Fah Kiew Tu

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Everything posted by Fah Kiew Tu

  1. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    Nah, thanks all the same. Port Arthur is closer. FKT
  2. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    Want a really good reason to tariff the fuck out of China? Assuming this is true of course, doing something to cut them off at the knees is way overdue. https://www.smh.com.au/national/stealth-doorway-china-s-stunning-server-hack-shows-its-true-hand-20181008-p508co.html FKT
  3. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    Maybe you should have done because as it stands it indicates that you obviously have no clue at all as to what miners get paid. Most likely no idea what people on gas rigs get paid either. Or in Australian flagged shipping. Hint: they're not living on the poverty line. If anything the lot of them are quite overpaid for the skills they bring to the job. Perth prices and holiday home prices along the Margaret River area went through the roof because those poor miners were so underpaid you know. As for the mine owners of course we should make them pay taxes & royalties for access to an Australian owned resource. The taxes are a bit problematic - huge up-front capital costs and we need to watch for transfer pricing. Which is why royalties are good - it's a lot harder to avoid paying for each tonne you dig up & ship because that's a lot easier to check. Now explain to us all how an ALP policy of shuttering mines is going to make us all richer because I'm failing to see it. I do note that you've already implicitly conceded that manufacturing here is rooted and not coming back. I've got a lot of issues with the Lib/Gnats but unlike you I don't aspire to help create or live in another Venezuela, where everyone is equal to starve (except those like Shorten who'd be running the state). Venezuela is resource rich too. Much good that's done when you have idiotic policies and then double down on them. FKT
  4. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    What you say about mines especially in the UK certainly was true - here too, the underground coal mines. The big open cut mines of today are far removed from that though. I've been to a number of them, at one point I worked for a US company that specialised in mine management software and I got out & about. That's not to claim the mining companies are saints; what they did at Panguna and Ok Tedi should have resulted in the whole lot of management being jailed for life. They'd do the same here if they could get away with it, I'm sure. However..... Without mining income this country would be broke and there wouldn't be any social security benefits to speak of. You want to be bloody careful what you wish for in case you actually get it. We don't have any industry left worth speaking of and we never will as things are; high labour prices, shitty productivity and energy supplies that are both expensive *and* increasingly unreliable see to that. We're doing our best to make that last one worse not better and the ALP is leading the way. The wealth disparity - yeah, I'm not too taken with how that's going either. Ditto real estate prices meaning my children (well 2 out of the 3) won't be able to afford to buy a place in the city they grew up in. Personally I'd like the whole Ponzi scheme of inflated real estate to collapse. Yeah there'd be a huge number of bankruptcies but it might be better in the long run. Dunno. Easy for me to say as a baby boomer with a house in Sydney and another in Tasmania, all paid for decades ago. FKT
  5. Fah Kiew Tu

    Building A Bridge

    Doubt I'd be affordable. I already need to live to at least 150 to get through the existing project backlog. FKT
  6. Fah Kiew Tu

    Building A Bridge

    FFS, I would have had the damn thing *built* in less time than this thread has been running! FKT
  7. Fah Kiew Tu

    Girl with patreon account goes sailing in hot place

    It's OK - I didn't.
  8. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    In theory they're a commodity because they're everywhere in the environment. In practice, *at this point in time* they are *not* a commodity because of restricted sources of supply and volumes. Probably like aluminium prior to the 20th Century. Now if 10 (picking a number) suppliers in different countries were offering rare earths, I'd say they were now a commodity. FKT
  9. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    I love Bali. It's a truly wonderful place. All Aussie bogans should go there. Preferably forever. Must admit that I've been there - once. And I got paid to go. Your Federal Govt tax dollars at work too. Still got my official Govt passport around the place somewhere. Long expired, alas. I got to go through the fast queues. Not up there with the diplomatic jobbies but better than the blue one. Unless I *was* getting paid though, I'd never go to Bali. If I wanted to associate with drunken Aussie bogans I only need to venture out when I'm in Fortitude Valley on a Saturday night. Or cross the river here to Risdon Vale. FKT
  10. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    As I said I do emphasize. Even in the land of cheap real estate I know of a number of people doing it pretty tough. Friend of mine is juggling 3 part time jobs and paying off her mortgage. I know how tight that can be for her. And she's training others. I don't even have any decent smart-arse answers here. My youngest is 27 and in a decent job as are her 2 siblings but 2 out of 3 are living at home with their mother, in a fully paid-for house in Sydney. That's effectively a $500 a week subsidy unless you're in a share place. Possibly quite a bit more. Simplistic solutions aren't going to work though. Think of what sorts of jobs can't be offshored because sure as hell, if you make it too difficult to employ people in any job that can, it will be. Lots of well paid IT jobs have gone to India. That apparently isn't working out too wonderfully, but it's a lot cheaper than Aussies. FKT
  11. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    The sad bit about that is the implicit assumption you have that Shorten both can & will wave his magic wand and fix all those problems. He won't. He'll make them worse. I have a lot of issues WRT how employment has gone in Australia but if you want to see how it can get worse, look at the youth unemployment rates in places like France & Spain. High wages and rigid employment policies cause more outsourcing and more mechanisation. Failing all of that, entire industries just move offshore. A lot of people have become contractors to escape from the rigidities of the existing system. You want to encourage this? Now I understand your pain - it really can't be easy doing what you're doing on $700 a week. Not sure what the answer is either, but you need to keep firmly in mind that nobody is going to employ someone unless that person brings more value to the business than they cost. Well, with the obvious exception of the various Public Services....... FKT
  12. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    I'll give you Penny Wong but take away Tanya Plibersek. Most of them are time-serving drones. So are most of the Lib/Gnats too FWIW but AFAIK none of them still standing have done anything quite so corrupt as Shorten did. Unless a lot of things change I'm going to vote for every ratbag I can for the Senate and the least worst person in my local electorate. I really like gridlock, it stops the most stupid ideas getting implemented. FKT
  13. Fah Kiew Tu

    I still call Australia home

    Don't make me laugh - Shorten sold his own union members down the river in return for a back-hander to help him get elected. Then 'forgot' to declare it until it was coming out in a Royal Commission. I wouldn't trust him any further than I could spit a dead rat. FKT
  14. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    REE's aren't commodities for the obvious reason - limited volume and limited sources. As you well know. You guys still do make a lot of steel. Some of the specialty steels come from overseas, that's a function of volume as well. It makes far more sense for Canada to make aluminium, it's basically frozen electricity and vast amounts of hydro power plus bauxite give wonderful synergies. That was the problem with Trump's tariffs - they actually made no sense for a lot of things on the list. Nobody is going to build steel plants like those in the 1950's - you guys make pretty much the same tonnage now as then with something like 1/20 of the workforce. That isn't going to change. Got to admit I'm sitting in the cheap seats watching the show. If China has to stop some of its more outrageous practices that'll be good for everyone. OTOH so would consigning the Mickey Mouse copyright issue to the bin, plus the endless attempts by the big pharma companies to 'evergreen' patents by making minor tweaks and attempting to withhold clinical trial data. Not to mention doing their best to get the USA to heavy us & others about bargaining for better prices on drugs for our pharmaceutical benefits system. So basically my attitude is 'a pox on both of you' because neither party has clean hands. At least China isn't as hypocritical - and they buy lots of red & black dirt off of us. Our US-Australia trade imbalance is massively in your favour so by Trump's logic we should tariff all your exports to us. Bet that'd go down well...... FKT
  15. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    That's wonderful (and I'm not disputing you). How well is that sort of stuff going to work if or when China cuts off the source of rare earths? Frankly if you were serious about protecting defence critical industries you'd be tariffing the fuck out of Chinese rare earths to get your domestic manufacturers off of their arse & make your own. Steel & aluminium are commodities. Rare earths aren't and the Chinese have a lock on the supply. Guess where they got the tech from in the first place? I think the USA *should* tariff China on a number of items, to be honest. The Chinese are a bunch of mercantilist exploiters with no respect for IP in particular. However you guys gave them all the tools they needed to get there. I'm well aware the USA can make some first class equipment - a lot of the oceanographic sampling gear I used to be responsible for was made in the USA. It's one of the reasons I'm so pissed off at your abdication from huge areas of the world marketplace. FKT
  16. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    I've spent far too much time arguing this stuff on a metalworking & manufacturing forum. I'm actually bloody exasperated with the USA manufacturing because I and a lot of other people would *prefer* to buy from you. The reasons we don't are (in no particular order): You don't make shit at any sort of world-competitive price. The Germans & Swiss have a lock on the really high quality, high cost market. The Japanese & Koreans own the next tier down and China is catching up. You import stuff from somewhere else, slap a US label on it and then try to re-sell it for 5X or more the price so as to boost profits. That's simply an insult to everyone's intelligence - your idiots think marketing is king. So we buy from the source and your companies lose business. A lot of what you actually *do* make is not designed for export, it's just an afterthought spillover from domestic manufacturing. And it shows. This leads to..... a small point perhaps but important - for whatever incomprehensible reason you stubbornly REFUSE to adopt the metric system and use SI units like every other 1st World country does (plus all the 2nd & 3rd World). This is *particularly* pissing me off ATM because there's a man at the local marina (cruiser type) that needs some new fittings made for his mast and they're all in archaic dimensions and threads. I can make them - I can screw-cut any thread known to mankind - but it's a real PITA to do so and more expensive in time as well. Funnily though I'm rebuilding my made in 1942 Monarch CY lathe ATM because it is a wonderfully well built machine, still capable of decent work after all these years. But you literally don't make stuff like this any more. I sincerely wish you did. FKT
  17. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    So tariffing Chinese aluminium might be arguable. What about Canadian aluminium? As for steel, shrug, I'm just as selfish an arsehole as you guys - we sell China a heap of iron ore & coal, the more steel they sell, the more they buy from us. I'm good with that. FKT
  18. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    If that were actually true, you should buy heaps of it & stockpile, because you'll be removing money from the source that they could use to do other things and saving your own in the process. The problem a lot of you seem to have a hard time with is, an ability to sell at a lower price than your domestic suppliers does not *necessarily* mean that item is subsidised. Often your domestic suppliers simply have higher local costs or want a substantially higher profit margin. The Japanese were really good at this - vertically integrated, cheap loan money and a focus on where they wanted to be 10 years out rather than next quarter's P&L statement. US industry self-destructed by focus on really short term and outsourcing everything they could. Pity the IP on how to make stuff transfers too and those pesky competitors go into business on their own account. Meanwhile you've pissed away your lead in the expertise and no longer have the trained people needed to actually make stuff. A USA manufactured plasma cutter in the 3 phase 120A range (ie not a home hobby toy) is priced at a bit more than 5X the price of a Chinese one. The US made unit is better, but it's not 5X better. Ditto for my heavy duty welder. OTOH my big lathe is a superb piece of work and was made in the USA. Unfortunately it was made in 1942 and nobody, anywhere in the USA, for any price, makes an equivalent machine. Fair enough too in a lot of ways, CNC lathes are better for modern production purposes. Pity most of those come from outside the USA as well. Metals are freely traded & priced on international exchanges. Subsidies would be pretty obvious. There doesn't seem to be much evidence out there. FKT
  19. Spot on. I had a good collection of them working for me. Highly capable people, skilled in multiple areas but - weird. As for bull rails what's wrong with steel rings or bollards? I don't like wood, worms eat it and it rots. FKT
  20. Similar to what the doctor used to say to me when I fronted up for my annual medical before going south to Antarctica each summer. He could understand anyone going once, just to see what the place was like, but those like me who *kept* going should be automatic fails on psych grounds. I regarded it as a paid holiday - no office hassles, boss a long way away, nobody could get hold of you without great effort (pre always-available everywhere internet). Etc. But then I was IT, I only had to go out into the cold if I was bored, the rest of the time I got to hang out on the nice heated bridge and look at the view while pretending to work..... FKT
  21. One of the (many) reasons I don't live in the burbs is lawns. Here my menagerie of semi-tame wildlife do it all for free and on the few occasions they fall behind (and for ferns and stuff they won't eat, the fussy little bastards) I use my Kubota tractor with 5' cutting width mower deck. End result, lots more time to sit on the deck, look at the view & drink beer. If we had snow like you guys do, I'd move to a warmer climate. Actually I do that anyway, every winter here..... FKT
  22. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    See the happy moron He doesn't give a damn. I wish I were a moron. My God! Perhaps I am..... FKT (after all I'm pretty happy with LTUAE on the whole - driveway upgrade to extract new boat excepted..... and I *did* build a boat if further evidence is needed)
  23. Fah Kiew Tu

    Who really believes tariffs are good business

    Yeah but a lot of them are written to protect stupid people from the results of doing stupid things. I'm not necessarily opposed to this, I might add - if they survive then they're a burden on the medical, taxation and social security systems. I recall one time when I had to tell an OH&S committee it wasn't a good idea to remove heavy steel doors opening onto the weather deck after some idiot got their hand caught in one. In retrospect what *might* have been a good idea, though, was some sort of soft-close system for the last say 200mm of travel. Anyway, the argument is basically whether foreign countries should be held to the same standards in the interest of comparing prices and levying tariffs to flatten the playing field. I'm sympathetic to that argument if there's a good way of doing the costing - which I doubt. FKT
  24. Fah Kiew Tu

    Girl with patreon account goes sailing in hot place

    Like to see them try that in northern Australia, bow-fishing for crocodiles. That I might pay to watch. And I'd be betting on the crocs....... FKT