Thursday, February 23, 2017
Australian men longest lived
The Sydney Boring Harold is a miserable carping paper -- as befits its strong Leftist lean. Ordinary Australians would be pleased that we are unusually long lived but what did the SMH head its story as? They said: "Australian men to be knocked off top spot for life expectancy". They had to scratch for something negative in the news, even if it was highly speculative. As you would expect, they attribute our good fortune to our free public hpospitals. But we have had those for decades so that is nonsense. It's more likely that other nations have things holding them back -- like the two large minority populations in the USA
Australian men are the world's longest lived, a new study has revealed, but the research shows that by 2030 they will have been knocked off the top spot for world life expectancy.
The study, published on Wednesday in The Lancet, shows that across the developed world life expectancies continue to climb, pushing above 90 for the first time.
Australian boys who were born in 2010 can expect to live to 80.10, the study says, longer than any other country. And those to be born in 2030 can expect to live to 84.00.
However, males born in South Korea in 2030 can expect to live to 84.07, or about 25 days longer than an Australian male born at the same time. Given the nature of the statistical modelling, this falls within the margin of error.
The study says: "For men, South Korea, Australia, and Switzerland have highly overlapping distributions of projected life expectancy and hence similar probabilities of occupying the top three ranks."
South Korean women born in 2030 are also expected to live the longest, to 90.82 on average. This is the first time that a life expectancy has passed 90, the study's authors say. South Korean girls born in 2010 also had the highest life expectancy, at 84.07.
Australian women currently have the fourth longest life expectancy at 84.53. Girls born in 2030, the study says, can expect to live until they are 87.57, which is the sixth longest projected life span.
"As recently as the turn of the century, many researchers believed that life expectancy would never surpass 90 years," said lead author Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London.
"Our predictions of increasing lifespans highlight our public health and healthcare successes. However, it is important that policies to support the growing older population are in place."
Professor David Le Couteur from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney said: "Three things struck me about this study. One is that much of this life expectancy gain is occurring in old people. Two is how well Australia is doing. And three is how badly the US is doing."
Professor Le Couteur said Australia's performance is due to a combination of lifestyle factors and social policy.
"There has been a dramatic reduction in smoking and enough people are exercising as they get older to make an impact. And while obesity is a problem it is not as bad as in the US or Britain.
"A strong conclusion of this study and one I would support is that having a strong universal health system with public health interventions makes a huge difference."
He said that in the US high homicide rates, obesity, inequality and the lack of universal healthcare are contributing to its stagnating life expectancy rates.
"The US spends more on health [per capita] than Australia but it's very inequitable in terms of delivery," Professor Le Couteur said.
"America is not even in the top 20 countries for life expectancy - which is incredible considering how much it spends on healthcare."
The study also shows that in every country - except Mexico - the gap in life expectancy between men and women is decreasing.
For Australians born in 2010, women are expected to live 4.43 years longer than men. However, for those born 20 years later, that gap is expected to drop to 3.57 years.
In the Netherlands the gender gap will drop to 1.7 years, with men born in 2030 expected to live until 83.69 and women until they are 85.39.
Professor Le Couteur said: "I suspect countries with the narrowest difference between men and women have better social equity and lower smoking rates."
He said men are healthier and there is a tendency for women to be taking up some of the bad health behaviours of men, such as heavier drinking.
Ailiana Santosa, from the Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research, Umea University, Sweden said: "Countries are moving towards universal health coverage. Achieving universal health coverage is worthy, plausible, and needs to be continued."
The researchers used a statistical method based on 21 models for 35 countries with populations above 1 million, rather than a single statistical model. These results were then combined using a Bayesian modelling technique.
The data for Australia compares well to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which predicts life expectancy for Australian girls born in 2013-15 to be 84.5 and boys born at the same to time to live until they are 80.4.
"What these figures reflect is health. The reason people are living longer is because they're healthy. And because they are healthy they are contributing more to society and using fewer healthcare resources," Professor Le Couteur said.
Immigrants to blame for high house prices, businessman Dick Smith claims
You can't fault his logic
Australian businessman Dick Smith has blamed immigrants for high house prices, claiming the "enormous population increase" is making young families unable to buy their first home.
Appearing alongside former Labor leader Mark Latham and controversial former Liberal MP Ross Cameron, Mr Smith said "jumbo loads" of immigrants arriving each week were the "main driver" behind the country's housing affordability crisis.
"The main point that's driving our unaffordable housing is about 200,000 immigrants come in a year. That's five jumbo loads a week that go out empty," he told Sky News.
"All of our problems are from this unbelievable population increase. You can't drive in Sydney at the moment. The housing prices are enormous.
"The most fundamental right is to get a house with a backyard. Young couples can't do that anymore, purely driven in 95 per cent of cases by the enormous population increase, mainly driven by ridiculous immigration."
The entrepreneur has long argued in favour of a "sustainable" population and last year backed One Nation's policy of restricting migration levels - though he disagreed with banning Muslim immigrants.
On Tuesday, Mr Smith asserted population growth of 1.7 per cent was not compatible with long-term prosperity, and Australia had reached a "sweet spot" of around 24 million people.
He said infinite population growth would "just mean that most people are poor". In doing so he took aim at the service sector economy, which he described as "selling coffee to each other or doing nails". "You can't run a country on that," he said.
Both sides of politics and most economists spruik the benefits of immigration. The majority of the 190,000 migrant places offered by Australia each year are in skilled migration, attracting people with a high level of education and who tend to be of prime working age.
That contrasts with Australia's ageing population, which requires the support of younger workers, and the relatively stable but low birth rate of 1.9 births per woman, which is below the population replacement level.
A report by the Migration Council of Australia used modelling by Independent Economics to declare that by 2050, migration will have added 21.9 per cent to the real wages of low-skilled workers, and will be contributing $1.6 trillion to the country's gross domestic product.
It comes amid a deepening debate within the Turnbull government about how to combat the housing affordability crisis, with MPs pitching a variety of ideas from deposit-free home loans to high-speed rail.
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar was criticised by Labor for suggesting that "highly-paid jobs" should be the "first step" for those seeking to buy a home.
The comments were reminiscent of former treasurer Joe Hockey's infamous declaration that aspiring home owners should "get a good job that pays good money".
Controversial One Nation candidate David Archibald claims Africans have a lower IQ and welfare is stopping human evolution
The figures are on his side
A One Nation candidate believes black Africans have lower IQs and government welfare is preventing human evolution.
David Archibald, a geologist who is running for Pauline Hanson's party at next month's West Australian elections, wrote an opinion piece for the niche, right-wing American Thinker website, in May 2015.
One Nation's candidate for the mining-rich Pilbara region, in the state's far north, said Africans in the continent's southwest had intelligence quotients, which were much lower than the average IQ of 100.
'One major kind of diversity is in the range of human intelligence, with the bushmen of southwest Africa at the bottom end with an average IQ of 60 and Ashkenazi Jews at the top end with an average IQ of 115,' he said.
In the same article, titled 'Genes, Mutations and Behaviour', Mr Archibald said government welfare was also stopping millions of years of human evolution.
'Human evolution, both the enhancement of the good and the winnowing of the bad, has now stopped due to the rise modern medicine and the welfare state,' he said.
'Mutations continue, though, so in theory the human genome is going backwards now.'
Earlier this month, One Nation's federal leader Pauline Hanson hit out at journalists and politicians, including Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, who had called for Mr Archibald to be disendorsed for saying single mothers were producing 'lazy and ugly' children.
'To all the fat lazy politicians and fat lazy journalists in the fat lazy media playing fat lazy political correctness, identity politics - the answer is no,' the Queensland senator wrote on Twitter.
In another article for the Australian conservative Quadrant magazine in August 2015, Mr Archibald described gay marriage as 'degenerate'.
'It is possible that the incidence of homosexuality is an acceptable loss, in evolutionary terms, so that the rest of the males can be more male-like. 'Viewed in that way, homosexuality is part of the human condition. But so is marriage – it is more than just a social construct. 'A successful culture wouldn’t mix the two. A degenerate culture might.'
In the same opinion piece, titled 'Evolution versus Gay Marriage' he said pregnant women in the Middle East were stoned to death during the time of Jesus' birth. 'Marriage as a social institution was reinforced in part by stoning to death women who became pregnant outside of marriage,' he said.
'The miracle of Mary’s virgin birth has been explained as an act of charity by Joseph in taking in a pregnant woman who otherwise would have been stoned to death.'
PM welcomes Netanyahu to Australia
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived at Admiralty House in Sydney at the beginning of a historic four-day tour.
Mr Netanyahu, the first sitting Israeli Prime Minister to visit Australia, was welcomed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Governor-general Sir Peter Cosgrove.
His plane landed in Sydney early this morning. He has brought with him a business delegation of about 25 Israeli executives and entrepreneurs, particularly from the hi-tech industry.
Major deals involving cybersecurity and technology are expected to be signed in the next four days.
The visit is not without opposition. Sixty prominent Australians, including former Commonwealth Solicitor-General Gavan Griffiths and former Federal Court judge Murray Willcox, have signed a letter opposing the visit.
They say the visit should not be going ahead because the policies of the Netanyahu government “provoke, intimidate and oppress” the Palestinian people.
Kevin Rudd has urged Australia’s political leaders to “seize the opportunity” of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit and call out the country’s recent moves in the occupied territories in the West Bank, while pushing for the official recognition of a Palestinian state.
On the morning Mr Netanyahu arrived in Sydney, marking the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has visited Australia, the former Labor PM also called for his party to change its policy for a two-state solution at its national conference next year.
“To be fair to Labor’s leadership these have been recent and unfolding events both in Israel and in the United States and that is why I’ve chosen to speak out as well,” Mr Rudd told ABC radio.
“President Trump of the United States has now called into question the future of American support for a two-state solution, an independent Palestinian state and of course the state of Israel. As well as the fact that we now see through recent draft legislation going through the Israeli parliament the legitimisation of mass new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories on the West Bank.
“Therefore the time has come for strong friends and allies of both Israel and the United States to begin to draw a line and say ‘we cannot go past this’. Otherwise we kill the idea of an independent Palestinian state forever.”
The remarks come amid a growing divide within the Labor Party over a two-state solution and as Malcolm Turnbull strongly condemns the United Nations, accusing it of a prejudiced attack against Israel after a Security Council resolution denounced Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Mr Rudd, who with Labor’s former prime minister Bob Hawke and former foreign ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans have advocated a change in foreign policy and recognition of a Palestinian state, said Australia should speak “candidly” to its Israeli friends about policies they did not support.
“I’m a lifelong supporter of the state of Israel, that does not make me however a lifelong supporter of the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu,” Mr Rudd said.
“Therefore the opportunity must be seized and when you speak as friends, as we do with Israel, and express our view about the legitimate right of the Israelis and the Palestinian people, the time has come to seize that opportunity.”
Labor MP Michael Danby yesterday hit out at party “heroes” for “provoking” Mr Natanyahu ahead of his visit, questioning why they don’t also “beat up on China”.
But Mr Rudd dismissed the comments, saying Mr Danby was “once voice within nearly 100 members of the federal parliamentary party”.
“I’m sure some of us may share his views but I’m also a member of the Australian Labor Party and I also have an equal right to articulate my own view,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Netanyahu paid tribute to the strong ties between his country and Australia after landing in Sydney. His four-day visit to Sydney would strengthen the bonds between both countries, he said.
“We admire Australia, we embrace Australia and this visit will enable us to bring our countries even closer,” he told the ABC.
“I’ve been here before and counted the years wanting to come back again and I’m very proud to be here as the first Israeli prime minister to make an official visit to Australia.” Mr Netanyahu also paid tribute to Australia’s military efforts during World War I battle of Beersheba when they ensured the lifeline of the Suez Canal. “We’re celebrating 100 years of friendship between Australia and Israel,” he said.
“I always remember, it was Australian Light Horse that liberated Beersheba, an old, old city in our history. We have been friends — extraordinary friends — ever since.”
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here