We all know what happens when we assume.
We laugh at the break-up of the word and vow it will never happen to us. However, in the U.S., the word “assume” has a much broader meaning which is to “take for granted.” Think about it, every single hour of every single day we take many things for granted. For example, just by getting into our car, several assumptions are made.
We believe the vehicle has been aptly assembled so that it doesn’t fall apart. It’s presumed the ignition system will fire and the engine will start. We also think the gasoline has been properly refined so that it will power the engine correctly.
Upon arriving at the office in the morning, we think the lights will turn on, the computer will start, and the air conditioning will cool.
We also go to the grocery store knowing there will be food on the shelves, milk in the cooler, and band-aids if we need them.
Another “take for granted” is the over-the-counter-medical business. We know that if we have any minor health problem, or even sometimes a major one, one visit to the drugstore can solve many of our issues.
From aspirin to Benadryl and from Neosporin to NyQuil, it’s presumed that everything is there. But what if we woke up one day and the basics of life were no longer a given? Imagine if food, energy, and medicine were no longer there.
What if the makers and providers were no longer compensated for their products and services and simply decided to shut down just because there was not enough money? Instead of driving to the grocery store, visualize going directly to a farmer for milk. And who do we see for Tylenol?
As we watch the world deleverage from the path of indebtedness, certain unintended consequences will occur, and are, in fact, occurring right now in Greece, Spain, and Egypt.
Basic necessities of life that are the end products of a production chain are in very short supply.
Yes, moving from debt to non-debt definitely has its repercussions. Thus, as the system breaks down and the central bankers continue trying to save themselves, that which was once a given is now a total uncertainty.
Ask any Greek, Spaniard, or Egyptian, is the quality of their life today as they knew it from the past? As their whole lifestyle, from medical to energy and food to money, breaks down, taking anything for granted is definitely ancient history.