Michael Kennedy

In morally less ambiguous times, people who sold out their nation or conspired against their people were classed as traitors. Western tradition used to hold traitors and those who commit treason in the lowest regard. Sadly, this moral virtue, like so many others has been lost and has been usurped. We sorely need to bring this idea back, as many of our problems can be traced to people who betray their country and people without any repercussion.

Michael Pascoe, a BusinessDay contributing editor has written an opinion piece which is one of the most egregious examples of ‘sticking it to Australians’ that we have seen in the mainstream media in quite some time. The article entitled “Why we should welcome Chinese housing investment” was little more than a propaganda piece to convince Australians that they should consent to their country being sold out for the benefit of the Real Estate industry.  This piece was aimed at manufacturing consent for Chinese property investment.

Michael begins by using the trite ‘xenophobia’ argument right off the bat. This is usually the one of the last resorts for the pro-development lobby, so for Michael Pascoe to have to use it immediately, it indicates the paucity of his argument.

It would be both sad and funny if Australia rejected a renewable, $10 billion-a-year, foreign-exchange-earning, non-outsource-able, employment-rich business opportunity just because a mixture of xenophobes and myopic protectionists collectively chanted: “I don’t like it.”

Yes, it is a shame that hard working and educated Australians don’t like being priced out of home ownership, or they don’t like being made a minority in their own suburbs. This isn’t beside the point, it is a matter of national integrity and this objection comes with good reason. Houses exist to be homes for citizens. Mr Pascoe is taking housing as being first and foremost, an investment vehicle, which also ‘just happens’ to be peoples homes. He clearly belongs to the ideological ‘the people exist to serve an economy’ camp.

Michael continues….

It would be funny, in a perverted sort of way, because many of the people chanting against foreigners buying Australian housing – something we’re obviously better than anyone else at providing – also bewail the demise of protected industries that we’ve proven to be not so good at.

How is Australia good at providing housing? To who? If housing is non transferable (it isn’t but the capital made from capital gains and rent sure is), then how can Australia providing housing to anyone but those living here? Further, Australian housing prices are the highest in the world, with working Australians and professionals priced out of homes here, where their counterparts in Canada, Germany, France, etc CAN purchase homes. To say that Australia is capable of providing homes is a bald lie. We can build them, but can’t provide them, not without heavy government subsidies and market intervention.

Michaels position is schizophrenic. He argues that we do real estate well and are good at providing housing, but then argues that we should let that housing go to those who won’t use them, foreign investors. What exactly is Australia providing here? If not a home, what? The answer is, a vehicle for speculative investment. Mr Pascoe is leading the charge to shift our perception of houses from homes for people to live, to mere trade-able speculative assets, like shares.

Michael then belittles an article by Bernard Keane,

Bernard Keane applied facts to the anecdotes and quickly neutered most but not all of them: it is indeed true that a generation of Australians have indeed been priced out of Bellevue Hill. And quite possibly Mosman and Toorak as well.

Australians have been priced out many more suburbs than that. One has to wonder how Mr Pascoe can draw a wage with such ignorance of matters he is supposedly expert in. Even if it was just the most expensive suburbs, the principle is the same, wealthy Australians are more deserving of top property than foreign investors.

Michael then turns his attack on Australians who have been priced out, putting the blame on us, rather than poor policy by traitorous governments and loose lending by banks.

The central complaint seems to be that extra demand from foreign buyers (and Keane points out that such buying actually fell in 2012-13) is making it harder for the minority of Australians who compete with those foreigners in the market.

And it is a fairly small minority. Roughly two-thirds of Australians either own their homes outright or are paying them off, so they benefit from housing prices rising, while a fair whack of the remaining third either don’t want to buy a property or have such low income as to not have prospects of buying in last year’s market, never mind the present one.

Australian residential property is aggressively marketed towards Chinese investors.

Australian residential property is aggressively marketed towards Chinese investors.

Again, to claim that most people who aren’t buying housing are doing it due to being low earners or lazy, is insulting. Many Australians simply cannot afford homes, despite perhaps being two income families, despite having completed further education, a PhD or working their way up the corporate ladder. Those 1/3rd who may want to buy, are likely those who are currently trying to raise the next generation of Australians, who’s socioeconomic circumstances may have the biggest impact on this countries future. The well being of these people affect our future more than the well being of an aged, retried Boomer empty nester in a three bedder. Even so, many of the 2/3rds who are home owners still object to high house prices, as they too have children and grandchildren who are negatively affected. Many homeowners also want to see prices drop (albeit in a controlled manner).

Rising house prices also have a deleterious effect on the economy. High house prices draw capital away from productive expenditure on goods and services and lock it in unproductive speculation and production of unneeded goods, such as the mass of high rises going up in Melbourne’s CBD. As higher proportions of peoples income get drawn into real estate, a lower proportion goes to the remaining sectors of the economy. Fewer cars purchased, fewer Australian goods bought. Does the family who have to put over 50% of their two person income toward their mortgage have the same ability to buy locally made goods, such as SPC fruit as those who have to dedicate 1/3rd of one income? Increasing house prices is a market inefficiency, and our economy will continue to suffer until we get a government which can acknowledge this basic fact.

Michael then continues with obvious untruths, otherwise known as lies…

But demand is only half the story. If there is a problem with price, it’s the failure of all three levels of government that our supply of housing is not more elastic, not quicker to respond to a surge in demand.

Interminable state planning delays, NIMBY-dominated local councils, various damaging taxes and the always-growing thicket of red and green tape conspire to make housing more expensive and harder for developers to respond to demand.

Simple research indicates that the cost of constructing a home is not prohibitive. A new home can be built for $200,000, not very cheap, but not prohibitively expensive. Compare this with the cost of an empty block of land. The land is far higher in price. Even at the urban fringes, the cost of land often exceeds, or matches the cost of the house. Go toward the city, the land cost greatly increases.

The proliferation of subdivided units built by investors is evidence of this fact. If it were building costs which were prohibitive, such activity would be rarely profitable. But it is, and it is profitable because subdivision involves a greater profit made by subdividing the land. The construction of the two or three dwellings on the land is just a concession. With high immigration and high population growth, among the highest per capita in the world, the issue isn’t necessarily natural supply and demand, but artificially demand created to warrant oversupply. Our governments artificially increase demand. Lastly, creating additional supply, primarily through increasing the number of dwellings per unit of land doesn’t decrease costs, it increases them, as explained in Subdivision and the Vanishing Australian Dream. The more that we cut home sizes and subdivide to alleviate unfordability we do, the more unaffordable that land gets. This is most likely the plan, to convince people that smaller, denser housing makes things more affordable. A scam foisted upon the people of Australia.

Lastly, Michael just blithely ignores other issues which limit growth in supply of houses. Issues such as lack of infrastructure, schools, hospitals, employment, services, broadband Internet and so on. The rate of constructions is already out-pacing our ability to provide for the increase in population density. Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy is giving developers all the concessions they can, and VCAT are wearing out ‘approved’ stamps. Meanwhile, our roads are full, hospitals are full, water and electricity becoming expensive to build infrastructure to provide for increased demand. People are travelling further and further to get to work and freeways must be expanded to accommodate this traffic. Most of us in Melbourne or Sydney can see how frequently a purchased home is torn down to make way for units, or how rapidly and frequently apartment towers are going up in the inner city. Lack of construction is not the issue. The issue is that increased population density must be met by increased capacity in infrastructure, in roads, hospitals, schools and the like. These, as well as the lands ability to sustain people places limits. We are already pushing beyond these limits, and Mr Pascoe wants more.

A simpler, sustainable and more popular solution is simply to cut our high immigration levels.

Michael then expounds the ‘poor developer’ line, despite the fact that the RE industry here as the most investor/landlord friendly policies in the Western world.

Michael then drools at the further demographic alteration of Australia, and pushes immigration.

What they build stays here, adding to housing stock that needs adding to. As previously reported, we’re on track to add another 2.3 million people over the next five years. At present, we’re arguably still in catch-up mode from under-building. Without the stimulus of investors to get the country building now, we’ll face demand-induced price pressure all of our own soon enough.

National renewal

The yet-bigger picture is less tangible – the renewal that each generation of fresh blood brings to the nation, the fire in the belly of people with fresh eyes seeing the opportunities available here for investors and workers. That’s the very best kind of foreign investment here, the enriching human capital. The RBA’s Glenn Stevens certainly didn’t sound worried about it on Friday:

The rapid influx of masses of competing nationals will surely put fire in peoples bellies, but not for the reasons that Michael Pascoe envisages. Further dispossession of the Australian people will enrich anti-immigration sentiment, not human capital. Diversity has done remarkably little for us, given the immense cost involved.

Thankfully, most Australians aren’t gullible, and the comments indicate that most people see through this. However, this isn’t simply about being wrong, misguided, it is about turning against Australians and trying to get Australians to accept a model where they come second and Chinese Investors come first. It would perhaps have been more respectable for Mr Pascoe to just state that the right of Chinese Investors to put their (possibly misappropriated) money from their totalitarian, kleptocratic Communist state into buying our homes outweighs our right to be able to own a home. It’s amazing how the opinion that the establishment had of China suddenly changed when China had money to spend. Human rights and democracy be damned.

HouseAuctionThis article takes the worrying tone that many other articles in the mainstream media have taken, that Australians should just give up. That we should give up being able to be land owners, and accept being a nation of renters. In this article, and many others, we are told that this is OK, because we can ‘make it work’. Nationalist Alternative is highly sceptical about this, given how readily our state and RE industry screw us over. We are even more sceptical if our landlords are Chinese.

We have a right to maintain our standard of living, and we have every right to demand that our ability to become homeowners is not traded away to prop up the ponzi and allow foreign kleptocrats to take precedence over us.

The dilemma isn’t between prosperity and foreign investment. This kind of investment will not breed prosperity, but rather further fuel an asset bubble, distort our economy and leave our country more vulnerable when the Chinese economy inevitably implodes. This only serves the interests of a small, but vocal and politically powerful sector of our economy, who are hard at work convincing Australians to go against our own interests for their benefit.

Australians have observed Chinese investors far outbidding locals at auctions. We’ve seen house prices go up sharply. We know that this has been related to a sudden spike in Chinese investors, analysts have said so. We’ve seen the dearth of quality housing being built, with this new real estate market geared toward providing shoddy housing which is not suitable for the Australian demographic. We’re aware of how foreign investors can easily flout regulations by buying established real estate and how the Real Estate industry deliberately remains ignorant, so it can be ignorantly complicit in breaking our laws. We know that simply increasing supply and immigration won’t fix anything, as we’ve seen our major cities become crowded is a short space of time.

Nationalist Alternative aren’t simply seeking to implement economic policies which are fairer for the Australian people and restore our national sovereignty, but to also hold accountable those who have conspired against the Australian people for foreign interests.

We believe that a strong society and community is what is necessary for a strong economy. A strong society needs affordable and stable homes, the ability for people and families to establish themselves and build intergenerational stability. A strong community made up of people of diverse professions and ages, made possible through young people being able to continue to live where they grew up, if they so choose. The future Mr Pascoe and the Australian Real Estate industry is one of zero community, of endless moving (moving house is one of the most stressful things that people experience in life), of the lack of any stability and stratification of society by postcode. A future where the city is stratified by age and profession, but is lauded as “diverse” due to the faces of this economically homogeneous mass being different shades of brown. Such a future would lead to fewer opportunities, fewer role models for those who live further out, less community involvement and therefore less community autonomy and empowerment. It would further entrench the class system and wind back the social progress made over the last two centuries, which is perhaps exactly what our ruling halfwits have in mind.

 

1: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/why-we-should-welcome-chinese-housing-investment-20140311-34j00.html

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3 Responses to Michael Pascoe: Selling out Australia for Chinese property investors

  1. Tommy K says:

    We’re own our own when it comes to securing our land, aren’t we? The idea that ‘aussies’ happily sell us out to foreign ownership for easy money makes me sick.

    It’s not just Chinese. Americans are the biggest foreign investors, I think, but the chinese are more noticable, especially at Auctions.

    No one else is tackling this, or seems to care. Sad really.

  2. aaron says:

    no the Asian market is by far the largest foreign investment in Australia not just in domestic property but in business, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing, often chained together so that the process from start to finish is completely owned and controlled by foreign investors. and close behind the Chinese is the Arab/Islamic investors who’s main purpose appears to be to build up a voter base to implement Islamic laws and traditions. ‘Australia’ won’t be Australia much longer if we keep going the way we are. between the weakness of our government, the selling off of our amenities (telecoms, gas, power, water etc), the apparent willingness of our government to allow our country to be bought up piece by piece by foreigners who will do nothing but remove money from the economy by shifting it overseas, the greed and self serving actions of our politicians in support of big business, allowing multi nationals to avoid paying appropriate tax rather than doctored tax, and the governments propensity to bow to foreign pressure, with all of this its a miracle we aren’t already just another state of China. Or Saudi Arabia. Or the U.S. Or whoever manages to gain the majority financial choke hold on our country. Our government is our worst enemy, not at all interested in anyone who can’t afford to buy a home and half a dozen holiday homes for cash, interested only in their own power and wealth and rubbing shoulders with the 3% of the world who controls 97% of the entire global economy. If I could, I’d take a big chunk of land and succeed from the government, and start something new, something that’s more organic, more people oriented instead of profit and image. No one should have to have 3 incomes in order to purchase a nice home ANYWHERE in the country. Its purely and simply the greed of the rich that leads to the constant increases in cost of living for the average Australian. Australians don’t want higher wages because we want to get more for less – that’s the rich sending jobs over seas to get more for less. Australians demand higher wages because the cost of actually LIVING is far higher than the governments suggestion of 500 a week. NOONE ‘lives’ on 500 a week. They SURVIVE. And yes there IS difference between the two. SURVIVNG is just making ends meet with nothing left for leisure. LIVING is being able to make ends meet while buying a home and having enough left to enjoy some downtime each week. That’s not being greedy. That’s exactly what the government should be providing. While the government is paying itself ridiculous wages its demanding people don’t ask for more. The first thing our government should be doing is
    A) lowering their wages IMMENSELY considering the half million a year they spend on their ‘business trips’ and ‘diplomatic visits’ with their families, private drivers, free phoned, etc… With all those bonuses they don’t NEED more than 75k a year AT MOST! But you won’t see them admit that or change it
    Or B) make them pay out of their own incomes for all their trips and dinners and what not. Stop abusing the people by misusing their money. We aren’t employed by the government, the government is employed by us. So why are we the ones getting ripped off?
    Because the traitorous bastards who run the show aren’t interested in a truly strong nation. They are interested in running the country like a business. Which is why we are treated like disposable employees instead of the boss they need to serve.

    Personally I say change the government to an unpaid position. The benefits one gets as a politician are stupendous. Remove the wage and maybe then we will finally attract politicians politician’s how only interest is making Australia the country it should be – one every other nation listens to. One who sits as a leader and not a puppet. And a leader who is willing to shut the gate on foreign investment and immigration and start providing for those who are born and raised here in this country instead of asylum seekers and others. Its fucking disgusting that our pensioners get less per year than an asylum seeker who just arrived, even tho the pensioner in many cases has worked 30-40 years here in this country paying taxes. Out students should get incentives to stay at school, like 10k to a car purchase for completing school, new families getting support to buy the family home. Australia for Australians. Not for big business and foreign interests. Bout time things changed here before we end up having a civil war that will totally destroy the country. And make no mistake with the way things are, an event like tga would literally be the end of the country as we know it today. I don’t vote because the system is broken and the 2 parties who always win are corrupt and undeserving of leadership but get it anyway. Until it changes I won’t participate in the farce that is elections.

    I’m not racist but I am totally fed up with watching myself, a native Australian with 5 generations of family here in the country – yes it makes me native. May not be indigenous but I’m still native and fucking sick and tired of being treated like I have no rights cos I’m not an aboriginal or asylum seeker – being treated like my needs and wants come second to the wants of big business, foreign investment, illegal immigrants, sanctioned immigrants, and all those other groups who aren’t white and male and worth less than a million dollars.

    The country is being dragged down to collapse and foreign control because of weak and corrupt leadership and political cowardice – political correctness is just being a gutless turd because someone wants to cry about having his beliefs or background ridiculed even while saying how shit Australians are… Have a cup of concrete!! – and I for one am fucking pissed off at watching my sons chance to buy his own home get thrown away by our leaders. No such thing as a fair go in this country now.. Unless your an asylum seeker or foreign business interest. Then you can have whatever you want just so the government doesn’t have to deal with the whinging pricks! Ignoring and abusing the people is far easier for them.

  3. Andrea Carmiller says:

    I am another angry citizen who is totally opposed to the way Australia is being exploited by our own Government. It seems so utterly thoughtless, short-sighted and greedy. Everyday some new evidence of this is seen on every level, whether it be domestic housing or a new sub-standard apartment tower in the cities or the sell-out of our farming land.I am sure many people have seen the reports of farmers being push off land that is been in their family for over a century in order to sell to Chinese investors. I don’t want to allow this to happen to Australia so want to add my voice to those who are no longer willing to accept this in silence.

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