Brick and mortar stores are closing everywhere. Even big retailers can’t sustain their physical stores. Cost-effectiveness and newer consumer habits drive this change. Soon, a store will be obsolete. They’ll go to centrally-located warehouses from which they will make deliveries to the individual, via a USPS or UPS surface-truck model. Drones will replace trucks if Amazon has the leverage.
This will affect trucking and other transportation industries. Infrastructure will change, making return to our old box store or strip mall scene unlikely. If a return is pursued it will be costly beyond prudence.
More industries will go under with nothing replacing them.
Social mores will change, too. No more ‘going shopping’ for entertainment or therapy. No more out-let malls. Dwindling boutique stores. Continued drawing inward. Isolation will become a bunkered body with a mind liberated only via internet experiences. If the Net Neutrality is not killed. If it is, each key stroke will cost, every nanosecond of access. Only the 1% rich will afford the online world. E-elite will develop.
Meanwhile the Have-Nots will starve literally and intellectually. They’ll become even worse in superstition and in being uninformed. Think isolated mountain villages. Think hillbillies feral in their mountain hollows.
We’re close to that now in many states.
Retailers will lose markets entirely. Others will have to consolidate to survive. Add-on and after-market will shrink. Industry will evaporate. It will shatter to millions of delivery-on-demand mom-&-pop specialty shops, each making one small part, or part of a component.
Corporations surviving will own countries and governments will be small corporate subsidyies. CEO elites will be protected in fortress enclaves and upper-echelon workers will vie to live in armored, guarded, and isolated corporate arks.
We the People will be kept well back. Think of our current bunkered White House, then think of vast pyramids mostly underground, surrounded by wastelands and desert mine-fields, guarded by killer robots and lethal booby-traps. Think of Area-51 but more seriously guarded.
Underground cities are already built and expanding. They are being supplied for full-scale use, soon. The 1% are aware of our seething, roiling anger. The 1% are, they think, prepared for our collapse and inevitable uprising.
MAD MAX was prescient. Much of the transition from fossil fuels will be that kind of crazy competition and anarchic redistribution by violence. It may come from the Water Wars, too. Or the Food Riots. No city is more than three days from running out of food. Water is worse. Utilities are as fragile as soap bubbles. Without power, cites explode.
Now think about all those fucking guns.
The 1% wants us shooting and looting each other instead of going after them. Far too many of us are now chomping at the bit, driven by empty pulp dreams and celluloid flickers.
A time-bomb, primed. A village sleeping under a snow field or glacier seconds from releasing mountains of ice. That’s what we are now.
History’s ending. Extinction infects this generation.
Go ahead. Run.
No one will get far.
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