I'm reluctant to post today, so preoccupied am I by the images appearing in my crystal ball. Reluctant because I fear if I reveal what I'm seeing to fellow bloggers and readers of Dada's (and thankfully that's not many!), it may still be sufficient to cause a run on DEPENDs® at Walgreens and Rite Aid's across the nation.
First, before I hint at some of the things I've seen in my glass orb, let me preface it by saying the news from yesterday was most depressing. That's no big deal. These days, every day's economic news is worse than the day before's, right?
But yesterday we heard things like Bank of America's plans to cut 30,000 - 35,000 jobs over the next three years. (After what I've seen today, I'd say that's conservative!) K-B Toys going into bankruptcy for the second time (with plans to close down all stores). That was kind of a primer for what we might expect of even bigger name retailers in January if Christmas sales don't save them - and the malls they occupy.
This all followed an article, "Squeezed Restaurants Shed Jobs" I read in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal. It described how the restaurant industry is currently being affected by a shriveling economy. And here, let me digress for a moment....
Two weeks ago tomorrow I posted a rather apocalyptic vision of what's ahead for us all entitled Remembering the Future. I didn't reveal why it was so dark. That's because I didn't know. But after my crystal ball gazing today, I'm beginning to "see."
In that particular blog I referenced my old college chum who is owner of the best Italian restaurant in central Oregon, Pedotti's. Well, the WSJ article mentioned my friend and what he is currently experiencing with his restaurant, and it's depressing to say the least.
So, ok, having said that, let me just hint at some of the foggy images I'm seeing 'in the glass:'
Appreciate this next Super Bowl. It may be the last one. (Also, appreciate this "last" presidential election.) If you have a child or know of one about to graduate college, expect them to join the military for gainful employment in that business as we've known it is in total collapse. On the positive side, many of those who do decide to join the army will be serving stateside, fighting increasingly angry mobs of their fellow citizens in a desperate effort to preserve the Union.
If you have younger school age children and their school manages to stay open, expect their classroom teacher-to-student ratios to greatly increase and actual time spent in school to decrease -- all to cut costs. Teachers will be cut. This is nothing profound, it's already happening. But if your kid is athletically gifted (as in a "ticket" to higher education via a scholarship) forget it. High school athletic programs will be cut as local tax bases collapse.
Oh, and malls? Those that close and aren't allowed to house the homeless will likely fall into disrepair as monuments to materialism of the last milennium. They will be stripped for their building materials unless guarded well by our military children, recently graduated from University with their BS's and MBA's.
What I'm seeing is a New America unlike anything any of us has experienced -- if it survives. (And I haven't even mentioned the former U.S. auto industry -- as we knew it!)