Might as well throw our hat into the fray for predictions. And by "our" I mean predominantly "me" since I think all the other LP staff died from congenital STD's... or maybe that's a prediction too? More after the break!
If you've checked out some of the predictions that have already been re-posted in Commentary, then you already have an idea of what to expect. I will say that Crackback stated boldly that a US Senator would commit suicide this year. Ktal mumbled off some stuff about "game of the year" for 2010 without realizing that the winner had already been posted: Mass Effect 2 & Red Dead Redemption. We'll cut him a little slack due to holidays and his post-doc studies. Update: Stoney just narrowly sent off an email stating that the new congress will repeal ObamaCare and set up the Democrats to "bomb" in the 2012 election.
The obvious: Gas prices will continue to rise and will pass $4.00 a gallon by summer time. This is due in part to Obama's moratorium on gulf oil production (thank you fraudulent Salazar report) and the fact that even more of our oil consumption is under OPEC's control. Talk of Peak Oil will increase with the prices and it'll all be justified and simplified "supply and demand," which will be true, since we're demanding more from Canada and OPEC to make up for the loss of gulf production.
In turn, this will stifle the MSM proported economic "recovery" for 2011. Remember, +$4.00 gas was a major player to the recession in 2008 and I have little to doubt that the dreaded "double-dip" will resurface as well. Of course, debating whether we actually left the first "dip" is still on the table, but in reality, that topic is not as relevant to getting out of the recession altogether.
The recession continues. Unemployment will continue to flirt with 10% by government number standards. Quantitative Easing 2.0 will finish in June, with Quantitative Easing +3 in serious discussion. This version will be for banks still sitting on toxic assets that continue to grow as the housing industry losses another 10% off the value of existing homes. American pessimism will continue to grow while the Misery Index reaches for a new high.
I should stipulate that the economy will appear to be fine for the first 3-4 months going into the new year. The stock market will beat the 12,000 point mark and people will gleefully announce the brilliance of economists, bankers, even the presidency (but disdainful of Congress). But behind the scenes the Federal Reserve will be propping up a destined-to-fail system, and eventually, perhaps through the drive of Ron Paul, the sacred house of cards will blow over.
The cost of basic needs will continue to rise and rise -- meeting new heights month over month. One reason will be the increasing fuel costs to ship the goods, the other will be the liquidity the Federal Reserve has pumped into the system. Precious metals will begin to rise unabated to money movement. Silver will hit $50 an ounce before June (judging by its trend since August at $18.50 to today at $30.00, it could be even higher). Gold should have no issues clearing $1500 before then.
Internationally, Europe will continue to fall apart gracefully. The Euro, which should have died but continues to be funded by the US, China, and a few others, will eventually crash. China will suffer tremendously as their bloated currency continues to disenfranchise its citizens. Look for headlines stating double digit increases on merchandise for China. Huge rebellions will be rebuffed by the worlds hugest army. Tiananmen will look like a tea party comparatively, though any reports will be filtered and quarantined before release. However, the US-Chinese relations will continue to deteriorate as the US loses its ability to import excessive cheap-made crap. More war posturings, more spying, more build-up.
The middle east will continue exporting violence and vitriol. Nothing much will have changed over the last 1000 years, frankly. Except: Israel. It'll get just a little bit more tenuous and tensional. I suppose that isn't much different for the past several decades either. The wild card, expectantly, is Iran. Since I am not sure just how much harm the Stuxnet worm has done to their nuclear ambitions, it is hard to predict anything. Just hope they are stalled through 2011.
Korea. Crazy fruit cakes bent on stupidity while drinking Chinese kool-aid. I wouldn't be too surpised if a real conflict arrises here. If Dear Leader dies, then the certifiably nut-job son will do something harsh, just to prove a point -- no matter how silly said point is. Plus, the Korean War was never officially over, just an armistance. My problem is that I could easily see North Korea being used as a puppet by the Chinese to increase production on both China's and the US's side. Not only that, but to hide the problems within the country (both China and the US for that matter -- nothing like a good ol' fashion war to unite a nation).
Back home, for the most part, I see Congress still be ineffective. The newly minted GOP players are full of vigor, and I applaud their efforts, but the truth is they cannot cut much from the budget without making huge ripple effects -- causing more unemployment, less flow of money, and election resentment. Plus, anything the House proposes, the Senate or president could undo. Their hands are tied. The blame game will go on while the country rots from within. States will beg for bailouts, but the GOP controlled House will rebuff them. Bankruptcies will be the big topic during the summer and fall. December will be the coldest Christmas for millions.
Curiously, more and more mass animal deaths will make the news. Scientists will continue to be baffled by the ordeal. Also, people will slowly realize how cheaply they sold themselves to facebook, the new marketing tool of the future.
Despite all this, I am still hopeful. Hopeful that I am wrong and that 2011 will be just as boring and uneventful as 2010. I hoped for this last night around midnight as I was cradling my little girl, rocking her back to sleep and letting her know there was nothing to fear...
P.S. No staff members received STDs in the posting of this article (yet).