Politicians in TES

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright June 2017


Like all other human activities, politics is going to undergo big changes as we get into the 2050's. The biggest changes are going to be in what activities stay in the realms that politics influences. Because of cyber controlling much of big business activities, and because of cyber muses offering so much personally-oriented good advice, many activities that are currently influenced by the humans that are part of political and bureaucrat systems are going to move out of their control.

What is left for human politicians and bureaucrats to influence is the topic of this essay.

Politicians and money

How much will politicians and human governments control the spending of money? Most of the investing money, the Big Business money, will be controlled by cyber and be invisible to most humans, including politicians. How much will be left in the hands of governments and the politicians and bureaucrats that run them? What kinds of projects will they engage in?

An example of something that will be changing is taxes. Taxes can become pretty transparent, if people want them to be. Think of a VAT (Value Added Tax) assessed without mention in the price listed. The obstacle to this simplicity is instinctive thinking as highlighted by the truism, "The only two certain things in life are death and taxes." People expect to see taxes in various forms. In addition, taxes can provide a rich field for the system gaming many people love to indulge in.

It is likely that "major" taxing will become invisible and it will be handled with the "investing money" which is controlled by cyber. But humans will still support various "cosmetic" taxes which are in formats they can see, complain about and system game. These will be paid with luxury money. They are likely to be similar to the taxes-plus-deductions we have in the 2010's.

The instinct to complain about "greedy people taking advantage" is not going to go away -- it feels too good. The question becomes who are the greedy people? And how can they game the system in ways that allows lots of complaining, but little witch hunting?

And related, when stress and witch hunting time does come, how will the witch hunting be conducted? Who will be hunted and what will their shaming and punishment be?

Spending tax money

So there will still be taxes collected in human-visible ways. The next question is: What to spend those taxes on?

In the 2000's in declining cities of the American Midwest lots of spending was on high visibility projects like sports arenas and convention centers. Will those kinds of projects still be the center in 2050? Perhaps, because the visible taxes won't need to be spent on infrastructure upkeep -- that will be handled transparently by cyber and investing money. And, likewise, the taxes that in the 2010's are devoted to health care and pensions will become the necessity money of the 2050's. This money covers everyone including the poor, old and sick.

An example of the kind of high-profile ritual that visible taxes are likely to continue to support is bidding for, and investing in infrastructure for, things like Olympics and World Cups.

The Dark Side

On the dark side, governments, just as much as all other human organizations, are tempted to get on the spending Slippery Slope. In the 2010's Venezuela is the highest profile example of this happening. Will governments still be allowed to get on the slope in the 2050's or will cyber intervene in some fashion?

Losing the purse

How will politicians and bureaucrats lose access to the purse?

Will they be "taken off their allowance" when they go through an episode of not paying their bills, such as Puerto Rico is going through in the 2010's? Or will the loss come about in a lower profile and more orderly fashion? Losing access to the purse is going to be hard for these inherently proud people that politicians are. What will replace it in their pride spectrum?

And, looking at the even bigger picture, what will all these government roles still be needed for in the community? Will it be mostly for social shaming? Will it be for social entertainment? Related: As they lose access to the purse, what Big Vision-style projects can politicians promote? How can they, say, bid for an Olympic games? (as mentioned above)

Politicians and certifying

As cyber takes over big businesses humans will be doing more dilettante activities. Government can stay involved in dilettante activities by certifying them.

In the 2010's this is an activity that local governments get involved in. The highest profile are issuing driver's licenses and auto license plates, but all sorts of other activities get licensed as well.

And there is much complaining by libertarian types that governments are way too involved in this activity. The commonly mentioned example is how hard it is to get a hairdresser's license in some localities such as cities in California.

This 17 Feb 18 Economist article, Occupational licensing blunts competition and boosts inequality, talks about how occupation licensing is booming in the US.

From the article, "Occupational licensing—the practice of regulating who can do what jobs—has been on the rise for decades. In 1950 one in 20 employed Americans required a licence to work. By 2017 that had risen to more than one in five. The trend partly reflects an economic shift towards service industries, in which licences are more common. But it has also been driven by a growing number of professions successfully lobbying state governments to make it harder to enter their industries. Most studies find that licensing requirements raise wages in a profession by around 10%, probably by making it harder for competitors to set up shop."

Licensing dilettante activities that don't have much effect on cyber-controlled Big Business activities is likely to continue. This is something humans can be doing that won't affect core prosperity, but it gives a lot of sense of accomplishment to those issuing and those receiving.

Being the social conscience

One of the activities politicians routinely engage in is expressing elements of the wide range of ideas that regularly pop up in community thinking. When the ideas are crazy enough the media makes small news by mocking them. But expressing these wide ranging ideas is part of the function of politics, in particular the legislative branches. This is very human, and it will continue.


The role of politicians and bureaucrats is going to change steadily and dramatically as we progress into the 2050's. As cyber takes over more of the mainstream productivity functions these will move out of the hands of politicians and bureaucrats because these will become low profile activities in the human awareness spectrum, and because they won't understand what is happening well enough to intervene meaningfully.

Instead these people will devote their attentions to what remains high-profile in human awareness. They will devote themselves to intervening in dilettante and Top Forty human activities. Their function will be to license, promote, shame, and provide a forum for various proposals to be aired that are inspired by social conscience thinking.



--The End--