Sunday, November 11, 2018

Australians are the richest people in the world

This is only superficially true.  It mainly reflects the high price of real estate in the capital cities.  Almost any home-owner in Sydney, for instance, is a millionaire. 

Travellers will tell you that just about everything in the USA is cheaper while it is dearer in Britain.  So dollar wealth is not comparable across countries anyway.  Purchasing power figures are available but there is no mention of them being used below

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Judging by where the greatest number of people are well off, Australia is taking the top spot.

A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. Yet a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story.

While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, it’s not the richest when you compare the average amount of wealth per adult.

That prize goes to Switzerland, as you can see in the map below. Australia is in second place, ahead of the US.

Wait a minute, you may be thinking: it looks like Switzerland is richer than Australia. And the US is doing pretty well too. So what’s with the headline?

The ranking above divides a country’s overall wealth by the total population. That means it doesn’t reflect the fact that in the US, for example, the top 0.1 per cent of US households hold as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent.

“The United States has the most members of the top 1 per cent global wealth group, and currently accounts for 41 per cent of the world’s millionaires,” Credit Suisse's report notes. “Our research indicates that the United States added 878,000 new millionaires [since 2017] – representing around 40 per cent of the global increase.”

But a different, perhaps fairer, way to rank the richest countries in the world is to take a look at the countries where the greatest number of people are rich.

Credit Suisse ran those numbers, too, in order to compare how much wealth the median, middle-of-the-pack person has in every country.

In that ranking, Australians are the richest. And the US doesn’t even make the top 10.

By this measure, Australia comes out on top, with median wealth of $US191,453 ($263,822) per adult. The US has a median wealth of $US61,667 ($84,977) per adult, which puts the country at number 18, well behind others, including the UK ($US97,169), Canada ($U106,342), and New Zealand ($US98,613).


More black Muslim mayhem in Melbourne

What will it take to show the do-gooders that black Muslims are too much of a risk to have in Australia?  How many innocent people have to die?

A Melbourne cafe legend was stabbed to death during a terrorist's knife rampage through Bourke Street that injured two others before police gunned the Somali immigrant down.

Sisto Malaspina, 74, was murdered by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, as he ran to help what he thought was a car crash victim just blocks from his iconic Pellegrini's coffee shop about 4.20pm on Friday.

However, Khalif had deliberately crashed his Holden Rodeo that was loaded with gas canisters and set the car alight after mounting the pavement near the Swanson Street intersection.

By trying to do a good deed, Mr Malaspina became the murderous knifeman's first victim. Soon two others would also be stabbed before Khalif attacked police.

Video shot from the scene showed the frenzied attack that carried on for more than a minute as Khalif chased the officers around as they tried to convince him to surrender, before finally shooting him.

Police said Khalif was inspired by ISIS to commit jihad, but they were unsure if he had direct contrast with the terrorist group. ISIS claimed his as one of their own, but often falsely associate themselves with lone wolf attacks.

Khalif's passport was cancelled in 2015 after he was flagged as one of 300 potential security risks when he it was discovered he planned to travel to Syria.

An AFP spokesman said in a press conference late on Saturday morning that though Khalif was on their radar, police decided not to intervene. 'While he held radical ideals, he didn't hold a threat,' he said.

His family were known to counter-terror agencies and believed to have ties with North African extremist groups.

His brother Ali Khalif Shire Ali was arrested in November 2017 over an alleged planned New Year's Eve attack on Federation Square.

Heartbroken friends and longtime customers left floral tributes to the slain food icon outside the Pellegrini's, just down Bourke Street near the Exhibition Street intersection.

Staff were in shock and a sign on the door said the cafe would be closed until November 12, with police standing guard outside.

Mr Malaspina's body was on Friday seen lying in the street covered by a white sheet with a bare foot sticking out after bystanders unsuccessfully tried to save his life.


Australia's new labour scheme for Pacific Islanders gets underway

As the Morrison government tries to prove it is stepping up its role in the Pacific, 80 Pacific Islanders have spent their first months working in regional parts of Australia under a new labour program.

Talimanatu Uilese is among the new arrivals and is working as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat in coastal New South Wales.

He arrived in Australia in August from the small Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and has already been surprised by the different fishing methods used in his home country compared to those in Australia.

“They use live bait and calamari for catching tuna, but in Tuvalu we make our own bait,” Mr Uilese told SBS News.

Under the new Pacific Labour Scheme, he is able to stay in Australia for up to three years.

“We see this as very much a win-win,” Assistant Minister for the Pacific, Anne Ruston, told SBS News. “Obviously we are getting a great source of fantastic labour… but equally, we can be training these workers when they come to Australia so that when they return home to their countries they have got the kinds of skills that are going to assist in capacity building in their own country.”

Mr Uilese is earning 10 times more than his usual wage back home and told SBS News he plans to build a house when he eventually returns.  He has left his wife and four children in Tuvalu. His youngest is just ten months old.

“The main reason why I am here is for my children's future,” he said. “It is very hard for me but on the other side, it is better for me to earn money than stay back home without doing anything.”

A total of 2,000 Pacific Islanders are expected to arrive in Australia by mid next year but numbers will be capped annually after that, depending on demand.

The aim is to strengthen relations with some of Australia’s closest neighbours and boost workforce numbers in the primary industries that need it.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a foreign policy reset on the Pacific in Townsville on Thursday, saying: “Australia is committed to building on labour mobility opportunities for Pacific countries to Australia and ensuring that Pacific countries take priority.”

The access to extra staff is vital for local industries including Steve Basile’s third-generation fishing business in the NSW town of Ulladulla. Half of his staff members are foreign workers and without them, he told SBS News his business would fold. “We would not have a business. The boats would be tied up to the wharf or sold and we would be doing something else,” he said.

Tuna Australia CEO David Ellis said fishing and tourism were traditional Pacific industries. “What this scheme does is allow them to get the skills in using the commercial equipment and be able to take that back,” Mr Ellis said.

The Pacific Labour Scheme was first announced at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa last year by then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The labour scheme will run alongside an existing program that brings in farm workers from the region with around 8,500 arriving in the last financial year.


Finally, Western civilisation finds champions at the University of Sydney

Only time will tell whether this week marks the turning point when cool reason defeated hotter heads at the University of Sydney. Those trying to secure more diverse views on campus and greater choice for students to study the great books of Western civilisation are not pulling their punches any more. Too much is at stake.

Sydney University was once a place for robust debates and diverse views. It is, or at least was, the embodiment of thousands of years of human progress and learning from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire; from the spread of Christianity and the artistic, political and economic discoveries of Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. This is the rich, messy and splendidly complicated heritage of intellectual freedoms that underpin our liberal democracy.

As part of a $3 billion bequest by businessman Paul Ramsay, the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is offering to fund a three-year degree where students study 30 of the great texts, from Homer and Chaucer to Marx and Virginia Woolf. The proposal includes about 40 scholarships of $30,000 to young students. The curriculum has not been finalised, nor has a memorandum of understanding been signed.

This has not deterred a small group of loud and irrational malcontents at Sydney University who are determined to stop negotiations dead in their tracks.

For months now, they have turned a debate into a one-sided diktat that the university must say no to Ramsay. They have spread wild claims, piled high with misrepresentation and misinformation. Unloading their double-barrelled loathing of the Ramsay Centre and Western civilisation, they have pitched themselves to other staff and students as moral guardians holding back barbarians from the university’s gates.

This week more reasoned ­voices pushed back against the real vandals, the hotheads inside the gates who run scared from div­erse opinions and competition by concocting conspiracy theories to scupper a Ramsay-funded degree. James Curran, professor of modern history, is one of those voices of reason.

“I’m speaking up now because of my concern that those more strident voices of opposition have unfortunately abandoned cool real­ism and calm detachment in responding to the Ramsay proposal,” Curran told The Australian on Thursday. “My bottom line is: a course such as this will complement much that is already being taught in the humanities at the university, not least the Faculty Scholars program.”

Curran says there is no evidence the intellectual autonomy of the university will be compromised. He also rejects claims the degree harbours a “three cheers for the West” ambition.

He challenges claims by professor of politics John Keane, who, says Curran, has been quoting “the British race patriot rhetoric of wartime prime minister John Curtin, implying that to support Ramsay is somehow to be advocating the recrudescence of the White Australia policy, or that it involves some kind of nostalgic harking back to or longing for the British Empire”.

“What?” says Curran with incredulity. “I am not sure where this kind of interpretation comes from. Thankfully Australia long ago dispensed with its British race character and instead wholeheartedly and enthusiastically embraced a new language and policy of tolerance and diversity.”

Curran says this country has an “ancient, rich and precious indigenous heritage” and that modern Australia, for good and ill, derives from a Western tradition that we have adapted to our environment and experience. He points to our interaction with the civilisations of the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere around the world.

Curran is speaking out after a meeting late last month where academics stridently opposed to Ramsay lined up on stage all shaking their heads in one direction. “Say ‘no’ to Ramsay,” they said, one after the other.

Professor of English literature John Frow said Western civilisation had “become code for a ­racially imagined culture under attack from racially imagined others”.

Academic Shima Shahbazi said: “The Ramsay Centre is structurally, institutionally, morally and epistemically violent to other knowledges, modernities, democracies and more importantly the indigenous history of the land.”

University of Western Sydney associate professor Alana Lentin claimed the Ramsay offer would compound the “wilful, knowing white ignorance that is leading us down the road to fascism while Liberals mindlessly bleat about the marketplace of ideas”.

In his open letter of October 3, Keane described Western civilisation as brimming with resentment. “It feels unshakeably arrogant, male and white,” he wrote. He said it was being “championed by fools (Boris Johnson) and arsonists (Nigel Farage)” and “these loudmouthed champions of Western civilisation are killing off its last remaining credibility”.

This is the stuff of political rallies. But remember these same ­academics are educating our children, the next generation of leaders and citizens.

On Wednesday at 10.04am, provost and deputy vice-chancellor Stephen Garton fired off an email to Keane, copied to members of the arts faculty and other staff. His exasperation is palpable. So is his determination to check a minority of politically charged and ideologically blinkered academics who want to scuttle an epochal funding offer to Sydney University. Garton’s 2000-plus-word response, along with Curran’s public intervention the next day, are pivotal developments. Finally, facts are gaining ground over emotion and fabrication.

In his response to an email Keane sent a week earlier, Garton’s confronts the “leaps of logic” and the “myths that frame some of the misrepresentations” running rife at the university. He addresses Keane’s “conspiracy theory thinking”, which is “lacking any evidence whatsoever”.

Garton objects to Keane’s “pejorative language of lucre” — a word that alludes to filthy money. You will find the word in the Bible, Titus 1:11, admonishing those who teach “things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake”.

“Is it lucre when we raise funds to support indigenous scholarships or research on childhood obesity?” Garton asks Keane.

“The logic of the argument … escapes me. Does this mean we shouldn’t accept funding for renal cancer because it is not also for bowel cancer, that we shouldn’t accept a chair in Celtic studies because it is not more broadly ­European studies, that we shouldn’t accept funding for a position in Near Eastern archeology because it is not also classical archaeology, that we wouldn’t accept it for medieval history ­because it ignores medieval ­philosophy?”

He assures Keane and other academics that the draft MOU will safeguard academic autonomy but laments that nothing will satisfy them except outright rejection of the proposal. Deploying his background in medical history, Garton likens some of their anxiety to “a type of Victorian ­miasma theory”.

“The frame of reference here is an implication that if we breathe any Ramsay air at all we will immediately become infected and diseased,” he writes. “I have far more confidence in the intellectual robustness and resilience of our colleagues than that.”

As to the claim by loathers of Western civilisation that core texts such as Plato, St Augustine, Locke, Chaucer and Shakespeare are “old-fashioned”, Garton admonishes their “dismaying dismissal of much that is good in what we do”. He defends “many of our finest colleagues” who teach such texts using depth, not breadth.

“To explore one set of intellectual traditions or one canon of texts does not devalue other traditions or textual canons,” writes Garton. He dismisses as equally irrational claims the new course will compete with other courses. “How a program with a very small commencing cohort (30 to 60) can threaten disciplines like history and English is equally puzzling,” Garton writes. “Are these disciplines really that vulnerable? If students are leaving these disciplines then they have more to worry about than Ramsay.”

Garton points out that existing teaching of the Western tradition is done in a piecemeal fashion. “None of it is stitched together as an overall program as the university does with, say, Asian studies or American studies.”

This point is critical to learning the real story of human progress. During a visit to Australia earlier this year, the historian and author of The English and Their History, Robert Tombs, said: “The West ravaged continents, burned heretics, invented the gas chamber and the atom bomb, and almost destroyed itself in two world wars. But when woven together the separate parts of Western civilisation explain how we learned to end slavery, defeat totalitarianism and grew ashamed of war, genocide and persecution.”

It is, says the historian who has taught at Cambridge for more than 50 years, “an action-packed adventure story, not a philosophical treatise”. And that is how it should be taught at school and university.


 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

1 comment:

Paul said...

A Somali Muslim is a no brainer (in all ways). Why would you, in a sane world, want them anywhere near civilization? As such though, they are not the enemy. The real enemy is among those who worked so hard to infest the West with these third-worlders, knowing the damage it would do.

"I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural.
And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make.
They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive." Barbra Lerner Specter (who thought this would only be seen on Israeli television).

They are not our friends.