The dogs are whimpering. The squirrels are shaking their tails. The barnyard animals are shifting uncomfortably in their stalls. Earthquake pending.

There is no way to forecast the future, animal nervousness included, but who can resist? Looking backwards is easy. There was the Depression. There was WWII. There were the 50’s. There were the 60’s. Nobody wants to think about the 70’s. There were the 80’s. The eighties went on and on and didn’t end until the Free-for-all Market imploded and collapsed and Obama was elected in 2008. And now it’s not the eighties anymore, but it’s unclear what it is or where it’s going. It’s like history climbed over a fence but got his coat stuck on a nail. And the harder he tries to move forward, the more stuck he gets.

All you can hear is the tearing fabric. Lately the tearing has sounded like the minimum wage issue. And what is the fabric? The social fabric is all. Our sense of shared prosperity, shared political fundamentals, shared sense of destination. Pulling, tearing, stuck. Something’s gotta give.

Maybe we’ll get unstuck and we’ll glide gracefully toward my own personal utopian vision of New Arcadia, characterized by robot labor, redistributed wealth, study, arts, limited but rewarding work, a declining population and a healing natural world. Oh, and togas. Don’t forget the togas. Or we may just keep piling up the tensions of an out-of-kilter economic system, an out-of-kilter political system and an out-of-kilter climate system until something snaps and something very bad happens.

Today I feel like joining the animals in squirming discomfort.