2020 - A Return to Normalcy
With the US economy in a depression, hundreds of thousands dead from COVID-19, a second impeachment investigation, and rumors about his own health, it was no wonder that Trump's re-election chances fell through the floor by the fall. Meanwhile the Democrats, having ended their primary before Summer, had spent the following months crafting a platform based on aggressive healthcare reform and economic recovery. The convention in Milwaukee was largely devoid of drama, though that was to be expected when the audience and speaker list is cut down for social distancing. The biggest highlight of the night went not to Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, but to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who delivered a Keynote address for the ages. Trump never actually concedes defeat, but the ailing President was not in any position to resist the transfer of power.
2021 - Half Measures
Biden's first 100 days are spent crafting a recovery act, heavy on infrastructure spending and job placement for the tens of millions of Americans layed off during the Coronavirus outbreak. During congressional negotiations, AOC and the now even larger Squad distinguish themselves by forcing through amendments based on the principles of the Green New Deal. Biden and the Dem leadership spend this period nominating new Supreme court justices to replace Breyer and Ginsburg, the latter of which had been out of chambers due to poor health for months, but never actually resigned, much to the Trump administration's frustration. The House puts forth a bill to actually expand the Supreme Court to 13 seats, along with creating two new federal circuits and establishing a requirement for the Senate to vote on nominees within 30 days. The expansion of the court is met with enough pushback to where it is eventually cut from the final bill in favor of a fairly impotent investigation of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Healthcare reform is successfully pushed through before year's end, thanks in large part to the lobbying of Bernie Sanders and the Justice Democrats, however the final product is a Medicare Opt-In program, somewhat sullied by a provision to offer interest free loans to rebuild the country's devastated private healthcare industry.
2022 - Rise of the New Left
Citing health concerns, Joe Biden announces that he does not intend to seek a second term. This comes as no surprise, as the Biden camp had been signalling this course for some time, and much to the frustration of the progressive wing he immediately endorses his Vice President, Kamala Harris. The 2024 Democratic primary is all but a coronation for Harris, who's support of the police and her prior record as a particularly harsh Attorney General has turned many Democrats away from her. By comparison, the Republican primary was complete chaos, with 20 candidates all vying for the soul of the party. In a primary eerily similar to 2016, Donald Trump Jr. receives the nomination despite winning barely a third of the GOP's popular vote, and running on a platform that was not only overtly racist, but also incorporated many of the ravings of the "Q-anon" conspiracy theorists. Don Jr.'s nomination leads to scores of more moderate members of the GOP to walk out and stay home on election day, even after the 45th President's son agreed to name former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley as his running mate, rather than his sister Ivanka Trump as he had originally suggested. Meanwhile the Justice Democrats nominate Representative Ayanna Pressley in a national ranked-choice election carried out by paper ballots mailed by the party rather than relying on the states. Turnout was high for modern elections, thanks in part to a surge of support from first time voters to Pressley, however the Democrats were able to eek out a victory thanks to low turnout among Republicans.
2026 - The Centrists Cannot Hold
On paper the US economy has completely recovered from the Great Lockdown and is at full employment. In reality, the retirement of the baby boomers, and the adoption of Machine Learning based software over the last decade has created the most unequal social structure in a century with a full employment economy that fails to cover basic expenses. The tech sector continues to grow, but even trained engineers are being paid less than they were a decade ago as full time jobs with benefits become freelancer jobs managed by AI as the gig economy becomes national. With real take home pay flat or declining, the income gap becomes even more stark than it was a decade ago. The super rich now hold so much capital that they can no longer make their money back from investments in consumer technologies. Thus the bulk of investor capital goes to the real-estate market, driving up the cost of living even further. In addition Student Loan Asset Backed Securities (SLABS) now make up the bulk of the financial industry's transactions. These conditions lead to the Justice Democratic Party (now renamed the Justice Party) taking a majority in the House in the midterms. New electoral reforms in Justice majority state governments lead to higher turnout through greater access to primary elections and the party leadership, especially for younger voters.
2028 - A House Divided
The Housing market and SLABS markets have collapsed. The economy is in recession, yet full employment persists. The wealth gap is now so inexcusably large, and government services paralyzed by an arcane bureaucracy that the country is willing to try anything. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a moderate by the Justice Party's definitions, runs for and wins the Presidential election in a four candidate race on a platform of taxing earned wealth directly, radically restructuring the government, and passing immigration reform to pull in new skilled labor to a country desperate for it. Cortez's proposals are seen as anathema to the political establishment, but the new Leftists Coalition of working class whites, African Americans, and Hispanics are able to take control of Congress as well and passage of Cortez's reforms, radical as they may seem, are largely guaranteed. For many Americans however, Cortez's and the Justice Dems are simply a bridge too far, and the election prompts a new wave of violence from white nationalist militias and police departments fearing national abolition.
2029 - America Reborn
The first 100 days of the Cortez administration are spent passing a series of reforms more transformative than any seen since the days of FDR. The priorities were immediate economic relief and institutional reforms designed to save the economy and ensure that said reforms would be implemented swiftly and efficiently. This mandate resulted in programs like the National Housing Act, the Employee Relocation Voucher, and a tax on already earned wealth to pay for all of it. The Congress also introduced several new amendments to the Constitution, many of which would take until Cortez's second term to ratify, including an expansion to the US House of Representatives, national-ranked choice voting, and the first attempt at national police abolition. Simultaneously, the administration was faced with a period of sustained domestic terrorism and rebellion that would come to be known as the American Troubles.
For more context, take a look at a journal entry I made on this subject a while back.
UPDATE: Lot has changed since I posted this. I really need to stop expecting my country to take a subtle approach to historical parallelism.
I'm not convinced actually, its just easier to visualize than "Intergenerational power struggle leads to a realigning of the Democratic coalition."
Besides the purpose of this map series is to attempt to use historical parallelism to better understand the times we live in.
I wanted to laugh how delusional would be to predict that AOC would win in 2028, but the scary thing is that your depiction of "2026 - The Centrists Cannot Hold" actually make it possible and even realistic.
AI in workforce will be the next technological revolution and previous technological revolutions doesn't provide optimistic picture:
First revolution - Nomads decide to settle and farm lands. Nomads become largely wiped out.
Second revolution - farm lands create large cities, large cities become seats of feudal lords.
Third revolution - Merchants in the cities create first factiories, mechanization, making huge amount of farmers redundant. Farmers become workers and we have bolshevic revolution.
Fouther revolution - deindutrialization, factory workers become obsolete, most people move to services.
Fifth revolution - AI will make most service jobs obsolete....and make most of humanity obsolete.
Taxing the AI would be some help, but this won't fix the main issue that most of humanity become like Earth in "The Expanse" where 80% of 30 bilion population was on basic income.
Glad you liked it, but I have one critique about your response, more of an addition really:
There have been dozens of technological revolutions, and AI isn't one. AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) will be, but we're at least another couple decades for that to even show up in the lab. No, AI today is actually the end of the current technological revolution that began with the Microchip, and like everything enabled by the microchip it will disrupt jobs that are responsible for repetitive brain-power heavy tasks. That means the end of mid-level managers. It will not replace the bulk of all labor, that will require AGI and improvements in robotics technology.
The next revolution is biotech, most likely centered around CRISPR genetic archiving and editing technology, initially focused on solving our two most pressing issues:
An aging population placing a burden on the job market and social welfare state. Biotech solutions to chronic health issues are now within reach and this will be a priority.
Climate change. There is simply no way to stop (or more likely reverse) the build up of greenhouse gasses without geoengineering enabled by biotech.
By the 2040s biotech will be where computers were in the 1990s, or internal combustion was in the 1930s. Democratized and now part of the consumer market. And like the internal combustion engine which peaked around 1970, the microchip is doing the same today. What follows will be a period of productivity contraction (which won't make sense to technophiles singing the praises of AI) due largely to the labor shortage imposed by the retirement of the baby boomers. AI won't be adopted en masse to displace workers, it will be adopted in desperation to try and keep up with workers that have already left.
You're right, and I think my idea for distruptive revolution is more about widespread robotization, then actual AGI. You''re right that this is end stage for era started with microchip, but only now it become widespread (and COVID will accelerate things):
- self driving cars/planes - there goes bus, truck and taxi drivers. Driving licence become obsolete.
- self service and internet shopping - there goes most of general retail personel.
- robotic warehouses - there goes most of backstage personel.
- drones - there goes deliviery service personel, most of armed forces, even some amount of construction personel and police (people are fine with Predator drone, but probably will not be fine with Robocop).
- we already have robotic vacum cleaners - there could be only more, making cleaning personel redundant.
- many medical service diagnostic can be replaced by AI (this one is actually OK, because there is no country on Earth, who would have enough personel and money for healthcare).
- law is more or less mathematical logic - lawyers can be robotized (this one probably no one will cry about )
- many internet portals already use AI made articles - there goes most of journalist, add Japan style "virtual idols" and you can replace all TV hosts and celebrities.
- schoold can be robotized too - remote learning as we see is just a starting point.
Now this is final nail in the coffin:
- robo-dolls - prostitution is called the oldest job on Earth. If they can be robotized then anyone can be robotized - I think Japan opened first robo-doll house in 2019 :)
There is probably hundreds more of examples for low/mid and high end jobs that could easily be robotized within just next 20 years - if it would be several decades them people could probably adapt, but in just 20 - many people will not be able to keep up with the change and it will be major trigger for lot of radicalization (now I understand why Humanity went to war in Animatrix).
Sorry, but Fleshy water-sacks are still superior to most robotic automation!
Or to be fair most complete automation jobs.
Someone still needs to empty that vacuum after it is done getting stuck under the couch.
I myself have the job of digitizing documents, and I would love to see a robot do my job and not break (I give an hour, tops).
Here's what it has to do:
Divide the files into manageable chunks
Prep the files (removing all staples, cutting maps in half, removing sticky notes and placing them on the back, separately scanning checks, Etc.)
Place the files into the scanner and organize them when they decide to become acrobats.
Verify each and every file has been scanned properly and repairing any damaged or missing files.
Putting them back in order after completion in the proper boxes
All while dealing with Murphy's law.
We are nowhere close to replacing humans anytime soon.
Question: I'm pretty deep in the progressive circles and media and I know that there is a significant chunk of the progressive movement that will not vote for Biden regardless of Sanders endurement and telling his supporters to support Biden, how can Biden win over those people who almost entirely don't trust him, he needs the support of the progressives just as much as he needs the moderates.