The Great American Slump
The year 2020 will be written in books as "the worst year" in modern history. A pandemic that shut down a country and a headless administration leads with fear and blaming others. Wrapped within the plague is an economy that suffered on all sides: Entrepreneurs who freelanced their work scramble to get a decent meal. Families who were laid off now face eviction. Those directly affected by the virus have to deal with an untimely death or medical bills that are ridiculously too high to pay in a lifetime. Not to mention the rise of global protests for justice, police reform and civil rights for people of color.
Ironically I think of the politics of 2019 and how many of the democratic candidates fought for progressive ideas that would help the country but were shunned with their "radical" thinking. But their ideas were all dumped into the recovery of 2020's problems:
Andrew Yang's idea: Universal Basic Income. As his "Math" campaign kicked into high gear he proposed a utopian idea of giving every family a no-strings-attached basic income to offset their bills and help stimulate the economy. His campaign even went forward with testing the idea on several families before he left the race. Irony: the US gives out stimulus checks of $1200 to offset their bills and help stimulate the economy in the middle of a quarantine.
Beto O'Rourke's idea: Climate Change Plan. Although perhaps a strong pin to stand out in the democratic race, Beto took his idea of addressing climate to a whole new level. Riding on the curtails of the Green New Deal, he proposed to get the US emissions down to zero by 2030. Climate scientists said it was very ambitious and more than likely impossible to get to a zero but why not dream big, right? Irony: since the quarantine, we've been able to see a drop in our nitrogen levels in the atmosphere, especially over China - the world's manufacturer. Literally disappearing from radar, nitrogen dioxide, which is a poisonous gas emitted into the air from factories and vehicles. Talk about getting that zero!
Liz Warren's idea: Free College. Warren had the big idea for pandering to the higher educated, claiming to remove any debt from college and reforming colleges across the country. Snagging the idea from Bernie, she'd have the super rich pay for the college instead, through taxes. Not a bad idea. Irony: Colleges now suffer the uncertainty of returning back to school. Students are staying in hotel rooms, waiting for dorms to open - if they ever. Others are leaving college to work and pay bills or returning home to their parents for quarantine. On top of that immigrant students face the possibility of being deported instead of finishing their degrees. What a complete mess!
Bernie Sanders' idea: Medicare for all. Of all the things, Sanders dropped the bomb that our country was unhealthy - this was before COVID-19. But don't boo him, he wasn't wrong. He was looking at the families who couldn't afford their regular bills or insurance. His "socialist" idea of having a paid government medicare system for all didn't bode too well for the conservatives, although a masse majority of the boomers use some sort of "socialist" system to stay alive and vote - that being social security and disability funds. The irony: Sanders saw it coming from ten thousand miles away about a potential country-wide problem of health. Unfortunately families are facing the new era of a pandemic and wondering how they're going to put food on their table, take care of their loved ones and stay safe all at the same time. Some have even gotten bills that go into the six-digits. What the F?
When it comes to Black Lives Matter, the only candidate that came close was Amy Klobuchar, which instead of addressing people of color, she focused on incarcerations and prison sentences. That means you have to be a criminal first in order to see any major change. Personally it looked like a jab to get the minority vote since she used POC to discuss her bullet points on the matter. Even in her own article she addressed the changes in prison reform by way of a clemency board - a group of judges judging you for what you did. That doesn't help, Amy. BLM doesn't need reform in prisons, it needs reforms in society as a whole. But bypassing systemic racism and blaming prison sentences and presidential pardons isn't a way to do it.
So why even talk about the candidates? Well it's less than 100 days before the big election. And like your finances, your life is being affected by these strange occurrences that are happening this year. Climate change, government income, racial reform, medicare, education - all of these directly affect your success and your pocketbook!
It's fascinating to see what the candidates said last year and how a lot of their ideas are being played out this year, literally almost every day. But don't try to look at the world as a crumbling system. Instead let it allow you to really test your principles on money and financial goals. Use these modern problems as a way of measuring how well you do for yourself and your family. These days is where your really stick to your guns for survival.
Also look at this upcoming election as a way to see how politics play a direct role in your everyday life. While we have a clown running his Russian circus in the White House, the largest factor, the US economy's growth fell 32%. That means our country's money and assets are currently worth about 70% in value. But don't let the Great American Slump let you down. Abide to your principles and commit to action!
My best friend said the best thing that ever happened was the Recession (of 2007-2009). Property values dropped to half, millions of products were auctioned off and sold at a fraction of their named price. People with money discipline made off like bandits.
Although products values sank faster than the Titanic, millions of families lost their homes in the wake of the Recession. Tens of thousands were out of a job come Christmas 2008. We had a change in leadership and luckily we pulled through. Banks were bailed out. People sweated through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and we increased our value from a mere 7k to the 26k mark in the DJIA. That's a growth of 370%. It spawned a new breed of independent entrepreneurs, freelance workers and be-your-own-boss-through-your-phone for companies like Uber and Grubhub. But we got soft again and many of us didn't learn our lessons from the Recession. What I'm trying to say is that in dark times you stick to your plan. If your plan ain't working, go at it and fix it. Do whatever you have to do to survive and don't forget where you came from!
Don't forget these days! For each day you survive COVID is a blessing of lessons that will keep you alive for years to come. Use this quarantine time to resetting all your plans and building new ones. This is the dawn of a new era. You should be out there looking for new ways to gather income, take control of your life and keeping yourself safe and prosper better than before. Learn from the Recession and learn from the Great Slump. Don't sit back and get fat watching Netflix. Get organized, dammit!
I'm still up at around 30%. My lowest stock, TME (Tencent Music) is in the red at about 3%. I've still got another 5% before I pull the plug and reassess my options. By keeping my portfolio in the green I'm removing all my emotions and sticking to my plan.
My plan is simple: abide to principles. Disregard the media, disregard the big reports on the economy. You should be spotting the heat around the corner every day. You should be making predictions on the market. A few items I've been pondering recently:
-Nobody would've thought PPE companies would be a gold mine in 2020.
-Marijuana legalization is on the ballot this year for 8 states, making more than 40 states gain access to MJ.
-We are not prepared for a pandemic and we're going full digital/online for many services.
-What will families do when school starts back up?
-What will the world look like in 2021?
I hope all of you are safe!