Is The Canary Dead?

In 2018 I shared a video that I use in presentations titled The Great Reset. The video features economist Tyler Cowen as he describes our current trajectory and the possibility of a great reset. He has talked about strong indicators that this great reset is already underway – and that was before the world began to envision A Post Pandemic Society. Mr. Cowen thinks about these indicators as canaries in the coal mine. As he describes it, miners used to take canaries with them to provide an alarm when levels of toxic gases were too high. The birds were much more susceptible to the gases and would show signs of distress – or even die – before the miners were in grave danger.

In the context of our world, he gives examples of past canaries like subprime borrowers during the Great Recession, as they showed signs of distress first – missed payments and foreclosures. He asks a great question: where are the possible canaries today? Again, he points to examples like riots that suggest stress on America’s race relations, millions of men of prime working age missing from the U.S. labor force, and the rise of populists that indicate a serious discontent among millions of American voters. He talks about Connecting these Dots in ways that allow us to deal with these cracks before they accumulate to a level where a great reset is the inevitable path forward.

He has pointed with prescience to something that should resonate with people today: the American economy, with its current loss of dynamism and innovation, would have trouble responding to any sudden crisis. He believes that if we stay on the course of complacency, a great reset is very possible and it won’t be pleasant. The great resets of the past have transformed the social order, and as I said in my post on A Post Pandemic Society, the seeds of that reset were sown before the current pandemic. The question is; Is the canary dead?

This snippet below from the broader series describes his thinking well. You can view the five-part series that describes this great reset Here.




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