Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What if we sold Australia to the highest bidder...

In a comment on a previous post, AndrewM said:

"When I was at uni in the 1970's the concern then was Americans buying up bits of Australia. A friend suggested that we just simplify the whole process: the Americans pay each and every Australian $1,000,000, and in return they can have the whole country, lock, stock and barrel. Would've cost the USA about $13,000,000,000. Bit more expensive than Alaska, but a bargain nevertheless."

Astoundingly, I remember raising the exact same proposal in the pub across the road from Victoria Barracks, Sydney, where I was posted at the time. The year would have been circa 1975/6.

Over several beers we arrived at the following conclusion:

Since every Australian citizen would have become an instant millionaire (a huge fortune in those days), the country would have ground to a halt and the economy would have done some very strange things.


Because your milkman, postman, soldier, sailor, shop assistant, mechanic, nurse, etc., would now be charging you a fortune for their services, or they'd be retired or on holidays, or more likely, seeing the impossibility of getting the other millionaire citizens to service them, they would have fled the country for more salubrious surroundings leaving this country Terra Nullius.


Blogger AndrewM said...

Oops. A small order of magnitude mistake. Selling Australia at $1,000,000 per head in 1975 yields a cost of $13,000,000,000,000 i.e. 13 trillion dollars, not 13 billion. US GDP is presently around 13 trillion, so buying Australia isn't at all affordable, even at the 1975 price.

One A$ in 1975 is the rough equivalent of A$6 today, based on CPI.

Now that we've got the facts straight .....

August 09, 2011 1:25 PM  
Blogger lemmiwinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 10, 2011 10:11 AM  
Blogger lemmiwinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 10, 2011 10:12 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@lemmiwinks: "I'm not aware of any cases of hyperinflation caused by an overnight millionaire populace."

That's because there are much cheaper ways of buying a country - AND they leave the bought population in servitude to the new owners. Perfect.

Feudalism never went away. It just camouflaged itself very well in order to avoid or survive revolutions.

August 10, 2011 10:22 AM  
Blogger phil said...

If you get a copy of Redgum's 1983 live concert Caught in the Act, you'll hear John Schumann propose the same thing.

Only he follows it up with the suggestion that once every Aussie gets their share, they take off to Bali.

On the issue of foreign investment: we are a large country with a relatively small population so we've always needed foreign investment to finance development. When it was the mother country it didn't matter, when it was the Yanks it started to matter, when it was Japan it mattered more and now it's India and especially China everyone is getting thing about it.

I'm enough of a free marketeer to know we need it but harbour some of the same fears that others express, mainly that's it's not private capital but from a sovereign government (same applies for much Singaporean investment).

On the other hand, private investment from purely privately owned sovereign wealth funds has proved as destablising as the asset strippers of the 1980s.

Middle ground, anyone?

August 14, 2011 8:50 PM  
Blogger John Myste said...

Can't we just accept Australia's petition to become a United State? Why do we have to buy it?

I will say, it would mess up our flag a bit. I guess, to be fair, we could allow them to keep some of their states, but not six, as that does not work. Perhaps 4 fits on our flag better.

August 17, 2011 10:07 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@John Myste: For all intents and purposes, and by agreements which are obviously so secret that the people of Australia must not be told, we already are a State Of The Union.

What I want to know is why we're not allowed to vote in US federal elections.

I also want to know how we can secede.

August 19, 2011 10:34 AM  
Blogger John Myste said...

We don't allow secession, and we are even more strict about that prior to admission.

As for voting in American elections, I think you are going to need to get some stars on the flag before we can permit that.

Once you get your stars, you can cast the same irrelevant vote the rest of us cast and enjoy the same warm fuzzy feeling as we enjoy.

Unless you are wealthy, you cannot, however, participate in American democracy.

August 19, 2011 10:57 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ahh... I see... You have the same brand of "democracy" we have. Welcome to neo-feudalist business as usual.

I think a peaceful people power revolution is way overdue in both our countries.

August 19, 2011 11:21 AM  
Anonymous JL said...

John Myste, there is no barrier at all to a 56 star US flag - you'd be hard pressed to distinguish it from the current version:

I saw a website some months ago that let you input the number of stars you wanted and it would generate the options, but the above was the only one I could find at a quick google

August 21, 2011 12:58 AM  
Blogger John Myste said...

The only place Americans can see a good Kangaroo is in court, so I say, let's make it official. All aboard!

Come join our plutocracy.

August 21, 2011 9:26 AM  

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