I’m going to go ahead and coin the name for the coming crisis the Pan-Depression short for Pandemic Depression. It’s coming and it’s going to be ugly. #pandepression
Capitalism is eating itself and the result isn’t the creation of a giant uniform middle class. The middle class is what capitalism is feeding on.
The rich are sheltering in place. They are not worried about surviving this – though they will certainly lose the most in an absolute sense. These are billionaires.
The wealthy are scrambling to save their wealth – they are maneuvering for bailouts, looking for safe-havens, and cutting expenses – mostly this means cutting workers and worker benefits.
The top of the middle-class who thought they were wealthy are quickly heading towards losing it all. They are not going to get bailouts and they are not going to be collecting rents. They are not going to be getting paychecks but they will still have to cover their bills. They are freaking the fuck out. They are wondering when their wealthy and rich friends with power are going to look out for them. They are quickly learning that they are not as important as they thought.
The middle of the middle class is getting a bit of a lifeline – they think they will get three months of paychecks while unemployed, they think they will get a break on rents, they think they will get a stimulus check. They think they can make it for a couple of months and then this should all be over.
The bottom of the middle class has lost their jobs, they are unable to apply for unemployment, they don’t know how they will pay rent, they are hoping that they are not forgotten by their government. They no longer have health care (if they ever did) and they are torn between looking for work, hustling, or just saying fuck it.
The working poor are ready to stop paying rent, stop paying bills, stop paying anything. Their work is gone, they don’t have enough money to last the month, they fully expect to get sick, they don’t have health insurance and they will just have to deal with it as they always have. Many of them hope that this will create an opportunity for them to improve their place in life.
The poor are wandering the streets, looking for easy shit to steal, making soup from whatever the fuck they have. It’s easier for them – there are more hand-outs being given, more people looking out for them, more helping hands being offered. Like the homeless guys who moved into Occupy camps – they are seeing some benefit from this.
So, what’s going to happen when the shit ‘really’ hits the fan? Here it is – laid out for you.
The rich will be fine. The most mercenary and heartless of the wealthy will be fine. The other half will realize they are fucked – along with nearly all of the upper middle class – these are the people that will be killing themselves as they move progressively faster down the ladder towards the great equalizing station – the working poor. The middle and bottom of the middle class will also fall – but the drop isn’t as far or as painful and it is my opinion that many of them will manage to hold on – they are essential – grocery store workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, small farmers, civil servants – but the majority of the population are heading straight to the working poor and a large number of them will fall to the actual poor. You will have former millionaires living in tents next to former (and still) homeless. Bankers next to bartenders. People in America and Europe are about to learn (in the next six months) that what actually divides you isn’t your intelligence, your skill, or your hard work – it’s the luck of being born where you were and to who your parents were. That’s it.
There will only be two classes that survive – we can call them the haves and the have nots. That is it.