My top ten blogs – last week

I thought that it would be interesting to share a list of my top ten blogs last week, ranked by numbers of hits (with the most popular first):

  1. How the world reported the OECD skills survey | OECD Insights Blog
  2. Hillary Clinton, Welcome to the White House – NationalJournal.com
  3. Chancellor of the Exchequer, in China (with images, tweets) · hmtreasury · Storify
  4. Obesity experts appalled by EU move to approve health claim for fructose | Society | The Guardian
  5. Betrayal of elderly on social care costs – Telegraph
  6. Why Only Republicans Can Save Us From the Tea Party | Ten Miles Square | The Washington Monthly
  7. Government shutdown: what’s really going on – and who’s to blame? | World news | theguardian.com
  8. Opinion: George Osborne’s e-trade visit to China aims to repair damage of Cameron’s meeting with Dalai Lama |ex The Observer – John Gelmini
  9. Opinion – Betrayal of elderly on social care costs ex Telegraph – John Gelmini
  10. ‘Dutch sandwich’ grows as Google shifts €8.8bn to Bermuda – FT.com

Personality, I struggle to find common threads but here are a few themes that came to mind:

  • Lame-duck leaders
  • Fear of being left behind internationally
  • Spread of political extremism
  • Ineffectiveness of the EU’s bureaucracy
  • Healthcare’s growing crisis
  • Polarized society, with the seriously wealthy and large corporations increasingly powerful and avoiding paying tax

Let me turn this to an open question:

What do you think are the most important threads emerging from last week’s news?

Any thoughts?

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The 2008 financial crash, Google’s tax evasion and the elimination of the traditional middle class – John Gelmini

Middle class

Middle class (Photo credit: VLKR)

The short answer to Dr Alf’s question must be an emphatic “No!” For those that did not see the earlier blog Dr Alf asked in an open question:

Do you think that the middle classes will ever be the same post 2008?

This was  in response to two detailed blogs reflecting on Google’s tax evasion strategies. Firstly, Dr Alf reblogged a  highly read, FT article, entitled “‘Dutch sandwich’ grows as Google shifts €8.8bn to Bermuda “. Subsequently, Dr Alf reblogged my opinion and his own reflections, in response to myself.

Let me focus on Dr Alf’s question about the middle class. The upper middle classes, such as lawyers engaged in cross border legal transactions, accountancy partners and business-people with inherited wealth or a niche will prosper. The rest of the middle classes will suffer from dys-intermediation, via the internet, and more and more legislation to curb the power of cartels, plus the advance of expert systems and robotics.

Thus family doctors will be squeezed due to the advancement of “nurse practitioners”;  hospital consultants can expect to be replaced by robots and expert systems; airline pilots and fighter pilots will be replaced by robots and drones; Army Officers will be reduced in number as men under their command are replaced with robots and self replicating machines.

This is only the beginning because once Artificial intelligence takes hold, much of manufacturing can be automated as has happened with iPhone production in Terry Gou‘s Foxconn factories, where 1.1 million Chinese assembly workers have been replaced with 1 million robots.

The robots do not require foremen, charge hands, works managers, production directors and the middle managers that are in evidence today.

Automated dashboards do away with the need for layered management structures sitting between executives formulating policy and those doing the work, which is why the old style Captain Mainwaring type bank managers have disappeared and been replaced by angry young men with credit scoring systems. They too will be replaced by fully automated systems thus we will end up with a Brave New World style society with an elite at the top paying no taxes and living in gated communities in different locations, a small group of executives and futurists to advise and pander to them and the “Great Unwashed” at the bottom whose lives will be nasty brutish and short.

Dr Alf and others may say that this is “Conspiracy Theory” but a look at Agenda 21 and the widening gap between the super wealthy and those at the bottom shows us what is happening year after year after year and happening at ever-increasing speed.

If one looks at environmental taxes, they bear down hardest on the poorest, the same is true of food shortages and energy.

With transfer payments to the poorest coming from what is left of the middle classes, the rich pay just whatever tax they like, the poor have no money so those in the middle are squeezed with increasing severity and without respite.

The middle classes are a bit like seals being herded into a watery cul-de-sac and then bludgeoned to death in an annual cull, but lulled into a false sense of security by politicians who are too powerless and scared to help them.  The politicians dream of salvation from outside of themselves, when the solution, albeit difficult to execute, lies in their hands.

So in summary, I envision the increased prosperity of the upper-middle classes, with the rest of the traditional middle classes being continually squeezed by technology, political leaders and their sponsors.

Let me turn this to a  revised open question:

Apart from the increased prosperity of the upper-middle classes, surely the rest of the traditional middle classes will being continually squeezed by technology, political leaders and their sponsors until their effective elimination?

John Gelmini

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