Why 2020 Will Be a Horrible Year – So we’ve already told you why we think 2020 will be a great year, and now we are going to give you the bad news. While many people tell us the world is becoming a safer place to be, you don’t have to look far to find doomsday scenarios which tell us the human race is on the brink of extinction.
Moreover, if our natural environment doesn’t collapse on us, some experts tell us inequality is only going to get worse and we can probably look forward to another economic crash down the line. It’s these rather depressing news stories that can make scrolling through Facebook a dire experience. When it comes to wealth inequality it just looks like things are going to get worse.
From what we can see, this trend isn’t going to reverse anytime soon. One report tells us that after the 2008 financial crash this trend of widening wealth distribution went into full effect and it has been getting worse. That same report estimated that by 2030 the world’s one percent will have 64 percent of global wealth. Some people have said we are at a tipping point in terms of inequality.
2020 is of course just a stepping stone towards this alleged tipping point, but we might ask if the distribution of wealth is going to widen very quickly in the next few years. You’ve all heard of jobs being automated and people being put out of work. U. S Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has even made this one of his big issues, what he says will be mass unemployment coming to a country near you very soon.
If you keep up with new technologies you’ll know that artificial intelligence is improving all the time. How long will it be until drivers are out of work, or we no longer talk to humans on switch boards, or accountants are replaced with accounting robots? If you listen to the people who own the technology they will tell you that the displaced will just be employed in better jobs, but not everyone believes this will happen.
The good news is that some experts in the USA at least tell us that unemployment there will not change much in the coming year, but it will rise from 3. 6 percent to 3.7 percent. This was a recent forecast announced by the Federal Open Market Committee. It also said that the GDP growth in the USA in 2020 will reduce and then rise again in 2021.
If that’s not bad news to you, in 2019 the New York Times wrote that the USA could face recession in 2020. It said the trade war hasn’t helped matters, and so we might hold on to our hats come next year. The same article said Europe could also find itself in a mess. This is one paragraph from that story, “The European economy, which has muddled along for years with low growth, may be tumbling into a recession, and if Britain crashes out of the European Union with no exit deal on Oct. 31, Europe could face still deeper challenges”.
The Guardian said the same thing, stating that the economic experts veering to the side of pessimism are saying there will be a global crash next year. The conclusion to that article sounded very ominous. It said, “London-based forecasters Fathom Consulting have penciled in a global bust for 2020. Nouriel Roubini, who can claim to be one of the few economists to forecast the last crash,also nominates 2020. That’s not much time to prepare”.
As for war, well, the world could be said to be less war-torn than it was in the past,but globally thousands of people are still dying in wars. The good news is that come 2020 the USA might pull its troops out of Afghanistan, but that’snot for certain in the least.
What we can definitely say is that in 2020 a lot of fighting will still be going on,and if you believe an article published in The Nation in 2019 new wars might be around the corner. Iran was mentioned as a foe to the USA, but the article also said this, “After years of slogging it out with guerrillas and jihadists across the Greater Middle East, the US military is increasingly keen on preparing to combat ‘peer’ competitors China and Russia”.
If you look at the “National Defense Strategy of the United States of America” you’ll see that indeed the U. S. is prepping its military to go against China’s quickly modernizing military. The question everyone is asking is will the trade war spin out of control?We might see in 2020. A lot of people are saying 2020 is going to be a volatile year.
Forbes wrote this year, “We are vulnerable, and we’ll be lucky to get through the 2020s without major damage”. The three main factors for this volatility according to that article was the China-USA trade war, a technology cold war between those nations, and tensions with Iran. A technology trade war might not sound like such a bad thing, but that’s what the Cold War with the USSR was and that wasn’t exactly a small deal.
That article also turned to Europe, saying the continent was in a “shambles”, stating that economies were slowing down and a Europe-wide recession was on its way. This article also had an ominous conclusion. The writer said, “I expect 2020 to be one of the most volatile market years of my lifetime”.
As for carbon emissions, it seems 2020 might be a peak year but the hopefuls believe we can turn this around in the years after that. Still, it seems 2020 won’t exactly be a good year. Then there are the people that tell us we are doomed. Listen to this headline published in the LA Times in 2019, “Climate change is already here. 2020 could be your last chance to stop an apocalypse”.
The article also contained this rather depressing fact, “Last year saw a global acceleration of emissions, as total carbon levels in the atmosphere reached 414. 8 parts per million in May, the highest recorded in 3 million years. The richer human society becomes, it seems, the more we poison the world”. In fact, looking at data, emissions grew just about everywhere in 2018 with Europe being the only place to see a decrease according to the International Energy Agency.
It remains to be seen how 2019 turns out because it’s not over yet. Then we have countries that have seemingly split in two. In the UK, it seems the country is split in half when it comes to Brexit. If Brexit does fully take shape there are going to be a lot of upset people. It seems the animus for the other side, driven by social media, is at all time high levels.
The same goes for the USA, the divide between the right and left is stark. Can we come together to build a better world? The novelist Jonathan Franzen wrote a controversial piece in The New Yorker this year in which he said the climate apocalypse was unavoidable. This became very controversial.
Later he said in an interview that one of the reasons we can’t solve modern problems is because of our online rage. After the U. S election and a possible Brexit, what might happen?Will that rage dissipate? 2020 will be a telling year. Everyone is an expert and everyone knows they are right, online at least, and we might hope that we might work together come 2020. It’s unlikely this is going to happen.
2020 might be when the rage really starts firing up. Especially if economic woes lie ahead. To change the topic entirely, we’ll now talk about technology. In our positive show about 2020 we said a lot of good things about technological advances, such as how they will improve healthcare drastically. Nonetheless, one of the biggest fears is that the more connected we are and the more technology advances we will lose our privacy.
As we are writing this The Guardian newspaper has a headline that tells us, “’We are hurtling towards a surveillance state”. Is Big Brother on the way? Are we running into the arms of this Orwellian nightmare willingly, uncaring that soon we might be watched over all the time? Not only has facial recognition technology showed us that it can be biased against minorities, but do we really want the government scanning our faces wherever we go?
Do we not deserve some privacy, and while such technology might cut down on crime, is it worth it for losing our freedom. Let’s face it, the government has done things in the past not in our interests, or should we say not in the interests of everyone. Maybe you feel like protesting, but you want to remain anonymous.
Perhaps you feel you are protesting for an ethical cause, but the government might not see it that way. Will facial recognition prevent people from speaking up? Then there’s the possibility of us being watched all the time and then given points. We become like rats in a Skinner Maze, always aware that we are being looked over.
It’s unlikely scoring citizens on their behavior will become a thing in most countries,but it’s happening in China. In the U. S. this year San Francisco said police would not be able to use such invasive facial recognition tech because it didn’t want people to feel like they were living in a police state, but this technology no doubt is going to roll out more in 2020.
In one case in the UK when facial recognition tech was used by police one woman was spotted ten times and brought in for questioning. It turned out she wasn’t the person police wanted. In China if you are caught in the net it could be bad, and it’s not that hard to get on the wrong side of the government.
One American critic said this about China and its surveillance tech, “They’ve created digital prisons using facial recognition technology. You can’t use your credit card, you can’t get a taxi, you can’t get a bus, your mobile phone stops working”. He did then say, though, “But that’s China. We’re not China”.
Still, it will be interesting to see what happens in 2020. In some countries in Europe the tech is already in use, but the problem is the citizens didn’t get a say in it and are probably unaware it’s being used. According to CNBC, China is right now busy exporting a lot of its surveillance software.
If all this depresses people that’s perhaps why they might abuse prescription drugs. We all know about the USA’s opioid crisis, and we know some people require prescription drugs to get them off opioids. The website Statistic a tells us that 1.7 billion dollars was spent on prescription drug spending for substance use disorder treatments in 2019 in the USA alone, but it’s estimated that will go up to 1.8 billion in 2020.
The opioid crisis is by no means over, and while some presidential candidates have ideas as to how to solve it, that isn’t going to happen in 2020 for sure. As for the homeless, in the UK, its reported that the problem is worse than it has been in a long time. The Guardian said this in October, “A record number of homeless people died last year,in the biggest increase in deaths since reporting began, amid warnings fatalities are likely to be even higher in 2019”.
Will it get any better in 2020? The good news is that the government will be investing in a homelessness plan but the bad news is that change will likely not happen in 2020. We can also look at LA in the USA, where it was reported earlier this year that homelessness is on the rise. Is there any end in sight? It doesn’t seem so, and things will likely get worse in 2020.
The LA mayor said this, “These results remind us of a difficult truth: skyrocketing rents statewide and federal disinvestment in affordable housing, combined with an epidemic of untreated trauma and mental illness, is pushing people into homelessness faster than they can be lifted out”. The future looks grim in 2020 for those at the bottom of the pile, but perhaps 2020 will be the breaking point and in 2021 we will have solved a lot of our problems. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.