The Future of America

One of the things I have taught myself to do over the years was to think in different time frames. This includes very long geological epochs and astronomical eons.

Maybe it was an interest in dinosaurs and astronomy as a kid, but historical time frames was a concept I was familiar with. Perhaps that was the basis of this week’s time frame discussion of Trading vs Investing. Understanding the very  l o n g  term is an important concept, in terms of getting what the long cycles can look like as well as crowd psychology.

These days, the crowd is suffering from a malaise. They are fearful of losing their jobs, not interested in buying homes, deeply concerned about the future. Following a Great Recession, this is to be expected. So too is the rise of the End of Worlders and the Zombie Bears. These folks are best ignored, as they are money losers who can damage your outlook.

I bring all of this up, because I spent this weekend looking at new start ups. I had lunches and dinners with young entrepreneurs and techies, and their angel funders. (Josh describes all of the start ups here). The ideas, the people, the energy, the competencies are just astounding. It is impossible to be long term negative when you see what is coming down the pipe.

If you want to understand the future of America, if you want to grasp why we are not doomed, then you MUST spend some time with entrepreneurs like these. The creativity, business acumen, technological insights are uplifting, energizing, empowering. We have a fertile crescent of ideas, not just in Silicon Valley but in pockets throughout the United States, like NY, Boston, Miami, San Diego, Denver, Atlanta. That is where economic growth will come from.

YOU CAN SEE THE FUTURE FROM HERE AND ITS NOT REMOTELY BLEAK.

The youth of America are full of ideas and energy. They don’t give a shit that their parents fucked everything up — they are going to steam roll over the old order and replace it with one of their own. They understand that future is not about the past. They know that they are a business of one, that no company or government is ever going to offer them economic security. They are their own team, brand and idea factory.

There are lots of things people are rightfully upset about — I lost my voice ranting last night about eejit economists who think the crisis was caused by “predatory borrowing” (it wasn’t). But that’s not what is going to be propelling us forward.

Don’t look to DC — the political debates there are laughable. Its like watching two different T-Rex debating who gets to eat the dead plant eater unaware of the the giant asteroid hurtling their way. Their  argument gets resolved the asteroid turning their summer into a nuclear winter.

The old order, the political hacks and hangers on, the whiners and recession porn stars and permabears — the dinosaurs — all have no idea WTF is coming their way. They are going to be mowed down like so many extinct species before them. They cannot see the asteroid hurtling their way from the deep black depths of space.

The Future of America is coming. It is not being driven by Goldman Sachs or the GOP or Obama. That’s old school, the old order, yesterday. It’s coming, and coming sooner than most people imagine.

When you get run over, don’t say you weren’t warned . . .

Sources:
Tales from Lindzonpalooza (TRB, April 14, 2012)

After a recession, the least rational rise (temporarily) to prominence. Ignore them. (Washington Post, June 4, 2011 )

This post originally appeared at The Big Picture and is posted with permission.

6 Responses to "The Future of America"

  1. Don Peacock   April 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Barry, did I miss something here? The future is always the next generation, what concerns me is what thier children are going to breathe, eat, and/or drink. Did any of your budding business-persons have anything to address this astroid?

  2. woopy   April 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

    No substance to your article, just unsubstantiated threats, and promises in the form of meager dinner conversations with startups. That being said it’s all about balance, and balance is exactly what the US is currently lacking.

  3. benleet   April 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    In 2009 23% of US households lost 25% of their income, about 8.75 million jobs were lost, maybe 5% of all jobs and maybe permanently, and the bottom 80% of society lost 40% of their life savings 2007-2009. In the present "recovery" 92% of gains has gone to 1% of households. It's nice, only nice, that some people are pursuing individual success, but the great majority are still scraping along, wondering if the overall society is stepping down to wage standards equivalent to China where $1.36 an hour is the norm. Haven't 44% of the unemployed been without work for over half the year? Didn't inflation outpace wage growth? Aren't another 5.5 million going to lose their homes to foreclosures as your articles point out? The employment rate has not increased in almost 3 years. A major political party voted to reduce government by half. I suppose to me, "bleak" means people don't give a damn about the big picture which has to do with their neighbors' well being and the state of the planet. Though I've listened to some electric car enthusiasts, and it's fun to listen to their outlook. It takes a society.

  4. Eric   April 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    benleet (and a few others here) have decimated Ritholtz's piece. Does Ritholtz have a response?

  5. Allan   April 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I agree with the others; a disappointing article with very little substance. America is structurally a very wasteful and inefficient society. A few electric cars and "green" homes is not going to change that.

    Even if you have a few enthusiastic entrepreneurs, their future is suspect if the market likes their product offering but cannot buy it!

  6. RAYHTHOMAS   July 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

    YOU MUST BE SOME KIND OF NUT, THE YOUNG CAN'T FIND THEIR ASS WITH BOTH HANDS. IT WAS THE YOUNG THAT VOTED FOR OBAMA AND LOOK WHAT HE HAS DONE TO THE COUNTRY. IT THE YOUNG WANTS TO HELP, GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASS AND VOTE OBAMA OUT OF OFFICE BEFORE HE DESTROYS AMERICA. WHERE ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT WANTS TO SAVE AMERICA?