CHANGE IS IN THE WIND - 01.19.2022
January 19, 2022
Good Wednesday morning. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES' weekly post. I'm the author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California.
Robocalls are driving me nuts. I suspect it has something to do with the work-from-home thing. Both in who is making the calls and the fact more people are at home to receive them. Over the past couple of weeks, I averaged six to eight a day.
Today's post is an example of what I did for a living many years ago. Advise management based on my research on what changes may impact the business in the foreseeable future. But instead of writing a report to senior insurance company management, I will present what I foresee to you and use some of the material in my upcoming novel SKYWARD.
Significant factors that I believe will impact the new normal are 1. Impact of the changing of the guard as Millennials and Gen-Z's take over running things; 2. This is a shrinking world caused by overpopulation and decreased usable landmass due to climate change, 3. The darkening of the populations' complexion caused by migration and changing birthrates; 4. A move toward socialist structure; 5. A move away from fossil fuels, and 6. Yes, the long-term impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An example of what the pandemic has done is the consideration by Lloyd's of London to move from their flagship City of London headquarters. (I spend a lot of time in both the original Lloyds building and its 1986 replacement tower designed by British architect Richard Rogers.) Why the move? Because the pandemic speeded up, Lloyds move to automation and away from doing business on its underwriting floor. A Lloyd's spokesperson said, "As we adapt to new structures and flexible ways of working, we are continuing to carefully think about the future requirements for the spaces and services our marketplace needs. "Like many other organizations, we are considering a range of options around our workspace strategy and the future leasing arrangements for Lloyd's." Companies are reassessing their office space as the COVID-19 pandemic showed working from home was viable. Lloyd's is just one example of how businesses have been impacted and why office space is now being converted to apartments and condos.
Millennials and Z's don't live in the past and, except for scientific advancements, consider historical, social information of little value. Like my dad used to tell me, "Don't look in the rearview mirror unless you want to go that way." Millennials and Z's are either looking ahead or are looking at a metaverse (unreal or make-believe world). This is evident because they don't believe traditional higher education is of value. In fact, they think it may slow down their advancement in the world. This fall has seen the sharpest enrolment decline among people 24 and older into four-year colleges, according to Clearinghouse data. They see their peers entering the working world through inventiveness tied to electronic devices. Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said in an interview. "Students are questioning the value of college. They may be looking at friends who graduated last year or the year before who didn't go, and they seem to be doing fine."
The above concept is also seen in reading habits change. A December 2021 Gallup poll indicates that fewer people are reading books. The average American adult read just over 12 books in 2021, the smallest average number than any prior survey dating back to 1990. The number of big readers has dropped hard, and that's what's weighing on the overall average. "Currently, just 27 % report that they read more than 10 books," Gallup says, "down eight percentage points since 2016 and lower than every prior measure by at least four points." That decline was particularly marked among college graduates and older readers. I had to laugh at an article that indicated, "Men are finally catching up to women when it comes to book reading! That's only because women are reading fewer books." The Gallup editors conclude, "Reading appears to be in decline as a favorite way for Americans to spend their free time."
Millennials and Z's also tie religion to the past and have placed it on the chopping block. A recent Pew Research Center report indicates that the number of Americans with no religious affiliation has nearly doubled over the past 14 years, from 16% to 29%. Self-identified Christians dropped from 78% to 63% during the same period.
Most Americans believe U.S. democracy is in danger. According to a Brookings report, one in five Americans has views that make them at least open to, if not outright supportive of, authoritarianism. According to CNN, -74% of us are angry about the state of the nation, and USA Today indicates that only 14% of us think things are going well. 46% think civil war is likely, and we are split about equal as to dividing the country into two parts (Aogby Analytics). ABC News says 70% of us believe the economy is doing poorly. And 55% have been adversely affected by inflation. Yet, according to a Gallup survey, 59% of Americans say they are currently "thriving" – the highest number in 13 years.
The use by large corporations of bots, A.I., and automation, in general, will significantly increase as the attitude of the workforce changes, pushed by the pandemic. A record number of U.S. workers have quit their jobs in the past few months. More than 4.5 million people voluntarily walked away from their positions in November, up from 4.2 million in October. November's figure was the highest since the government started tracking the figure two decades ago.
Government regulations to curb the use of fossil fuels and infrastructure investments will increase the use of electric vehicles and drones. The inefficiencies of wind and solar energy will renew the interest in nuclear power.
The United States and China will dramatically expand their military drones and bots' technology. The newly developed weapon systems will significantly change warfare. The U.S. may test these new weapon systems in Ukraine (with the U.S. providing advisors to Ukraine) if Russian troops invade.
Finally, all of the above convinces me that increased inflation (6%-8%) will be with us for the next couple of years. It was at 7% in December. The cost of food (my steaks at Costco have gone up 40%), apparel, and especially used cars are draining our wallets a lot faster. The Federal Reserve is on high alert for how this could affect the economy.
Back to researching, thinking, and using the above info in my novel SKYWARD.
Please, be kind to each other, and stay safe.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2022 by Richard V. Rupp