A Grim New Normal Ahead?
Will historians one day look back at unfolding events related to today’s public health crisis and economic collapse as a post-coronavirus new normal that’s grimly different from what preceded it?
Do ongoing events mark the beginning of an unacceptable dystopian future — combining the worst of Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World?
Will unacceptable US-led Western militarism and neoliberal harshness seem no worse than mildly irritating compared to what’s coming?
These are no ordinary times. What’s unfolding in real time could hardly have been imagined pre-New Year’s day.
There’s never been anything remotely like it in our lifetimes.
Most worrisome is that the worst of times may only have just begun, worse still to come, a protracted nightmare for the vast majority of people in the West and elsewhere.
Economic hard times like nothing ever before experienced may continue longterm for ordinary people in the West and elsewhere.
Will unprecedented unemployment, poverty, food insecurity, and human misery for countless millions in the US and West be part of the the new normal?
Economist John Williams projects US unemployment at “around 41% for April 2020, versus 22.9% in March” — based on how it was calculated pre-1990, after which the model was reconfigured to conceal the US labor market’s dismal state. Official U-3 numbers are meaningless.
At the height of the Great Depression, US unemployment was around 25% at a time when the nation’s ruling authorities instituted jobs creation programs — their actions world’s apart from Trump regime and congressional indifference to the public welfare.
Economic Collapse.com noted that April 2020 US job losses were double the number experienced during the 2008-09 Great Recession, adding:
What’s unfolding in real time “is truly, truly horrifying, and many believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning” of protracted harder than ever hard times with no end of them in prospect for ordinary Americans.
Without jobs there’s no income for food, rent or mortgage payments, medical care, and other essentials to life and well-being — at a time when US ruling authorities and lawmakers care only about themselves, their cronies, and the nation’s privileged class, ordinary Americans left largely on their own.
Hundreds of thousands or more shut down small and medium-sized businesses, along with some large ones, may never reopen — millions of jobs permanently lost.
Traumatized Americans from daily COVID-19 fear-mongering won’t likely resume former normal activities when lockdowns are eased and ended.
If professional sports competition resumes, it’ll be in empty or near-empty stadiums, a surreal prospect.
Restaurants, shops, theaters, airline and other transportation terminals will likely be partially patronized at most for some time to come.
When people have money, they spend it. Unprecedented US/Western unemployment perhaps for years to come means reduced sales and profits for businesses along with no end to widespread human misery.
Economist Richard Wolff projects a “Greater Depression than the 1930s…hundreds of millions thrown out of work” in the US, West, and worldwide.
He minced no words, saying: “Capitalism is a broken, unstable system that is beyond repair…”
Lessons learned from the Great Depression were ignored, promises made broken. The result is an untenable situation in the US and elsewhere.
Predatory capitalism exploits ordinary people to benefit the privileged few.
The system is beset by instability, recessions, depressions, speculation, market bubbles and crashes.
Economist John Maynard Keynes once said the following:
“Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise.”
“But the position is serious when enterprise become the bubble on a whirlwind of speculation.”
“When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.”
In the US and West, a government/business partnership manipulates markets in ways most people don’t understand or know is happening.
Current US equity prices match peak excess of the dot.com bubble.
In his book on the 1929 Wall Street market crash, John Kenneth Galbraith said the following:
“The fact was that American enterprise in the twenties had opened its hospitable arms to an exceptional number of promoters, grafters, swindlers, impostors, and frauds.”
“This, in the long history of such activities, was a kind of flood tide of corporate larceny.”
Predatory capitalism virtually assures that what goes around, comes around.
What’s ongoing today is shaping up to be the worst of hard times with no end of them in prospect for ordinary people.
It’s a perfect storm of recession becoming depression, unprecedented unemployment, mass impoverishment, failing businesses, crushing public and private debt, ruinous militarism, antipathy to social justice, and creeping totalitarian control.
All of the above is happening in combination with a public health crisis.
Thailand Medical News (TMN) has been ahead of the curve in accurately predicting COVID-19 events before they unfolded.
It called US and UK ruling authorities “incompetent to control the” current public health crisis, ominously warning the following:
“(A)bout 230,000 Americans would die by the end of August 2020 and the death toll would hit about 2.7 million by the end of May 2021 if things go on as the way it is,” adding:
“This is but a conservative estimate based on an optimistic outlook, but the situation could be far worse.”
TMN slammed failed policies of the Trump and Boris Johnson regimes, including reckless promotion of “drugs like chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and now remdesivir.”
Science know-nothing Trump and his White House COVID-19 task force “have no clue what they are doing and some are even more dangerous and should not be even listened to (like) Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, and (HHS head/former Big Pharma executive) Alex Azar.”
“It’s shocking to the world that a highly developed country like America with the most highly qualified medical professionals and medical researchers in the world is the country that has most badly managed the COVID-19 crisis.”
Establishment media coverage is “ridiculous” and harmful to human health. Things are as bad in Britain as in the US.
TMN: “The next (COVID-19) wave is even going to get much worst and everyone has to be fully prepared in order to survive it” — a chilling prediction.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”