Recovery? No so fast!

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

We are already hearing about economic and social “recovery” and we’ll probably keep on hearing about it until we settle into a comfortable routine.

But the economy will never “recover”. Not really. Things will change into something new, but they will never return to what they were pre-C19.

Entire sectors of the economy are gone.

In aviation, Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs. Boeing is cutting 12,000 jobs. Experts are predicting a return to normal passenger demand in 2023.

Malls are finished.

Sears and JC Penny is gone. Mall staples like Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, and Tuesday Morning…

All told, about 30 million people are now unemployed. For many of them, their old jobs will never come back.

Photo by William Andrew

Customer facing jobs in retail, hospitality and food service will likely not return, at least nowhere near the levels they were before the COVID-19 crisis. The labor market is going to look very different in the future than it has in the past.

Before the shutdowns robots were already displacing fast food workers and waitstaff, and this trend will likely accelerate. Low paid, low skill jobs are being eliminated throughout the economy.

So, what kinds of jobs are going to grow as the economy moves forward? What skills will be in demand?

We must think very differently about jobs and…

The new challenge is Downward Nobility.

Back in the 1990’s there was a lot of talk about shifting from an industrial economy to a service economy. Sometimes you would also hear of an emerging knowledge economy.

It was clear that the industrial economy that had created so much wealth was on its deathbed, but few people could imagine what life would be like without the wealth it created. No one never stopped to think whether service or knowledge economies match the wealth generated by a manufacturing economy making things that people could use in their daily lives.

Even today we think that jobs automatically generate give…

At least, not anytime soon.

Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

The media is in a dither about the COVID vaccine. There are tons of stories about when the vaccine will arrive, who will be the first to receive it and how soon everything will return to normal.

It’s being presented like a golden bullet that will take the world back to the normal of building a post-industrial economy out of the ashes of the 2008 Great Recession.

It’s never a good idea to be the first to undergo new medical breakthroughs. Even when all the time-consuming FDA protocols for safety and efficacy are followed adverse effects still sometimes occur.


We’ve all been feeling it. The world is on the verge of dramatic change.

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

It’ s not just a new Democratic president or the COVID pandemic and lockdowns. It’s a sense that 2021 will be unlike anything in the past. Instead of the gradual change that history usually takes there seems to be a sense of an imminent break with the past.

It’s hard to say exactly what will happen or how things will be different. The future has a way of being opaque until it happens, then in retrospect it seems as if events were so logical, so linear that they should have been obvious. But that’s not the case. …

The 2008 Great Recession was really the last gasp of the industrial revolution.

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Scholars and Artificial Intelligence researchers talk about new iterations of the Industrial Revolution — IR 3 and IR4 — but those advances in cyber technology will never create jobs for millions of people descended from hard-working laborers who spent their working lives on assembly lines, steel and lumber mills and the transportation industry.

We are leaving that old economy behind, but we do not have a new economy to take its place. However, with a little imagination we can get a general idea of what the economy of the near future will look like.

The biggest driver of change in…

On the first Friday of every month the Bureau of labor Statistics releases a report called The Employment Situation. It contains the results of 60,000 random phone calls to people across the United States concerning how much they have worked and earned in the preceding two weeks.

The BLS has been releasing reports like this for over a century. During that time many basic things about the way Americans have worked have changed. …

September 24, 2020

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

Does the Debt Matter?

Massive debt is surely a real problem. But rather than a sudden, Greek-style economic implosion, in the United States, it likely poses the threat of a gradual and incremental weakening of economic potential.

Jobless claims: Another 870,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

At 870,000, Thursday’s figure represented the fourth consecutive week that new jobless claims came in below the psychologically important 1 million level, but was still high on a historical basis.

Harley deepens restructuring with India exit

Harley has been scrambling for years to grow sales beyond baby boomers in the United States and has not posted retail sales growth there in the past 14 quarters.

California to ban all new gas-powered cars by 2035 under order by Gov. Gavin Newsom

The executive order will not prevent Californians from…

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

We are entering into a perilous election that might have dramatic and long-lasting results for our country.

Irresponsible comments about the integrity of the upcoming election are being made by influential spokespeople of both parties. Nancy Pelosi, President Trump and their underlings are making statements about each other’s intent to “steal the election”.

This kind of talk incites extremists of both parties to reject the results of the upcoming election no matter who wins. It shows how far the major parties are willing to go to retain or gain political power.

Something like this happened before.

Undermining the legitimacy of an election sets the stage for a political calamity this country has not seen since the 1850’s. …

Vic Napier

Vic Napier loves living in historic and beautiful Tucson Arizona teaching Business, Psychology and Statistics. Visit his blog at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store