Watch Out, It's Coming!
I hope I'm wrong. I can't tell if it's going to be global or national, but there are ominous signs; black clouds on the horizon. If nothing else, I'm afraid that an economic crisis is inevitable, at least in the U.S. And if it's true that when America sneezes, the world catches cold, then the reverberations will have catastrophic effects.
In America, the ticking time-bomb is DEBT, both governmental and personal. The federal government has a 9 trillion dollar mortgage on "the land of the free," and it continues to re-finance, giving no thought (apparently) to possible repossession. Better start studying Chinese, friends. And then we have the Mt. St. Helens of personal debt rumbling under our feet. Credit card debt alone is staggering. "Buy now, pay later" has become the national mantra. Never mind that you're going to be paying double-digit interest on that trinket or restaurant meal for years to come. And now, the feds have created the "Economic Stinkulus" plan to "stave off a recession." Whoop-de-doo! They have borrowed more money from the Chinese, in order to send all of us peasants a check, with instructions to go out and spend it! Don't even THINK of using it to make a tiny dent in your credit card debt, or to (heaven forbid!) put it into savings! That would defeat the purpose. Take it directly to WalMart and buy some Chinese imports!
Okay, the next trainwreck-waiting-to-happen is, of course, OIL! We all know it, but nobody knows what to do about it. At present, oil is the lifeblood of civilization. Countries that don't have any of or enough of their own, have to buy it from the countries that have an excess. The price of oil is affected not only by supply and demand, but by politics. And boy-oh-boy, do we love to play politics with oil. This is not a good idea, people! I am horrified by attempts of various interest groups in the U.S. to get the government to "DO something about the price of gas!" Today the truckers are petioning the feds to open up the strategic oil reserves, in order to increase supply and thereby bring down the price. Good grief (please give me credit for my restraint in choosing not to use profanity here)!! The oil reserves are to be used in case of dire emergency - not to manipulate prices! I do feel sympathy for the truckers. Their livelihood is threatened, and they are desperate. But we can't try to stave off the inevitable, by artificially manipulating reality. Someday, we have to face the fact that oil is limited, demand is increasing (what is that giant sucking sound? It's China!) and price is rising. It's going to be a long, hard slog, but we have to find alternative fuels (NOT BIO-FUELS!), new technology and more economical ways of shipping (more railroad use, for instance).