Q&A has no idea how dark Australia’s future is

Via the ABC come Australia’s greatest challenges for the future according to Q&A gallahs:

LIFE PRIORITIES

Tara McDonald asked: We seem to be fixated on living longer at any cost and prolonging the inevitable which is death. Could we be spending more time and money on protecting future generations instead of ourselves?

FOOD & WASTE

Andrea Wood asked: 40% of food produced does not get eaten. While 815 million people worldwide go to bed hungry. How do we get people to understand quickly, and globally, that our food security is under threat and to start treating food as the precious resource it is?

LESS MEAT

Melissa Neave asked: Do we have to move away from meat in order to meet the challenge of feeding future populations while limiting our environmental impacts?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Richelle Lim asked: The mass urbanisation and inventions of the 18th century permanently changed society henceforth the industrial revolution. How do you think the emergence of A.I technology will change and shape our society in the future?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & JOBS

Morgan Hamilton asked: Automation of labour is a fear for many people, and will affect low skill industries the most. How can we ensure everyone is taken care of in the future when jobs are already scarce?

PREDICTING THE FUTURE

Dennis FItzgerald asked: Why haven’t we got the future I was promised in my 1960s childhood as shown by ‘Lost in Space’ which was set in 1997. How accurately can we say what the future holds when there is so much unreliable information available?

CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES?

Scott Rayburg asked: While the issues raised by Julian Cribb are undoubtedly challenges, many of which could lead to severe consequences for human civilisation and the biosphere, many of these also seem to offer opportunities. Do you think that part of the reason we are paralysed into inaction is the language surrounding these crises? How can we change the language and embrace the opportunities that these challenges present?

POLITICAL FAIL

Maree Horseman asked: Having witnessed numerous Australian political leaders fall victim to their attempts at progressive policy making, does the panel see a way to overcome the factional power games and partisan politics that consistently thwart long term sustainable solutions to some of our biggest challenges?

CLIMATE & BUSINESS

Jonty Hall asked: Given the continuing inaction on climate change and the desire across many industries for greater certainty around future climate policy, what strategies can Australian businesses use to force action on this issue?

CLIMATE IMPASSE

Michelle Grosser submitted a video question: The UK declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and since then they have looked in detail at the way the British economy can be de-carbonised and have also looked at the long term security of their food and health. There are obvious benefits in applying this long term lens to policy decisions so why do the conservatives in Australia fight to retain a short term focus?

FUTURE GRATITUDE

Alex Giannopoulos asked: Much of the political discourse about ‘looking ahead’ tends to be negative, and focuses on what needs fixing. But does the panel think there are things we’re getting right today, which future generations will thank us for?

Of these, only two challenges are in the top four, in my view, which are in order of priority:

  1. Liberal democratic political decay (incl. post-truth media).
  2. Climate change (incl. limits to growth).
  3. The rise of the CCP and its risks to Australian democracy.
  4. The mass immigration economic model and falling living standards (incl. housing affordability and the wealth divide).

Liberal democratic political decay is first because without it then everything fails.

Climate change speaks for itself as the existential challenge to the species.

The rise of the Chinese Communist Party will change Australia into a unrecognisable gulag if not stopped.

The mass immigration model will destroy Australia’s entire identity, classless culture, standards of living, environment and democracy if not addressed.

Pretty much everything else is parlour talk which means there is one more to add to make five: failing intellectuals and national broadcasters who obsess over trivia while the nation burns.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Comments

  1. failing intellectuals and national broadcasters who obsess over trivia while the nation burns.

    +1000

    • Strange Economics

      Good Summary of the priority issues they should discuss… Time to sweat the big stuff Q&A…

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Yes,…the majority of our our “Intellectuals” are groveling careerist toadies in the service of Plutocracy.

  2. wonder if I can post yet?

    Great. Without losing posting privileges again, propose amending 2) man-made climate change and cost effective renewal technologies.

  3. The mass immigration model will destroy Australia’s entire identity, classless culture, standards of living, environment and democracy

    You’re too late, it has already done this.

    But going back to Q&A and fiddling over trivia, they do this because this is all their small “woke” mindset lets them understand.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      Gordon I think you might be wrong. I know that a lot of a young crowd are lost to the globalists but they can wake up as they mature and a lot of the other locals can come to reality as they see their country is being removed from them by the elites and foreigners. To think it is completely lost already is abandonment. It’s interesting to watch the UK and some other European nations but as a western migrant nation we’re likely more akin to the USA or Canada, so observing them can give a little guidance, as usual we’ll be a follower, never the vanguard in anything except mediocrity

    • We got what we wanted/deserved? ie: we gave up working towards a better future, ourselves, and outsourced our future to other nations.

  4. I think there’re a couple of steam cooker issues that sit alongside those of H&H – continuing emerging world population growth together with the tinderbox of the Middle East (where a disproportionate amount of the world’s oil supply sits).

    I know there isn’t any sort of plan for these and I’m not sure that there even can be.

    • Yep. This is an issue the media has, until recently, been obfuscating and lying about (“there is no African gang problem”). A look at the actual crime statistics makes it very clear that African (specifically Sudanese) crime is a serious problem:

      Sudanese-born people are 67 times more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and 55 times more likely to be charged with riot and affray in Victoria than those born elsewhere, ­according to analysis released yesterday by the state’s Crime Statistics Agency.

      The annual crime statistics to the end of March showed a rise in gang crime including car-jackings, assaults, street robberies and drug offences, despite the state achieving its lowest criminal incident rate since March 2015 when population growth is taken into account.

      Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton revealed there had been an “escalation” in offences committed by people born in Sudan and South Sudan.

      “And anecdotally, we do know African youth are still over-­represented in those high-­impact, high-end crimes,” he told Melbourne radio 3AW.

      Link

      • Saw theft by this cohort at Myer at Castle Towers in upper middle class Sydney last week. Security saw and was unwilling to act because of the size of the group. Very, very sad its come to formerly comfortable neighbourhoods.

      • “The youths arrested on Monday were of Asian, African, Caucasian and Pacific Islander appearance.” Well that pretty much covers everyone bar the Middle Eastern types.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        I know an insider in a youth detention centre, although the government are quiet because of their stupid political correctness, I have been told the majority in the youth detention centres now are African. Contrast that against the percentage of the population they represent and you see what a real problem we have purely looking at the facts.

  5. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    you guys really earn your subscription money watching qwanka….. as Jeremy Clarkson said i’d prefer to blow torch my nipples off

  6. 815 million people worldwide go to bed hungry.

    ie, ignore the Aussies who do not have enough to eat and just think about the kids in Africa.

    globally

    Whatever happened to “act locally”? Why is Andrea Wood not acting to abolish homelessness in the CBD? Even Richard Branson said he wants to abolish homelessness via UBI.

    “It’s a disgrace to see people sleeping on the streets with this material wealth all around them,” Branson said.

  7. How exactly is this expected to play out ?

    The rise of the Chinese Communist Party will change Australia into a unrecognisable gulag if not stopped.

    • They (The CCP) will say “we want to now run your country.

      We will reply “No, you can’t”.

      They will simply call us racist.

      Greens voters will recoil, The Green party itself will make it a policy to hand over control of the country to prove they aren’t racist.
      Greens voters will then dress in black masks, beat up anyone who opposes CCP control and calling those dissenters racist/fascist/orange man/etc.

      • Cool story, bro.

        How long do you think it will be until the Greens have the unassailable majority in both houses required ?

      • It’s not the Greens I’m worried about, SloMo is hell bent on p1ssing off every nation in the South Pacific driving them into the arms of China. No need for the CCP to exert influence in the third island chain, Morrison and the LNP are handing it to them on a plate.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Influence of money. Corporation are falling over themselves censoring any negative comments on China in regards to the HK protest right now. If China grows even richer in the decades to come, we will all kowtow to the CCP because the Chinese will end up owning everything in Australia.

      • I feel pretty comfortable that China won’t be much richer than they are today and, in fact, are likely to be a lot poorer (at least in the short to medium term). The reason being that their problems look an awful lot like Japan’s in the late ’80s i.e. demographic decline, massive credit bubbles which will destroy the banking system for decades.

        The only danger they pose in the short-term is them stirring up a hot war in AsiaPac and lashing out at everyone in their reach.

        Other than that I see them becoming more insular, retreating into themselves.

          • Tha fact that china is so large makes this even more likely, Japan has limited resources and requires global trade. China is much more like the US and can be largely self sufficient if it chooses to.

          • Fair enough. I’m just looking at it from a relative point of view. Their population is bigger but then so is their credit bubble – in absolute and relative terms.

          • John Howards Bowling Coach

            bjw, China cannot easily become self sufficient. They are still completely dependent on exports to 1st world nations and will be for a long while yet. I spend a lot of time there and their markets are weak, cheap, and smaller than the rest of the world foolishly believes.

            Very few foreign entities make a $dollar in China. Many of the entities making money there which are locally owned are now being absorbed back into the CCP, they allowed them to grow rich but now they want all that money.

            Japan is far more able to be self sufficient than China.

  8. ErmingtonPlumbing

    “Tara McDonald asked: We seem to be fixated on living longer at any cost and prolonging the inevitable which is death.”

    Sounds like another argument against Universal Health care and the welfare state.
    No doubt Tara thinks if your Poor you should just die.

    • Yes. Certainly her following sentence “Could we be spending more time and money on protecting future generations instead of ourselves?” certainly drives home obvious lack of concern for others.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Just more Solidarity sapping identity politics Smithy.

        It’s seems that on the Heirachey of intersectionality old people should be grounded into Soylent Green according to Tara’s assertion that all old people have it “so Good”.
        And yet the intersectional brigade celebrate the increasing power of groups that are even more obsessively focused on themselves “protecting and spending money” on themselves as an even smaller and seperate identity groups than the Generational group that they will all become in the not to distant future.

        Just fking stupid Shyte talking points.

        • It’s seems that on the Heirachey of intersectionality old people should be grounded into Soylent Green according to Tara’s assertion that all old people have it “so Good”.

          Wow. You are way off the deep end of right-wing culture warrioring.

          • ErmingtonPlumbing

            Yeah right,….the plumber who consistently advocates for a massive expansion of the Wealfare State, Nationalisation of resources and energy infrastructure and the delivery of Political Power into the hands of the the majority of the population (the working class and the poor) through Solidarity and Democracy, is the “Right winger”,….simply because he does not embrace the latest postmodernist “intellectual” fad to come out of the humanities departments of Privileged Western Universities.
            You guys are as bad as those that have taken over Economics

            It is you who is the stooge of Global Plutocracy Smithy, a tool of the establishment (ie your the right winger) and ya don’t even seem to know it.

            Amazing.

          • Trout à la Crème

            It is amazing Ermo. Smith just sees everything in black and white. You would think after the better part of a decade posting here he would have matured a little but no.

          • […] simply because he does not embrace the latest postmodernist “intellectual” fad to come out of the humanities departments of Privileged Western Universities.

            No.

            Because you look at any opinion you don’t like and dismiss it as identity politics, without even the vaguest suggestion of reasoning or consistency.

            Because you look at someone saying ‘maybe we should think about future generations’ and somehow arrive at ‘kill all the old people’.

            It’s textbook Rupertarian division and fearmongering, and you are all over it like a rash.

            It is you who is the stooge of Global Plutocracy Smithy, a tool of the establishment (ie your the right winger) and ya don’t even seem to know it.

            Yes. That is obvious from my years of “consistently advocating for a massive expansion of the Wealfare State, Nationalisation of resources and energy infrastructure and the delivery of Political Power into the hands of the the majority of the population (the working class and the poor) through Solidarity and Democracy”.

          • It is amazing Ermo. Smith just sees everything in black and white.

            LOL.

            Yes, something is either “[what I call] Solidarity” or it’s “identity politics”.

            But *I’m* the one looking at the world in black and white.

    • 50% of mediocre spending is on geriatrics who don’t live more than 6 months after treatment.

      Just putting it out there.

        • If I’m six months away from death I’m sure as $hit not going to spend it in a hospital bed! One way ticket to Amsterdam, party till I can’t no more, then off to get euthanased!

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        Is that a fact? If so it is quite an amazing fact I would love to see a reference, at least partly so I can post it around rampantly.

  9. 1. Is the rollback of neoliberalism.

    Everything else is derivative and will fall into place once this happens.

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Sure,…but how do we get the leadership of the political “Left” to simply talk about it let alone actually do something in that direction.

      • What do we do… 1) Vote to repeal gun laws.

        At the moment, the leadership of the left are amongst the main beneficiaries, ‘mates’ getting prime positions due to quotas, ‘mates’ on panels setting their wage structure, all unaccountable, and funded by the tax payer or oligarchs happy with the roles being loss leaders *cough*fairfax*

        They’re benefiting from neoliberalism, they see no reason to change.

        it’s the working classes from Western Sydney, Michigan, Rotherham who are wearing 100% of the cost, their jobs replaced or dead-ended, access to their quota of public ammenities diluted, their lifestyles degraded, their children stabbed and raped….

        and they get the privilege of being called racist/bigot/fascist if they dare dissent.

        10 refugees in Balmain, 4,000 in Fairfield says it all.

        But as a holistic act, it is wilfully harming people. It is malicious, it is evil… and where it is happening, and the rhetorical defence of it… it is a war on (working class) white people.

        So….we often get US 2nd amendment boilerplate for citizens with guns…. here’s another example…

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/mexican-president-backs-decision-to-free-drug-lords-son-11571404233

        El Chapo’s son gets arrested, the drug cartel fights the Mexican army, and wins…
        Mexican government releases El Chapo’s son.
        In a perverse way, the people are telling the government what to do, not the other way around.
        Anyone with brains can see from this the purpose of the 2nd amendment from here.

        Make bad governance a life-threatening experience, then we’ll get a better direction.

      • The only people who can credibly promise solutions are:
        1. the holdouts who never bought into neoliberalism
        2. young people
        Everyone else wil point at every other distraction under the sun before they admit that neoliberalism is at the root of these problems. It is sad but is just human nature – the cognitive dissonance is just too painful.
        ie. imagine someone say in their mid 60s who genuinely believes they have been part of a progressive movement making the world a better place for the past 40 years, they’ve had limited interest in economics and went along with the neoliberal disaster from the 80s onwards, repeating the liberal journalist cliches eg. needed to happen for growth, needed to happen because of globalisation, needed to happen due to technological change, politics is now personal, workforce has changed, left and right are no longer applicable blah blah blah. And now they are expected to come to terms with the fact that the fundamental underpinning of what they believed for 40 years has always been wrong and needs to be rolled back in order to deal with the issues they no doubt genuinely care about. Won’t happen.
        Notice how Sanders and Corbyn are able to get to the heart of issues? Why? Because they have never been compromised by neoliberalism. There is almost nobody in the ALP like that.
        But everything else really is derivative:
        – China: Solution strong and equitable growth in the West to be a countervailing force – won’t get it under the weak demand/high inequality neoliberal setup
        – Climate change: Solution state intervention and mobilisation to change the energy system similar to the way the US reorganised its economy through intervention at the start of WW2 – won’t happen under neoliberalism
        – liberal democracy: obvious. You can’t afford democracy when such a small part of the population has so much to lose.

    • 1. Dismantle the debt-based money system and return to a sound money system.

      Everything else is derivative and will fall into place once this happens.

      There, fixed it for ya

      • Jumping jack flash

        This! Pity that the only language banks speak is debt. Debt is their product and how they create income for their existence. The problem with debt is that it consumes money and doesn’t create it. (Except for the bank itself). Banks are an economic parasite and we’ve put them in charge of the host!!

        If everything runs on debt then the interest consumed by the debt must be extracted from something that creates money. There’s not much of that left. Debt is easy so that’s what everyone uses now.

  10. Imagine this conversation in the 80’s or earlier – shows the past was a better time to live. They were speaking of flying cars and new technologies that were going to make our lives easier. They had optimism. Now the only things that have are still potentially feasible from the past sci-fi movies are the dystopian future scenario’s – the pessimists won. We’re not getting the flying cars, beaming teleportation or anything of the sort anytime soon. Instead we will probably exhaust the planet’s capacity to sustain the ever growing population, and power struggles between countries will enviably result (China and US maybe).

  11. Jumping jack flash

    In my opinion we got what we asked for. We put the banks back in charge of everything and they turned the whole place into a bank. Now, the thing about banks is that they view the purpose of an economy upside down, inside out and back to front to what the standard person does, should and must.

    So the whole place is going backwards. Only by gaining control over the economy again and kicking out the banks is going to fix things.

    Everything we experience now is a symptom of this. The requirement for high immigration, the requirement for immense amounts of debt, the insanely high house prices, the high cost ofliving, and the ultimate disintegration of society.

  12. It is a financial system where nearly all money is created as debt with an associated interest liability that requires an always expanding pool of debt to keep the ponzi going that is the problem. However, I don’t think change is possible with the current electoral model where we oscillate between two political parties which are so corrupt that nothing significant can happen. Australia needs to change its decision making system and something introduce something like direct democracy so that the actual people get a say.