The one-stop revolution and the wall builders

The industrial Revolution (IR) couldn’t have continued longer than it did — approximately 1780 to 1980. This was when unique consumer goods ran out — that is, status goods, such as expensive clothes, personal ornament and foreign travel — among the 1 billion buying public in the half-dozen or so advanced countries.

The IR can’t be extended into the rest of the world’s population because the remaining 5 billion people would require the injection of 5 times the amount of electricity made, mainly, from fossil fuels. There’s plenty of this available for at least a couple of centuries to come — particularly as shale gas and oil — but there isn’t the capacity for oil multinationals or governments to exploit the reserves fast enough.

Instead, apart from most countries outside the advanced network which mainly trade high-value goods and services, the remaining 180 countries will remain trapped at living standards roughly where they are now until they start reducing their populations significantly. Until then, a “building a wall” policy against foreign immigrants will prevail, as already being amply demonstrated by the EU Commissioners in Brussels, Japan, the UK, and, of course, Donald Trump.

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