Australian DIARY


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DATELINE 3rd August 2016.

November 8th 2016 is when the next US president is to be elected.  In the face of the Trump polls, the elite who have been the power behind the scenes (influencing both Democrat and Republican Parties and Presidents) are showing the stress.

Because "The Donald" is not owned.  Nobody has the reins.  He is a wild card. And that is intolerable.

The TPP is an indication.  It still has not been passed by Congress.  It is anticipated that it will be passed after November 8th (so as not to damage Hillary) but before the new President is sworn in.  It is hugely unpopular with working Americans, because it will likely cause the loss of jobs in the industrial states.  That is why Hillary has joined Trump in condemning it. (But not Obama.  Oh no.  He could stop it now, but that is not what the elite want.  The elite want the Democrats in Congress to pass it AFTER the election but BEFORE Trump gets in and can stop it.)

The signs of panic are all there.  In the last few days:. 
  • Bill and Obama got huge coverage for the DNC. (Twice what Trump got at RNC).
  • Ex president and Husband Bill would have been expected to give a boost, an did.
  • Obama came out of left field.
  • Trump’s "unpopular" acts are trumpeted in most media.
  • Hilary’s unpopular acts (Benghazi etc) are ignored by most media.
  • The scheming in the DNC to favour Hillary are being ignored by most media.
This has resulted in a favourable blip in the polls for Hillary.

So: Why do I call it desperation?  Because the big guns were brought out too early.  There is more than three months of electioneering to run.  The voters will become immunized to scandal.   It will lose it's force.

Because The Donald is a moving target.  And the Elite are running out of legitimate ammunition.

If I were commanding the Secret Service I would be putting in for a lot of overtime.  And making "The Donald" wear armour.

DATELINE 27th August

The one sided media activity has diminished.  (Perhaps the Hillary team read my blog:)  As the one sided coverage has stopped, Hillary has sunk back.  She is however reported to have a huge bankroll.  Expect to see that bankroll utilized in mid October. 


Just what defines a politician?  That bloke that we in a Western Democracy elect?  The person that we call "Our Representative"?

Already some work has been done on defining politicians.  The "political space" has been analysed in terms of social liberty and economic liberty in the Nolan Chart.  Below I propose a third dimension.

In the Sciences a scientist attempting to capture a phenomena with "laws" will look for extremes, and then plot reality as being somewhere in the middle.  As an example, when a gas is compressed the relationship between Pressure and Volume will fall somewhere between an Isothermal (P*V=Const) and an Adiabatic formula.(P*V^g=Const where g=Gamma, which is Cp/Cv).  In real life the relationship is described as "polytropic" and engineers use the formula P*V^n = Const where 1<n<gamma.

So let us look at political extremes to help with defining a new dimension in a politician. 
  • At one extreme we have a politician who states his fixed position on all issues and never budges.  For instance, "Capital Criminals must be executed."  or "In sentencing a criminal, the reasons for the criminal acts must be considered and calculated to mitigate any punishment".  He will not resile from his stated position.  He gets elected, and you can be confident that his vote on those laws will never change.
  • At the other extreme we have a politician who is flexible.  S/he literally has no opinion on anything.  He would decide his position on any legislation by polling his constituency or sponsors.  If at any time s/he is advised by public opinion or his/her sponsors (whichever is more important) on capital punishment s/he will vote accordingly.
Of course real politicians fall somewhere between those two extremes.  In fact, in some regions of the Nolan Chart they might be at the "fixed" extreme, and in others they might be flexible.

I have avoided discussing "Leaders" and the formation of public opinion.  Some politicians think that all they must do is show "Leadership" to carry the day.  Leadership to change public opinion is a media exercise, and is best carried out by media persons.  David Cameron is a good example of a politician who thought he could be an opinion leader on Brexit.

Let me analyze some of our politicians.  First start in NSW Australia.  A rather personable looking bloke called Mike Baird got promoted after Megan Latham of  ICAC had his predecessor Barry O'Farrell outed over a lie about an expensive bottle of wine. Megan owns Mike..

Against all the promises made before the last election, Mike has dissolved local government with the intent of making it more user friendly to the major political parties by amalgamating local government areas.  (In Australia, local government is a department of state government.)  To quell the outraged public objections, he has cancelled the racing greyhound industry, a change that has occupied the media to the exclusion of the much more important amalgamation issue.  Mike is playing the greyhound issue as "principled" and based on his moralistic religious outlook.

So Mike is an extreme example of a changeable politician, in that he has made major reforms against the promises of his party, and opportunistic legislation calculated to take the heat off the very important amalgamation issue.

Next let us look at Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister.  Like Mike, Malcolm took his position from the fall of a previously elected leader.  However, despite having principles different to those on which his party was elected, he has refrained from making policy changes to e.g. the carbon credit scheme.  In general, Malcolm is the opposite of Mike. He is both principled in keeping to party promises, and flexible in that he does not introduce regulations out of left field.

Now let's look to the Trump Clinton war.

Hillary is totally under the control of her sponsors, who will only allow policy changes that must be made to get her elected, like her TPP stand.  She has four times the campaign funds, not counting the Super PACs.

Trump has no firm opinions on anything.  He is a populist, and will offer whatever he believes his constituency wants.  Consequently, he is not attracting media or as much funding as Hillary.  As said above, he is a wildcard. He is out of control.


Just where is technology taking the world?

The logic that justifies the TPP is based on Ricardo's theory of "comparative advantage".  The theory of Comparative Advantage suggests that lowering trade barriers benefits everyone.  For instance, if US steel imports were unrestricted then most US citizens would be able to buy cheaper steel products such as cars.  Unfortunately US ironworkers would suffer massive job losses.  However it can be shown that the nett benefit to the people is greater than the nett loss to steelworkers.

So basically, I argue, "comparative advantage" rests ultimately on labour costs.  And technology is killing labour costs.

For instance:
  • Agriculture is an issue of Labour.  Hydroponic lettuce is grown economically, and there is no reason, given cheap enough labour, that any agricultural product could not be grown anywhere that sunlight exists.
  • Raw materials are not a real issue.  There is no raw material for which there is no substitute, or at least the likelihood that one could be developed.  A current example is Oil.  OPEC is no longer a power because US scientists discovered a substitute (shale) from which they could refine gasoline..
Consider technology.  It is a job killer.  Think UBER. Think email.  Think automation.  Think self driving cars.
  • Consider the effect of self driving cars.  No more truck drivers. No more Taxi or Uber drivers. Poof!  Perhaps 10% of the workforce gone.
  • Consider other technology.  Scanners and CCTV replacing shop assistants.  Self serve is taking off in Coles & Woolworths in Australia.
Extrapolate.  Technology replacing workers is not going to stop. It will most likely accelerate.

 Within a decade or two machines with AI (Artificial Intelligence) will do everything.  Mankind will become superfluous to provision of the necessities and luxuries of life.

The issue is, where are all those newly unemployed going to get income??

 The answer is, we need to redesign our culture.  No stopgap social security payment system will solve this problem.

Science Fiction author Iain Banks "Culture" series contains a possible end result.

The real problem is, how to get from the here & now to the then & there.

I cannot see those with the wealth and power voluntarily relinquishing their advantage.

I am quite fearful that they might instead establish a technological autocracy (intelligent robot police) controlling 99.9999% of the population for the benefit of the 0.0001% That is 1/1,000,000 or about 1,000 non slaves in a planetary population of 10 billion.

The strategies I suggest are:
  • Keep nation states small.  Do not allow amalgamation.
  • Seek online control of government, like in Switzerland, and various US states (e.g. California).
  • Resist automation of the Police and Military.
Or you could just rely on the integrity and sanity of those who manage to get elected.

Good luck on that.

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