Every year, I put up my list of predictions for the coming year. Sometimes they come close to the mark, most of the time they do not. Regardless, it’s fun to stare into the crystal ball and make a few predictions about the coming year. Without further ado, here are my predictions:
- President Barack Obama’s popularity with the left will bleed away as he moves to governing as a centrist.
- Card check legislation will be narrowly defeated in Congress, preserving the rights of the American worker to a secret ballot.
- The Republican Party will continue to spend a year in the wilderness, while the seeds of political renewal will come from outside the party structure.
- Vice President Biden will say something incredibly stupid, creating a great deal of tension between him and President Obama.
- Congress will continue to be unpopular as the economy continues to backslide and more and more scandals mount. By the end of the year, faith in American government will be at a new low.
- Iraq will be a bright spot as its nascent democracy continues to develop. Rather than terrorism, its main problem will be corruption and governmental issues. Iraq will start looking less like Lebanon and more like Jordan in terms of its development. The media will basically ignore Iraq, even though there will be no major U.S. troop drawdowns until mid-year at the earliest. President Obama’s Iraq strategy will be a continuation of the existing strategy, not a clean break from the Bush years.
- Israel will again stop short of destroying their enemies, slowly backing down after token military actions on the ground in Gaza. Seeing another Lebanon, the Israeli people will reject Kadima and elect Netanyahu as Prime Minister.
- India and Pakistan will be at the brink of war throughout the year, but neither side will pull the trigger. This issue will dominate Secretary of State Clinton’s efforts throughout the year.
- Iran will test a nuclear weapon, leading Israel to formally announce that they possess nuclear weapons and that they will use them if necessary. Israel will work to expand ts fleet of ballistic missile submarines.
- Russa’s Gazprom state-owned oil company will collapse, causing massive unrest in the country. Vladimir Putin and his puppet Dmitri Medvedev will use the unrest to further restrict freedoms and consolidate their own power.
- Due to oil prices plummeting, Hugo Chavez will be deposed in a bloodless coup.
- The recession will not go away in 2009.
- Obama’s $1 trillion stimulus bill will narrowly pass on a party-line vote. It will not stimulate the economy, but will cause further job losses as small businesses prepare for the worst.
- The Dow will sink below 8,000 and not stay above that level for most of the year.
- By the end of 2009, the U.S. will face double-digit unemployment, economic recession, and massive deflation as the credit markets remain frozen.
- Congress will pass a protectionist trade measure that will have massive ripple effects throughout the world economy. The European Union will push for the WTO to punish the U.S. for their actions. Rather than improve our relations worldwide, America will be disliked ever more intensely across the globe.
- The one bright spot will be that consumers begin shedding their debts and living more fiscally responsible lifestyles.
- The last MacWorld will annonce the iPhone Nano, a new Mac Mini, and a quad-core iMac. It will be revealed that Steve Jobs is in fact unwell, which will cause Apple shares to slide. However, the corporate culture that Jobs has created will keep Apple innovative.
- Microsoft will release Windows 7 by years-end. It will be better than Vista, but still not sell well due to the decline of the industry.
- The economic downturn will cause a widespread cultural re-examination. Church attendance will climb as people look for stability in their lives.
- The New York Times will file for bankruptcy protection. Liberal investors will save it from falling, but circulation will continue to drop.
- Star Trek will be a major hit as the public rejects the gloomy outlook of other summer films. Chris Pine will become a breakout star from his role as James T. Kirk.
- A major network will announce a new series to be aired entirely on the web rather than through traditional channels. It will be a major hit and the start of a new trend away from traditional media towards online distribution.
I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year, and thank you for reading!