The Backlash Is Coming

Excesses lay the groundwork for reversals. And that’s what we’re going to see in your lifetime, Vera. Perhaps in mine.

We are in the midst of an era of excesses now. An excess of capitalism you might say. It began in earnest around 1980 with the Administration of President Reagan. And it’s been accelerating ever since but for a few stalls here and there — notably, the Great Recession.

Which brings us to where we are today: a massive accumulation of wealth among those at the top, stagnant or falling standards of living for most people (in real, current terms), unconstrained consumerism, extremely high levels of public and private debt (including more than $1.5 trillion of student debt), underfunded pensions, ballooning federal deficits propelled by tax cuts for the rich, massive underinvestment in public infrastructure (both physical and intellectual), etc.

In a rare if not unprecedented development, due to massive tax cuts for the rich our federal government is now adding more than $1 trillion to the federal deficit each year. Just think what will happen when the next recession hits, which it will. It’s then the backlash is likely to happen. It’s then that people will come to realize they’ve been lied to and deceived and will react harshly and probably excessively.

I suspect we will then see a political tidal wave that turns the country sharply to the left. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth from the wealthy elite. But it will be too late. Years — indeed, decades — of excesses and unconstrained greed will render the reaction inevitable.

The thing to remember is, it is what it is. Today and tomorrow. And whatever it is, you must find ways to navigate it and live in a way that allows room for love, meaningful relationships, and the things that bring joy into your heart.

Often, it seems humankind puts many roadblocks in the way. We make life harder than it needs to be. If not for ourselves, then for others. It doesn’t have to be that way. Or does it? Sometimes I wonder.

In any case, you are likely to live through a period of change unlike I’ve lived through, Vera. On a macro-basis, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have any say in the matter. But on a micro-basis, you will have a say.

Live your life well. With integrity. And compassion. And you’ll be just fine. No matter what the backlash brings.

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