Jay Reding.com

Predictions 2008

As is my yearly tradition, I offer a few predictions for the new year, to be revisited (and frequently mocked) a year later. So, without further ado, this year’s predictions:

Politics/National

  • Hillary Clinton defeats Obama for the Democratic Nomination. She picks Mark Warner as her running mate.
  • She then narrowly loses to the Republican candidate (who is not Mike Huckabee).
  • Sensing a weak field, Michael Bloomberg runs for the Presidency on a third-party ticket, picking CNN anchor Lou Dobbs Chuck Hagel as his running mate. He barely registers in the polls, despite pouring millions of his own money into the race.
  • The Democrats retain control of Congress, but not be margins large enough to threaten vetos. Pelosi and Reid remain in control of their respective chambers, but end up being just as ineffectual as they have been over the last major year. Congress still does almost nothing throughout the year, and this Congress leaves with no major legislative achievements to its name.

International

  • Violence in Iraq remains sporadic, as US forces slowly withdraw. Iraq becomes less and less of a domestic political issue. Al-Qaeda attempts a Tet Offensive, but it is quickly crushed thanks to solid intelligence provided by Iraqi civilians.
  • The center-right remains triumphant as Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Kevin Rudd, and Stephen Harper all work towards free market reforms in their respective countries to great popular acclaim.
  • The situation in Pakistan remains deeply unsettled, with Musharraf having only a tenuous hold on power.
  • Iran continues to rattle sabers, and continues to enrich uranium, while the Bush Administration tries to ratchet up diplomatic pressure—to no avail.
  • The Annapolis Peace Conference accomplishes nothing as once again Israel offers concessions and the Palestinians end up being too divided to offer anything in return.
  • China improves its image with the Beijing Olympics.

Economics

  • While the media continues to paint their picture of economic despair, the real story continues to be the “Goldilocks economy” of low unemployment, high economic growth, and steady wage growth.
  • The sub-prime mortgage issue fades as the impact becomes more fully known. As the uncertainty fades, it becomes clear that the fears of recession were baseless.
  • Oil prices stabilize around $100/barrel.

Society/Culture/Technology

  • At MacWorld, Apple announces iTunes movie rentals – in HD, with a new Apple TV to match. They also announce an enhanced iPhone, an ultraportable MacBook with a flash-based hard drive and long battery life. Apple stock continues to climb.
  • However, Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 download store starts stealing some marketshare from iTunes. More studios embrace selling their music unencumbered by DRM, leading iTunes to abandon their FairPlay DRM on music by the end of the year.
  • Despite blockbusters like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Star Trek, box office receipts decline both in number of tickets and dollars grossed as the price of high-def movie equipment declines. While movie ticket sales decline, sales of HDTVs, home theater setups, and HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players soar. HD-DVD players hit the $100 mark by the end of the year, meaning that HD-DVD adoption pulls away from Blu-Ray.

We’ll see how well these predictions turn out next year…

UPDATE 12/31/07: One minor change. Despite both being cranks, Bloomberg and Dobbs apparently don’t agree on much. However, Bloomberg and Sen. Chuck Hagel have met before, making them more likely political bedfellows.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: One more prediction: No Country for Old Men will win Best Picture at the Oscars. It deserves to. If you’ve not yet seen it, it’s an amazing movie because of the way it’s almost entirely built on subtext. But don’t let that dissuade you: it’s not preachy, it’s not pretentious, and it isn’t an “art house” movie. It’s just a damned good film.

8 responses to “Predictions 2008”

  1. adb67 says:

    The economy may be in good shape, but not for middle and lower income families who are being squeezed by stagnant wages, rising healthcare costs and rising costs of goods and services. As a middle income worker with a family of four, I have seen my salary basically stagnant for 3 years. Same for my coworkers. We work for a $280 billion dollar company reaping huge financial profits, yet we get little in the way of salary growth, have seen our benefit costs triple and see no real opportunities for growth. Its an economy benefitting the top tier, not those in the middle. Its why more and more republicans like myself are walking away from the only party we have known, GOP leadership is both blind, ignorant and uncaring for our situation.

  2. Mark says:

    Mark Warner is gonna be a free Senate seat pickup for the Dems in Virginia. There’s zero chance the Dems will allow Hillary to deny them that seat. I agree that Hillary gets the nomination (and thus assures the Democrats of defeat in 2008), but will pick either Wesley Clark or Bill Richardson as her running mate. My money’s on Clark.

    The Republican nominee will either be Romney or McCain. If it’s McCain, he wins in a 2-1 electoral vote landslide. If it’s Willard, he’ll have a much narrower victory. The complicating element of this equation would be a Mike Bloomberg run, which would give the Republican nominee an even bigger advantage.

    Bloomberg and Dobbs and ideologically incompatible. No way would MB pick Dobbs. Chuck Hagel or Bob Kerrey would be his choice.

    Dems will gain one or two Senate seats, but lose a handful of House seats, falling far short of current expectations due to the devastating countercoattails of Hillary.

    The economy will lapse into a relatively minor recession similar to the recession of 2001. There’s potential for a more dire downturn, and indeed working people will bear the brunt of the pain as they always do, but from a purely statistical basis, the economy will hold tough.

    Unrest in Pakistan and a partial reversal of fortune in Iraq following the end of the surge will both contribute to oil prices raising to $120-125 per barrel.

    The Writers Guild will come to a settlement before February 1, but there will be little time to crank out many new episodes of TV shows before the end of the 2007-08 season.

  3. adb67 says:

    Mark, I agree with you about McCain. I think he is gonna be the nominee….I think voters are gonna really get down to brass tacks and discover they feel most comfortable with McCain. Not sure about a running mate though. Given his age at possible election, he is going to need a younger, energetic running mate. I see none of the current other candidates aside from Huckabee as a choice. I think he will turn to a Governor….question is, who?

    As fro a possible matchup, I think the only candidate who beast McCain is Edwards…..

  4. Mark says:

    McCain’s top VP choice would be Joe Lieberman. I’d bet money on that ticket coming together. On the off-chance it doesn’t come together, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has done everything but hump McCain’s leg in an effort to win the veepstakes. However, Pawlenty is scarred by the I-35 bridge collapse, so he may not be attractive as he was last year at this time.

  5. adb67 says:

    I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine. He is, like myself a long time Republican. He has, like I long supported GOP candidates and voted for GW Bush.

    I told him I was disgusted with the GOP and was voting for John Edwards should he get the democratic nomination. He said to me” I will not be voting for a republican. I wont vote for Hillary though, but I would vote for Edwards” I asked him what happens if Hillary is nominated? He said” I will vote third party” He went on to say his 70 year old father who is an old crusty republican told him last week when visiting,he will not vote for a republican in 2008, he too is fed up. he said he would vote for a Dem except Hillary. Again if nominated, what would he do? He said he would vote for some third party candidate.

    My Father has said the same thing. Point is, I hear more and more republicans of all ages saying they are fed up with the GOP. Most of them are middle income voters who feel the GOP has forgotten them and has been corrupted. I think the GOP is in for a very rude awaking in 2008. I mean look, the party cant even pick a clear favorite to run for the Presidency. Zell Miller once said he did not leave the Dem party, it left him. Well, I havent left the GOP, it has left me.

  6. Jay Reding says:

    Mark:: However, Pawlenty is scarred by the I-35 bridge collapse, so he may not be attractive as he was last year at this time.

    What color is the sky on your planet? Here on Planet Earth, Pawlenty’s approval ratings are the highest they’ve been in four years.

    adb67:Edwards?!

    C’mon, you gotta be pulling my leg with that one. Edwards is a phony populist. His rhetoric about “two Americas” and the rest is just red meat he throws out to get votes. He doesn’t believe a word of it. I know a lot of trial lawyers, and I see his kind all the time. They’ll say whatever they need to say to get a jury on their side, even if it runs against all the evidence.

    Ask yourself this: exactly what will any Democratic candidate really do to help your personal situation? Do you think that under a Democrat your salary will get larger? That a Democrat is going to make your healthcare cheaper by making the government run it? That your company will do better when tax rates get hiked through the roof? Or is it just that the Democrats seem to be saying the right things to play on your fears?

    The Democrats have no solutions for anyone’s problems, except their own. They would raise taxes, socialize health care, and generally make a mess of things. None of their policies do anything more than make lavish promises and play on people’s fears.

    The Democratic Party used to stand for the proposition that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Now they are the party of fear itself. They don’t offer solutions, they offer empty rhetoric.

    Believe me, you will be far more successful in life, not to mention much happier, if you stop buying into this rhetoric of fear and stop looking for someone else to solve your problems for you. Voting Democrat isn’t going to make your life any better, no matter what line of bullshit frauds like John Edwards spew forth. Looking for them for answers—or any politician for that matter—is guaranteed to be futile and frustrating.

  7. adb67 says:

    Jay, its our party that has been praying on fear for the last 7 years…as for Edwards. I have met the man personally and had the chance to have a 15 minute conversation within him. he may be a trial lawyer and I am sure can BS with the best, but I wasnt born yesterday, grew up with a father who was a born salesman and can BS with the best of them. You may want to believe the guy is a phony, but what you see if what you get. He is a genuine caring, concerned individual.

    What I am supposed to believe Fred Thompson;s lien of crap? Or Mitt’s flip flopping bull (he and John Kerry are cut from the same silver spoon in the mouth cloth). Fact is the GOP has no real understanding of middle class america. Something needs to be done in this country about providing affordable accessable healthcare to America and the only solution the GOP offers are bullshit tax deductions and $2500 credits……hell $2500 will barely cover my co pays and deductibles….

    The GOP lost sight of who it was supposed to be…….thats not just me saying it….its republican friends and family….and coworkers….all of whom have zero intent of voting for a GOP candidate in 2008…….As for your comment about looking for someone else to solve my problems….I work my ass off as my father did….I earn every dollary in my pocket….but when I cant pay bills or afford healthcare while GW blows trillions on Iraq……wasteful spending and CEO’s and executives earn million dollar salaries while I have to beg for an extra 3 percent every year…something is really wrong.

    GW Bush aint Reagan, he cant even carry his own father’s jock strap….

  8. […] round-up of predictions for the coming year, some of which come true, many of which, well, do not. Last year’s predictions turned out to be less than accurate—let’s see how I […]