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Old 05-12-2011, 17:30   #196
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

As a matter of interest I requested a quote a few days ago for the motors I have in my boat. Today I received that quote.
These are a Komatsu based engine made in Japan

I paid $16,000 each for them in Australia a few years back
In the US today you pay


Bear in mind that Japan to Australia is closer than Japan to USA, so freight here should have been cheaper.
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Old 05-12-2011, 17:52   #197
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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey

Maybe 25 years ago they didn't know - but they certainly do know what they are missing out on nowadays, not only from Western / Films and TV etc but from there own countrymen enjoying lifestyles the also want.

But poor people do look good in holiday photos
20 years ago when I first went to KL theree were thousands of motorcycles. In HCM there were thousands of bicycles.

Today in KL there are thousands of cars and in HCM there are thousands of motorcycles.

If this is tthe measure then everyone is trying to climb the "economic" ladder.

It is still true, although for how long take a guess, that SEA still has lots of rural folk who are less encumbered by modern trappings. i.e. they don't panic when the internent connection goes down because they don't have iPhones or iPads. They don't get stressed at the high cost of buying and shipping boat parts because the dont have boats or credit cards (or internet). They don't need malls or 3 hours of Jersey Shore tv to fill up a day which in our case is largely spent wallowing in excesses.

Are they happy? My experience is generally yes. Do they want more? Hell yes. I remember once 25 years ago we were driving through a rural village in the Philippines. I pointed out all the TV antenea on top of all these grass houses. My Filipino friend told me the government had recently distributed the rice subsidy to buy seed. Everyone bought tvs instead. Of course it was an election year and the provincial governer was reelected by a landslide a few weeks later. Marcos really knew how to run a country - LOL

With variation by country success in the province means, a house, education for the oldest boy (others as cash permits) some livestock, a motorcycle, some gold, plenty of foreign food and goods, a car, a second house. This is not unlike the west. It is called "face" usually but it is just a version of keeping up with the Jones' or more correctly getting ahead of the Jones'.

The bad part is that many cases the oldest daughter is sent to Phuket. There she gets an excellent job as a ("waitress, secretary, shop girl, dental hygenist, maid" - you pick one) The fact she then starts sending USD 1000-1500 home every month is testament to the "great" job she has landed and everyone ignores what she is really doing as long as the money keeps coming.

The good news is you can still cruise the coasts, find anchorages and villages where people smile, and are happy to trade with you. It is cheap by your standards and profits are high in their terms, a fish getting a 100-300% premium on local prices. They will dive on your hull and wipe it down for cheap, while you hand over, for them, a weeks wages.

They have lots of time to mend fishing nets, sit around and talk story. They are happy but I'd still rather be the rich guy on the yacht worth 10-30 years of local wages. Even if I think West Marine charges too much...
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Old 05-12-2011, 18:37   #198
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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20 years ago when I first went to KL theree were thousands of motorcycles. In HCM there were thousands of bicycles.

Today in KL there are thousands of cars and in HCM there are thousands of motorcycles.

If this is tthe measure then everyone is trying to climb the "economic" ladder.
I wonder how the streets will cope if they all trade in bikes for cars?

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Old 05-12-2011, 18:41   #199
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I wonder how the streets will cope if they all trade in bikes for cars?

You get the answer to that question in KL, Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok - not good and not pretty.

Although to be fair Manila and Bangkok have made some good efforts at desnarling. Anyone driven in LA lately - LOL
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Old 05-12-2011, 18:50   #200
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
As a matter of interest I requested a quote a few days ago for the motors I have in my boat. Today I received that quote.
These are a Komatsu based engine made in Japan

I paid $16,000 each for them in Australia a few years back
In the US today you pay


Bear in mind that Japan to Australia is closer than Japan to USA, so freight here should have been cheaper.
And the exchange rate was ?????
Milage is only one component of the cost of freight !!!
Australia sends raw materials to Japan, imports manufactured goods - 2 different types of ships. Trade between USA and Japan is more balanced in shipping needs so better utilisation of ships. If you want to compare please do so but please be objective.
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Old 05-12-2011, 18:59   #201
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And the exchange rate was ?????
Milage is only one component of the cost of freight !!!
Australia sends raw materials to Japan, imports manufactured goods - 2 different types of ships. Trade between USA and Japan is more balanced in shipping needs so better utilisation of ships. If you want to compare please do so but please be objective.
Shipping is really interesting, ok boring, but I have a good friend that works for Maersk.

Boat schedules are made a year in advance, the right boat in the right place at the right time is a wizards job.

Everyone was caught flat footed by the meltdown. Everyone wanted their empty ships in cheap anchorages. Driving empty ships around is not very profitable. His hair really whitened up in 2009...
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Old 05-12-2011, 19:08   #202
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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And the exchange rate was ?????
It hardly matters as today the motor here costs closer to $18,500
Thats DOUBLE what it costs in the US and we are now at parity.

Quote:
Milage is only one component of the cost of freight !!!
Gouging is the other?
Quote:
Australia sends raw materials to Japan, imports manufactured goods - 2 different types of ships. Trade between USA and Japan is more balanced in shipping needs so better utilisation of ships.
Of course there are two different types of ships, I never said they weren't and what does it matter?
We do get other things from Japan you know, we also get cars electronics, partial vehicles and low hour engines and tyres.
Its not as if they are sending a special ship just for me.

Quote:
If you want to compare please do so but please be objective.
I am being objective, my comments on pricing are based on FACT
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Old 05-12-2011, 19:16   #203
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
GORDMAY At last someone who recognises Australia's distance/population issues!!!
Exactly why costs will always be high here and why export of raw commodities shall prevail.
We don't have cheap labour simple as that!!!! Our maid's want $20/hr lol....Our tradesmen $46/hr base rate!!!

There are always plenty of very reasoned arguments why things can't be improved. But there are multiple factors to consider. My arguments, I admit, don't have all the factors - its a big question. But...

The politicians use the excuse we don't have water to reason we can't have a larger population. Water is just a matter of engineering and energy. Plenty of water if we could store it when it rains. Or get really ambitious and harvest icebergs continually melting off Antarctica. As others have noticed distance isn't such an issue. Plus future growth in Indonesia / Malaysia makes them ideal trading partners. Clothing in Australia currently cost three times what they do in the US.

Labour costs are relative to cost of living. For the conditions, Australia has done an amaising job growing much of its own food. If the politicians would only encourage the farmers (as the US does) cost of living would come down. Housing costs are dictated by slow governmental land releases, again dictated by water supply, sewerage, and road access

Plus costs in $AU are relative. Corresponding labour costs in Europe were high (relatively) when the Euro was worth two Australian dollars? The difference is whether Australian production is for domestic consumption or export.

The general point of this thread is that domestic prices could be lower for the things we need on our boats. The broader consideration is that maybe some improvements could happen if we find constructive ways around the distance/population limits.
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Old 05-12-2011, 20:15   #204
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Sorry my mistake - ill rephrase.
In my opinion and my observations after nearly 3 decades of world travel - poor people seem to be happier in 3rd world countries
Take thailand - not called land of smiles for nothing.
And do you know why they are smiling? It's because they dare not be caught levelling ANY criticism, no matter how tame, against the monarchy. Penalty? Twenty years prison is the minimum sentence.

Two cases in the last year or so to illustrate. One was the merest of slights against the monarchy in a book on Thailand published outside the country: 20 years. The other victims were two journalists who refused to stand for the national anthem in a movie theatre; they were dragged out and given 20 years each.

Those of you who still persist in the notion that our western democracies are corrupted and voting provides just a warm fuzzy feeling are sadly and deeply removed from the reality of people's lives in places where the most basic freedoms we take for granted do not apply.

Laws like that (in Thailand) would never stand scrutiny in any western parliament. Being cynical might seem clever, but it's no substitute for a good dose of reality.
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Old 05-12-2011, 20:39   #205
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Originally Posted by At sea View Post
And do you know why they are smiling? It's because they dare not be caught levelling ANY criticism, no matter how tame, against the monarchy. Penalty? Twenty years prison is the minimum sentence.
Got a link to that MINIMUM sentence?

Quote:
Two cases in the last year or so to illustrate. One was the merest of slights against the monarchy in a book on Thailand published outside the country: 20 years
.If they commit the crime in a country with those laws in place what do they expect?
And it wasnt twenty years either, the maximum is 15 years and as yet he hasn't been sentenced.

Quote:
The other victims were two journalists who refused to stand for the national anthem in a movie theatre; they were dragged out and given 20 years each.
got a link to that?


Quote:
Laws like that (in Thailand) would never stand scrutiny in any western parliament. Being cynical might seem clever, but it's no substitute for a good dose of reality.
can you see your mistake here?
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Old 05-12-2011, 20:52   #206
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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For the conditions, Australia has done an amaising job growing much of its own food. If the politicians would only encourage the farmers (as the US does) cost of living would come down...
Agree with some of your post but not this bit. By "encouraging" the farmers, the US is just doing what some European countries, notably France, is doing - and that is contriving to circumvent tariff agreements. Like Japan also with respect to rice production.

A subsidy to farmers is simply another form of tariff to protect local agriculture. Rather than Aus spend public money on subsidising our farmers - which may simply lead to the a renewed tariff 'war' - Aus is better off putting its efforts into 'convincing' the US to drop its own subsidies for the simple reason that we can produce most grain crops cheaper.

Of course, the problem for the US is that the farmers lobby is strong; it's a political problem but good government would point out that the subsidy takes a very considerable sum from the federal budget that could be spent elsewhere.

Tariff reduction is the hardest thing for governments to do but it's also the path to wealth at virtually global development levels.
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Old 05-12-2011, 21:25   #207
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Originally Posted by At sea View Post
Agree with some of your post but not this bit. By "encouraging" the farmers, the US is just doing what some European countries, notably France, is doing - and that is contriving to circumvent tariff agreements. Like Japan also with respect to rice production.

A subsidy to farmers is simply another form of tariff to protect local agriculture. Rather than Aus spend public money on subsidising our farmers - which may simply lead to the a renewed tariff 'war' - Aus is better off putting its efforts into 'convincing' the US to drop its own subsidies for the simple reason that we can produce most grain crops cheaper.

Of course, the problem for the US is that the farmers lobby is strong; it's a political problem but good government would point out that the subsidy takes a very considerable sum from the federal budget that could be spent elsewhere.

Tariff reduction is the hardest thing for governments to do but it's also the path to wealth at virtually global development levels.
I am a sugar grower and I can tell you there is still plenty of subsidies/tarrifs to American farmers and none for Aussie growers. Our industry sugar mills in process of being bought up by Asian countries. Soon all mills will be owned by Singaporian (Sucrogen owned by Wilmar), Tully (Chinese) and Mita Pohl (Thai) wrapping up the rest.

Time to retire and get crusing.

Interestingly the Phillipines was for many years importing a lot of rice rather than growing it themselves and impacted by the high of importing. Don't tell me they can't grow rice. Politics often gets in the road of the free market which hardly exists in reality.

Cheers
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Old 05-12-2011, 21:37   #208
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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If they commit the crime in a country with those laws in place what do they expect?
That 's not the point. The point is that these are repressive laws against freedom of speech, and that such laws would not stand scrutiny in any western democracy. And I'm sure you, of all people, would value freedom of speech highly. (penalty for calling Aus a sh****** is the rack)

I'd correct that a little by replacing "western" with "english speaking" - it seems some European nations do still retain some similar archaic satutes.

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Got a link to that MINIMUM
got a link to that?
To your various queries, google away - there is absolutely no shortage of references but the info I provided was from recalls from old-fashioned newsprint - but I'm sure you'll also find a digital version. Pasted below is a release from just last week:

Thailand warns Facebook sharing may slur monarchy

BANGKOK* Facebook users who "share" or "like" content that insults the Thai monarchy are committing a crime, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Anudith Nakornthap said Tuesday.
The warning is the latest threat to freedom of expression in Thailand, where authorities have increasingly targeted websites that they claim threaten national security, especially those criticizing the monarchy.

Insulting a monarch is a crime known as lese majeste, and Thailand's laws against it are the most severe in the world. Even repeating the details of an alleged offense such as on social media sites like Facebook is illegal under the lese majeste law and the related Computer Crimes Act, "which says that spreading illegal content either directly or indirectly is a crime," Anudith said.

He said anyone who is accused could be prosecuted even foreigners using the Internet outside Thailand.

"If a foreigner abroad clicks 'share' or clicks 'like,' then the Thai law has no jurisdiction over that, but if there is a lawsuit filed and that person then comes into Thailand, then that person will be prosecuted," Anudith told The Associated Press.

Lese majeste arrests and convictions in Thailand spike during times of instability, when the law is used by political rivals to harass opponents. The current crackdown also reflects growing concern over the king's health and the future of an institution that has long united the country.

Statistics obtained by The Associated Press from the Office of the Attorney General show 36 lese majeste cases were sent for prosecution in 2010, compared to 18 in 2005 and just one in 2000.

Last Wednesday, Thailand's criminal court sentenced Amphon Tangnoppakul, a 61-year-old grandfather, to 20 years in prison for sending mobile phone text messages to a personal secretary of then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva that were deemed offensive to the queen.

On Dec. 8, the court will deliver the sentence of Joe Gordon, a Thai-born American who has been held since May for translating excerpts of a locally banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and posting them online. Gordon pleaded guilty to the alleged crimes committed years ago while living in the U.S. state of Colorado. The case has raised concerns about the reach of Thai law and how it is applied to both Thai nationals and foreign visitors.

Meanwhile, the opposition Democrat party claims the government is not doing enough to protect the monarchy from being tarnished.

On her own Facebook page, Mallika Boonmeetrakool, deputy spokeswoman for the Democrats, pointed to YouTube and Facebook, in particular, for "bad outbreaks" of offensive content in recent months, and pressed the Thai government to ask the U.S. government and service providers to block such content.

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Old 05-12-2011, 21:59   #209
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Originally Posted by At sea View Post
...A subsidy to farmers is simply another form of tariff to protect local agriculture. Rather than Aus spend public money on subsidising our farmers - which may simply lead to the a renewed tariff 'war' - Aus is better off putting its efforts into 'convincing' the US to drop its own subsidies for the simple reason that we can produce most grain crops cheaper....
Ultimately have to agree. There are other ways to support the farmers - guarantee access to adequate water, develop reasonable land management policies. A few years ago during the worst of the drought farmers in Victoria were cutting their fruit trees to sell for firewood. Given there will be droughts in the future, support to help the farmers balance out over the longer term would be helpful.
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Old 05-12-2011, 22:15   #210
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Re: Australia Is Such an Overpriced Sh**hole - AAARGH

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Politics often gets in the road of the free market which hardly exists in reality.
SO true!

We also share downunder's feeling that Aussie growers are significantly under-protected vis-a-vis their overseas peers, following a trend lately (although perhaps no longer) embraced by both sides of the political divide...and we agree as well with At sea...

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Originally Posted by Atsea View Post
Tariff reduction is the hardest thing for governments to do but it's also the path to wealth at virtually global development levels.
Sadly though, the globalisation wave faltered when faced with local interests...and tariffs not only survived but are now experiencing a revival; that revival was further accelerated when the GFC arrived and globalisation went well-and-truly out of fashion. Faced with the political fallout of faltering economies, politicians desperately facing re-election will inevitably opt in favour of 'hip pocket' local interests, even though the long term perspective may suggest otherwise. Still, there is a very persuasive view that local interests are exactly what politicians should serve, exclusively...and as much as we can all see the value of long-term thinking, politicians who claim to be guided by long-term 'vision' show a very poor track record.

It's a tough call. We will vote long term because we can afford to, but we will also accept that democracy often means long term loses out. No matter what though, we'll go cruising...and Aussie cruising offers an unbeatable combination of beauty, comfort and safety.
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