According to researchers, the year 2031 will bring with it a shift in the economy that might render this country unrecognizable. They’re calling it the “inheritance bubble,” a product of ultra-wealthy baby boomers leaving behind sizable chunks (over 35% of America’s total net worth) for their children to spend and squander.
Though there’s been lots of talk of the inheritance bubble, researchers still anxiously await its pop, uncertain about what America will look like afterward. But the New York Times reported on some predictions, warning us to “get ready for a flood of princelings—and some potentially worrisome consequences for social mobility in the United States, as the immense earnings of an already stratified economy are entrusted to a new generation.” In fact, once the money starts flowing into the bank accounts of Generation X and Y, “the United States might look a little more like aristocratic Europe, with its Downton Abbeys and super-hyphenated names.” The inheritance bubble will reach others outside the 1%, of course—namely the further dismantling of the middle class. But the ultra wealthy will, once again, prove the arbiters of this monumental shift.
Will O’Neill, creator of the landmark interactive short story Actual Sunlight, is shifting his attention away from love and depression to focus on this impending change. Little Red Lie focuses on the financial instability promised by the transfer of wealth between the baby boomers and the fruit of their loins. “The game takes place in the relatively near future,” O’Neill explains in the announcement, “[speculating] a world in which major financial institutions begin to shift strategically towards securing the only asset of a generation with little to no value: Their inheritances.”
But while the premise appears to take a look at the issues on a macro scale, the heart of the narrative lies in the two main characters who are on either side of that equation. Arthur Fox is a world-leading financial advisor, with a promising past and future. Sarah Stone, on the other hand, finds herself “unemployed, idle, and mentally ill, but still maintains the facade of a middle-class lifestyle through the resources of her financially-dwindling parents.”
While Actual Sunlight centered around a romance, Little Red Lie will explore a more familial kind of love, in a story about debt, capitalism, truth, and honesty. Both characters rely on deception to live their vastly different lives, using the same means to different ends. The insincerity crosses the wide barriers separating the two, demonstrating a world that encourages dishonesty no matter what rung of the economic ladder you find yourself on.
You can find more information on Little Red Lie on its official website.