Can you imagine a world with zero economic growth, higher unemployment rates, and governments that cannot provide financial assistance to aid poverty within the global economy? According to Dr. Bryan Alexander in his lecture called, “The Visible College: Four Futures For Higher Education,” this may be one of the four possible outcomes that will happen by the year 2022.
Before I let my imagination run wild and give my interpretation of “the lost decade,” I would like to first explain why I believe this possible outcome is likely to occur; and I am going to do so by using current global economic situations. In some parts of the world the idea of “the lost decade” is already reality. I would like to use America as an example, simply because it is the world’s preeminent economy.
Every day there are roughly 25,000 people worldwide that die from starvation, and roughly 13 million children in America alone who are considered “starving.” Unemployment rates are continually increasing with an estimated 12.5 million unemployed American’s in the year 2011. It is also estimated that 22 out of every 10,000 people in the U.S. are homeless, and roughly 20% of American’s 25 and older are without a high school diploma. The public education system in America continues to get weaker, and although there have been attempts by the government to change this (such as Bush’s No Child Law), it has been seemingly unsuccessful. The rich, who can afford to send their children to private schooling, get a good education; as the rich continue to become richer and the poor are continuing to get poorer. This all has been happening for a long time now with no signs of improvement.
New Orleans, and other cities in America are already in a state of decay, basically rotting away, with no sign of recovery. By 2022 a mere 10 years from now, America as a nation, will begin to regress into a process referred to as “the lost decade.” However, not only America will suffer, this will begin to happen everywhere in the world. Economic interdependence explains the world’s reliance on the American economy, if the world’s preeminent economy suddenly topples, other economies will topple with it, causing massive global economic depression. This process will however take longer than 10 years to achieve, and there are in my opinion, other situations that could also occur. China or possibly India’s economy may slowly surpass that of America, causing a gradual shift of economic interdependence in which countries become more reliant on the economy of China or India, rather that of America. This will be the turning point in the world, where America is no longer considered number one, and will most likely result in some sort of a global struggle for power ( a.k.a World War 3).
Both of the possible outcomes that I’ve provided will eventually lead to the beginning of “the lost decade,” which will result in the end of the human society as we know it. Funding for necessary expenses such as education, healthcare, and advances in technology will become non-existent. The human race will consume all of the worlds natural resources, and there will be no alternate source of energy found, due to the lack of technology to create new sources. Global warming will cause more and more natural disasters, decay will set in, as cities begin to fall apart without the resources to repair the damage. There will be widespread discontent that will span across the population, as crime rates increase, and governments begin to fall apart. Money will loose it’s monetary value, and people will become less and less concerned with upgrading their i-phone, and more concerned with finding food and water. Disease will spread and there will be no available medical care for the sick. People will die of starvation, sickness, and murder. The survivors of “the lost decade” will eventually return to a primitive state. However, there will be no future improvements for this primitive human being. There will be no more industrial revolution’s or advances in technology because there will be no available resources in order to do so. This will be the end of civilization.
Now that I let my imagination get carried away, I do realize that there is also positive outcomes that could occur. If you watched Bryan Alexander’s lecture you would recognize this, although his lecture is mostly dealing with the future of education, not the human race. However, the negative outcome seems to be more realistic based on world history and current events. This blog post was not intended to scare anyone, maybe just open your eyes to the possibility that this could happen. Who knows, maybe someone will read this and become the person, or inspire the people, who will change the course of history resulting in a more positive outcome? Thank you for reading.