In America, during the golden years of 1947 to 1974, there was intense demand for human labor—practically a decent paying job for anyone who wanted to work. The universe wanted the American middle class to win.
Since 1974, in America, only corporations and the cognitive elite have done well. Yes, there was a mirage of middle class well-being during the Internet bubble, but it left behind dry sand.
There has been, since 1974, growth in many foreign countries, but nothing reaching the lucrative promise of unlimited human demand as in America’s golden age. In contrast, today, worldwide human demand can be classified as tepid and commodity-like. Even six years of zero interest rate financial policy has not restored consumer, and by inheritance human, demand.
Human demand is a proxy for middle class demand. Declines in the middle class are declines in demand for human labor, or in short, for humans. A sustained, long-term decline in the middle class is an indicator of a waning of the Human Age.
A passing of the Human Age doesn’t mean zero demand for humans. It means the demand for humans has peaked out in the evolutionary track. The future is not beckoning for 20 billion people, but rather something less, and greater.
Today, we’ve reached a highly civilized form of evolution, with only a fraction of population decrease coming through warfare or starvation. Instead, decrease comes through lack of jobs and wage stagnation, which make family formation difficult. The net effect: a materialistic, often childless, generation, leading to population decline among an embarrassment of purchases. It’s a cushy way to shrink down.
Across the middle class, the reaction is frustration. There is a desire to elect a president to fix everything, to revitalize the middle class. But it cannot be revitalized, except in ephemeral snatches of unsustainable government policy. The world economy is heavily indebted and intricately intertwined, with assets going up and down in tandem, but with the gains privatized and the losses socialized. Indeed, this disparity is the digital signature of that wild stallion, natural selection. And no leader in the world, not even the shiniest mind of Harvard, can bridle this Gordian Horse, or re-create for 20 billion people the bygone prosperity of post-war America.
A force more powerful than the president is shrinking the overall population, and has necessarily started with the working class: the middle class. The best symbol for this force is Wall Street, an amalgam of the cognitive elite, who we can generally describe as those who own and run corporations, often just on paper.
The cognitive elite have succeeded in transferring the equity of the middle class into their private accounts. This has been performed in legal, government-backed transactions. If you are not among the cognitive elite, you and your children are being left behind.
Natural selection is using Wall Street and the cognitive elite to speed up the closing of the Human Age. For delivering this service to natural selection, Wall Street and the cognitive elite have prospered immensely during the Great Recession, while the middle class, forever looking for a president to restore decades gone by, has faded.
Wall Street is giving natural selection what she wants: artificial intelligence and fewer humans. Ironically, the cognitive elite are on track to replace themselves; however the specific elite who win the race—and provide our ultimate transformation—will be so richly rewarded that the incentive is much higher than protecting status quo humanity. Would you risk the human race to get the hottest girl on the planet? Plenty of the fittest will…
Look, there’s no reason for anger or bitterness toward Wall Street, the cognitive elite, or the president. These are simply a few spots of flesh and blood that happen to occupy the cutting edge of where we—humanity—are going. It has been a wild ride since our ascension from ape cannibalism in jungles, to the tranquil egalitarianism of canned food, TVs and swimming pools of 1947 to 1974. Now, the American government is likely to unconsciously create policy favoring natural selection by going fast past the middle class, pushing us into our next, smaller chapter, casting humanity’s future into the hands of Wall Street and the cognitive elite.