Sunday, October 25, 2009

Four Scenarios for Whatcom County's Future

I have sent a local paper an article I have written describing four scenarios that will cover economic growth for the next 1 - 4 years in Whatcom County and our country.  If it is not published, I will publish it on  Essentially, I make the argument that current attempts at stimulus funding do not address collapsing employment and home value trends. The power of such trends leave open the possibility of large scale economic collapse and social destruction of wealth, assets, families, homes. My four scenarios are:

(1) Re-energized Growth
(2) Hope and Resilience
(3) The Growing Dark and Despair
(4) Anarchy and Armageddon

Obviously, I support scenario (1) which would involve aggressive recruitment of corporate business to Whatcom County, large scale funding of start-ups with local capital and/or public-private enterprise funding, and aggressive local and state level efforts to protect middle class assets and families.  The tragedy of an economic collapse is that wealth and assets that needed years to develop can vaporize in short periods of time. Long time periods are often required to rebuild this wealth. The social costs incurred during periods of wealth destruction' are often severe (divorce, abuse, homelessness, crime, narcotics trafficking, black markets, etc.). Recovery from such despair can be problematic and long-term, especially for core urban areas.

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