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Tiger Woods?

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Everything posted by Tiger Woods?

  1. +1. The removal of the human element, the removal of basic respect for others, means you get exactly what you pay for in return.
  2. Yep. Oz is heading for some hardcore XXX action. Although I don't normally wish ill on anyone, there are some smug idiots here who are going to get a well deserved seeing to.
  3. I don't think you understand the meaning of "value". Specifically on the topic of hospital cleaners, you have fallen into the trap of assuming the the mechanical skill is the only skill required for the job. You aren't the only one, which is probably what has led us to the filthy state of every NHS hospital I have visited. Have a gander at this TED talk. You are also very naive about charities.
  4. It is sort of obvious that at some point efficiency gains destroys jobs. People only have so much time and therefore they can only use so much stuff and use a finite number of services.
  5. Yes, and you should see the cost of insuring a car in Oz. Basically, you pay a reasonable premium....twice. (edited to add: the Australian compulsory 3rd party does not cover damage to property - only to people so, realistically, you have to buy insurance.)
  6. I think you have breached some trademarks with that one. Expect a letter through the post early next week.
  7. Which seems like a very strong argument for investing the cash yourself...
  8. Really? I'm not so sure I agree with you. Cluster A personalities are a long way from psychopathology. In particular, Cluster As tend not to be socially adroit, whilst a lot of psychopaths are hyper-adroit.. I'm definitely a Cluster A personality, but very far from being a psychopath.
  9. The productivity gains of a 20 minute afternoon nap without cow-orker grief are enormous. It is one of the things I most appreciate about working from home.
  10. Before. After the debts get called in they will utilise "claw back" to put you in debt servitude.
  11. Yes it is. As a client of the bank you will find that the sum of the money in your accounts is zero.
  12. Sure thing. Keep in touch. I think anyone can apply for a an extended holiday visa of 12 months duration, so no family ties required. Noosa's probably still nicer than Mooloolabah - at least the restaurants are better - but Mooloolabah is more central in some sense, and has fewer poseurs. Depends what you are looking for really. The other option is to rent somewhere like Mudjimba or Perigian, where you have a great beach, and rent a car...though there is something to be said for being able to walk to and from restaurants/the pub if you are so inclined.
  13. Remember, that 30k is th median. 50% somehow manage to live on less! Although pints may be $7 in the city, there are a lot of places around here where you can get a nice meal for less than $10 - just have to keep your eye out for the special deals or be a pensioner. Mrs Woods and I probably spend about $30k per year while I work on a my startup. However, we have no rent, no rates, and no bills other than the telephone, internet and private medical insurance. We don't buy many "things", and run one cheap car. We've had a few medical expenses for Mrs Woods and our cats, but that might account for $5k a year. We could live more cheaply, but I don't know how single pensioners do it. You'd have to be really careful. HB is a true secondary market, as evinced by the hourglass demographics - welfare cases who aren't bright or motivated enough to leave, and lots of retirees who move there for the microclimate and the lower cost of living. There are lots of "pound shops" up in HB. Reminds me a bit of Suffolk in some ways. Things are cheaper in HB than the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane for instance. My view is that secondary markets, like the Sunshine Coast and HB are supported by price differentials between them and the big cities and between them and countries such as the UK. These differentials no longer exist to any great extent, so the markets are suffering - not just house prices, but the rest of the local economies as well. People's superannuation getting slaughtered in the past few years hasn't helped either. In addition, a few people I know (who didn't take my advice in 2007) have lost $500k or more, which buggers up what would have been a good retirement. Given some of the commercials on TV at present, I suspect there is a non-trivial demographic who have suffered similar damage to their retirement funds. Businesses that have survived for many decades are now struggling or closing shop. There are numerous reasons for this (e.g. some of the big chains such as Bunnings are killing the smaller hardware stores), but it is also that people don't have the money to spend. To give an example, there is a local farm shop, which I have a fair bit of first hand information about, that has done well for 35 years but is now really struggling. They still get a good footfall, but their margins are tighter and people are no longer spending on the high margin luxury items that made their profits. Similarly, people are cutting back on optional expenses, such as private swimming lessons for their kids. Mrs Woods and I have our feet in a couple of camps. The SSC isn't renowned for having a lot of work for people with Ph.D.s (we moved back here for family reasons - there is no work here for either of us) so Mrs Woods has worked as a swimming teacher and in the farm shop mentioned above (hence the anecdotes in the last paragraph), and therefore has chats with many people from all walks and in particular some who own barometric businesses e.g. restaurant owners etc. A lot of people are turning over every penny and complaining about it openly. So, although Australia is not in a recession, the area we are in is struggling. Those of my family and friends who work in the city or for the public service or businesses underwritten by the government (universities, government jobs, doctors) and who are surrounded by large numbers of people in similar positions don't seem to see the problems. Although I am 42 and Mrs Woods is 35, due to non-professional Australians seeming to start families earlier in this area, a lot of our local friends are younger, mid 20s to 30s and they are struggling. University educated, but all on minimum wage or thereabouts and despairing about the housing situation. Some have bought overpriced flats, but live at home with their parents and rent the flats out to pay the mortgage(!) The exceptions are those who have the right skill set to work in mining. They are making a f**king mint.
  14. Things have gone down a notch from that. Listing prices for new or recent build 4 bed houses with pool in Torquay and Urangan are 330k or under and selling for 300k!
  15. Hervey Bay is about 2.5 hours drive north of the Sunshine Coast - half an hour east of Maryborough if that helps. There is nothing to do there, except build Hervey Bay and service the retirees. 25% probably isn't far off the drop. The RP data I have for Torquay (a suburb of HB) suggests a drop of 14% from peak till 2010. I don't have complete figures for 2011 (obviously), but those that I do, together with the partials already in suggest that the market has dropped a significant notch this year and annual sales are running at less than 25% of what they were at peak. I have been told nothing much over 300k is moving. This fits with what I have seen on the Sunshine Coast - a significant slowdown in the past 12 months. Unfortunately my step-father went to live up there in 2005, at the peak of the boom, and now we have to sell his house... He lived in Torquay, one of the better suburbs. To give you an idea of what a "premium" area in HB is like, here is some data from RP (the main providers of Real Estate data in Oz.) Household structure: Single parents(!!!) 31.4% Childless couples 29.6% Couples with children 18.8% Group households 13% + the rest Household income range (1000s of AUD) 0-15 9.2% 15-25 23.4% 25-36 23.2% 35-51 18.1% So median household income for the area looks to be about AUD $30K as Mattyboy has stated. We did consider renting the place out, but once we saw the demographic, not even with somebody else's house. 3 bed houses were once easily selling in HB for $350k. To give you an idea of how rapid the boom was in HB, the house we are selling (4 beds) the recent sale history is as follows: October 2001 $108k August 2003 $268k (!!!) April 2005 $322k I suspect we will get about $260k if we are lucky.
  16. The secondary markets in Queensland are suffering quite a bit. A real estate agent was telling me Gold Coast is down 30% and Hervey Bay is down 25% in 18 months. I can confirm the latter, buyt don't know enough about the former to judge; seems believable though. High end properties in Noosa have been hit hard, and I have noticed that things have slowed greatly on the Sunshine Coast in general, especially in the 400k+ range. I've seen quite a few houses that would have got $560k a few years ago, end up selling for $415-$430k after sitting on the market for a couple of years. Houses that would have easily gotten $350k not so long ago are being listed at $275k.
  17. Yep - the ultimatum game. It is good to share and play nicely with others, otherwise they might decide that they will forgo your offer of a pittance for the pleasure of seeing you get nothing. Sometimes the plebians will even get a bit creative and create negative payoffs, but this requires access to lamp posts or over-sized razor blades.
  18. Yeah - they won't be too happy with the message,. Having said that, sales is probably an area where commission works to some degree - but then it is just a the verbal equivalent of a simple manual task.
  19. He will work better for me. The evidence is (and this is pretty conclusive) that people do not perform intellectual tasks well when bonuses are at stake. As Injin has said, people perform better working for free than for huge bonuses. People work best at non manual jobs when they get paid well and are given some independence. The Dan Pink link is well worth watching, but all he is doing is reporting on what is well known in the behavioural psychology literature. Regarding the tax receipts point - one also has to take into consideration the externalities caused by banking. Distorted London salaries have had knock on effects across the entire country. Social consequences, such as the damage to communities in the south and south west due to holiday homes etc. are quite expensive (and this isn't even taking into account the cost of bailouts). In fact, the large difference between London wages and those in other parts of the country was perhaps a priming or at least exacerbating factor in the HPI of the noughties.
  20. No. It was a Cambridge college. I had committed the cardinal sin of getting a masters degree in another subject and working before I finished my doctorate. I had to wait until I was 28 to be told I was too old by a bank...but then I didn't approach them until I was 28 either, so who knows what would have happened earlier. Its not all companies of course, but I've run into it enough that I decided to earn my living by not working as a permie.
  21. If I had been a Llyods shareholder, I would probably be in jail now for doing something naughty to those involved in its destruction.
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