if I am reading the news and the opinion columns and the letters to the editors correctly these days, the following scenario seems about to be played out:
Sub prime lending woes lead to a collapse in housing prices. As a result, foreclosures shoot up and many citizens end up living in boxes. On the bright side, sales of batteries, cell phones, iPods and portable DVD players soar as displaced citizens vow to remain “plugged in” and to follow American Idol “one way or another.”
Inflation rises far faster than the CPI or PPI suggest, so prices of commodities and products related to commodities soar, so our buying power is greatly diminished. Angry consumers start demanding the manufacture of SUV’s that get a minimum of at least 13 miles per gallon.
As they have been forecast to do ever since about the mid-1980’s, the twin deficits—budget and trade—finally cause the dollar to collapse causing the value of assets denominated in U.S. dollars to implode, ultimately leaving us a virtual third world country (what with all those people living in boxes and unable to buy much with those measly U.S. dollars of theirs).
Refusing to give in, “activist” citizens ramp up driving vacations and continue to drive more and more as we continue to drill and refine less and less, to the point that gas ultimately reaches about $10 a gallon, thus resulting in Iran and Venezuela—not to mention Russia—surpassing us as the richest countries in the world.
Given our weakened state, al Qaeda finally succeeds in unleashing their “undocumented workers” across the U.S./Mexican border and generates a string of suicide bombings on U.S. territory, thus causing “war weary” citizens to look up from their video games and high-definition TVs just long enough to surrender. Soon Sharia law replaces the U.S. Constitution and U.S. women don the requisite burquas.
Not to worry, though. Unburdened by any concerns about “killing innocent civilians,” China ultimately attacks and takes over what was previously U.S. soil. The good news is that al Qaeda is wiped out and Sharia Law is lifted. The bad news is that the Chinese replace it with a totalitarian communist government.
Yet in an ironic twist of good news, the U.S. finally has China’s “great growth economy” and citizens start to feel optimistic again.
And then—in a final ironic twist of fate—just as citizens start to feel that the economy is once again “headed in the right direction,” the new Chinese government finally fires up one too many coal-fired energy plants, thus triggering the polar ice caps to melt, the ozone layer to dissolve, the oceans to rise, the hurricanes to cut loose with unprecedented intensity, and within a short period of time all of humanity is wiped off the planet.