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The Forum > Article Comments > How the growth lobby threatens Australia's future > Comments

How the growth lobby threatens Australia's future : Comments

By James Sinnamon, published 9/2/2009

Common sense, not to mention the evidence, tells us that a larger population cannot possibly be in the interests of Australia.

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It is also important to understand the battlegrounds, that the two sides of the high immigration debate, fight on. Proponents of high immigration know they are on a loser trying to argue that the environment wonít deteriorate and resources wonít be used up faster with high immigration, so they cleverly change the battleground.

The way that proponents of high immigration can change the battleground, is to claim that the real issue is that opponents of high immigration are all really racists. Make the battle about racism and anybody with only a casual interest in the debate (95% of the population) will quickly decide to line up against the people being called racists. It doesnít matter if it is unjustified. A brilliant strategy.

A second method is to claim that itís not really about the environment itís really about the destruction of capitalism and the rise of socialism. Greenies are really watermelons. Green on the outside but pink in the middle. Change the battleground and the casual observer lines up against socialism. It doesnít matter if it is unjustified. Another brilliant strategy.

Iíve noticed several times in the past and also today in this stream in a comment by Ludwig, the simple statement ďWe should have net zero immigrationĒ in response to claims that sustainability is too difficult or too complicated or it will require totalitarian control of the population or population stabilisers want to stop people from having babies. Rarely is there a response, because it tries to bring the debate back to the practical environmental battleground.

I donít agree with everything James, says but I am sure glad he is working hard to make Australia a better place to live. Thanks, James.
Posted by ericc, Tuesday, 10 February 2009 1:24:35 PM
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Eric wrote Tuesday, 10 February 2009 1:00:10 PM,
"Despite that [agreeing that population growth is a problem and that developers promote high immigration] I donít think that there is a small cabal of evil developers who want to ruin our lives to make themselves rich. I think it is more likely that the general population is uncomfortable with the idea of sustainability."

Eric, have you actually read this material, http://candobetter.org/node/628 which, half-way down carries a pictorial and commentary summary of the Property Council of Oz's pdf of how it aims to impact political policy, population size, taxes and infrastructure development to the advantage of its members. They are obviously very well organised, yet the Australian population is not being consulted and there is a lot of evidence that Australians do not like this impact. It is also clear that the PM and the Premiers are basically, 'in league' with these property developers. Sheila Newman reveals links which make this quite clear http://candobetter.org/node/431 . There is also abundant evidence that the mainstream press is promoting the 'cabal' here: http://candobetter.org/PropagandaWatch especially in the articles about the Murdoch and Fairfax press.
Posted by wallumi, Tuesday, 10 February 2009 3:32:14 PM
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Cheryl wrote: "First we get these nitwits, take them in a bus to Treasury in Canberra and talk about GDP slide over the next 30 years as a function of declining youth cohorts."

Notwithstanding a sustained increase in fertility, an ageing population is inevitable. Immigration cannot stop that. As a 1999 parliamentary research paper on population (http://wopared.parl.net/library/pubs/RP/1999-2000/2000rp05.htm) found, it would take "enormous numbers" of immigrants to maintain our current dependency ratio, "starting in 1998 at 200 000 per annum, rising to 4 million per annum by 2048 and to 30 million per annum by 2098. By the end of next century with these levels of immigration, our population would have reached almost one billion."

The paper concluded: "It is demographic nonsense to believe that immigration can help to keep our population young."

An ageing population is something we are going to have to adapt to. No realistic amount of immigration will be able to prevent a decline in the "youth cohorts".

Nor does an ageing population mean the end of the world, as some growthists like to claim.

A stablised population would enjoy certain economic advantages over an ever-expanding one. For instance, an easing of land requirements would be reflected in lower agricultural costs and lower house prices. And it would also mean less imports, relative to our exports, meaning a better terms of trade, thus contributing to higher living standards. A tighter labour market would also mean higher wages, which would in turn spur more investment in labour-saving innovations and technologies, and more investment in human capital.

In truth, most of this hysteria about our so-called "ageing population crisis" has been whipped up by the growth lobby in their attempt to push for even higher levels of immigration. And our corrupted politicians have answered their calls with the highest per capita immigration intake in the world and the highest population growth rate among the developed world.

And all to serve a demographic pyramid scam that one day must collapse like a house of cards, and take our environment and our quality of life with it.
Posted by Efranke, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 1:36:06 AM
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"... the selling of Australian university degrees and vocational training, which has notoriously become yet another means of purchasing Australian citizenship."

Scientist and writer Dr. Peter Wilkinson examined this trend in his 2007 book "The Howard Legacy: Displacement of Traditional Australia from the Professional and Managerial Classes". He noted that the universities "market themselves as providing education but they know, and certainly their prospective applicants know, that they are marketing permanent residency visas."

Amazingly, the visa factories formerly known as Australia's universities still like to claim they are providing an "export industry", despite the fact that the majority of the foreigners now swelling the ranks of their student bodies will end up staying in Australia after they graduate.
Posted by Efranke, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 2:04:48 AM
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Anyway, now that we're all clear on the fact that Christopher does, indeed, hold that I am mentally unbalanced after all, let's move forward.

---

I concur with wallumi and I reject ericc's argument that we are the way we are because most people prefer it that way.

In my view, this lets off the hook politicians who, if they chose, could lead us away from the abyss instead of towards it.

Whilst this may seem tangential to the discussion, I believe that Sharon Beder's essay "Consumerism Ė an Historical Perspective" of Spring 2004 at http://homepage.mac.com/herinst/sbeder/consumerism.html absolutely refutes the argument that ordinary people were naturally interested in consuming more and more.

In the 1920's rising industrial productivity could have allowed the working week to be dramatically reduced.

However, business leaders judged that the would not be able to make as much profit if people consumed less. So they embarked on massive advertising campaigns to convince American workers to want more consumer goods so that they would want to work longer hours in order to be able to buy them.

So, the materialism that appears to be causing us to consume ever more material goods and also to acquiesce to a growth economy, entailing ever greater population growth, is not a natural human condition.

Clearly when we end the hold that these people have over our governments and counter the propaganda which causes many to want to consume excessively we will be a long way towards fixing our problems.
Posted by daggett, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 2:11:41 AM
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You argue very well, Daggett. Sharon Beder's eclectic but coherent body of work is of enormous importance to Australia and she stands out among engineers due to her grasp of political and historic matters.
I also appreciate hearing about some work I had not known about, by Dr. Peter Wilkinson,"The Howard Legacy: Displacement of Traditional Australia from the Professional and Managerial Classes".

I feel I should draw peoples' attention here to the new book, Mark O'Connor and Bill Lines', "Overloading Australia", which has received a surprising amount of mainstream coverage, for such a book. It is sort of a rolling reference-book on the multiple facets of population growth propaganda in Australia. I am glad that it also digests a lot of Sheila Newman's theory of the growth lobby and mentions her new book, The Final Energy Crisis, which has a gruesomely detailed chapter about Australia's prognosis with continued population growth. I also liked Mark O'Connor's old book, This Tired Brown land, for its comprehensive and kindly approach to the ecological predicament of Australia. The press unfortunately turned their back on that one, so we have lost years when Australians might have been assisted by their writers to pull together to save us all from water scarcity and battered forests. Perhaps we would not have had those bushfires if people had been able to water their gardens, if so much water and care had not been diverted from our overly interfered-with forests. (There is a link between logging even small patches and increases in forest fires see: http://www.whrc.org/southamerica/fire_savann/index.htm) In my view we are seeing in such disasters as dying gardens and apocalyptic bushfires the outcome of growthist greed driven by a number of easily identified lobby groups, business men, media moguls and politicians over the past few years. The input of these people should be put before the public eye and critically examined. Growthism should be repudiated by our leaders.
Posted by BiancaDog, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 11:07:15 AM
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