Weekend Links 18th-19th July 2015


Now with a few extra from gunna….

That pic is one of DE’s own, taken here

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

North America:






Latest posts by __ADAM__ (see all)


    • I’ve followed Canada a bit for a while now because of its great similarities to Australia. They too have suffered plenty of hollowing out from Dutch Disease, but what is frightening is that Canada still has a much more broadly based economy and is in many ways plugged straight into the US economy, in some ways an extension of the US and still it is suffering from the commodities downturn so quickly. What hope Dumb Australia that bet everything on China and has allowed its industrial and non resources base to be annihilated?

      • Most definetly, I remember around the GFC hearing border trade between the two countries was about 2 billion dollars a day, the truck volumes along the 401 between Toronto and the Ambassador Bridge was unbelievable to witness.
        As their currency falls it will certainly cushion their economy.

      • “What hope Dumb Australia New Zealand that bet everything on China….”
        Looks like quite a few of us in the same leaky boat….

      • Janet,

        One of my all time favourites when I was very young. Still love it. And yes, they were an NZ band.
        By the way, I reckon NZ has far more spunk than Big Dumb Australia and will, after the fiasco, be able to ride out the storm and set sail to a good future much better than the meat headed nation we’ve degenerated into. There are advantages to being small and isolated.

  1. The Guardian piece on Postcapitalism is thought provoking for those of us who are investing for their Great-grandchildren. I will be buying the book.

    • N, the thoughts of a paranoid hippie. Information, mostly, has always been free, it is how one gathers and what one does with that information which makes the difference. Doing something promotes capitalism.
      Buy the book by all means, but do your self a real favour and join your local chamber of commerce, they will steer you and your progeny on the right path.

    • Worst article I’ve seen in the Grauniad for years. Quotes that made me LOL and/or retch:

      Information is a machine for grinding the price of things lower and slashing the work time needed to support life on the planet.

      He has no concept of what “life on the planet” means. 🙄

      .. the giant database you use to build an airliner has a production cost; but its cost of reproduction falls towards zero. Therefore, if the normal price mechanism of capitalism prevails over time, its price will fall towards zero, too…. We are surrounded by machines that cost nothing and could, if we wanted them to, last forever.

      Patently absurd twaddle.

      Nyleta, you’d be better off pointing your family to this website:


      • @ R2M I don’t see that great a gap between resilience.org and postcapitalism. I have a bit of a leg in permaculture/raw food ideas and often run into young people who are really angry with our institutions but I always tell them no violence will be needed to end this nonsense.

        They rule us with their easy credit/debt. I always say don’t put your savings in their banks and don’t borrow their alluring loans. Just opt out, if you can’t do this you won’t manage anything else.

        Both Marx and Engels were believers in Obshchina


        The difference now is technology which the article we are discussing concentrates on. Will the new localised, artisan communities I want be high technology based or will they be the collapsed remnants of what we have now ( i.e. low technology survivalist type communities ) ?

      • @N – that is exactly the question! Will the future be centralised or dispersed? Power is centralised, freedom is dispersed.

      • Tks R2M – I might have a listen to that one. I find the rainforests interesting examples of self forming complex systems – intense competition (with the right input – energy/water) creates diversity and dependent specialisation.

    • Thought provoking I agree – best to take the strident opinions of two of the most ideological commenters with a grain of salt…

      • Hmm, Paul Mason, the journo who wrote that, is trained in music and politics, and was a former member of the Trotskyist Workers’ Power group

        He graduated with a degree in music and politics in 1981 and trained to be a music teacher, after which he undertook postgraduate research into the music of the Second Viennese School at the University of Sheffield until 1984.

        He lacks knowledge about the biology and climate of the planet, and speaks from an ideological standpoint himself.

      • So what?

        “Why do we, then, find it so hard to imagine economic freedom?”. People struggle with this, why is the worst boss or workmate the ‘worker’, the one that validates existence through the lack of economic freedom. Economic freedom is an anathema to people, we need ‘jobs’, we need relative importance. We need discriminatory consumption.

        I am because I work, and because I consume, and because you cannot.

      • I read the article and thought it had at the very least a refreshingly new point of view. Our current systems of economics and politics are clearly failing, so you won’t find answers in conventional thinking. I had never heard of Paul Mason, so I wasn’t aware he was tainted.

        Many people (including some commenters here) are concrete thinkers – and in a couple of cases that may extend to actual concrete between the ears. For these people they will react based on the political flavor of the article or measure it up to see if it fits nicely on their favorite hobbyhorse or sacred cow.

      • Our current systems of economics and politics are clearly failing

        The failures are far more extensive than that. The very way we live on the planet is failing, the whole shebang. 😮

      • DarkMatter,
        For these people they will react based on the political flavor of the article or measure it up to see if it fits nicely on their favorite hobbyhorse or sacred cow

        Couldn’t agree more. Well said.

      • For these people they will react based on the political flavor of the article or measure it up to see if it fits nicely on their favorite hobbyhorse or sacred cow.

        Yep. That rusted-ons from both ‘sides’ derided it convinced me to read it.

      • Mmm. What’s the price of eggs in China got to do with it? 🙂

        Anyway. ….ask Travelling Wilbur or any other AUD crashnick…. gold to to go higher in AUD.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Out of gold 2 weeks ago. Am a tradenik dude not a crashnik. You and skippy have both made that error. No probs though.
        As to will gold be higher in AUD… yeah, probably, but not for long would be my bet. 3 years from now gold in any currency will look quite ill. Yellow tinged even.
        As to value of AUD… wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee……

      • I just bought a kg of gold last week. I think like with any non yielding asset it’s hard to assess intrinsic value. My reasons are. 1. Real asset that’s not Aussie property. 2. Hedge against declines in Aud. 3. Security in times of economic turmoil. My view is that we will see gold drop below 1000 USD but a natural mining cost floor exists. My plan is to treat it like a stock in my portfolio and average down over the next couple of years, probably ending up with 5 kg or 10%. But at the end of the day you can only trust your little one’s and zeroes so far, so it’s nice to have something you can touch. (Also, I have a weak spot for mechanical watches, and I’ve noticed gold is coming back into fashion. That’s just pure anecdotal, but fashion demand never hurts :))

      • “My view is that we will see gold drop below 1000 USD but a natural mining cost floor exists”

        I wouldn’t count on a “mining cost floor” to restrain future price falls. As we will see with iron ore (and explained by MB many times), falling prices will just result in marginal producers getting destroyed until only the lowest cost producers survive. Plenty of marginal gold producers (eg. higher cost underground gold mines) to shut up shop before we reach any kind of “mining cost floor”.

      • @ricsvtr. Good point on marginal producers getting crumped. I guess when it doesn’t get used up like oil or produce a yield it’s hard to asses demand or value. I’ll remove that assumption from my mental construct.

      • Did any of the gold Bulls around here know what’s up in Kalgoorlie? Word is amongst the ausnomics crowd Is that the town is set to boom.

        It was something to do with a new gold mine? It was one the reality TV show today to tonight apparently.

        Every bogan and his dog in WA are now looking for IP in kal… There’s a sever shortage of land out there aparently.

      • @adrian

        “like with any non yielding asset it’s hard to assess intrinsic value”

        That’s what I used to think. One of the points for gold is that it retains its purchasing power over time. Use PPP. It gives you a pretty good idea of its fair value.

      • This?


        “Mr Murray said the company has prepared for price volatility.

        “We have looked backwards five to 10 years and said ‘what has the Australian gold price done over that period?’,” he said.

        “The low end of that cycle is around $1,300, so looking at economics, we have said the project has got to make money at $1,300 an ounce.

        “We are targeting an all-in cash cost of production, including the capital cost to build the mine, at between $1,000 and $1,100 an ounce.

        “So the gold price through that long life of mine will go through a cycle, it has got to make money, a margin at the bottom end of the cycle and it will make a very good margin at the top end of the cycle.”

        Lol, dont think he looked back ten years….ten years takes you back to the very start of the gold bull market (in AUD). The gold price was nowhere near AUD$1300 (even after inflation).


        Exaggerating/spruiking to pick up some uninformed investors?

      • @dumpling. Thanks. I’ve read some of you previous posts on gold as well, very helpful.

      • ” One of the points for gold is that it retains its purchasing power over time.”

        Depends when you buy it. If you bought at the peak in 1980, you are still behind (in US dollars), and on a longer timescale it’s relatively high at the moment.

    • What about the Chinese retail market BB? With the rush to safety argument for RE purchases world wide are Chinese not accumulating a little of the barbaric yellow stuff?

    • China is so notorious for issuing shonky stats that I never give any credence to any official numbers from that junta. Not saying they have more or less gold than announced, just that I don’t believe anything they say.

    • Considering 400 tonnes of annual domestic production that has never been exported – it is hard to understand this number or its timing.

  2. Interesting Der Spiegel interview with Dr Schauble.

    Just a word of advice Wolfi, if you’re going to flog off Greece’s public assets, first get them into good working order and wait till the recovery takes hold so that you will at least get a decent price for them. Will be worth the wait.

  3. ChinajimMEMBER

    From the AFR regarding the China FTA;

    They list the removal of skills assessment for 10 occupations under the 457 visa program for imported workers, “including for trades that are potentially lethal if practised by workers who do not meet Australia skills standards, such as electricians”.

    I am staggered that this is going ahead. Did anyone who signed this have any direct experience with “electricians” from China? It’s an imagination-stretching exercise to see how people can find new ways to dangerously screw-up a job, take short-cuts to “save money”, and use the wrong or inaproppriate components. Standards don’t exist.

    And as for plumbing! Well that’s hardly progressed since the Warring States period. I can remember trying to explain to a plumber that water doesn’t flow up hill.

    Get ready for lots of lethal electrical incidents when this gets cracking.

    What an utter betrayal.

    • luckily our state governments are selling electricity assets while federal regulators are cutting investment and replacements of old electrical equipment and our federal polies are banning investments in solar and wind so more frequent blackouts in future may prevent some of those electrical incidents -lol-

      what a failed country we became so quickly – banana kingdom in our case

    • Aint just sparkies they lifted restrictions on, not sure if you are comfortable sharing the road with heavy vehicles worked on by untested 457 mechanics.

      I work in the vocational area, and have some involvement with Trade Testing of immigrants looking to get their skills recognised in Australia, and whilst what I’ve seen isn’t directly related to electricians, the high failure rate in the areas I have should give you every cause for concern about this policy.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Spot the f’ on mate. This shit will get people killed. State sponsored murder. Nothing less. A terrible proposition to contemplate, but while doing so I realised we’ve been here before… insulation installs.

        So, as we already know how this is going to end (from past experience), I encourage all of you to mail this ‘epiphany’, this ‘amaing piece of deduction’, this blindingly obvious b follows a piece of critical thought to your local MP and demand a review of this decision on safety grounds; so that when the deaths start happening and the bodies start to pile up, the bastards can’t say they didn’t bloody know. As far as the ministers are concerned, pray that they have a staffer that understands the concept of criminal responsibility.

        Either way, I cannot wait until the next labor government calls a Royal Commission into this. One will follow this decision the way day follows night. Tony, you better free up 2017 in your calendar now. And the resulting 2018-2028 stretch too hopefully.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Spot the f’ on mate. This shit will get people killed. State sponsored murder. Nothing less. A terrible proposition to contemplate, but while doing so I realised we’ve been here before… insulation installs.

        It’ll be worse than that, because screwing around with electricity doesn’t just get the incompetent sparky killed, it also puts everyone in the house at risk from both electrical shock and fire.

      • Well don’t go looking at how many recent bush fires were the direct result of poor line maint.

        For Australians bushfires have become part of life. In 2003 the Australian Capital Territory burned. In 2009 Victoria was ravaged. This year it’s New South Wales’ turn. Time after time, millions of hectares of bush and farmland are lost to fire. Homes are destroyed, lives are lost.

        Each major bushfire is followed by a period of investigation and reflection. Arguments are made about fire fighting tactics, hazard reduction and tree lopping. Often the finger is pointed at arsonists. But does this obscure a more significant truth?

        What if many of our worst fires are in fact very much like industrial accidents which could have been prevented? Why in many cases has the one chief cause of major fires been consistently left off the front page?


      • Agree Skippy.

        The SWER power lines running across our farm and onto the public road boundaries were subject to vegetation clearance in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission following Black Saturday (I vividly remember it). The electricity distributor contracted teams to undertake the task, I happened to be there and saw them at work lopping the branches on the tree closest to the vulnerable wire, the end of a row of E.Globulus (I f’n hate Blue Gum) planted in a neat row along the road verge by a long-departed former owner. They were trimming the minimum mandated distance from the hazard. I went down and asked if they would cut back at the trunk, I’ll deal with the extra debris if necessary. ‘nah we’re just doin’ what we’re paid too do’ ‘Please?’ ‘nah’. Morons. I had previously had a frustrating encounter with the municipal government over these f’n 40m+ Blue Gums. They are not indigenous to the area, are on the road verge not my property, falling limbs had destroyed a long section of my fencing. I offered to remove them at my expense and re-plant with 10x as many local species. ‘No’. Morons.

        And agree with those above


    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      Simple fact, UE in Oz is trending higher. Why do we need to import workers, qualified or otherwise?

      • ff, for the most part I’m sure we don’t. Certainly there are areas of specific skill that we would need to bring in, and ideally transfer to locals, but otherwise we should be training up our own people. Unfortunately with the slow destruction of our vocational training sector nationwide, we are doing the complete opposite.

        It’s also a waste for qualified immigrants who come here and can’t get work in their field due to a ready supply of qualified people, or local companies wanting ‘local experience’.

      • notsofastMEMBER


        Because we need to keep the population ponzi going to support the housing ponzi. The housing ponzi needs continued population growth to sustain itself. Besides immigration to Australia has become a product in its own right, a product to be sold and to make money from. Immigration and RE sales to immigrants is one of the few products Australia has with which it can compete with other countries to gain important foreign exchange. I know this isn’t in the interests of the average and poor Australian in times of high unemployment, but who cares about the average and poor Australian, when there is money to be made by the rich.

  4. The end of capitalism has begun. I don’t think so, not along the convoluted leftist utopian dreams of Paul Mason. But are we in for big changes and will capitalism ‘feel’ very different, yes.

    • you can call it however you want but ultimately capitalism we know will not exist in few decades. It will not be defeated by some leftist revolution or progressive evolution, it will die from self-inflicted wounds that will bleed to death our environment and social order equally

      • The Baby Boomers will re-discover Marx once they are dependent on the state.

        Avoid countries with bad demographics.

        Capitalism will prevail in countries where people want to improve their lifestyle – it will decline where people want to sustain a lifestyle – particularly one that never really existed. See Greece.

      • Everything is dependent on the state 8~, even a ultra Conservative like De Soto agrees.

      • Are there any countries that don’t have bad demographics outside of Africa anyway?

    • But are we in for big changes and will capitalism ‘feel’ very different, yes

      Ok, I’ll bite, what are the big changes coming, 3d?

    • Few understand what Marx, me, was even talking about. Das Kapital is not about communism, it is as the title suggests, Capitalism.

      The inescapable conclusion of capitalism is a sharing of the resources. Communism is a construct of the ability of humans to have total and complete control over its natural world and supply all its requirements and needs – robotics, AI, software, 3d printing, bio / genetic engineering, etc

      We are arriving at that point.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      The first stage of what Marx was on about is already palpable. Capitalism is eating itself right before our eyes. Capital is not out there creating a strong growing economy anywhere, capital is taking rent seeking positions – particularly in the ‘developed’ world and particularly in Australia. It is what countless people have already described as monopoly capitalism.

    • Reclaim Straya? Check their website for more info… For gawd’s sake stop larfing…are they serious?

      • Unfortunately they probably are serious, but this is the sort of ugly outcome you get when successive federal governments and a large part of the media demonize refugees, and hype the threat from Islamic terrorism for short term political gain, or to distract attention from the huge legal migrant intake.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        You’ve got federal LNP members supporting this reclaim rabble. They want violence on the streets.

        Our Tony would love to bring the military in to control the streets. Give him an excuse to defer the next election indefinitely too.

      • From their website:

        “Australia is a nation of many people groups with the majority being caucasion and Christian. We have successfully embraced multi-ethnicity for decades…Yet, all of a sudden we have to make all these changes to the way we do “Australian” in order to cater to an minority who refuse to integrate anyway.”

        In other words, if you don’t look, think, or act like them, then you’re not Australian. Like all self declared patriots, they’re basically just looking for the right to legally kick the shit out of anyone they don’t like…

        … and always remember that the average Australian sympathises with, if not completely agrees with these people. That is why MPs are cozying up to them.

        Enjoy the decline into fascism peeps! You already have prison camps where the goings on are secret. You have already lost the rule of law.

        At this point, Australians collectively deserve all the misery they get. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      • These idiots in the LNP are utterly clueless in political dynamics. No, I am not talking about Aborigines “Reclaiming Straya”. These clowns apparently think they can keep the situation under control after the first domino falls.

        Obviously, once you start quarantining a subsection of a society, there is no shortage of new ways to further reducing the membership.

        Just ask Robespierre or Hitler or Slain or PolPot.

  5. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun

    This is one of the best articles I have read for some time. It has some gems in it.

    The Fragment on Machines – written by Karl Marx

    In an economy where machines do most of the work, the nature of the knowledge locked inside the machines must, he writes, be “social”. In a final late-night thought experiment Marx imagined the end point of this trajectory: the creation of an “ideal machine”, which lasts forever and costs nothing. A machine that could be built for nothing would, he said, add no value at all to the production process and rapidly, over several accounting periods, reduce the price, profit and labour costs of everything else it touched.

    Marx was definitely ahead of his time. I had no idea.

    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      I haven’t read any of Marx’ works directly but a fair few summaries and derivative works, especially since Yanis came to the fore.

      He was well, well ahead of his time. While much has been made of his politics, and I sure the whole political situation around communism vs capitalism etc was tense back then. I would like to think we have evolved from then.

      However, the intellectualism of his thoughts and ideas is not explored or celebrated nearly enough, even if you don’t, as I don’t with all of it, agree with them.

      • His intellectualism came from being a German trained philosopher who was originally an enthusiast of the brilliant but also confusing and obscure Hegel, whom he later rejected.

      • Marx originally held a doctorate in sociology, turning to economics where he drew on the work of Ricardo (Ricardian Theory) and Adam Smith. He actually wrote relatively little political stuff, but Engles financed him to write the communist manifesto and Marxism was born…….he was and continues to be demonised for what was a small part of his academic work. Foremost he was an economist who connected the social implications of applying economic theory to the real world by empirical economics. The view he held which resonates today is “History was a series of class struggles between owners of capital (capitalists) and workers (the proletariat). As wealth became more concentrated in the hands of a few capitalists, he thought, the ranks of an increasingly dissatisfied proletariat would swell, leading to bloody revolution and eventually a classless society.”
        Apt for our times maybe when you consider that 85 billionaires hold the same wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion individuals on the planet, some 50% of the global population. (That’s somewhere in the links this morning.) For me it puts the 0.1% wealthy class into perspective. Marx could be considered as the father of social democracy rather then communism, but history often redefines fact.

      • Malcolm, I don’t think sociology was a distinct discipline in the earlier part of the nineteenth century. I just looked up God (Wikipedia) and it reckons Marx studied law but became fascinated with philosophy. Anyway, you’re quite right to consider him a sociological thinker. Cheers.

      • Thanks Jacques. My bad, it was philosophy I think his dissertation was Das Kapital…….could be wrong with that too. It’s been a while.

    • ChinajimMEMBER

      Indeed, an extremely thought-provoking article. And Marx was one of the most perspicacsious commentators on the human condition and the power of capitalism. His prescriptions – not so much.

      That said, I’d really like to hear the LSE’s John Gray, author of Straw Dogs, take on this. And who will work down the mines? Don’t answer robots. The cheapest solution will work down the mines and that will often be (expendible) people.

      And as for that “information factory” at the front end of the aircraft cabin? Perhaps a little more “sound and fury signifying nothing”, or in the modern colloquial “Death by Powerpoint”.

    • Great read indeed. Thx for that. I hope ill get to see this inevitable revolution, IMO, in the not so distant future!

    • It is the rise of automation, the rise of the machine.

      Every major country and weapons engineering group, as well as every university has an artificial intelligence research project underway – the race is on and the end is in sight.

      • As has been the case for sixty years. It’s a race, but not an especially fast one.

      • That sort of massively understates the increases in processing power and robotics of the last decade. The point is many don’t really have their heads around where the changes might come from…

  6. The leading conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, while critical of Marxian theories of economic value (as have many economists), regards him a towering intellect. He did anticipate that capital would one day begin to dissolve the sovereignty of the nation state (todays globalism, TPP etc), and he made that prediction at the height of the British and European 19th century industrial imperialisms. He did anticipate that technology would increasingly deskill whole sectors of work and lead to an increasingly globalised proleteriatization and global businesses crushing small businesses. I don’t know how anybody could have ever thought he wasn’t worth paying attention to; especially since the fall of the Soviet bloc let raw capitalism off the leash.

    • Marx was essentially an empirical economist with a doctorate in sociology. He continues to be demonised for the communist manifesto which was funded and co authored by Engels. Conservatives pilloried Marx’s theories because of the communist connection, which was in fact, only a relatively small part of his academic work. To consider that he died in 1883 yet his work is still relevant today is testimony to a great mind. IMHO in different political circumstances he should by up there with Einstein.

      • Its curious that Marx wrote a scathing critique of early industrial capitalism and its similarity with a transition of agrarian aristocracy to a new method of social control [piggy backing industrialism] and so many make him out the father of communism, when that distinction goes to those that took his thoughts and attempted to offer palliatives. Which really went off the rails when regional sociopolitical reality’s augmented the text to suit.

        Skippy… the Lamarckism used as a template for food production. which ended in mass starvation, is just one of those absurd moments when most just say “Bad Communism… were all going to starve”. Although don’t understand the connection to a very important concept used to justify capitalism in early industrial times…. art life thingy…..

      • Jacques just pointed out my bad, his doctorate was philosophy. That Das Kapital thingy. Oh well.

    • That’s a pretty good exploration of the power of central banks. I’m not sure it really finds a smoking pistol for the reason the Min of Finance decided to go all in on the bubble – would have been nice to see more exploration (maybe in the book?). It does reinforce a couple of truths about how “independent” central banks actually work to a neoliberal ideological agenda, how austerity is part of this, and how cynically the US doesn’t apply the same rules to itself in a crisis.

      When you think of it, it is rather spooky how much control has been handed to “independent” central banks with very little questions asked. You cannot watch this and be in any doubt that central banks (and the credit they produce) are the cause of the modern speculative booms in non productive assets.

  7. What a champion quote from one of our finest China spruikers.

    “…What the authorities are demonstrating to the market is that if panic does take hold, they have the resources at their disposal to deal with that,” said James Laurenceson, the deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney. “Monetary authorities around the word regularly send the same signal in credit and foreign exchange markets.”…”


    Gotta love those free market beasties. Though when it comes to ‘signals’ some are more vigorous than others.

  8. Doctor X,
    So wrong. We do not have capitalism now. Capitalism requires capital which we do not have (just debt) and free markets which we have even less of. We have socialism for the rich and poor and enslavement of the middle class. The reformation in England is a good example of what happens when the elites choke everything. Whilst Marxists will rise and say it is a failure of capitalism, the majority are not going to go for a system which has killed 100’s of millions.
    Libertarian thought will take hold. Freedom. Finally. Though it still has a long time to play out.

    • Libertarianism has been the driving force in economics for decades driving see history.

      Skippy… just look at all the “Freedom and Liberty” medals handed out over the last 50 years…. to put it in the old context… seems you drank the kool aid.

      PS in fact the markets are more liberal now than anytime in the last 50 years….

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Libertarian thought will take hold.

      “Me want, fuck you” Libertarian thought took over in the ’70s. What rock have you been under ?

      Freedom. Finally. Though it still has a long time to play out.

      Indeed. Just what we need. A future run by and for wealthy psychopaths.

      • One would think pre GFC when flipping houses and instant wealth could be achieved through dodgy bookkeeping, stock manipulation, with Ranoids proclaiming, sky punching, chest beating, Utopia had arrived, would still linger in their synapses…. Boom GFC…. its all the governments fault…. boomers… fiat… eat their own wounded…. anything but introspection….

        Skippy…. so what did we get…. yep… John the Baptist howls from the intellectual desert… not pure enough libertarianism – !!!!!

      • ChinajimMEMBER

        Yeah, when you’re primary ideology comes from a novel (a tiresome one at that) you know you have a problem.

      • What rock have you been under ?

        He’s been under the same libertarian rock that shields him from the truth of climate change. The biggest beef I have with libertarians is not so much that they are all self-centered, greedy, selfish sociopaths but that they are capable of turning their backs on the world’s entire scientific community, just because the implications of some research do not suit their vision of a government-less future.

        Some libertarians do not reject the science, and see AGW as something individuals (not governments) should respond to by suing CO2 emitters. I kid you not!

      • Defendent: Heisenberg
        The charge: exposing himself, hypocrisy
        When and where: Friday 17 July 2015 http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2015/07/smsfs-feast-on-aussie-property/
        The evidence:

        “We have developed a super green building product. Really excited by it. Was keen to get our first factory in Australia, however the land cost was going to be more than the cost of the factory itself! ridiculous. We are instead moving to Virginia where the state government gives us Free yes Free land”

        “Product is super green replaces cement so maybe the CO2 argument will help as cement is one of, if not the biggest CO2 intensive industries on the planet. Vic is definitely the most pro active of all the states if you have any links please send them through. I think I have read all their grants but can never be sure. Grew up in Vic. But I doubt they will match free land, plus no tax for 10 years plus approvals for everything done in 3 months!”

        “It really is heartbreaking though that Australia’s government and business leaders are in such a coma.”

        the last is the killer:
        “The thing that makes my blood boil is our generation cannot afford a house, we pay our taxes so oldies can stay in theres and leverage up even more in super. Yet when the whole thing blows up and their super is decimated, once again it will be our generation who has to bail the oldies out. Just disgraceful. And then they have the hide to say how lazy our generation is!! Complete madness. It is the tyranny of the majority. Wonder if the human rights commission could take this on.”

    • What a crock of shit.

      Communism didn’t kill millions – what a preposterous notion. Stalin-ism, a dictatorship, which is about as FAR REMOVED from communism, a collective social sharing of the means of production – the very antithesis of a dictatorship, killed 27 million.

      While MAO – another disintegration of communism into dictatorship and authoritarianism, killed 18 million.

      But lets look at the consequences of pure capitalism shall we ?

      World War 1
      World War 2
      British East India Company (52 million)
      African Slavery
      Congo (10 million over Coltan)
      Congo (15 million Rubber Barons)

      I can go on, and on and on and on.

      The problem with people is that they have absolutely no ability to see anything they do as wrong. The west which has been by FAR the greatest purveyor of death and mayhem has all been justified in progress, our own, and because its us, so we are not bad.

      Seriously – if your going to write crap at least have some idea what you are talking about.

      Further Libertarianism is quite simply the refuge of the most inept, gormless, supine, protoplasmic, intellectually amoebic troglodytes. If you want to see what the inevitable, unavoidable conclusion of this perversely inane thought process is then look no further than Liberia.

      Freedom from control, government, process, rule of law, structure a place of true freedom of action, capitalism run wild.

      Here is the vice guide to Liberia – aka – Libertianism.

      • Explain again how you can apologise for Maoism killing closer to 50million people?
        Failed communism?
        The success rate is pretty clear for the horrible ideology that people like yourself continue to apologise for and worse, you have the nerve to come from a position of superiority.

      • @ Karl Marx

        “The problem with people is that they have absolutely no ability to see anything they do as wrong.”
        Quite contrary Karl.
        Everyone has a perfect ability to recognise wrong, few will have the ability to *not* remain ignorant.

        Westworld has been subject to the intensive brainwashing since the invention of the radio and tv and one cannot blame the general plebes for not uprising against the tyranny of their government. It is brave by itself to think differently, let alone to point the finger at own government.

        @ 88888

        You must have some special super glue.
        Mao’s killings had nothing in common with communism ideology apart from the leverage and power grip it offered to him. Similar to Stalin.

    • Apparently Abbott will make another of his choice captains picks and will stand by Bishop.

      “Bronwyn Bishop expense scandal investigation in the hands of Finance Department”

      Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make his first public comments about the scandal later on Saturday. But Fairfax Media understands he is standing by his Speaker.
      At a closed door event on Friday Mr Abbott reportedly dismissed the scandal as “village gossip”. However the Prime Minister’s office says that was not an accurate reflection of what he said. (They didn’t deny that Abbott will support Bishop)
      Coalition ministers and MPs are quietly furious that the scandal has derailed their attacks on Labor over union corruption, and some have described her position as increasingly untenable.
      But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says he strongly disagrees with that assessment.
      “From where I sit Bronwyn Bishop is doing a very good job as Speaker,” he told Sky News on Saturday. “The key here is the Speaker has reimbursed the claim.”

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishop-expense-scandal-investigation-in-the-hands-of-finance-department-20150718-gif75a.html#ixzz3gDS5C3Yf

      They key here Cormann you fucken idiot is that Bishop should not have taken the trip in the first place! It was an gross self indulgent use of tax payers money at a time when the Government is telling all and sundry to rein in their sense of entitlement. That’s what you don’t clowns simply don’t get.

      • StomperMEMBER

        “From where I sit Bronwyn Bishop is doing a very good job as Speaker,” Errr Cormann you delusional muppet – you sit in the Senate – Bronnie is in the House of Reps.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Mathius obviously has really good eye sight. That’s all there is to it. Oh and x-ray vision too (obviously). That said, he clearly saw what was coming while colleague Joe did not, which is why Joe was there alone on the metaphorical branch with his comments on Bronny that Bronny just sawed off during her press conference. Never thought I’d feel sorry for Joe (just a bit), but, then again, what was he thinking – expressing an honestly held and not unreasonable view publicly? Shame!

        As to Abbott, first it was stop the boats, then it was stop the Russian naval vessels, and now it’s stop the Choppers time. At this rate we’ll be rid of all modes of transport and back to donkey power before the next election.

        Ps he’s already stopped ballooning too btw (indirectly of course). No more money for wind (or small scale solar). 🙂

    • Quoth the Mad Monk:

      I can’t underestimate the seriousness of this. The Speaker is required to maintain parliamentary standards and yet there are now these extremely serious allegations against the Speaker himself. So in order to maintain the respect and the reputation of the Parliament, in order to preserve the integrity of the Government and our institutions, it is very important that the Prime Minister act swiftly to require the Speaker to step aside and it’s very important that the Australian Federal Police quickly investigate these matters so that they can be resolved as soon as is humanly possible.

      Well, it’s just lucky the rumours about the real reason for Bronnie’s divorce in the 90s never came to light. This should be enough to finish her off, though. The Abbott Family is now covered head to toe in the fetid excrement of public opprobrium. They’re going to have to start scraping it off soon, and Bronnie’s metal scourer of a coiffure should do the trick.

    • So the press conference was a train wreck. She didn’t appear to understand why anyone was concerned she chartered a heli at tax payers expense to attend an LNP fundraiser. She had a go at hockey for his “sniff test” comment by reminding everyone he said “poor people don’t drive cars” .,, lol

      #DitchtheBish on twitter for a laugh

      Another link


      • drsmithyMEMBER

        So the press conference was a train wreck. She didn’t appear to understand why anyone was concerned she chartered a heli at tax payers expense to attend an LNP fundraiser.

        Nobody should be surprised by this. Bishop’s got the kind of attitude towards the common people you usually see in third world dictatorship.

        Every now and then she comes on Q&A and afterwards you can understand why the French rolled out the guillotines.

        I imagine she and Abbot get along like a house on fire.

      • As per Drsmithy, she really seems to believe it is her god given right to charter a publicly funded helicopter on a whim. And you’ve got to love the Orwellian removal of Abbott’s piece on Slipper from the Liberal Party website…

      • ceteris paribus

        Coptergate has taught us nothing new about Bronwyn. Make her pay up and move on. The policy insults on constituents by the Coalition are the real issue. Thankfully, she is stunningly irrelevant.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Nice photo post today. Genuinely love it. Totally enthralling composition. And the colour palette? Stunning. On a lighter note, guess Tony didn’t manage to stop that one huh?

      • notsofastMEMBER

        The average Australian worker would face the sack for trying to claim an expense like this from their employer. Even if it was an accident or misunderstanding they would be very lucky to keep their job. If they worked for the union then there would be a Royal Commission called to “get to the bottom” of the corruption, waste and mismanagement.

        Good to see that there are exceptions to these harsh and unfair rules that have been inflicted upon the average Australian.

        When ancient Rome was rising and at its best the patricians where held to a higher standard than the plebeians. When Rome stagnated or was in decline the plebeians where held to an unreasonable standard and the patricians could do what ever they liked.

      • Prieboy sums it up best
        (Naughty words warning)

        ‘Pr&cks up front’

        Every band has a man who was born to command
        And demand the affection of the audience.
        He’s adored and revered and is head of the herd
        Where you serve in supportive insignificance
        It is part of the plan, like the lion and the lamb
        Mother Nature celebrating her magnificence
        He was born a giant
        You were born a runt
        Design divine as the good Lord wants
        To be very very clear
        I’ll be very very blunt
        God wants the pr%cks and the c%nts up front

        The c%nts and pr%cks go right up front
        In the spotlight of entitlement
        Makes you feel like a stunted underpaid grunt
        Which you are, as the good Lord wants…

        You can cry in despair and declare ‘unfair’
        And demand reparations or democracy.
        You may equalize with the aim to revise
        The unsporting distribution of ability.
        You may level the field but the playing will reveal
        In spite of all your efforts to homogenize
        He remains a giant.
        You remain a runt.
        Suck it up if success you want
        It’s bums to the rear to the rear, to be so blunt
        For God wants the pr%cks and the c%nts up front.

        Its an unfair world and it ain’t no fun
        To the ones who kow tow subservient
        But, our merciful Lord omnipotent,
        Wants the pr%cks and c%nts up front

        Every rock star, movie star, president, pope or czar
        In essence are pubescents shouting ‘Grandpa- Look at me!’
        And must be overcompensated for an ego once deflated
        In a narcissistic injury ‘tween ages one and three.
        As they go grabbin’ up the Grammy or the Emmy or the Obie
        And go blabbing their baloney to a dazzled peasantry
        Don’t ya feel like a stunted underpaid grunt?
        Which you are as the good lord wants
        To be very very clear I’ll be very very blunt
        Towards your metaphysical befuddlement:
        It’s asses to the rear with the excrement.
        God wants the pricks and the cunts up front
        God, he wants the pr$cks and the c*nts up front
        God wants the pr$cks and the c^nts up front

        And if you enjoyed that I highly recommend the channel of the person who made the clip. They make some great fan clips.

      • Notsofast, exactly. If any public servant, come to think of it anyone, did what Bishop did they’d be sacked and would be looking at jail time. To add insult to injury, Bishop corrected a journo when they queried her abut the $90k junket and she replied it was only $88. I have an immediate family member on the disso, medically certified as being unable to work but they keep trying to find work and live of $14k per year, you know, one of Abbotts leaners. Meanwhile Bishop spent $14k haulinging her self indulgent ass around Europe in hire cars. Bishops a fucken disgrace and should be sacked.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      wow, that press conference, just wow. Disdain for voters, the role of Speaker, and even her own colleagues!

      It looks like she was only in town to attend that fundraiser, which means it’s not just the cost of the helicopter, but the flights to Melbourne from Queensland, the accommodation costs, plus any other costs involved.

      • Bishop has shown utter contempt for her parlimentary colleages, the Australian tax payer, the role of Speaker, you name it but Abbott needs the most partisan Speaker and Bishop was never going anywhere The next poll will be interesting but the event has ignited a public fury that will be hard to ignore.

      • StomperMEMBER

        She blatantly lied in that press conference.

        She claimed that when she saw the cost of the helicopter flight she realised it was wrong.

        NO she didnt – she lodged her claim.

        It was only AFTER she was pulled up on the claim that she “admitted” an “error of judgement”.

  9. BoomToBustMEMBER

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the debate on the death of capitalism with a bit of Marxism thrown in, quite thought provoking. It will be interesting to see what sort of a world we end up with in 50 years.

    • B”B this is the take away from that note:
      “People fail to grasp the true meaning of the word “austerity”.
      Austerity is not a few years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe apparent in Greece.
      Austerity means driving down wages and living standards in the west down until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up, (for however long it takes)”

      Unless you are at the top of the ladder. or have a tested method of scaling the ladder, prepare for austerity. It is coming to a location near you,,,soon.

      • That’s a fairly bleak perspective on austerity.

        To be fair WW goverment sets the rules, markets hand out the punishment. The biggest issue now days is that people will grasp to their living standards until markets whip them into line AKA 30 cents to the USD 😉

        Australians can all be millionaires, just churn out more debt so long as Australians know that the interest repayments (fruits of our labour) will be fleeing overseas.

        Dumb white trash of Asia.

      • ChinajimMEMBER

        Yes. And wan’t it Orwell who said something like “If you want to see the future imagine a boot stamping on a human face. Forever.”

        I hope he was wrong but I fear he was not.

      • Simplicity, it’s probably worth watching that ‘princes of the yen’ doco linked by Ashley. Austerity is not punishment by the market, it’s punishment by central bank because ideology.

        Why the central bank credit and asset bubbles in the first place? Well… I guess the debate between conspiratorial greed and power, conspiratorial ideology and rank stupidity continues…(although I’m going with a mix).

      • Austerity is – ideological – hence its agency is purely homo economicus.

        The concept of austerity emerged in the 20th Century, when large states acquired sizable budgets. However, Blyth argues that the theories and sensibilities about the role of the state and capitalist markets which underline austerity emerged from the 17th Century onwards. Austerity is grounded in liberal economics’ view of the state and sovereign debt as deeply problematic. Blyth traces the discourse of austerity back to John Locke’s theory of private property and derivative theory of the state, David Hume’s ideas about money and the virtue of merchants, and Adam Smith’s theories on economic growth and taxes. On the basis of classic liberal ideas austerity emerged as a doctrine of neoliberalism in the 20th Century.[16] Economist David M Kotz suggests that the implementation of austerity measures following the financial crisis of 2007–08 was an attempt to preserve the neoliberal capitalist model.[17]

        Following the Great Depression US economists regard economic downturns as accidents, instead they were regarded as part of capitalism’s cyclical boom and bust nature. This view was reflected in liquidationism, a theory developed by economists in the Austrian School whereby capitalism needs slumps to produce the next round of investment and innovation. According to Joseph Schumpeter the state should not intervene and austerity is essential to economic recovery because it purges the system and allows markets to adjust.[16] While austerity was a reoccurring theme in the Austrian school of economic theory and in German ordoliberalism it was only in the 1980s and 1990s that economists in US and Italian universities developed a serious theoretical underpinning in the expanded austerity theory. Following a neoliberal shift in the 1980s austerity became a cornerstone of prevailing development policy and the Washington Consensus.[16]

      • @aj.

        Additionally you might want to look into when CB’s became increasingly staffed with ridged ideological economists, before that it was more a case of experienced managerial candidates and not sociopolitically groomed via one of the head shrinking corporatist tertiary education facilities.

        Yves Smith and others have upacked this to some extent, search it up.

        Skippy… history is a much better tool than quasi theological mental meanderings imo….

      • aj.

        Am I to understand that anything that countervails – your personal beliefs – no matter how grounded in evidence, is to be summarily – arbitrarily dismissed off hand without even responding in kind or a hint of introspection.

        Do you own the truth?

        Skippy… where is this one stop shop of – Universal Truth – that I missed in 40 odd years of intellectual pursuit, does it come with a door person that lambast those that question its canons for accuracy?

      • Come on crypto snark… it’s patently obvious that some don’t come to a blog to discuss, learn (and have the occasional rant).

        All the evils of personal history must go away at the moment of belittlement… or not…

      • Skip – to be blunt (and not hide behind floral opaque language) the only one on this blog currently that pretends to own the truth is you. And it is done in the most offensive way possible.

      • aj.

        Substantiating is not snark, nor is a personification of the topic. You have every opportunity to refute what is offered with your own means of buttressing or providing how you arrive at a conclusion.

        “it’s patently obvious that some don’t come to a blog to discuss, learn (and have the occasional rant).”

        That’s quite the projection, without any means to discern how you arrived at it, seems more a case of you attempting to dictate – what is and what is not – by some unknown form of closure. Please elaborate.

        Skippy…. why are you making this a personal issue?

      • You don’t want to discuss Crypto, you want to belittle – i’ve said it before and it’s true. Feel free to justify your behaviour any way you want – i don’t care in the least. In my experience those that that approach the world like this usually have a raft of issues of their own. The fact is, in many cases you don’t win the discussion your having you just just prevail because the other person can’t be f..d trying to have a conversation with a snarky offensive knob.

        Here’s an idea Crypto – why don’t you link to your published work? Or even your own blog…

        No. Ok guess you must just be the exception to the rule that you’re just another arrogant bozo on a blog with the same human desire to feel superior.


      • Given the language used to describe the process of Austerity, lots of talk about ‘purging’, ‘cleansing’ and the like, I wonder if it has it’s roots in the puritanical side of Protestantism. As a society we have to be punished for the excesses of boom times, even if all the excesses were by the wealthy elites, and the majority of the population are used by those same elites as ‘whipping boys’ to take the punishment.

      • Hamish and aj.

        From the wayback machine….

        January 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        From the NC dream-time…

        Skippy says:
        December 12, 2011 at 5:27 am

        “Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage. Egoism is his nature. Only the experience of life and the teachings of his parents, his brothers, sisters, playmates, and later of other people FORCE HIM to acknowledge the advantages of social cooperation and accordingly to change his behavior.” ~Ludwig Von Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 241

        Skippy…hate clubs have a hard time without archenemy’s (commies). One left to go… working classes.

        Lidia says:
        December 12, 2011 at 10:43 am
        Skippy, thanks for that quote. When I talk to libertarians or read their writings, what comes across to me is a very bad sort of autism (and I say this as someone who has a family member with autism).

        I think they really don’t know how other people feel, they don’t know how to be tolerant or to share, and they can’t imagine living any other way.

        They project their own ABNORMAL asocial and antisocial tendencies onto everyone else. This Mises quote reminds me so very much of Calvin’s regarding a newborn baby as a “seething sack of sin”. When you base a worldview on that, it’s bound to deliver precisely the distortions you’ve programmed into it.

        RanDomino says:
        December 12, 2011 at 10:56 am
        I strongly suspect many of them are sociopaths, as in the mental condition that prevents them from having empathy.

        F. Beard says:
        December 13, 2011 at 8:40 am
        This Mises quote reminds me so very much of Calvin’s regarding a newborn baby as a “seething sack of sin”. Lidia

        The same Calvin who justified usury?

        Speak for yourself, Calvin!

        psychohistorian says:
        December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

        Thanks skippy.

        The quote reminds me of my position, stated here multiple times, that folks should not be allowed to get beyond grade school without becoming one with the concept of societal sharing.

        Skippy says:
        December 12, 2011 at 5:35 am
        Austrian theory includes the concept of time preference, or the degree to which a person prefers current consumption over future consumption. During a lecture in his Money & Banking course, Hoppe hypothesized that, because they tend not to have offspring, thus heirs, children, old people and homosexuals tend to focus less on saving for the future. One of Hoppe’s students characterized this statement as derogatory and a matter of opinion rather than fact. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

        In his lectures, Mr. Hoppe said that certain groups of people — including small children, very old people, and homosexuals — tend to prefer present-day consumption to long-term investment. Because homosexuals generally do not have children, Mr. Hoppe said, they feel less need to look toward the future. (In a recent talk at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which Mr. Hoppe says was similar to his classroom lecture, he declared, “Homosexuals have higher time preferences, because life ends with them.”) [The student], Mr. Knight found that argument unwarranted and obnoxious, and he promptly filed a complaint with the university. In a telephone interview on Saturday, Mr. Knight said: “I was just shocked and appalled. I said to myself, Where the hell is he getting this information from? I was completely surprised, and that’s why I went to the university about this.”[3]


        Skippy…Just the Wiki page gives me the creeps.

        Philip Pilkington says:
        December 12, 2011 at 6:04 am
        And once again I say: a lot of this Austrian stuff is about good old fashioned psychological intellectualisation.


        “Oh no, I’m don’t have a fundamental, burning, irrational, emotionally driven hatred toward blacks/gay/the poor/women — I’m just saying that they are generally less productive/less conducive to saving/more inclined to take on debt than white mal… I mean… everyone else.”

        Most of this libertarian stuff is so transparent its not even funny. Hoppe is just an extreme manifestation because he’s probably completely around the bend. But you can see it shine through in most libertarian discourse.

        Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/journey-into-a-libertarian-future-response-to-reader-comments.html#UzdgZx19FH4cIBlW.99

        Skippy… ask an Austrian if gawd exists… why YES!… may I see your evidence please… sure… we are here… it was written!.. we were born into SIN… see above Quote at top of comment.

        How in the fuck does Moses.. I mean Mises arrive at his conclusion ie:

        “Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage” – crackerjack trope

        Man… know wonder sociopaths rise to the top so often, no emotional impediment in a competitive environment, know wonder they love corporations so much, align themselves with these engines of malice… stripping away the last vestiges of goodwill between humans, wrap themselves up with the Coat of arms of ennoblement and Gwad given heredity, promote freewill when its a price the market determines… BARF~~~

        Seriously… if myself had a choice between the Austrian sociopaths and a benevolent dictator looking out for social well being, not killing the planet, advancing the understanding of our universe, do no harm as the first rule of act… well… All Hail the Dictator!


        Skippy… aj. I have no personal grudge against you, that I back up my statements with more than just my personal say so, is not, indicative of what you suggest.

      • I’m not saying you have a grudge against me… i’m just saying that you’re a knob. You clearly know a lot about this topic, as i said last time no-one is disputing that, in fact you have cultivated a kind of anti-layperson toolkit on this libertarianism that you wield with a brutal acerbic tongue. And yet you do get lots wrong, you often bully off-topic and have to back-peddle.

        There have been much smarter people than you on this site over the years, and you may be interested to know they were never so offensive and rude. Anti-libertarianism brutality couched in clever words is your schtick – you’ll play your one trick trick pony here for a while, and when everyone gets bored you’ll move on – probably like you did with the other sites.

        If you have something interesting to contribute then super i’m all ears… but seriously?

        I suspect you’ll defend your validation of rudeness to the end so i’ll happy let you have the last word… off you go (and make it as cryptic and opaque as possible – for that is surely the most obvious sign of intelligence… or not…)

      • Its not just anti libertarian, its anti antiquarian cobbled together collections of Universal Truisms comported in to cult like status or in one bound, especially when its origins are so region specific [not taking in the totality of humanity’s existence on this one orb]. Did you not get the similarities of Mises opinion stated as epistemic closure e.g. I have spoken, when in reality is just a rehash of much older biblical beliefs about “Human Nature” under the guise of economic science.

        For myself informed social [l]ibertarianism is just another term for progressive society, its the economic [L]ibertarianism that myself attends, because to a fault. it proclaims T/F based on ex nihilo axioms, synthetic a priori, before even collecting data e.g.. It creates optics and then looks for instances which conform to the optics design and demands everyone conform to that reality post facto.

        Look if you can’t engage in the concepts and historical notes, I provide in my comments, you can avail your self of a serve for not doing so, by not responding. That’s where my ire comes from, endless reductive truisms and reductive terminology like Capitalism, Markets, Socialists, Marxist, et al, its not like I did not post a comment not some months ago unpacking the multifaceted aspect of just the term Capitalism. But what do we endlessly get “MY[I] Capitalism”.

        Skippy…. the best part is when someone tells you they read a bit of something and it “sounded” like it was true, that’s not even dealing with the inability to unpack thousands of years of events and layers of increasing knowlage, in one bite size comment. Just the last 50 years alone is more than all the rest put together, yet, we still organize ourselves and debate from an antiquarian sociopolitical template grounded in ignorance. Crap how long will the Babylonian debates continue, oh yeah, they were debating the same stuff in Sumerian culture, all the way back to PIE. *SIGH*

  10. JacksonMEMBER

    Regarding “ludicrous mode” on the Tesla, if it gets caught in traffic does it tell the driver “We’ve been jammed!”?

  11. Your photo is very nice and now fits neatly as my desktop background, thank you DE.

  12. In case some were asleep or busy for some decades and still can’t wrap their minds around sociopolitical history, but, rather chase metaphysical tail.

    Washington Consensus

    This is the set of 10 policies that the US government and the international financial institutions based in the US capital believed were necessary elements of “first stage policy reform” that all countries should adopt to increase economic growth. At its heart is an emphasis on the importance of macroeconomic stability and integration into the international economy – in other words a neo-liberal view of globalization. The framework included:

    Fiscal discipline – strict criteria for limiting budget deficits
    Public expenditure priorities – moving them away from subsidies and administration towards previously neglected fields with high economic returns
    Tax reform – broadening the tax base and cutting marginal tax rates
    Financial liberalization – interest rates should ideally be market-determined
    Exchange rates – should be managed to induce rapid growth in non-traditional exports
    Trade liberalization
    Increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) – by reducing barriers
    Privatization – state enterprises should be privatized
    Deregulation – abolition of regulations that impede the entry of new firms or restrict competition (except in the areas of safety, environment and finance)
    Secure intellectual property rights (IPR) – without excessive costs and available to the informal sector
    Reduced role for the state.

    • And let’s tick off how many of these necessities (pursued relentlessly by the IMF) were consigned to the dustbin when the U.S. smashed into its own crisis of neoliberal stupidity after flipping houses for finance exec bonuses…

      • These ideas proved very controversial, both inside and outside the Bretton Woods Institutions. However, they were implemented through conditionality under International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank guidance. They are now being replaced by a post-Washington consensus.

        See also:

        Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
        Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs)

  13. Based on the Collapse of Capitalism theme I thought it might be interesting to try and do a hypothetical estimation of what a post capalism society would look like in about 2050. This may seem Utopian, but as a guidline I have used the principal that everything has to be feasible from an energy point of view. In addition I have borrowed from some thinkers outside the mainstream.

    First up, – Faith In Fakes: Travels In Hyperreality by Umberto Eco. Very interesting collection of essays. I think this this was the first time I was exposed to the idea that major changes in western civilization were the result of the cultivation of beans which changed the work/protein balance. Similarly, spectacles extended the intellectual output of middle age people which hastened the onset of the industrial revolution. We think in economic terms, but energy balance and technology is always a factor.

    Next, perhaps surprisingly, is Germaine Greer as a reference. I think it was “Sex and Destiny” where she talked about the medieval social structure of the extended family being a much more natural organization for humans. When you think about it, the move to the nuclear fragmented social structure was probably an economic adaptation favoring cities beginning with the Industrial Revolution. We still have it, however whether it (or cities) serve any useful purpose is debatable. It might maximise consumerism and debt, but that is about all. If you look at the hi-rise apartments going up in the big cities, a large percentage are 1br units, so the rent seekers definitely like to split us up into little boxes. From a society point of view, this is a disaster in the making. Isolated, unemployed, in debt, no family and living in a slum. Perfect for a stable society.

    So, lets say that our society reverts to the more natural cadence of people living in an extended family. Maybe about 20 people per unit. The American SF writer Robert Heinlein wrote a book “Time enough for Love” in which a major theme is a society based on family groups like this. Nothing new – many of these ideas have been kicking around for a while.

    Ok, so here is a utopian construction for about 2050.

    An extended family goup of about 20 people lives on a plot of land of 4,000 sq.m (1 acre). About 10% of the land has buildings, villas, sheds, manufactories. Each of these has solar collecting roofs – 25% efficiency electricity and 25% effective heat. This gives the following energy budget ..

    Incident solar power is about 1KW/sqm and 5 hours/day. This gives 4,000 x 0.1 x 0.25 x 5 –> 500 KWh electricity per day and 500KWh of heating. That is quite generous for 20 people even by our current standards, given a typical present day household would use 15-20KWh per day.

    Much of the 1 acre would be used as a market garden based on ideas like Permaculture. This would be tended and managed by machines, right down to zapping bugs with tiny lasers. In addition to crops, the spare energy budget would be used to synthesize 3D printed food. Each human needs about 2KWh per day, so all 20 would need 40KWh total – well within the 500KWh budget.

    The houses and buildings would be erected using additive deposition machines using mostly local resources. Total energy budget for all the buildings would be at most a week or two of 500KWh/day. Several vehicles would be available. Electric, or run by hydrocarbons produced from waste or spare solar power, with a range of up to 1,000Km. Effectively free transport.

    The computing and communications energy budget would be close to zero. Every building would have a “virtual world” room where all walls are active displays connected to the web. The real social structure of this community would probably exist in virtual worlds and communities. That is where things would get designed, bonds formed, ideas hatched and the politics would happen. Money would still exist, but only as a barter system to encourage diversity between different social groups.

    This sounds like a Utopia, fair enough – but from a physics and energy point of view, there is nothing here that is impossible. In fact, looking 35 years ahead it is probably conservative. However, there is a big problem with this scenario. Banks, finance, corporations, cities and debt do not figure in this world. It is a sustainable, self contained world of plenty. Even worse, reproducible plenty! Communities like this could be spread to any country in the world. To see our society move to the configuration outlined above would require the dismantling of almost everything we now recognize as civilization. The power structures we have in place would resist this change with every tool they have at their disposal. They would burn the world to the ground before they let this happen.

    There is the dilemma.

    • Interesting perspective on how things might go. It’s fair to say those that have just spent 70 yrs building this centralised power and wealth won’t let it go easily. The response of big power (and its gov/corp owners) to local storage and generation is a good example of this.

    • Conceptually interesting, sort of a modern Obshchina but I can’t see how you will keep the politics out. Perhaps post collapse, but think of access to arable land ( being used for houses increasingly ), water supply, heavy transport and the real killer , materials science ( heavy dependence on fossil fuels here )

      Take one instance, lithium ion batteries for renewable power storage , they seem a useful stop-gap not a material to base an economy on. Also look at the present alternatives for solar power generation which needs to improve


      All based on exotic materials which I can’t see ever being locally produced. It will be very hard to wrest control of our lives back from our masters, it will have to be a war time structure in my view.

      Sigh ! We are humans, we will impose a dictatorship in order to distribute power back to ourselves. Something tells me my grandfather might have seen this movie before.

      • http://phys.org/

        This is a good site to have a quick glance every day or so.. It gives an idea of things that are being researched. Not all will succeed, but some will.

        Regarding metal and mining and resources, here is an example of the difference new technologies will make. Take a steel I beam used in construction. Using 20th century technology, you mine Iron Ore and coal. This is shipped somewhere to be smelted and then extruded into an I Beam. Then it is shipped back to a construction site. This is all very energy and resource intensive.

        Here is the 21st century version (or close approximation)

        The I Beam is 3D printed as a matrix of honeycomb structures using ceramics, silica, carbon and metalic powders. This is probably done at night by automated machines and computers. The next day, a solar furnace is active and the pre-baked beam is slowly fed through the oven where the materials fuse into a composite structure. The I Beam is light, immensely strong, and has very low materials, energy and transport costs. It can be made on site.

        I think it is hard to appreciate the enormous change manufacturing processes like this will bring. You would think that the 20th century mining industries like Australia has pined its hopes on are possibly likely to become extinct.

      • DM, you watched too many episodes of The Jetsons as a kid, methinks.

        The I Beam is 3D printed as a matrix of honeycomb structures using ceramics, silica, carbon and metalic powders.

        Where is the furnace that produced the ceramics? Where were the metals mined for the metallic powders? Silica and carbon, how did they get to the “3d printer”?

        the pre-baked beam is slowly fed through the oven where the materials fuse into a composite structure

        Point to examples of this happening now. Or is this another 2050 technology you hope to see?

    • I’ve been watching the “Anti Death Cult” rally in Melbourne on your media this morning, and the trouble it caused ( What did Tony Abbott expect his rhetoric would incite?!), and maybe we are seeing the very beginning of people shouting “We have had enough!”. Each may have a different agenda, but at least it’s making it onto the MSM.

      • ‘have had enough!’ of what exactly!? radical Islam? sure, were is this radical Islam in Oz?! I sure don’t see it on the streets! They should be rallying against the government selling off the country and instead they are being played like tools

      • That’s what I meant, Paul. An ‘Anti Debt Cult’ rally if you like….We all know that the Death Cult ( radical Islam ,if you like) is a furfie; a smoke screen to keep the real issues off the front page. But what happened yesterday in Melbourne, made international news. It ranked alongside the protests in Greece, here, and maybe, it is the start of something more constructive in Australia? A rally against current economic lunacy….

      • “If there is a government in the region that needs to be presented with a “sharp choice” regarding its destabilizing foreign policy, it is the one based in Riyadh. It isn’t Iran that continues trying to bomb Yemen into submission while starving its civilian population. If the U.S. is concerned about destabilizing behavior, it ought to look to its own clients first.”


        Skippy…. the machinations of the anglophone post Ottoman Empire still echo today… thingy… decrying its own creations….

    • Much of the 1 acre would be used as a market garden based on ideas like Permaculture. This would be tended and managed by machines, right down to zapping bugs with tiny lasers

      Evidence of cementitious interaural deposits abound here. Your techno-utopian outlook has a few problems:

      1) Your machines that do everything for us need to be backed up by a huge mining industry, running on fossil fuels, and a global distribution industry, running on bunker oil. This is not going to be possible in the future.

      2) You have not allowed for the “baked in the cake” climate changes coming down the pike. Food will have to be grown in ever changing regions, endless droughts all over the world will devastate crops, cause starvation and start a mass refugee problem that will threaten world peace. For instance here in Australia, just imagine what it would be like if we had not just a few thousand refugees coming here by boat per year, but several hundred thousand!

      3) Non-linear changes in climate are quite possible in the near future, in which just surviving will be difficult. “Rapid climate changes more deadly than asteroid impacts in Earth’s past.” That’s correct: climate change is more deadly than asteroids.

      Back to the drawing board, Darky.

      • Revert2Mean – have you considered becoming a creationist? You certainly have the right credentials. Petty, mean spirited and jealous little man. In the meantime why don’t you go off and milk some sacred cows.

        You are probably angry now, so be careful and try not to spit out your false teeth.

      • Weak comeback that proves you have nothing other than the cerebral concrete you like to imply others harbour. 🙄

    • @DM,For even the best most Solar suitable parts of Australia (where people live) the yearly allotment of sun is about 1200 hours. That’s a little less than your 4 hours per day
      Most buildings would have less than 1/3 of their roof area suited to Solar deployment
      25% efficiency is achievable but it’s not the norm especially after a few years of neglect , I’d go with 10% to 15% efficiency to include sub optimal alignments angles, E/W facing, Winter optimization , etc

      I’m nit picking But in Engineering (unlike Politics) accuracy counts.

      • What I outlined was a thumbnail sketch set in about 2050. I don’t see any reason not to expect solar conversion rates to improve to 25% in the next 35 years. A high quality Japanese Panel
        is 19%. Don’t forget that using simple Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controllers you actually extract power from dawn to dusk. By 2050 they might have solved the tracking problem as well.

        As for the sunlight hours –

        EnergyAustralia give a range of 3.84 – 4 kWh/kWp.day for Sydney
        The NSW solar bonus scheme FAQ page gives a figure of 4.56kWh/kWp.day for Sydney
        The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator gives a figure of 3.79kWh/kWp.day for Sydney
        The Victorian Department of Primary Industries premium solar feed-in tariff page gives a figure of 4.56kWh/kWp.day for Melbourne

        Although these figures are in the same vicinity the variance demonstrates the fact that it’s not quite possible to put an exact unequivocal figure on the energy you will produce from you solar cells. Indeed, as Dr Anna Bruce, Lecturer at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at The University of New South Wales informed us, different solar systems both rated at 1kW sitting side by side may produce different amounts of energy due to the quality and efficiency of their components, how the grid is functioning and how well your system deals with high temperatures. Her expert advice is that “4kWh/kWp.day in Sydney is certainly feasible if a system has optimal tilt and orientation and is running well”.

        So, 4kWh/kWp.day and scaled up by 25/19 (allowing for 2050 technology) is 5.263 KWh from a 1sqm array. I would say my estimate for 2050 is probably on the conservative side.

        -> St Jaques I am an engineer as well. There are two things engineers should do. First, be conservative and build things (like bridges) that are safe and work well. Second, imagine things that can be built and work out how to build them. An engineer with no imagination is only half an engineer.

      • Point taken Dark Matter. However it is good to have on a blog like this engineers who raise the practicalities.

    • The “Energy Commune” idea could also be compared to the way the Romans ran their Villas and Estates. In their case, rather than technology, they relied on slaves. I am not an expert on the fall of Rome, so it would be interesting to hear from someone expert in the subject.

      The Roman system collapsed, and my take would be that their model was inherently unsound from an energy/resource point of view. Twenty nobles on an estate would require perhaps 20-30 slaves to support them. Each slave needs feeding and shelter, so the land area required goes up. You need an army to conquer surrounding nations to recruit new slaves and you need to feed and equip the army. Basically, the system scales poorly and is vulnerable to external shocks like crop failure and revolt.

      The Energy Commune of 2050 does not have those constraints. We actually don’t know if it will work because it has never been possible before. It relies on 21st century technology.

      • The Energy Commune of 2050 does not have those constraints

        But when the possible (or probable) constraints are pointed out to you, you resort to childish invective, which suggests your ideas are as unsound as those that led to the collapse of the Roman empire 🙄

    • interested partyMEMBER


      “Much of the 1 acre would be used as a market garden based on ideas like Permaculture. This would be tended and managed by machines, right down to zapping bugs with tiny lasers.”
      Dude, with all due respect….stick with engineering.
      I am a permaculture designer, consultant, and soon to be teacher. What you have described here is nothing like permaculture.
      People are integral components within a permaculture system……not to be replaced by bug-zapping lasers. Bugs are an integral part of the system as well….both beneficial and otherwise.
      No offense meant….just telling it as it needs telling.

      • Fair enough. I didn’t mean to tread on any experts toes. I don’t really have any idea how small scale farming could be automated – its not really my field. Wouldn’t it be better if ideas like permaculture could be integrated into how people live? That probably involves computers, like it or not. Bill Mollison is a practical guy, he would probably go with what works.

        Anyway, this whole thread was a thumbnail sketch of what might be possible. Just to get people thinking and talking – it wasn’t a formal tender process.

        Could we zap Cane Toads?

      • interested partyMEMBER

        “Fair enough. I didn’t mean to tread on any experts toes.”
        I don’t claim expert status….but I do know if you get the design right, there is nothing to do. 2-3 days of work a month to keep things happy would cover it, in an urban setting.

        “I don’t really have any idea how small scale farming could be automated – its not really my field.”
        Why automate such a pleasant lifestyle ???

        “Wouldn’t it be better if ideas like permaculture could be integrated into how people live?”
        Permaculture ‘is’ how people live…..you become a part of the system.

        “That probably involves computers, like it or not. Bill Mollison is a practical guy, he would probably go with what works.”
        Bill is pretty illiterate where computers are involved, but he should be regarded as a national treasure. Computers are used often in the design side of permaculture, and if the design is good, computers can/are used as entertainment or further studies. Get the design wrong and all you do is make work. The permaculture science is based around biological processes so computers may find a niche here and there, but I would be suprised if they play a large part in the practise.

        “Anyway, this whole thread was a thumbnail sketch of what might be possible. Just to get people thinking and talking – it wasn’t a formal tender process.”
        I know, that’s why I meant no offense. There are some misconceptions regarding permaculture and I do take the opportunity to put things straight wherever possible. Again, no harm meant….and who knows, you may have hit bulls-eye with your sketch.

        “Could we zap Cane Toads?”
        Yes……and they make good compost….deconstructed in 4 days!

  14. Whilst Marx is in the air and Uber et al have been topical I thought this comment might be of interest….

    July 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Since I began that negative stream of consciousness, I’ll explain myself in less general terms, though the failure to account for how economic and IT infrastructure actually work is still, to my mind, pretty damning and grounds to disregard most of what Mason says.

    His seemingly anti-capitalist argument, though it cloaks itself in Marx, is anything but. It, in fact, gives cover for corporations by veiling how the so-called knowledge economy is simply another example of precisely what Marx was talking about in Capital. At no point, does it occur to him that the sharing economy and its organs, businesses like Uber or Airbnb or Taskrabbit or what have you, are perfect examples of the extraction of surplus value or what in non-Marxian terms are referred to as rents. These businesses perform no labor themselves, with regards to the “services” they provide, but rather own the means of production, the IT infrastructure that facilitates dispatch, and through that ownership take a cut of what people pay for services rendered. It’s not a cooperative, just like workers in England didn’t own the textile mills, auto workers don’t own the assembly plant, and “rabbits,” as their called, don’t own the interface or telecommunications network with which customers solicit tasks to be performed. However, somehow Mason speaks of IT infrastructure as if it were simply there, like pasture lands before they were enclosed, yet it’s far more like the factories. We would never speak of a textile mill as simply there for use, yet many people do precisely that when it comes to “tech.” This is so absurd as to boggle the mind.

    This doesn’t even begin to address how these businesses openly flaunt local ordinances and regulations that their natural competitors are forced to live by, nor how they exert downward pressure on their “contractors” by forcing them to assume most of the risk, while making it ever increasingly difficult to eek out an existence without putting even more time than your average day laborer would working in a field or in some other yet-to-be-colonized service industry.

    Skippy…. Seems more a case of increasing WalMartification – Disneyfication of society, where a bottle neck is artificially created to extract rents in perpetuity w/ the added benefit of profit absconding to some tax haven for a select few.

    • Just to flesh that out a wee bit more….

      “Real cost of driving for uberX
      Hi, I am an uberX driver in orange county.
      In 2013 I bought a brand new chevrolet Sonic 2LT for 18,500 out the door after taxes and dealer fees. I barely drove it because I have another job that I work from home. Around December of 2014 I applied to become an uber driver. I was very happy it only took about a week for me to get on a road. The rates were 1.35/mile 5 dollar base fare and 25 cents a minute. There were also no safe ride fees. But allot has changed since then and I decided to figure out how much I really make driving with uber. I’m not going to get too technical but rather a general calculation. Current uber rates in my market are 1.10/mile, 0 base fare, 18c/minute, 1 dollar safe ride fee. I have a goal of reaching 150 dollar/day with uber on my earnings tab. (150 after uber takes its cut). It takes me 10-12 hours on average to reach this goal at current rates. I also noticed that I go through 10 gallons and put 260 miles on my car daily. Assuming that I work everyday, 260 x 365 =94,900 miles driven a year. I’m I’m estimating that my car will only be worth 6500 dollars. It will loose value by $12,000 in depreciation.
      I reach 30mpgs when I drive for personal use but with uber where im constantly parked or waiting on passangers I get around 26mpg. Cost of gasoline is around 3.50c/gal
      94,900(annual miles) ÷ 26 (mpg) x $3.50 = $12,775 in gas spent a year.
      How can I forget about oil changes that cost 45 dollars every 5,000 miles =$855
      I would have to replace tires twice. Each tire cost 120 dollar x 8 =960
      I also put aside 5,000 for any unspecified repairs. And I think I’m being generous with that figure
      12,000+12,775+5000+855+960= 31,590
      Now let’s see how much will I make driving for Uber 150 x 365 = $54,750 – 31,590 = $23,160 woop woop! Oh shit! but now I need a new car  il buy that chevy again for 18,500 and repeat all over 23,160 -18,500 =4660 profit a year! But hey I forgot to include insurance FML am I working for free? ”


      Skippy…. ahhh….. truth in advertising…..

      • Quick look Uber very bad. (just ignore my taxi licences -they’re ok – my cheap angry labour is different).

        It will be regulated in due course (and people will figure out that sharing is not a business) – in the mean time grumpy old taxi-licence owners that had no problems putting a fence around their monopoly might get a little grumpier…

        Do taxi licence owning crypto snarks have an agenda?

      • Categorical error aj.

        Its not a case of Uber bad and Taxis good, its about Ubers rent seeking being a substitute for another problem set.

        So the question is adding more corruption is the solution, especially on a global scale, what happens when Uber has dominate market share, given its propensity for a long list of nefarious activity’s…. turns over a new leaf?

        Skippy…. or does it just become another monopoly… with all the bargain power…. oops TTP and code… eh…

      • Taxi licence owners are very big on this corruption thing…obscene lobbying to keep the fence up is not corruption?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        So if we set some minimum standards for vehicles, drivers, safety and insurance, create a license that regulates it and costs no more than the administrative costs of policing that regulation, where’s the problem ?

        Outside of a tiny percentage of lucky, luxury or high risk situations, driving a car for hire is never going to be something one makes a large income from, because it’s generally about as unskilled work as moving rocks from one side of the yard to another.

        (Aside: not that it changes the overall maths much, but, $120/corner is some pretty fancy rubber to be putting on a bog standard small car. The tyres I put on my Golf GTI cost less than that.)

      • In this respect Uber is a great example of the monopolisation of information. They take a pretty large cut (granted, not as much as the Taxi industry, but still large). In exchange they provide the glue – the information that keeps the whole thing running. iTunes is the same, they take gratuitous cuts but provide the glue – without iTunes there is no sale.

        Is this an example of a new form of rent-seeking? Or just the ‘market’ working as intended? Are iTunes and Uber monopolists or do they just have advantage because they have the largest market share?

    • Build another app share around the rent-seeker. It’s sharing, not business – just because some greedy middle-class people forgot this does not make it the end of the world…

      except maybe to the taxi licence monopoly..

      • “greedy middle-class people”

        Skippy…. yeah you can use gross generalizations to strawmans anything aj, how about those greedy corporatist with over 34 trillion in tax havens, how they tremble in fear of the greedy middle class bargaining power coming to steal their hard earned wealth….

      • I bang on about that all the time Crypto – you’re just dressing up you’re own straw man. That said, who facilitates all those tax havens, all those tax lurks that help the companies as they work in senior management, turn a blind eye (or justify)… couldn’t be us could it?

      • Private enterprise monopoly beats the offering of a Government monopoly.

        We shouldn’t be surprised.

        As for Marxists claiming Uber – just hilariously stupid/ignorant.

        Though a government mandated, restricted in size, taxi fleet consisting of rubbish cars built locally by a protected car industry offering terrible levels of service and convenience, mixed in with some corrupt practices benefitting a chosen few (license holders/Cabcharge) looks far more like the realm of how communism provides a service.

        Maybe a bit of forced labor to really tick all the boxes?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Private enterprise monopoly beats the offering of a Government monopoly.

        No it doesn’t.

        The spoils are simply distributed amongst a smaller, less deserving group (managers instead of workers).


      Capitalism is privately own, controlled from top down – Uber decentralizes and smashes the centralised, top down, privately owned model – it is very VERY communist.

      Massive fail.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Huh ?

        In Uber’s model, the only one doing the co-ordination and distribution of (and charging for) resources is Uber. Drivers get no say (other than a veto, which presumably accumulates some sort of black mark against them every time).

        The drivers are providing the resources, sure. But Uber dictates if and where they go, and how much they can charge. It’s about a centralised as model as you could imagine.

      • All this started as a means to share excess capacity – once uber went all business didn’t it just become a taxi industry with a different model? Ie a good software system and a model for managing capital costs. Will the model survive – who knows, but it’s still going to hit up against real sharing apps, and these models for capital push-down aren’t really new, ask any franchise owner.

      • Uber is still top-down, and the amount of the revenue that it takes is non-negotiable (there’s not really any ‘sharing’ there). Does the share that they take align with their costs? One would think maintaining a handful of apps and a rack of a couple of servers doesn’t require taking 30% of every fare…

        When push comes to shove, Uber still controls access to the market and holds all the bargaining chips in terms of the deal. You don’t agree with them taking 30%? Tough bickies, accept it or build and market your own app. It’s not a communist model at all.

        Now, if every driver of Uber had an equal share of the company, and the direction of the company was handled by representatives of the drivers, THEN you would have a communist model.

      • If the drivers are still not making a living wage, then Uber really isn’t much of an improvement over the existing model. They seem to be treating the drivers as sub contractors, and thus shifting most of the costs & risks onto them, but still expecting to make the same level of profit. It will likely take competing operators, and Government regulation of pay and vehicle and driver standards to improve things for the drivers.

    • In a general sense, I agree with you Skip. Which is why I said at the outset, end of capitalism. No. Will it feel different, yes. Mason has cloaked his position some pretty dreary new ageish language oblivious he is in effect simply rebranding capitalism to suit the inner urban artesanal zeitgeist, where no matter what, making a buck is the big one, making a motza, all the better.

      Can’t blame him though, a product of his environs, his Guardian credentials and this sentimental desire for ‘la petite revolution’ that emanates from scarf wearers – can’t blame him because capitalism works – we all love it, even when we pretend we don’t.

      As for the sad souls supporting communism, the single most failed ideology of the 20th century, wipe the blood from your hands, pack the tote and piss off to North Korea. Live the dream.

      • You know, you start articulate and then devolve in to the halo effect wrt to Pavlovian dog whistles, why?

      • Geez. I thought I was fairly clear. Skip, shorthand. We all use it, I’m not here to write a treatise.

      • How many Koch et al and Bill Gates can not only humanity suffer, but the planet too, meaning well does not count. Gezz… Gates political family connections, open source bit of kit dragged off others labors then patented, network funding via aforementioned, enclose commons with free browser to gain market share, crush everything else, antitrust [political donations fixed], main profit multiplier being a major actor in EULA legislation, culminating in squillions which are transported to a charitable trust and to top it all off, thinks this means grok fails like CORE are the bees knees even when its shown to be riddled with fraud and corruption because of incentives.

        Skippy…. is that how capitalism – feels – to you? Not to mention the whole taxes are theft meme… seems the rub was “representation” and not “theft” so what happened to that?

        PS. stop being coy 3d you know what I meant, commie north Korea shtick or this….

      • Two sides of the same coin. The debate is corrupted of course…now the quest is for intellectual cool. Hidden in the reeds, in the mist, and of course (again) the most heinous always came from the middle class. Because it’s never really about the poor…

        Is it lads?

  15. Reading The End of Capitalism Has Begun article from The Guardian and then on through several more article linked reads on same topic…..whilst I find comfort and some relief in both these following comments I must admit being a little spooked by the second one:

    “….in Post Capitalism – The power of imagination will become critical.”

    I think this next comment started along the lines of ‘we are waiting for’ ….suggesting perhaps, ‘what we now need is’ – “A biblical style “jubilee”, where sovereign and consumer debt is wiped out….”

  16. A thought provoking, but troubling article. Does the end of Capitalism mean the end of the good aspects of civilisation too? Looking at the example in the comments about lots of small 30 person communities – it reminds me more of the 80’s ‘macrame economies’. The availability of education was all that gave their children a chance to escape.
    The disruptive economy is emerging in places I think we’ve been overlooking. Healthcare for one. I’ve just seen a video posted by a person I know that runs a small healing practice from home. Very mystical, lots of crystals. The video translates the concerns expressed here about work and the economy into ‘the collapse of 3D” and how one can live in higher dimensions. I believe aliens came into it, but I had to stop watching before I was fully enlightened. I wonder how many home practices there really are, and how much this is used by the poor and maleducated. As Terry Pratchett said “just because a woman is old and has no teeth, it doesn’t make her wise”, but it can make her a business. Is this what we really want however? A return to a modern equivalent of village witchcraft as the bigger Institutions disintegrate?

    Education, then, is another place where we seem to be failing. Partly because, as a society we don’t appreciate ‘book learnin’, or look after our teachers. Where are our tickertape parades for Scholars? Education is underfunded at the bottom, and open to disruption at the top end. Major International Universities have courses online. Here we have gone on a building spree “because overseas students will queue to get into Aussie Universities”. I can get my next degree much cheaper in NZ than I can here, and they’ll be very flexible about counting my work experience. Again, technological disruption (enabling distance learning and International competition).

    What if the third technological revolution is here and unrecognised? Maybe it’s not Biotech. Could it be entertainment for all the unemployed masses? Is youtube the harbinger of the new business model, or worse still Vine?

    Irrespective of the outcome, Australia is rushing in the opposite direction. The war on Australian business and jobs, education and the sciences is almost won. The transfer of Australian wealth from the middle class and poor to multi-national overseas firms will ramp up with TPP. As for those nice little 30 person communities … how will they pay the rent to their overseas landlord?

  17. Is this happening in Australia as well?

    Subverting Wind Power

    In 2012 the Guardian posted a confidential memo prepared by a fellow of E&E Legal (then-ATI American Tradition Institute) that advises how to build a national movement of wind farm protesters. Among its main recommendations, the proposal calls for a national PR campaign aimed at causing “subversion in message of [wind] industry so that it effectively becomes so bad that no one wants to admit in public they are for it.” It suggests setting up “dummy businesses” to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a “counter-intelligence branch” to track the wind energy industry. It also calls for spending $750,000 to create an organization with paid staff and tax-exempt status dedicated to building public opposition to state and federal government policies encouraging the wind energy industry.

    The proposal was discussed at a meeting of self-styled ‘wind warriors’ from across the country in Washington DC in February 2012. Participants included members of conservative groups such as Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Tea Party Patriots.

    E&E Legal does not fully disclose its funders. However, the following list of its 2010 funders revealed by the Institute for Southern Studies:
    American Tradition Partnership (ATP, ATI’s sister organization): $40,000
    Atlas Economic Research Foundation: 5,000
    Doug Lair: $5,000
    Lair Family Foundation: $135,000
    The Atlas Economic Research Foundation — which received over $1 million in funding from Exxon Mobil between 1998 and 2011; $122,300 from the Koch foundations between 1997 and 2008; and $735,000 from the Pope Foundation between 1997 and 2008

    • R2M,

      Get a grip, it’s not that these things don’t generate power when you need it, are prone to breakdown, are noisy, a blight on the landscape and a land owning rent seekers dream to grab subsidy cash from the taxpayer.

      No, its all a conspiracy by the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobil. How many conspiracies are they in on these days?

      • I notice that you do not contest that the Kochs, Scaifes, Exxonmobil etc are in there funding lies against renewable energy. They have also managed, in this country, with different players no doubt, to capture the treasurer and PM.

        As to your specific lies:
        V: “don’t generate power when you need it”
        With a widely distributed network of windfarms, there is always enough power. Sometimes too much power:

        Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand

        V: “are prone to breakdown”

        Not true, you must be thinking of 20 years ago. Today’s turbines are very reliable.

        Wind Power In Scotland Continues To Astound
        Scotland’s wind energy industry continues to astound observers, with the most recent figures from June showing that wind generated more than double the outputs, compared to a year earlier.

        According to data provided and analysed by WeatherEnergy, and reported by Energy Voice, Scottish wind electricity output more than doubled in June, compared to the same time a year earlier, and though these figures were still down in May, June’s figures were still outstanding.

        Wind energy generated enough electricity in June to supply the equivalent electricity needs of approximately 1.7 million Scottish households, or the equivalent of 33% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month. Furthermore, wind energy generated in June generated enough electricity on six days out of the month to supply 100% or more of Scottish household needs.

        V: “are noisy”

        Not according to the vast majority of studies. Wind turbine syndrome (WTS) is an alleged condition suffered by people living close to wind turbines. It was invented by Dr. Nina Pierpont in 2009 as propaganda against what a handful of anti-wind energy advocates refer to as “Big Wind.” It has zero evidence supporting it, and its main proponents are people who don’t want tall metal structures visible from their house and the fossil fuel industry through front organisations.

        V: “a blight on the landscape”

        Matter of taste. When I think of the CO2 pollution they are stopping, they look beautiful, even gorgeous, to me.

        V: “a land owning rent seekers dream to grab subsidy cash from the taxpayer.”

        Paid by energy company, not tax payer. Pales into insignificance when compared to the US$5 TRILLION subsidy enjoyed by fossil fuels. 😯

        From the Green, lefty Wall Street Journal:

        The George W. Bush administration’s last target report in 2008 called for 20% wind energy nationally by 2030. That report found that grid operators can easily manage variability from wind just as they handle other fluctuations in supply and demand already present on the grid. Today, advances in wind forecasting have now made wind energy even more reliable. Renewable energy is already reliably supplying over 20% of the electricity in 23 states.

        Wind-energy purchase prices have dropped by more than half over the last five years, according to market data collected by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. U.S. wind resources are twice as productive as those in Germany, and the installed cost is far lower. As a result, recent analyses by Wall Street investment firm Lazard, the nonpartisan Energy Information Administration and others have shown wind energy to be the lowest-cost energy source for reducing carbon emissions.

        Technological advances have allowed us to turn to clean wind energy without sacrificing reliability or affordability. With stable costs that aren’t subject to spikes in fuel prices, diversifying our electricity mix with wind energy can help stabilize electric bills for consumers.

      • And if you want reliability of supply – every single one of those toys needs to be backed by a gas fired or hydro plant.

        Feelgood devices

      • You should read the actual studies behind these links.

        Elliston, B., MacGill, I. & Diesendorf, M. (2013) ‘Least cost 100% renewable electricity scenarios in the Australian National Electricity Market’, Energy Policy

        Actually backs up my statement – under their modelling a significant amount of gas fired and hydro power capacity is required to maintain baseload reliability.

        They are guessing about costs in 2030 – but still need to use a $50tn carbon price to make the 100% renewable option cheaper than coal. At a higher 10% discount rate you are needing almost $100tn to nobble coal fired.

        Carbon credits are a lot cheaper than $50 at the moment.

        Perhaps their modelling will be correct? It is interesting work.

        Though the narrative in the media is a lot more ‘certain’ than should be expected from the actual work they have done.

        These guys have one voice in the media and another in their papers. Papers I assume nobody actually reads apart from an audience that is already in violent agreement.

      • Your headline should read “Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand for 1 hour”. It underlines the point that when you look at the real statistics, these things generate at best only a % of any given install capacity

        If they are so great why is so much compo needed?

        I should also add, where does Denmark get its power from when the wind isn’t blowing?
        Thats right Norway via the Cross-Skagerrak.
        What is Norways energy mix. Solid Fossil Fuel (42%), Hydro (36%) and Nuclear (22%) baseload! Only 0.1% wind.

      • Denmark has an ambitious target for its energy transition – 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, compared to “at least” 60 percent renewable energy in Germany by the same year. The Danes have loads of relatively inexpensive wind power, and they plan to store the excess partly as heat simply by running electric heating systems when power is cheap. Eventually, it could also be stored chemically, such as via electrolysis to produce green hydrogen. At that point, the heat and transport sectors could theoretically also be served with excess green power.

      • They’re free to dream all they want while the surrounding countries can provide reserve capacity,

      • Coal shills like you will be calling renewables a dream right up until the last coal burning plant is shuttered. 🙄

  18. Yes ab I agree with your astute observation that Australia is rushing in the opposite direction – or is it just wishful thinking by our leaders, politicians, corporates and power mongers in the media…. as in their desperation to create a whirlpool where a vortex of momentum drags the “99%-ers” into this, their preferred direction, they think no-one will notice and not be prepared to swim against the current?

    • Very sad for Australia. Australians have become to good to drive and make their own vehicles apparently.

      Cheers for the YT link “princes of the yen” throughly enjoyed watching it. Waiting for the sequel “princess of the yuan” 😉

      • h/t to Ashley for that one – i just watched it and liked it. Getting a handle on the role (and ideology) of central banks is something that i reckon we have missed a bit over the years… I mean even a cursury read of the history of Greenspan makes you realise that is a huge amount of power in a very fallible human.

  19. I find it strange that people protest to “reclaim Australia” but fail to protest to:

    1) Stop selling Australia’s assets to foreigners and stop money laundering into our RE
    2) Stop forcing Australians into unsustainable debt
    3) Stop government vandalism of our land and natural resources for the benefit of the elite
    4) Stop government from keeping TPP details a secret
    5) Stop government war on the renewable energy industry

    • “Everything that can be leveraged has been leveraged”
      That’s prob the best comment all weekend.

  20. Mining BoganMEMBER

    No comments allowed eh? Can’t have anyone pointing out the sheer dickheadness involved here.


    “The reality is that abolishing negative gearing on property would create a market distortion, make it more difficult for future first-home buyers to save a deposit, increase rents and create significant wealth destruction and transfers.”

    The misinformation war continues.

    • “The misinformation war continues.”

      If you apply a little bit of thinking, you can separate facts from fiction.

      The trouble is, most people do not think, let alone analyze.

    • AndrewMMEMBER

      What’s more disturbing are his so-called credentials. His claim on the ATO statistics is flat out wrong.

  21. If you beleive the Australian media the great crash in the 1930’s would have led those who cashed out first to invest in Australian real estate, being a premier safe haven asset.

    It’s a wonder the depression ever happened in Australia.

  22. China Stock Rout “Rocks” Property Market: “Massive” Cancellations Expected
    ….the increasingly hilarious pictures of bemused Chinese grandmas staring at ticker tapes that have appeared atop WSJ and Reuters articles betray the fact that everyone, everywhere sees the humor in a multi-trillion dollar stock bubble driven by margin-trading hairdressers.