Going out to clean a windshield shocked me with a vision that sent shivers down my spine...
A few days ago, I went to clean the bugs off the windshield of my car. As I walked into the garage, I was sickened with a premonition.
In this glimpse of the future, only one car was left in the garage -- the older one. The newer one was sold to satisfy Richard Russell's need to "cover our dollar shorts". What a pretty way to say "out of money"!
Like Cuba today, in this future we spend an inordinate amount of time polishing and maintaining our treasured vehicles. Instead of 1950s vintage Chevys and Fords, in my version we care for turn-of-the-century SUVs and luxury machines that once were had for a song. Back when money was free. When money was cashed out of house equity. Before reality reasserted itself and depreciating assets again started to... well... depreciate.
We couldn't have used two cars anyway; we couldn't afford the gas. Like Japan today, everyone in this neighborhood of the future has a gem of a vehicle tucked away in a garage or shed. But actually driving it? That's a once-a-month special occasion! Okay, I exaggerate... not that frequently.
Many of us with jobs telecommute. That's one thing that never stopped improving... bandwidth from the office... bandwidth to the curb... bandwidth to the home. Now we work singly or in teams right from home. No expensive energy wasted getting to work any more. The social aspects of the office environment are gone, but that helps control expenses. And because we are "consulting professionals", the pesky issue of minimum wage doesn't apply. We can now compete directly with other professionals around the world.
The bulk of those employed work for the government in one capacity or another. Minimum wage applies to those jobs. By law, all work for the state must be done in-country. Those are highly coveted jobs.
At least we didn't lose our homes. But we couldn't escape them, either. The bankruptcy protection laws are off the books. The easy way out of yesteryear is gone. The holders of mortgage paper don't want the old houses anyway. The norm is 50-100 year mortgages that we pass on to our children. What's the big deal? We passed along the federal and state debts. This is just the private sector's contribution...
At this point, the enfolding horror was just too much. I took a deep breath and pulled away from the wall in a daze, rag and Windex in hand. It couldn't really get that bad! How could the collection of village idiots we have elected or indirectly had appointed over us let policies reach their logical conclusion? No way! I wiped the bugs off the glass and the silly thoughts from my mind. I went out that day to enjoy the calm before the storm. I continue to pretend it can't happen. Not here!