As the final trend that I want to examine let’s look at the mindset of the American people. The graph above, for what it’s worth, provides a measure of the well-being of the American people. Notice that only for short periods does it ever crack the 60% level. The average in the time before 2008 looks like it’s somewhere around 40%. But since 2008 it has only cracked 40% once and that was right before the COVID debacle. Now the average looks like it’s closer to 25%.
I won’t claim that we can read any deep meaning into this graph. But what it seems to indicate for the post-2008 period is that only about 20% of the population are satisfied with the way the country is run. I’ll assume that 20% is the affluent part of the population. So, 66 million people are happy and 260 million are angry. How is that going to work out?
When Donald Trump was elected in 2016 it was attributed to populist anger. If you look at the graph you can see the satisfaction index increasing pretty steadily from 2016 to 2020 and then there’s a step down after 2020. Unless there is an increase in material prosperity between now and the 2024 election the same populist anger will be present in the electorate to an even higher degree than in 20216. The only difference is that the voter fraud that characterized the 2020 elections will be even more pronounced. There is every indication that the outcome in 2024 will once again thwart the will of these populist voters.
What will be the result of this frustration?
One possibility is that the have-nots will just give up. They’ll retreat to their parents’ basements, play video games, watch porn and die. Their parents will live off their social security checks, 401K accounts and wait for death. And the managerial state will rearrange society around the 20% that serve the interests of the elites who control all of the money and resources.
Another possibility is that regional leaders will organize a separate economy with a populist agenda. This will run up against the dictates of the federal government. And this spawns two separate possibilities.
In one case the populist entity will defy the federal government and continue on with its agenda and the federal government will acquiesce to its actions rather than attempt to subdue it by force. In that case it would seem that the greater dynamism of the populist entity would tend to undermine the popularity of the federal government and might cause a moderation of the elite agenda.
In the second case, the federal government would attempt to coerce the populist entity by force. And in this scenario the populist entity would be forced to fight a war to free itself from the federal government’s authority. We’ll assume that the war is successful because the case where the war is unsuccessful is included in the first possibility where the populists give up.
So, these are the paths forward that I see. There are other variants. For instance, even with voter fraud if the economic situation in the United States continues to deteriorate, it’s very possible that the Democrats could be voted out in a landslide. I’ll throw that case into the second scenario because it ends up with a populist government that does not have to fight a war with the feds.
My guess is something like the second scenario. I think that autonomy will grow in populist areas of the country. And that will allow for dissatisfaction with the federal government to be addressed.
What do you think?