Disaster chic

end of the world
Yes, the news is bad, but Lordy, people seem to be outdoing each other in predicting how horrible things will be.

First, some examples of the current problems:

The Russian bond market is dead. Their companies can no longer borrow on international markets. Yields are approaching 80%, up from 12% last year. This is way beyond junk bond…

Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, but y’know, he seems to delight in being apocalyptic.

Social collapse best practices by Dmitry Orlov, who now has a booming book / speaker business telling the US citizens how their economy will crater worse than the USSR’s did.

Even John Robb is saying we’re all doomed, The Depression scenario is here

Well, call me a contrarian, but it seems to me the planet has muddled through way worse times than these and come out the other side. Besides, I’m starting to see the Prophets of Doom trying to out-apocalypse each other. “Oh, so you believe your scenario is dire. So, Mr. Happy Face, you say we’ll be living in caves and not eating worms. Well, you better start practicing eating earthworms now.” That kind of thing. To which I say, count me out.

First off, the apocalypse may not happen. (Oddly, some, both on the left and the right, really seem to want a collapse of civilization, how weird is that?) Second, making a religion out of being gloomy is not a path to recovery. Optimistic people who think they can effect change, often do. But if you think we’re screwed, you’ll probably sit home or turn to crime or drugs instead.

Our chances of solving the very real problems we face are much better if people think they can be solved, rather than giving in to disaster chic.