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Twenty years from now we'll be in 2036. What will our world look like? What will our country look like? Well, think back to 1996. What was happening then? Would our world of 2016 look strange and exotic?

What Will 2016 Mean When We Reach 2036?—Michael T. Hertz

What Will 2016 Mean When We Reach 2036?—Michael T. Hertz

To me, 1996 was part of the “old days.” The great change, for me, came in 2001, with 9/11. There were violent incidents prior to 2001, like the Gulf War, but even that violence was nothing like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 1996, we talked about global warming, but the incidences that proved climate change—Katrina's destruction of New Orleans, for example—came after the start of the new millennium.

In 2008, we had Barack Obama's presidential campaign, in which he promised Hope and Change. And since that time there has been some change, but nothing fantastic. So in 2016 we are now having candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, whose supporters are plainly fed up with the future they are seeing for themselves and their loved ones. They want something else—a better world.

What are the major issues before us? Immigration. Income inequality. Getting Money Out Of Politics. Racial Justice. Single Payer Healthcare. Climate Change Policies. Ending Infinite War.

What are the major issues before us? Immigration. Income inequality. Getting Money Out Of Politics. Racial Justice. Single Payer Healthcare. Climate Change Policies. Ending Infinite War.

At this moment in time, it appears that the election will between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Those of us who back Bernie have been living with the hope—oh, so slim but definitely real—that something positive would start forward with respect to each of these major issues. But if the leader of our nation is to be either of the Donald or the Hillary, what real chance is there that any of these issues will be see resolution over the next eight years?

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That leaves me to the world of imagination. About ten years ago, I wrote a novella called “ElderCare.” It is a satirical story about our world, and our nation, in the year 2036. Back in 2006, when I hatched the idea of “ElderCare.” Its dark and dystopian world seemed fantasmal. Now it remains unlikely yet somehow almost real. One wonders.

“ElderCare” focusses on overpopulation and a world in which private insurance companies continues to dominate our healthcare system. Overpopulation resulted from ever increasing numbers of older citizens because of improved healthcare, but with the result that the system of taking care of older people weighed heavier and heavier upon the economic system. Like many developed countries, our country has declining birthrates yet higher population rates as older generations live longer, thereby weighing heavier upon all economic sectors but especially healthcare. It is a fact that the American healthcare system provides over results less positive yet far more costly than healthcare in other developed countries.

In “ElderCare,” the private health insurance companies gets Congress to pass a law that allows them to shorten the lives of citizens over the age of 95 by using “humane” ways of killing them. The result is that the companies employ “dispatchers” armed with “Likwid8Rs” that spew poisonous liquids. Opposing the health care companies, however, are life insurance companies. Naturally, they don't want their clients killed, because then they have to pay off on their policies!

I wrote “ElderCare” almost ten years ago. The world has changed, but many of the issues (like overpopulation and healthcare) have remained the same or become more pressing. At one point, I tried to make the novella into a graphic novel, and I did a lot of illustrations myself. However, I didn't like my own illustrations and found them amateurish. Recently, I decided to try to do a Kickstarter campaign to get the money to hire an artist. I found a good one, George Patsouras, and he did a really good version of a scene from the book, so I've gone forward with the project.

I never think of “ElderCare” as reality. But, then, if someone had suggested to Germans in 1922 that their country would be engaged in a massive war in 1942, that their country would be slaughtering millions of people in concentration camps, what would they have thought? People today have speculated that the Donald might turn out to be another Hitler. It's true, he might. So in the upcoming election, we'll have a choice between a potential Hitler and a woman who is a narcissist and lies consistently. What has happened to Bernie's revolution, and is there any way to save it?

As we sit here now, my own wish is that Bernie continue the struggle as a candidate, with the caveat that if he has no real chance of winning, or if his running gives victory to Trump, he withdraw. At this very moment, it's not clear that either is our fate, and therefore he should go forward. We cannot give up the fight unless it is proven to be futile. That is not the case right now.

michael-hertz

Michael T. Hertz