Distrust; It’s the way of the world now. January 24, 2017Posted by shaferfinancial in Uncategorized.
My previous post on designers of the 401K that now regret them is a primer into what is going through the minds of many people today. The recent election surprised many [myself included], but it is really a continuation of what I have noted is the unconscious emotions being manifested by Americans.
The overriding emotion now is distrust of the ideas that are championed by people in power. These feelings have been a long time coming, mostly hidden from sight, but increasingly breaking to the surface in dramatic fashion. Why are we seeing this now?
Since WWII we have seen a mostly stable society where the elites espoused mostly believable versions of our society. Sure, you had an outbreak in the 1960s of doubt coming from society due to Vietnam and Civil Rights, but our politicians still held together society with their views and policies [whether from the right or the left]. Any discontent was funneled into the left/right argument with each side appearing to have the answers to its adherents.
But something funny started happening about a decade or so ago. More and more people began to doubt what the elites were telling them. The accepted ideas of society started to be not only questioned, but to be completely rejected. Our ideas of work, for example, were being rejected with more and more people searching for alternative types of arrangements. Families were being reconstituted. Borders were being ignored. Scientist questioned by laymen.
Funny, talking to other parents on my son’s soccer parents I literally couldn’t figure out who were the biological parents, who was with who, what work the parents did, and even whose house the soccer player was sleeping at. Something that would have been unheard of a generation ago when you knew exactly who the parents were, where they lived, what they did for a living, etc. All the old markers of society now seem to be lost.
All that is obvious and many people have noted it. But what is just coming into view is that by untethering us from the old markers, we are free to question everything. And with that questioning comes the understanding that we are being lied to on a regular basis by the folks in charge. When someone in charge says things are getting better for the country and things are getting worse for you, what do you think happens? When someone pledges “for better or worse” and then that isn’t true what do you think happens? When you are told that if you do your job well, give the company your all, you will be rewarded and it doesn’t happen, what then do you trust? When the school system tells you they will educate your child, help your child succeed in our world, and it doesn’t happen, what then?
Teachers complain that parents don’t discipline their kids. Physicians complain that people don’t behave as they should to have good health. Financial advisors complain because people don’t save like they should or sell their mutual funds when they need the money. These folks don’t trust their customers and their customers don’t really trust their advise because they see adverse results all the time.
The price of oil goes up because oil is now dear, then it goes down because there is plenty of it. How we are suppose to eat for good health changes all the time. Educatiopn fads change the curriculum, but the kids don’t respond any differently. Homework is piled on, yet the kids test scores are going down [and what are they doing all day in school?]. All people are supposed to be treated equally, but we don’t.
I could go on and on, but the end result is we now live in a mistrustful society. Spend a few minutes on the internet and you realize this. Nobody trusts anymore; not the politicians, the elites, the school systems, the financial industry, each other. Look at gun sales for an example.
Its hard for me to point this out. But the truth is needed to go forward.