When there is a wide spread crisis such as COVID – 19, it is inevitable for there to be financial catastrophe to go along with it. In Pt.1 of this article is a starter list of some things a good many people might have wished they thought of ahead of time.
Now I’m not saying everyone should have bought land in North Idaho or Montana to install a prep-er bunker and load it with sustenance, weapons and ammo. Nor am I suggesting that cashing in Roth IRAs, 401Ks, and all your stocks, in favor of precious metals will set you up financially. Maybe with the water now well under the bridge, those of us who operate with a bit more forethought than the average American living the subscription lifestyle, we can look for the silver linings and seek opportunity from this current crisis.
We could segue all over the page here and make reference to Confederate Flags waved inside our nation’s Capitol Building, but not this time. This time let’s stick to the silver linings:
- Vaccine – This won’t solve all the problems that COVID -19 has stirred up. In fact, it may introduce new problems. All said, the a vaccine probably won’t be the panacea everyone is anticipating, but it will reduce the strain on hospitals everywhere.
- Social distance and mask wearing – I haven’t had a cold, a fever or anything other than a few aches and pains from chasing the mutt around the dog park in over a year. How about you?
- A year of saving cash that would have been spent going out for meals, movies, shows, and other forms of entertainment all add up. Not that I would ever buy anything on credit that I couldn’t pay off before the end of the month, but having a stash of cash around can’t be a bad thing.
- Even though there will likely be a bunch of pre-foreclosure and foreclosed houses on the market due to the mass number of bankruptcies that we’ll see being declared, I won’t be buying any houses up for auction in hopes of acquiring one at a bargain basement price. I don’t want to be forced to rent on a chapter 8 basis and carry the burden of property tax and maintenance. I have another plan instead.
- If you’ve been out on the road lately, you may have noticed all the “30 somethings” driving/living in their brand new shiny Mercedes Sprinter Campers. Once the shine wears off, the used market will be flooded with these things and I’ll finally be able to pay cash for my dream vehicle.
The short list above may be a feeble attempt at silver linings. Though the following may read as a bit sarcastic since it is based on a Saturday Night Live memory I have of the Jimmy Carter era. Sometimes the truth is funny:
- “If inflation climbs like it will be doing with the US Treasury continuing to print $ and giving it away, we could all be millionaires.” Well, I kinda like this idea provided it won’t cost me $85 for a dozen eggs.
- “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to own and wear a $5,000 Timex?”
Though all these things are a possibility, and could actually serve as silver linings that might make us all feel better, there is one other possibility we could hope for: A redistribution of wealth. Even rich people may have to agree it won’t help their thirst for wealth if their $ is devalued. – there are still a lot of uber wealthy folks in USA. Last time I looked there were over 35,000 households in USA with more than $100 Million in assets. With that kind of $ available at my age, I’d have to spend $10k/day to empty my account by the time I die.
On the brightest of bright sides, since the pandemic is global, a debt reset seems to be the most logical outcome. In fact haven’t the mechanisms been in place for a long time? If country X is 3 trillion in debt to country Y and country Y is in debt to country Z to the same tune as country X and country Z owes the same amount to country A etc. Eventually this whole tracking of debts that will never be paid will circle back (it already has many times over). Aren’t these notional debts just trade negotiation tools?
Maybe the train wreck that is about to occur when landlords, banks, corporations call in their domestic debts coupled with encouraging the printing of more money for an equitable distribution across the entirety of American citizens. We’ll see some change? I don’t think that would help – it might even make things worse.
Alas, there is an elegant solution – Instead of printing more $, why not re-write the tax code and enforce it? Redistribute taxpayer $ as monthly rebates to keep the ship afloat until the storm passes. Yes, rich people will perceive this as a “why should I give my hard earned $ to lazy poor people?” Well, maybe if they don’t like it, they can pack up their $ and move to Italy or Greece…even better Mali, Chad, or Nigeria (I love garden spots don’t you?).
Hopefully dear readers you’ll enjoy throwing spears at this gem of a rant. Perhaps by reading it will stimulate your creative juices and you’ll be motivated to comment and add to the list of silver linings. Or maybe you’ll look forward to popping open a bottle of Robert Mondavi Chard that only cost you $2,500.