There was a time when Australia’s housing bubble was not much more than a curiosity. Contained mostly to Sydney it seemed it would pass with a little pop and be forgotten.
Then there was a time when the bubble went national. And suddenly the little pop was going to be a big pop so monetary and fiscal policy began to distort in support of it.
Next there was a time when moral hazard became so great that the bubble grew to engulf all policy and media, marginalising an entire generation from home ownership. Politicians routinely lied to cover the collapse in evidence based policy-making.
Finally, we come to today. When notions of managing the macro-economic levers of an economy now boil down to just one thing:
- low interest rates to prevent the housing bubble bursting;
- fiscal repair to prevent the bubble bursting, and
- mass immigration to prevent the bubble bursting even though it is crushing living standards and gutting wages.
This classic slippery slope upon which one bad policy choice cannoned directly into the next is not over. Three ridiculous further steps are being mulled that will ensure the complete selling of the nation’s soul in a vain attempt to save house prices. The first is captured by Anthony Bubalo of the Lowy Institute:
Not long ago I listened to four Australians of Chinese heritage speak at the Lowy Institute about the impact on their communities of the foreign interference question. Some of the issues they raised were similar to those articulated by Muslim Australians when they talked about the effect of terrorism on their relationship with broader society.
…The government is certainly seized of this challenge. New legislation has been passed and a new position, the National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator, has been created in the Department of Home Affairs, similar to the longer-standing position of Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.
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