Investment Outlook: First Quarter 2020 America May Change – Just Like it Always Does
In the midst of everything the nation has faced over the last few weeks, and the constant barrage of doom and gloom reporting, only one topic makes the hair on my neck stand on end: that is, “things will never be the same again.” My grievance is not with the statement itself – in fact, I believe the statement. It’s the negative connotations around it that bother me.
The United States has been evolving and changing since its founding in 1776, and now should be no different. Thank goodness for our lives changing over the last 20 years. Many of these changes have made our current situations better than they would otherwise be. Just 15 years ago, the thought of working from home, and video conference with colleagues all over the world would have seemed like something from the Jetsons. Now, its reality. Even though we are now avoiding most human contact, we have the ability to see our friends, family and colleagues just by pulling the phone out of our pocket and calling them on any one of many video chat options. So much of the technology that has changed our lives can be credited to the creativity and openness to change of our society.
It’s not just technology that has changed our society. There is no doubt that American manufacturing is not what it used to be, and that proposition scared and continues to scare people. But again, thanks to the creativity and flexibility of the American workforce, when one industry moves abroad, we’ve come together to find another to take its place. In the last few years, the new concern is that robots will take over all human jobs and leave a huge percentage of Americans unemployed. While we can’t predict the future, I remain firmly in the camp that society will evolve and embrace whatever comes next. Much in the same way our lives may change, but it doesn’t mean that it’s in a negative way. History would say otherwise.
The premise that people will no longer want to stand arm and arm in a crowded restaurant, bar, or sporting event may be true, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still see our friends or go out to eat with a group of people. It might just look a little different. Are handshakes a thing of the past – perhaps. But I think we will all get used to bumping elbows or tapping feet.
This is a trying time for everyone, and life may look a little different when the dust settles. However, Americans have been ever-evolving, changing and prospering for more than two hundred years, and there is no reason to think that will change now. Will some people be forced into new careers – probably. Will some business disappear – certainly. Will American business continue to find ways to change with the times – definitely.