58% of Australians Worry About Their Mortgage, 42% Worry About Becoming Homeless

A survey shows homelessness is a huge issue in Australia. The survey also shows an increased demand for "free" stuff.

Guardian writer Peter Lewis discusses Australian homelessness in his report Government Walked Away from Social Housing. Now We Pay the Price.

One of my pet peeves is writers not linking to sources.

Lewis never mentioned who conducted the survey or what methods the survey used. He did not even bother naming the study. We have to take it on faith the survey is even in the ball park.

However, I am not all that surprised by the results. People start to worry when massive bubbles collapse.

Demand or Free Stuff

What to Do?

Like every seriously-misguided socialist, Lewis wants free stuff. Heck, the survey itself shows 79% are in favor of free stuff.

The big question is not whether the government should do something, but what should it do?

Here’s the unspoken truth of the housing debate: it’s not about the transaction, it is about the homes and the responsibility of a decent society to ensure that everyone has one.

Economic Insanity

Lewis is economically illiterate. All socialists are, by definition.

The idea that government has a responsibility to provide everyone a house is economically insane.

Everyone Wants Free Stuff Until

Everyone wants free stuff until they are told the cost.

There is no such thing as "free" housing, "free" medical care, or "free" anything else. Someone has to pay for everything, either by business-destroying taxes, inflation, or both.

Undoubtedly, the poll would have a completely different set of answers if people were asked "Are you in favor of providing free shelter to the homeless if your taxes were to double or triple?"​

Root of the Problem

The root of the problem, which never occurred to Lewis, is the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates too low, too long, while allowing banks to lend money to too many people who could not afford homes.

None of the major central banks properly factor in housing prices in their inflation estimates.

Spotlight Seattle

If you want to increase the problem, subsidize it.

Seattle spent $68 million finding homes for 3,400 homeless people in 2017. A 2018 Count puts the number of homeless at 8,600 and rising.

That is expected behavior. Homeless people from all over will attempt to get to a place that wants to hand out free housing.

Seattle then passed a head tax to support the homeless. This is what happened: Under Pressure, Seattle Reverses Idiotic Tax on Corporations to Support Homeless

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  3. More Give Everybody "Free Money" Idiocy
  4. Bankrupt Chicago Ponders Universal Basic Income, Obama Sings Hallelujah

Some people object to the Medicare cost story. I do not know the true cost of "Free" Medicare for all, and neither does anyone else. But I do know that hundreds of government-sponsored "affordable housing programs" including "low-cost" government loans drove up the cost.

Tuition support did the same for the cost of education.

Government involvement in anything is bound to raise the price, cause massive tax hikes, or both.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (8)
No. 1-7

"Like every seriously-misguided socialist, Lewis wants free stuff."

Lewis and the like (any socialist for that matter) should be pelted with stones whenever and wherever we see them, so that they stop this theory of "privatizing profits and socializing losses" all in the guise of saving average citizens. Just ask the savers, retirees, prudent people who will be put under the bus and the tax-payers who will be bled for all their worth to pay for such ideas.


Both capitalists and socialists suffer from old paradigm thinking. The orthodox on both sides are always the last ones to embrace a new paradigm.


It's The Guardian. An awful rag. Socialists love it. It walked away from ordinary citizens years ago.


Australia is and always has been a welfare state. People there automatically think that the government owes them stuff. Inevitably most of the taxes collected there go to welfare. The country has avoided bankruptcy by selling its land and riches to China. Nevertheless to keep 70% of the country employed the government naturally supports the building industry. Seeing the errors of its ways the government has started to poor money into the defense industries in an effort to create the missing technology jobs that have plagued the economy for a decade. Without China to sell chunks of dirt to or the building industry to build apartment blocks its a socialist banana republic relying on sales of natural gas and agriculture. What could possibly go wrong with that?


Instead of looking in the mirror and reforming, govt's always become more tyrannical, and blame the people or some foreign boogeyman, who must be made to pay for govt fraud, abuse, incompetence, and corruption. Citizens move if they can, as we have seen in IL, NJ, and CA. Unfortunately, the average Ausi has little choice, and must stay and fight. Our turn is coming, which is why govt will get increasingly desperate to take our guns and money.

But don't worry, govt is here to help. Like the rest of the west, they will try to move to totally electronic money to insure maximum tax collection.


Off topic, but somewhat related. I work (but don't live) in Aspen Colorado. Pitkin County has an "affordable housing" program that is set up to let middle class and working families live in town. The way it works is, a property comes on the market and is purchased by the county. It then gets put into an artificial marketplace/lottery. If you're "lucky" enough to win the lottery (which you can't even enter unless you're lucky enough to be in the proper demographic -single white males need not bother) you get to buy the property. Of course there are all sorts of stipulations placed on ownership, such as not allowing you to flip it, put it up for rent (or even rent out spare bedrooms) and all sorts of other rules. They also have condos that they've made available for rent, again with all sorts of stipulations and rules (and large fines if you're in violation).

When this program was developed in the 1970s no one thought about what happens when someone who owns one of these properties retires. So even though they were intended for working people there are a significant number of retirees who have no intention of selling since that would mean they'd have to leave Aspen, which really is their home. Now there's a massive battle brewing because Aspen is right back to where they started but now with a resented retiree class who got to enjoy the subsidy and won't let anyone else in. Of course the answer is to open up development for more housing, but there's no way the people who really run Aspen (real estate agents) will allow the "Vail-ification" of this wonderful little frozen-in-time valley.

Seems to me the homeless problem could easily be solved by letting charities build or buy motel-like structures that could house people in reasonable accommodations. The old 3 hots and a cot model maybe with a little more dignity and some rehab on the side. But that's not good for real estate values so ain't gonna happen. Just like the human excrement problem in SFO could be resolved with pay toilets, but they've been illegal since the 1970s.


79% seems about right. I'd say even higher among the Millennials. Aside from the Libertarians I sought out, there are the two groups for people I find at social events.

One group aligns to "Of course I don't want socialism, that's bad... I just think the government should redistribute wealth equitably, and a high tax rate on 'rich' is only fair. Also, the government needs to look after everyone having hard times".

The other group goes with "There's nothing wrong with socialism - the more advanced the society, the closer it gets. You'll see these countries moves from late-stage capitalism to socialism to address the income inequality caused by naked greed."

My only hope for the future of our country is that the massive immigration we've had from Asia offsets the rising popularity of socialism amongst those born here.