Great Depression 2 started last Sunday, July 1, as I predicted in 2017.
REVOLUTION. Quite appropriately, I’m writing this screed on Independence Day, July 2, the 242nd anniversary of the 1776 Second Continental Congress adoption of Richard Henry Lee’s treasonous motion.
Many copies of the Declaration of Independence were distributed over the next few weeks. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, some later, with two never signing at all. We celebrate on July 4 because somebody once blew it and scheduled a celebration on the wrong day.
The new nation thus began eating an uninterrupted diet of fake news — guts, feathers and all. The gluttony continues to this very day, the era of “alternative facts.”
EVOLUTION. A few weeks ago I got an irate phone call from a moonhowler armed with rock-solid beliefs, evolution not among them. According to him, almost nothing is to be believed if you weren’t there to see it.
I told him to give himself a small paper cut. When the cut begins to heal and forms a scab, that’s evolution, your body adapting to circumstance. Just like when you spend the holiday outdoors and get a suntan. He was not convinced.
DEVOLUTION. Eric Blair, aka George Orwell, wrote “of a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past.”
Which begs George Santayana’s famous observation “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
And so here we are in Tipping Point City.
DEVOPRESSION. GD2 will raise a powerful leader, perhaps another Franklin Roosevelt. Or another Mussolini. Or worse. (You know his name.)
The parallels between today’s governmental incompetence and that of the 1920s are almost perfect. Warren Harding started off the decade with the most corrupt administration since Grant and fortunately (for himself), Harding died of a heart attack before near-certain conviction and removal from office. When the bubble burst in 1929, the very able President Herbert Hoover unfortunately listened to the lousy economic advice of his treasury secretary, Andrew W. Mellon, Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics idol.
Mellon said just leave the economy alone and it will fix itself. Then came the Smoot-Hawley Tariff which turned what should have been a garden-variety slump into Great Depression, Part One. GD1-style financial regulation has just been scuttled — again — and big banks have once more devolved into casinos able to risk your money with impunity. They keep the profits, you eat the losses — guts, feathers and all.
THE NEW SILICON BOOB JOB. Reno has recently pimped some slick PR booming this area as the new Silicon Valley. Like fake boobs, fake booms can bust.
Nevada rides the top of every boom and sinks to the depths of every bust. We are again the hottest housing market in the country, just like 2007-08.
Just by reading actual facts, the Barbwire predicted the so-called Great Recession (which never ended for millions and gave us Czar Donaldov) more than two years ahead. (Barbwire 5-29-2005 et seq.)
All the red flags are waving again.
The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates in the teeth of an economic slowdown. The rest of the world’s industrialized nations are already teetering or have fallen into recession. The only truly bi-partisan bill of any import that Congress has been able to disgorge is financial regulation assassination.
TESLAdios? Only 40 percent built, construction at the Tesla gigafactory east of Sparks has stalled as I foreshadowed. (Barbwire 12-27-2017) Unpaid contractors have begun walking away. One financial analyst recently predicted that somebody big like GM will end up taking over the company. Perhaps this week’s glowing announcement of production increases was the last gasp.
RENO OR RUST? Long-lamented Harolds Club made Reno famous by co-opting the historic Pike’s Peak slogan into “Reno or Bust.”
Dark harbingers of decay have been installed on the banks of the mucky Truckee at taxpayer expense. A rusty giant daisy sculpture stands next to stacked steel shipping containers where half of the venerable Riverside Hotel once stood.
The City of Reno bought the word “BELIEVE,” sculpted in rust a dozen feet high, and placed it on the site of the Mapes Hotel. One of the few memorable buildings in these parts was imploded because of a mayor’s ego and now stands vacant save for heavy metal corroding in the sun.
If you have any, put your money in gold, bury it in a coffee can in your backyard, and get ready for a bumpy ride.
Happy Interdependence Day. We will need all the help we can get.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>