The Economy and the Pendulum

The Pendulum FilesThink tanks analyzing the results of the 2016 election have come to the conclusion that the overriding factor was the nation’s economy, which was interesting to me considering the theme of one of my recent books, The Pendulum Files.
If you are unfamiliar with The Pendulum Effect, it is a concept in which the pendulum swings so far to one side that it must swing equally far to the opposite side. The plot in The Pendulum Files revolves around a presidential election in which one of the candidates is adamant about bringing jobs back home that in the past two decades have increasingly gone overseas.

I remember well the 1992 presidential campaign in which Ross Perot described the problems with competing against other countries for manufacturing. At the time his comment about that “giant sucking sound” was ridiculed but given the issues that many once-thriving towns and cities have faced over the past 24 years, it’s worth listening to this again:

I also remember all too well how George H.W. Bush described Ronald Reagan’s plan of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% as “voodoo economics”.


The theory was known as trickle-down economics and the way it was intended to work was to provide the wealthiest—those who owned stock in the largest corporations—the largest tax cuts so they would have more money to invest in their companies. It was thought that with much more disposable income, they would hire more people and expand their business enterprises. But economists have proven that it didn’t work. Those who received huge tax cuts simply kept more money for themselves. Perhaps they bought more houses or more lavish houses, expensive boats or automobiles or consumables, but what they didn’t do was hire more people. In fact, the wealthiest among us have become increasingly wealthier not only with the Reagan-era tax cuts but also by moving their operations to countries where there is no minimum wage, there are little or no environmental controls, no healthcare or benefits provided, and sometimes even utilize child labor.

Writing a book involving presidential politics while intentionally remaining out of a party line is like walking a tightrope. In The Pendulum Files, the reader doesn’t know if the candidate leans Republican or Democrat and often when I write about politics, I intentionally create a candidate that is Independent—one who essentially believes in some of the principles of one party while staying closer to other principles in the opposite party.

Vicki's Key
And when ships carrying cargo from China to the United States are blown up on the high seas, it brings in Dylan Maguire and Vicki Boyd to investigate. Vicki’s character was inspired by the United States’ use of psychic spies—which the government refers to as remote viewers. When Vicki’s Key, the first book featuring Vicki was released, several readers mentioned to me that I had crossed over into science fiction. However, in the past fifty years and most notably in the past twenty, real life has begun to look more and more like science fiction.
This morning I read a fascinating account by Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds in science, regarding the need to populate other planets with human beings. Only one hundred years ago, that statement would have been preposterous. And yet plans are in place for placing people on Mars with the intention of making that planet into a future home for human beings.
Novelists have helped to propel science as many scientists, engineers and astrophysicists have openly spoken of inspiration obtained from reading books by Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and many others. Tablets, smartphones, robotics, space flight, wireless transmission, video calls and much, much more sprang from the minds of novelists and screenwriters long before they became reality.