Expected public reaction to Y2K difficulties.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've read numerous predictions on this forum and elsewhere, but none that focused on the populace's reaction towards a relatively sudden transition from fat-years to lean-years. If Y2K is a middle-ground event, (something more than minor recession and something less than a collapse of basic services / martial law) people are going to be seriously pissed. Recession = loud complaints and political rhetoric. TSHTF = focus on surviving. Depression = anger. Americans are portrayed as wonderful, resourceful people by some posters; and as mindless herd creatures by others. I'm not debating either of those stereotypes, but putting forward a third. Americans are viscous S.O.B.'s when they get angry. Some predict that GI's will be blamed if/when things get bad. I doubt that. Politicians will be blamed a great deal, of course. Both mainstream parties will be discredited, maybe even enough for some significant political choice to emerge. I predict that the brunt of the blame will go towards computer companies and executives. Knowledge of Y2K is minimal and likely to stay that way throughout, but most people have the general idea that it is computer-related. The computer industry has been worse than culpable and any disruption of the day-to-day prosperity will reflect upon it, literally. If you think the citizenry is a bunch of sheep, wait until their lives are impacted. If Y2K is dramatic but less than catastrophic, there will be screams for blood. The greater the impact, the louder the screams. There is alot of talk about law suits, but it could move well beyond that to across-the-board confiscation of assets and/or criminalization. Under what laws? Doesn't matter if people are angry enough. The year 2000 is an election year, and more can be on the ballot than names of candidates. Judicial rulings can be legislated away. The constitution has been changed before. Nothing unifies people more than agreement on who is to blame. Plus herds of sheep can become mobs very easily. America law enforcement has a long history of tolerating vigilantism as long as it is directed at a target it agrees on. When hard times come, anger comes too. It often gets misdirected, but much of it gets directed where it belongs. Y2K was known about for years and the people in position to address it chose instead to ignore it. The cost of protecting their short-term bottom-line is going to be borne by everyone. Had the industry been responsible, Y2K would be a non-event. Some might not blame the computer industry as a whole. I could be totally wrong in my judgement of it. But I believe it will be a widely shared judgement when the time comes, whether it is warranted or not. Don't expect the public to be reasonable or understanding.

-- Steve Hartzler (s.hartzler@usa.net), April 18, 1999



I have long maintained that the 2000 election will be determined by Y2K.

If it crashes people's retirement, WATCH OUT!!! Yhere may even be an effort to draft (I don't mean military {Who ever thought that a DRAFT DODGER would bring it back?!?}) Jesse the MIND Ventura.

In Albania, when the Ponzi scheme investments tanked, it wasn't pretty. They looted the armories, sold the stuff to the KLA,

...And the World Lived Happily Ever After!!!

-- K Stevens (Kstevens@he's_a_hack.com), April 18, 1999.

In the Shoah, it was the Jews who were loaded onto trains to "destination unknown". After y2k, maybe it will be programmers.

While we busy ourselves with wood stoves, food, water, and stuff without limit, who amoung us is using their laser printers to construct resumes that omit any reference to computers or management? The right paperwook might be the most vital survival supply of them all. Who knows?

-- gone away (tp.parts@notknown.com), April 18, 1999.

"The year 2000 is an election year, "

Don't bank on it.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 18, 1999.

I wonder how in the world we will be able to have national elections in 2000. But if we do, and if they are free, I'd expect almost all incumbents to be voted out of office. I believe the public will direct most of the anger at the government. And both major parties will suffer badly. It will be a time in which a clever demogogue will rise to the occasion, something like Huey Long in the 30's. I believe that regardless of events, the government will be totally different from what we experience today.

Infomagic predicts a second civil war. Now if martial law is too overpowering and burdensome, and if the feds go after the militias as scapegoats, then I'd expect to see some serious armed pitched battles in some areas. We have some terribly deep cultural and political divsions in the USA, and we are rapidly becoming Balkanized, and we can watch on the news today the end results of that process.

-- Les Holladay (holladayl@aol.com), April 19, 1999.

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