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  1. #31
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    Dec 2013
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    San Antonio, Texas, USA
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    I was thinking about the scrappers too. We have what is called 'bulk pickup' twice per year. The object is to dispose of large waste items such as dead appliances and so on. This year the scrappers were ravenous. They were ripping open box springs to extract the steel coils. They also knock the backs out of television sets to get at the magnets leaving the rest a mess by the road. Metal doesn't last a day here. In the past the city got most of it but now anything that is salable is immediately snatched.
    Innovations are those useful things that, by dint of chance, manage to survive the stupidity and destructive tendencies inherent in human nature.

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  3. #32
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    Jun 1999
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    Westleigh, Sydney
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    Just been to the barber, who says that it's always quiet in the lead up to an election. The shopping centres certainly have plenty of vacant parking spots, but I'm surprised that it's so quiet - people still have to eat, don't they.
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  4. #33
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    Mar 2015
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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by damian View Post
    Well getting back to the origional question then this might be another data point.

    I live in a well off low crime old area. Most of my neighbours have been here longer than me (22 years). Each year at this time we have the council garbage exchange. In the last couple of years I have been absolutely astounded at what I picked up off the curb. This year there was about 1/10th the amount and much less of anything worth taking.

    I cannot believe my neighbours have run out of stuff to chuck. Instead I think they have cut spending and are holding on to things more. maybe even hitting gumtree to try and get some $.

    I think the election is the excuse. Just like black Friday was the excuse last Christmas. I really think the credit cards are maxed out, the music has stopped and there are no chairs left...
    .
    Thanks Damian, that's the kind of observation that helps support what I'm noticing as well and further indicates that things are not going well - despite claims of record low unemployment, a soft-landing in property values etc.

    This afternoon i was reading the AFR and an opinion piece by Martin Wolf ended with the following;

    A breakdown of the global economic and political order seems conceivable. The impact on our debt-encumbered world economy and increasingly fraught global politics is impossible to calculate. But it could be horrendous. Above all, nationalistic strongmen would be unable to co-operate if things went seriously wrong, as they might, perhaps even soon. That is the most worrying feature of our world. martin.wolf@ft.com

    Resonated a bit too much for comfort.

    Cheers, Dom

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Canberra
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    Might not mean too much, but my daughter works in retail as area manager. She does the end of day reconciliation for the area.

    The percentage of people using credit cards has increased every week since she started. It now stands at just over 80%.

    No cash. Zero. Nada. Barely a EFTPOS (i.e. "savings" option).

    The rest is.... AfterPay....

    Yikes. Yikes.... its. All. Credit.

  6. #35
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    Jun 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomAU View Post
    despite claims of record low unemployment,
    Of course the pollies claim there is low unemployment for if you work ONE HOUR a week you are no longer unemployed, but still on new start allowances as you are under employed.

  7. #36
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    Feb 2018
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    Shepparton
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    146

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    yep markets and stall holders are a dying race it dose'nt matter what you perceive to be a great seller people don't want to purchase stuff unless it is a need not a want.

  8. #37
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    Feb 2006
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    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob streeper View Post
    I was thinking about the scrappers too. We have what is called 'bulk pickup' twice per year. The object is to dispose of large waste items such as dead appliances and so on. This year the scrappers were ravenous. They were ripping open box springs to extract the steel coils. They also knock the backs out of television sets to get at the magnets leaving the rest a mess by the road. Metal doesn't last a day here. In the past the city got most of it but now anything that is salable is immediately snatched.
    We have the same system. The supply of goods dumped onto our streets still seems to grow every year, but have noticed the organised scrappers coming out more often in the last few years. We have a couple of "colourful" characters on bicycles with 4 panders and towing trailers and with a tool kit to disassemble parts. One is super tidy, he picks over the white goods for bits and pieces, the other goes for copper etc and is a bit of a scatterer. Then the day before the scheduled pick up you see guys cruising the streets with utes and tandem trailer picking the bigger stuff. About 4 years ago it was the year of the vacuum cleaner - they were everywhere and I picked up 5. One was working fine, 2 needed minor fixes, the cordless one needed a new battery and the 5th one had too many broken bits inside so not worth fixing. I gave one to my nephew to use as a blower for his forge. I kept the cordless and gave the others away on gumtree. Haven't seen anything but flat screen Tvs or monitors for the last few years. I sometimes will open up discarded stoves for the silicone covered wiring and teh other thing I used to collect was old school SS dryer drums but have 5 under the house so have stopped collecting those.

    It will be interesting to see what comes out this year,

    Went to the barbers on Mon morning and there were 4 blokes ahead of me and 3 behind when I left - the quick $15 half decent cut is probably an attraction. Not that far away there's a place that has $10 cuts - all the barbers are on some sort of a rotating roster so you never know who you are going to get - all they do is buzz the back and sides and snip a bit off the top, not that I care much but I have come out of that place a couple of times with half arsed cut that you might get at a boot camp.

  9. #38
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    Mar 2018
    Location
    Sydney
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    An interesting question to ask next time you go to the barbers is whether people are spacing out their visits more.

    I have found this to be quite a useful economic indicator in the past.

  10. #39
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    Apr 2011
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    se Melbourne
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    58
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    It is amazing what people pick up from hard rubbish collection. i have had the following picked up before the "official" collection.
    Arm chair, foot stool, lamp (cord cut), four loud speakers, cassette deck, receiver amp, stereo system including turntable and receiver, non working flat screen TV and another flat screen TV weighing about 60kg with the cord cut. Also a large glass slab about 1.2m x 1.2m about 1cm thick with wheels in each corner and B#%* Heavy.

  11. #40
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    Dec 2013
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    San Antonio, Texas, USA
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    I have a feeling that if the scrappers start taking away wood, bits of fence and such, that we'll really be in trouble.
    Innovations are those useful things that, by dint of chance, manage to survive the stupidity and destructive tendencies inherent in human nature.

  12. #41
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by taz01 View Post
    An interesting question to ask next time you go to the barbers is whether people are spacing out their visits more.
    Well in the last few years I've been trying to get away with only 2 hair cuts a year but SWMBO usually starts the name calling after about 3 months and then my 91 year old demented mother starts in on me so I usually give in and do something about it. I tell SWMBO that I'm having fewer cuts so she can keep having her stupidly expensive all over buzz cut every 4 weeks.

  13. #42
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    May 2012
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    Woodstock (Cowra)
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    You obviously agree with the mantra "happy wife, happy life"
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  14. #43
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    Mar 2018
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    Sydney
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    Interesting article in the AFR this morning by James Thomson on this very topic

  15. #44
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    Feb 2012
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    Newcastle
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob streeper View Post
    I have a feeling that if the scrappers start taking away wood, bits of fence and such, that we'll really be in trouble.
    Guilty as charged, I've taken packs of bed slats before to have a small workshop wood supply for jigs and bits and pieces I've also refreshed a hardwood bbq cart that had rusted out bbq into a wok burner cart.

  16. #45
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    Aug 2011
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    bilpin
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    Every time we have an upcoming Federal Election, national consumerism seems to go on hold. When it is a State Election that state seems to cop a downturn in general sales. I guess people just loose their taste for self gratification and leave it to the Polly's to fill the void.

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