In a staff meeting the other day, one of our senior people asked me what the elections mean for the economy, since our business (advertising and marketing) is highly influenced by the direction of the economy. We are a leading indicator of both upward and downward trends.
I responded that the question depended upon the time frame one was using.
In the short term, the elections mean that a divided government will eliminate social and political tensions so that people will spend more time on meaningful activities at home and work, and that business people will feel less [glossary:REGIME UNCERTAINTY] Regime Uncertainty. That means that the small business side of the economy should improve. That’s about all. The common people assume that the quantity of political rhetoric is equal to the qantity of economic power that a state can exercise, and this is not true. A state as we currently have constructed it, is largely capable of USING economic wealth in the short term, but incapable of creating wealth in the long term. That is the primary change in government over the past hundred and fifty years. We have converted from middle-class wealth creation to lower class wealth distribution in the west, as the consumer economy and democracy put political power in proletariat hands. That trend was acceptable given our extraordinary wealth. But the current trend must reverse itself, and the power of government must switch from an ambition entirely devoted to redistribution, to one more concerned with increasing the intellectual capacity of our less-than-hard-working citizenry.
In the medium term, it means that middle class white people are beginning to act like a minority, as has been predicted for some time now by any number of public intellectuals (Buchanan). It means that our economic recovery will be slow and protracted and vulnerable to shocks, and that it will take a decade or more for the worlds distorted capital structure to realign. It means that unemployment will be persistent and chronic for that period of time. It means that the US will not likely return to previously comforting low unemployment levels. It means uncertainty will prevail.
In the long term, in regard to the general economy in the united states, it is not likely that any government intervention on any scale that is politically tolerable, will allow the adjustment to education that is needed to alter our basic competitiveness. It is unlikely that US businesses will produce at 20th century levels, which were only possible because of factors outside of political action: the large land area, the high rate of breeding and immigration, the high transformation of the population into the middle class, the low cost of language and legal transactions due to cultural homogeneity, and the low cost of administration due to the use of the common law.
The response to my statements was that they painted a gloomy outlook. I responded that there is a vast difference between objective reality, and the emotional experience that we attach to it. I read something the other day about african meat-packers, living a terrible and dirty life. But that during the day, as they worked, they were joyous, playful, enjoyed their friends and family, and in general described themselves as happy. For human beings, uncertainty, unpredictability, and negative environmental change are impediments to our rather fixed rate of adaptation. But people adjust to their circumstances when they can, and find good in almost everything. Therefore, the objective picture may appear gloomy, but the general sentiment will improve as people adjust to the new circumstances.
What will happen is the perception of power, or excellence, which we refer to as ‘status’ will change, worldwide, and continue, as it has since the collapse of the soviet system, to be local and cultural, and less western or ideological. The world’s common people, will continue to return to it’s civilizational biases, and admirations. It’s business leaders and intellectuals will continue to explore each other. Consumers will adopt whatever fashion is relevant to them. But by and large, they will be more interested in their cultures than in western culture. The west will be less of a destination for the highly talented and upwardly mobile. And the western demographic problem (the high land occupation by white christians) will be under pressure, and white christians will increasingly adopt minority postures, just as their political leadership warned they would for the past century and a half.
This is the meaningful trend. We will be less wealthy of a civilization relative to others than we have been since the opening of the atlantic trade 500 years ago.
Our politics is just the daily expression of our sentiments as these shifts occur.