Tuesday, December 31, 2019

INDEX

THAILAND

Ao Sadet from Silver Cliff's restaurant - east coast of Ko Phangan

INTRODUCTION - WHICH ISLAND OR BEACH?
ADANG
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
BU BU
BULON LAE
CHANG (big Chang eastern Gulf)
Little Ko CHANG, Andaman side
CORAL ISLAND
JUM
KANCHANABURI
KRADAN
KRABI, RAILAY, TON SAI
KHANOM
KHAO LAK
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
KHO KHAO
KUT (KOOD, KUD)
LANTA
LAO LIANG
LIBONG, HAT YAO
LIPE
MAK (MAC, MAAK)
MAYA BAY/THE BEACH/PHI PHI LEY
MUK (MOOK)
NANGYUAN
NGAI (HAI)
KO PANYI/PANYEE
PATTAYA
PHANGAN
PHANGAN PART 2
PHANG NGA BAY
PHAYAM
PHRA THONG
PHUKET
PHI PHI
PHI PHI NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY TEZZA
RAILAY, TON SAI AND KRABI TOWN
RAYA/RACHA
ROK
SAMET
SAMUI
SIBOYA
SICHON
SIMILAN ISLANDS
SIMILAN ISLANDS LIVE-ABOARD 
SUKORN
SURIN ISLANDS
TARUTAO
TAO
WAI (WHAI)
YAO NOI
YAO YAI



General Thailand Information

SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING
WET WEATHER INFORMATION
SNORKELLING IN THAILAND
THAILAND'S NICER BEACHES


INDONESIA:
Approaching Gili Trawangan, Lombok on Perama's direct boat from Bali

BALI
BALI'S BEST BEACHES - incl THE BUKIT PENINSULA
BALI - AMED
BALI - BEDUGUL AND LAKE BRATAN
BALI - CANGGU
BALI - JATILUWIH RICE TERRACES
BALI - JIMBARAN
BALI - NUSA LEMBONGAN
BALI - NUSA PENIDA
BALI - NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA AND GEGER BEACH
EAST BALI - PADANGBAI AND CANDIDASA
BALI - LOVINA
BALI - MEDEWI
BALI - MUNDUK
BALI - PEMUTERAN AND MENJANGAN ISLAND
BALI RICE TERRACES EAST - SIDEMAN
BALI RICE TERRACES CENTRAL - TEGALLALANG
BALI RICE TERRACES WEST - KEBUN VILLAS
BALI RICE TERRACES TIRTAGANGGA + WATER PALACE

BINTAN

LOMBOK - THE GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE KUTA LOMBOK AREA

PERAMA SLOWBOAT - FLORES/KOMODO/LOMBOK

SERAYA & KANAWA ISLANDS + LABUANBAJO - FLORES



MALAYSIA
Taking it easy on Tioman Island, Malaysia

GORGEOUS TIOMAN ISLAND
CHERATING BEACH
KAPAS ISLAND
LANGKAWI
LANG TENGAH
PERHENTIAN ISLANDS
REDANG ISLAND
SIBU ISLAND



AUSTRALIA


Cruising down Whitsunday Island

CRUISING TROPICAL ISLANDS ON A BUDGET
BUDGET RESORTING ON THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS NTH QLD
SPENDING TIME AT AIRLIE BEACH - NTH QLD
CAPE TRIBULATION - NTH QLD
DUNK ISLAND - NTH QLD
FITZROY ISLAND - CAIRNS -  NTHE QLD
CRUISING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS
BYRON BAY - BEACH PARADISE
NOOSA HEADS - MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE
MAGNETIC ISLAND NTH QLD
TOP END - DARWIN
TOP END - DARWIN BEACHES
TOP END - KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - NITMILUK (KATHERINE) GORGE and KATHERINE TOWN
TOP END - MANDORAH and WAGAIT BEACH
TOP END - MATARANKA THERMAL POOLS
TOP END - THE TIWI ISLANDS



GREECE
Cute church - Naxos

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING


TURKEY

Beach, forest-clad medieval ruins and up-valley budget accommodation at Olympos in Turkey
BUDGET CRUISING AND PARAGLIDING THE TURQUOISE COAST
THE NORTH AEGEAN COAST
THE SOUTH AEGEAN COAST



SPAIN
Looking south to Tossa de Mar
INTRODUCTION
BARCELONA
IBIZA
L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT
MALLORCA/MAJORCA
MONTSERRAT

PYRENEES
SAN SEBASTIAN
SITGES
TOSSA DE MAR


USA - SOUTH WEST

THE BEACHES

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

GRAND CANYON TREKKING

YOSEMITE TREKKING



USA - HAWAII

OAHU'S BEST BEACHES
OAHU - PEARL HARBOR
OAHU - OTHER NEAT PLACES:SOUTH EAST COAST
OAHU - TREKKING THE HONOLULU MOUNTAINS
OAHU WEST - THE KAIELIA TRAIL and adjoining trails

MAUI'S BEST BEACHES
MAUI: THE ROAD TO HANA
MAUI - HALEAKALA VOLCANO
MAUI - THE IAO VALLEY
MAUI BEST DAYTRIP - LANAI ISLAND
MAUI - OTHER NEAT PLACES



USA - NORTH EAST
NYC BEACHES
UPPER AND CENTRAL LONG ISLAND BEACHES
NEW JERSEY BEACHES


SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ISLAND BEACHES

KAIBOLA BEACH - KIRIWINA ISL - PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MYSTERY ISLAND - VANUATU
CHAMPAGE BEACH - VANUATU
YEJELE BEACH - MARE ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
ISLE OF PINES - NEW CALEDONIA
NOUMEA BEACHES - NEW CALEDONIA
EASO BEACH - LIFOU ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
TOURING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS

READERS' TRIP REPORTS
Trip reporter Rachael and Andy on Ko Muk

Read the trip reports or submit your own


THE FORUM


Yon Cassie has a lean and hungry look (image Deco Dermots)

Questions, comments, shoot the bull.


GENERAL

Sammy BinLiner steps out to the hot-tub seminar in The Worry Collective

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 1
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 2: STONES FROM THE JOKER IN THE GLASS HOUSE (1 thru 11)
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 3: THE WORRY COLLECTIVE

ABOUT THIS SITE


THE RANT


LADY TEZZA'S TRAVELLING JAPAN

Sumo grand champion Hakuho.

The basics - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima & Himeji - Takayama - Tokyo - Kyushu - Daytrip to Mt Fuji National Park - Accessing your money - Other helpful stuff







Thursday, January 31, 2019

CHAMPAGNE BEACH VANUATU

VISITED JAN 2019


Most people's idea of a tropical beach - sweet



LOCATION


CHAMPAGNE BEACH is located in northern VANUATU. At 15 degrees south it is well within the tropics - actually closer to the Equator than CAIRNS on the Australian mainland. So unlike NEW CALEDONIA this place would be a good mid-winter beach visit. NC tends to be a bit cool, unless you find a sheltered location. (all satellite images modified from GOOGLE EARTH)


CHAMPAGNE BEACH is about 2/3 up the east coast of ESPIRITU SANTO, which is the northern-most big island of VANUATU.
The beach is 54 km north by road (46 km in a direct line) from the island's biggest town LUGANVILLE, another popular call-in for cruise boats. That town is located in the narrow channel between the south-eastern island and the mainland above-left of the "100M" place marker.  


This is a great location for cruise liners because the bay off the beach gives great shelter from the south east trades which blow in this area more often than not.
Note nearby LANNOC BCH - only 0.7m away by foot. I didn't visit because "NOORDAM's" tourist map had a dodgy scale and was unclear in areas. Maybe next visit.
I haven't indicated the village of HOG HARBOUR which is just above the "L" of LANNOC - very low profile: I did't notice it from the ship moored mid-bay as shown.




The beach itself is compact - abt 350m long. The cleared area in back has sheltered market stalls, food outlets and a toilet block. Note the pier close to the beach left side - access to the beach very easy: I even saw from a distance my friend Barbara bring her wheelchair-bound mum Gertie ashore - now I don't say all wheelchair people could do this but Barbara is an old hand at accessing unlikely places with mum and wheelchair.

South part of beach from the ship - north part hidden by small headland. Note smooth ocean. Those protective  headlands do a great job.



THE BEACH

OL' JIMMY WOULD LOVE THIS PLACE
JAMES A MICHENER wrote his "TAILS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC" when stationed at nearby LUGANVILLE. He maybe had this place in mind when writing his beach descriptions because for sure it is a model for the perfect tropical beach. About 350m long with blinding white sand, plenty wide enough even at full tide, crystal clear water which doesn't shelve too quickly (and LADY TEZZA who likes such things reported plenty of fish - I swam around with no goggles or face mask so things were kinda blurred), no lack of tree canopy shade in back of beach.


Arrivals pier. Plenty of non-pushy locals standing around offering tours so you don't have to take the ships' more expensive excursions. However to me a few hours on this gorgeous beach is a fine way to spend the time.


From the north end. Beach is surrounded by forested headlands and hills on 3 sides which adds to the tropical paradise thing.


From the south end. Note lack of waves - the orientation of the bay combined with typical local winds means this place would rarely get onshore winds and swell from the north and north-east. This is in the latitudes when the SE TRADES blow more often than not.
South end attracted more people as the day went on - has more shade and some coral rocks near the southern headland keeping snorkelers busy.
Outrigger rides were available for a reasonable sum.


No shortage of shade.



South-end fin-flappers. I also noticed a brace of snorkels near a buoy about 80m off mid beach - check underwater rocks on 5th GOOGLE EARTH image from top of this page.
Okay, some of you dudes are wondering why I don't give a SNORKELLING REPORT. Here's the thing - I've seen the best coral in the world before global warming and over-tourism kicked in, so everything I check these days is pretty ordinary (to me). And it might sound conceited but from experience I just KNOW the above locations would not be world class. But for people who have not snorkelled coral and associated fish etc the above would probably be pretty good. Me? At 73 years old I just can't be bothered.

IN BACK OF THE BEACH




Behind the beach is a cleared area with maybe 30 roofed market stalls offering the usual touristy clothing, trinkets, tours, food and drink, massages and hair braiding. There is also a toilet block 2nd row north end.

PROBLEMS
I heard a few people back on the ship complaining of SAND FLIES. Now those little devils love me but I had no bites (it's rare to actuallly NOTICE sand flies). But I did see a few of what we Aussies call BUSH FLIES - these are big bitey flies, the good news being they are a bit slow to avoid the slapping hand. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some visitors equated bush flies on the beach as sand flies.
BLUEBOTTLES (the Pacific's smaller Portuguese Man of Wars)? Um, I think this beach's orientation and usual winds is all wrong for frequent visits.

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ATTENTION - IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR SEE MISTAKES, PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE POST THEM IN THE FORUM ACCESSED VIA THE INDEX WHICH I CHECK FAR MORE FREQUENTLY THAN INDIVIDUAL DESTINATION PAGES LIKE THIS.




Wednesday, January 9, 2019

THE RANT



THE RANT

 As I’ve got older I look at world/local issues and trends and form an opinion more often. Now I”m the last to believe others may be interested in what I think – but this is my blog, others don’t have to read it (few will)…..SO WHAT THE HELL.

Perhaps right now it’s time to present my credentials so you know where I'm coming from. I’m a retired economics teacher. Well that was my main job, but in my time I’ve been paid to do all sorts of other stuff – steel worker, rock band roadie, calm consultant, travel writer, swim coach, yard man. And the economics teacher thing? Well in that career the shortage of teachers in the NSW system meant I’ve taught virtually everything else – Geography, Accounting, Business Studies, History, Social Science. PE, Maths, English, Slow Learners, Science, Health, Personal Development, Night School: I’ve even been a SEWING TEACHER and I don’t know much about sewing. Plus a COOKING TEACHER.
To some, educational training is important. Okay, I’m an economics graduate of SYDNEY UNIVERSITY, back in the day when only 0.5% of all school starters graduated with a degree. University was hard to get into in those days, even harder to graduate from. So I think my degree has a bit more value than these days of universal “college” education and DUMBED DOWN courses (more later).
My post-degree education is not particularly flash – a DIPLOMA OF EDUCATION which all we indentured teachers had to get back in the day.
So that’s my training and work experience. 

But here's the thing - no amount of education beats LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE. And at 73 I reckon I've had plenty of that.

My political leaning is to the liberal left - I guess you could say I'm center-left. I believe in private enterprise and the market economy - trouble is that system FAILS in certain areas and so the government needs to step in. But I'm not a rusted on left winger. If the central-left government is a bad one, I vote for the conservative opposition. I also reckon HARD left ideas are for ratbags - communism and hard core socialism are dumb and proven failures.

Thing is I reckon I am broad-minded enough and have enough theoretical background and practical life-time experience to have an opinion on what is happening. Or at least to have INFORMED RANT. And there are lots of international and local issues I wouldn’t mind ranting about.
.....like....



 -JAN 9 2019     GOOD OL’ TRUMP

IMAGE - THE ATLANTIC

Everyone including the pet shop parrot is squawking about OL’ ORANGE right now. Plenty of the squawkers are supporters – but currently, seemingly more are opponents (yeah I know – forget the "currently" stuff - even when elected THE TRUMPSTER lost the popular vote; he didn’t have the majority of supporters even then).

ME? Well I think the man is a fool and a fraudster – but I can see why so many people back him.

Let’s face it – the current system is BROKEN for many: GLOBALISATION and its handmaidens FREE TRADE, INTERNATIONAL DERUGULATION yada, while working to lift nearly all income groups in the DEVELOPING world plus making high/very high income earners even richer in DEVELOPED countris, has been a bummer for the working class/middle classes in the USA (and in quite a few other "advanced" economies). Many have seen jobs disappear overseas to less expensive workers in Asia, Latin America etc – others fortunate enough to stay employed have noticed wages have stagnated or not kept up with prices: their first real income decline in the post war era.

The above is not a new phenomena in economic history – as a matter of fact it is chickenshit compared to the massive displacement of the working class caused by the AGRARIAN/INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS. But the big difference back then was those affected didn’t have the vote - and any other type of protest was swiftly squashed. Today’s losers have the vote and know exactly how to protest within the law. So along comes some faker says he can fix everything (HE CAN’T) – and naturally the desperates jump on board.

So far OL’ ORANGE has had a good run economics-wise. His TAX CUTS/INCREASED MILITARY/INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING? - it’s a no-brainer that the economy and stock market will respond positively IN THE SHORT RUN to these (just the same as a former high roller responds to a big injection of dope)– the problem is THE LONG RUN; how do you pay for the trillions of dollars of debt being racked up with lower taxes/higher spending?
Hang on tight trendsetters – the cut in tax shit is about to hit the fan; the withdrawal is gonna be painful.

Have I a solution to the overall problem? Afraid not – while acknowledging the PRE TRUMP system was broken, I can’t think of better. Perhaps Bernie Sanders DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM could do the job, although Americans will never support this. Hell, the furore over the US UNIVERSAL HEALTH SYSTEM shows they woudln't even support DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM-LIGHT as practiced by places like Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Maybe the best idea is to accept reality - big changes in the fortunes of nations occur every now and then – perhaps the best message to the losers is SUCK IT UP.
But they ain’t gonna suck it up without protest – they are going to turn to far right populist fraudsters like OL” ORANGE who are expert at identifying false scapegoats and insist they have all the answers. Stand by for an interesting next few years.

Did HILLARY have the answer? Sadly NO - despite claims of a new way, if she had been elected it would have been more of the same.

But here’s the thing – more of the same would have been way better than the crap being dished up right now.

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JAN 10 2019    BREXIT.
Ah yes, those BRITS aren’t gonna let the Continentals push them around any more. They’ve told the latter to stick the EEC up their arses – the Brits are gonna do it alone.
Well maybe until reality kicks in. Lotsa stuff SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. But in the cool aftermath of evaluation………
So the rest of the world looks on with glee at the approaching train wreck…..the Germans have the prefect word to cover the situation – SCHADENFREUDE.
My prediction – another BRIT vote and no withdrawal. We wait with bated breath (not really).

image - https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/462744930445610257/

Here's the thing - economic unions like the EEC are a good idea (at least for participants) but require members to conform to rules and guidelines - but the Brits want their cake and eat it too: they want the economic gains from union but don't want to conform.

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JAN 25   THE EURO
A common market may be a good idea (at least for the participants - but the BREXITERS don't seem to think so) but a common currency is completely dumb, because in the long run currency union without political union just doesn't work. Sure the advantages are fine as long as members conform to rules including budgetary constraint - but when does a desperate politician seeking re-election stick to budgetary constraint?
And it seems some member countries are prepared to give themselves northern-European levels of wealth, social services etc without the hard work/high taxation needed. This can be done short term by borrowing - but eventually national debt blows out to unsustainable levels the lenders say no more. Should that Greek guy in the above cartoon look so smug? Maybe yes because his country has been rescued from its folly.
So far the richer member countries and the IMF have stepped in and bailed the defaulter out. I predict we will in the future have more periodic crises, particularly when you look at the economic basket cases seeking entry or recently entering the EUROPEAN UNION.
The long run? Will Germany and other wealthy member country's taxpayers get sick of bailing out the freeloaders? Will the EURO eventually come crashing down with members reverting to their home currencies? Don't hold your breath - I think this whole currency crisis is a long term train crash.

What riles me is that in each crisis we have concerned finance ministers,bank officials and entourages of hangers-on rushing to some big time crisis management meeting - they arrive in top end Mercs and Maybachs, stay in $500 a night hotel suites and are being paid hundreds of thousands of Euros per year. They take themselves completely seriously and are shown great deference, yet the currency system they are shoring up is a FRAUD as any first year economics student will attest. At least these guys are consistent - they set themselves an amazingly low hurdle which they constantly fail to reach.

FROM THIS BLOG'S "THE WORRY COLLECTIVE"


(cropped image from WILCOX - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)


The Worry Collective #23
BUDDY CAN YOU SPARE A YACHT?
Q - Any chance we can use your finance guru FastCash Keyne's super-yacht for a meeting of European Financial Stability Fund members in Monaco next week?
Merko and Holla - Brussels.

TWC - FastCash says this is not the time for expensive super yacht junkets. He suggests you restrict your attendance to people who know what they are talking about - that way Princess Caroline's single-kayak should suffice. With room to spare.


European Stability Fund commissioner throws the switch to ACTION (image Colquhoun - Sydney Morning Herald)


---------------------------------------------

These dudes and their entourages along with other government  apparatchiks plus executives/hangers-on from the world's top companies are presently junketing at the 2019 DAVOS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM. I read that they flew in on 1500 private jets to hear DAVID ATTENBOROUGH speak about how we are wrecking the environment. What can I say? All the gear (private jets/laptop-wielding flunkies/luxury hotel rooms/chauffeur-driven limos yada) and no idea.
And to what end? Well. at the end of the conference they will all agree to return in a year's time for another talkfest and junket.

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FEB 07 2019   TRUMPSTER AND BREXXIT UPDATE.

TRUMP WATCH.
Well DONALDO ain't traveling too well right now. He has recently CAVED on the WALL/GOVT SHUTDOWN (although he seems keen of a face-saving round 2) and is up to his neck in investigations re RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN THE ELECTION, his BUSINESS DEALINGS, TAX, FINANCIAL SCANDALS etc. Gotta say if I had voted for him, I'd be feeling a tad let down right now.


NOT ANYTIME SOON (Image - Know Your Meme)

BREXIT - I feel a bit sorry for poor Theresa: she was anti-Brexit personally but has been given the task of negotiating the exit following the referendum - yet can't get support for the scheme she has negotiated. 


"BLIMEY!! WHY ME??" (image THE  EXPRESS)

Meanwhile exit day gets closer - will my prediction up page eventuate? This is getting very interesting. And entertaining.


TRUMP AND TRADE
Any economist will tell you free trade is a winner OVERALL (but yep, there are losers) and how protection is a dumb idea. Yet OL' ORANGE tells us : "TRADE WARS ARE EASY TO WIN AND PROTECTION IS GREAT!" 
That sounds crazy but I think there is method in his madness - "crazy' is what TRUMP wants the world to think. His opponents are dealing with a crazy man who could start a damaging trade war, so they will be more in the mood for CONCESSIONS when trade negotiations start. The Chinese and Europeans who are worse than most when it comes to unfair trade rules (and dodgy stuff like the Chinese stealing of US IT) etc will have to give. Not that the US has no unfair trade rules - it does, but fewer than many countries or trading groups of countries.

TRUMP AND  FOREIGN RELATIONS
That "crazy man" thing also applies here. Foreign bullies like those Russian and Nth Korean dudes maybe think this ratbag is just nuts enough to bow to his military advisers who would love to nuke the bad guys - so they will give a bit or maybe a lot in negotiations.
In other foreign policy areas? - well many in the know are dismayed at his MIDDLE EAST POLICY, perhaps for good reason. But I have given up on that area - I think things are too far gone for any policy to resolve regional problems - the place was doomed by the way the great powers drew the borders after WW2: and modern Israel has inflamed the situation (although I think the Israelis deserve their homeland). So I don't have an opinion on the Middle East situation.
ELSEWHERE? - well his immigration policy re THE WALL is not going too well. My opinion - THE WALL is a joke: AS IF it would work. Not sure what will finally eventuate. No doubt some compromise.

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FEB-08 2019  THE AUSSIE SITUATION - FINE FOR NOW BUT STORM CLOUDS AHEAD 
Readers (if I have any) are probably wondering why this Aussie is so fixated on the scene in the US and EUROPE. Well for a page concentrating on current affairs from an economic viewpoint, the US and Europe are the main game right now.
But for me and Aussie readers (if I have few international readers there would be fewer Aussies) the home situation is just as important, As stated above the current situation is
"FINE FOR NOW BUT STORM CLOUDS AHEAD". This is a matter of head-scratching for me: at both national and state levels we have bumbling centre-right governments who don't have a clue so maybe I should enlarge on my heading -" FINE FOR NOW (BUT COULD BE WAY BETTER).........."
Thing is Australia hasn't had a recession for 23 years, economic growth is fair and unemployment the lowest for a long time. But in the future maybe things will not be so rosy - house prices are falling after a crazy period of increases, and things in China (our biggest export customer by far and the main reason Australia has been so prosperous for so long) don't look too good - their economy appears overcooked and this trade war thing could exacerbate the situation. Hell, if my prediction that TRUMP will end up with a lot more pro-US agreements in trade negotiations comes to fruition, that could still hurt Australia's exports because many things we supply China the US also can also supply. OK, the cost will be higher (particularly freight) but this is a cost China may be prepared to bear for trade peace. 
So the all important ANIMAL SPIRITS are down a bit in Oz right now - consumer sentiment is falling as are business expectations. Consumer spending and business investment are already beginning to falter. Not enough to signal negative economic growth, but sufficient to see a slowing in the rate of growth. Trouble with those animal spirits is that a slight decline can quickly turn into a stampede for the basement.

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FEB 09 2019  THE POLITICS OF MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION
I just came across this reference to the populism policies of the PRO- TRUMPSTERS and BREXITERS. Good one. Wish I had coined that.


SMARTARSE 101  
It's fun sitting back and poking fun at the US and BRIT situation, but maybe hypercritical if I don't have a better idea.

THE US - as I've said up-page I don't have an answer for all the losers from free-trade, deregulation, trickle down theory era  of the past 15-20 years - the people who decided to throw the switch to POPULISM and support some blowhard reckoned he could fix things. And as I said, Hillary would have been more of the past - things may have improved slightly but the structural problem would still be there. All those people who have gained nothing or gone backwards would still be AS MAD AS HELL And as the Democrats learned - the MAD AS HELL have the vote.
Thinking more. perhaps I should't dismiss something like DEMOCTRATIC SOCIALISM. It may be the way to go long term after the experiment with populism ends. Unthinkable at present as the relatively recent BERNIE SANDERS experiment showed, but in the future maybe our loser group will realize POPULISM isn't the answer and will be more prepared to give it or something like it a go.


Captions may be clearer if you CLICK-EXPAND (image POLITICO MAGAZINE)

BREXIT - I believe most of the world thinks this is a case of SUCK IT UP. If the majority of Brit voters want the wide-spread advantages of the common market but are not prepared to accept the rules - then tough.
Wait. Just an idea - maybe Theresa and her negotiators could try on Donaldo's "CRAZY MAN" tactic. Threaten withdrawal UNLESS the EEC authorities agree to fewer of those nit-picking, bureaucratic regulations that so get up the noses of Mr and Mrs typical Brit - the emphasis must be on "nit-picking"; stronger rules and regulations re fiscal and governance issues must remain. 
Problem is I don't think the Brits are negotiating from a strong position - the EEC needs BRITAIN less than BRITAIN needs to EEC (the opposite of the US/CHINA situation) and so the Europeans are pretty hard-nosed in negotiations. They probably think if they give concessions to Britain, they will have to give even more to the basket case Eastern European nations recently joining or to join. And let's not forget some older members, particularly in Southern Europe, are not exactly healthy. 

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16th Feb 2019.
STATE OF EMERGENCY??? 
This is getting good.

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TRENDING - 17th Feb 2019

- (Aust and internationally) - EXPOSED UNDERWEAR.

Women's fashion is in a good place - all those lovely sexy tops with scooped/exposed back, spaghetti straps/halters, big armpits yada. But here in Oz the local sheilas blow the whole deal by wearing extremely daggy industrial grade bras beneath - the sort of stuff should never see the light of day. So what we see is industrial beige/white/black back and shoulder straps broad enough to hawser QE2 + super-size-me cups in the arm-cut outs. Surely if they are gonna spend $90 on a lovely top, they should be prepared to spend a bit extra on a matching support garment, not fall back on good ol' faithful in the wardrobe.
And on a personal note - those frilly black bras don't cut it with me. But then again, I've never been a fan of frilly black underwear. What I want to see modern women wearing is COLOUR-CO-ORDINATED underwear with only thin straps exposed - and not too fancy if the arm holes are way big. 
I think babes had it covered back in the 70s and 80s - this was the NO BRA era. But things change. For a start tops were not as revealing. And further, the average lady was maybe 10kg/22lbs lighter back then (females today are in the grip of those serial seducers KRISPY KREME and RONNIE MACCA) and didn't need the support today's beefier babes require.


Elegance lost

OK - guys are just as bad. I'm kinda over EXPOSED BOXERS/BRIEFS. How many dudes are walking around right now with low ride baggy shorts/jeans down around their freckle, showing a set of CALVIN KLEINS or similar underneath? 
This began many years back in the good ol' US when LA youth began to imitate ex-jailbirds. In the joint young dudes were issued with a ONE SIZE FITS ALL wardrobe - hence the craze for baggy shorts/jeans which won't stay up. So it gets adopted by the general male young population - LOOK AT ME, I'M A BAD BOY!!
Dunno abt BAD BOY - more FUNNY BOY. 
At least the oversize T is covering the CALVINS.

And it's not just the guys in this exposed briefs thing....
MORE FUNNY STUFF - why would anyone pay EXTRA for a pair of jeans look like they've survived a washing-machine explosion? Hey I notice this one's got the DOUBLE WHAMMY - bonus exposed MOSCHINO boxers!!. Is that cool or what? 

The big question - are all those trendsetter wearing the above trying to identify with our drop-crotch buddies? I mean, ripped jeans were originally worn by urban losers.

SMARTARSE 101 PART 2 
It's fun to highlight absurdities in popular fashion, but maybe not if yer humble correspondent is not exactly a sartorial trendsetter. GUILTY YER HONOR! - my garb 90% of the time is board shorts with a T, purchased for $3 each at the BALI ART MARKET (not too much art sold there but heaps of clothing). Not exactly what you would expect a 73 yo to be wearing (and yes, I have been paid out on this twice recently - to no avail: I grin and giggle). 
Thing is, I wear this stuff because I am a TIGHTWAD - can't get much less expensive than $3 -and for COMFORT**. Not trying to make a statement, not trying to regain my lost youth, not trying to identify with some tribe - not trying nothing except save a few bucks in a comfortable way.

** in winter our part of Australia gets a tad cool for boardies and a T. So I substitute a pair of tracky-dacks with a flannelette shirt over the T. Both available in KMART for sub $10 on special - which is the only time I buy. Okay, when I want to look flash, I replace the trackies with a pair of Asian-made jeans - approx the same price/same source/same time.



ALSO TRENDING
BIG BOOTIES
Modern ladies must think they've died and gone to heaven - all of a sudden thanks to the combination of people like the KARDASHIANS and the above-mentioned serial seducers KRISPY KREME and MACCAS, big bums are in. No more dieting or work-outs for the young and not so young misses and ms.s!

MY TAKE - UGLY!! (yeah, I know I'm behind the times and we are moving to a new era of RUBINESQUE female bodies - but I'll stay a fan of fit and sleek).


.....and it don't get much more ugly than when combined with the modern trend to g-string bottoms.

Which brings us to another current craze which can be real nice on the right chassis - G-STRING BEACH BIKINIS.....


.....but which don't combine all that well with the current big booty craze.


Maybe it's not just older babes should be thinking of food intake.

TAN LINE HILARITY - when I see young ladies such as 2 and 3 shots above, I can't help thinking of the hilarious tan marks on their upper derriere/lower back. Who sees that? Um, well their boyfriends maybe - now boyfriends are supposed to be appreciative, not rolling on the floor with laughter.


So how to avoid? Doesn't look much nicer if its a full string rear....
Forget those dopey bits of wide fabric in back.


Ok - gotta admit I wouldn't dare be laughing if this were my girl. Still, she'd look way better if she had minimal lines from the suit one pic up. And far worse from 3 and 4 up. The streamlined booty helps too.


Um - I don't think so.


TRENDING - MINI BIKINIS
These seem to becoming increasingly popular. At least this one isn't see-thru as many are. 
Not sure what sort of lady wears these - maybe nudists wanting maximum tan area when visiting a textile beach. 
And maybe exhibitionists. 
Anyway from this male's point of view, they are NOT ATTRACTIVE. 

The most attractive suites right now are the string back bikini pictured 2 up plus ladies in those spray-on SPEEDO type one piece racers.
How nice is that??


Another one - maybe not so famous. But again - how nice is that??

DISCLOSURE - I'm a lap swimmer, do a km every second day. So I'm no stranger to sights like above. But I never tire of it - even on muscled-up sweeties (I think 2 shots up is one of the world class CAMPBELL SISTERS swimmers) - this lady has the shoulders and hips/thighs of a champ but is maybe not tucked in enough at the waist to make the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED CALENDAR  - but okay, she is good enough to make this promotional shot for A3 PERFORMANCE,
And good for her - people like these are much more talented and work way harder than those supermodel types - usually for little reward.

What do I wear at the pool? Well I think 73yo geezers, even super-fit ones, should not be parading in SPEEDOS or those tight lycra SKINS shorts - so I wear my ol' faithful BOARD SHORTS.
At the beach? - I've been a naturist since my teens so I wear NACING (and no, you aint gonna see any gratuitous nudey beach shots - but for true naturists seeking information, see the associated blog NUDE BEACHES CATELONIA  plus my page on BYRON BAY which has details of several clothing-optional beaches in the area) - but if visiting a textile beach I fall back on the BOARDIES.



MORE ON CURRENT FADS - it is real easy to turn into an old curmudgeon and hate a whole bunch of things - FUCKWIT HAIRDOS, HIPSTERS, CHAVS, BODY ART, BODY SCULPTING MEDICAL PROCEDURES, YADA. But I hope I've avoided the CURMUDGEON STAGE - I'd say my current approach is the typical Liberal Left - which to these things  is....".WHATEVER!!". 

See, even though a lot of popular culture makes me smile, I think WHATEVER FLOATS YER BOAT is in general the way to go. If some dude wants to align himself/herself with HIPSTERS/INKERS/ COFFEE AFICIAONADOS/BAD BOYS/A FOOTBALL CLUB TRIBE and SUNDRY OTHER HARD CASES.....WTF? Who am I to judge? So I sit back, giggle at what I personally think is a bit crazy, frown at what I think stupid and unattractive, but don't condemn anything.
This is the advantage of BEING A GEEZER - no one cares what you think, and you think from the benefit of many years of observation. 
Sundry hard cases


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TRENDING NOW 19th FEB 1019

BACKPACKER DROWNINGS IN AUSTRALIA
Saw a tragic item on the TV news tonight how 2 Brit/French backpackers went for a midnight swim at PORT MACQUARIE on the mid north coast of NSW and got into trouble in the surf, subsequently disappearing. 
This happens time and again despite special vids on airline screens just before landing in OZ warning of SURF DANGER. The surf is not like swimming in your local pool, lake or river. Maybe it is worth-while to read my WHAT TO DO on this page "SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING"
Don't think it can't happen to you. Hell, it has happened to me many times (you can get into trouble so quickly even in what seems tame conditions: plus board riders and body surfers use rips as express routes to the "take-off zone "out the back) - but I know what to do.

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FEB 20 2019
ECONOMICS 101
WHAT MAKES NATIONS RICH.

I grew up in a poor family at PORT KEMBLA, a steelworks town south of SYDNEY. My reading was out of the public library and my favourite tome (we are talking late 50's here) was the good ol' SATURDAY EVENING POST from the USA. I used to check out those great car ads plus all the stuff available for households. Which generated the thought: HOW DO THESE PEOPLE AFFORD THIS STUFF - HOW COME AMERICA IS SO WEALTHY?
So when I later got the chance to study ECONOMICS I grabbed the chance - specifically for the answer to this issue.

This is what I came up with -
NATIONS CAN BE WEALTHY IF THEY HAVE:
- an abundance of natural resources
- an educated, skilled workforce (including management) with a thriving work ethic.
- a stable framework of governance and law
- no shortage of investment funds and incentive.

Can nations do the job without one of these? Well Singapore has done alright without lotsa natural resources, simply because of its freakish positioning ideal for entrepot trade. And certain fairly ordinary European countries managed to steal their colonies' resources when lacking their own - we could argue some are still fighting a rearguard having lost their colonies. Some people will mention Switzerland which managed to convince the world they were somehow better at minding people's/corporations' money than most (although I think the place has a lot more going for it - plus they were smart enough to stay out of last century's 2 major wars).

BACK TO THE USA 
This staying out of both world wars thing was PART instrumental - they came in relatively late being owed heaps by early participants - and their GEOGRAPHICAL ISOLATION meant they did not suffer the catastrophic infrastructure damage of Europe.

A FURTHER USA ADVANTAGE
One thing missing from all the above points I've come to realize fairly recently - THE USA HAS ALWAYS HAD A BIG GROUP OF WORKING POOR WHO MADE THE COST OF PRODUCTION IN LABOUR-INTENSIVE AREAS VERY COMPETITIVE. 
Probably started with slavery. Then the influx of Europe's working poor. More recently largely Asian and Latino. Plus we must mention the help of INTERNAL MIGRATION - the movement of millions of low cost mainly black workers out of the south to jobs in the north-east industrial zones post civil war and the more recent wave of desperate "OKIES" from the drought-ravaged mid-west to the fields of California's Central Valley.

ELSEWHERE - this is an advantage other advanced economies lack: Europe, Australia, Canada etc have STRONG MINIMUM WAGE laws which make a mockery of the USA's farcically minimalist, piecemeal regulations and enforcement.
But in somewhat of an irony, today;s developing Asian and Latin American competitors have EVEN LOWER WAGES than USA's working poor - and with modern technology transfer/piracy and the international flow of investment being what they are, these are the places killing American competitiveness.

REPUBLICAN TURMOIL
The scene must be annoying an important section of Republican Supporters - the BUSINESS LOBBY. This sector depends on a big supply of low cost labour - but here is leader TRUMP trying to lower immigration both legal and illegal - the major current source of working poor.
As Jack Reacher would say: "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR".


BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

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FEB 212019
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

Yesterday's Jack Reacher "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR" quote reminded me of many current demands which tend to have unintended consequences that will worsen other areas of concern. Often the public's wants are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.
The classic is the un-ending demand for more government spending on transport, hospitals, schools, social services vs. the constant call for lower taxes and reduced government borrowing. Recently we had in Australia the rising angst of  increasing house prices pushing them out of the reach of younger Australians to be replaced by fears of falling wealth as soon as the prices turned south. Those new freeways are terrible, but we want a lower road toll and ever decreasing transport costs of goods and services. The cities are too big spatially, we have the blight of urban sprawl - but the same people seem to be constantly bellyaching about the increase of high rise residential in existing areas. And yes, here in Australia migration is out of control, adding to the problems in housing, hospital, schools and a bunch of other things - but we  welcome the boost to economic growth migration brings. Not to mention the fuzzy warm feeling of supporting all those refugees escaping draconian regimes. Another is the creeping nanny state ("THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW AGAINST THAT!"/"THE GOVT HAS TO STEP IN AND TAKE ACTION!!") vs the erosion of personal freedom and the abrogation of common sense. 


BLISS IS ONE MORE REGULATION AWAY

The latest is a worry about excessively small growth in average wages creating economic stagnation yet a short time ago Australia's average wage growth was making us un-competitive.

MY TAKE - some of the above worries are warranted but proponents must be aware there is a cost involved and not bellyache when the negatives kick-in. And if a whinger is moaning about 2 issues that are mutually exclusive, they should grow a brain and shut the fuck up.

---------------------------------------------



INTERNET SOFT PORN

YOUNG LADIES - DON'T DO IT!!
Been doing some research (hur hur hur) on internet share-foto girlie sites. Not a bad area for the desperates and dateless of this world. 
I have come to the conclusion that much of the stuff shown is REVENGE PORN - some poor sweetie is so in lurv that she gets talked into posing for, or emailing to him, some hot shots. There is a delay until the relationship ends, often with acrimony, and then the pix get sent to friends and internet sites. In other cases the misogynistic boyfriend sends them to his mates immediately, where they get shared around and quickly make it to the girlie sites. 

Pic altered to suite Google Ads' (and some readers') sensitivities

What can I say about the above shot? Young ladies, do you want 73yo sleazes like me (or worse) checking yer bits out? Do you want family, friends, workmates, prospective partners/employers finding this? No matter how much you lurv him, DON'T DO THIS!! 
Of course there are many other scenarios whereby these shots get taken and sent - but no matter how much alky, how daring and bad girl you are feeling, D0 NOT DO THIS!!

And I won't even start on INTERNET SEX TAPES.

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BULLSHIT IO1 
ALL GOVERNMENT DEBT IS BAD

Seems the flavour of the new millennium - any government debt is bad!! "I mean you wouldn't run yer household like that - racking up debt". EXCEPT - this is exactly what households do. Show me the young household hasn't got a MORTGAGE - owes the bank a motza.

Here's the thing - UNSUSTAINABLE GOVT DEBT is definitely bad. What is this? - a level of debt which is gonna be difficult to pay off in the future. The sort of debt that 2nd/3rd rate Euro economies plus many 3rd world countries have racked up. In the past this was considered a certain % of debt to GDP (the nation's output of good and services) but these days that has been relaxed: as long as a nation can meet interest payments on debt - NO WORRIES. Trouble is there's a bunch of nations currently finding this difficult.
Fortunately Australia's debt to GDP ratio is one of the lowest of advanced economies. The USA is not looking too hot however.



DON'T CONFUSE GOVT DEBT WITH EXTERNAL DEBT OR FOREIGN DEBT.
For a start, govt debt is owed both within the country and to external lenders. 
External debt or foreign debt is ALL DEBT, owed by both government and private entities (mainly corporations) to overseas lenders. A further distinction is NET FOREIGN DEBT which subtracts what is owed to the home country.

BEWARE - people with an agenda like to scare the hell out of unwitting punters by quoting the trillions of dollars of GROSS Foreign Debt whereas NET Foreign Debt is the significant statistic and for many countries is much lower.

Here's the gospel:
1-  AS LONG AS GOVT AND PRIVATELY RAISED FOREIGN DEBT IS USED TO BUILD PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY ALL IS GOOD. Trouble is too many indebted countries are using borrowed money to build " TROPHY STUFF" like sports stadiums, presidential palaces yada or on UNPRODUCTIVE THINGS like financing pensions, govt-workers' wage increases and similar.
2  If the borrowed money is used to finance thing that can be used by future generations it is only fair that future generations also help pay for them. The emotive nonsense you hear: "THEY ARE RACKING UP DEBT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL HAVE TO PAY" is complete rubbish. They will get the benefit of the spending (as long as it is for productive stuff as above) so why shouldn't they pay some? For most of my life I was helping to repay the loan on the Sydney Harbour Bridge - built long before I was born. But I used the bridge every now and then, so why not?

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MARCH 01/2019 - TRUMP AND BREXIT UPDATE - KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD.


Seems both the Great Negotiator and poor ol' Theresa have been doing the typical politician's thing - not making a decision right now but kicking it down the road to some time in the future.

MASTER NEGOTIATOR....NOT!!! - the TANTRUM IN CHIEF promised us a new paradigm as far as international negotiations were concerned, But concerning his dealings with KOREAN PEACE TALKD + CHINESE TRADE NEGOTIATION it has been the same old stuff - can't come to an agreement right now so what we are gonna do is talk about it in the future.
Now this is the guy who promised to CLEAR THE SWAMP - but the favoured negotiating tactic of swamp denizens pre-Trump was to kick negotiations down the road....Nothing's changed.
OK - I know NEGOTIATIONS 101 has "STEP A - walk out the door." Even unsophisticated dudes like me has always walked in auto and other big purchases the last 30 years. But we are expecting more from a MASTER NEGOTIATOR.



BREXIT - it seems at this time Miss T is hoping if she kicks the can further down the road as far as exit is concerned, something's going to give - maybe those European dicks will cave (unlikely), maybe someone in her own party or the opposition (nearly as unlikely).
The world waits with a sense of SCHADENFREUDE. This is getting good.



--------------------------------------------------


THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH - March 03 2010

Even the proverbial pet shop parrot is raving about the need for better health facilities/schools/public transport/social sevices yada. 
BIG PROBLEM - the parrot and the general public thinks all these things should be FREE!!!
They don't wanna pay for them.
HERE'S MY TAKE - if I was a politician I could point out that I could provide all these things BUT they will need an increase in taxation** to pay for them.
(** um, definitely some could be paid for by GOVT BORROWING - but I have already mentioned how this is considered in the current politico/economic era as NOT ON.
And as I said, this is STUPID reasoning.)
If I was a politician making that sort of promise, I wouldn't be a politician for long. Everyone wants this stuff for free - OR, they want someone else to pay for it....


MIDDLE INCOME WELFARE


So who are these SOMEONE ELSES?
- THE GOVT: everyone know that the govt wastes money. So all we have to do is cut this waste and it will pay for EVERYTHING. 
SORRY - despite being my mum's answer to all the wrongs in the world. this will not go near financing the needed expenditure. See my bit down page on cutting govt waste.
- THE (AUSTRALIAN) MIDDLE CLASSES - in the past,AUST governments, in order to get re-elected, have wasted billions of dollars on MIDDLE CLASS WELFARE. The current LABOR OPPOSITION PARTY is proposing to reverse some of this in order to finance the things we need - you should see/hear the opposition to these moves. NEVER GET BETWEEN A MIDDLE CLASS RETIREE AND HIS/HER ENTITLEMENTS.  
Indeed.
CUTTING RETIREES' unworthy ENTITLEMENTS is part of TEZZA'S ANSWER!!

- the other part is PAY MORE TAXES. 
Now as a small income earner I think I don't pay enough taxes, so I reckon all those higher than me can afford to pay a bit more - particularly top income earners with their tax minimising TRUST FUNDS + their HIGH PAID TAX LAWYERS. Maybe they should pay a LOT more considering some pay zero tax or near.....Um, make that zero or near INCOME TAX on account these dudes are big spenders and play plenty in SALES/GST/VALUE ADDED - or whatever their nation's version is. 
BUT HERE'S THE THING - I pay plenty of GST - and a lot higher proportion of my income. And as said above, even though a small income earner, I reckon I should pay some income tax too. So those high income earners should definitely by paying more.

Of course personal taxes are just part of tax revenue - and there is plenty of evasion and cheating going on in the area of BUSINESS TAX. Businesses must pay more tax too.





-------------------------------------------


MARCH 13 2019 - THE DUMBING DOWN OF EDUCATION
I've mentioned up page that when I got my degree I was one of the so-called "top**" 0.5% of school beginners to eventually graduate university - how university was hard to get into and even harder to graduate from. 
How things change - today, EVERYONE can do university++, but in reality anyone in the top 60% the average of school beginners can graduate. Which must mean things have been dumbed down (as a school and TAFE teacher for 35 years I can tell you that 60% of average school beginners includes a lot of very ordinary intellects. Hell this is a RANT - it includes quite a lot of DUMB-ARSES).



 HOW FAR DUMBED-DOWN? Well I think in Australia it depends on the course - medical and legal areas are still very rigorous but human arts courses way easier - ditto unfortunately teaching, and all those applied sciences like engineering, architecture yada. Some would say the high proportion of foreign students (some of whom have hopeless English language and writing skills) signing up for the latter help dumb-down the scene. But on their own, the lower cohort of Australian born students are doing pretty well.

**"top half-percent sounds pretty elitist but let me assure you I am no great intellect. From an illegal look at my school record when the careers adviser left the room, I know my IQ is no great shakes at 15 points above average, far below my class-mates who also had a peak. But I had the ability to be cram great amounts of info just before an exam, remember it for just long enough and to reproduce it in very good essays - multiple-choice exams were not a big deal back in the day.

++the problem with today is that tutoring fees tend to be fairly high and must be repaid over time - a HECS debt. (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) and there are way fewer alternatives like SCHOLARSHIPS. The short period of FREE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION under the WHITLAM GOVERNMENT is long gone - in fact it was a bit late for me, but I was lucky getting a high enough Higher School Certificate result to be awarded a COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIP and a TEACHERS' SCHOLARSHIP, both to university. 
The former was insufficient for students from poor families so I took the TEACHERS'. Only problem - I had to sign on to be a teacher for a minimum of 5 years (and take subjects making me less suitable for private enterprise after those 5 years). 
Because of these scholarships, high school teachers came largely from the smart kids of poor families in that era. Today the scholarships are pretty scarce and  teacher training is mainly HECS financed - the smart kids from poor families see a much better future in becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers etc leaving teaching to the also-rans, and so teaching has also been dumbed down.


ALL IS NOT LOST
This knocking of the younger generation and decrying falling educational standards is hardly new. Greek and Roman philosophers were doing it. Shakespeare has several references. Yet the world has survived - in fact plenty would say it's heaps better these days. When asked what was the best time to be alive in my 73 years, my answer is "NOW".

I don't think the present older generations should feel at all smug. A dispassionate look at the past hundred years suggests my generation and the one before have largely stuffed up big time. To mention a few cluster-fucks:
- The partition of the MIDDLE EAST which has led to the current snafu.
- The partition of EUROPE which led to WW1 and WW2 and COLD WAR tensions.
- The ENVIRONMENT including GLOBAL WARMING
- The MISMANAGEMENT OF GAINS FROM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT which has seen the rise of far-right wing demagogues who claim to have the answer to all losers' problems.
I could go on - you can probably think of a few of your own.

Thing is, I believe the current younger generation is aware of these stuff ups and is better armed to do something about them. I'm optimistic of the future.


------------------------------------



QUOTE OF THE DAY - MARCH 13 2019

"The (NSW) Premier's office is overpopulated with Young Turks who have no understanding of what real people are thinking because they lack life  experience."
Take that youngsters! 
Take that Premier!


Not quite what the quote had in mind

BULLSHIT WAS ALL THE BAND COULD PLAY (to the tune of COLONEL BOGEY)
The above quote was in the Sydney Morning Herald's CBD column, attributed to "....one Liberal MP". Yep, he's bagging his own leader - nothing new in Australian politics of late. 
But even though we center-left readers love seeing disharmony in the center-right ranks, I wonder just how authentic the quote is. I mean  "....one Liberal MP" is real vague. 
As someone once said: "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story".
Maybe THE TRUMPSTER sums it up better. FAKE NEWS!

MY TAKE - irrespective of the accuracy of the so called quoter, I think there's a certain amount of truth in the danger of surrounding yourself with all young advisers. Any politician worth his/her salt should be taking advice from both old-experienced people who have been there, done that AND younger hot shots with all the confidence and new skills of youth.

---------------------------------------------------------


FROM WANKER!! TO WHATEVER - MARCH 14 2019

Reading over this blog, I have come to the conclusion that it is a bit short on RANTING. My general approach is more middle of the road ----the WHATEVER of above. This is no doubt the result of the common mellowing of age, how the passing years develop perspective, how former hard lines on issues tend to get softened over time. But I confess that a certain forgiveness has to be worked on - I do look at some fuckwit fashions, fads and happenings and the first reaction is ....WANKERS! Then the training to accept differences cuts in and I change it to ....WHATEVER.

I mean, there is a sizable demographic gets its kick from FINE DINING or THE COFFEE CULTURE. I look at these people spending a small fortune on stuff doesn't look any better than  LADY TEZZA can do at 10% the cost, and my first reaction is ....WANKERS!! But hell, if someone gets a kick out of fine food or coffee why shouldn't they be devotees (and face it - getting extra pleasure from such a basic thing as sustenance is not wasted time)  any less than people who spend lots of their income on cars, sports, art or clothes? No doubt a lot of them would look at my passions for BUDGET TRAVEL and being a general CHEAPSKATE, and think....FUCKWIT!!


FINE DINING - $44 for THAT? - WANKERS!!

CHEAPSKATE TEZZA buses into MATARANKA HOT SPRINGS on a GREYHOUND out of DARWIN, stays in his (leaky**) $15 dollar K Mart tent - FUCKWIT!!

** hence under cover of the group lecture shelter: sunny in shot but each night had epic T -STORMS

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MARCH 19 2019 - THE PROSTITUTION OF NEWSPAPER TRAVEL SUPPLEMENTS

I have used and written for several newspaper travel sites in the past. No more - they will not accept my contributions. say they don't accept unsolicited stuff any more and publish shit like: "THE WRITER STAYED AT HOTEL X AS THE GUEST OF Y TRAVEL BOARD AND Z AIRWAYS". And we expect IMPARTIAL reviews from these dudes?
They might as well rewrite PRESS RELEASES. Which sadly they already do.


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MARCH 21 2019 - THE YUPPIFYING OF TRAVEL
The above bit on the prostitution of travel supplements leads on to how travel these days is dominated by information and venues likely to appeal mostly to upmarket YUPPIES. Travel articles are full of trips to exotic places, staying in top grade accommodation and naturally eating up a storm - all to appeal to cashed-up middle classes and affluent retirees. These dudes fly BUSINESS CLASS ONLY (while ol' TEZZA is hunched up in cattle class at a third of the price), stay in some $500 a night SAFARI TENT at BURKINA FASO. Where to get a grossly-overpriced meal in OUAGADOUOGOUE ?? - these dudes will know.

Ben has just realized the SAFARI TENT at DUEX BALES NATIONAL PARK was maybe not such a good deal after all.

.... and CAMERON is considering that drunken meal in OUAGADOUOGOUE was perhaps a bit over the top. 

I'm not sure how I feel about this - maybe EXCLUDED sums it up best. A long time traveller like me rubs shoulders with all these neophytes been to exotic, out of the way places at no expense - makes me feel a tad inferior.    

-------------------------------------------------------


THE YUPPIFYING OF EVERYTHING

Here's the thing. Seems EVERYTHING these days is on what I would classify as a HIGH END YUPPY type standard. The streets are full of upmarket cars - MERCS, BEEMERS, AUDIES, LEXI. The best sellers right now are dual cab utes - things like the TOYOTA HILUX - doesn't sound too flash but a dual cab with a bit of bling is gonna set you back mid $40k minimum. Not hard to spend $70k or more (currently farmers are moaning about a federal govt plan to limit tax deductions for smaller road vehicles to $100k, Say what? What kinda smaller road vehicles are they buying??)  Tezza blanches at spending $20k on his Korean mid size fuel sipping sedan.
Doesn't stop there - EVERYONE under 60 has to have the 4 bedroom show home with ducted aircon, marble benches, Norwegian appliances and other mod-cons.
And all that other PRODUCT - can't get by without the top end phone/tablet/laptos/game machines yada
And as I say up page, the ol' holiday in the family tent down at  ULLADULLA doesn't cut it anymore - let's try the upmarket SAFARI TENT in BURKINA FARSO's DEUX BALES NATIONAL PARK..

Yuppies are into dogs big time - and their pooches are kinda yuppy.

WHAT I FORGET - Yuppies were an 80s thing - stood fer YOUNG URBAN PROFESSIONALS. 
So naturally things these trend-setters were adopting back then have become MAINSTREAM 25+years later. Only trouble is the current users decry the expense - say they can't keep up with THE COST OF LIVING. 
Now OL' TEZZA can remember  the post WW2 years of shortages of everything and so can easily survive without all this PRODUCT on a lower than Australian-average income - it's easy to decry the present complaints - but people of my generation are basing our judgments on A DIFFERENT TIME. As EMILIO ESTEVEZ  would say: THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW.

Yeah, but that was then. This is now.

WHICH MAYBE EXPLAINS WHY NEARLY EVERYONE IS CRYING POOR....
'
.... more on this later under the heading: YOU AIN'T REALLY DOING IT TOUGH.

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MARCH 23 2019 - THE STATE ELECTIONS

The NSW state elections are today. It's a contest between the sitting government, the center-right coalition the LIBERAL/NATIONALS**  and the major opposition, the center-left LABOR.
It's 1701 - just less than an hour before voting closes so no-one knows the result. Made harder by pre-polling which presented a 50:50 situation.
MY TAKE - I'm an ideological LABOR voter given my working class/poor background, but I have to admit I helped vote the COALITION into government back in 2011 - LABOR was completely on the nose with mega-corruption scandals.
Today I don't care too much. The COALITION hasn't been a bad government with a very strong record of INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT in terms of roads and railways. Naturally there have been protests from the usual suspects - show me any big project where there are not losers who these days know how to scream blue murder (BLUE? - what's that mean? What's the difference between ordinary murder and BLUE MURDER??) There have been a few miss-steps: the idea of tearing down 2 OK sporting stadiums for new was pretty stupid in a state crying for new schools and hospitals. And there were the usual SNOUTS IN THE TROUGH and APPEALING TO THE BIG END OF TOWN scandals. 
Their leader, NSW Premier GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN is pretty good - not pretentious, not a "babe", and low on bullshit. Has looked most uncomfortable when advisers (no doubt male) have urged her to go the mongrel. Gladys does not do the mongrel well.

Glady's is no babe - the daughter of Armenian immigrants she is pretty genuine and hard working.

My major problem with the COALITION is how they've financed all this infrastructure - a combination of SELLING OFF STATE ASSETS and (proven as a failure)  STATE-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS. As an economist I'm a fan of neither. 
Oh yeah, they also got a bucket-load of cash from the end of the real-estate boom, which has finished for the time being. Dumb luck - but any party in power could have had it.

Psst! Wanna buy a power station - one government owner since new. No encumbrances - join the OLIGOPOLY of other formerly govt owned power suppliers in bamboozling the public with bullshit power plans.

The LABOR LEADER, MICHAEL DALEY is pretty good too. But he has some baggage as a former union leader and local politician, and tripped up a few times in the last week of electioneering.

Get back to you in a few hours with the result. Hopefully. Experts are picking a TIED election which will take several days of negotiation with minor parties to determine who governs.

**How can a center-RIGHT party call itself LIBERAL? Well this goes back to the days of formation where they were presenting themselves as alternative to HARD RIGHT parties - some of their ideas were indeed liberal - trouble is these days policies have drifted to the right to the point where the party is more CONSERVATIVE than LIBERAL.

2330 - not gonna stay out of the sack any longer. With less than half the vote counted it looks like the COALITION will hang on - maybe just enough to form a minority government - but certainly experts agree LABOR'S result has been disappointing.

UPDATE 
- maybe I should have stayed tuned in a little longer - apparently LABOUR leader DALEY conceded defeat at 2330. Results at close of counting a few hours later had THE COALITION losing only one seat to LABOUR, another few in doubt and losing a few in the country to minority party SHOOTERS AND FISHERS. Not enough losses to force a minority government.
I'm not too upset despite my ideological leanings - I'm not too sure LABOR could do a better job. Maybe they deserve another term in opposition given their hopelessness last time in state government.

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APRIL 3 2019 - THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL GOVT BUDGET

IT'S DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

It doesn't seem all that long ago when JOHN HOWARD'S Liberal/National Party govt (center-right), desperate for a lift in the polls for an imminent election, offered in the national budget bribes of big tax cuts, cash-handouts and a whole raft of MIDDLE CLASS and RETIREES' WELFARE measures. I thought it the biggest economic cop-out of recent times - here was a govt flush with tax funds from the MINING BOOM pissing a large amount of it up against the wall in order to BRIBE voters to re-elect it. And it worked. 
Fast forward nearly 20 years and the coalition is trying it on again. Last night's federal budget contained similar tax cuts and cash handouts in an effort to bribe voters to re-elect SCOTT MORRISON'S Liberal/National Party coalition (which is frankly on the nose) despite earlier promises to "bank any upturn in tax receipts to reduce government debt"
Experts say they can afford to do this because of an unexpected upturn in tax receipts from mineral exports, although Scottie claims it is all down to money saved due to their "better economic management". Few mention that this minerals  upturn is expected to be short lived.. 
At least the paying down government debt is something Howard did - but there was so much more he could have been done with the tax bribe money - health, transport, education, defence, social services and many other things at the time were screaming for more government money.


WHAT I DON'T GET .... is how punters think this is a winner. Surely they must realize all the opposition has to do is offer the same tax cuts from the same revenue source. As a matter of fact the LABOR opposition is expected to offer MORE - because they will have a bigger source of funds after they abolish/reduce some controversial coalition vote-buyers introduced in the HOWARD era, including NEGATIVE GEARING deductions, CAPITAL GAINS TAX deductions and DIVIDEND IMPUTATION refunds. If they sound a bit complicated you are right - the AUSTRALIAN TAX SYSTEM is a complex mess.

BULLSHIT WAS ALL THE BAND COULD PLAY - PART 2. 
The Coalition has always claimed THEY ARE THE BETTER ECONOMIC MANAGERS.
Say What???? Their record over the past 30 years is abysmal. We have HOWARD pissing the gains from the 90's MINING BOOM up against the wall, and recent Coalition governments failing to reduce the FEDERAL GOVT DEFICIT, despite claims they could do it in the first year of being re-elected. Now Scottie is going to piss gains from this 2018/19 mini-mining boom up against the wall in order to get re-elected. 

Contrast that with LABOR'S RECORD. The best budget manager in the post-war period was LABOR Treasurer PAUL KEATING (ably supported by his Prime Minister BOB HAWKE) who waltzed so many top reforms thru parliament: THE FLOATING OF THE AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR, DECOUPLING of the choking WAGE INDEXATION program,  an emphasis on PRODUCTIVITY GAINS, the ELIMINATION OF TARIFFS, DEREGULATING  THE FINANCIAL SECTOR, REFORMATION OF TAXATION (including the introduction of CAPITAL GAINS TAX) and  perhaps the jewel in the crown - the start of Australia's compulsory NATIONAL SUPERANNUATION (retirement incomes) SCHEME.
(OK, Keating was not perfect - on his watch we saw the start of PRIVATISATION OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESSES and a period of 17% INTEREST RATES [I had a house mortgage at the time - with a few useful strategies in both paying this and placement of savings I survived quite well], As FERRIS BUELLER never said: "EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING"]).

Also a class act was a subsequent LABOR treasurer, WAYNE SWAN, who was way better than many judge++. When the GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS hit, he rushed thru reduced taxation, a cash splash and some stimulatory govt infrastructure spending. Good ol' Keynsian stimulatory measures. "Rushed" is the key - if these things are to work they have to be done immediately and with emphasis. "GO EARLY AND GO HARD" was the advice. Worked a charm - AUSTRALIA WAS THE ONLY OECD COUNTRY TO AVOID RECESSION AFTER THE FINANCIAL CRASH.
++many but not all. Leading European finance/banking magazine EUROMONEY declared SWAN the WORLD'S BEST FINANCE MINISTER FOR 2011 for his handling of the Australian economy. On reflection, maybe the competition was not all that hot - we had that over-rated dimbulb ALAN GREENSPAN in charge of the FED at the time and Europe's financial ministers were those idiots got tied in a knot over the GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS soon after.

THE COALITION BETTER ECONOMIC MANAGERS??
Consider the following: 
- Howard and his treasurer Peter Costello were in power in Australia's golden mining boom years - even the pet shop parrot could successfully run a surplus budget in those conditions and have money left over.
- a lot of Australia's economic strength in those years was built on the back of the economic reforms of predecessors KEATING and HAWKE. 
- as said, a lot of the government's booty from the mining boom was pissed up against the wall by the Coalition's great economic managers in order to get re-elected.
- after a period in opposition, a new Coalition government came into power in 2014, but they too were economic midgets, promising to remove the budget deficit in the very first year, but failing to do this every year since. The latest budget is the first one that actually manages a surplus, but that could prove very rubbery. 
- since in power, government debt has grown every year to the present $34B, but as said, instead of banking any current increases in tax receipts to reduce this debt as promised, they too are pissing it up against the wall in electoral bribing tax cuts.
- despite the claim to superior economic management, the present state of the economy is not good. Wage growth is tiny, GDP growth almost stagnant, investment in the doldrums, consumer expectations poor, house prices (and thus animal spirits) falling.
You must also remember that because of Wayne Swan's swift action in the GFC, Australia's economy started this period off a higher base than those overseas. And yet "the great economic managers" haven't managed to keep this advantage.

JOHN HOWARD - BEST PRIME MINISTER EVER??


Nah, far from best PM - but yeah, have to admit BEST PM FOR GETTING RE-ELECTED.
Howard was a hell of a politician - knew how to ring the bells of the ordinary voter. My problem is SO MUCH WAS DISHONEST. Like all these TAX CUTS/MIDDLE INCOME+ RETIREE HAND OUTS to win votes. Not to mention his NATIONAL SECURITY SCARES - he joined in with the WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION scare, not to mention the THROW THEIR CHILDREN INTO THE SEA bullshit which turned so many Aussie voters against BOAT ARRIVING REFUGEES.
But as he clung to power with these dishonest schemes his government didn't do much in the areas of HEALTH, EDUCATION, SOCIAL SERVICES, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT. His govt was pissing too much money with tax bribes and middle class welfare etc.

THE BIG KAHUNA - but history will judge HOWARD kindly. On account of his GUN BUYBACK/BAN after the PORT ARTHUR MASSACRE in '96. And yep, I admire him for this in the face of his Coalition allies, the NATIONAL PARTY - made up of farmers and rural town voters who are naturally pro-guns. Brave move - and it worked.
Fair enough.

PETER COSTELLO - BEST TREASURER EVER??? (trust me some idiots are saying this).
Costello was (and is) a WIMP. He never had the courage to stand up to Howard's more outrageous fiscal schemes (Keating was never slow in telling his sometimes over-enthusiastic PM Hawke to shove it up his jumper). Many praise Costello in being able to balance the budget, reduce govt debt and start the FUTURE FUND. Trust the experts - even the pet shop parrot could have done that in an economy bursting at the seems with tax receipts from the MINING BOOM.
Costello continued to wimp it out - in the dying days of Howard, he never had the ticker to challenge for the leadership. Even today, as CHAIRMAN OF THE FUTURE FUND (no this is not one of those sensible NATIONAL WEALTH FUNDS ala NORWAY aimed at preserving some of the nation's present bonus earnings from resources for future use, but a fund to finance FUTURE PUBLIC SERVICE RETIREMENTS) he refuses to allocate some of the funds into INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT LOANS, instead relying almost solely on SHARE MARKET INVESTMENTS (so far the best returning area, but in the future??) 
mmm - dude looks like Costello, his head-sitting mate like Howard

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APRIL 05/2019 - LABOR'S ALTERNATIVE BUDGET.
Last night BILL SHORTEN, Labor leader, gave his budget reply. As expected, he matched the Coalition's immediate** tax cuts and went better - extending cuts to LOW INCOME EARNERS who the Coalition ignored (after all - poor people don't vote Coalition, so why try to bribe them with a tax cut?)


WAIT - THERE'S MORE! In having such a bounty of cash from the mini minerals boom and cuts to Coalition middle income and retirees tax bribes, LABOR will have money left over for a raft of other areas. Emphasized was the LABOR stronghold of HEALTH, with huge amounts being available to fight cancer and other stuff.

RESPONSE - in general, LABOR'S alternative went down well with the financial and economic pundits. Maybe not so well with Coalition spokesmen - Finance minister MATHIUS CORMANN talks about LABOR'S "high taxing high spending record". He would say that, wouldn't he?

Sure - rich dudes plus some middle income earners (and retirees++) who should never have got HOWARD'S election bribe sweeteners will be worse off. The rest - way better.

**some Coalition proposed tax cuts don't cut in until 5 or even 10 years' time - which all experts say is PIE IN THE SKY. Sensibly, Shorten won't go there.

++you gotta remember I'm a retiree. I figure I have done well out of HOWARD/COSTELLO largess (make hay while the sun shines) - and I will survive ok without (bonus times don't last forever but anyone with half a brain can adapt back to NORMAL TIMES).

SO FROM WHERE COMES THIS BULLSHIT ABOUT LABOR BEING POOR MONEY MANAGERS/HANDLERS OF THE ECONOMY??
From the WHITLAM LABOR GOVT OF THE 70S! Thing was, these dudes after 23 years in opposition went about govt like bulls in a china shop. Spent like crazy - tried to buy back the farm (govt debt and assets) with borrowings from some dodgy middle eastern petro-financed loan shark.
Now I have quite a lot of admiration for GOFF WHITLAM - but yeah, his govt wasn't exactly the model for fiscal rectitude.
THING IS THAT WAS 45 YEARS AGO - the COALITION is still clinging to this??


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STATE OF THE ECONOMY - APRIL 11 2019
The Global Economy - headwinds everywhere. Seems like this China/US trade thing is gonna affect future growth. 


Now the Trumpster is threatening to expand it to Euro auto exports.
And the US scene alone is unsustainable even if the external sector somehow works out ok - soon the domestic sugar hit from the tax cuts/infrastructure-defence spending is gonna end, replaced by doom and gloom as econocrats contemplate how to finance all the extra spending when taxes have  been reduced. Is Trump planning to send the US into Chapter 9?

The Aussie Economy - headwinds too. We have falling property prices causing a doom and gloom mentality, very low wage increases doing the same, all resulting in spending being lower then it should. Factor in the external thing with China - if China had a recession, Australia is in deep trouble (it's our major export market). Similarly if the US succeeds in forcing China to agree to more imports of US mining and farm products, Australia loses because that is what it supplies to China in large quantities.

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APRIL 13 2019 
LOW WAGE INCREASES AS A DRAG ON THE ECONOMY - I GET IT' BUT I DON'T GET IT.

OK - I understand how punters spoiled by the relentless big increases in wages for much of this century are less than whelmed by the present era of very small increases. So they are freaked out - and decide to buy less right now - and in the near future.
SAY WHAT??? Face the facts trendsetters, the national statistician tells us wages, although increasing slowly, have increased more than average prices, which have been increasing even slower. Which means the average punter can today buy MORE than he/she could a short time back. And a short time back they were buying up a storm. 
WHERE'S THE PROBLEM???

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APRIL 15 2019
DECREASING HOUSE PRICES - I GET IT BUT I DON'T GET IT.

For maybe a year, most Australian property prices have been declining - I GET how this makes people feel less rich, downs those all important "animal spirits" which makes them spend less because they think they are less wealthy (google the WEALTH EFFECT).


Thing is, I DON'T GET THIS - IT IS COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL. 

WHO is less wealthy? 
- Certainly not the majority of property owners who plan to hang on to their joints past this short term downturn (ALL such downturns are short term in the general phrase of time, Google post war Aussie property prices). So in the long run they are not worse off - if they decrease their general spending now they are ferkwits. 
WHERE'S THE PROBLEM??
- People selling one property to buy another. Okay, they sell for less, but they re-buy for less. WHERE'S THE PROBLEM?? Maybe people who sell AFTER buying their new joint. FERKWITS - who does that in a falling market? And there will be just as many selling BEFORE they buy the new joint.
- a very small proportion of sellers will be property investors. FERKWITS - if they can't organize their investment plans to avoid selling into a falling market they deserve to lose out. Not that they will lose out all that much. Unless they bought only a few months back  (and only idiots buy property for a short term gain) their investment  will still be showing a handsome gain in price, way more than could have been gained from alternative investments.
- and as far as those investors who are so leveraged they are gonna get caught short in a CALL - FERKWITS. One of the downsides of leveraged investment - they should know this going in.
- People who have recently bought property off the plan - ditto: one of the downsides of buying off the plan which even the pet shop parrot should know. And seeing property prices have been falling for over a year, they must have bought off the plan way back because only idiots and gamblers buy off the plan in a falling market.
-People selling property to give their kids a nest egg. Okay, the nest egg is a bit smaller, but still way way bigger than if the parents had opened a bank account/bought shares/etc for the kids.

 - Builders
Certainly builders will find things slower in the downturn. But having done so well in the long period of price growth, only the idiots would not have put something away for the inevitable reversal.

WINNERS - so as far as I can see only a few ferkwits are real losers here. But there are winners too. For years the press has been carrying on about how Australia's insane property boom has priced the average house out of reach of FIRST HOME BUYERS. Now our kids are finding their property more affordable.
Also winners are the millions of other property owners with mortgages, because in no way will lenders increase interest rates while the market is down. And interest rates are pretty low right now. Hell, we can probably extend the list of winners to ALL people who have a loan, irrespective of whether it is for property or other purposes, because the CENTRAL BANK is not gonna push rates up in a property downturn.
GETS BETTER - I just read the Aussie Reserve Bank is considering reducing interest rates because of the softness of the economy - particularly the housing market.

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YOU AIN'T REALLY DOING IT TOUGH - APRIL 20 '19

First an apology to low income earners - Australia's income distribution is less unequal than some advanced countries, but at the same time people in Australia on lower incomes are indeed doing it tough. The minimum wage is a joke and there is a growing number of employers taking on the law by paying below the minimum. The unemployment benefit is a farce -way below what the average person needs to exist.
So the "YOU" in the heading refers to people on AVERAGE INCOMES in OZ, not to mention THOSE ABOVE AVERAGE who are also moaning about how tough things are.
SAY WHAT??? Some people have no idea. 
The social and popular media are full of the well-off whiners. 
A few thoughts:
- ELECTRICITY: not cheap in Oz - apparently only GERMANY has higher prices in OCED. But this kills me when I look out the window and see all my neighbours with EVERY room in the house lit up. I walk the streets at night and hear the aircons whirring - this in a maritime climate that needs aircon maybe 10 days/nights per year - these people run it 24/7/365.


GAS - petrol is less expensive than in most advanced countries bar the US. Diesel is also cheaper including the US. But this does not stop the whiners from carrying on about how tough things are. Yet they still buy heavy SUVS etc which use at least 50% more gas than conventional family sedans. They sit them in parking lots IDLING while the aircon runs - surely this is the most expensive aircon in the world. 
On the subject of SUVS etc - EVERYTHING costs at least 50% more - registration (road tax), tyres, service, insurance. Yet the average person still buys them. FERKWITS.
- HOUSING: was a time when first home buyers went for the minimal 2/3 bedroom/single bathroom joint with the carport or (best) a single garage with the economy fit out. - do your own landscaping and fences. Now the minimum is 4 bedrooms/2 bathrooms, twin garages, aircon, Norwegian benches and appliances, full landscaping and fences.
- AND THE REST: as said up page, average people don't holiday in a tent down the coast these days, they go to some flash resort overseas. Back home they have to have all the latest STUFF - upmarket household appliances and personal communications gadgets.

I personally think expectations have got out of hand - people under 40 in OZ have NEVER experienced a recession in their adult working lives (even if they started at 15) and thus don't know about tough times. Their expectations have got all out of whack, not helped by the MINING WAGES BOOM where average wages all over Oz (not just the mining areas) reached ridiculous levels for so long (2003-2013) that workers thought this was normal. The sense of entitlement of the average income earner became equal to previous generations' high income earners.



UPDATE APRIL 24. I mentioned above the SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT of workers today. Last night on the TV news I saw some workers hassling a political candidate for more tax cuts - these dudes looked like (their uniforms) power station workers or supervisors and mentioned they were on $aud250000 a year ("many of us work overtime"). A QUARTER MILLION A YEAR!!! .... No worker or supervisor is worth this, overtime or not (the average FULL TIME INCLUDING BONUSES AND OVERTIME INCOME IN OZ was $aud85982 late 18 - maybe 2% more now ($87700) - and the experts tell us AVERAGE INCOME is misleading because it is inflated by high income earners and way higher than the one we want - the MEDIAN INCOME (where half the income earners are higher/half lower) which unfortunately GOOGLE cannot come up with.Anyway a quarter million PA is obscene..... and STILL these dudes want a tax handout! To paraphrase a comment up page "NEVER GET BETWEEN AN OVERPAID JERK AND A TAX HANDOUT".
Jeez - to our list of overpaid fat cats (CEOs, SPORTS STARS, ENTERTAINERS IN GENERAL TRUST FUND BABIES yada, we gotta add WORKERS/SUPERVISORS IN ESSENTIAL INDUSTRIES)