Tuesday, December 07, 2021

’Ticking time bomb of inequality’ to put owning a home beyond the reach of Australians born today

Rubbish! This galah has rightly noted the big increase in house prices but is oblivious that home unit [apartment, condo] prices have not followed suit. Home unit prices have increased much less. And the way apartment towers keep popping up there should soon be downward pressure on unit prices. Home unit prices should remain affordable even when house prices do not. Home unit living can be perfectly congenial

Australian kids born in major capitals today face a “ticking time bomb of inequality” that could force them to rent for life as homeownership becomes an inherited luxury.

That’s the prediction from a leading futurist, who has warned the government may need to level the playing field as the bank of mum and dad drives entrenched wealth between Australians and their homeownership dreams.

It comes as newborn babies can take their first steps on the property ladder before they can walk, with fractional property investment now open to minors via BrickX.

Global futurist at the Thinque think tank Anders Sorman-Nilsson said while Australia’s cultural affinity with homeownership was driving markets like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane today, it would price out more and more residents in the coming decades.

“You may (in the future) only be able to afford your own home in Sydney and Melbourne if your mum and dad are taking out some of the equity in their own home to help,” Mr Sorman-Nilsson said.

“This could be a ticking time bomb of inequality. So there will have to be something done to ensure that this Australian dream will remain.”

Affordability issues already mean large parts of Sydney are out of reach for many buyers.

He noted some countries had implemented wealth and inheritance taxes to stem the impact of intergenerational gifts such as the hundreds of thousands of dollars some parents offered to help their kids into a home.

Price growth might be alleviated as greater “digital democracy” made knowledge-based jobs more accessible in regional areas, but it was still likely many kids born today will never own a home.

“You will see new European-style housing arrangements, with people who rent for life or rentvest – buying an investment property, but renting where they want to live,” he said.

Proptrack (realestate.com.au’s research division) economic research director Cameron Kusher said price growth over the past 30 years was unlikely to repeat in the coming decades as it had been buoyed by falling interest rates, which were more likely to now rise.

But Mr Kusher said even a conservative estimate would put home price growth ahead of inflation, which typically rises as wages do, meaning today’s prices could still be doubled in 30 years time when newborns would be looking to buy.

“Most parents will help via their property increasing in price,” Mr Kusher said. “But unfortunately homeownership has been falling, so not everyone will be able to do that.”

He said parents might consider shares or fractional property purchases to help their kids


The Third Worldizing of America

In a recent online exchange, the YouTuber Casey Neistat posted his fury after his car was broken into and the contents stolen. Los Angeles, he railed, was turning into a “3rd-world s—hole of a city.”

The multimillionaire actor Seth Rogen chastised Neistat for his anger.

Rogen claimed that a car’s contents were minor things to lose. He added that while living in West Hollywood, he had his own car broken into 15 times, but thought little of it.

Online bloggers ridiculed Rogen. No wonder: The actor lives in multimillion-dollar homes in the Los Angeles area, guarded by sophisticated security systems and fencing.

Yet both Neistat and Rogen accurately defined Third Worldization: the utter breakdown of the law and the ability of the rich within such a feudal society to find ways to avoid the violent chaos.

After traveling the last 45 years in the Middle East, southern Europe, Mexico, and Asia Minor, I observed some common characteristics of a so-called Third World society. And all of them might feel increasingly familiar to contemporary Americans.

Whether in Cairo or Naples, theft was commonplace. Yet property crimes were almost never seriously prosecuted.

In a medieval-type society of two rather than three classes, the rich in walled estates rarely worry that much about thievery. Crime is written off as an intramural problem of the poor, especially when the middle class is in decline or nonexistent.

Violent crime is now soaring in America. But two things are different about America’s new criminality.

One is the virtual impunity of it. Thieves now brazenly swarm a store, ransack, steal, and flee with the merchandise without worry of arrest.

Second, the left often justifies crime as a sort of righteous payback against a supposedly exploitative system. So, the architect of the so-called 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, preened of the riotous destruction of property during the summer of 2020: “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.”

Third Worldization reflects the asymmetry of law enforcement. Ideology and money, not the law, adjudicate who gets arrested and tried, and who does not.

There were 120 days of continuous looting, arson, and lethal violence during the summer of 2020. Rioters burned courthouses, police precincts, and an iconic church.

And there was also a frightening riot on Jan. 6, when a mob entered Washington, D.C.’s Capitol and damaged federal property. Of those arrested during the violence, many have been held in solitary confinement or under harsh jail conditions. That one-day riot is currently the subject of a congressional investigation.

Some of those arrested are still—10 months later—awaiting trial. The convicted are facing long prison sentences.

In contrast, some 14,000 were arrested in the longer and more violent rioting of 2020. Most were released without bail. The majority had their charges dropped. Very few are still being held awaiting capital charges.

A common denominator to recent controversies at the Justice Department, CIA, FBI, and the Pentagon is that all these agencies under dubious pretexts have investigated American citizens with little or no justification—after demonizing their targets as “treasonous,” “domestic terrorists,” “white supremacists,” or “racists.”

In the Third World, basic services like power, fuel, transportation, and water are characteristically unreliable. In other words, much like a frequent California brownout.

I’ve been on five flights in my life where it was announced there was not enough fuel to continue to the scheduled destination. The plane was required either to turn around or land somewhere on the way. One such aborted flight took off from Cairo, another from southern Mexico. The other three were this spring and summer inside the United States.

One of the most memorable scenes that I remember of Ankara, Old Cairo, or Algiers of the early 1970s were legions of beggars and the impoverished sleeping on sidewalks.

But such impoverishment pales in comparison to the encampments of present-day Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or San Francisco. Tens of thousands live on sidewalks and in open view use them to defecate, urinate, inject drugs, and dispose of refuse.

In the old Third World, extreme wealth and poverty existed in close proximity. It was common to see peasants on horse-drawn wagons a few miles from coastal villas. But there is now far more contiguous wealth and poverty in Silicon Valley. In Redwood City and East Palo Alto, multiple families cram into tiny bungalows and garages, often a few blocks from tony Atherton.

On the main streets outside of Stanford University and the Google campus, the helot classes sleep in decrepit trailers and buses parked on the streets.

Neistat was right in identifying a pandemic of crime in Los Angeles as Third Worldization.

But so was Rogen, though unknowingly so. The actor played the predictable role of the smug, indifferent Third World rich who master ignoring—and navigating around—the misery of others in their midst.



Academic warns 'lack of consent' in Shakespeare scenes from Henry V, Richard III and A Midsummer Night's Dream could have 'triggering' effect for audiences

Actors playing characters from some of William Shakespeare's most popular plays should be taught about sexual ethics, an academic has warned.

Hailey Bachrach, from the University of Roehampton, said scenes where male characters fail to ask females for consent could be 'potentially triggering' to modern actors and modern audiences.

It has been argued that neither Henry V or Richard III receive an actual 'yes' from Princess Katherine and Lady Anne respectively, while Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream is drugged and therefore unable to consent to sex with Bottom.

Launching the Shakespeare and Consent project, Ms Bachrach said Shakespeare's 'glossing over' of these issues could be problematic, especially as female characters are often smaller roles and therefore played by younger actors.

The aim of Ms Bachrach's three-year project is to run workshops with performers to help highlight the issues around consent, rather than simply ignore it.

She told the Telegraph: 'If Shakespeare is being more regressive and less careful about consent than other writers, that is very interesting to know. It can make Shakespeare problematic.

'No matter what Shakespeare intended, it is experienced by modern actors and modern audiences. It could potentially be triggering.

'It's important to bring attention to these moments, rather than just gloss over them. It's about not being coerced by the script, and finding an interpretation you're comfortable with.

'This is very much a labour issue. Because female parts are often smaller in Shakespeare, they are often played by younger actors, so these performers are doubly disempowered.'

Ms Bachrach said other writers, including Thomas Middleton and John Ford, used issues surrounding consent and rape as key plots, whereas Shakespeare chose not to dwell on sexual or marital consent.

Discussing scenes she viewed as 'problematic', Ms Bachrach said Richard III 'woos' Lady Anne without getting 'an actual yes', while the final scene of Henry V includes an encounter between the English king and Princess Katherine in which she says 'everything but an actual "yes".'

She also pointed out that Isabella, the nun in Measure for Measure, is not given an opportunity to respond to an offer for marriage before the play ends.

While in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania is 'appalled' when she realises she had sex with Bottom while under the influence of mind-altering fairy drugs.

Attempted rape and rape also feature in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Titus Andronicus.

Speaking of Shakespeare's plays, Ms Bachrach added: 'Women basically never actually got to consent to sex or marriage, it just happened, despite the fact that often they'd repeatedly said no.'

Her project has been backed by the Leverhulme Trust and will see Ms Bachrach work alongside performers from the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Globe.

The playwright continues to occupy a position unique in world literature as someone whose reputation transcends that of all other popular writers.

He is credited with producing 39 plays, 154 sonnets and three long poems.

His plays, the most famous of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Othello, have been translated into every major language.

They are performed thousands of times a year by actors all across the world and are studied by millions of students across the UK and elsewhere.


'It's a betrayal of children to ban experts from asking tough questions before they can change gender'

Transwoman DEBBIE HAYTON gives her view on a new Government bill which she fears will have damaging, unintended consequences

Ten years ago, I was sitting in a therapist's chair, crushed by anxiety, self-harming, desperate. The pain, which had been like a chronic grumble in my psyche since adolescence, had suddenly become acute.

I was then a 43-year-old man called David. I was happily married to my wife Stephanie; a father to three teenage children, with a PhD in atomic physics and a job as a secondary school teacher.

But my desire to transition from male to female was so urgent it was destroying my mental health. To this day I cannot only remember my own distress, I can actually summon it. It was a palpable feeling.

During one of my weekly sessions with my psychotherapist, she placed a chair in an open doorway: 'Through that doorway,' she said, 'is transition.'

She told me she was not going to move the chair until we had explored every alternative to transitioning.

Today, two thoughts occur.

First, had I not been through that therapy — forcing me painfully to analyse my feelings — today I would be consumed with guilt.

I might not feel I had adequately explored the options. I might be asking myself: 'Why did I transition?

'Why did I put the people I love most through so much angst?'

Thankfully, the memory of that chair sitting in the doorway also reminds me of why I sloughed off my old identity and, a year after I began therapy, became Debbie.

My other thought is more of a concern, a pressing one: proposed Government legislation could make it illegal for therapists, doctors, even parents, to question children — and adults like me — about why they want to change their gender.

On the surface, the Bill has the laudable intention of outlawing abhorrent practices sometimes used in the past in an attempt to 'cure' people of being LGBT.

So you might expect me to be delighted, but I am not.

I am deeply troubled about the consequences of rushing through sketchily thought-through legislation that might do more harm than good.

Conversion therapy that involves physical or sexual violence is already illegal — as, of course, such inhumane practices should be. But the aim is to fill legal gaps that might allow other types of such therapy to continue.

Of course, no one wants anyone to endure 'counselling' that bullies or brainwashes them into being 'straight'. Some gay and lesbian couples, given conversion therapy for religious reasons, have spoken out strongly about the trauma they experienced.

However, what concerns me, alongside many experts, is that normal exploratory therapy could be outlawed, too.

This is the sort I went through and the type that safeguards, in particular, vulnerable children and adolescents who might otherwise rush into transitioning, with its profound and potentially damaging effects to their health.

The implications are also chilling for therapists already worried about working with those with gender dysphoria — the belief that someone's emotional and psychological identity is at variance with their birth sex — for fear of being accused of transphobia.

Their very real concern is that basic therapeutic analysis — pausing for thought and reflection, and considering contributory factors such as other mental health conditions — will no longer be permitted.

The legislation is currently out for public consultation, but if the public want to respond they need to be quick. The Government is allowing just six weeks' consultation on the Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Bill. It is being rushed through Parliament at twice the usual speed, surely with the result of inhibiting scrutiny.

Given the complexity of the issue and the toxic environment in which it occurs, why — in the middle of a pandemic — is it so important for the Government?

I can only assume that Stonewall — the powerful LGBTQ+ organisation that is championing the Bill — is exerting its influence. And it's not only the British Government where they have sway.

According to Stonewall, national governments and parliaments in Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Norway, Denmark, Finland and France are all actively considering conversion therapy ban legislation, or launching consultations.

I was middle-aged when I transitioned. At that stage I had swallowed wholesale the notion that I had been born into the wrong body; that I had always been a woman and needed to bring my body into alignment.

I already had the great good fortune to be a husband and father. I'd had a vasectomy and my family was already complete. You could say I was having my cake and eating it when I became Debbie.

Nine years later, I'm still married to Stephanie and we've been together 28 years, though we now sleep in separate beds.

My name changed and so did my wardrobe, while hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery have altered my body permanently. But now I know that while I may have 'changed my gender', I did not change sex, nor was I ever female to start with.

I am as male as any other man; my three children are all the evidence I need. But this is not a fashionable view — and when I wore a T-shirt proclaiming 'Transwomen are Men. Get Over It', I caused outrage, and was accused of transphobia.

Of course, I know others vehemently disagree with me — but it's a debate we need to have.

This proposed Bill would enshrine the woolly notion of 'gender identity' into law, yet no one can satisfactorily explain what it means or prove it actually exists. We cannot even seem to agree on basic definitions.

Gender identity is, in my view, a lazy label; an invention that has taken on a life of its own. And yet we are now being told that no therapist is permitted to challenge a person's 'gender identity'. And the true victims here will be children.

When they're six or seven they may well believe in Father Christmas and the tooth fairy — and some are as young as this when they start questioning their 'gender identity'.

While there appears to be provision for legitimate therapies in the new Bill, crucially the wording refers to 'providing legitimate support for those who may be questioning if they are LGBT'.

But this would not cover children who assert that they are trans, without the maturity to question if this is truly so. No wonder it doesn't offer the reassurance therapists tell me they need.

This insistence that we must not 'question gender' is, I believe, profoundly misguided because the consequences of transitioning as an adolescent are immense.

In fact, there has been a worrying increase in the number of 'de-transitioners' who, as children, were unwavering about their desire but who now have significant regrets over the irreversible damage that has been caused to them. In the future, children may well ask why they were not given appropriate therapy or advice when they made such life-changing decisions.

Transitioning is not the same as questioning your sexuality. It comes with medical intervention, with serious consequences for growing bodies, some of which cannot be reversed.

Although last year the NHS paused referrals of children for puberty blockers, after a court case in which a young woman argued that a clinic should have challenged her more over her teenage choice to transition to male, in September the Court of Appeal ruled that under-16s can give informed consent to receive the treatments if their doctor deems they are competent to do so.

There are also organisations in the UK campaigning for the use of puberty blockers and recommending children and teenagers go to clinics abroad that will prescribe them.

The next step then is cross-sex hormones — oestrogen for boys; testosterone for girls. The long-term impact on fertility and general health is unknown.

So banning any therapy which falls short of affirmation may have the unintended consequence of creating more suffering — especially when studies show that the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria are eventually reconciled with their biological sex.

Gender dysphoria can lead to poor mental health — that was certainly my experience — and we should ensure the same range of treatment and therapy is available for it as for any other issue affecting mental health.

There has been an explosion in the number of young people seeking to transition. At the heart of this is, I believe, a perverse sort of idea that it is 'brave' to be transgender.

I know how desolating it is to struggle with gender dysphoria. When I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, it was shameful simply to be gay. Being trans was beyond the pale. So, of course, I am thankful society no longer vilifies trans people.

But we have moved too far in the opposite direction. As a secondary school teacher, I am sharply aware of the change in mores. We have gone from stigmatising being LGBTQ+ to celebrating it, as if it confers status — and I do not think that is healthy.

After all, which child wants to be a boring old heterosexual when there are now so many more interesting groups to 'identify' into?

In our sackcloth-and-ashes society, we constantly beat ourselves up for the sins of our past. To be straight, white, and educated makes us oppressors. The LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) alphabet soup is one route out of the oppressor class.

Children are just children. They should not be forced to assume 'identities'. We have let down an entire generation by feeding them lies, telling them that boys don't have to become men; that girls need not grow into women. You might just as well tell them that they don't have to grow up at all.

Strange as it may seem, I am profoundly grateful that I did not have the opportunity to transition medically as a teenager.

Had it been available to me, I know that the need to do so would have been as insatiable as it was in my 40s. My fertility would have been quashed before it began, and I would never have had the children I adore.

So let's consider the ramifications before we allow the Government to wave through a Bill that could have disturbing consequences for years to come — most especially on the young and vulnerable, the very group it seeks to protect


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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