The great unrest: How 2020 changed the economy in ways we can’t understand yet

This article explains.

National Guard soldiers pose for photographs on the East Front of U.S. Capitol, the day following the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach Donald Trump for the second consecutive time. This was in Washington DC.
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The earnings conference this week will feature Yum BrandsDavid Gibbs, CEO of the company, expressed the frustration many Americans feel as they attempt to understand the current state of the U.S. economic system.

This is one of the most challenging environments that we have ever had to work in. We’re dealing not only with the economic problems like inflation, lapping stimulus, and other such things. There are also social issues such as people returning to mobility following lockdown and working at home, or simply changing consumer habits.

Gibbs had previously stated three months ago that analysts were calling it a K-shaped recovery. This is where the high-income consumer does well while the lower-income householder struggles.

He said, “I don’t know if in my career I’ve seen more complicated environments to analyze consumer behaviour than this one right now,” in May. He cited inflation, rising wages, and the federal stimulus spending that’s still fueling the economy.

However, social issues such as the post-election crisis are also important.CovidReopening Russia’s war in UkraineGibbs stated that many factors are impacting consumer sentiment. This all makes it “a very complex environment to determine how to market to them and analyze it.”

Gibbs has it right. It is very odd. Are we heading into a recession?

The evidence is overwhelming in favor of the “yes” side.

Technology and finance both are important bracing for a downturnWith job losses and slowing hiring pleas for more efficiencyFrom workers. Nine months of stock market turmoil has seen the tech-rich Nasdaq drop more than 20% from November peak. Many high-flying stocks in tech have also fallen more 60%.

Consumers are spending less on non-essential purchases because of inflation like clothingSo they can afford food and gas. Two consecutive quarters of contraction in the U.S. economic have occurred.

San Francisco’s cable cars resume service following the COVID-19 shut down in San Francisco, California on September 21, 2020.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Downtown San FranciscoIt doesn’t feel quite as ghostly like February but it has huge stretches with empty storefronts, few commuters or record-high commercial real-estate vacancies. New York is similar, although Manhattan seems a lot less chaotic than it was before the pandemic.

Then again:

There aren’t enough people working in the hospitality and travel industries. Although travel is returning to near 2019 levels, it appears to be cooling. summer wanes. Because there isn’t enough aircraft pilots, delays can be common.

There is an acute shortage of qualified workers at restaurants. There are many reasons why restaurants face a shortage of workers. labor movementRetail workers are having their best year since decades. StarbucksWarehouse laborers and other workers AmazonUse your leverage to get concessions from your employers Reddit is full of conversations about people quitting low-paying jobsand to abuse employers to… Do Something Other, though It’s Not Always Exactly Clear What.

Low inflation and a hot labor force are not signs of a shrinking economy.

This is my theory about what might be going on.

2020 became a landmark year thanks to the pandemic. The full impact on society and economics will not be fully understood until years, much as the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed 11 people.

Americans were subject to the death of their family and friends, as well long-term isolation, job loss, job change and changes, chronic illness, crime in the urban environment, property damage, natural disasters and a Presidential election that many of the loser parties refuse to acknowledge. Then, there was an attack on Congress by an angry mob. All this happened within a short time span.

A lot of people are dealing with that trauma — and the growing suspicion that the future holds more bad news — by ignoring propriety, ignoring societal expectations and even ignoring the harsh realities of their own financial situations. Instead, they are seizing control of the moment and following their desires.

Economists cannot understand the behavior of consumers because they don’t think rationally. Yum Brands CEO, who owns Taco Bell and KFC, is not surprised.

This is the great unrest.

Is that possible? What will be the impact of that on our view of 2020 in 10 years?


  • As they age, older workers will leave the workforce when it is affordable. This means that they will spend less to stay independent and be able to work part-time or freelance as required. It will not change the labor market. tilted toward workers.
  • Lower-paid workers will expect more dignity from their employers and higher wages. They may also be willing to quit or change jobs if it doesn’t happen.
  • More people will choose to move for their lifestyles and private reasons than they do to find work. Urban workers who are stressed will move to the countryside and suburbs, while exurbs located one to three hours from major cities will experience an increase in property values as well as an increased number of residents. Devoted urban dwellers may find it easier to leave their city, increasing churning and decreasing community bonds.
  • With more workers seeking fulfillment over salary, loyalty is a dying art form. A tech worker left her job after being fired at ExpediaTo work in a solar technology company Sunrun recently put itIt’s not enough to just maximize your compensation package.
  • Employers will have to create hybrid work environments to accommodate employees who prove they can do their job remotely. With businesses that serve commuters as well as urban workers struggling, spending habits will shift permanently.
  • Those with disposable income will vigorously spend it on experiences — travel, restaurants, bars, hotels, live music, outdoor living, extreme sports — while curbing the purchase of high-end material goods in-home entertainment, including broadband internet access and streaming media services. This was an opportunity to upgrade your nest and not get too stressed out by the pandemic. We now have all of the furniture. PelotonsYou have what you need. Now it is time to enjoy the outdoors.

The possibility exists that the summer of 2018 will mark the beginning of the next period in uncertainty. This could lead to consumers suddenly stopping spending, putting the U.S. into recession. Other “black swans” events such as wars and natural disasters, an increase in political unrest, or worsening pandemics could also suffocate any sign of economic life.

Some of the changes in behavior and society that occurred during the pandemic are likely to remain.

This should be more evident in earnings reports, as we make further comparisons of the year ago with the period during which there was a pandemic-lockdown and interest rates stabilize. We’ll then be able to identify which economic sectors and businesses will survive in this new age.

WATCH: Jim Cramer explains why he believes inflation is coming down

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