Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Never to been seen again

This pandemic is a big reset button. A lot of stuff will never be the same again. I’m not even talking about the people we’ll lose or those who’ll get sick. Today I’m focusing on society and the economy.

First of all, much of the economy is BS. We need people to shake coconuts out of the trees. We don’t need jobs that essentially amount to shuffling paper around. My guess is that a lot of those BS jobs will disappear. Some of them are required by regulations. In times of crisis those artificial constraints can no longer be tolerated. They just aren’t affordable anymore.

We are being encouraged, in many cases required, to self-isolate for a couple weeks. Most people go through life without much thought. Habit and routine rule their days. Now those routines are broken. Many people will wake up to the fact that they were living on automatic and not living the life they really wanted. Having a brush with mortality will likely jump start the process too.

A friend of mine was looking to retire at the end of the year. Now his 401K is in pretty tough shape. On one hand, financial advisers would recommend postponing retirement. He could earn more money and also wait for the market to recover. On the other hand, this is not a normal downturn.

Maybe he’d be better off retiring right now, no matter how hard the financial hit. That way he could stay home instead of going to work and possibly catching the virus. Like me, he’s in a higher risk category. Better to be poor and alive than rich and dead. Of course, I can’t tell people what to do and don’t want them to blindly take my advice. Maybe financial advisers are right and I’m wrong. It’s a time of uncertainty.

One thing that’s changing -preppers aren’t seen as alarmist weirdos quite so much.



  1. The market may be shaky now, but incidents like this have a curious way, if not screwed with (like what FDR did,) of settling down and actually rebounding quite handily.

    The financial crisis in 2008 was made worse by federal intervention, not better. A quick fix and a painful, but short, period of recovery would have occurred, except for Bush II putting his compassionate foot in the door, and the following president really screwing the system up.

    Market goes down. Market flattens. World finds workarounds to what caused Market to go down. Market resets as workarounds take over. Market rebounds.

    It is the way of the Market. It is, like the Wheel of Fortune (Fate, not the tv show,) a cyclical thing. Up, down, up, down. But always down is a little higher than last time, up is always a little higher than last time.

    Your friend will be okay. He may have to, maybe, delay 6 months to a year. Maybe. Most likely he'll be able to retire on time.

    As to all the jobs, again, down right now, will recover nicely, unless somebody in government screws with it.

    But... Com China has been put on notice. American firms now know they need to bring stuff home. So, a lot of manufacturing will be coming back. Not as much as we lost, but a lot more than anyone would expect. A year from now? Again, if the government doesn't hamper recovery, life will be spectacular.

    It is the cycle. Recovery after disaster. We saw it with 9-11. We saw it after WWII, and after WWI, and after any minor or major oopsie.

    1. Regarding 2008 and financial crisis, if Bush and a host of people who should have known better hadn't messed with the system and let the system repair itself...

      It wasn't only Bush. He was the President at the time and leading the move to 'save' and 'fix' but there were a whole host of helpers behind him.

    2. For me, the big crime of 2008 was that private debt became public debt. It proved we aren't a Capitalistic state. Big business and the rich got bailed out.

      I really think this is going to cause some fundamental changes in society.

  2. Maybe some Snowflakes will have enough time on their hands to figure out how to change a lightbulb.

    1. Thing is Phil , it seems that those on the right are the ones in denial about this virus and its effects.
      Whereas the so called snowflakes are the ones panicking and locking down.
      On the other hand , we prepper types are taking it seriously, and we tend to be conservative minded in practice.
      At the very least , prepping in general will likely be much more main stream after this passes.

    2. There's plenty of time now to google "how to change a light bulb." Besides, who uses light bulbs these days? It's all LEDs.

      I'm taking this very seriously. If I'm wrong, I get a nice vacation away from people and save money on going out. If I'm right, I get to live.

  3. I totally agree with Beans viewpoint....It's like nature...the forest burns and fresh new growth follows. A natural cycle . Man intercedes thinking he knows better, and things go awry. California come to mind?
    In the grand scheme of things this event is a major shake up of normalcy but over time a new normalcy will develop. We Hate change...

    An old story about "This may be good, this may be bad," is left to be played out. But over all I remain optimistic and positive. The chaff will be separated. The trick is to remain calm, not loose our intelligence and do what's right for you and yours. Herd be damned.

    1. I'm optimistic too. I hope this causes some fundamental change in the way the world runs.

  4. Manufacturing won't return to the US without 30 years of radical public education reforms. And dialing back the kids' obsession with gadgets and games. Older folks with decent work ethics and basic logic/knowledge are dying off.

    1. I don't think it would take nearly that long. It would only take that long if we insisted on doing things the old way, which doesn't make any sense. We could go back to the old old way and have OJT and a Journeyman system.

  5. Yes indeed bigfoot, let's not forget that the basic reason the manufacturing went to our enemy was "our" insatiable demand for cheaper and cheaper products. We wouldn't pay for goods made here because , due to many reasons, some being guvmint regulations, etc. the cost was more than what we wanted to pay...ergo, we ourselves bear a huge bit of blame. The old Fram commercial ??
    If we desire not to be held hostage to supply chain blackmail, especially essential goods necessary for our safety and security as a nation, a radical change in public perception needs to occur...Good luck with that.
    bigfoot is correct again...seems the older folks had the work ethic,knowledge and morals that will be looked at as "the good ole days "
    BUT - why did the old folks let the young folks be what they are now ? We , as a generation, are partly to blame for this too.
    As the twig is bent....

  6. All the above comments are accurate, thanks for posting them. A question I have is, "If we went about this new virus the same way as previous ones would we notice any thing different than those?"