by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
Since superfluous demand was the core driver of most consumer spending, and that demand is in free-fall, what’s the upside of re-opening?
The mainstream view assumes everyone will be gripped by an absolutely rabid desire to return to their pre-pandemic frenzy of borrowing and spending and consuming, the more the better. While the urge to believe the Titanic scraping the iceberg will have no consequence and the collision was nothing but a spot of bother is compelling (so party on!), many people will reassess their pre-pandemic lives and ask: do I really want to go back to circling the pavement in a dead end?
Being away from the crazy-busy churn invites reassessment, especially for small business owners who are facing the near-certainty of uncertain sales and still-high fixed costs.
When we’re embedded in the crazy-busy churn, we’re only trying to get through the day. Once we’re removed from the pressure-cooker of running the business, we start wondering: is this craziness what I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing? For what gain? Do I really love my business and my customers/clients, or am I just telling myself that I love my business and my customers/clients as duct tape to keep the whole contraption from flying apart?