Monday, June 1, 2020

America’s Quick Burning Short Fuse


Erosion of Quality of Life

For decades most people have played the good corporate citizen by following the rules promoted by government, corporations and media. During this period, in a grand betrayal, these same corporations have accelerated the offshoring of many blue and white collar jobs while aggressively reducing benefits (child care, medical), offering less job protection (firings or demotions for having the ‘wrong’ political affiliation, personal opinions or lifestyles discussed on social media) and electronic surveillance of job performance and worker whereabouts.

While firms enjoy robust profits, tax breaks and hoarding cash offshore, the cost of living for their employees has become untenable through gentrification by real estate titans who work in collaboration with local governments to provide their citizenry the unaffordable affordable housing.

While the market booms, employees go bust. These inequalities have grown exponentially as shown by the following chart on income inequality using the Gini method provided by the Pew Research Center, February 2020.


Furthermore the lack of justice and double standards in punishment have been clearly apparent. A worker may commit a minor infraction in company policy which gets him fired while an executive engaging in premeditated corporate malfeasance gets off with a fine, perhaps community service, and shortly secures an even more lucrative gig all while preaching about corporate ethics.

These injustices are captured eloquently by Sean Connery as the jewel thief in the movie The Anderson Tapes (1971). It may be almost 50 years old but Sean Connery’s short diatribe about societal injustices resonates just as much today as it did then.

Exploding the Myth of the Slacker Millennial

If there’s one distinct change in the public perception is the character of the Millennials sometimes referred to as the “cursed” generation. They were mere youngsters when the World Trade Center towers fell, suffered during the Great Recession, never gained traction in their careers, saddled with unimaginable school debt, and unable to buy a modest house or condo due to over-priced real estate while approaching what should be their prime earning years.

The pandemic that has triggered mass unemployment is the last nail in the coffin since it has decimated any hope of future earning power. Now they have no jobs and no money with a worthless university parchment.

By necessity they’ve emerged as an activist political force more powerful than their 1960s/early 1970s “ancestors” because they’re battle-hardened by the survivalist mentality of an economy in shambles but armed with information technology unimaginable back in the day. Theirs is a generation with nothing to lose and are about to come of age politically in unexpected ways.

The Good Fight with Bad Actors

Just as autocratic governments use the pandemic as a cover for greater suppression so do these characters during domestic social unrest. Sadly the murdered George Floyd would be horrified at the acts of these remorseless characters who are destructively preventing constructive dialogue for change.

·         Looters: Thieves and opportunists.

·         Agitators: Characters at the fringes of the fray who deliberately engage in looter physical or verbal behavior to agitate and give a subtle “push” to those already on edge. The objective is to sully the message and image of the peaceful protestors.

·         Anarchists: These are the most loathsome characters because they have no redemptive qualities. Their objective is nothing more than chaos and serve as a catalyst for ratcheting up the violence.

Fear the Future

The protests nationwide will continue unabated until the November presidential elections fueled like the hurricanes by warmer temperatures. It is indeed hurricane season, both meteorological and political, as all sides are doubling down on their rhetoric and subsequently their actions.

Law enforcement and the National Guard will enhance their firepower exponentially by bringing military surplus equipment to the forefront. The irony is that just as the Hong Kong protests are receding, ours is intensifying. The key difference is because mainland Chinese security will soon arrive and won’t hesitate using lethal force. Think Tiananmen Square, not Union Square.

Failure of Leadership

There’s nothing more pathetic in any type of government than a leader who hides during a crisis. Trump literally has a bunker mentality. The handling of the pandemic and protests against police brutality have pulled back the curtain and fully exposed the corporate and governmental leadership for who they are.

There are three likely scenarios for the upcoming November elections with each one posing a tough outcome:

1.    Trump wins: America enters the Dark Ages as a dystopian state while his sycophants ruthlessly ‘punish’ his real and imagined enemies.

2.    Trump loses, but narrowly: The GOP will aggressively contest the election results and contend fraud engineered by the leftist deep state.

3.    Trump loses in a landslide: An unimaginable psychological blow so severe that it might provoke constitutional dilemmas.

Should Trump lose, Joe Biden will merely be the placeholder for a new breed of leadership in 2024 whether Democrat or Republican. Biden will inherit a decimated economy with mass unemployment and continued street protests immediately after he takes office which will continue through most, if not all, of his presidential term. However despite his flaws he and his administration will provide a better semblance of sanity that will put a floor under these crisis so American can successfully recover.


Copyright 2020 Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC

Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC is a NYC-based think-tank and advisory service that provides beyond-the-horizon contrarian perspectives and risk assessments on energy investments, geopolitical dynamics and global urban security.

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