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Donald Trump rode to power on a populist wave. Stockphoto

Stepping back into an uncertain future

Governments of all hues have failed to address the yawning gap between the ruling class and the less privileged.

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W.A.
Grylls is the only one to ever stand up to the big 2 Iron Ore producers, who have had it their own way for 3 decades, and are in complete control over everything in W.A. I the last 2 years contractors have seen their wages cut by 40% because the big 2 are only at present making over 350% profits, $72 per tonne sold to the Chinese, at a cost of $18 per tonne to produce, after all the bills have been paid. Of course W.A. should benefit, besides their London shareholders, good on Grylls, a real man, NOT a Yes man.

Esperance
As a farmer burnt out by DFSS "controlled"? fire from DPW Reserve. "Inaccesible area to "control' no mention of extinguish from either organisation. Estimated $US65 mill of woodchip plantations written off or damaged. Farmer wanting to develop freehold land being told by Environmental Dept that developing land to pasture to produce beef and lamb to feed the city and for export,is "degrading the country". Politicians out of touch with reality following their bureaucratic departments who have no idea of the real world of agriculture and Industry.Well paid by taxpayers and no risks. RULES: MADE FOR THE OBEDIENCE OF FOOLS AND THE GUIDANCE OF WISE MEN. The late great Douglas Bader WW2 fighter pilot. Who lost both his legs and still flew.

Wembley Downs
I have heard that Italy is the next big one to watch in Europe with a No vote on the 4th of Dec 2016 likely leading to new elections and possible leaving the European Union and Euro. Their banks are carrying 18% non performing loans with the usual 10% of deposits kept for reserves they are well under water.

Perth
Populism has been around for years in various guises but they all come down to a class war between the "elites" and the working class. The advent of social media allows everyone to have an audience for their views without any oversight or need to justify their views. Trump was elected based on well crafted headlines and sound bites (Make America Great, build a wall, deport Muslims) with very little detail of how they would be achieved nor analysis of their impacts and costs. Brexit was the same, after their win those on the leave side had no plan of what to do nor how to do it. "In fact the leader of the leave vote, Nigel Farage, resigned the week after the vote saying "his job was done". Stirring up change is relatively simple, the hard part is knowing what you are going to change to and Mr Farage obviously had no interest in how the UK dealt with the issues created by the Brexit after running a campaign of one liners on the problems created by the EU but no detail on how to benefit form leaving. The key issue behind Brexit and to a lesser extent Trump is immigration. This is an emotive subject and easily manipulated by people with certain agenda's, both for and against. This is also an issue that has been poorly managed by governments trying to appease both sides of the debate and therefore not appeasing either side. Those in power don't have the luxury of not explaining their decisions nor having a plan, as Trump is quickly finding out. The challenge for those in power is explaining why their decisions benefit everyone. Populism can be a positive process as long as those behind it have a plan and the ability to deliver it. Unfortunately this is rarely the case as the agitators tend to be focused on one or two issues and they generally have more in common with the elites than they do with the working class.

Perth
Not that I have a problem with Brendon's logic, I don't, but I question why such a narrow focus is paid to mining? What about the fact that Australians pay the highest credit product interest in the OECD and that Australian banks consistently report the greatest profits of any retail/business bank in the OECD? And with regards to the rise of populism and disconnect between the have and have nots, is the government not the elected representatives of the people and should be advancing the welfare of all rather than the few? Where are the infrastructure projects that will benefit us and our children and our grandchildren? Where are the tax reforms that would allow young families the opportunity to raise their families that we had as children? Why aren't tax loopholes that advantage the haves such as capital gains, trusts and carried deductions from investments being closed? We could be a more equitable nation that avoids the class war of populism if our elected representatives were held accountable in advancing our nation's economy, infrastructure, education and health and removed where they fail that test.

Sydney
The change is always positive and if it is now shifting towards the populism then so be it. World and eras decide their own dynamics and it is just that businesses these days need to be dynamic enough to mould with the change.

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