Monday, October 05, 2020

Gloom and Boom

I'm not a young man. I'm not exactly an antique yet, but I'm old enough to have seen just about everything, particularly the legions of self-appointed experts predicting the demise of the planet, its climate, and its inhabitants. Decades ago, we were supposed to have overpopulated the Earth, run out of fossil fuels and died of AIDS. Today, gas is cheap, people are thriving and not one prediction of death by disease has come true.

If you're really into gloom and doom, you're probably inundated by social media rants about how the post pandemic economy is never coming back. "We're doomed!" cry the usual suspects, offering up nothing more than a continuation of their unbroken string of irrational and incorrect rants about people, plagues, and pointless predictions.

On the other hand, if you know your history and human nature, you'll also find that all of these experts have always been wrong about everything, and are just as wrong everything today, including what's in store for the economy. Here's why:

You read it here first: Despite the cruel, pointless destructions of state and local governments, most if not all of the businesses that were closed will quickly spring back to life even stronger than they were going into this disaster. The reasons are simple:

First, just like every hurricane season in the American southeast or earthquake in the west, the horrors of natural disasters always spur an economic recovery boom. Reclamation, reconstruction and all the ancillary services and products accompanying them flood the economy with jobs and activity. The disaster, in effect, creates a boom economy and eventually restores economic stability.

Second, human nature is far more resilient and determined than you might imagine. Think about it: If, for example, restaurant owners were forced out of business by random, baseless state and local edicts -- and I'm talking about these victims going flat broke -- what do you suppose they're going to do when all those pointless restrictions are lifted? I'm talking about a thirty, forty or fifty year old restauranteurs who have been doing this work their entire lives, who have no idea how else to make a living. Do you really think they're suddenly going to change course and start writing code or selling jet skis? No way. They're going right back to what they know best, only this time, you can bet they're going to be eligible for and supported by easy SBA loans with incredible terms.

Third, the goons who have clearly enjoyed creating this inhumane fiasco are completely tone deaf to the pent up demand that all Americans of every political stripe are experiencing with every passing day of their incarceration. Humans are, after all, social animals, and more than 300 million people now understand and appreciate how dismal life can be when there is no watering hole around which to gather. When the hoax is finally obliterated, stand back and watch them stampede in record numbers.

In my years, I've found that the people who are usually wrong are the people who want you to believe they're always right. You might say that includes me. Fine. Think what you like. Just make sure it's after you've finished a great meal at a fabulous bar with plenty of your close friends -- none of whom is wearing a mask.