Understanding the current political insanity is helped by understanding the broader forces in play. This post by Gail Tverberg is helpful.

The Energy Problem behind Trump’s Election

Some observations…

  • People are elements of a larger system. We are only special or set apart in that we seem to be uniquely self-aware. Other than that, we’re just nodes in the graph.
  • Yes, there is a problem as indicated by falling global GDP.
  • Concentration of wages is a delaying tactic for a few. It’s not really sustainable.
  • Falling return on human labor as indicated by falling wages (or increasing unemployment) has serious broad consequences. The increasing income disparity caused by increasing complexity can provide the appearance of more wealth, but it tends to be built on a house of cards.
  • Territoriality is a way to manage carrying capacity. It’s not a very good one when your planet is full, but it’s a way.
  • Technology is all about increasing complexity (not sure about this, but it’s an interesting approximation).
  • Minimum wages is an interesting factor to watch.
  • Low wage earners and high wage earners spend money on different things (sort of obvious, but the fact that there’s a threshold is interesting).
  • Debt and government supports have an interesting catalytic effect. Of course catalysts must be used appropriately to achieve the desired outcomes.
  • Trump’s solutions may “kick the can further down the road” but likely at great cost to human survivability.
  • It would be interesting to work on a model that examines population growth. Lots of work has been done on reinforcing forces. Some work has been done on balancing forces. For example, what has been the impact of social/religious taboos regarding sex? What has been the role of the invention of effective birth control? Lots of interesting stuff here.
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