Covid Journal, March 24, 2020 (New Rules Primer)
I could have made a killing on the market.
A couple of weeks ago, I predicted that the first ‘bottom’ for the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be about 21,500 by the end of March (it came much sooner) and then a second, sustained bottom at around 18,500 by the end of April (which again, came much sooner).
I still think we’ll be in this range (and similar ranges for other markets – all about 40-50% off their peaks) until about the end of April because that’s when the first few quarterly reports will come in reflecting either end of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.
They will NOT be good, so the market will likely tumble back to the 17,000 – 19,000 range before finally making a long, steady trek to the peak again.
Remember: what I say does NOT count as financial advise. Any action you choose to take is entirely of your own choice.
The point of all this? We’ll reach a new, drastic low, but not the LOWEST low (that being zero) over the coming months and then we’ll slowly swim our way out of it.
Something tells me a LOT of new requirements will be embedded into our system – mandatory vaccinations, RFID ‘tattoos’, possible tracking bracelets, cell phone apps that cannot be uninstalled that will track citizens at all times, etc – ALL with extremely stiff penalties or even jail time for breach of these penalties. Even turning your phone off might be turned into some kind of crime against society.
And NO cash. Every single transaction will be traced from this point forward.
The CLAW – Costco, Loblaws, Amazon and Walmart – will continue to reap the rewards of a cashless, online society and millions of ‘mom and pop’ shops will be driven out of business by a morbid combination of bankruptcy, poverty or lack of business, despite short-term government efforts to prop them up.
Those without homes will likely be ‘encouraged’ to live in impromptu AirBnB-type shacks built by the CLAW designed to give them a moderate living, but not an excessive one. Sure, you’ll have a job – the CLAW will offer hundreds of thousands of minimum wage ‘opportunities’ – but all of your income will go to cover expenses directed by the CLAW.
We’re entering an age of absolutes.
What will we get in exchange for these controls?
Worse case scenario, we’ll get nothing. We’ll be cogs in the machine. Those that don’t shop, oblige the new rules or share their data will become social suspects number one and be instantly villified and alienated by governments obsessed with eradicating the flu, er, the Corona Virus.
The best case scenario is something worth focusing on. We continue with a moderate range of civil liberties, but we as a species get an opportunity to provide input on how we should operate this planet and not just treat it like a boil to be lanced, leaving a scar for somebody else.
The next generation will look to us to lead them into the future and not just shuffle along, complacently happy that we still get a chance to be entertained, drive to our jobs on packed roads and have guaranteed food supplies, regardless of the impact on our liberties.
We have an opportunity to write a few new rules. Here are just a few ideas, but I’m sure we can collectively think of thousands that will make this planet a better place and in better condition for the next generation:
- Guaranteed minimum income
- Universal increase in sales taxes, applied to all services, especially online ordering, streaming and social networks
- No more billionaires. If you’ve got that much money, you’re well beyond the classic ‘microeconomic’ definition of monopoly
- Social payments in addition to financial payments. At the rate governments are being forced to buy into and bail out companies, any dividends basically go on hold until social payments – pay quality and equality, environmental remediation, training, taxes, additional support networks – are distributed.
- Infrastructure: while everyone is in lockdown, why don’t we pause for a moment and rebuild some much-needed infrastructure. I’d sign up for supporting a road crew or other services so long as I know that non-car design was a priority (example: separate bike paths instead of ‘shoudlers’ and ‘sharrows’)
- A complete rejig of the municipal code to require all builders and developers to integrate best practices for energy use, independent living (eg. allowing ‘Victory Gardens’ every where) and so on.
- Maximum 2% per year to be spent on military and related services and acquisitions UNTIL all social needs are accounted for.
- Complete coordination of all countries with respect to a wide range of human needs and services such as health, training, food programs, and other programs with an international body that everyone recognizes (eg. the UN).
There are a thousand other ways we can make this planet better, but you get the point. We need to start talking about this NOW while people are looking for our leaders to lead.
Now, if only we could do something about the US. It’s just not right that 5% of the world’s population gets an opportunity to vote for idiots like Donald Trump, resuling in a dictatorship imposed on the rest of the planet.