Our future is in a precarious position, as we face the very real likelihood of a steep economic downturn, a lingering pandemic, civil unrest and a global economy that is entirely interdependent and vulnerable.
By David Todd McCarty | Friday, October 2, 2020
I’m no economist but it would appear that we are in serious danger of finally going off a cliff we can’t easily recover from. The thing about historic cycles with the financial markets is that they rely on the idea that we’ve been here before. We haven’t. We are truly in uncharted territory.
I don’t know why we keep doing this as a country. We get eight years of prosperity under a Democratic President and then the country loses its mind and a Republican completely fucks it up before handing it back to a Democrat to fix. If we make it out the other side of this thing in one piece, I suspect in eight years we’ll do it all again. However, it’s possible, that the thing that will save us from this cycle of misery will actually be Donald J. Trump.
It’s entirely possible that the rise of Donald Trump will be what brings about the end of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to decades of Democratic Party dominance in national politics. Ironic to be sure.
But before we get all excited about the prospects of unified Democratic Party rule, we are facing multiple, unprecedented crises that taken together might be the super storm we cannot weather. The stock market has been going nuts for the near entirety of Trump’s time in office, approaching 30,000 on the Dow, while the economy is teetering on the edge of disaster. Most Americans are a paycheck or two away from financial disaster and we haven’t even begun to see the real affects of a coronavirus pandemic we haven’t begun to tackle. Trump and his enablers have been talking about a v-shaped economic recovery, completely ignoring the economic fundamentals of a new wave of failing small businesses, the coming collapse of urban real estate markets, mass evictions and homelessness, entire retail operations shuttering, the travel industry going bankrupt, hospitality and resorts closing everywhere and as many as half of all restaurants going under.
Countries throughout the world have been flirting with authoritarianism for years as right-wing parties harness the fear and hate of an uncertain future and the natural demise of white supremacy and a growing desire for nationalistic purity. Global financial markets are not fond of uncertainty and it won’t be long before the rich once again decide it’s time to buy gold and hole up for awhile, leaving us all in the lurch.
Rather than bringing our country together economic collapse would simply further act to create large civil unrest, leading to new megalomaniacs more than willing to take over where Trump left off and possibly even producing someone much more capable of evil. Our saving grace, if you can call it that, was that Trump inherited a booming economy and for three years was fortunate enough not to face any real crisis he hadn’t created himself. His incompetence, inherent laziness and lack of any semblance of plan worked in our favor, avoiding total collapse into fascism by sheer ignorance and luck. But we won’t likely be quite so lucky in the future.
The greatest threat America faces is the complacency of an aging population of Democratic leaders who are on their way towards shuffling off their mortal coils and insistent on proceeding the way they always have, worrying more about returning to what they perceive as normalcy rather than understanding a new paradigm might be upon us.
If we’re really lucky, this will all scare the living shit out of everyone, not with the affect of paralyzation, but with action on a scale we haven’t seen in generations. Let Donald Trump’s legacy be that he so disrupted the status quo with his incompetence that we were forced to make giant strides toward repairing a democracy weakened by decades of ineffective, disastrous Republican policies based on nothing more than greed and the promise of an afterlife.
Personally, I worry very much about my last few decades on the planet. I don’t want to die penniless and homeless, sick and alone, or at the violent hand of a white nationalist. I’m not independently wealthy, not all set for retirement, or used to working three jobs in order to feed and house myself. I’m a privileged white male who has grown soft around the middle and who has no calluses on his hands. But I’m not ready to give up just yet. Not yet.
We’re not at the end of the world just yet, but you can definitely see it from here.