Billionaires Crawling All Over Our Democracy

Karl FitzgeraldCommentary, MultimediaLeave a Comment

Billionaires Are Crawling All Over Our Democracy by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud

Renegade Economists podcast 355

As broadcast on 3CR Wed August 27th, 2014.
Subscribe to the free weekly podcast here or listen live 5.30pm.

Ferguson court revenues
Washington Post: Many rely on revenue generated from traffic tickets and related fines. According to a study by the St. Louis nonprofit Better Together, Ferguson receives nearly one-quarter of its revenue from court fees; for some surrounding towns it approaches 50 percent.

@earthsharing
Rob Oakeshott – They are crawling all over our democracy, and my worry is unless the audience is onto this and starts to respond to it, we are allowing democracy to be privatised.

Paraphrased as: The billionaires are crawling all over our democracy. We are allowing democracy to be privatised.

Tinkler donation for rezoning

ICAC reveals the pursuit of economic rents, the unearned incomes, the windfall gains that is the end result of rent seeking. Tinkler’s $18,000 donation via the Free Enterprise Foundation.

The Boganaire’s play:
180 hectares called ‘Yabornie’, North Richmond, City of Hawkesbury, $18,000 donation
2000 lots
= $180 p/h
2000/180 = 11 homes per hectare
at an average $330,000 land value = $3.63m p/h
broadly speaking, thats a 36,300% return on investment
The proposed re-zoning would give a $653.4m valuation of the land

The Buildev donation was made in Dec 2010, not long after donations by developers was made illegal.

Tinkler donation for rezoning

The Australian Financial Review revealed on Monday that within six months of the $18,000 donation Mr Bassett voted in favour of a Hawkesbury council residential land strategy that listed the controversial North Richmond development as “high priority”.

In June 2012 Mr Bassett voted for the council to ask the state government to fast track rezoning the project under a so-called state “gateway process”.

Mr Williams told the inquiry that in October 2012 Buildev sold its interest in North Richmond for $12 million.

It is instructive how soon after the rezoning fastracking that the site was sold.

Public Housing, long term renting with April Bragg (Housing for the Aged)

According to the 2006 census, Australia’s public housing stock consisted of some 304,000 dwellings out of a total housing stock of more than 7.1 million dwellings.

Vic Public Housing history
1960 – housing commish built 4500 homes for SEC workers in Churchill, Latrobe Valley
90’s – community gardens incorporated into pub housing estates
200’s – neighborhood renewal in highly disadvantaged areas
2010 – Eliz St Common Ground opened (supportive housing development) The development provided 131 affordable units and coordinated support for people who had experienced long-term homelessness or who were at risk of homelessness.

Begging a crime – Proceeds of crime’ seizure beggars belief … 8 cases over 12 months


Apartments sit idle as East West Link tunnel creeps up

Nearly 100 new apartments are sitting empty in one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs, nearly a year after the Victorian government bought them for $90 million.

The government bought all but two of the 175 apartments in the Evo Building in Parkville from off-the-plan investors in September last year, after it became clear that tollways leading to the controversial East West Link tunnel would completely surround the site.

Eight months after the apartments were first advertised in January, 99 remain unleased.

The Linking Melbourne Authority contracted Lilydale Real Estate agent Noble Knight, which is leaking the apartments on to the market at a rate of about 12 per month.

The agents were advertising some of the apartments at $570 per week but the most expensive on the market now appeared to be $495.

The vacancy rate in Melbourne’s inner suburbs is just 3 per cent, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
A government spokeswoman said the gradual release of the apartments was in line with advice from the Valuer General.

Council to Homeless Persons policy manager Sarah Toohey said she would like to see some of the remaining apartments used as social housing.

Check the rents charged by government:

$500 x 52 weeks x 20 years = $520K (potential home owners – thats the formula for valuing a property)
90m/173 apartments = $520,231
so charging about what they paid for them. No controversy there.

We didnt get to cover this interesting article on nursing homes in Coalition ditches another good idea, but I was very interested in the similarities between the nursing home leaseholds discussed by Kohler to Community Land Trusts. If only the public collected the rising land rents, not the nursing home corporation.

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