WORLD TURMOIL
By Karl Arnold Belser
7 February 2020

The political environment of the United States has gone from bad to worse because President Trump was not convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors in the trial by the Senate.

Trump certainly used bad judgment in his conversations with the president of the Ukraine. The House of Representatives probably should have censured President Trump which would have been more effective politically than having a trial which acquitted the President.

Then Trump gave a contentious State of the Union speech that correctly stated that the United States is doing well economically with increase prosperity across the board and with low unemployment in all sectors. That was the good news. However he made the speech as political show to appeal to the majority of Americans that are relatively poor. He even gave the talk show host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Rush is a right wing zealot that angered many liberals. At the end of the speech the Speaker of the House, Nancy Peloci, ripped up her copy of the speech, page by page right behind the President. This delighted the liberals and angered the conservatives.

The State of the Union message instead of being a unifying event further widened the political gap between the left and the right. I would say that both political sides are culpable here. This tension might make it difficult for the nation to deal with the serious events that are unfolding, as  describe below.

1.0 THE INVISIBLE GORILLA, LIES  AND FAKE NEWS

The invisible gorilla psychological experiment (see the book by the same name) shows conclusively that human beings only see the things that they are paying attention to. Thus the left and right  political parties are seeing what they focus on and are completely blind to what the other party says. President Trump understands this and has played his cards effectively. The news media is focused on more of the liberal agenda. In a sense both sides are putting froward lies with regard to reality.

I put this item first because in my opinion this condition makes democracy impossible. Hence if there is a paradigm shift I believe that it will likely be away from democracy.

A paradigm shift is likely to happen when there is a severe economic crisis. In fact the world is spending beyond its means, namely too much debt, and probably will be unpayable because of persistent economic stagnation.

2.0 DISEASE THAT ENDANGERS THE WORLD ECONOMY

The US and China are in an economic war as I described in my previous post A Paradigm Shift Starts. I initially suspected that China might win this economic war. However, a quirk of fate, disease, has dealt China a serious blow.


China has been brought to its knees by four plagues in the last year. Pig hemorrhagic fever that has killed 60% of the pigs in China and possibly 40% of the world pig population. Then there is H1N1 flue in pigs and another strain in chickens that have impacted the food supply in China. Lastly there is the pandemic of the Coronavirus that has essentially taken China off line in world trade, The Coronavirus might become (as of this writing) a world wide economic problem which might result in a world wide recession or depression given the enormous debt that the nations of the world have taken on.

China has lowered their tarries on food products from the United States . tariffs are part of the arsenal of weapons in an economic war and the US has a small victory here.

3,0 FAMINE AND POPULATION MOTION

Famine is prevalent in Africa all the time. However, there has recently been a plague of locust in sub Saharan Africa and Asia Minor. One might expect many deaths and an increase in migration from Africa to Europe, which is really not capable of absorbing more immigrants.

Famine is a symptom of economic hardship. Just like Africans wanting to move to Europe for a better life the populations of Central and South America have a desire to move to the US and Canada. Just like a plague of locusts (I hate this analogy) people are going to move in order to avoid starvation.

4.0 CLIMATE CHANGE

The fires in California over the past several years have caused much damage to the state. However, the fires in Australia over the past 2 months have resulted in huge loss of animal life and forest devastation. As of this writing Australia is experiencing heavy rains that are threatening to further damage the deforested regions of the nation. The result is destruction in biblical proportions.

Again the effect of the Australian fires is economic. A poor economy makes it hard for people to survive. Luckily Australia had lots of material resources that were not damaged in the fire.  Hence there may be no real incentive for people to move.

4.0 DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of almost every nation excluding Africa is rapidly declining. This means that there will be many older people and fewer younger people to support the nation's economies. This change in demographics is probably why the world appears to be in economic stagnation. Fewer goods are needed when there are fewer people.

I note that in many countries, like France, Chile, and Lebanon, people are protesting violently because there benefits are being cut. This is just the leading edge of the reality that what can't be paid won't be paid. I expect an ugly responds as the elimination o unearned benefits happens.

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I believe that the core problem is that there are too many people on earth for all of them to have a high standard of living.. I believe that there has to be a reset of some sort.. This reset may be the result of disasters like what is happening in China and Africa, or it may happen because of sea level rise, disease and famine. I do not expect  a hot war to happen. However the economic war between the US and China may get even worse.. More authoritarian government may be required to control populations given the invisible gorilla effect which undermines the ability of people to govern themselves.
       
Last updated February 7, 2020
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