Friday, December 2, 2011

The 5 Ds

Charles Hugh Smith looks further ahead:

Looking farther out, there are emerging trends I call “the five Ds:” definancialization, delegitimization, deglobalization, decentralization and deceleration. Though these may not be visible to the mainstream just yet, they will slowly influence the job market and our definition of work.
  • Definancialization. Resistance to the political dominance of banks and Wall Street is rising, and the financial industry that thrived for the past three decades may contract to a much smaller footprint in the economy.
     
  • Delegitimization. The politically protected industries of government, education, health care, and national security are increasingly viewed as needlessly costly, top-heavy, inefficient, or failing. Supporting them with ever-increasing debt is widely viewed as irresponsible. Cultural faith in large-scale institutions as “solutions” is eroding, as is the confidence that a four-year college education is a key to financial security.
     
  • Deglobalization. Though it appears that globalization reigns supreme, we can anticipate protectionism will increasingly be viewed as a just and practical bulwark against high unemployment and withering domestic industries. We can also anticipate global supply chains being disrupted by political turmoil or dislocations in the global energy supply chain; domestic suppliers will be increasingly valued as more trustworthy and secure than distant suppliers.
     
  • Decentralization. As faith in Federal and State policy erodes, local community institutions and enterprise will increasingly be viewed as more effective, responsive, adaptable, and less dysfunctional and parasitic than Federal and State institutions.
     
  • Deceleration. As debt and financialization cease being drivers of the economy and begin contracting, the entire economy will decelerate as over-indebtedness, systemic friction, institutional resistance to contraction (“the ratchet effect”), and political disunity are “sticky” and contentious.
 Still, at least he didn't mention Depression...

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