Dr Alf with his usual thoughtful precision has demolished the thrust of the arguments made by the Economist whose editors regularly attend “private meetings” as evidenced by the attendance list of the Bilderbergers(www.bilderbergmeetings.org). Populism at grass roots level is to do with massive income inequalities.
In America just 51% of the entire population earn enough to pay income tax and increasing numbers of jobs are being subjected to robot process automation, AI, offshoring and outsourcing. GE which used to have massive finance departments dedicated to Dr Alf’s former calling as a Chartered Accountant and Financial Director now have much of the work done in India at a fraction of the cost.
The UK is £5 trillion GBP in debt whilst £25 trillion sits offshore with half of it in BVI. The Economist has nothing to say about that or the juxtaposition of the two sides of the coin. We have on the one hand Chief Executives earning 100, 200 and in some cases 450 times average worker pay, when bonuses and “other emoluments” are factored into the equation, we have 1.8 million zombie companies which never make a profit and teeter on the very edge of their banking covenants and we have local and central government services costing triple those of Switzerland.
At the same time, we have 1 million people using food banks, average gross pay at £30,000 GGP and houses costing nine times average pay thus denying 80% of future adults any prospect of ever buying a home.
Within 13 or 17 years, 50% of jobs will be gone thanks to AI, machine learning, RPA, cybernetics and nanotechnology. This was predicted by Eric Schmidt of Google in 2013 and 2014 at the Grove Hotel, Watford, England and on You Tube and by the Oxford University and Chinese Government surveys all of which the Economist were privy to. People in America,Europe and the UK, unless they were in the top 16% of wage earners, have all seen their living standards drop and remain low for the past 25 years thanks to the banking crisis, “Cyprus style bail-ins”, quantitative easing (debasement of the currency,) and the loss of traditional blue-collar and lower middle class white collar jobs.
We know from Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychology professor, who wrote “12 Rules for Life”, that anyone with an IQ of 83 or less (10% of the global population) is deemed to be incapable of doing ANY job the Pentagon wants done. Extrapolating that into civilian life everywhere as he does means that 10% of the working population are economically useless. That percentage is rising as machine learning improves and AI powers ahead of human intelligence starting this year (Source:Ray Kurzeweil, Chief Futurist and CTO of Google).
People, even at the most intellectually challenged level, know that something is wrong, potholes abound in roads, they are told to buy electric cars at £30,000GBP each when they have less than £500 GBP in their bank accounts at any one time ( the same figure that prevailed in the 1990s when GE Capital conducted a survey to size the market for secured loans and impaired life annuities). Their children cannot get jobs and even if they can they are not reflective of their expensive degree courses. It is much more than being “down on your luck” but is a malaise in which hope is completely lost by those at the sharp end which is where MAGA, the Gilet Jeunes and the EDL, PEGIDA etc, all populist movements along with ANTIFA, Momentum et al spring from. These movements cover the extremes of the political spectrum and are representative of populism.
The phenomenon will not go away until there is a clear and coherent plan to reskillill people, stop the reverse Robjn Hood phenomenon which emboldens plutocrats and puts the proletariat in the”olive press”.
The Economist will never talk about these matters because it exists to create the impression that things are fine.