Who Really Gets to Decide?

If you have survived the election campaign thus far, then here is some really good news. You only have two days to go.

Well, until the actual polling day, that is.

With the record number of pre-poll votes running into the millions, there’s a chance we won’t get a result on election night. Plus, there will plenty of postal votes as well.

Even the ABC’s irrepressible psephologist, Antony Green AO, has warned that the sheer number of pre-poll votes could delay his calling the result. Especially, if the election is close.

It is almost impossible to recall many, if any, of the key points of the campaign. You might even go a step further and call the whole process pointless.

A ragbag of promises, all involving more spending. Six weeks of flying around the country throwing lollies up in the air.

Some things don’t change

One major point of difference, however, between the two parties is the old battle-wearied ‘climate change’. Those two simple words together are enough to make you itchy all over.

It is the argument that just will not end. A decade gone and counting. The only thing that has ramped up in all that time is the entrenched views of both sides.

There is little doubt, however, that a range of energy sources will make up the energy grid of the future.

Maybe one day it will all be renewables. But until that day, we can expect gas and coal — plus some solar and wind (along with batteries for storage) — to all be a part of the mix.

The real debate will be about how much each type contributes to the grid. And the timing in which that happens.

While some pollies might wax lyrical about the future of the mix, in the end, it won’t be their decision. No matter what they tell you.

That decision will come from something much more mundane. That is, from the industry that needs to cover claims on extreme weather events…the insurance industry.

Refusing to insure a street, suburb or town, will have a much bigger effect on future planning than any government policy will do.

The election campaign also highlights another difference between the two major parties. That is, the move to electric vehicles (EVs).

Much like the energy grid, a range of different types of powered vehicles will make up the future fleet. That is a given.

Again, though, the debate will be about how much each type contributes to the mix…and the timing.

And before anything happens at all, someone is going to need to invest a whole lot of money building infrastructure. The number of recharging stations currently is almost non-existent.

However, irrespective of whatever policy a political party draws up, the future power mix of vehicles is well outside their control.

Not our decision

With no substantive local car manufacturing, overseas manufacturers will decide what type of vehicles we drive in the future.

Take Mercedes-Benz, for example. The automotive giant employs almost 300,000 worldwide. That’s around double the total number of all those who work for the Big Four banks in Australia.

Earlier this week, The Australian ran a story about Mercedes-Benz’ plans for the future. My guess is it shows what we can expect here too.

The article stated that Mercedes-Benz ‘…wants to stop selling traditional combustion engine cars by 2039…’

It further added that it plans for ‘…new vehicles sold worldwide by that time to be carbon-neutral.’ Meaning all its cars will be electric or hybrids.

But it also noted that ‘…different approaches were possible.’

It is this last statement that is worth considering. That is, the reference to different approaches.

What that means is that Mercedes is not wedded to one particular power source. If one technology takes off, others may quickly go by the wayside.

Squabbling here about what that will be, won’t make a scrap of difference to their decision.

By its sheer size, Mercedes Benz is a market leader. In saying that, it does not mean all the other manufacturers will follow. However, it does give you an idea about where the future is heading.

Whatever policy an Australian government decides will have no impact on Mercedes’ plans for the future. Nor other global manufacturers. They have already got to work, designing the cars of the future.

All the best,

Matt Hibbard
Editor, Options Trader

While many investors chase quick fire gains, Matt takes a different view. He is focused on two very clear goals. First: How to generate reliable and consistent income in a low-interest rate world. And second, how you can invest today to build wealth over the next 10–15 years. Matt researches income investments. You can find more of Matt’s work over at Total Income, where he is hunting down the next generation of dividend-paying companies for the future. He is also the editor of Options Trader, where he uses basic options strategies to generate additional streams of income beyond the regular dividend payments. Having worked for himself and with global firms for almost three decades, Matt has traded nearly every asset in existence. But now he is on a very different mission — to help investors generate income irrespective of what the market is doing. It’s about getting companies to pay you a steady, stable income, with minimal stress and the least risk possible. Matt doesn’t believe you have the luxury of being a bull or a bear in the market right now. You have to earn an income from it, regardless of whether stocks are going up or down. By getting the financial markets to pay you an income, you can get to focus on more important things than just money.

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