And Goodbye to All of That
Posted at 16:17h, 28 Jun 2016 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Of course, we’re talking about Tesla’s decision to pivot from being a car maker into being an energy company by way of a merger with SolarCity. Much less crowded space, (“The world does not lack for automotive companies,” Musk said Tuesday. “The world lacks for sustainable energy companies”) what to speak of the problems that Tesla has been having lately, that they’ve been keeping quiet to the point of requiring customers to sign agreements promising to not “aid in any action at law or in equity or any legal proceeding against Tesla” related to a particular incident. One of the Tesla owners claimed to have signed the document after the company fixed a broken suspension component on a Model S (Did Tesla Try to Keep Its Customers Quiet About Repairs? The automaker says no, but modifies the agreement it reportedly asked some customers to sign). Of course, no merger is without its perks, and Elon Musk and his family could stand to gain $700 million in Tesla shares from SolarCity deal. No crime in wanting to see to the needs of your family, and Musk did recuse himself from voting on the merger, due to conflict of interest issues.

Speaking of votes and non-disclosures (or at least, information that hasn’t been widely disclosed/disseminated), in case you’ve spent the last few days under a rock, there was a crack in the world last week and it had to do with global cooling – or at least, a cooling on the idea of globalization, as British voters opted to leave the EU. The leave/remain line was drawn squarely down ‘education’ and age lines, and now for the part that no one seems to be talking about: in the 70s, the Labour Party in Great Britain pushed for multiculturalism, which was immigration by any other name. It was something less than a success and Britain hit hard times. You heard that the pound has reached its lowest point since the 80s? Guess what helped to drive it there then? So, the smartest people in the room went to bed on Thursday evening thinking that it would be business as usual in Great Britain and around the world on Friday morning – and rose to a rude awakening, when the electorate – outside of London, of course, which is not representative of England, any more than NYC and Silicon Valley/SF represent the United States – voted with their feet. History is a powerful teacher.

We’re not familiar enough with the day-to-day of British politics and the country’s relationship/agreements with the EU. The vote was clearly across age and education, with the older and ‘less educated’ voting to leave – the so-called low information voters, as we often hear them, and voters in the American heartland categorized. Many parallels are being drawn between Brexit and the current US presidential election, and since the Brexit vote is in, we’ll focus on this side of the pond.

We take no sides, so please don’t shoot the messenger. We’re just reading the tea leaves and offering just the facts, in case you’re wondering about the wariness of Government as Usual of the so-called low-information American voters in the so-called flyover states. Brexit, indeed, may be an indicator:

Obama budgets $17,613 for every new illegal minor, more than Social Security retirees get.  Truth be told, the median income for a family of four in the US is some $53,657, so they’re actually given more than the working family is earning – before taxes, of course, and for the record, median family income is down since 2008.  Of course, someone always profits, and always follow the money. (Unholy Alliance: Christian Charities Profit from $1 Billion Fed Program to Resettle Refugees, 40 Percent Muslim.)

Superdelegates:  the fix was in, no matter what the American voters decided when we went to the polls during the primaries. Then again, as with Brexit, we’ll all have our opportunity to comment, come November.

As for Brexit and the results having the press crying racism and xenophobia: for the record, opting for sovereignty and legal migration is not xenophobia. It’s called, ‘adhering to the rule of law.’   If you look at the polls, the leading deciding factor wasn’t immigration at all: it was more about the economy and regulations on small businesses and note to self: US small businesses have also been drowned – and in some cases, destroyed – by government regulation.

Of course, worldwide markets reacted: there’s always a startling reaction when one first tears off the band-aide. (Although, note: FTSE bounces after post-Brexit slump. “British shares rebounded on Tuesday following two straight sessions of substantial falls, led higher by banks and travel stocks, which were the hardest hit.”)

Tomahto, tomato (defering to the British pronunciation), the real issue was that the EU lost sight of one of its most basic founding principles – to make war unthinkable – and the ruling class focused instead on elitist policies that we’re seeing here as well – globalization, and making it easier for large companies to do business globally and for large banks to easily move money around, without taking into account or giving any consideration to the needs or will of the governed. What to speak of the creative accounting that multinationals – and large tech companies – have enjoyed for so long. Another reason why there was such a strong reaction in the markets: it was panic that they may be losing their foothold. We actually heard the first rumblings of this at Davos: The Davos elite worry about inequality – but don’t expect them to act). The British electorate acted – and it seems that there’s more to come.

There has been much discussion lately about the meaningless jargon to which tech startups have subscribed (Startups can’t explain what they do because they’re addicted to meaningless jargon), the idea being, we suppose, that use them often enough, and they’ll reach a tipping point where people believe that they actually mean something. Which is why terms like ‘xenophobia’ and ‘racism’ are so often bandied about: they’re meant to silence people with an opposing viewpoint, and welcome to the network effect, in all of its glory. As we said just last week, prior to the Brexit vote: beware the Silenced Majority. And by muzzling the possibility of discussion, who is truly intolerant?

You might have thought that software is eating the world, and its appetite is seemingly insatiable, but the heartland just isn’t buying the idea of globalization and the importation of cheap labor. It’s taking jobs away from their children and if Elon Musk, who is generally considered one of the smartest people in the room, is any indication: family first, or at the very least, way up there on the list. The outcome of the Brexit vote was simple and at the core of it, no big surprise: government went for their wallets .The heartland went for the jugular.  It wasn’t an aberration: it was the first shot across the bow to which you need to take heed, as we move onward and forward.