174 thoughts on “Another sandpit

  1. How about a mag lev bullet train between Melbourne and Sydney to cut down on air congestion? Of course, since Sydney can’t even manage to lay badly needed rail to get freight to its port it will probably need to be suspended in the air from balloons or something. Or maybe if the train was moving fast enough it could do a jump over Sydney and splash down in the harbour?

  2. @BilB

    Is this really your level of understanding?

    Yes 15 is just a number. It is not the number itself that matters, but what you do with it. That number multiplied by another number gives you yet another number that defines ones options, for that week. If the number is not satisfactory then one has options to change their future. I can handle that kind of truth.

    Let’s consider your co-operative truth. No numbers. Sleep over there and you will be provided for, all you have to do is work all day,…for the good of everyone else. It is a bit hard to multiply that one out. Impossible to predict or change ones future.

  3. They’re all good thoughts, Fran, but think about some of the projects that have been done and how the cost has streched the economy. To make an airport four or five times the basic on land cost just because of noise is an unlikely starter. And that is before you consider whose beach you will park it off and how people get too and from it.

    One major advantage would be with fuel management if aviation fuel came by tanker directly.

    The nearest equivalent to this notion from which could be measured some of the operational requirements is the airport for the Maldives. Take a look. It is one of my favourites.

    I was just thinking through some of the bouyancy issues and stress loadings of having 500 tonnes land on a floating structure and role along it. I think tyou would be requiring up to ten times the amount of concrete that is required for a regular runway. That is a lot of extra cost.

    The second airport will be at Badgeries Creek. We will all get used to its noise and profit from its presence.

    To my thinking, far worse than living in the proximity of an airport is living next to a motor way. The noise pressure from highspeed traffic is oppressive and constant.

  4. @Ernestine Gross

    I am not sure whether this is just a naive prejudice:

    I agree with you, good old Karl Marx is quite irrelevant to the contemporary issue of corporatism.

    or whether you have a useful argument underpinning such gaffes.

    Under capitalism, corporations arise from 1) concentration of capital, 2) intensified competition 3) gains, for itself, through efficiencies of scale 4) market and political power and 5) gains, for itself, through degrees of monopolisation.

    This process is inherently exploitative and unsustainable.

    Under socialism, things are different but as there will still be corporations, you need to understand Marx to realise how and why?

  5. Chris Warren,

    It is you who has the perception problem.

    And your problem is that your Utopia requires a universally accepted philosophy of acceptance for it to work.

    The nearest situation to your model that has occurred in our part of the world (that I am aware and actually experienced) was in New Zealand during Robert Muldoon’s fortress economy and “think big” national project years, and particularly near the end when a national freeze on prices and wages was applied.

    Up to that time incomes were fairly flat across the economy and product retail markups were modest. The country had an aging fleet of vehicles that were lovingly maintained and there was a strong sense of community.

    BUT……..it was voted out,…by the people.

    Next came the Labour leftwingers….who were actually ultra right wingers, and smashed it all apart. It was the nearest thing that you might expect from a capitalist coup de tat. One of the ring leaders Richard Prebble as minister for most things was responsible for sacking more people from NZ Rail (24,000) than there were people in his electorate at the time. The people brought that on themselves by voting in David Lange and Roger Douglas. The wanted a change, and they got it. The whole argument was “is the cost of maintaining the fortress too great?”

    The point that I am making is that if you have to enslave the minds of the people in order to achieve some fancifully different economic system, then you are have failed at the outset because it is just not sustainable.

  6. @BilB

    It seems to me you are not familiar with the history of KSA and the history of old Sydney suburbs such as Pymble and Gordon.

    Pymble and Gordon are two suburbs in the north of Sydney with established residential areas going back to before Federation. At that time there was no airport in Sydney.

    In 1933, the year you claim the runway directions have been determined, there was only gravel runways. The first runway was the East-West runway, which is now hardly used at all. There was so little aviation traffic that there was a railway line crossing the runway and there is a historical event of a plane crashing with a train.

    The north-south runway was extended some time in the 1960s. The ‘third runway’ refers to the noth-south parallel runway which was opened in late 1994. Only the parallel runway operation can cope with high volume aircraft movement. You claim amounts to nothing having changed in terms of runway alignments since 1933 is a perpetuation of the myths generated to deflect public criticism of the expansion of KSA (third runway) is a planning disaster for several reasons, one of them being the deceptio of residents living far way from KSA to the north of KSA regarding aircraft noise.

    The wiki site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Airport is not quite adequate in the description of the history of KSA but it is good enough as a reference to refut your glib statementments.

    You are wrong about me wishing to vent anger at either Albanese or Howard. The Howard government had to pick up where the Hawke-Keating (Brereton) government left off – it was quite obvious that not much could be done in the short term. Albanese has to pick up from the planning disaster – not easy either.

    There was a lengthy and detailed site selection process for a second airport in the 1980s which reported in 1985. Wilton and Badgery’s Creek were selected as the most suitable middle distance airports. The systematic process of decision making was sabotaged a few years later when the decision to not expand KSA was reversed. This is the point in time I am talking about.

    If you were to agree the operation of KSA is restricted to Herrier Jump Jets, , I would concur with you not having sympathy with aircraft noise affected residents at Mascot. Otherwise I would say you do not understand the difference between economic rationalism and rational economic analysis.


  7. @BilB

    Using schizophrenia terms such as “utopia” and “enslave the minds” does not build confidence in your argument.

    I do not understand your linkage to New Zealand as a relevant model. The regimes running capitalist governments regularly change all over the world. NZ had to smash its fortress because this was the only way NZ capitalism could survive for a few more decades.

    NZ products sold in Australia are now made in China – eg Masport lawnmowers.

    So what do you think happens when Chinese wages equal New Zealand wages?

  8. NZ is relevent because the NZ “experience”, actually being there, was the nearest thing to what you aspire to achieve in terms of community outcome.

    However, NZ went wobbly because the markets it had specialised to service since the end of WW2 with meat wool and butter had accumulated unsustainably high stock levels of all of those commodities. There were exchange rate issues which led to people feeling trapped within their economy, unable to travel and unable to sell their property and relocate. And yet they were in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

    That is why Muldoon’s (in effect) socialist government was voted out.

    Your problem, Chris, is that you are trapped in this Marxist dogma that only you and a handful of other people could be bothered learning about, because it is totally irrelevent. There will be economic collapses in the future, but they will not lead to the formation of a socialist state as Marx envisaged. Even in Russia communism only barely got a foot hold. It wasn’t driven by mass demand, it was instigated through mass self interest by a handful of people who utilised political instability during a period of change to seize power for their ideology.

    The Marxist dream is dead, Chris. Tell your buddies BilB said so.

  9. @BilB

    You seem to be demonstrating “trapped in dogma” than anyone else.

    What socialist state did Marx envisage? He mentioned 10 points in the famous “Communist Manifesto”. Which of these are totally irrelevant?

    Or is it the case that you have no idea what you are talking about?

    Specifically what “dream” are you talking about? Where is it sourced in Marx?

    If you are going to use “socialist” to apply to both Muldoon and Marx, then you need learn the difference between national projects (to benefit capital) and socialist projects (to benefit society).

    If there is an economic collapse in the future – and this depends on whether countervailing tendencies are still viable – then the future had better be based on the analysis provided by Karl Marx because the only alternative is the thug-rule of a few.

  10. @Chris Warren

    I am telling you no knowledge of Karl Marx’s writing is required to reach the conclusion that the expansion of KSA (third runway) is a planning disaster and this happened during the period of corporatising the public sector.

    It seems to me any practical problem with economic content is seen by you as an opportunity to transform or weave it into a 1940s type of discussion. Other people read Karl Marx in historical context and may still draw some insights from his writing. But this surely is different from your style of argument.

  11. Ernestine Gross :

    I am telling you no knowledge of Karl Marx’s writing is required to reach the conclusion that the expansion of KSA (third runway) is a planning disaster and this happened during the period of corporatising the public sector.

    Correct – so why did you invoke Marx?

    It seems to me any practical problem with economic content is seen by you as an opportunity to transform or weave it into a 1940s type of discussion. Other people read Karl Marx in historical context and may still draw some insights from his writing. But this surely is different from your style of argument.

    Actually the economic content goes back to the Nineteenth Century. The historical context is the history of the form wage-labour and of surplus value.

    I know capitalists like to think they have ended history, but the old context continues even today. So if you read Marx in a historical context you are also reading Marx ion today’s context, unless you can demonstrate that wage labour and the capitalist mode of accumulation from history does not exist today.

  12. You are compleltely deluded about the reality of socialism, Chris. National socialism does not get started or survive without the “thug-rule of a few”. USSR has had a whole procession of thug rulers. In fact any artificially suppresed population (this is what your socialist society becomes) is a furtile feeding ground for psychopaths and sociopaths.

    Marx’s 10 points? WOW, you’ve got to be joking. Items 2 and most of 10 are the only points that I would subscribe to out of that denudation of individuality.

    If you subscribe to them all then you have been living in a fantasy land of false expectation.

  13. @BilB

    “The second airport will be at Badgeries Creek.” [BilB]. Is this an example of you having insider knowledge or are you trying to influence public expectations? (I understand, the Minister, Mr Albanese, had commissioned a scoping study for Wilton.)

    “We will all get used to its noise and profit from its presence.” [BilB]. Oh dear, this sounds awfully like Stalinist Communist propaganda.

    There is no evidence I know of that people get used to aircraft noise. Aircraft noise, as distinct from aircraft sound, is, by definition, unwanted sound. I am aware of a few isolated psycho-studies (eg Job), which claim that people’s responses to aircraft noise are ‘modified’ by their attitudes toward the aviation industry. A study by Gross and Sim (1997) does not support this hypothesis for areas to the north of KSA, which had litte or no aircraft sound exposure prior to the planning disaster of KSA (third runway). That is, people in areas with little aircraft sound exposure (overflights) had relatively more favourable ‘attitudes’ to the ‘aviation industry’ than people who had relatively heavy aircraft sound exposure. There may well be a few individuals ‘everywhere’ who have an ‘attitude’ toward the ‘aviation industry’. But the great majority of people seem to develop ‘an attitude’ toward the ‘aviation industry’ after they are exposed to aircraft sound in doses that interfers with their lives.

    Incidentally, the only economic (as distinct from corporate finance) analysis of the options available at the Environmental Impact Statement stage, a cost benefit analysis, reached the conclusion that the construction of the third runway at KSA is not the best. (If this economic analysis had been taken note of, then the location of the radar, which you mentioned as an illustration of the relative efficiency of decision making, would not have been a problem requiring a solution.)

    PS: One of my posts is in moderation, perhaps because of links (or a few too many spelling errors or whatever.)

  14. OK. We are talking socialism, so I had a look at the Socialist Alternative, a site that Chris Warren’s name seemed to lead me.

    On the subject of socialism and individualism, one Liam Byrne, after a very long screed on how capitalism denudes one of individuality (?), writes….

    “Human beings would labour for the replenishing of a society over which they had ownership and control. Work would gain a new meaning, and be liberated from the profit motive. Under such a state of affairs the human potential for individual expression would be limitless”

    …it would be better to have read a summary of the communist manifesto 10 point pathway to freedom from oppression.

    Can anyone else see the huge credibility gap in this thinking?

    The whole Marx thing to my thinking is little more than a cult because it hinges on the faith based notion that having been denuded of all property, the individual owns everything, in common with everyone else.

    So the sun is going down, you are tired and hungry, in Marx’s world you can only eat what is provided for you and you can only sleep where everyone else allows you to sleep. To my thinking that is owning nothing, especially hope. Where is the individual voice when everyone is talking equally at the same time?

    As all property has been confiscated for the common good no doubt the get out of jail notion here is that you continue to live where you have always lived. But what if someone else wants my luxurious place and everyone else agrees, for the common good?

  15. @BilB

    Huh? How was Gorbachev a “thug”? Didn’t Yeltsin unleash the worse capitalist thugs in the form of the Russian mafia? How is Mondragon ruled by thugs? Are you saying that it got started or survives because of “thug-rule”.

    How was the Western wars of intervention not an attempt at anti-Soviet thuggery? Are you implying that Tsarist Russia was not ruled by thugs backed by Ochrana?

    How was the basis of American capitalism – in slave-owning – not “thuggery”?

    How was the basis of Australian capitalism, based on convict labour, extermination of native peoples, plus blackbirding Pacific Islanders – not “thuggery”.

    How do you explain the wealth of nineteenth century British capitalists if not by thuggery against Indian, African and Chinese peoples?

    How was Australia’s and American efforts to erect a regime of their own liking in Vietnam – not thuggery. What else can a F111 bombing civilians represent?

    How was the massacre of Allende’s regime and supporters not “thuggery”?

    So have the populations of Indonesia, Vietnam, Chile and etc, been subject to American back thuggery or not?

    You whole capitalist economy, your whole existance, including New Zealand, was built only on the most viscous, long-running thuggery imaginable.

    If you want to object to thugs in power – why not object to the a whole range of Islamic states being set up by Saudi oil-capitalists across north Africa and Middle east.

    Marx’s first point (abolition of private property in land) specifically did not concern personal property. Enclosures were one of the earliest forms of capitalist thugs suppressing the then British population – finally shipping thousands to labour camps in Africa and Australia right through into the nineteenth century. Enclosures separated, by thuggery, the masses from their traditional property rights.

    So if you want to look at a suppressed population just look at Georgian England.

  16. Well, I guess I may as well answer Quokka’s question about how does rooftop solar reduce transmission costs. I’ll try to keep things simple. Quokka, all else equal, which do you think will have lower transmission costs? A power plant 1,000 km from where the electricity is used or a power plant 10 km from where the electricity is used?

  17. @BilB

    For Pete’s sake please provide evidence for:

    in Marx’s world you can only eat what is provided for you and you can only sleep where everyone else allows you to sleep.

    You are fabricating your own strawman.

    Marx said the exact opposite to:

    hinges on the faith based notion that having been denuded of all property,

    It is the capitalist form of property that is transformed not all property.

    What is the point of:

    But what if someone else wants my luxurious place and everyone else agrees, for the common good?

    Usually your luxurious place is resumed if needed for an airport, or freeway. This is normal and happens all the time. Only in capitalist Israel is personal property and rights to services generally denied based on race and religion.

  18. No special knowledge Ernestine, just a little bit of common sense. It is a distance thing. for every plane that takes off there will be up to 200 cars take their loved one to the airport to see them off on their adventure. Have a look at the map, the distances involved, the location of the M’s, and the location of the new Southern Sydney Freight line. Then think a little about the future probabilities on fuel prices and transport options.

    I don’t see how there was ever a doubt.

    There is a new drive in aviation to reduce fuel consumption, noise, and total travel times, by giving aircraft an unrestricted path from engine power up to exiting the airfield air space, and the reverse for landing. In other words aircraft do note start engines until they have a clear path to runway without delay.

    From Badgeries Creek most aircraft would be exiting the airspace towards Lake Burragorang and landing in a circuit over the same area providing minimal noise nuisance. The curved approach radar developed in Australia in the Badgeries creek area offers excellent scope for noise sharing. I think that it is a no brainer.

    The only thing that Wilton has to offer is no resistance.

  19. Chris,

    The communist 10 points manifesto that you forced me to read says the exact opposite of what you claim. If it comes down to interpretation then the outcome would be a dogs breakfast of applied ideologies, as is exactly what happened in Russia. Mega fail.

  20. @Chris Warren

    BilB certainly does love his strawmen …

    If there is a purpose to community, it is to meet the needs of its members. In complex societies, a division of labour is required so that these needs may be met most efficiently. If we are all ethical equals then it follows that all the burdens and benefits of labour should be settled with equity and efficiency in mind.

    Capitalism cannot do that as efficiently as can planned economy. While it may well be efficient and not inequitable for personal services and small scale distribution of consumer goods to be delivered on individual initiative, infrastructure, hevay industry, transport, communications, even light industrial ought to be the subject of plans spanning time frames from years to decades and that can attach suitable weight to the protection of the commons rather than the protection of the interests of equity holders.

    Governance must be inclusive, and that is, as we have seen, at odds with capitalism.

    This does not entail arguing that socialism will arise any time soon. Before we get anywhere near abundance we will need to have achieved inclusive governance and planned production therewith. That is foundational, IMO and we are a very long way from achieving that.

    If and when working people next perceive that capitalism has failed, it is this that we must point out — that societies based on the marginalisation of the many to serve the enrichment of the few must inevitably suffer collapse and a devaluation of their output, immiseration of small holders and workers, and that these processes are often attended by intra-communal violence and war. Only a society that holds its key assets in common trust can hope to resist the tendency of the system to self-destruct and just as importantly, lay the foundations for a dundamentally more just, rational and maintainable set of social arrangements.

  21. Chris,

    I don’t see how

    “At Mondragon, there are agreed-upon wage ratios between the worker-owners who do executive work and those who work in the field or factory and earn a minimum wage. These ratios range from 3:1 to 9:1 in different cooperatives and average 5:1. That is, the general manager of an average Mondragon cooperative earns 5 times as much as the theoretical minimum wage paid in his/her cooperative”

    …..fits your notion of equal return for the common good. The workers may “own” a share of the company for which they work, but when they leave they have nothing to take away. That means that they have no ownership at all. It fails the ownership test of being able to transport ones accruals. This is actually worse than capitalism as the “workers” cannot buy a share of the company for which they work, they only get the warm fuzzy notion of ownership while they are working. The summary that I read did not mention medical benefits or a retirement plan.

    Whereas I applaud this class of industrial organisation, I am sure that if I scan around I will be able to find plenty of family owned businesses that do as much or more for their workforce and enjoy every bit as much cooperation and loyalty.

  22. BilB, one of my earlier posts regarding KSA is still in moderation. That concerns the planning disaster of KSA (and important historical matters you have wrong).

    I don’t agree with your statement: “The only thing that Wilton has to offer is no resistance.”

    Firstly, it is not true. There is local resistance and I don’t know as yet how the planning bodies will deal with the issues raised by residents.

    Secondly, it is not true because Wilton is outside the air basin for Sydney, B.C. is inside. The western suburbs get a lot of air pollution from the rest of Sydney almost every night.

    Third, it is not true. Transport of aviation fuel is a distance and build-up environment matter, which you igore.

    It is not only the flight paths of a hypothetical B.C. ‘second airport’ that need to be considered but also the operation (flight paths) of all airports. I can assure you there is persistent resistance to the concentrated flight path at KSA and rightly so. People have been mislead at the planning stage. They have no budget feasible alternative to wearing the costs for other people’s benefits to an extent that is not considered unavoidable.

    I believe it would be more helpful if people would respond to the scoping study for Wilton, within the proper process, instead of asserting ‘common sense’.

  23. Chris,

    Reading a little further,

    I am not saying that capitalism is not awash with thuggery, I am saying that socialism, communism is dripping with it as well.

    So socialism is not a pancea for the world’s ills, it is simply a different way of organising things, and not a very palatable one as any summation of populations economies and governments will attest.

    On the other hand it is not a total failure either. As I said originally, socialism is most successful at tribal level or situation specific level.

  24. @BilB


    Some may be anachronistic as the underlying issue can be handled differently eg: the English estates were broken up by taxes not direct abolition of all rights of inheritance. Many are now owned by the National Trust.

    Workers’ Cooperatives generally own their own factories, real estate, and inventories. All their surplus is used for their common purposes if not for the public at large. However in Yugoslavia, workers enterprises – BOALS – made constributions to public services.

    The new regime in Iraq, under American tutelage, has simply confiscated the property of all emigrants and rebels. Presumably the same has occurred in Libya. Every single land title in Australia was based on confiscated lands. Is there an exception? Maybe Arnhem land and the deserts of South Australia? Israel only occupies confiscated land and forced people to emigrate.

    Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State is long overdue, but if this is a capitalist state there is little point. Although with modern technology, if savings occur within a cooperative presumably credit can be managed here as well.

    We certainly need production by the State, particularly as State produced goods and services can be sold at cost – not cost-plus.

    Equal liability to labour is more than necessary but you cannot expect capitalist enterprises to produce the necessary opportunities.

    Certainly we need a better distribution of the population into rural areas.

    What is wrong with free education, including apprenticeships in the workplace?

    If everyone has a job, free education, affordable goods and services, and are not threatened by any anti-social power of capital, there will be no structural cause of crisis.

  25. Ernestine,

    I am really not that interested in the airport siting issue sufficient to cause me to respond to the scoping study.

    On the resistance, I think that BC would have more relative to Wilton. Maybe I should have said less rather than no. Otherwise I would say that the Wilton area is a beautiful area which I would rather not have despoiled with an ill considered airfield.

    I did address the aviation fuel transport issue with the reference to southern freight rail line. Wilton could have the fuel pipe in from Woolongong, but so also can BC.

    Your most valid point is the pollution issue, and adding to that is the general air flows in the BC area. I know nothing about these items so would have to take advice of the experts.

    I don’t see an airspace clash between KSA and BC anymore than Wilton would have. But Camden would be impacted by BC. However Christchurch international airport had a club field right beside the main runway for decades. I had the spectacular experience once of land a Cessna right beside a 747 Jumbo. What a buzz. So there is not necessarily a clash there.

    The narrow flight path into KSA is an attribute of the twin runways. Aircraft need to line up more carefully when they are landing parrallel to another flight corridor. This problem could be eased with better radar on the northern approach side and installation of a HITS system which would allow aircraft to be seperated vertically (remember the staggered touchdown zones offer a higher approach for aircraft on the more eastern shorter runway). There is not a thousand feet in it but it could be enough to provide some flexibility with better control.

  26. @BilB

    Where on earth does …

    …..fits your notion of equal return for the common good.

    come from?

    You are simply making stuff up – why?

    If you work for a company and leave – you only take your clothes with you. If you live in public housing, if you leave, you do not take the house with you. If you rent from a capitalist landlord – they are not going to give you part of the house either.

    If you resign from Australia’s University Coop bookshop – you get your entry fee back, and people are happy with this.

    There is nothing within cooperatives that prevents various conditions for entry and exit. There is nothing that prevents establishing medical and retirement benefits. Cooperatives can be set up just to provide medical and retirement services.

    Who said socialism is the panacea for all the world’s ills.

    Again you consistently just make stuff up.

    Socialism is the panacea for economic crisis. It also provides opportunities for solving many social ills and for all – not just in nations at one pole of global political economy. It also does so permanently – not just a few decades while crisis tendencies build up into catastrophes.

  27. Years ago when I worked for a LendLease company after 12 months I received 100 shares in the company. A year later I received another parcel of shares. I was paid above award wages.

    Those shares which were quite valuable were very handy some years later.

    In Capitalist Australia workers receive 9% of their wage (or is it 12% now) applied towards their retirement. We get weekends off and public holidays with pay.

    Please explain the dark side of all of that.

  28. @Ronald Brak

    The cost of a 1000km maglev would be huge. I imagine it would also have a pretty serious ecological footprint with all the earthworks. Cost recovery would probably make the tickets on it considerably larger than air tickets — even assuming one fully priced in the ecological cost of both. I also imagine the land acquisitions in Melbourne and Sydney (and the tunnelling here and there) would add a lot per KM. It cost a billion dollars or so for a short conventional freight train bypass from Macarthur to Birrong. I doubt we would get it done inside 25 years. By then, we might actually have aircraft that were near carbon neutral. Indeed, it’s conceivable by then that air travel per capita may fall as we have more virtual conferencing.

    And unless you could get up to jet speed, it would still take longer than an aircraft.

    I do think we need to keep in mind the relationship between dollars spent on carbon abatement and the extent of abatement. There remain far better things on which to spend money from this pool. Separating passenger and freight rail, moving long haul freight off roads, redesigning urban areas to make mass transit more feasible, converting most motor vehicles to draw from the grid, cleaning up the grid itself, building more sustainable buildings … it’s all better than high speed maglev rail — much as I love the idea in aesthetic terms.

  29. BilB :
    Years ago when I worked for a LendLease company after 12 months I received 100 shares in the company. A year later I received another parcel of shares. I was paid above award wages.
    Those shares which were quite valuable were very handy some years later.
    In Capitalist Australia workers receive 9% of their wage (or is it 12% now) applied towards their retirement. We get weekends off and public holidays with pay.
    Please explain the dark side of all of that.

    The darkside is that a capitalist country paying 5% towards retirement, and giving less public holidays with pay, will sell the same products cheaper on the global market. Under free trade, this renders your benefit unsustainable.

    The darkside is if your retirement benefit is based on returns from international investment funds, and when these fail, you end up in penury.

    The darkside is that the retirement and working conditions Australian’s had in the past are not being passed on to future generations. New entrants into Australia’s workforce have nothing like the education and superannuation opportunities I had.

    The darkside is that provision of retirement benefits on a capitalist basis is contingent on a continually growing population.

    The darkside is that all such conditions are eliminated when a sizeable economic crisis breaks out.

    The darkside is that your conditions are not shared for all workers under capitalism – certainly not those making your clothes, books, electrical goods, and supermarket items.

  30. Chris,

    Yes you have a good point on the funds failure item. That is why I have argued for people to be more easily allowed to apply those funds to payout their family home faster, at which point they then switch to accruing more form their concluded mortgage payment amount towards the cash part of their retirement funds. That way at least if your fund turns out to be managed by Christopher Skasse you do not end up with nothing. You’ve at least got a house.

    The 5% issue does not hold up as products are rarely that finely tuned on cost for such a marginal item to be pivotal in marketing competition.

    The education issue not a starter, I think my kids are getting a better education than I had. At the end of your education it is how you use it not so much about the specific content. I don’t see an issue on the superannuation front unless you are talking about public servants.

    Economic crisis, I don’t have an opinion on that one being self employed I have not been affected. So far.

    The last point is that is a matter for the governments of those countries. Japan brought its population up to world standard. China is showing an increasing preparedness to protect the well being of its people. Still plenty of injustice, but change too.

    On the population item. Australia’s population will grow steadily for hte foreseeable future from Climate Change population displacement alone.

    On that socialism is the backstop to economic collapse, I think we covered that talking to Seth Ackeman’s socialised capital didn’t we? I recal not being at all enthralled with that idea.

  31. Ernestine,

    I think that Albanese should announce the site of the new airport right away and make that the focus of the election battle. I think that BC would draw more votes than it would cost particularly where there is a determination to reduce KSA northern approach noise.

    But somehow I don’t think that would appeal to you? Which area are you in?

  32. BilB,

    “The narrow flight path into KSA is an attribute of the twin runways.”

    Almost exactly (approach path rather than flight path). This is why I talk about the expansion of KSA by means of building ‘third runway’ (parallel to the north-south runway existing in or around 1985) as a planning disaster. More than 250 000 people north of Drummoyne have been assumed to not exist! Many of these people live at elevations up to 200 m above sea level, in areas with a background noise of 35dB(A) and they were assured they will not be aircraft noise affected. People are now waiting for this verbal assurance to happen in reality.

    Has anybody calculated the loss in labour productivity due to aircraft noise disturbances, the health effects on shift workers, etc, etc?

    Promises of easing the problem by means of control systems are not credible. The fact is that if weather conditions require landing from the north then the ‘easing’ is set off by the atmospheric conditions amplifying the sound on the ground. Furthermore, it is known by now that high volume aircraft movements require parallel runway usage.

    The ‘common sense’ solution to the planning disaster that is KSA (third runway) is to close down the third runway such that approach paths can be spread, using existing technologies or improved technologies, to conform with the assumptions in the Environmental Impact Statement. Alternatively put, the volume of traffic has to be reduced substantially such that ‘noise sharing’ is feasible.

    Sydney does not need a ‘second airport’, it needs an international airport with KSA being phased down to a domestic airport – over time – such that the curfew hours can be increased and nothing heavier than a B767 flies in or out of the place and at much lower frequencies with aircraft sound being not concentrated except over the areas ‘in the vicinity of the airport’ where residential houses have been noise insulated.

    The private initiative ‘Sydney Airport link’ is also a planning disaster. You can read up on this PPP at http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications/files/Review_of_Major_Infrastructure_Delivery_PWC.pdf

    Wilton is close to the existing train line to Woolongong (with a stump of a railway line toward Wilton).

    As you said, the aviation fuel could be provided from Woolongong.

    Christchurch, NZ is a pretty town (when it is not too windy). But the airport at this location cannot possibly be used as a model for Sydney; it might do for Canberra in terms of volume of air traffic. I do believe there are enough knowledgeable people in Australia to solve the problem from first principle instead of looking elsewhere.

    Has anybody calculated risk scenarios for KSA due to sea level rises?

    I suspect it is clear to you by now that, contrary to your assertion, I did not vent my frustration with the Minister, Mr Albanese, or the former Prime Minister, Mr Howard. I did object to you trivialising the difficulties these two politicians faced or face now.

  33. Very good points, Fran, except trains are faster than planes. Well, yes, okay, planes are faster than trains, but they are only faster than bullet trains in the strictly technical sense that they cover a much greater distance in a unit of time than a bullet train. But as far as the passengers are concerned, bullet trains are faster. This is because planes don’t take people to where they actually want to go. They take them to airports.

  34. @Ronald Brak

    This is because planes don’t take people to where they actually want to go. They take them to airports.

    It would make more sense to build fast train links from airports to stations then. Sydney has one — not sure about Tullamarine. Avalon only has a bus — so that’s an obvious opportunity.

  35. Fran, are we talking about the same thing? When I say airport, I mean an extra-legal, quasi-sentient, immense, bloated, civilization parasite that will stop at nothing to extract monopoly profits from those poor fools that pass through it gates. Or at least, that’s what Brisbane airport is. Adelaide airport has free wifi, so it’s not quite so bad. Anyway, airports will make use of the fact that people are pretty much stuck there and price gouge when it comes to train tickets and bus tickets and even manage to make taxis pay to come and take away their customers.

    Now of course we could actually change things so that airports actually become part of a system for making Australia a better place to travel in, but what are the chances of that happening when so many people who hold monopoly power still believe that Gordon Geko was right when he said, “Extra-legal, quasi-sentient, immense, bloated parasites on civilization is good.”

  36. @BilB
    This is what WIki says about Marx and i heard that from many Marxists:

    “It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.[”

    Marx barely presented how post capitalism should look like, he mostly wrote about how capitalism will unravel and slowly dissapear on its own due to inherent contradictions within it.

    Allow for another 50 years with robotization and resource limits and capitalism will dissapear on its own. If you could somehow give ideas to population that they need democracy at the workplace too that would be done in 10 years. All that would be left will be market just as it was before capitalism.

    Major malfunction in your critique of socialism comes from idea that Soviet socialism is and was the only one in the world. That is totaly wrong, please read about Yugoslavia’s socialism.
    The real problem for Soviets was that they destroyed market as free exchange, which is neccesary to keep people satisfied. Yugoslavia had prety free market after initial rationing post WWII.

    Future will be socialism with free market, workers democracy with available credit from banks managed by state. Fractional reserve banking is neccesary for developement of new, better businesses and bankruptcy of bad ones and technologies.

    I would like to write again about system of retirement, this will give you idea what a retiremet system is and how it is done in real terms.

    Imagine a world where every human have a great retirement savings, but there were no newborns for last 65 years.
    Can these old people retire and enjoy their savings? No, they can’t, there is no production and services they need to enjoy retirement.

    This shows that retirement savings is just a system of transfering products of new generations onto old. It is a support system by savings as accounting mean, just as you shared your production (real assets) to old generation by saving. Get it?

    Now imagine that the last generation spend their savings to develop robots and automatized production. Now the productions and services are operationaly free, but they do not have any savings. Can they decide to retire and declare distribution of basics to be free per needs? yes, why not it is just about organizing it that way. There is no need for savings to retire, just some accounting way to distribute as somene needs.

    This is future by robotics and socialism/ social conventions.

    We can do this without robots too, you know. Maybe with livable minimum wage and unemployment benefit, universal healthcare, free education. Ah, yes that is the way, LOL.
    Money and saving is just accounting way to get real values, not real wealth by itself. And government is there to organise best distribution possible. Is that socialism that you were talking about Bilb, or we are talking about? LOL

    Well, it is better with Job Guarantee with decent wages instead of unemployment benefits.

  37. Ernestine,

    Rather than get worked up into a lather of condemnation a little research might be a good idea. Apparently curved approaches to parallel runways are readily achieveable, and there is a good body of information on theis subject. Then someone needs to convince CASA that it is a good idea.

    Frankly, though, I feel that you are over inflating the noise problem for this area. I’ve worked in Hunters Hill for several years and I never found the passing aircraft to be particularly noticeable. John Howard himself lived in the area for years and found no reason to make an issue of the noise.

    TheChristchurch airport comment was about club fields coexisting with international airports, re Camden and Badgeries Creek. The airport link operators did themselves by not offering airport staff a concession train fare. They lost a lot of business in that one decision. KSA runway is 6 M above sea level, which should give it another 100 years.

  38. @Jordan when the Berlin wall fell, were you cheering or booing?

    Nozick pointed out that six per cent is the maximum proportion of any population who would voluntarily choose to live in a socialist community. More recently, 2.6% of the Israeli population live on a kibbutz.

  39. @Jim Rose

    Jim, statistics like that are meaningless. They depend on how the question is asked. They also depend on definitions and category simplifications. For example; “Would you like to live in a socialist country like the Former Soviet Union?” For a start this presumes that the FSU was a socialist country. By definition it was not. It was a state capitalist, one party dicatatorship.

    Australia is still a partly socialist country despite the inroads of neoliberalism. We have socialised medicine (free public hospitals and Medicare) running alongside privatised medicine. Welfare is essentially a socialist measure as are all other subsdies for the poor, elderly, infirm etcetera. Democracy itself is essentially a socialist feature. It socialises power (spreads power through society thus socialising it as a common right).

    If you are so against socialism I hope you have never voted (democracy is socialised power) and never taken government assistance or subsidy of any kind. So depending on your country of residence I hope you have never accepted;

    (a) free medical care;
    (b) a government pension, benefit or allowance;
    (c) a business subsidy;
    (d) preferential government assistance;
    (e) emergency government assistance for flood or natural disaster;
    (f) rescue or assistance from government emergency or military services or assets;
    (g) a tax write-off or tax deduction;
    (h) mortgage assistance (USA);
    (i) negative gearing offsets (Aust.);
    (j) enduring national peace obtained via govt military personnel, assets and spending.

    I hope you haven’t accepted any of these socialist benefits Jim or that would render you inconsistent at the very least.

  40. @Jim Rose

    So what are you doing to bring down the wall between USA and Mexico?

    So what are you doing to bring down the wall between Israel and Palestinians?

  41. @BilB

    I appreciate you may have feelings on the basis of which you form opinions and then reach the conclusion that others get ‘worked up about something’ and you give advice on what they should do instead.

    I’d like you to consider the possibility that on this ocasion you assumptions about reality are totally wrong. My comments regarding the planning disaster of the expansion of KSA (third runway) are based on extensive research on the economic decision making models (1994)on empirical sound measurements in various areas, carried out by qualified acoustics engineers, and one by the ASA which corroborated the findings and surveys of people’s reaction.

    Furthermore, aircraft noise (and the deception associated) is only one of the problems I have mentioned. Others are land transport problems around KSA, the PPP Airport Rail Link, the monopolistic shopping mall, the parking fines and the methodological point (cost-benefit vs corporate finance decision making).

    (If you were to research curved approach paths you might find your advice is not a solution to the planning disaster.)

    It was I who acknowledged the difficulties inherited by the former Prime Minister, John Howard, and the difficulties inherited by the present Minister, Mr Albanese.

    No fobbing off, please. The KSA planning disaster is an example of NSW Inc (and the associated corporatisation of the public sector). You may not like to hear this. But this doesn’t change the reality of the problems generated.


  42. @Jim Rose
    I was about 18 at the time. I did not even notice fall of Berlin Wall. AT the time i was noticing only booze, girls, drugs and music.
    I am happy that Berlin wall fell for former communist countries besides FSU which is about on the same level of prosperity as before. Other countries are better off.
    But when Berlin Wall fell it did contribute and opened up Yugoslavia for capitalist powers to destroy it trough war. Right after the Wall fell, IMF (which is a USA pupet) conditioned further crediting only to individual republics, not to federation as a whole, which strengthened separatist movements already felt because of inaction of bureaocracy to organise developement and inovation.
    You see, Yugoslavia was the most succesfull country closest to full socialist utopia and as such it was a real threat to capitalist dogma. There is a memo by Reagan in 1984

    “Despite Belgrade’s non-alignment stance and its extensive trading relations with the European Community and the U.S., the Reagan administration targeted the Yugoslav economy in a 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) classified as Secret Sensitive, titled U.S. Policy towards Yugoslavia. A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 54 issued in 1982 which dealt with Eastern Europe. The latter advocated “expanded efforts to promote a ‘quiet revolution’ to overthrow Communist governments and parties,” while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.[26]”


    Today, people are slowly realising that we got benefits of capitalism only from astounding ammount of borrowing, meny people are looking back at what it was as better and more just.
    I just lately started to learn about what it really was and how it came to be manipulated into war. IMF used tensions allready present in Yugoslavia and enforced them to cause the war.

    Milosevic Slobodan was working with support of Bush sr. and CIA educated manipulation while on the other side German Chancelor Kohl and Vatican were supporting Croatian’s Tudjman promising new credit and acceptance of new country. While at the same time when war broke out, the USA put embargo on arms deals to Yugoslav area knowing full well that Milosevic had all of Yugoslavian weapons and army while croatians had only police to defend civilians which were ethnicaly cleansed, masacred, raped, looted.
    I was watching with disbelief when embargo was anounced. They could not know. This is why i started investigating suspicions about bigger plans of world powers on YU.
    Naomi Clain’s Shock Docktrine was applied on Yugoslavia after Berlin Wall fell.

  43. @Jim Rose
    My comment is stuck in moderation. I will add some more.
    After Berlin Wall fell, it allowed for USA to implement Shock Doctrine on Yugoslavia. AFter the war, Bechtel and Enron took over a lot of rebuilding and power distribution. Probably they would have more of it if that plane with US Comerce Secretary Brown and other business executives in 1996 did not crash. You can search on Wiki by 1996 Croatia USAF CT-43 crash.

    There is no doubt in me that the war in Yu was planned by USA and capitalist powers to destroy the most succesfull Marxist implementation, and then got rich by implementing Shock Doctrine. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is a monopoly owner of telecomunications in Kosovo, former Yu region. Former US ambasador in Belgrade William Dale Montgomery is underground boss today in Belgrade and multibillionare with many businesses in Serbia.

  44. Ernestine,

    You can’t change a planning disaster after it has been implemented and 20 years further on, all you can do is move forward and fix the problems created. The fact is that the runway cannot be “shut down”. For starters it services approaches from the south regularly, and most of its departures are to the south. Add the curve approach which allows a variety of approaches which share the load and a large part of your concerns are addressed

    The land access issue is a planning mistake that goes back to the 60’s when the state government announced the establishment of a ring road to break up the hub and spoke structure of Sydneys roads. The mistake was that they did not prevent the many councils form approving frontages onto this road so it became a congested mess and failed to achieve its purpose. So it had to be done again decades in the making and that is the m2/m7/m5/Southern Cross Drive/Cahill Expressway harbour Tunnel/Bradfield Highway/Gorehill freeway, with other associated tunnels. And that now works finally. The last major missing part is the Cumberland Highway/Pennant Hills road.

    The terminal management is certainly something that should be addressed forcefully. I’m sure that you are aware that it is now impossible to pick people up from the international terminal without incurring either a parking fee or a fine. I make a point of lugging my gear around to the Customs access road and being picked up from there. I think that there would be a good case for taking the terminal management to court for their oppressive profiteering.

    The problem with the rail link goes all the way back to the removal of trams. The issue is the rail gage and the vehicle profile. The London Tube was successful largely because the tunnel profile is much smaller and requires less than a half the material to be remove for the same functional result. The building cost is far less than our standard gage suburban trains which run on the freight weighted rails. This is the fundamental stumbling block preventing Sydney from having a world standard electrified public transport system. There just is not the money to rebuild everything. So we are stuck with half a system that can never be economic. That problem is an old which goes way back.

    One of Sydney’s most disastrous planning failures, which goes back to the 30’s is the Keith Road/Rickety road/Canal road bottle neck. This road should have become an inner ring thoroughfare which joined through to Sydenham road to West St and finally onto Parramatta Road to form an outer bypass around the main rail hub at Redfern and Central. That is the road failure that someone should spend some time costing out. The cost of that roading disfunction is in the billions of dollars.

  45. The way to fixup Sydney’s public transport is to take an approach that Christchurch NZ used to eliminate power poles. The council initiated a 50 year $3 million per year programme to dispose of all of the overhead power cables. It came a little unstuck when a series of horrendous earthquakes damage a lot of this, but the principle was sound.

    What Sydney should do is commit to a $200 million dollars per year tunnelling programe for the next 30 years to bore a London Tube sized ring rail system to service all of Sydney. Contractors could tender periodically for the work on the basis of achieveable tunnel length. The amount is sufficient to encourage innovation in machinery and techniques. Rolling stock could be bought from any number of successful systems around the world initially and later improved locally. By making this a fixed amount that can be easily accommodated rather than a multi billion dollar amount for fixed projects a far more cost effective result will be achieved in a reasonable number of years, and continually extended over time.

  46. When I think about it you could get quite an effective system in place fairly quickly by inititially boring a single tunnel line with stations every 2 kilometres. Trains would pass at the stations and all progress a section at a time with every second station having a train at each platform with none alternately at the inbetween station. Later you go back and bore the second tunnel in the heavier traffic sections as required and as the system became increasingly more commercial. The trains could be designed to operate in the open as well where the power was drwn from a third rail in the tunnel and an overhead cateniary in the open linking with the expanding tram system, or not. Trains would be single or dual carriage to promote higher frequency. Station building could be linked in with above ground commercial developments and paid for by those developers who benefit from the commuter traffic flow. Ticketing is done by debit card of various kiinds thereby avoiding the need to provide ticketing sales structures.

  47. BilB,

    The way to approach the problems is to close down NSW Inc, direct all interest groups (eg Sydney Airport Corp, Tourism Lobby, … BilB) to participate in the public consultation process on equal footing with residents with the aim of strengthening representative parliamentary government and an independent public service.

    The NSW Inc approach (under a different name) no longer works, although they seem to carry on as if their ‘strategy’ is a natural law. It is not. People have learned about the PR machinery of the Incs.

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