coming, which is why govt will get increasingly desperate to take our guns and money.

Australia Adopts Presumption of Guilt Denying Any Presumption of Innocence Rejecting All Principles of a Free Society | Armstrong Economics
Australia Adopts Presumption of Guilt Denying Any Presumption of Innocence Rejecting All Principles of a Free Society | Armstrong Economics

Australia is really rejecting all the basic tenets of civilization and is moving ever closer and closer to simply an authoritarian government. Australia is rejecting the foundation of a FREE SOCIETY by rejecting the presumption of innocence and assuming you are just guilty while shifting the burden to you to prove you are innocent. Australia has rejected the fundamental principle of a FREE SOCIETY and is now crossing into the zone of an authoritarian regime that is unfit for consideration of capital investment. This is a BLUNT statement, but it is one that indeed is shocking to have to even write. Australia is making it that anyone convicted of any crime whatsoever that they can call a "criminal" will have the burden to explain how they got all the money in their life. In reality, Australia has restored the very greed of the state that led to the abuse of the rule of law that even led to the both the English Civil War and the American Revolution. The English system was stark. If you were charged with a felony, of which there were over 200 such crimes that did not need to be violent, then you were sentenced to death and the king confiscated all your property. Your family was thrown out of the street. This is where torture entered the legal system. If you confessed, then you were granted a swift death and the King took all your property. Even entering a plea of not guilty would result in the confiscation of all your property. People would stand there and refuse to enter a plea. The king would then torture you. Many people endured the torture to save their families. This is the policy now adopted by Australia. Under a national scheme, the government gets to confiscate ALL your assets if you are convicted of a crime. Of course, this now creates the incentive to deny people the right to any fair trial and the average conviction rate of 90% will now surely rise to match that of the United States which stands at around 99%. Unfortunately, a Senate committee unanimously recommended the "unexplained wealth" legislation be passed despite concerns being raised by the Law Council and Civil Liberties Australia. It is shocking that Australia would even contemplate such legislation that would force people convicted of crimes to prove that their wealth was derived from legitimate sources. The way this will be enforced is clear. You can be convicted of drunk driving and then have to prove all your assets are derived from legitimate sources. There will be NO requirement to establish any nexus between the crime being charges and the possession of assets. Banks will be forced to hand over any information they have on the unexplained wealth of a convicted person in Australia. The Police Federation has been lobbying for this type of legislation so they can fill their coffers and pay their pensions.

Australian Government Has Simply Lost Its Mind & Violates International Law | Armstrong Economics
Australian Government Has Simply Lost Its Mind & Violates International Law | Armstrong Economics

People who think that Trump alone embarked on protectionism, really need to look around the World. Australians have been blocked by Amazon from buying anything from their US site because the government has imposed effectively a tariff of 10% on anything an Australian may purchase under $1,000 from the internet overseas. The Australian government is violating international law demanding that anyone selling anything on the internet must collect a 10% tax from an Australian and pay it to the Australian government. The Australian government has shifted a tax-collecting burden to the entire world. Amazon has now blocked Australians from buying from their sites outside of Australia. They correctly criticized Australia stating that delivery companies such as Australia Post should be made to collect the tax, not the stores. The Australian government is pretending this is to "protect" Australian companies. However, this applies to absolutely everything sent to Australia even if there is NO LOCAL competition. We are looked at a naked greedy tariff. Simply said, Australia is really becoming the most anti-capitalist country in the West. The Australian dollar has been declining since 2011 and this hunt for taxes continues to expand with the most anti-free market laws in Western civilization. It is only a question of time before the USA turns and looks at the crazy laws coming from Australia and begins to retaliate. There is absolutely no foundation in International Law that allows a country to impose obligations upon business in other countries and force them to collect taxes. The proper point to collect taxes is when goods are delivered to Australia - not that an Australian buys something overseas requires everyone in the world to collect Australian taxes for them. This is really just insane.

Australia Hates Foreigners – Now Their Property Taxes Are Doubled if you are Not Australian | Armstrong Economics
Australia Hates Foreigners – Now Their Property Taxes Are Doubled if you are Not Australian | Armstrong Economics

New South Wales in Australia has doubled property taxes for foreign real estate buyers. Of course this violates international law, but governments are broke and they are doing their best to destroy the world economy from every which direction. The politicians are responding to Australians who see foreign buyers of property causing a real estate boom. Much like Britain who raised taxes to stop the real estate boom in London, the greatest problem with all these laws is rather simple; ALL LAWS ENACTED should automatically expire within 4 years. The patchwork of draconian laws that Australia has been installing will isolate the economy and do far more harm than anyone suspects. The Japanese bought all sorts of property in the USA during their boom days. They then turned and sold it at a loss. Until now, foreigners had to pay a 4% surcharge when buying properties in New South Wales. The surcharge has now been increased to 8%. New South Wales has become the second state in Australia to increase taxes for foreigners. Victoria announced a similar measure last year. The Australian government has also announced fines on foreign buyers who keep their homes unoccupied for more than six months in a year. The government claims that foreigners leave their properties vacant, which adds to housing shortage. This is clearly more of a racist view since the majority of foreigners buying properties in Australia are Chinese investors. They have accounted for two-thirds of a total A$47.3 billion invested in the property market in the 2016 financial year. The government also plans to impose a 50% limit on foreign ownership in new developments, which the government sees as a way of 'increasing the housing stock for Australian purchasers'. Yes, but what they are really doing is creating a real estate crash. Then Australians who have mortgages will be hurt, whereas the foreign buyers tend to pay cash.

But don't worry, govt is here to help. Like the rest of the west, they will try to move to totally electronic money to insure maximum tax collection.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Off topic, but somewhat related. I work (but don't live) in Aspen Colorado. Pitkin County has an "affordable housing" program that is set up to let middle class and working families live in town. The way it works is, a property comes on the market and is purchased by the county. It then gets put into an artificial marketplace/lottery. If you're "lucky" enough to win the lottery (which you can't even enter unless you're lucky enough to be in the proper demographic -single white males need not bother) you get to buy the property. Of course there are all sorts of stipulations placed on ownership, such as not allowing you to flip it, put it up for rent (or even rent out spare bedrooms) and all sorts of other rules. They also have condos that they've made available for rent, again with all sorts of stipulations and rules (and large fines if you're in violation).

When this program was developed in the 1970s no one thought about what happens when someone who owns one of these properties retires. So even though they were intended for working people there are a significant number of retirees who have no intention of selling since that would mean they'd have to leave Aspen, which really is their home. Now there's a massive battle brewing because Aspen is right back to where they started but now with a resented retiree class who got to enjoy the subsidy and won't let anyone else in. Of course the answer is to open up development for more housing, but there's no way the people who really run Aspen (real estate agents) will allow the "Vail-ification" of this wonderful little frozen-in-time valley.

Seems to me the homeless problem could easily be solved by letting charities build or buy motel-like structures that could house people in reasonable accommodations. The old 3 hots and a cot model maybe with a little more dignity and some rehab on the side. But that's not good for real estate values so ain't gonna happen. Just like the human excrement problem in SFO could be resolved with pay toilets, but they've been illegal since the 1970s.

Lamarth
Lamarth

79% seems about right. I'd say even higher among the Millennials. Aside from the Libertarians I sought out, there are the two groups for people I find at social events.

One group aligns to "Of course I don't want socialism, that's bad... I just think the government should redistribute wealth equitably, and a high tax rate on 'rich' is only fair. Also, the government needs to look after everyone having hard times".

The other group goes with "There's nothing wrong with socialism - the more advanced the society, the closer it gets. You'll see these countries moves from late-stage capitalism to socialism to address the income inequality caused by naked greed."

My only hope for the future of our country is that the massive immigration we've had from Asia offsets the rising popularity of socialism amongst those born here.


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