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15 September 1995. Thought for the Week: "We continue to base our practices on the pursuit of growth, in a manner which is not only unsustainable, in ecological terms, but also incurs a host of other costs; growing wealth differentials .... an horrendous debt burden, the creation of an underclass in many industrialised countries, and the prospect of chronic unemployment, especially among the young, continuing indefinitely into the future."
Prince Charles, December 4th, 1991
THE GROWING HOUSING CRISIS
by Eric D. Butler
One of the most doctrinaire socialist planners of the Second World War years, Labor politician J.J. Dedman from Geelong, Victoria, became famous for his statement that he rejected any policy which would provide low cost housing for the Australian people after the war, because this would result "in a nation of little capitalists". But "the great Australian dream" has often been described as the owning of an adequate house for a family, built on a block of land large enough for both vegetable and flower gardens.
But home ownership is being gradually undermined. This process must continue under a debt financial policy which results in the desperate attempts by governments to keep inflation "controlled". It should be noted that in spite of the restrictive policies being pursued by governments and their "experts", inflation continues, even if temporarily at a slower rate.
Recently released figures reveal that while inflation continues, house prices generally across the nation have fallen. This means that the equity of large numbers of homeowners has been reduced. They are caught in a cost-price squeeze, which is forcing many to try to sell their homes, or to further reduce their standard of living.
A type of social revolution is developing. Many Australians are starting to believe that it is better to try to rent a home rather than attempt to build and own one. Spokesmen for the building industry warn of the downward trend in home building. This downward trend seriously affects all those industries associated with home building.
Federal Treasurer Willis naturally believes
that the programme he is helping to implement is essential.
But essential for what? Mr. Willis says that "It would maintain
and improve Australia's international competitiveness, ensure
the economy functioned more efficiently and keep interest
rates down ... It would also drive investment into productive
areas, such as asset purchases, rather than speculative areas".
There are no physical reasons why adequate homes cannot be built for all those Australians who wish to have their own homes. Long-term low-interest loans could be made available for home building. The general thrust of financial policy should ensure that as many Australians as possible own their own homes. This is socially as well as economically desirable.
MULTICULTURALISM - INTEGRATION OR ASSIMILATION?
by David Thompson
Late in August Professor Zubrzycki, attending a seminar on multiculturalism organised by the Galations Group, lamented that the concept of multiculturalism "has clearly gone off the rails", and was mainly derailed by politicians wooing the ethnic vote. He called for the scrapping of the term "multiculturalism", and for a renewed effort to foster respect for cultural identity of immigrants within a framework of social cohesion. "Minority groups with a non-English-speaking background must not flourish on the margin and at the expense of the total Australian society, but must be oriented towards it," he said (The Australian, 1/9/95).
Mr. John Hyde, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs, seems to share Zubrzycki's view that "multiculturalism" has "gone wrong", and charges that not only politicians, but ethnic leaders with a self-serving agenda have also exploited what amounts to an experimental policy. Hyde refers to his experience with the League when he was a Member of Parliament in rural W.A. He describes the League as "a nuisance to politicians; on the topic of money and credit it is nuts; and it is mildly racist..."
He concedes that the League has a right to express views that he and others think are wrong (which even Senator Bolkus was forced to concede) and noted that when he was in Parliament the League claimed overwhelming support for "its opposition to the then levels of immigration". At the time, says Hyde, we were wrong, but in his column (Australian, 1/9/95) he now concedes that, in essence, the League was simply ahead of public opinion, which is now increasingly anti-immigration.
ASSIMILATION A THREAT TO ETHNIC COMMUNITIES
Hyde's column drew a very sharp response from Rabbi Brian Fox, who took him to task for describing the League as "mildly racist". Fox refers, in a letter to the editor (Australian, 7/9/95) to the League's "decades-long promotion of the White Australia policy, and its frequent acts of rabid anti-Semitism..."
Fox also criticises Hyde for his interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Galations, where Paul wrote, "There is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for ye are all one in Jesus Christ". Hyde had suggested that this might be construed as Paul taking the Galations to task for cultural posturing, and that they would be judged for their individual faith, not their cultural background.
Rabbi Fox is highly critical of this - understandably, and describes it as a form of "religious imperialism", and a recipe for "the death of ethno-religious cultural diversity". He writes "... assimilation strikes at the heart of ethnic communities because, unlike integration, it will ultimately lead to their demise within two or three generations". Rabbi Fox's fears reflect the Jewish position, which regards assimilation as a threat to Judaism itself.
Professor Alan Dershowitz, the O.J. Simpson legal consultant, reminded Australia's Jewish community of this 'problem' when he visited Australia earlier in the year. He posed the question of the survival of Judaism in an age in which the Jews have no enemies to drive and hold them together. He referred to Zionist founder Theodore Herzl's famous rhetorical question of 100 years ago: "What is the Jewish answer to Christian love?"
To Jews and other ethnic communities, Christian love and acceptance of migrants is a threat to their "ethnic" and presumably religious identity. Is this why Australia's Jewish community leadership embraces the policy of multiculturalism, which has not, as Calwell envisaged, focused on social cohesion as a priority, but upon the segregation of ethnic communities at the expense of national unity?
It is unclear whether Rabbi Fox and others like him actually speak for the bulk of the Australian Jewish 'community', but the responsibility of the Christian is quite clear: extend the hand of Christian love to other groups, as Paul's message is stressing that we "are all one in Jesus Christ". That is, we are all one in the body of Christ - the unified Christian Church. Outside this, we are a bunch of warring tribes, and the conflict is simply intensified by an open-door immigration policy, and a form of multiculturalism that emphasises the ethnic differences, rather than a commitment to being Australians.
ARRIVAL OF THE GLOBAL REAL ESTATE MARKET
As we have warned in the past, commitment to the 'global market' involves dramatic changes to almost every aspect of Australian life, including industry, commerce, sport, communication and even culture. It is impossible to foresee the full extent of the information revolution, but the next phenomenon to appear is the global real estate market.
The "Head of Property" at Price Waterhouse,
Mr. Mark Davidson, writes (Weekend Australian, 26/8/95)
that property markets worldwide are on the verge of major
restructuring. "The Australian market, along with other markets,
will eventually become part of a larger global pool of commercial
property assets, traded on-line, through a highly transport
What does all this (and much more) mean? At best we are able to translate, it means that a new computer network, fed by 270 existing real estate computer information storage systems, will be created on a global scale, through which property can be bought and sold instantly. Instead of the mushrooming superannuation funds actually investing in real buildings, cattle stations, or the like, these global institutional investors will buy what amounts to secured mortgages, or equity in secured mortgages, international investors will be able to buy and sell property debts and mortgages, or portions of property mortgages, in much the same way as insurance companies share the risk in underwriting insurance for, say, ships. Except that the global investor also "hedges' his investment, meaning he also buys what amounts to an insurance policy so that he cannot lose his investment!
So the new global investor will no longer
get into his car, and go and inspect a new property (shopping
centre, vineyard, or office block) before investing. He now
sits in front of his computer, and buys and sells the mortgages
of those who "own" the shopping centre, vineyard, or office
block. This is what is described as "the virtual market of
the future". It is supposed to offer Australians the great
opportunity to break onto the world property stage. In fact
it offers us the next step into the artificial unreality of
the concept of "globalism", where nothing is tangible, everything
appears perfect, and the manipulation of the abstract becomes
an art form. Eventually, the abstract becomes "reality", and
the worship of Mammon takes over.
INTERNATIONAL BANKING STRUCTURE TREMBLES
The deepening Japanese banking crisis is a result of the 1980s amazing boom in Japanese property values, against which incredibly massive sums of money were lent by banks and other financial institutions. A financial collapse has been staved off for years but the Japanese central bank, the Bank of Japan, is having to bail out some Japanese financial institutions as the banks begin to collapse.
The 21 biggest banks in Japan will need to write off at least another ten trillion yen, and the Japanese banking structure hopes to be able to "manage" bad debts of 50 trillion yen. This is about a third of the entire annual economic output of Australia, and a whopping 15 percent of Japan's national output. The more realistic analysts believe that the Japanese, in true oriental fashion, have substantially understated the scope of the problem.
The above figures relate only to the banks. In addition to the banks, there are massive problems with credit unions, one of which (Kizu) collapsed on the same day that the Hyogo bank collapsed. Japan's agricultural co-operatives lent heavily to the housing credit unions, which in turn are now attempting to stave off collapse, having over-invested in property during the boom.
If Japan is to try to 'manage' these financial disasters in the conventional financial way, this will have a substantial effect on Japanese trading partners, like Australia. The Japanese banks will cut right back on lending, causing an economic slump in Japan. The Japanese will undoubtedly be strongly encouraged to save more, with the deposits used to act as an insurance against banking collapses. Higher savings mean less consumption in Japan, perhaps less Japanese tourism, etc.
Countries like Australia, which depend more and more on tourism and increasing exports, and are gradually becoming further committed to the "global market" are unable to insulate themselves from the financial policies pursued in Japan during the 1980s. We had no control over such policies at the time, and cannot escape suffering the consequences now. Such is the "global market".
The chilling assessment of western analysts in Tokyo is that they hope the banking crisis can be 'managed' without the system collapsing altogether. Never has an understanding of banking and finance been more important.
SOROS ON DERIVATIVES
Billionaire financial "genius" and pioneer of "hedge funds", George Soros, is one of the world's most spectacular currency speculators. He almost single handedly destroyed the value of the British pound, and forced its withdrawal from the European Monetary System by dumping the pound when the Bank of England could not buy enough to underwrite its value.
But Soros, having seen what can happen with currency speculation should be banned altogether. It was derivatives trading that brought down Barings Bank, and California's Orange County. It is speculation in currency, the worship of the abstract that is destroying large portions of the real economy - productive enterprises that actually exist in the real world.
MONETARY UNION WILL LEAD TO WAR
In Brussels a senior official in the European Commission faces dismissal for his view that the single European currency is a "dangerous confidence trick", and could lead to war. Mr. Bernard Connolly will publish a book in Britain this month, in which he argues that full-scale monetary union in Europe could trigger a power struggle between France and Germany for European domination, which eventually could lead to military conflict.
The European Commission is badly shaken by Mr. Connolly's predictions, because for the last six years, he has been the head of the E.C. unit in charge of the European monetary system. Excerpts from the book, The Rotten Heart of Europe, have been published by The Times in London, and have set off major tremors throughout the European ministries. Mr. Connolly faces dismissal because although he is entitled to "dissenting views", he is expected to keep them within the Commission, and he did not seek permission to write a book about it. So much for free speech in the new world order!
It seems to be more important to silence Mr. Connolly than to analyse and prevent the threat of war. No wonder the French think they need nuclear military protection in the new European Union.
DEMIDENKOfrom Herald Sun, "50/50", 31/8
"Amid the furore about the Demidenko/Darville case, it's worth asking if the same fuss, and demand for an apology, would be raised for a novel that denigrated Christianity or our Anglo-Saxon heritage"?
(Geoff Muirden, Secretary, Australian Civil Liberties Union, Melbourne)
P.M's RACE ACTfrom The Australian, 1/9
"For nine years I have lived in South Africa and my I.D. document classified me as a European because that's exactly what I am regardless of place of birth and where I live on this earth. 'Now, under Australia's new 'race classification act', Mr. Keating tells me I am 'not a European any more' (A.B.C. news, 18/8). Looks like I am now a non-European. How could Pretoria get it so wrong? They were supposed to be the experts in this field."
(Michael Fulano, Mount Isa, Qld.)
SLACK MEMORYfrom The Australian, 1/9
"Malcolm Fraser, when asked in an A.B.C. interview why he now favoured a republic, answered that the behaviour of the younger members of the royal family left a lot to be desired. Malcolm must have had a memory lapse about losing his trousers in a motel."
(Frank Crichlow, Qld.)
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