In general, I have been eschewing current events as a basis for a post for some time now.. There is a sense in which I do this that it tends to help self-monitor the commentary, allowing for actual discussion. It also is purposeful in the sense that many "current events" postings do not age well over time (unless one is a fine writer with an eye towards history, as some are). At best they become a historical record, at worst they become awkward records out of place.
But occasionally, something - like what appears to be an ongoing economic disturbance (I do not know that words like "collapse" or "meltdown" are warranted, at least yet; nothing more embarrassing than being on the disaster train that does not get off the tracks when we believe it has) - merits a few words as it constitutes the sort of historical event that is worthwhile to ponder. After all, we still speak of the Great Depression, The Stagflation (and bell bottoms) of the 1970's, The Dot.Com Crash, and The Housing Crisis of 2008.
Of the mechanics of the crash, I cannot speak on them as I am neither an economist nor did I stay in Holiday Inn express last night. I can say that this appears to be the confluence of a number of factors: A disturbance in the economy - and by disturbance I mean "virtual shutdown" - due to The Plague (which myself and many other writers suggested might not be a grand idea at the time), government largesse during The Plague in which money could not be given away fast enough (resulting in too many dollars chasing too few goods: if only I had seen this definition somewhere else...), the then-resulting Supply Chain disruptions resulting from that Shutdown as well as continued Plague related shutdowns. Add to this the more recent developments of an uptick in energy prices and the corresponding decline in their availability and a shock which no-one outside of agriculture probably saw coming (prior to February of this year, I think it likely that 90% of the population knew what chemical fertilizer was, who the major suppliers were, and that countries can just decide to not export food), and we have at least the beginnings of a major economic historical event.
As I have said, better minds than mine are writing on the economic side. My thoughts are really more around the personal side, for me and for others.
Am I worried? Some, but not excessively. Worry promotes nothing but worry. The correct question to ask is "Am I doing what I can to prepare?" And that has three answers: yes, no, or possibly. And from those, I can take actions. I cannot control the cost of energy or the markets as they continue to plummet down like the Titanic. I can stock up on food and fuel. I can learn to do a skill. I can manage my outflows.
Is God in control? Of course He is. Even within the confines of this blog, I am reminded time and time again that He is. In that sense, the economy is in far better hands than anyone can imagine, even if it does not seem like it from here.
Who I do worry about are the people that have never lived through such a historic event. I have memories of every one of the above referenced occurrences and, through the memories of my grandparent's generation, some memory of The Great Depression (although likely the last generation with such direct memories). Later generations - say the 1990's on, those that are now in their 30's and below - have at best minimal memories of such events, or none at all (how many were actually conscious of the Dot.com bust? Parents often do their best to carry on without directly notifying their children that the economy had a plunge). To these individuals, life has always been on the up and up. Things are always available. Progress is always forward. Food is always available and I can order almost anything I want from Amazon.
It is too easy in such moments to scoff at such beliefs and say "We tried to tell you". And I am sure most of us did. At the same time, this is a generation that is being thrust into a world of realities that modern technology and social systems have largely kept at bay. It is likely that - beyond nicely sanitized end of the world dramas on the streaming channels - they have never experienced what seems to be coming.
When I read of crypto investors who saw their entire life savings wiped out in the Terra Coin collapse openly stating they lost everything and are considering suicide, that is a concern. My fear is that this is - literally - the tip of the iceberg.
I am not suggesting some sort of misguided charity - the kind the government often likes to give - to solve the problem. What I am suggesting - mostly to myself - is that through this, a great teaching opportunity is presenting itself, be it in skills or actual economics or questions about lifestyle and energy and food or even metaphysical questions about what is out there beyond this world and Who is perhaps in control.
The reality is that the forces that brought the world to this point have little to offer beyond what they have already done to get us to this point.
We, on the other hand, do.