What Will Happen After COVID-19 Pandemic Goes Away?

Although COVID-19 is still running rampant in the West, especially in the United States, I think when the dust is settling, everything will be amazing again. Why am I so positive like this even though we don’t even yet have a mass vaccination for the COVID-19 pandemic? Just let’s say I believe in the effects of human nature, and certain effects of human nature will never change even if the world is going to end tomorrow!

Right now, people are not going to movie theaters, eating out, shopping at luxurious malls, and whatnot, but believe me I think when COVID-19 is over — you can believe that people will do all of that and even more than they have had ever done in their entire life! I think the feelings of being pampered and served are so amazing that people want to feel something like that again! After all, they are being cooped up indoors for so long during the pandemic — once COVID-19 is gone — isn’t it obvious that there will be a revenge of massive consumerism on the service sector?

Currently, malls and other public physical consumerism/service spaces are not being favored by everyone for obvious reasons — DUH! — not getting infected by COVID-19… So, let me tell you why am I being Mr. Obvious(!) — well, let’s say it’s common sense folks! Let me ask you this, do you want to go out and having a fun dinner with your best friends in various delicious restaurants that you used to go out before COVID-19? I would! So, for me being optimistic about how things would return to normal or things would turn out to be even better than how things were before the whole COVID-19 thing is rather Mr. Obvious(!)…

One small problem though! I think my prediction could be a little off from the bulls-eye because of the negative effects of the COVID-19 aftermath. Although we’re not out of the wood yet and I still could imagine that the people — who are losing jobs due to the massive shutdown of various restaurants and other service businesses — may not be able to get back into the same job career that they had enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies that are being badly affected by COVID-19 may not be able to survive even if COVID-19 is going away. Many retail stores may have to file for bankruptcy! Survivable companies may have to employ more robots and automation to recuperate the costs that they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus these companies may hire fewer human employees.

The negative effects of the COVID-19 aftermath could be so huge that it could push down the market prices for unfavorable real estate areas. For example, several real estate areas could see people walk away from their mortgage payments since they could not afford the mortgage payments any longer for not having to be able to find a new job. When the real estate sector turns negative — depending on how bad it could become — it could also affect the businesses in such neighborhoods. Local businesses could see a huge loss in revenues. It’s like a chain of effects or chain of reactions, and the negativities could multiply throughout the economy.

Nonetheless, I feel that the economy is a strange beast because it could contain both the negatives and the positives all at the same time. I could see a scenario of people will go hungry and yet some people go out and spend money like crazy to make up for the time that they were forced to be indoor for so long during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps, we could see the unbalance of the income quality thus we could have huge inequality in income after the COVID-19 is going away. Some people will be able to do more and enjoy their life more during the COVID-19 aftermath, and other people will have to go hungry and become homeless. I just pray that everyone would be able to do better and feel better after this horrendous COVID-19 pandemic — but we all know praying might not be enough. Let’s hope I could be so wrong, and everything will be super-duper after the COVID-19 goes away.

Can the United States Invasion of Iraq in 2003 Be A Good Model for China’s Possible Invasion of Taiwan?

I’m no strategic kind of person since I’m rather a straightforward chap. Nonetheless, I do have my own opinions in the matter of whatever could be happening in the next decades or so. I don’t think I’m prophetic, but I guess if you keep guessing, something ought to turn out just like the way you’ve had imagined. Thus, if the experts are correct on how China would want to invade Taiwan soon, then I think China will do it in a similar fashion to how the United States had done Iraq in 2003. A complete overwhelming show of force.

By showing an overwhelmed show of force in Iraq, the United States has made China eagerly to update and upgrade its military structure, tech strategy, and weapon knowhows. China would not want to be the next Iraq. So, it is logical for China to think like the United States if China has to invade Taiwan. I think China will try to overwhelm Taiwan in an invasion of Taiwan to the point that, perhaps, could shame the one that the United States had done in Iraq in 2003. Why? By overwhelming an enemy force rather easily, China sends a message to unfriendly countries that it’s not to be trifled with.

I think the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the fall of Saddam Hussein had pushed China to be even more cautious and paranoid of the United States. This event may have had pushed China into going all out in upgrading its military and related capabilities. Furthermore, China is now eager to advance in other tech industry sectors such as quantum computer/satellite and space techs. This way, China could use these advances during peacetime for economic purposes — but the dual usage of these capabilities will be a tremendous, helpful kind of force in wartime for China.

An Honest Opinion: Can the West Decouple from China?

I have a feeling that even though the West is trying to decouple from China, with job loss increases during an ongoing pandemic, I don’t see how a country like the United States can bring jobs home since unemployment is going to be high still. By this, I feel that with more people are relying on the government to create jobs and whatnot, bring jobs home mean companies in the United States have to hire more and spend more to produce anything. Meanwhile, China is once again increasing the output of their manufacturing, albeit that wages are increasing in China, the living costs in China are still way cheaper than the West, and so I think their wages won’t be rising to a point that foreign companies want to shift their manufacturing bases away from China faster. After all, producing in China does save on the costs of shipping and exporting.

Producing at home means that local companies have to be able to produce things cheaper than their foreign imports. Usually, import stuff should be more expensive than locally made since there are import costs and shipping costs that would add on to the top of the costs of the goods that are being made elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s also depending on how productive a local manufacturing base is and other variables such as how cheap are the local wages and whatnot. Furthermore, we also have to worry about how is the local economy is doing. To add salt to the already infected wound, the COVID 19 pandemic is still an ongoing thing. So, I don’t see how decoupling from China is easy at all.

When we are trying to decouple from China, we should be prepared for China’s backlash such as how China would ramp up their distaste for foreign products even though most of these products are being produced in China. For an instance, China could ramp up the investigation into foreign companies that are actively opened for business in China, and by doing this China could persuade its people to trust less on foreign imports. By doing this China could also support their local economy through local made, and so in the long run China would be less exposed to foreign imports. I also see that China is producing much more stuff for foreign countries than foreign countries produce stuff for them — in a way why would China import more stuff when they could make everything at home?

As the United States tries to ramp up the pace of decoupling with China, China could see itself ramp up the pace of relying less on foreign imports. Meanwhile, China could also make it a lot harder for foreign companies to operate in China. At home, Western companies are facing the uglier local economy, and so these companies may not be able to produce higher revenues from local markets. Now, through geopolitical conflicts between China and the United States, it would make a lot harder for Western companies to make profits in China. Of course, Asia is a big place, and so Western companies should be able to ramp up their marketing elsewhere! The question is can other places replace the loss of the Chinese market?

Avocado Farming Increases Water Shortage In Some Parts of The World

I sometimes do add Avocado to my salad. I rarely eat Avocado by itself though. Before I watched the video which I’d shared right after the break, I didn’t know that Avocado is a danger to water resource for some places around the world. In Chile, some parts suffer water shortage, and Avocado farming increases the water shortage for people who are living in these water shortage regions. The video claims that Avocado is a thirsty fruit since it requires eight more times of the water than potato. I never knew that Avocado is so thirsty. Now, I feel guilty whenever I throw away Avocados that had gone bad in the refrigerator. Check the video out right after the break.

Should Africa Rely On Automation To Leapfrog Cheap Labor Phase?

Africa got 1 billion plus people and yet the whole continent’s economy is only about the size of South Korea. This means the whole African continent is still very poor and needs to be developed a lot so the Africans can have some hope for a better future. Unfortunately, as cheap labor is moving out of China to China’s neighbors such as Vietnam, the whole world is now all the rage on how to rely on the automation of machines so even cheap labor cannot compete. If this is the case, I don’t think the Africans will have a chance of mobilizing their 1 billion plus people to industrialize the African continent.

So, the question is if Africans cannot rely on cheap labor to develop and industrialize the African continent, then what else could the Africans rely on to develop Africa? If Africans tries to rely on the aids of the Western countries, then Africans will never be able to develop their own industries that are necessary to pull the African continent out of poverty for good. Although the Chinese are building the infrastructures inside Africa to better the livelihood of the Africans, without a staple of strong industries the Africans will still face the problem of not being able to industrialize the African continent.

Although I don’t know much about Africa, in my humble opinion, Africans should try to go for automation themselves to leapfrog the cheap labor phase. This means Africans have to develop a very entrepreneurship mentality so they can come up with business models that need automation as a necessary ingredient for their business. Furthermore, instead of only relying on aids from the West and the infrastructures from China, Africans should demand the Chinese to teach them how to develop and incorporate Artificial Intelligence in their businesses. I think the machine learning and higher AI will definitely be able to help the Africans to automate the needs in their entrepreneurship businesses and leapfrog the cheap labor phase.

How To Fix A Corrupt Country?

I stumbled on a Quora’s question “How do you fix a corrupt country?” and so I decided to give my two cents on Quora in regards to how I think such a country could fix its problems.  Well, I will quote myself fully right after the break.  Nonetheless, you can also visit Quora for this specific answer too, but you may have to go through countless other answers that were given to this same question.

Here I quote myself:

When a country is being weakened by a weak leadership or a weak governance structure — having both would be a disaster — such a country needs to find a way to exert law and order so everyone in the country could recognize a corruptive behavior isn’t acceptable. When people are actually supportive of a measure against such corruptive behavior, the government could slowly gather strength through the recruitment of a strong leadership to carry out the enforcement of rules and regulations to curb the corruptions.

I think many forms of corruption could be very subtle too, and so corruptive agents could actually thrive in almost all governments — doesn’t matter what form a regime is actually practicing. For example, a democratic country is relatively poor, and so such a country will not be able to have strong leadership even though it got a democracy. Without a strong leadership, things tend to slip in and out between cracks, and so the corruptive agents could easily use such opportunity to do corruptive things out in the open.

In a dictatorship regime, corruptive agents in the position of power would be unchallenged since there won’t be enough checks and balances to curb such power. If a dictatorship regime got a weak leadership, the country could experience widespread corruptions that go unchecked. A good thing about the dictatorship regime is that if a country got a strong leader who actually cares for the people, such a leader could use the absolute power to weed out the corruptions really fast and effective. Basically, there are pros and cons to a different form of governance and style of a particular government.

I think to fix a corruptive country, the most important things are to find the right leadership and enhance or rebuild a governance structure so the country could thrive on rules and order. As long the rules and order are making sense and the people could feel safe, then other good things may come eventually. For example, a strong economy is a must for a leader to keep the people happy and healthy. When people are happy and healthy, they tend to do the right things and be supportive of the government. With strong support from the people, the government could exert enforcement to weed out corruptions without much of any opposition. Heck, when a government is being loved by the people, the government could take a lot more risks to achieve its aspirations.

I’m curious anyone else thinks this is the right approach to fixing a corrupt country?  Please leave a comment or two in the comment section if you agree or disagree with my suggestion.  Thanks.