The Greatest Depression is going to be so bad, it will shock the world. It’s not going to be ‘just’ here in the U.S., it will be global. The systemic risk is entirely global.
Before some of you immediately reflex and accuse me of click-baiting, this is simply my opinion and belief that we’re likely headed towards very difficult times. I would like to talk about it, logically, sensibly, and gather your opinion as well. (That’s a good thing for preparedness.)
In anticipation of the following argument, I will address it right up front. Many will say that any economic decay will remain slow and steady. Therefore most who may be affected will be able to adapt and cope. There will be no Greatest Depression. I respectfully disagree. I do believe that there is a tipping point at which any further economic stimulus will be entirely ineffective. Game over. We’re not there yet. But with today’s worldwide negative interest rates (and the FED with only ~2 points left), it’s a race to the bottom. We’re getting closer.
I don’t like to imply predictions. However, there are two lines of thought. One, it goes down the tubes before the 2020 election, and two, it blows out not long afterwards.
- The efforts to take down Trump have so far, failed. The latest attempt and “drum beat” is talk of “recession”. The powers-that-be know this will not bode well for reelection. Problem is, this might inadvertently (or otherwise) be the black swan event that actually takes it all down for real. Before the 2020 election.
- For Trump it is imperative that he keep the economic ‘good times’ rolling. He needs to keep that bubble from popping to get re-elected. The other day he said that the FED should drop rates another point as well as kick off new QE (quantitative easing). He might keep it afloat with the last remaining stimulus for now, but the chickens are coming home to roost. And that might be not long after the 2020 election when there’s literally no “ammo” left with the Federal Reserve.
It’s a intertwined global systemic problem. The Global Debt Bubble is currently more than $250 Trillion (2018 numbers). Likely approaching $300 Trillion today. I’ve read that 30 Central Banks have lowered their interest rates this year. Most all rates are now NEGATIVE. In other words, you buy bonds and when they mature you get less money back than you put in. Crazy. And the U.S. doesn’t have much room left for their own rates… The equity market is one giant bubble. Low interest rates (cheap money) has been the compressed-air, but reality is going to be the pin that pops it. At this point there’s no way out. It’s a mathematical certainty that it’s going to blow apart.
I’m going beyond the point of this article… I don’t want to argue the causes of if, why or when this is going to pop. I know that some of you don’t believe that it will. Rather, lets talk about what it will be like AFTER. What will the Greatest Depression be like? If you’re a skeptic with the opinion that it’s not going to happen, that’s okay. I’m not trying to convince you. But maybe you would like to join in the hypothetical discussion anyway regarding what it might be like “if” a Greatest Depression actually hits during these modern times.
The Greatest Depression | How Does That Look?
It won’t look like the Great Depression of the 1930’s. No. Instead it’s going to be worse. First and foremost, the people and their way of life was quite different back then. Moral character was much higher. Many were farmers to one extent or another. A much higher percentage were self reliant. Family units were intact. Citizens did not hate their own country. Most people could ‘work’ with their hands. They had more practical skills. We made things back then. We were not reliant on imports as we are today.
I’m certain that most of you understand the major differences between then and now, and how those differences are going to make it much worse this time around.
Job & Income Loss
When it crashes, will the company you work for be able to stay in business? The people who are in sectors which are not closely tied to the necessities of daily living, will be hurt the most. Businesses will go out of business. Other businesses will trim, cut, and lay off workers in order to survive. When currency becomes worth less and income is not keeping up with its devaluation, consumers afford less, buy less. When there’s none to be had, consumers buy nothing. A chain reaction takes place all the way from local to global. When this gigantic historic bubble bursts, it’s not going to be a recession. The effects will devastate or eliminate people’s disposable income. Game over. Greatest Depression.
The government will have great difficulty keeping the masses from revolt. Why? Because they won’t be able to just give more (worth less) money handouts to so many people with the same effectiveness. When they start doing that, it’s going to go hyper-inflation. The tipping point for chaos and revolt is when a tipping point of people are without jobs, desperate and hungry. And that’s what’s going to happen.
Surviving on Less
The initial shock is going to be extreme for those who have had it all, but having been participating in the (fake) bubble. Most people who believe they’re living large, are actually living on debt. Those people will be stunned into a new reality. And it’s not going to be pretty.
Everyone will be forced to live on less. The relative cost of goods will be enormous while there will be little money to be had. Lots more people will be eating Rice and Beans, for example.
There will less or none of just about everything. It’s almost unimaginable, given the cushy lifestyle that most enjoy today.
How Many Will Lose Their Homes
This one is interesting. In theory, most everyone who defaults on their mortgage payments would lose their homes to the bank. During the 1930’s many lost their homes and farms. There’s also the issue of non payment of property taxes. However in a Greatest Depression during modern times, I suspect that conditions might be so bad, that there will be no way to enforce this in mass. In the beginning perhaps, but this may decay rapidly into a total meltdown of modern civilization as we know it. The real problems are instead going to be food, infrastructure, and security.
Cities Will Meltdown
Imagine the hundreds of thousands to millions who live in the city regions dotted around this nation. Now imagine so many of them without enough money to buy what they need. It’s going to be chaos. Do you really think that the trucks will keep rolling down the highways feeding the city regions with enough or any of the consumables they need to survive? Will city managers and political systems (local/state/federal) be able to maintain a control over adequate distribution into these regions? Perhaps some, but certainly not all (or maybe not many at all).
To varying extents, there will be crumbling infrastructure. People literally cannot survive in population dense regions without functional critical infrastructure. Major efforts will be in place to keep this running. However one wonders how many will stay on their jobs if their pay is or has essentially become “monopoly money”. What incentive will their be? Will they not be more concerned about their own family security?
Survival Will Be About Your Own Abilities
The Greatest Depression will literally be about one’s own abilities to survive. Self reliance will be of the highest order. But how many people today are even fractionally self reliant? We are a people who are nearly entirely dependent. How’s that going to work out?
Migration To Where’s There’s Work
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, there was extensive migration of people looking for work, for a way to survive. Today though, I do not believe this will be even remotely similar. Why? Because most people today cannot do anything practical with their hands. Most people do not have practical skills of the trades. For most, in my estimation, there will be little paying work to be had in their fields of expertise compared to before the Greatest Depression.
On the other hand, if it’s bad enough that people are literally dying in the cities (for example), or anywhere else, some of these people will desperately try to get out. To bugout to somewhere with greener pastures. I don’t know how many. Some feel this will be incredible hordes of people. I’m not so sure, given the ingrained notion that they will somehow be saved where they’re at (by government). But surely there will be a significant attempt to get out, to go where there might be food, farms, to areas they believe can support them in some way.
Security and Safety
I do strongly believe that a Greatest Depression in today’s climate will rapidly boil into major personal and home security issues. The percentage of people who have a realistic ability to take care of themselves or to be self reliant is so small, that this will erupt into social chaos and breakdown of civility in many areas. It will be a time of incredible dangers.
When things get really bad, it will become difficult for governments to keep control. It will be a shear numbers problem. Even if the government mandates things like distribution escorts, mandatory restrictions, required work force, enforcing the law or new law… how will they enforce it all across the nation? Answer: they can’t. There will be too many people in desperate straits.
So, what will it really be like?
None of us lived through the Great Depression. We can only read about it. I just know how very, very different it is today than back in the 1930’s. It makes me think that the next one is going to be so very much worse. I don’t even like to think about it. I absolutely and certainly hope that it never happens. However I really do believe that this horrible thing is getting closer. I see signs out there. I hear the waterfall up ahead. I’m not ready for it. But who actually is?
Power seeks a vacuum. What changes will happen geopolitically because of this? What entities will take advantage of the situation? And in what way? How many will lose their lives in this disaster?
It helps to vocalize questions. To offer opinions. To rationalize logical scenarios. While also realizing that some things don’t work out logically. I’ve reached a rambling 1700 words. I could go on for thousands more. But I’ll turn over the discussion to you.
What will it be like?
Continue reading: Lessons Learned from the Great Depression