Ten Years From Now: A Prediction
Personal entry follows.
So whatever passes for US foreign policy is a hot mess. China is now wedded to its little brother, Russia. Europe/the EU is pretty much dependent on the US for fuel, and the EU has handed over its Big Data in exchange (did Google and/or Meta broker deals with China yet?). China is scientifically surpassing the US, and is close to industrially outpacing US advancements. China has already been building more and developing more infrastructure than the US for what seems to be quite a few years, now. Taiwan is a flashpoint for armed conflict, not just another Cold War.
So, what will the future bring? I don't know shit about shit, but I have ideas.
We can expect an uptick in nationalism and patriotism in the US for at least the short term. There will be attempts to re-shore industry within the US, though those will be short-lived because the federal government won't be able to subsidize the industries coming back into the US. So maybe manufacturing will be brought into more European locations, and trade across the Atlantic will increase. Raw materials going to European manufacturing centers, finished products coming back to the US.
I also imagine that South America will be a laundering site for imports and exports. South American countries will skim a little bit here and there, with traffic going both ways. China still needs fuel, and US coal is cheap(er?) in comparison to Russian oil. There may be a lot of Chinese investment in the 'States, but it will be hidden by shell corporations and shadow companies that conceal where the money is really coming from.
The US is running out of things worth buying, beyond its real estate. It makes me think of the opening scene to "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," where the poison that Indy drank after handing over the ashes of Nirhachi is the sale of US intellectual property and technology to Chinese developers. Now the US is on the run, since it no longer has anything that China wants. Lax corporate oversight will allow micro-erosions of labor laws here and there, as China influences corporate and US policy. The US government will warn everyone via President Harris (or whomever the Republicans come up with for the next election) that they'll need to "tighten their belts" because "the rules have changed."
Corporations, without national ties and with the ability to broker their own international deals, will endure. They'll just sell out to Chinese investors and become "international holdings" with US offices. These companies "are truly global," it will be said, instead of admitting that they are no longer based in the US. Rich folks, at least in the short term, will either follow suit or will file for bankruptcy or something like that so they can eliminate their debts and still keep their status (and their real-estate) in the US.
Massive swathes of US citizens will be working, but since everything has become so expensive they're barely scraping by. Medical care will become prohibitively expensive, and there will effectively be no public healthcare option. "It's too expensive," the government will say. Socialized healthcare will be to blame for more European countries going bankrupt and needing Germany to bail them out.
This assumes that the US and China don't enter nuclear war and destroy everyone and everything, and assumes that more waves of the pandemic don't completely scuttle the ideas of the various nations and countries as we know them. A lot can happen in 10 years. Hell, I mean it was like 2.5 years ago when the majority of the US was like, "COVID who?" It's difficult to remember life prior to the pandemic, in some ways.
I wonder how I can ensure survival in a time like this. What will work? Keeping expenses low? Living off-grid? Growing my own food? Living in community? I think of various strategies, of all the things I want/need to learn. What will be the most-effective way to pull off a success?