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Reflections


On the Brink?

by Ralph R. Reiland,
Professor of Free Enterprise at Robert Morris University
 

The latest magazine covers in the news/politics section of my local Barnes and Noble seem to be saying we're on the brink of something like the coup d'etat in 1973 against the Allende government in Chile.

Newsweek's cover: "STATE OF RESISTANCE." The New Yorker's cover: "Is America Over?" The Atlantic: "HOW TO BUILD AN AUTOCRACY." The cover of Mother Jones: "RISE UP." Harper's cover: "A RESISTER'S GUIDE TO TRUMP."

Building up to this call to hit the streets, earlier covers of The New Yorker showed an overweight and beauty-crowned Trump on the catwalk in a bathing suit with a Miss Congeniality banner, a cover of yet another brick in the wall, plus a gloomy cover showing the Statue of Liberty's flame
being extinguished, and a babyish cover of Trump in kiddyland driving a presidential mini-limo.

The Atlantic and The New Yorker have both spotlighted the development of luxury doomsday bunkers.

"A Resort for the Apocalypse" in The Atlantic by Ben Rowen focused on how the forward-thinking plutocrats are hoping to ride out various doomsday scenarios in style. The Presidential model of survival lodging produced by
Rising S Bunkers includes a gym, workshop, rec room, and car depot.

Sales of high-end Rising S bunkers, the company's $500,000-plus units, increased 700 percent last year, reports Rowen.

The latest development in the survival bunker business is the development of entire survival communities. An hour north of Dallas, Trident Lakes in a 700 acre, $330 million development, advertised as a "5-star playground"
with polo fields, a golf course, hotel, and 600 condos priced $500,000 to $1.5 million (90 percent of each unit is underground).

Security amenities At Trident Lakes will include armed security personnel guarding a wall surrounding the entire community, helipads for quick arrivals and escapes, and "Navy Seal experience" self-defense training for residents.

There's also "a vault for family DNA" at Trident Lakes, reports Rowen. "The hope is that, down the line, scientists could use genetic material to replicate residents who were lost to catastrophe, thereby ensuring 'family
sustainability" for the post-armageddon world.

A portion of Trident Lakes customers "appear to be motivated by old anxieties, recently revived — the threat of nuclear war, or a national debt default that leads to unrest," reports Rowen. "Others have newer fears: climate change, pandemics, terrorism, plus far-left and far-right extremism. The presidential election has brought new faces into the fold, namely liberals."

Meanwhile, with fun still in existence outside the luxury bunkers, The New Yorker reported on the pro-Trump DeploraBall at the National Press Club, held the night before Inauguration Day.

In the afternoon before the ball, Cassandra Fairbanks in Maryland was putting the final touches on her celebratory outfit -- a Stars and Stripes manicure and a rifle-casing pendant on her red ball gown.

With the time of the dance approaching, Ms. Fairbanks, an organizer of the DeploraBall and a writer for Sputnik ("a news site funded by the Russian government," reports The New Yorker), called Uber for a ride, said
goodnight to her two-month-old puppy -- Wiki, short for WikiLeaks -- and grabbed a poncho in case anti-Trump protesters "decide to thrown paint on me."

To provide security for Ms. Fairbanks, identified as a "high-value target" by anti-Trump protesters threatening to disrupt the event, a delegation of Proud Boys, a "pro-Western fraternal organization" for men "who refuse to
apologize for creating the modern world," walked along with Fairbanks to guarantee her safe passage into the event.

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Ralph R. Reiland is an Associate Professor of Economics Emeritus at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. His
email: rrreiland@aol.com.
***
Ralph R. Reiland

Phone: 412-527-2199

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