You may have breathed a sigh of relief this weekend when the world did not come to an end as predicted by the so-called "Doomsday Prophet." This was the good news. The bad news is that apparently Mr. Doomsday has revised his numbers to say that the world will actually end in October.
I agree with him that his dates were a bit off this weekend. The problem however is not that his prediction was too early but that it was way too late. The world actually ended in 2008. Remember that little financial meltdown we had back then? For many Americans, that was when their world ended. In this case I'm referring to what some psychologists describe as a person's "assumptive world," their mental map of how the world is supposed to work. Traumatic experiences often turn a person's assumptive world upside down and inside out. That is exactly what has happened to those "left behind" by the Great Recession.
Their world before the financial crisis was one where if you worked hard you got to keep your job and if you lost it, you could easily find another one. Where you could assume that you could send your child to college and if that child got a degree, he or she would find work. Where foreclosures, homelessness, and hunger were things that only happened to other people. Where no one was "too big to fail" and no one was too small to succeed. Where people who destroyed their companies would not be rewarded with bailouts and bonuses of biblical proportions while everyday folks lie awake at night wondering how to pay their bills. For the left behind, that world is over. They are left to face an economic Armageddon while the architects of this disaster have been lifted to a financial heaven paid for by their victims.