There is always something to worry about looming on the horizon. Many disasters are easy to see the start and end points of. Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes or man made disasters like wars, all have clear start and end points. These things are easily dealt with the predict, prepare, respond, repair/rebuild model of disaster management.
Not all disasters are so clear cut. Some disasters build up so slowly that we fail to notice them in time. It is human nature to become accustomed to a norm. If the norm changes slowly enough we won’t ever notice.
Up above I said wars have clear starting points and that is true for the actual fightings, but the reasons for going to war are often much older than the first gunshot.
It gets even more complicated with financial disasters. The modern financial system is so interconnected that predicting causes and effects correctly becomes almost impossible. Money flows in from all over the world, and it flows out to just as many places. Markets are more based on people’s perceptions of performance than actual economic performance. Since 2008 we have all been in a rough economic situation. Some people believe we are in a recovery, whether or not it is true is irrelevant, people believe it to be true and behave as such. These people are the lucky ones. There are still a large group of people who know the recover isn’t as strong as we are being told. They know because they are still unemployed, still looking for a better job or working two jobs. The hardships are still here, and that is very telling.
Then there is the real estate market. Unless you live in one of the lucky pockets where property values are still rising, then you know that this decline has already occurred. Property values in Canada are still booming. A lot of foreign investment that would have gone to the USA, has been redirected here. Some realestate boards have stopped advertising the average home price because it got too high and many new entrants stopped entering the market. The boards are now using a price index, which is less easy to see the inflated values across the board, and the new entrants keep coming. Living in Canada and watching the the real estate market, is like travelling on a ship following the titanic, we can see the iceberg, and what happened to the Titanic (USA real estate market). And we still aren’t changing course. You just want to scream LOOK AT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN! but few do, nobody wants to listen.
Understanding people becomes central to predicting how the decline will continue to look. All good models of economic performance at national and global levels attempt to address the human element, as the individual consumer drives a lot of the western economies. Understanding how people use money, power and influence and how they achieve money, power and influence explains so much of our human existence. Too bad it gets so complicated with the details. If something is puzzeling you, ¨how could this have happened?¨, look at the money, power and influence whoever gains is either really lucky, or was involved, usually the latter.
Just because the situation could always get worse, is no reason to forget about the the current conditions. Preparing for what comes next is essential. It always will be. In good times and bad. Alternatively, acknowledgement that we are already sliding, kicks us into action and action leads to so much more. Isn’t action, on a personal level the very basic level of self-reliance and preparedness?