Blame the Weather

Do you ever get the feeling that things may not be heading in exactly the direction you wish?  If so, you are mirroring recent responses to various monthly polls we track here at Atlas which are designed to determine the attitudes of Americans.  Economists tell us we are in the third year of a recovery, a period which historically is marked by fast growth, low unemployment, and very positive feelings about the future.  Instead we are getting some numbers lower than those typically reserved for the depths of a recession.  What gives?

Do we blame the media?  The speed with which news can be conveyed these days has certainly led to a virtual shrinking of our planet.  We are told Israel may bomb Iran at any time.  Or that Iran may cut off a major portion of our oil supply.  North Korea rattles its saber, threatening neighbors with annihilation.  Europe’s currency seems to be melting down.  Any of these dire possibilities might happen, but they haven’t as of yet, may not, and seem somewhat far removed from our daily lives.  So again, what gives?

Is our government out of touch with the people it should be representing?  Have big banks and big bucks corrupted our leaders?  Why have the powers that be found it necessary to add trillions of dollars of debt to the taxpayer’s balance sheet in just the past handful of years?  Is it possible we will really see Medicare and some of our country’s biggest pension plans go bust possibly this decade?  Is our entire social safety net on the ropes?  These are tough questions, questions we need to answer yet fear to examine carefully lest they prove true.

Dylan said you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.  Last year’s demonstrations by the Occupy Wall Street movement are scheduled to begin again soon.  They want to end what is seen as global income inequality and corporate abuse.  According to the director of global risk at Pinkerton, the world’s biggest banks are working in concert with police agencies to pull together available intelligence about these anticipated protests.  He likens their efforts to a herd of elks trying to defend themselves against wolves.  These “wolves” to which he refers include labor unions and community groups carrying legal permits to march.

Maybe there is really nothing wrong with our world today.  Perhaps any fleeting feeling of dread or despair can be blamed on the unusual weather we have been having.  Whether or not the events scheduled to begin unfolding very soon are a result of El Nino or some other fluke phenomenon, it’s better safe than sorry I’m told.  I would suggest you get prepared for a storm as the coming hot months of summer arrive.