They have ethics. They expect correct behavior from authority. When they don’t see it, they want it punished, not with a wrist slap, but with jail time.
I agree, and 2019 will mark the start of a process toward getting it. Justice is slow, but it is certain.
If 2018 was the year when crime was stripped naked, with the MeToo movement, the Trump treason, and corporate theft, 2019 will be the first year of retribution.
This becomes certain when you look at the economy. The next year may be the most readily predicted, indeed eagerly anticipated, recession of my lifetime.
Big tech stocks have already tanked, the first sign of possible trouble. The old game of social no longer works. The cops and the tax man are coming after tech as never before. Rival technologies like the phone networks are joining the charge. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google are all stuck in a defensive crouch as the year ends.
Without high value-added growth, without computers doing new things or replacing people at doing old things, the economy declines. Natural economic forces come into play, moving growth toward lower-wage centers in Asia and Africa, away from high-wage centers like America and Europe.
This provides a background for finally attacking crime in the suites.
Criminals in business suits have had a field day this whole decade. They got their money back after the last decade’s shenanigans, and promptly undermined every effort of the Obama Administration to rein them in, to the point where voters decided that maybe the criminals would police themselves. Of course, they didn’t. They’re seizing everything in sight and destroying the IRS to hide their tracks and make off with their stolen booty.
The recession means the end of this crime wave is in sight. I’m going out on a limb here. I predict Donald Trump will die, of a heart attack or stroke, before the cops catch up with him. Probably in mid-summer. His reign will thus look just like that of another Republican President elected with a similar malaprop promise, the “return to normalcy” of Warren G. Harding.
Unfortunately for Republicans, Mike Pence is no Calvin Coolidge.
What Americans wanted in 1923 was for the good times to keep rolling. What Americans want in 2019 is for hard time to come to bad people in authority. We don’t want a President Coolidge so much as a President J. Edgar Hoover, someone who will go after powerful criminals the way Hoover went after Al Capone. And if this Hoover is gay, we won’t give a fuck. Lincoln wanted to send his generals liquor if they would be more like U.S. Grant. I’m perfectly willing to send out ball gowns if they cover a prosecutor with balls.
Anticipating hard times, elites are emptying the jails as rapidly as they can, letting out first-time drug offenders, legalizing pot, even passing criminal justice reform, hoping an attitude of leniency will apply to them.
It won’t. The recession will make that certain.
In a recession, people look around for someone to blame. In this case, elites are left holding the bag.
We want elites in jail. The 2020 Democratic nomination will go to the candidate who can best demonstrate they understand this zeitgeist in 2019. I suspect the 2020 Republican contest will pit Mike Pence and Mitt Romney, with Pence winning, while the Democrats will go with whoever can best play the role of prosecutor in Congress. My guess? Kamala Harris.
Regulation having failed, Americans will demand the criminal law be applied, first against people like Harvey Weinstein, then against embezzlers and polluters and all the rest of the despicables of our time. That’s what happened 90 years ago, and if it was good enough for great-grandfather, my kids figure it’s good enough for them.
Because there is going to be real economic pain. The stock market collapse of late 2018 is just a taste of what’s to come. There will be no place to hide from the coming readjustment. It’s hard to turn around a rising deficit with a falling economy, which means the value of your dollars will fall. In the near term this all benefits China, but Xi Jinping is fundamentally wrong, in that you can’t enslave minds and expect maximum creativity from them. His reckoning will come, but it won’t be next year.
I’m not looking forward to 2019. I’ll be 64, for one thing. I’ve tried to prepare my portfolio for the pain to come, but I fear it’s all made of paper. A lot of baby boomers like me are going to find their own futures destroyed in the coming economic storm. Their millennial kids are going to have no sympathy for them. They just want the laws enforced and strengthened.
My generation’s final reckoning is coming.