State Sponsored Migrations and Perverse Incentives.

The refugee crisis that is causing such misery is nearly entirely a manufactured misery. The European Governments have created a perverse incentive (with citizen’s money of course) for the mass movement of people from one region to another. There is no element of free market or free human choice associated with it.  It is a government programme, ostensibly designed to reduce human suffering and promote a more inclusive loving world, but since it is a government programme it will achieve exactly the opposite of its desired goals .  The origin of the programme lies deep in the virtue signalling  psyche of your average leftoid European, and then magnified and weaponized by the giant bureaucracy of the EU.

Without the incentive of welfare there would be no mass flow of people into Europe.  Certainly the conflict in the  Middle East would still be a push factor, but they would be more likely to seek safety nearer to home.  Additionally, the lure of benefits has created a flow from non conflict countries for economic reasons.  Since leftoids don’t understand economics, it is unsurprising that the basic tenet of econ 101 – that people respond to incentives, is lost, or probably , was never even understood.

So what have these incentives created? We now have a situation where as long as Ahmed or Fatima can get themselves onto European soil , they win. This has created an overnight lucrative people trafficking trade across the Mediterranean ocean, and I use the term “across” somewhat blithely because as it turns out, all you need to do is get into the Mediterranean and the European superstate (in the form of the Award Winning Irish Navy) will take you the rest of the way, Yes, any old leaking hulk will do, just get offshore and get feet wet, and Italy is a certainty. The incentive here is exactly that, untold thousands drowning , and other nastiness, in the same leaking boats that the EU has incentivised them to take.  Not looking so humanitarian for the virtue signallers when you look at it that way.

And of course, none of this is free. The housing and care for what is now millions of people will  cost BILLIONS of euros, which of course must be extracted from European taxpayers. This means more tax or less services for the native Europeans. In real terms that is less vital services for the poor, the elderly, the young – the “most vulnerable” in society (who it must be admitted occupy a shifting and nebulous position on the hierarchy of oppression relative to the  apex oppressed migrants).  One million euros given to Migrant families is one million euros that must be taken from German families, or a million euros worth of German families which will not be formed due to the reduction in wealth such a transfer entails.  It is a slow strangulation of European birthrates, both now and in the future, and the state subsidised displacement of a native population. This, tangentially, is a definition of genocide (…a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves..Raphael Lemkin, Polish Jewish jurist).

How is this humanitarian? How is taxing away of European birth rates pro human? Must the average European woman work away all her fertile years, and forego motherhood to fund massive influxes of economically dependant migrants? Who virtue signals for her, and her dreams? For her uncreated children and family? What of the senior citizens, are they live on reduced pensions so refugee centres can expand? Why do the leftoids not virtue signal for the very obvious implications of their own policies?

So we have two perverse incentives, both countering the Kumbaya good intentions of #feelz fuelled virtue signallers. We have the human chaos of encouraging free entry ,and the massive wealth transfers taking place on their arrival in a massive orgy of wealth destruction and malinvestment which will echo for decades.

There is a final perverse incentive, which is far more ominous and hideous. The influx of a widely incompatible culture, which seems to have an above average density of rapists  is rapidly turning host population into nationalistic, K selected, right wing voting BADTHINKERS.    The  European people are peace adapted population, having not seen war in 70 years and as such are not easily violent today ,but have a huge history of efficiently applied violence in the past. When a populations women and children are threatened, the primal element of tribal defence will becomes manifest. No tribe can tolerate its means of propagating its genetic future threatened .Biology wont allow it. This influx has forced Europeans to become tribally orientated, in an ethno-nationalist sense.

And with European economies on the rocks, the unhappy and unemployed will seek a scapegoat for their woes. The migrants will be the what the Jews were in the 1930’s. There already has been attacks on empty migrant shelters in Germany and Sweden, what happens when angry European start burning down shelters with migrants inside?    The migrants, many of whom are non violent and do want sanctuary have been dropped into a firebox of rising ethno-nationalist tensions. The near future I predict will see reprisals by various right wing groups (or maybe mobs is more accurate) on migrants.  Is this humanitarian? To encourage people to move to a region where they cannot prosper by their own means, and where the natives are becoming rapidly hostile towards?  Some migrants will die at the hands of angry Europeans in 2017.

There is nothing humanitarian about the EU response to the migrant crisis. Given even a medium term view,it is clear that it is deeply cruel to everyone involved. Virtue signallers cannot see past their own r selected amygdalas and the need for constant good vibes. This would normally be harmless, but the expansion of the state in recent times has solidified their hold on the levers of power creating  havoc within the borders and without. This is why the left and its bankrupt identity politics and economic ignorance needs to be fought.  It feels good, but costs lives and plays fast and loose with the future of those not yet born. The government programme of the migrant solution will surely achieve a rise in  hatred, ethnic tension, division and nationalism, the exact opposite of what it was meant to deliver. And the last time the fires of European nationalism were stoked, half of the continent had to be flattened to extinguish it.

 

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Alt Media Disruption.

 

Mainstream media is a highly centralised system. TV and Radio relies on a state owned system of relays and transmitters, (at least in Europe) and newspapers are essentially a manufacturing and distribution industry with journalists attached. These are the hangovers from an older era, an era where information was costly to transmit, difficult to collate and from a world that moved more slowly.  Simply, they are ripe for disruption.

The overheads of a TV station are considerable. A very large campus, multiple buildings, large studios, huge electric bills, and a massive admin staff to push the relevant papers around to complete the cycle of bureaucracy. Private TV stations are market facing, but still subject to the diminishing returns of their inflexible and costly business structure. National (government owned) broadcasters are even less market facing.

The nightly news is half hour slot, with a 3-4 minute break midway. This leaves about time for 8, 3 minute news slots, one of which is the mandatory human interest story . This business model is fundamentally not sufficient to report on fast moving and relevant issues. Their reliance on advertising to cover the large overheads makes them inflexible to changing this model. This cannot compare to a podcast which devotes an entire hour to a topic, involving in depth analysis produced for very small money in makeshift studio, and distributed online.

Blogs are the natural competitor to the newspaper industry. Although the newspaper industry has been more market facing and has adapted to the internet age more readily. They still have physical material to move, which involves supply chains mainly focused on moving dead trees.

The alt Media can be loosely considered to be social media, blogs, podcasts and websites.  The advantages of the Alt Media over Legacy Media are

  • The Alt Media is decentralised; and so cannot be censored or put out of business by a single point of failure.
  • The Alt Media is disintermediated; it does not need third parties for distribution – it is straight from producer to consumer.
  • The Alt Media is democratic with low barriers to entry – anyone can do it with a low cost set up.
  • The Alt Media is Disruptive as it obeys exponential improvements due to Moore’s law type trends. The technology used to make and receive Alt Media double in performance for the same price point roughly every 2 years. Legacy Media cannot claim that their soundstages or printing presses become twice as cheap to run every two years.
  • The Alt Media is antifragile; rather than being harmed by shocks and attacks, it absorbs these stressors and grows stronger.
  • The Alt Media is market facing; most producers of Alt Media are involved in the movements they comment on, whereas professional journalists are often removed from the grass roots of their report topics.
  • The Alt Media is not financially vulnerable; most are donation funded, or with low income revenue models. A lot of Alt Media is done part time as an additional revenue source. The chilling effect of unhappy advertisers is removed.  Alt Media has very low to zero overheads depending on the medium.
  • The Alt Media doesn’t care what you think of it. It exerts its right to exist.

 

 

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The Free Market and the Afterlife

The cure for poverty is wealth. The free market is the best way of generating wealth. Therefore, the free market is the best poverty alleviation mechanism yet found. We know this to be true, several hundred million Chinese lifted out of poverty since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in the 80’s, amongst other examples prove it without doubt.

But not all forms of human poverty are poverty of wealth.any forms of poverty are of the mind or of the spirit.  Libertarianism is often associated with atheism, and a lot of libertarians would be secular.   It’s possible that we underestimate the role religion can play in the minds of people.

If you are a person of faith, and of sufficient strong faith that you believe that what you do on this earth is but a prelude to the afterlife, and that the BEST thing you can do in this life is assure your acceptance into the next, the lure of the free market is not a strong one . What is promise of a life of abundance in the here-and-now compared to the supernatural abundance and supernatural joy of the yet-to-come? If liberty, peace and earthly pleasures are but a distraction on the steep and narrow road to paradise, then the free market is a source of temptation, not salvation

Image result for heaven and hell

Furthermore, if your belief demands that you crush all that is not of your belief, indeed, rewards you with a shortcut to paradise for making war on non believers, you are then thoroughly inoculated from any of the peaceful coexistence and understanding that the free market may bestow upon you as a corollary to your engaging in trade.

We as libertarians think that we can get along with all people once we remove government interference in the market, and that peaceful trade will smooth out the peaks and troughs of human aggression. But Libertarianism is a purely secular philosophy, with purely secular and natural rewards.  It will never compete with ideologies that reward on the supernatural level.

Humans are tribal, and they fear death. We generally will stick with those we feel share our values, and we will always hope that maybe death is not final. Libertarianism will never speak to these questions, it cannot.  Opening our borders in the hope that sufficient application of the free market will make our society perfectly frictionless is naive. Importing populations whose time horizons stretch to everlasting life and use violence as the means to achieve it will never integrate into a society which has only temporal and secular gains as its only advantage. The imported population may have its own plans, in any case.

Libertarianism in its most extreme form is as ignorant about human nature as communism.

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Never a Better Time to be Alive.

This summary of Norberg’s Progress gives a nice overview of the rising tide of human prosperity  brought about by technology.  As humans we are designed to see threats, and we bias our world view to the negative.

This video also speaks of the same thing, as does this blog post

Rejoice, there has never been a better time to be alive.

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Automate Our Way to Small Government

There has been a public awareness in recent years about the coming arrival of driverless vehicles. This awareness was quickly inserted into the  Luas strike, with calls for automation there. A local politician received heat for suggesting that plans should be made to make  all trams driverless. Most people can accept that automation is coming, and transport unions are balancing on a thin beam  as more pay demands only hastens the inevitable disruption.  I suspect the unions themselves are aware of this.

SDC Installed Base

Driverless Car Adoption. source

The obvious outfall of this is that when driverless cars become normal, and can be summoned via your smartphone under an “Uber” type service, suddenly every man woman and child in the country has access to transport , essentially being chauffeured around by a robot at a low cost, and since most of the technology involved in driverless cars follows a Moore’s law type trend, we can expect that these costs will rapidly decrease.

What happens then to the need for the government to provide the social good of public transport?  Well, at first nothing . Bureaucracies respond slowly or not at all to change, so business will continue as usual. The same density of buses trains and trams will ply the the nations roads and tracks . However the inevitable decline in passenger numbers as more and more enjoy the convenience of of a self driving car will force the closure of some bus routes, consolidation of others and mothballing of all but the most travelled. The budgetary savings in these closures will be attractive to politicians to buy votes elsewhere. Additionally, the remaining profitable routes along densely populated commuting corridors will themselves be automated, removing the driver and his associated costs and risks  from the public purse.

Slowly but surely the need for public transport will atrophy, yet (privately supplied) transport will be more abundant and affordable for all. This is the essence of technology, more output for less input.  Although bad for those employed in the transport sector, it will be a great benefit to the entire population who will be able to transport themselves at minimal cost, without the capital outlay of a car or the stress of learning to drive.  Within 20 years the government can nearly entirely exit the transportation business,leaving the business of mass transit to the private sector and the non profitable routes to be served by driverless cars.  Talk of increasing subvention or making “public transport pay” will become a thing of the past.

This will be unpopular with transport workers unions, and  with anyone employed in the Department of Transport, in the Road Safety Authority and several other areas. Expect to see obstructionism from any of these quarters citing public safety, environmental concerns , social justice (even though autonomous cars are much more democratic in their utility than public transport) and job protection. This will delay the saturation of autonomous vehicles in the economy by several years, but the result is inevitable.

A secondary benefit of driverless cars will be their increased safety, thereby reducing accident and emergency bills in hospitals, police time involved in traffic control and crash investigation and making issues such as driver awareness and sobriety irrelevant. The entire apparatus of road safety can be drastically reduced in a linear trend with driverless car adoption in society. No doubt, incumbent disruptees will manufacture issues which will retain their services for a while longer, however the disruption is unavoidable and their departments will eventually be downsized into irrelevancy

The state will be no longer be needed to provide transport, and what little it does will be seen as inefficient and backward. Seeing as the taxpayer gives a subvention to the CIE group in general of about €230m a year, and this only for a bus service, the removal of the State from the transport system can only be a good thing for the pockets of its citizens. It will be a bad thing for drivers who have the means to hold a city to ransom with demands for more pay, for unproductive public sector employees and protection seeking industries (such as taxis) who have not innovated.

This is one of many ways by which near future technology will allow for smaller government by producing abundance in the economy.

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Confused Priorities

It seems the Irish Army are not too happy with the current situation. Members are leaving in droves with the low pay and high commuting cost. I don’t have huge sympathy on that point, as presumably they did, or should have, known the basic finances of taking any job before they signed the contract.

But its also a level of economic ignorance by the state to think it is possible to pay a low wage for the modestly-hard-to-hard job of soldiering, and not  have your employees poached away by more lucrative offers in the economy. When your soldiers are lured away by wages available in Spar, Centra or, god forbid, the equally low payed and seat of the pants job of being a recently attested Guard, you can bet pounds to pennies that the bean counters in the whatever howling wilderness of a sub-sub -subsection of that department that calculates army wages and allowances has been asleep at the wheel.

The real tragedy of this of course is even for hardened Libertarians, and all breeds of conservative – this is the thing the State is supposed to do, and generally can do well. Being the monopoly on force, protecting the realm, being an aid the the civil power, these things are all encompassed within the bailiwick of the Libertarian view, yet, for some reason the State cant even do that right.

In a way we have the best and worst of the Libertarian ideal State tied up in this one issue  – a State that really is not too interested in developing an overweening forceful apparatus of oppression or interference, but on the other hand still loves taxing the population until they squeak,  and loves meddling in the things the State should stay out of.

This is modern day Ireland. A State that is deeply worried about how to fix Irish obesity (answer: another tax) and dribbles on about equality, the proportions of women in (X sector),  or which ever shibboleth is en vogue in this [current year][current month]  and throws money to the tune of 19 billion a year at social protection, a sum that everyone not in power  can agree is far too low, but isn’t interested in doing its core duties.

The job of the state is not to make us healthier, thinner, happier, more or less equal in the politically correct proportions or to alter the human condition via the lovingly applied incentives of taxation or welfare. It does not do these things well, and in the long run, will make us worse off.  What galls me is that is does not even seem to be on the table for the  national debate as to what the State should be doing or not doing.  It’s simple GIMMEDAT politics or #FEELS policies all the way down

Never mind about building  the roads, who will fight the zombie apocalpyse?

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First blog post

Welcome. This is the first post of what I hope will become an ongoing project for me. It serves as an outlet for my various shower thoughts, brain farts and contrarian interludes. The topics will cover society, technology and politics/economics, in so far as I understand them. I would like to pay special attention to the interactions of the foregoing, which often lead to unexpected and seemingly sudden changes in society.

We live in interesting times, with exponential technologies heading towards a singularity, and a rise in nationalist politics, a resurgence of conservatism, break down and renewal of inter gender relations, and the rise of the ubiquitous internet.  Shocking combinations of these factors are ahead.

Thank you for visiting.

 

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