Sunday, 5 August 2012

a thinker, with the actual data...

Andrew Smith -
All text below is taken from

"What is high population growth? It is relative, e.g very high post WWII, and now falling as we speak (and as many understand includes near 40% temporary residents, i.e. international students, guardians, dependents and long term tourists who produce export income for the Australian economy)

False statements are not challenged e.g. the evergreen "rampant runaway population growth" when in fact it has stalled, and significant proportion are temporary residents anyway. But don't tell that to the real estate industry as we brace for a sustained stagnation of property prices, at best.....

Presently there is both a shortage of aged care personnel (and many other industries e.g. hospitality, IT, engineering, particular trades etc.) and with significant bubble of baby boomers who will reach an age where they will require aged care, who shall provide it (let alone replace them in the workforce)? For now many baby boomers are in the situation of both caring to various degrees for children and parents in lieu of other support., and this will become worse

Pensions after baby boomers retirement should not be such an issue as retirees from then on will have been in 2030 superannuation system, so that is not a "Ponzi" issue (unless of course they cannot work due to caring for ageing parents).

Declining population is already becoming an issue in Europe especially Central Eastern and Southern Europe, Russia, Germany, Japan plus our own regional towns and cities, and internationally high growth populations will largely stabilise by 2050 (e.g. Iran has lower birth rate than Australia). Further, it is not the quantitative population figure, high or low, that is the issue but the qualitative when a significant proportion are elderly versus young.

Australia also needs to think of not just how to adapt our profligate lifestyles dependent on oil, lack of transport systems, regional development and our badly planned suburbs, but how to fit into our region (you know Asia?). Should we have a defence force not reliant upon the US, be able to produce and add value to products and services needed in future versus e.g. suggestion of Dr. Bob Birrell that we should just focus upon mining?

My issue with such "debates" is that there seems to be a lot of "wolves dressed in sheep's clothing" organising themselves using proxy arguments to stop or reduce diversity in a society the envy of the world, and would seem to prefer a sepia tinted mostly white Australia of the 1950s. I have news for you, it's too late, Australia is already one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world, and it is not going to change, except probably get better and browner"

Unfortunately there are many, not all, who use anti population, anti immigration, care for the environment arguments and random factoids to mask their own prejudices.

"The population lobby’s ‘we’re all doomed’ diatribes against modern capitalism and the environment are a gold mine of sociological perversity but they may also attract a protest vote at the next federal election....."

Does the Stable Population Party explain clearly and publicly what is the definition of population, and that immigration is not the major component of population but is one of many variables?

Good visible example are international students who are included in net overseas migration figures and population, yet not only are the majority temporary entrants (i.e. suggestion of applying for residency will mean their student visa application will be rejected under the Genuine Temporary Entrant test), nor buying houses but actually subsidising places for Australian students?

Then again, if one didn't cite immigration as a major component of population (and supposed runaway growth) it may suggest that we are not being overcome by foreign hordes destroying the environment.....ironically Australia can manage that by itself.

Apply the Brakes

As the definition of Net Overseas Migration has been ignored I shall post official definition here:

"Net overseas migration (NOM) is the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia...

..... Overseas travellers are included in the population if they are in Australia for 12 months or more, during a 16 month period. (as are international students, temp workers and dependents).......

.... Net overseas migration can fluctuate considerably from year to year, but has been decreasing in recent years.....

......Currently NOM contributes about 54 per cent of Australia's population growth."

Of NOM, international students alone contribute 39%, according to the ABS, this is while international student commencements (i.e. new starters, not existing students re enrolling onshore) have been dropping in recent years..... more directly 20,000 jobs have been lost in universities, TAFEs, private colleges and related sectors.

This is the news the "Ponzi" property sector and media are not entirely open about..... population growth has been stagnating......

UK govt. is being advised to remove temp entrants from their NOM and population data to lessen the alarmist headlines the BNP etc. are encouraging e.g. "runaway population growth".

Meanwhile, a little more commentary about our "population" and "demography" experts....

"Population stabilization has been taboo for progressive greens since the late 1970s. But anti-immigrationists like FAIR founder John Tanton, a former Sierra Club activist, cut their teeth on the overpopulation anxiety that permeated the environmental movement earlier in that decade. Subsequently, they used the Malthusian lingo of resource scarcity, carrying capacity (the maximum population an environment can sustain indefinitely) and overshoot (when a population exceeds its carrying capacity) to launder the image of the white nationalists with whom they became allies. When climate change became a public issue, it gave fresh impetus to what population specialist Betsy Hartmann has called the “greening of hate.”

The Multicultural Council has an important role to play in Australia if we are to continue being held up as one of the best examples of a mature and diverse democracy internationally. This should also include informing the public and heading off (especially US style e.g. FAIR) misinformation campaigns attempting to co opt decent Australians into opposing "multiculturalism" through conflation of perceived negative issues and misinformation about population growth, immigration and environment, then without any irony claiming "racism" by "multiculturalism"..... (worst case scenario is the likes of Anders Breivik in Norway).


*Multiculturalism is not some dark satanic cult, it is a fact everywhere in the world, and is not against "Anglo Celtic" culture (nor Aboriginal), but diversity that can be both celebrated and used to enhance Australia socially and economically.

*Population has been declining in Australia from a "spike" in population growth brought about mostly by success of Australia's international education policy, i.e. full fee paying students and dependents, who subsidise places for Australian students, are included in Net Overseas Migration statistics, which is declining.....

However, organised groups, media and politicians from all parties have branded population growth as "runaway population growth" to create alarm, now with restrictions on immigration, international students etc.. Australia shall be facing related problems; education sector shedding jobs, skills shortages in specific occupations, ageing workforce, negative racist image for Australia, but on the plus side the real estate industry can no longer cite population growth as a driver of property prices.......

*Internationally populations are stabilising through much lower birth rates, and in some cases declining already......

*Immigration is not solely (if at all partially) responsible for environmental degradation and "carrying capacity", we Australians can manage that all by ourselves through our dependence upon fossil fuels, cars, large suburban houses, lack of urban planning and will from politicians (and Australians), while majority of "immigrants" have much more modest carbon footprints plus ability to compromise.

Links of Interest:

It's Not Easy Being Green

John Tanton FAIR Anti Immigration Laws - The Immigration Hardliner Family Tree

New York Times The Anti-Immigration Crusader

Immigration The Republicans are Getting It. When it comes to immigration, Republican candidates remain stuck betweena nativist rock and a demographic hard place. This week, a few sensible voices like Condoleezza Rice, George P. Bush, and Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal editorial board are warning of the dangers of anti-immigrant politicking and pointing the Party toward amore inclusive approach to immigration reform. Meanwhile, candidates like Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake, and Wil Cardon remain stuck in the old way of thinking about the politics of immigration.

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