Posted 05 June 2016 - 10:01 PM
I can not help but read the original post and the others and agree that our living standards are declining rapidly. As someone who grew up in Sydney (now Slumney) I wake up each day with an unending sense of loss and mourn what has become of Sydney and Australia, and dislike what it is now and is further heading towards.
As Gav has alluded to, my contention is that living standards are declining as a result of excessive population growth, driven by very high levels of immigration. You can not increase the population of a country of around 23 million by an extra 1 million people every 5 years and not expect living standards to fall. In short, any perceived benefits of a "big Australia" are far outweighed by the costs that overpopulation imposes, even though it may push up the level of economic growth as measured by GDP. What is not factored in to GDP growth are the costs of this high population growth. These costs include all of the things mentioned above, such as higher house prices, smaller lot sizes, higher density living, urban sprawl, high costs of congestion (time costs), loss of open space, loss of heritage, environmental and cultural assets. This is why Sydney and Australia are becoming a worse place to live for all those who are currently here. In the 1960's, Australia had a population of around 10 million. It now has a population of around 23 million. I stress that it is making all those currently here worse off, regardless of their background.
One of the key factors why both major parties support high population growth probably comes back to our political system allowing political donations. Obviously, big business has an interest in high population growth because it means there are more consumers to sell products too, increasing profits. Property developers also clearly benefit from this system as population growth means more profit. So long as political donations are allowed, no Australian should have any faith in the ability of the political system to make decisions that are in the best interests of Australians, as they are beholden to their donors. The Libs being in the grip of big business, Labor being hopelessly controlled by the unions. No rational person would donate money to a political party without favourable decisions in return. This is essentially legalised bribery, and is not democracy, but is a plutocracy or neo-feudalism controlled by special interests. There needs to be public funding of election campaigns, so that parties are not owned by their donors. Every bad political decision can usually be traced back to a special interest.
This is why they have been hesitant to touch negative gearing and CGT concessions, as it would make the wealthy beneficiaries of this worse off. Both negative gearing and CGT concessions should be scrapped, as it creates a favourable tax incentive to invest in property. However, if they are scrapped the changes should be grandfathered so that those who invested under the tax regime at the time are not unfairly disadvantaged. This would have some moderating effect on house prices. High house prices may not be a good thing, as all of people's income is devoted to housing and can not be spent on other goods or invested, I'd argue it may be bad for the economy. Similarly, I think that children need a backyard to play in, or we will see a lot of health and social problems down the track from families growing up in apartments or with no open space.
In the upcoming election, I would therefore encourage people to vote for a minor party that supports lower population growth. We should also put pressure on the politicians to end the practice of political donations. If people vote for a minor party, it sends a message to the major parties that voters are dissatisfied with their performance, they will then have to take notice. What is really needed is probably a new political party that makes decisions in the best interests of the people. If people saw that it made decisions on principle and was not owned by donors or special interests, I think a lot of voters would get behind it and abandon the other two.
In my view, ownership of housing/land should also be restricted to Australian citizens to improve affordability and protect sovereignty.
This gets difficult when companies/trusts are involved, but we could establish laws around it.
The policy implications in order of importance are therefore:
1)Remove political donations and establish public funding of election campaigns, so that parties are not beholden to their donors.
2)Reduce population growth by substantially lowering the level of immigration, as it is making all current residents worse off. Over the long term Australia should return to a population of around 10 million to be sustainable.
3)Scrap negative gearing and CGT concessions, grandfathering the changes.
4)Restrict ownership of at least residential property to Australian citizens.
I would encourage everyone to vote for a minor party in the upcoming election, to send a clear message to the big two. You can then preference one of the big two who you dislike the least. Sadly, I have little faith that things will improve.