24 September 2020

The times are interesting. Which should make you fire up your Holden (you tuned that engine and got the suspension sorted for a reason0 and get you the hell out of dodge while you can. Our communist party says that a wealth tax will be non negotiable for a coalition (yes, I know they are called the Greens). The rule of law is being subverted by the court in the USA. Melbourne has gone fascist and London could be following.

And we have forgotten that you cannot print your way out of a depression. Germany tried ad had their mark collapse during the Wiemar republic. That includes making loans with negative interest rates.

In terms of being Antifragile® (Fragility, Resilience, or Antifragility) we are spending all of the cash we can, which makes us vulnerable. This is at the same time that businesses all across the country are finally giving up and closing up for good. This combination of spending all the cash while losing the ability to have a productive economy reinforces into a downward spiral. I’m expecting the President elected in 2028 to use the slogan, “Screw it, we’ll spend all the tax money on lottery tickets.”

Echoes and ripples from 2020 will nearly certainly continue into 2026 – and that’s if things go well.

The consequences of this are more than academic. In my current job, I get a few emails from salesmen a week. I ignore most of them. Today? I got three calls in an hour to ignore.

Businesses are now desperate. You can keep doors open for a while without revenue, but when the business slows down and there is too much capacity, the only solution is that the most vulnerable business collapses. Heck, my gym went bankrupt, which allowed me to walk by and say, “Well, who’s the quitter now?”

Repeat those business losses until you reach stability. The downside of this process is that is a negative spiral. Investing, as I’ve tried to convey, will be chaotic – and whoever wins the presidency may very well regret it. It’s bad enough that even governmental flows of money at the state level aren’t certain.

From Wilder, Wealthy Wise.

I am not a prophet. But you don’t need to be that astute to see that things are likely go go pear shaped. There are those who would say that the problems we have can be moved along to the next generation. But that has happened for three generations now, and I fear the unwinding is due.

Ezekiel 12:17-28

17 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 18 “Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with quivering and anxiety. 19 Then say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel, “They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water with horror, because their land will be stripped of its fullness on account of the violence of all who live in it. 20 The inhabited cities will be laid waste and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am the Lord.”’”

21 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb you people have concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days are long and every vision fails’? 23 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will make this proverb cease so that they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel.” But tell them, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,” declares the Lord God.’”

26 Furthermore, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 27 “Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”’” declares the Lord God.

I am turning 60 over the weekend. You can isntert the boomer jokes in the comments. But this means that I managed to get into university as NZ went through near bankruptcy under Muldoon and Lange, I lost a considerable amount of money int he 1987 crash, I saw my elders lost her house during the global financial crisis, and have had to — along with her husband’s parents — help her our of the debt that they were left with as the house was underwater.

I worry about our parents and our kids, because the job situation is fluid. If we want to be able to provide for them, we have to be careful now. And our employers know this even as they run up fairly large losses.

This is a time for support and advice, not judgement and division.

James 4:11-16

11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

How do we apply this?

  • Pray. Fervently. About plans. This is what Kea does better than me.
  • Have flexibility. Things can and will happen. That may include.
  • Getting rid of as much dept as possible. There are currently 3 year interest free loans on the television for fridges and TVs — “it is only thirty dollars a week”, for a 5K fridge freezer. Just don’t. If you don’t have the cash, don’t do it.
  • Be prepared to walk away from your job. This is painful for me, because I have spent a long time doing projects — and then found them defunded. With Mr Trump now requiring that any grant received is not associated with Critical race theory, there will be a lot of this.
  • Get alternative income
  • Tighten the budget
  • Keep humble. Do not boast that you have stopped things. Do not pretend that the policies you have will dampen down the economic crisis or the virus the mdeia are afraid of. Do not think you alone can keep things together. You will need a community. You will need family.Pray that God keeps them faithful.

Finally, don’t judge by appearances. A lot of people are losing their jobs and they thought they were secure. Locally, the planning regulations mean there is still a housing shortage so we now have a lot of homeless people.

Look instead for a life rightly lived, and imitate that.