Stilgherrian’s links for 23 April 2009, presented with perfectly-pointed toes:
- A Cyber-Attack on an American City | Bruce Perens: On 9 April, people unknown decided to cut the eight fibre optic cables serving the northern Californian city of Morgan Hill. This essay outlines the risks.
- Upbeat office culture fake and creepy, says Alain de Botton | News.com.au: While I’m perhaps jealous of Alain de Botton’s ability to make a living out of this kind of pop philosophy, but he’s got a point.
- Australia’s top 100 Journalists and news media people on Twitter | the earley edition: At least Dave Earley says, “That post title is utter bollocks and mere linkbait. This list does not in any way rank influence, importance or interest, and it contains far more than 100 people. It is also not ‘exhaustive’, since there’s no way I could find and list everyone, just exhausting.”
- Home ownership: real estate dream ‘becoming a complicated nightmare’ | theage.com.au: Hear hear! “For the record, rent money is not dead money. Renters are paying for a service — shelter and protection from the cold. Hardly wasted money. Worse, the deriding of rent as ‘dead money’ incorrectly implies that money spent on mortgage interest payments is somehow ‘alive money’, or a useful investment. Last time I checked, a mortgage holder with a $300,000 mortgage pays $1400 a month in interest payments straight to the pockets of those same banking chiefs we all say we despise.”
At some point we will have to stop blaming John Winston Howard for every problem we face. For the moment, though, it does seem that whenever we lift the lid on some important issue we find something smelly whose cause was inaction or ineptitude on JHo’s watch.
Yesterday it was how we’re stuck with the Super Hornets thanks to “a lack of sound, long-term… planning decisions by the former Government over the course of the last decade”. Today let’s look at Chairman Rudd’s theme of the week, housing affordability.
It’s now more expensive to live in Sydney than in New York.
[P]roperty prices have jumped 400 per cent since 1986, while income has increased by only 120 per cent.
The mysterious but awesomely-brained Possum Comitatus explains how he ran the numbers, leading to this graph.
It’s worth reading the full analysis, but his conclusion is blunt:
[R]eal house prices remained virtually frozen over the period from 1990 through to 2000. It wasn’t until Howard started stuffing around with halving the capital gains rate and things like the first home buyers grant that real house prices started to accelerate…
It also highlights in real terms just how much the NSW market has dropped over the last couple of years.
Possum’s going to look at our policy options in part 2, coming soon. However The Australian‘s George Megalogenis has already started down that path — from the suitably cynical viewpoint of which options generate the most votes for whom.
Continue reading “So Howard screwed up housing affordability too”