“Lower your expectations” is the unspoken response of the progressives (known as “woke”) as America faces a crisis of inflation, famine, shortages and labor shortages not seen in decades. The current conjuncture threatens to reach a new level of drama as Black Friday and Christmas shopping approaches.
The crisis is a perfect storm fueled by the pandemic disruptions to supply chains and the way we work, as well as the socially diluting effect of the rivers of cash doled out by the federal government along with the global cargo ship crisis, which has been going on for months and continues to worsen as ports and warehouses become overcrowded.
How bad is the situation?
There are widespread shortages and uncertainty in supply chains, from industrial machinery and replacement parts to toys, books and food storage materials, adding to acute understaffing in sectors such as fast food and hospital strikes.
To ground it in one example, Jeffrey Tucker recounts the case of a wine merchant who, like millions of retailers across America, faces a severe staffing crisis. He has had an “employee wanted” sign up for months, but he can’t keep his workers. They leave suddenly and don’t come back. There are no new ones to hire. If someone comes in, they have implausible salary demands and then fail the background check.
The story is repeated by the millions across the country: prices go up, shelves empty, inventories accumulate, personnel leave and the Biden administration accumulates pretexts, sheltered by the support of the industrialized press and the woke ecosystem, which sees in the crisis an opportunity to consolidate its power over American society.
This vision, conveyed more or less subtly by both activists and left-wing politicians, was condensed in a polemic article published on October 18 by one of the great mouthpieces of American progressivism, the Washington Post, under the title “Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes. Try to lower expectations.”
In the article, Micheline Maynard argues that “it’s time for new expectations that are more realistic” and “consciously lower our expectations,” as well as recalling previous times of shortages, such as “gasoline in the 1970s, food rationing in the 1940s and housing in the 1920s…Now it’s our turn to make adjustments.”
Beyond the argument itself, Micheline’s article reflects a barely disguised joy in “punishing” American consumers for their habits. Consumers, she says, have been “coddled,” “pampered” and “trained to be nightmares,” but now it’s their time to be punished.
And this is not an isolated event.
The strategy of lowering Americans’ standard of living and asking them to “lower their expectations” is not new either. It has been around for decades. It is expressed in Bernie Sanders’ condemnation of the variety in the supply of deodorant and in the political positioning that accompanied the Green New Deal — an initiative promoted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and backed by the radical wing of the Democratic Party, which in its initial explanations proposed the elimination of airplanes and “cow flatulence” as an ideal.
On that occasion, in the face of the media scandal, Alexandria disavowed the documents of her own press office regarding the Green New Deal, but it is evident that these contained the real intention of the proposal, an approach that has already become a common theme in the ranks of progressivism:
The BBC recommends cutting down on air travel and Greta Thunberg calls to stop eating meat, because otherwise, “we’re screwed.” In fact, when they are sincere, they become even clearer: we must reduce the size of the economy and declare war on growth. A blander, poorer, more dependent life. That is what they propose.
“Lower your expectations” the woke plan to manage decline
With its different nuances, the American left increasingly resembles the socialists (both Conservative and Labor) who ruled England from the end of World War II until the 1970s, and who seemed bent on managing the decline of that nation by regulating everything from the government, until Margaret Thatcher came along and the party ended.
Now, at first glance, it might seem a contradiction in terms: why would it be in a politician’s interest for his country to become poorer? However, history teaches us that these scarcity scenarios (whether caused by war, government incompetence or external factors such as a pandemic) are a very useful tool for those who control the state.
Why? Because if they manage to convince people that scarcity, insecurity and poverty is the new normal, then they can at the same time afford to be more interventionist and more incompetent.
More interventionist because the crisis itself gives them the pretext to increase regulation “for the good of the people”; and more incompetent, because the crisis becomes the perfect pretext to justify the failure of those government interventions.
This is useful to the wokes because their objective is the redesign of American society, making it poorer and above all more dependent on the State, which they control and which will therefore have more influence to encourage (force) people to modify their ideas, behavior, and decisions based on the guidelines of their new masters.
Beware of the systematic impoverishment of America is not a mere effect of the conjuncture, but an inevitable and systematic consequence of the leftist policies that the Democratic Party and President Biden have assumed as their own.
As early as the 2020 election campaign, the Wall Street Journal editorial board warned that, if fully implemented, the Biden agenda “will reduce …real GDP per capita by more than 8 %,” which by 2030 would translate into a decline of 4.9 million workers, $2.6 (trillion) billion in GDP and $6,500 in average annual household income. “Lower your expectations,” indeed.
So when the left says, “Lower your expectations,” what they mean is “give up the welfare you have built as free people and resign yourselves to the poverty and dependency of the new world” dominated by the tyranny woke.
Some advice. Don’t lower your expectations. Do not give in. If you do, the future will be a perpetual crisis, to the benefit of tyranny.