The Strategy Page is not a political publication. Yet it is impossible to ignore the atrocities of October 7, and the ripple effect on humanity. All the events including the humanitarian crisis were part of a master plan perpetrated by America’s enemies, who have incited violence, sparked protests, and drawn America to the brink of war. Our enemies, who share a different ideology than us, are ganging up like thugs on a street corner.

While America’s might as a military, political and economic power is unmatched, we mustn’t forget that we have struggled to overwhelm our enemies in remote parts of the globe such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The more barbaric the enemy, the more we struggle to counteract their form of guerilla warfare. Cyberattacks are their latest tactic. The U.S. will need to be prepared to fight several fronts at once, and that will require much more spending.

We are not suggesting that the war is the cause of these problems—only that it will amplify them.

The first consequence of this war will be flexing the muscle of the U.S. military-industrial complex. President Biden has already asked Congress for additional aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan in an effort to bolster America’s strategic interests.

This means further expansion of the national debt. As we are on the heels of pandemic-era stimulus, the infrastructure bill, and rising yields, a new wave of military spending could not come at a worse time. The pain of debt was much lower when the cost of money was low—free money can cover up many problems.

A consequence of higher debt is higher bond yields, already in the worst slump in history. Central banks including those in China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Japan and others have halted buying U.S. bonds as part of an exodus driving bond values down and yields up. The combination of an inflation shock and interest rate surge has caused ripples, including the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and a stall in the U.S. stock market. A consequence of higher bond yields is high inflation and a weakening U.S. dollar.

But perhaps what is even more troubling is the long-term consequences of escalating national debt in combination with higher bond yields. This represents a self-fulfilling prophecy of higher borrowing costs precipitating higher debt.

A consequence of higher debt at higher yields is greater strain on the U.S. retirement system. The U.S., Britain, France, Italy and other industrialized nations are fighting a battle against Father Time, given their aging populations and lower labor participation rates. As we’ve suggested before, higher debt and pressure on the retirement systems are certainly a reset on U.S.-based entitlements.

By 2032, projections suggest U.S. tax receipts will only pay for federal military, entitlement and interest spending. All other federal spending, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Education, Energy and more would require deficit spending. The consequence of pressure on the U.S. retirement system is higher taxes and a reevaluation of benefits. Congress will eventually need to increase the retirement age in the U.S.—a move that led to massive protests in France. Why would Congress cut its own benefits when it could just kick the can down the road…again? Speaking of Congress, if you had told me there was a better chance of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce dating than the U.S. House of Representatives having a Speaker, I would’ve called you cray-cray.

Driverless cars and creative destruction

Driverless cars and creative destruction

Waymo

A recent Strategy Page centered on the power of creative destruction. There is quite the buzz in San Francisco about driverless automobiles that have infected the city like a plague. As told in The Daily, the path to driverless cars is fascinating.

Beginning in 2004, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held competitions to spark innovation for driverless military vehicles. Rumor has it that Google cofounder Larry Page attended the competition in disguise. The initial business case was autonomous cars driving their owners to work.

But numerous tech giants entered the fray, testing cars in the shadows on city streets. Then in 2018, a fatality involving a driverless Uber in Arizona sparked controversy. The rate of investment and pace of innovation decelerated.

Fast forward to 2023, and the San Francisco experiment has moved toward local rides, which allows the cars to learn patterns faster. The technology is ripe with problems, including cars colliding with emergency vehicles and one even driving into a construction site only to get stuck in wet cement.

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Video: Career Progression

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Book Recommendation: The Jolt Effect

Book Recommendation - The Jolt Effect

From the bestselling co-author of The Challenger Sale, a paradigm-shattering approach to overcoming customer indecision and closing more sales. In sales, the worst thing you can hear from a customer isn’t “no.” It’s “I need to think about it.”

Read the book