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This vieso is 4 years old, and it portrays Australia in a very favourable light. Interestingly, it shows Australia as the desirable location for mobile business people (presumably mainly eCommerce based)..although I read recently Bali was... Anyway, some of the stats, like the influx of millionaires, may explain the stubbornly high city house prices..

 

Casting your mind to pre-pandemic times, what's your take on the video as an accurate representation of Australia?

 

 

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Haven't watched the video, but Nelson Aspen, the 7 Sunrise US entertainment reporter said this morning that Australia was becoming the new Hollywood with movie studios relocating to Australia due to our successful limiting of Covid-19. The Marvel Studio is about to relocate to Sydney. Some of their movies have already been made here, such as the latest Thor movie made on the Gold Coast. The Elvis biopic starring Tom Hanks was also made in Queensland.

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I watch a lot of Simon's videos on a wide range of subjects and find his approach to be pretty much straight down the middle. I would say that this video is factually correct, but once again it is economics that it is being promoted. Sure we get lots of the ultra-rich coming here and operating businesses back in their own countries. They adversely affect housing prices, making native-born Australians struggle to achieve the Australian Dream of home ownership - owning a little bit of Australia. 

 

All this money doesn't seem to make its way to improving the well-being of those who are not ultra-rich. "No unemployment "? Even if this video was made several years ago, businesses were not struggling to find more employees. They were laying them off. Superannuation? A great idea in principle, but the effects on the economic viability of the average citizen are catastrophic.

 

Workers put aside money for retirement in superannuation funds. Businesses get "taxed" for employing people because they, too, have to contribute to the worker's superannuation. So, there are buckets of money overflowing, what to do with it. The obvious is to invest it. So the Superannuation Fund invests in secure businesses, like Woolies and Coles. The Fund wants a return on its investment. Woolies and Coles have to maximise Gross Profit so they can deal with running costs, expansion costs and providing an acceptable return to investors. So Woolies and Coles engage in "buying cheap, selling high" practices that make life hard for local producers and make household economies difficult to maintain. Buying cheap means that Woolies and Coles source products from the cheapest suppliers - a very many of whom are in foreign countries. Therefore, the consumer in Australia is struggling to keep employed, while at the same time giving work to people in other countries.

 

This is not an attack on Woolies and Coles. It applies to all businesses which obtain their money from investors. Toll roads are another example of the same principle, but in their case, deals with governments let the owners of toll roads up the usage fees without seeming to have to justify doing so. They cunningly include approval to set fees to rise with the CPI.

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I didn't think he really captured the dual economy very well... Yes, Australia is very prosperous, and yes, it does have a very high rate of GDP per captia (top 20 - or 10% if the world, and quite a few in the top 20 are tax havens). However, when I last lived in Melb, it was very expeinsive (at least compared to here) for even middle income workers.. Having said that, there is plenty to do that is free or nearly so, so I suppose that evens it up.

 

Also, when I left Australia at the end of '96, I recall only seeing a handful of vagrants in my life, and only one ever held a hand out to ask for money (10c, as it was). When I returned in 2003, they were selling the Big Issue on the street and homelessness either became visible when it previously wasn't or had become a new problem. The first time I had seen a Big Issue seller was when I arrived in London. Although teh scale of homelessness is nowhere near that of the USA, on a per capita basis, it may not be too far off London... Of course, I could be totally overstating it.

 

Other than that, it seemed not a bad summation... Of course, it could have mentioned the flying compared to the SE of England.... which is busier than a railyway station at peak hour...

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M biggest hate is the existence of homeless. I think there is an unholy alliance between the right-wing nasties ( they deserve it ) and the left-wing bleeding hearts ( they have to have proper houses ). It was shocking to see them in the US, and even more to see their numbers grow here.

They could be offered appropriate shelter for a fraction of our military budget and those who proved able to look after a place could be moved up.

How the US can call itself a christian country is a mystery to me... but wait... where is the commandment " thou shalt not suffer people to be homeless"?

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Good point OME. Their mental health needs attention too. I was shocked to find that more attention is given to the mental health of chimps at the zoo than we give to welfare recipients.

There was an awful crime done in Adelaide some years ago ( the Snowtown bodies in the barrels saga ) where the perps were untreated mentally unhealthy welfare recipients.

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I know I'll cop a caning for this, but some (not all) of the homeless, or those that appear homeless, are not what they seem. Some make more money than I get on the pension. I'm sure you've heard about the destitute looking guy who sits in dishevelled clothes with a hat in front of him. Collects the donations as people pass by. Coins sit in the hat, notes straight into the pocket. At the end of the day, gets up, pockets his collection and walks to his B.M.W. parked down the street. In a recent cleanup in Melbourne, a number of 'street people' were picked up in front of Flinders Street station and moved into shelter. Shortly they were back on the street again, because that's how they preferred to live. Some of them were women.

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No caning red. I understand just what you are saying. 

As long as the weather is good, maybe its not so bad on the street, compared to a shelter where you are in a dormitory with snorers and maybe worse. And you may be preached at in some charity homes.

I would prefer a purpose-made concrete dwelling, not much bigger than a caravan and separated by a couple of meters from the neighbors. Alas this is a pipe dream I know. The concrete home would be very secure. 

When I was a builder in Alice Springs, a group consisting of an architect, a building materials supplier and an aboriginal elder put in a tender for something similar, only bigger, for housing for first-time desert aborigines. The tender was thrown out by Canberra bureaucrats and the 3 guys were called racists. ( well the elder was not called a racist to his face...  the letter said that " the racist proposal was binned".

 

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1 hour ago, red750 said:

some (not all) of the homeless, or those that appear homeless, are not what they seem.

I wonder how much truth is in this, or if it is an urban myth. I'd believe it of America, but find it hard to swallow for Australia. 

 

This might seem snobbish, but what if the City Councils established "Hygiene" facilities for the homeless where they could use laundry and showering facilities to at least improve their appearance. Scruffy looking people sitting on city streets does nothing for the status of the city. Sydney Lord Mayoress, Clover Moore, is so keen on bicycle lanes and community art that she could improve the city by providing these facilities. Also, what is conspicuously absent from the Sydney CBD are public lavatories. If you are caught short in Sydney, you'll probably soil yourself before you find a place to relieve yourself.

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I agree that these volunteers do good work, purely as humanitarians, without pushing their spiritual beliefs on the recipients. I think the Salvos do their soul-saving only after they have worked on the temporal needs of people.

 

 

 

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The "people" who make out there are many of these "rich" destitute are the ones to avoid. Demonise the poor and you don't have to do anything for them as they DESERVE their condition. RICH people are worthy and the  poor do it deliberately. That's been Sco Mo and Hockeys mantra since day one of the LieNP reign. Daily living allowance for MPs is $240 a day.. Go on a Polly pedal and that's what you get. Nev

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Around Melbourne, we have Exeloos. Public toilets with electrically operated doors. A red or green light tells you if it's occupied or vacant.

Press the button to open the door. Press a button inside to lock the door. Recorded message "Door locked. You have 10 minutes use time." Music plays. When you are finished, auto handwash and dryerm The loo flushes automatically when you wash your hand or open the door.

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All public toilets are welcome when you have had serious bowel surgery, even years later. I visited three this morning, with a stern look on  my face. You get used to it I suppose but need to be prepared and well informed.

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I find that in the suburbs or on the highway, Maccas or Hungry's are good spots to find a toilet. You don't have to buy anything. With a prosthetic bladder which needs regular emptying, they are very handy. 7-Eleven's don't offer that facility. Never checked out a Subway.

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20 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

...I would prefer a purpose-made concrete dwelling, not much bigger than a caravan and separated by a couple of meters from the neighbors. Alas this is a pipe dream I know...

 

Bruce your pun is also a serious contender in more sensible countries:

 

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There's a National Public Toilets map website for when you're in desperate need. I find pubs are the best place to find a toilet. A lot of Maccas toilets are locked today, due to drug users, and other undesirable activities.

 

Gays constantly use public toilets as "beats", and they can be very annoying. I've had a big Indian gay jerk off his willy right at me, in the adjoining urinal. He was quite "in-my-face", and very "pushy".

 

I felt like dropping him, but I had to tell myself, he just had a major socialisation problem.

 

https://toiletmap.gov.au/

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1 hour ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

Thanks old K. that is exactly what i reckon we should do.

I can imagine the same thing, only bigger. Four of them in a cross shape joining to a small covered in courtyard in the middle of the cross. It would be a four room dwelling for a couple. And other like configurations of four tubes could intertwine with each other to utilise space. Like a big crossword puzzle. There's endless other possibilities like covering them with dirt and planting greenery on top if they were permanent.

 

Bruce, you are right about the homeless. The problem will not go away and will only get worse in future. Society needs to challenge the way we've always thought and come up with solutions like the concrete pipes. And most importantly, the governing and regulatory authorities need to learn to think outside the square to allow it.

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The problem with most of the homeless is a lack of self discipline. Self discipline is taught to the aimless by disciplined people.

But most of the homeless come from dysfunctional families with no parenting skills, parents always drunk or drugged, and many also suffer from trauma such as foetal alcohol syndrome, brain damage from bashings, and misuse of alcohol and drugs.

 

If you gave these people a million dollars, it would all be gone in a week, and they'd be back begging again outside your local store on the second week.

Many have no idea of how to keep themselves and their surroundings clean - because they've been brought up (well, dragged up) in filth and squalor. 

 

I don't know what the total answer is, and most people in authority have no idea. either. These people have learnt to live on their wits, and they find scrounging suits them.

I don't know you treat brain damage, mental health problems caused by drugs and booze, or an inability to handle any money they get, at all.

 

I feel that they need to be under some form of institutional control, until they can prove they have the basic social skills to survive in the real world.

That's why so many end up going to jail, they get everything provided for them - meals, housing and bedding and clothing - and they don't even have to think about when they're going to get up, or go to bed, it's all done for them.

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There have been significant advances in the understanding of how the brain works, and there is a body of theory that the brain is programmable - and by definition re-programmable. However, it requires the person with the brain to want to receive and perform the re-programming - and that is more than want - but absolute commitment to overcome all of the challenges that go with it.

 

But that is a cure approach, and what is required - and a lot cheaper in the long run - is a preventative approach. The problem is society largely sees - or has thrust upon it - the perception that these people are nothing but layabout bludgers and that giving them money (or resources) is just a waste. Of course, just throwing money at them is a waste - what is needed is a revamp of how we see welfare as just providing the bare minimum (if that) for them to survive on. What it requires is a rethink about how it all works.

 

One of the problems is that the focus of any training is about getting them to work - so giving them occupational skills or some communication skills... But what is required, which admittedly us much easier said than done, is to integrate a competent social, mental health, physcial health, and occupational therapy services systems - with teeth, responsibility, and accountability to assess families and develop rehab plans according to their circumstances, with the objective of both stabilising the family unit and ensuring it can function in society...

 

I was going to make reference to the old days - but they are not comparable. It is a very different world with very different challenges, and old ways of thinking just don't cut it.

 

As I said, easier said than done, but a start has to be made.

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