Everyone has an opinion about the election of “the Donald”, so I can have one too. Will it affect life in the bubble? Should we stock up on canned foods and dig a shelter? Will our chakras become so disturbed that no smudge stick will ever align them again? These, and other answers to major problems, will be answered if you read on…
Seems to be a lot of chatter about doom, gloom and economic so collapse could our own little green oasis be under threat? I am the last person to buy into doomsayer or conspiracy theories but it did get me thinking about what the future could hold.
Like a lecherous, drunken uncle at Christmas, Trump lurched into the party to remind us that our global family is pretty dysfunctional. He has upset people like us as we assumed our world view and sensibilities were superior. We thought everyone would eventually see that so let’s just keep meditating and juicing and they will see the light in time. We have had a wake up call that everyone is not on a kale and gluten free diet.
If the USA does go into a decline, I for one, will not be rejoicing. Except for its bad habit of regularly invading small nations it has generally been a force for good. Growing up wearing Levi’s, listening to rock and roll and watching Hollywood movies, you would be hypocritical not to appreciate their cultural influence. Having spent lots of time there, I would be seriously saddened if it lost its way.
But just what would losing their way look like for us here in our part of the world? Let’s put all of Trump’s cultural and personal issues aside – if we can. One of his main policies is to massively increase infrastructure spending while cutting taxes. With the US deficit about to pass $20 trillion, debt reduction is not even in the kitchen, never mind on the table. The clock is ticking on this and my bet is this is the bomb to go off before any of the others. The US dollar is about to be put out to pasture and what will that look like?
Eventually, China and the Saudis, who hold the majority of the US debt, will realise they are never going to get their money back. The debt is now so humongous and US politics so impossible, a plan B will soon appear. One feasible scenario from the conspiracy theorists is a “block chain” global currency like Bitcoin is being formulated by China, Russia and Brazil and ready to replace the dollar as soon as it collapses. This will see a weakened USA isolated and on the back foot in the new world order.
Interestingly, this will not be the only big change for money. Currency itself is about to go through transformations – or even elimination. Large denomination notes, mainly only used for crime, black market and money laundering, are about to be phased out by most central banks. Only old people and drug dealers will soon be carrying cash. We will see the rise of P2P (peer-to-peer) lending which will sideline the banks. We already have Apple Pay, which is the forerunner to us all carrying a credit chip in our phone.
Some commentators and thinkers (“Change Agents” to use the correct term) are seeing the death of currency as potentially a good thing. They would like to see the rise of Current-see? This is recognition that there are many forms of exchange and flow of value. Money has been hogging the space too long. Reputation, knowledge, degrees, community contribution and other worthy attributes are often unable to be monetized, but will soon be able to be measured. Other forms of current-see, some hope, will be exchangeable assets in a more holistic, Commons-based society where money and finance are only one thread. Just in time, as we are about to see accountants and lawyers to be the next mass redundancies with a wave of white-collar automation.
Those on the left, as well as the right, think the death of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is a good thing. This may be the last gasp of neo-liberal economics and globalisation. Personally, I was looking forward to being an internationalist, but it seems the world was moving too fast for too many. If there is a winding back of globalisation lets hope that it is ordered and well-managed. Not subscribing to the TPP will make this dismantling simpler. Dystopian movies and books about the end of civilisation are legion but I do not want to be a bit player in one.
It may be that our part of the world is in a good position to weather these global shocks. “The future is already here, it’s just badly distributed”, said science fiction writer, William Gibson. Our area’s capacity for food production, abundant water and clean, self-sustaining industry is just the right mix and could maintain us into the new world order. Either way, envisioning positive and possible ways forward in times of uncertainty is always worthwhile. Life in the bubble may be more than just enjoyable, but possibly a lifesaver.