January 2022 Summary and Cautious Optimism for February

Hindsight is 2020. So goes the well-known phrase. 

The post- game breakdown is much closer to perfect than flawed pre- game discussions.

Predicting the future is a tall order.

Yet commentators, economists, political scientists, and ‘experts’ alike make a living offering conjectures about the future.

Many throw around slogans and platitudes about the economy, politics and the world in general.
Some are more accurate than others, yet no one can connect all the dots.

So we take in the available information, make an attempt at turning it into a forecast of sorts, and then go about our lives.

When people don’t want to learn about how the economy really works, or don’t want to become informed about future threats to domestic stability, it’s because they find it either stressful or boring.

At a glance, it is stressful and boring.

But upon closer inspection, one finds that these issues affect every aspect of every person’s life.

From laws which change parameters for daily life to skyrocketing costs of living. From wars to mass migrations- economies, political organizations and unelected bureaucracies all have a role to play.

When looked at from this unconventional point of view it all becomes very interesting. It’s like watching a movie but it’s much more exciting, and most importantly… it’s real!

The purpose of these articles is to offer insight into critical events unfolding rapidly in a fast- paced world.

Humans are wired biologically for survival, therefore we’ve always wanted to know about threats before they came. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here today.

Yet that’s where the excitement is. It’s in the great, ever- threatening unknown.

But looking past the fear, There’s a wonder in the unknown which can be observed and savored.

Who is forcing anyone to be stressed and depressed when it comes to current events? Well, no one is.

More importantly, it’s one’s moral duty as a citizen (of any country, but especially here in America) to be informed and to stay clear- minded and optimistic, even while facing an increasingly dire situation (which America is facing).

It’s not all red or blue, good or bad, night and day. Watching and interpreting events as they unfold is like reading an epic story in a big book or listening to a symphony. There are many movements and moments, all tied together in one awe inspiring work. That’s life.

Understanding how world events and events in America tie together is the main mission of this weekly article- the ‘Sign Of The Times Brief’.

You can read the previous articles from January by clicking on the titles below:

Week 1- Germany’s energy crisis and U.S. fuel costs skyrocketing

Week 2- Rising Food Prices- Here’s Why

Week 3- The Stock Market Takes A Tumble

Here’s the upside and downside I see going forward, and why I’m cautiously optimistic going into February:

Inflation and hobbled supply chains are becoming one of the many ‘new normals’ since 2020.

Will the snags in the transport of goods and the devaluation of the US dollar become less menacing?

I doubt it.

Are these problems an immediate threat to your ability to get groceries and other staples?

Probably not (depending on where you live)- Not just yet. But if you’ve noticed empty shelves, as many people have, you’re seeing the early stages of the weakening efficiency of the U.S. supply chain.

Is the value of your money going to disappear this year?

Probably not. But these ongoing issues are signs of cracks in the hull of the massive ‘ship’ (for lack of a better comparison) which is the U.S. economic machine (still the number one economy in the world, followed closely by China). It will become clear in the coming months as these issues loom larger and as they affect more people where it hurts most- their wallets.

Here’s why I’m optimistic-

The two issues briefly referenced above (and in greater detail in my previous articles this month) are here to stay. However, we still have access to a remarkable amount of goods and services here in America, and we have an incredibly large list of things to be grateful for.

If you’re aware of the storm clouds on the horizon when it comes to inflation and supply chain constraints, you have time to research, find and purchase the things which may not be available in years to come.

Additionally, the media has gotten excited once again claiming that the Russia- Ukraine situation will most certainly mushroom into a larger war which will drag the U.S. into the fray, and could “lead to WWIII”. This could not be farther from the truth. The U.S. is sending weapons into Ukraine and a small quantity of soldiers into Eastern Europe, but a deeper investigation into the geopolitical mechanics of this imminent conflict between Russia and Ukraine shows that the U.S. has no intention of going to war with Russia- EVEN AFTER Russia invades Ukraine.

So that’s a positive- no WWIII, for now.

Until next week

Andrew