Once you allow your economy to become dependent on extremes of debt, leverage, inequality, legalized looting, monopoly, pay-to-play politics and speculative asset bubbles, a depression is inevitable.
The pandemic lockdown will be blamed for the Greater Depression, but the lockdown only toppled all the dominoes that were already lined up. The lockdown would have been survivable if the economy hadn’t been over-indebted, over-leveraged, burdened by insanely high costs, stripmined by greedy monopolies, dependent on stock market fraud, destabilized by extreme inequality, corrupted by political pay-to-play and addicted to speculation.
The apologists always blame depressions on central banks not printing money fast enough, while overlooking the real drivers: debt, high costs and dependence on speculative bubbles. As noted here many times, revenues and income can quickly slide lower, but debt must be serviced regardless of revenues and income.
Once debt payments dominate expenses, any wobble in revenues / income / cash flow triggers default.
Regarding unbearably high costs that only go higher, year after year: as noted here many times, Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation all by itself, never mind soaring higher education / student loan debt serfdom, skyrocketing rents, junk fees, taxes, etc.
U.S. Lifestyle + “Healthcare” = Bankruptcy (June 19, 2008)
The truth is the cost of living is unaffordable but we can’t even acknowledge this obvious fact because even acknowledging it would threaten the entire house of cards. So instead we play-act as if we believe the bogus “inflation is dead” narratives.
The top 5% technocrat/managerial class have done very well for themselves in the speculative run-up of destabilizing inequality, and since they run the narrative machines, we’re swamped with happy stories about the economy, all of which boil down to this absurd fantasy: since I’m doing so well, everyone else must be doing well, too.
Since the top 5% own the lion’s share of the nation’s productive assets–stocks, bonds, business equity, investment real estate, etc.– the enormous asset bubbles have greatly boosted their wealth and income.