Since the beginning of human history, going back more than 7,000 years, gold has always been the outstanding unit measure of wealth. But the circumstances of a fast-growing world population that has surpassed 7.5 billion is making water a far more precious commodity than the historical value measure of gold.
This revolution has resulted from a global water crisis, caused by rapid climate change, worsening pollution, overpopulation, poor agricultural practices and the increasing inadequate funding of environmental agencies.
A growing humanity cannot survive without clean water. Even though 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, under present global circumstances, the demand/supply balance is rapidly tilting against the supply factor.
What makes matters worse is fresh water supplies are declining. The process of purifying of seawater — desalination — requires enormous inputs of energy. Water purification is increasingly cost-ineffective as it uses an increasing amount of fossil fuel reserves to make it viable.
So far, in the United States, water availability is taken for granted, with no particular value placed by the world and highly civilized societies, as opposed to the rest of the world with the fastest-growing populations. This would include much of Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Far East Asia — countries that are facing the world’s largest population growth and severest water shortages.
The average American family uses more than 100 gal. of water each day, with about 70 percent of all usage taking place inside the home. However, per capita consumption varies greatly across the country. In many states in the upper Midwest and Northeast, per capita consumption is less than 75 gal./day. But in Western states such as Arizona, Utah and Nevada, per capita consumption often exceeds 150 gal./day.
Combined with the low rainfall west of the Mississippi River (two-thirds of the United States’ acreage), landscape irrigation is the reason this region has some of the highest per capita water use in the country. These also are areas where irrigation for agriculture (and even golf courses) is exceedingly higher. In some cases, the irrigation use is rapidly depleting the nation’s aquifers.
Some regions of the West also are experiencing skyrocketing usage for hydraulic oil fracking (fracturing). Such commercial and industrial usage of the last 25 to 30 years could help drive water shortages in arid regions.
Financial Crash Repeat?
It’s hard to believe it was only a decade ago that the United States almost faced financial Armageddon.
After a comeback from the all-time high inflation of the 1960s and 1970s, ending during the Reagan decade of the 1980s, this resulted in 15 years of relative calm. At that time, it seemed the first decade of the new century would become a safer place.
Unfortunately, a disastrous banking crash in 2008, starting with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, sent America’s financial solidity into a tailspin.
What made this incredible crash even worse was that Wall Street titans, led by some of the most prestigious and seemingly safest of U.S. commercial debt holdings, led the parade into bankruptcy. Because of the highest loan level ever to be backed by America’s commercial and singular mortgage debt, America’s most prestigious banks led the downward spiral, even though these largest financial lenders were expected to be the safest, in conjunction with their prestige.
While being misled by the assumption that such names as Bank of America, J.P. Morgan and Chase/Manhattan were considered safe, due to a history of security and financial lending success, no danger signs were made available. All this came to naught, as much of the lending generated in the 1990s and early 2000s turned out to be unsupportable.
In the crash that followed, which sounded the death knell of thousands of institutions, this almost turned into a 1930s-like financial disaster. It was only by the willingness of U.S. government debt creation, and a shrewd Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, that combined to stop the ultimate disaster from taking place.
It’s exceedingly likely that a repetition of the Great Recession will be prevented in the future, due to a rare combination of private, public and Federal Reserve Board institutions coming together again.
Tech Sector Surges to DJI Dominance
With Amazon.com becoming only the second tech-industry giant (Apple was the first) to top the $1 trillion annual revenue generator mark, the small handful of tech-sector majors topped 36 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in November as the stock market headed into 2018’s final months. With another handful of technology-oriented, near-trillion-dollar annual revenue generators waiting to break through in the years to come, this relatively recent sector is rapidly out-distancing the global conglomerates.
Along with other brilliant independents, such as Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, they have wrested stock market dominance from the multi-international companies such as General Electric, oil-producing Exxon, and telecommunications powerhouse ATT.
Amazon and Apple, which also hit the trillion-dollar milestone in 2018, symbolize the growing influence of tech companies on markets in general and the U.S. economy in particular.
What’s even more remarkable is that Bezos, the 54-year old innovator who started this incredible tech concept in his Seattle garage, is now the world’s richest man, surpassing Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, and investor extraordinaire Warren Buffett.
Amazon has expanded rapidly over its unique founding as an online bookstore as late as 1994. At the time, the Internet was just becoming a viable platform as the more conventional economic giants ruled the roost.
The blistering pace of Amazon’s spectacular growth is similar to that of Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and a number of other tech platforms. Some have reached amazing multibillion-dollar levels since the beginning of the current century.
While robotics was predicted to become the breakthrough economic approach, the leadership creativity of America’s genius has become the unique factor and the unexpected intellectual capability of its successful capacity in the most recent past.