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A week is a long time in life – the news is good, then it’s bad, the market is up and then it’s down. Our trip around the world over the last couple of weeks has taken us to Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, London, Dublin and San Fransisco. Back in Sydney it’s so clear how small the world is: everywhere the same topics are on people’s lips: the US Presidential Election and the Economy.
Fear of the unknown can often be the most stressful aspect of life, so the best way to manage such fear is to keep as informed as possible. Hopefully our articles will help, and ultimately ensure that you’re ready to seize an opportunity when it appears.
Staying updated is the best medicine: our latest e-magazine is out now, so please click on the link 24 October 2008 or browse through our blog.
Michael Marquette & Simon Turner
I already had an interest prior to our visit to the US two weeks ago for the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate Awards, and hearing of the Economist’s clever use of the US Electoral College voting system upon the world’s population, it’s great to have the opportunity to “vote”.
I fully recognize that the typical vote is a domestic issue and choice for US citizens (and residents, of course). The result, however, affects the world. Whether or not you consider yourself to be a global citizen, and whether or not you are a Democrat or Republican in your preference, it is hard to dispute that as the most powerful country on Earth the US President has a significant impact upon us all.
It is for this reason that, whether or not you choose to take part in the Economist’s mock-election, the actual result after November 4, 2008 of either the Democratic candidates Barrack Obama & Joe Biden, or the Republican’s
John McCain & Sarah Palin, will invariably play a huge role in the coming years of your life.
There is no doubt that difficult economic times can encourage discussions on a number of topics. Such discussions should be about improving the quality of people’s lives by promoting two mutually beneficial factors:
- Encouraging fundamental human rights and freedoms
- Encouraging financial success and overall wealth
Both are achievable when both are actively promoted as harmonious.
Same-sex “marriage” is edging closer in the US with the State of Connecticut deciding to allow same sex marriage in that State. Three US states now permit same sex couples to marry (Connecticut, Massachusetts and California).
There are six world nations that now permit same sex couples to marry and others that allow civil unions or civil partnerships but thus far do not to allow marriage. At this point in time Australia does not allow same sex couples to marry or commit via civil partnerships or civil unions. Importantly the Court in Connecticut rejected civil unions as an unequal, unfair and unacceptable alternative to full marriage.
On November 4, 2008 Californians will vote on whether to respect or nullify thousands of same sex marriages which have occurred in that State since full equality was granted in May.
The progress throughout the United States highlights the “Nazi-like” views of both Republican’s John McCain and Sarah Palin who would even support removing the rights of women to choose to abort a pregnancy, thus denying women the right to choose what to do with their bodies. Women have fought long and hard for these and many other rights, thus any action that removes these is unconscionable and a step backwards.
Together with progressive Australian companies such as Qantas, IBM and the Commonwealth Bank, Marquette Turner Luxury Homes is a very proud advocate for full and equal rights for all people throughout the world and as a company do not allow or support any form of discrimination on any grounds.
In a time when the world economy is faltering, people are starving and wars are being waged in various locations around the globe, the attention of our leaders and would-be leaders should be on improving the basic human rights and quality of life for all people rather than irresponsibly focussing on wedge politics. The anti-Obama movement, seeking to win at any cost, is fundamentally culpable of stoking the fires of divisive, regressive, narrow-mindedness that will never improve living standards and surely we have socially progressed too far to simply accept. The focus must be on improving the lives of all, and helping people to save their homes and securing their financial futures, all principles that go hand-in-hand with encouraging their basic rights as human beings.
Economic success goes hand-in-hand with full and equal rights. Rewarding outcomes can be experienced and benefited by all by recognising such a relationship.
On my way across to the US yesterday I really couldn’t help but hear people on the plane discussing the state of the US economy. Confidence is very low and it would seem as a foreigner that Americans are looking for change which seems to be Barack Obama. The Americans I have met so far aren’t talking recession – they are talking about a “Depression”.
I spoke with a retired man who discussed how terrified he was of Sarah Palin: he believes that the US needed someone young and energized like Obama and he was genuinely worried that John McCain could die and the US would end up with Sarah Palin as President which would send a terrible signal to the rest of the world about Americans as a whole. He also just wanted George Bush to go and described him as a “lame duck President”.
It made me think just how lucky we are in Australia. Our property market is holding up price wise although sales volumes are taking a beating and are only a fraction of previous years. With interest rates decreasing (the massive 1% decrease this week is key) and more decreases likely to come, property throughout Australia is starting to look very good. I strongly believe that investors both domestically and abroad are already starting to look at Australia as a safe haven for money.
Our banks are safe and deposits are guaranteed. Australian interest rates are decreasing and property pricing is not volatile, with demand from immigration assisting throughout Australia. With rental yields increasing, property as an asset class is looking extremely attractive. Marquette Turner Luxury Homes will be doing all we can during our time in the US to promote Australia a safe haven and with the Australian dollar falling, foreign investment in our wonderful country is looking very attractive.