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Predictions for 2009

December 30th, 2008 by Myrhaf · 5 Comments · Culture

Please don’t take this post too seriously. There are no crystal balls, and no one can really predict the future. If nothing else, the surprises of the primary season in 2008 should have taught us that. At best these “predictions” are educated guesses. Some of these are less serious than others.

At the end of the year we will look back on this post to see who got the most right. The winner gets bragging rights. If any reader wishes to make predictions, feel free to do so in the comments.

BILL BROWN

1. The credit card industry will “fail” and seek a bail out. There will be a general hue and cry as several banks “double dip” after the initial bail out.

2. President Barack Obama will propose a single-payer health insurance system that will be fiercely debated in Congress. Republicans will seize upon it as a defining issue and it will go down in defeat. But they still won’t get the reasoning right.

3. Antitrust enforcement will reach record levels under Obama’s Department of Justice. The corporate shakedown–in the form of fines– will generate substantial revenue.

4. Obama will pull troops out of Iraq and use them to invade Pakistan in an effort to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Pakistan will welcome Obama the Liberator.

5. Union membership and unionization will surge as the union-backed Obama administration puts some teeth in labor law. Strangely, it will not help forestall the recession.

Those are my predictions and I sincerely hope none of them come to pass.

MYRHAF

1. The Monastery Movement will begin. Both young and old Americans will renounce earthly pleasures and take a vow of poverty in order to serve God instead of wealth. This will be part of the 21st Century Awakening, a mass movement to embrace religion and “give one’s life more meaning.”

2. An obesity bill will pass in which Americans are given tax incentives to maintain a healthy weight. Fat people will have to pay more in taxes unless they’re poor.

3. Discussion will pick up about planning the American economy, as “economic anarchy” leads to capitalists serving their own greed instead of the national interest. Since tax payers are now subsidizing the Wall Street fat cats, a consensus will build that big business can no longer be left alone to pursue a profit without government oversight. President Obama will consider appointing a Secretary of the Economy to coordinate planning or perhaps assigning that responsibility to the Secretary of Commerce.

4. For the 52nd year in a row, Atlas Shrugged will not go into production in Hollywood.

5. The Lakers will beat the Celtics in the NBA Championship Finals in seven games.

DISMUKE

1. The Big Four RIAA record labels will implode – Sales will collapse faster and deeper than expected because of the economy and big box retailers such as Wal-mart and Best Buy drastically reducing shelf space devoted to CDs. Even worse for the labels is they will be abandoned by artists. Existing acts will not renew their contracts without large amounts of cash which the labels no longer have. And the labels will have little to offer emerging acts that they cannot get on their own these days on more favorable terms. These trends have been going on for a while but the economy will speed things up significantly. 2009 will be the year when the Luddites in charge, whose fear of emerging competition led them to forfeit technological progress and innovation to a black market and transformed millions of otherwise respectable middle class teenagers into pirates, will realize that their only future will be as a copyright clearing house for oldies recordings. There’s nothing more pathetic than a bunch of aging hippies.

2. Sears and Kmart will go out of business. Both are owned by the same company. That this will eventually happen has been obvious for a very long time. Perhaps 2009 will be the year it does. If so, Wal-mart will take over Kmart’s shuttered Manhattan locations absolutely horrifying the Leftist, self-proclaimed “creative class” elitist types.

3. The New York Times Company will either go bankrupt or be bought out. Either way, the Ochs-Sulzberger/Walter Duranty dynasty will come to an end. Whoever ends up with it will basically be buying a trademark for future digital endeavors. Perhaps Duranty’s Pulitzer could be donated to the Smithsonian as a fitting memento of the paper’s legacy.

4. The newspaper industry death spiral will start to spread to television networks and television stations. The future of any sort of pre-recorded programing will be on-demand. Making a date to rush home and sit in front of an electronic box to watch a program is so 20th century and remembering to program the recorder to catch it for later programing is a hassle. We will see increasing on-demand options in 2009. Network news budgets are going to be slashed big time in 2009 as a result of reduced viewership and the economy. The only audience left for network newscasts is mostly old people. Wealthy retirees have been hit hard by the stock market and less wealthy ones on fixed incomes will be REALLY hit hard when hyper-inflation eventually comes along. So they will have less money to spend on products advertised on such programs. Computer literate old people will increasingly feel comfortable turning to the Internet for news. Those without computers or cable will continue to watch whatever is on network news regardless of how crappy it is so the execs in charge will cut very deeply. Watch for similar things to happen with local news departments in 2009 as well. When the manufacturers of laxatives decide that they get more for their money with Internet ad buys than on TV the game will be up for television as we have known it, though it will be beyond 2009 before this finally happens.

5. Hillary Clinton will become President of the United States. The whole Blagojevich scandal was cooked up by Clinton operatives who are now busy worming themselves into all corners of the upcoming Obama administration and undoubtedly plotting and scheming and planting who knows what sorts of skeletons in Obama’s closets. When the time is right, Hillary will pounce and everything will blow up in Obama’s face all at once. Hillary will emerge with a smile on her face and smelling like a rose. She won’t say it but plenty of her operatives will say “I told you so” and President Biden will appoint Hillary as his Vice President. Then she will figure out a way of getting rid of him too. Okay, perhaps it is a bit far fetched. But I sure wouldn’t put it past her – would you?

INSPECTOR

Hmmmm…

To be a tad tongue-in-cheek with this:

1. Keynesian Federal Reserve policy will result in the Dollar losing at least 40% of its real value.

2. Gas prices will go up as a direct result. The mainstream media will blame “companies” and not Federal monetary policy.

3. The Obama administration will make at least one new law, regulation, or agency to “fix” the economy with more socialist-style government intervention. It will fail, and the mainstream media will not report it as a failure, but rather laud him.

4. Israel will be attacked at least once by the Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbullah, or one of its neighbors. The U.N. will speak harshly of any attempts on Israel’s part to defend/retaliate.

5. At least one more industry will call for a “bailout” and will get it, despite the fact that people are increasingly against the idea. The stock market will go down – just like last time – after the bailout is enacted, to the utter surprise of the mainstream media.

Heh. Let’s just say I see history repeating itself…

CHUCK

I predict that in future years historians will say of us: They lived in interesting times.

5 Comments so far ↓

  • Chuck

    There are no shortage of America haters abroad making predictions of our impending doom. All of these types take for granted that we are in a death spiral from which there is no escape.

    One Russian charater predicted civil war in America in 2010, with the US breaking up into six different zones, each under some other country’s influence, e.g., the Midwest section under Canadian influence, the Northeast under European influence, the Southwest under Mexican influence, Alaska under Russian influence (they want that oil), and the West under Chinese influence.

    This is of course just wishful thinking on the part of the enemies of freedom and civilization. These predictions come from people who see the economic world as a zero sum game, in which they want to grab a bigger piece of the pie while the getting’s good.

    Instead, they should be promoting capitalism and individual rights for all, like a rational human being.

  • Galileo Blogs

    I will throw in one, rather concrete prediction: oil will reach a bottom between $20 and $30 during the first half of 2009.

    I am reminded of when oil bottomed below $10 per barrel in 1998 or 1999. I will just add in some price inflation to that level and get an equivalent bottom in the above range.

    Admittedly, the factors are quite different between then and now. Back then, dis-inflation had been prevalent, with gold dropping below $300 per ounce. Today it is over $800 per ounce. Moreover, the economy was strong back then. The cheap oil price then was a function of the strengthened purchasing power of the dollar, whereas a cheap oil price now is a result of recession and a slackened demand for oil. Our dollars are debased, which would argue for a higher price of oil, but demand has been curtailed.

    This is kind of an easy prediction (I give myself a large range). We shall see…

    To make it a full year prediction, I will say that at year-end 2009, oil will be trading in the $30-$80 range. 🙂

  • Jim May

    Chuck: they are indeed wishing, not predicting. They did the same thing in the 1970’s. I predict that we’ll be hearing plenty more of that crap for a decade.

    My second prediction — and I’ve put money on this one — is that once gold clears $1000 an ounce late in the year, it will never be seen south of there again.

  • Roger Theriault

    Just one prediction. When the price of oil bottoms out in the first half of 2009, and when gas prices fall accordingly, Obama will propose, and get passed, a huge increase in the federal gas tax – around 50 or 75 cents per gallon. The increase will be justified by, and “earmarked” for, infrastructure improvements, but it will really just go into the general fund to mitigate some of the monetary disasters looming on the medium- and long-range horizons. No one will protest, because, even after the increase, the price of gas won’t be anywhere near the four-dollar-a-gallon level of mid-2008. This will pass before the end of 2009.

  • GregM

    I think #4 from Dismuke and #5 from Inspector will go hand in hand. Networks and newspapers are next in line for bailouts.