“A return to normal” is the common notion that a majority of people believe and express in social media. ‘Normal’ is what got us here, and that ‘normal’ needs to replaced and will be once this is all over. Because when the statistics start going down, when it looks like we kept at or below ‘the curve’, the lingering truth will be that we can never really trust anyone that was above us in the economic or political scale. The whole system needs a reset or else this will happen again. A silent killer against whom we have no defense, borne out of human behavior miles away, and which makes friends, family, co-workers, all become potential threats to our lives whether they know it or not. While that Reset happens ( to its fully required degree) to appear like it is up to chance, the fact is that either we will act as a species to make it happen, or nature is going to force us into it.
We can trust our employers because they can’t trust their superiors and industry partners because they can’t trust their local politicians because they can’t trust their federal politicians to give them the truth. Anyone who thought they had a reliable job in the beginning of February suddenly received a rude awakening half-way through. No one was safe. Even essential workers must now be forced to choose between continuing work to get a paycheck or risk exposure to this silent killer… and without access to healthcare or an actual COVID-19 test that South Korea was able to make for their citizenry per capita, workers can’t trust that their bosses will do the right thing. Even when bosses/employers do the right thing and close up shop while paying their employees, that generosity can’t last for more than a handful of weeks. And workers and their bosses can’t trust that their government will provide for them since even a system designated as “stimulus” can’t do something as basic as making itself ready to give the money and the loans to the people and businesses who needed. Bottom line… we can’t trust them.
Without trust, the social contract means nothing. In fact, all contracts mean nothing because the courts are closed to hear most cases. The bottle-neck in lawsuits to come when this dies down will be another mess on the economy as more workers wait to see who they can find at fault to collect money from.
Without trust in politicians, we can’t trust the value of our money or that it’ll ever be there when they say it will, or that it will be enough. If it’s true that the COVID-19 numbers are being fudged, then we can conclude our leaders are systematically lying to us in a disorganized manner.
A reset to all of this is to call for a new system or carrying out of a globally interdependent economy. This “every-man-for-himself” idea of American individualism (and spread around the world) doesn’t work when all it takes is one individual to disregard the rules which then results in dozens and then hundreds and then thousands to be affected by one person’s decisions. I don’t refer to contagion of the virus; I refer to people in power who singlehandedly make decisions that affect thousands of other people. Leaders may reject facts, and therefore their subordinates also ignore these inconvenient facts, which then leads to policy makers having to work with ‘alternative facts’, which makes businesses and private ventures operate under false pretenses, which then makes them either hire or fire workers who don’t have access to the facts except through what they are fed via television. A few people operating with the wrong assumption or belief of the facts can have massive implications for thousands of people, and yet, those individuals operate that way because they are beholden to their shareholders, board of directors, or whoever is pulling their strings. These individuals have to deliver on their fiduciary obligations to save their asses first, never mind the effects on other people.
A true reset requires collaboration rather than competition. The yearning to be better than someone else may have its rewards, but the result is that more people are on the losing side and they lose more as they adjust to what the winner has decreed. If only the Chinese wet market industry didn’t put profits over people (and rewarded for it by the Chinese government), then perhaps there would have been more regulation or at least less of an incentive to use bats and wild animals from which zoonotic diseases can originate.
And as the breakout continued, rather than admit to a problem and quickly shut down movement, instead of taking economic losses, the response by the Chinese government was too slow to respond and even went so far as to punish anyone who’d raise an alarm. All to protect their economic interests as a supply chain leader in the global economy.
That same mentality spread throughout the world as government leaders sought to initially downplay the severity of this silent killer, all so that they could keep business going because a shutdown meant loss of tax revenue. And ultimately, it’s America that will suffer greatest since it has been obstinately underprepared to administer healthcare to its people, where tying their healthcare to their employment now looks idiotic in retrospect because how are people supposed to depend on their healthcare providers if they have no job to provide access to those benefits?
We need a reset. Competition doesn’t work. Not at a global scale where resources are finite. Where truth is a commodity that few have access to. Where the levels of trust are meaningless and where a select elite few can dictate what the masses will get, if anything, to turn the economy back on. Collaboration is vital, and accountability must go back to the hands of the people. Perhaps it’s too idealistic… but being stuck at home, waiting on answers from people I don’t trust, watching how every major industry’s bluff is about to get called, makes me cynical in believing that perhaps this time it’s different. But many thought the same after 2008, and yet the perpetrators of that crisis only got bigger and more powerful.
For that reason, I’m shorting the market through SQQQ, getting more bitcoin, and sticking with stocks of companies that are looking for solutions that eliminate the human element. AI, machine learning, and cloud computing.