|As my aunt would remind us, "If you don't finish it all, it just keeps coming back!"|
Yesterday was the most important part about looking at how you fared at an individual level: what did you do, what should you do, and what will you do? I hope you take the time to analyze your own situation, and improve your position.
Now I want to consider the broader implications, and complications, of the current, and ongoing situation.
We already talked about wider casualties of this pandemic, and the fact that even if this thing dematerialized (and no, faithful tinfoil-hat fucktards, this wasn't an illusory pandemic, much though you gnash your teeth at that reality) overnight, like it couldn't, things will not, and probably not ever, be "like they usedta be". The 2020 you woke up to on New Year's Day this year is gone forever, and that world will not be seen again, probably not in your lifetime.
Wrap your heads around that, and start behaving appropriately to that information.
There might not have been many Kung Flu cases in North Dakota, or Alabama, or Mississippi, and only localized problems in Texas and Louisiana, but the departure of the oil business for the next several years, particularly the fracking fields, will change economies in all those places for a decade. Those oil boom jobs? Gone with the wind. Oh, btw: oil was one of the few bright spots in places like Venezuela until Chavez and Maduro, and Mexico until this year. Their industries will be hurting perennially for some time too, which merely increases pressures in both countries going forward. The economic refugees normally pouring across our southern border non-stop for a generation will not abate in perpetuity absent a large, high wall.
The decline, death spiral, and/or outright crash into a smoking hole of several other sectors, both short- and long-term, bodes poorly for the overall economic outlook. Entire restaurant chains are announcing, essentially, "F**K it; we quit." in the face of slow-roll-outs for re-opening. They will, quite simply, never be back. Smaller enterprises (we have friends in this boat) have done the math, and won't be re-opening again either. Maybe in five or ten years, but not this one.
That has upstream effects: on bankruptcy filings, commercial rentals, mortgages on them, lenders, financial services, and the DJIA. Which then proceeds to the Fed, the Congress, and ultimately, you and your paycheck and bank account, if you have any of that left.
Meanwhile, only Bitch McConjob and the Republican Senate stand between Nancy Alzheimer's and spending your grandkids' inheritance, not like a drunken sailor on liberty, but like one on acid, meth, and crack. The latest Porkculus III (or IV? Or V? I forget...) attempt to pack Socialism's Wish List into every crisis is D.O.A., but like the penguins of Antarctica, they will simply keep coming, until we can flip the House back to something less insaniac.
If the Senate and/or White House were to be lost this time around, you should be loading magazines and bandoliers, because the next stop will be Weimar at warp speed. (Remember that when someone tells you voting doesn't matter at all).
Followed, inevitably, by one of the updated forms of socialism originally begun under the branches labeled National, and International.
"Jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than war, war, war." - Winston Churchill
"There never was a good war or a bad peace." - Benjamin Franklin
Both men knew whereof they spoke, firsthand. Fight, tooth and nail, to avoid open warfare on your continent. But if it comes anyway, despite your best efforts, stop at nothing to win it. The results for those who fail at both end up in an open trench, just beyond the crematoriums.
A farmer in the Alsace Lorraine, Belgium, etc. could have done quite well, in 1914, or 1939, with simply the means to bunker under the south forty for five years, with a sack of Swiss francs and silver for his re-emergence. Just saying.
Work to get out of any debt whatsoever, as quickly as possible. Diversify your savings from just fiat bux. Multiple currencies and precious metals (PMs) would be wise. (And get it the hell off the grid, and out of the system!!! It's too late when your bank folds, or the .GOV seizes all pension funds and 401ks to pay the tax bill, i'n'it? Think they'll "never do that"? See yesterday's essay.) So would tangible assets. Arable land, potable water, renewable food sources. A man with a cow, a bull, a flock of chickens, a feed lot, and a few acres will never want, and a little more than that will always be an income, even if it's barter or black market. You can raise chickens in part of a garage and back yard, btw.
Getting the hell away from large population centers entirely would be a better long-term plan, but as I'm not yet there myself, I understand those without the ability to do so presently. It is nonetheless a goal to work towards, with a will and a purpose. I am.
You have just witnessed a concerning dress rehearsal for worse things, in recent days. And as we've all seen, morons gonna moron, and tyrants gonna tyrant. Plan for both contingencies, widespread and long-term, and be prepared beyond a continuum that only has "Suck it up" and "Open fire" as options. Life is a fader switch, not a light switch. The problem with false dilemmas is that you may never get to the point where "it's time to shoot the bastards", but yet be far worse off than you are now, for weeks, months, or years, nonetheless.
Prices for some things (gasoline, e.g.) will drop. Then the inflation, driven by the Porkulus Spendomania bills, will kick in, and shortages will begin, and they'll rise again, precipitously. (Usually, just after you've taken a pay cut.) Make prudent plans. Expect chaos.
This pandemic is liable to continue, in fits and starts, all the rest of this year.
The Second Wave of it may be a robust boom, or a bust, but it's still a likely thing.
I think it's going to blossom and wither in a kaleidoscope of places, at varying times, and varying intensities. And I would put a vaccine in the Nice To Have category, but my pessimism about getting one, or its efficacy, runs to between 90-100%, at this point.
And if you think this wimpy little virus was the only pandemic possible, or likely, in the rest of your lifetime, I have a bridge for sale, cheap. Everyone has seen how utterly hapless, helpless, hopeless, and brainless both TPTB, and Joe Average, were for this one. (Not to mention the idjits running healthcare, generally or specifically, anywhere on the planet). We simply aren't prepared for this, and probably never will be. People in any group are comprised of too many Gilligans to get it right anywhere, for very long. Singapore and Korea thought they had a handle on things. Now, not so much.
Island dictatorships fare slightly better, but only if they stay completely isolated, with draconian rules and tabs on the populace, indefinitely. Anyone else that looks good now is most likely either lying about numbers, or dancing on the beach ahead of the tsunami. Or both. The common component of every pandemic is hubris. Ask China or NYFC. Human nature in that respect has not changed since Edgar Allan Poe wrote about it fictionally in 1850.
You can't fix that, nor should you worry overmuch about it. Prepare to cope with smart, half-assed, and/or bog-stupid responses, and you'll be fine. You'll also get all three, at different times.
In short, you just had nearly three fat years of boom. I hope you enjoyed them, and made the most of them. You are now looking at lean years of bust, and the buildings aren't done bursting into flames and collapsing yet. Some of them are just getting warmed up, in fact.
Get used to bare spots in grocery aisles. Make sure your masks are comfortable, and plentiful, because they'll be a thing for some weeks to months. Don't be surprised if there are retreats on opening up, as well as advances. And mind the falling casualties, both actual, and metaphorical, they will continue for the next few years.
The Titanic sank in a couple of hours. The economy, being somewhat larger than a modest ocean liner, can be expected to drag things out commensurately longer.
But however long it takes, it's always more fun to watch from a lifeboat, than from the deck.