As the Chinese financial markets plummet and the U.S. market reacts, there is no surprise and there shouldn’t be. There may be a bit of panic and a bit of despair, but no one who has been listening and watching should be caught blindsided.
This, and more, has been on the horizon for a while.
You cannot live in the real world and act as if you’re playing with monopoly money or chips at a casino. Printing money with no reserve value to back it up, which is what not just the U.S. but many other P5+1 countries have been doing, is living in a make-believe world. So, as markets begin to toss and tumble, the inevitable decline of those economies may well have begun.
In times of crisis it is human nature to want the quick fix. Having lived in a world where, aided by technology, everything seems instant…we’ve become accustomed, even demanding of, having our needs gratified in the short term without much regard for the long term. Its why, for example, there is so much controversy and warning, after the fact, about the damage done to succeeding generations by the bailout of 2008. Sure we “fixed” our immediate problem but at what price? Hindsight, being what it is, is 20/20.
So let’s be smart about the next big choice we see on the horizon. The 2016 Presidential election.
With the unstable economic conditions, Donald Trump is likely to continue to gain momentum and supporters. After all, he’s the “business and jobs” guy. What American doesn’t want to “make America great again?” The caution is to think yet again in the short run. It’s so easy to say “it’s the economy, stupid” so let’s get the guy who knows how to cut deals and make money. Then everything else will resolve itself.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Money and financial success cannot and will not solve moral and ethical issues. Money cannot and will not make us more compassionate. Money cannot and will not make us less self-centered and more charitable. Money cannot and will not make us more courageous or truthful. Money cannot and will not cause us to see our connection to one another. These are qualities that money does not inspire yet are qualities that have made this country great since its inception.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think money, good negotiating and financial success are bad things. In fact, I co-authored a book with Steven Clark titled, “Money: How To See It, Get It and Keep It.” But as we explain in the book with real-life examples, it’s the values and principles that you hold which affect the role that money plays in life… and the good or ill it’s use creates.
As if to prove the point, Steve Clark writes a corresponding post to the blog laying out the harm China has brought upon itself through a “money and economy” first approach to governance.
So, in 2016 we need to curb our propensity for the quick fix and look for candidates who have the values, principles, and policies that will help correct and rebuild our nation for the long haul.
This is not to say that Donald Trump is not such a candidate. Nor is it to say he is. We are yet a long way from making that decision and much can intervene and likely will. It is simply to say that if we keep it simple and keep it narrow without asking the tough questions and demanding the tough answers, along with a comprehensive approach that includes not only the nuts and bolts of repair but also the principled underpinnings, we may well choose the equivalent of “Hope and Change” once again. It would be a true tragedy if that occurs.
Even in monopoly, there are only so many “Get out of jail free” cards.
I think we are out of them.