2020 is Here
Can 2020 possibly be more eventful than 2019? 2019 had international protests, impeachment proceedings, and natural disasters, to name a few. That said, 2020 is already off to a crazy start. If the upcoming US election wasn’t enough to clutter the news, then the assassination of an Iranian terrorist certainly did the trick. Geopolitics sure aren’t going to be less contentious this year. Our climate is unlikely to miraculously improve as we start the next decade. So, what can we expect? Below I explain why I’m beginning to feel New Year Fear.
New Year Fear may subside a bit if a trade deal is finalized between the US and China. However, a trade deal will do nothing to address the battle for world supremacy. As China continues to flex its economic and technological muscles, the US is in danger of losing its position as an uncontested superpower. China continues to prove that autocracy is a successful alternative to democracy, which should stir fear among those in the free world. Russia, Turkey, and other autocratic nations will likely expand their influence as the decade progresses.
Many of us believed that our troubles in the Middle East were beginning to end. This doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case. Let me be clear: I believe it is a good thing that Qasem Soleimani is dead. He was a terrorist responsible for the deaths of many Americans. He deserved to die. I don’t, however, think that Iran will sit back idly after we assassinated its military leader. There will be a response. I just hope we can avoid entangling ourselves in yet another costly war in the Middle East.
Our economy has been roaring for over a decade. We can’t expect this to be the case through the 2020’s. Why do I have New Year Fear? A recession is looming. The bottom of our economy may not fall out in 2020, but it will happen soon enough. Corporations are over leveraged, our new entrants into the workforce are burdened with more student loans than ever before, and the US is operating at a deficit. Simply put, our nation’s companies are in debt, our nation’s inhabitants are in debt, and our nation itself is in debt. Debt can serve as the fuel to power growth, but the fuel isn’t free. Interest payments constrain growth. Once growth sputters, interest payments will be missed and bankruptcies will proliferate. This will undoubtedly become a theme over the course of the next decade.
Technological breakthroughs will continue through the 2020’s. Automation is making our lives easier, but it will come at a cost. People will lose their jobs as machines replace unskilled laborers. Technology continues to decline in price to the point where it is cheaper than human workers. You will see cashiers, drivers, and hundreds of other professions replaced by machines this decade.
This can be a good thing. In a perfect world, workers are trained for the jobs of the future. Unfortunately, retraining the nation’s workforce comes at a heavy cost. I’m pessimistic about this prospect. Some private enterprises are investing in developing schooling and training programs necessary to give them a pipeline of skilled talent. However, these investments will fall short of the total needed to train the entire nation’s workforce. Government intervention is necessary, but I think you and I can both agree that our government is not to be relied on.
What Can be Done to Get Rid of New Year Fear?
New Year Fear doesn’t need to linger. Prepare yourself for the next decade. Invest in your personal education. Get your finances in order. Be proactive and self-reliant. The best way to extinguish fear is to identify and eliminate each of its causes. I’m feeling ready to take on 2020. In fact, I’m prepared to prosper. Are you?
Do you have New Year Fear? What are you doing to get rid of it? Leave a comment below or contact me directly.