Predictions for 2012!

1.   President Obama will win re-election, albeit narrowly if Mitt Romney is the GOP standard bearer.   He wins handily against Gingrich, Paul or Perry.   Jon Huntsman is the one Republican who could knock off Obama (I mean, the guy speaks Mandarin — we’re not talking oranges here!)

2.   Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination.    Romney-Thune vs. Obama-Biden.

3.   The economy will improve — unemployment will still be high, but there will be a sense of relief that the great recession is finally giving way (2013 will be the year of inflation, but we’ll not dwell on that now).    This will be enough to help Obama, but isn’t a true ending of the crisis – structural imbalances still exist, very serious ones in fact.

4.  Occupy Wall Street protests will grow again in the summer, but activists will make a concerted effort to be positive and politically engaged, a very stark comparison to the summer of 1968 when protesters stormed the Democratic convention.   This will help focus the election year conversation about relative wealth and the middle class, giving Democrats a boost.

5.   The Democrats will keep the Senate and narrowly take back the House in an election that will have people saying “who’d have thunk this a year ago.”    I’ll e-mail them a link to my blog.

6.   The Democratic majorities will be narrow in each House, and President Obama will call for the “reasonable center” to govern.   It will.

7.   The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl with Tom Brady – the best QB in the league today – MVP.

8.   Maine will pass a referendum legalizing gay marriage, tbe the first referendum to get popular support for gay marriage, not relying on the courts or a friendly state legislature.  This will mark a turning point for this issue.

9.   Iran’s nuclear controversies notwithstanding, the people will rise up in protest against the clerics that guide the Islamic Republic, leading to a severe crisis.   China, the EU and US will stay out publicly, but privately facilitate a way for change to come to Iran that doesn’t completely drive out the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council.   One result of this will be Iran publicly eschewing nuclear weapons.

10.   North Korea will also undergo a very positive change, this time driven by China.   China will influence, bribe, threaten and cajole the North Korean military to undertake a major change in policy, opening the country.   North Korea will rely on China to help it overcome high debt and poverty, and cede to China control of its nuclear weapons.  Whether North Korea will unify with the South or connect in some way with China remains an open question (not to be decided in 2012).

11.  Angela Merkel will emerge as the “person of the  year” for 2012, thanks to her steering of the EU through crisis and claims that her work with President Obama helped him secure re-election.    A feminine face on German leadership in the EU will help Europeans accept that German leadership is not only required, but no longer something to fear.

12.   Syria’s President Assad will fall, around the same time Iranian protests rachet up.   The tension in the region will escalate, as no clear successor to Assad’s government will emerge.

13.   Iraq will continue to suffer unrest and division, with Iranian and Syrian instability spreading.   Some will say the US should go back, but President Obama will note that the Iraqis have to build their own future.

14.   The unrest will have a surprising side effect — it will lead to a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that will surprise a lot of people.   Spooked by what Mossad says the impact of regional instability could mean for Israel, Netanyahu decides that some kind of agreement for a two state solution needs to be reached, and thanks to Wikileaks, he knows Hamas’ bark is worse than its bite.    President Obama will be part of this late summer agreement, enhancing his re-election chances.

15.  Russian President Vladimir Putin will become more openly authoritarian in his bid to win re-election as President.  But the Russian people are not as docile as they were in Soviet times and Russian protests will threaten Putin’s grip on power.   Ultimately Putin will be pushed out by bureaucratic insiders, but that will not satisfy the crowds.

16.  Mideast unrest will cause a spike in oil prices by late summer.    By the end of the year this will show itself in a slowdown of the economic recovery.

17.  After some bad early press, the Chevy Volt and other electric car alternatives will make a comeback due to technological innovations and continued government support for research and development.

18.  The EU and China will reach an agreement that expands Chinese investment in the EU and further links their economies.   In the US some will decry the EU’s “switching sides” and abandoning the US for China.   However, it simply reflects the changing balance of global politics.

The myth is that the Mayans predicted 12-21-12 as the end of the world. It may be at least the end of an era.

19.   A conference will be held near the end of the year to deal with increased threats to global economic stability and on going financial turmoil.    It will take place in Asia with the bold purpose of forging a ‘new global economic order,’ or what some call a ‘new Bretton Woods’ (though much different than the old).   The US will have to accept its diminished role due to high debt and structural economic deficiencies.    China will recognize that it can no longer simply grow as “factory to the world” and needs to shift its economy as other Asian states supply cheaper labor and products.  African states will focus on getting a fair return on resources, and the first major talks on long term energy sustainability will take place in order to avoid future ‘resource wars.’

The conference will begin around December 3rd and not close until near Christmas, the weekend of the 22nd.   Pundits will have a field day comparing this to the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end on 12-21-12.   “The old world of US dominance and state-centric economics is indeed being pushed aside by these historic agreements; it’s both the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.”

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  1. #1 by Scott Erb on December 28, 2011 - 15:46

    I’ve had Mitt Romney as the standard barrier, the standard barer, and finally the standard bearer. The first I can blame on fast typing, but the second was either a moment of idiocy or fate telling me that my prediction is wrong. I’m thinking Romney will win it easier than people expect, but I suppose if it ends up a brokered convention anything can happen…

  2. #2 by Black Flag® on December 28, 2011 - 16:01

    1. Unless Paul wins, nothing will change. It doesn’t matter who sits in the Big Chair, the Warfare/Welfare State will move right along into oblivion

    2. It isn’t who wins the Rep Nomination, it will be who loses. And the biggest loser will be the American people if Paul is not elected.

    3. The economy will not improve – it will get steadily worse. There has been absolutely no change in an of the fundamentals that are destroying the economy, therefore, there can not be such a claim called “improvement”.

    The illusions created by artificial credit and massive money creation may make it appear getting better, but it is more of the analogy of counter flooding the Titanic as it sinks so that the upper decks are fooled to thinking the boat is going to continue to float.

    The question in 2012 will be how long the Euro and the EU lasts.

    4. Occupy Wall Street protests are irrelevant ranting of raging idiots.

    5. The Democrats will keep the Senate and “who cares”, see #1. The debt will continue to skyrocket, there will be no cuts other than perhaps the Prez will not get a new desk this year.

    6. See #5

    7. Football is the opiate of the masses. A grand distraction. Just like most of TV.

    8. Why the State is involved in marriage at all is never questioned.

    9. Islamic Republic, a severe crisis perpetrated by Israeli/US actions will give crediblity to the Republican Guard to setup its authority and repression – and the people will fall in line in defense from a common foe – the Imperialist Western powers.

    10. I think you are too bold in your claim regarding N. Korea, though I do agree the potential exists. He is young, and he has time. Is he patient?

    11. Angela Merkel will emerge as the “goat of the year”. She will be handed her hat, and told to leave by the voters of Germany since she works not for their best interest but for the interests of nearly everyone else.

    12. Syria’s President Assad will fall.

    13. Iraq will continue to suffer unrest and division. It will fall into total civil war.

    14. Nothing fundamental has changed between Israelis and Palestinians. As long as the US funds Israel, the requirement for Israeli’s stance to change does not exist. The day the funds are cut, Israel will be ready to talk – however, it probably will be too late. I do not see the State of Israel in existence within 20 years.

    15. Putin will be pushed out by bureaucratic insiders, but that will not satisfy the crowds.

    16. Mideast unrest will cause a spike in oil prices. But oil does not determine the economy. The economy determines the price of oil. Notwithstanding your correct analysis of the price due to uncertainty, the supply of oil will turn to a glut. China is falling into a recession, the US economy is stalled, the oil production glut will grow and the prices will fall due to oversupply and overcome the rise due to uncertainty.

    17. The stupid, subsidized Greenie technology companies will fall like rain in a hurricane.

    18. China is not what should be paid attention. India is what should be paid attention.

    The myth is that the Mayans predicted 12-21-12 as the end of the world. It may be at least the end of an era….or at least the end of the beginning of the end of the era.

    19. There is no conference or agreement capable of overruling market forces. US$ will continue to dominate as the world’s reserve currency, and the US economy for all its woes is still the most productive in the world.

    It will be all for one – to their doom. But no other currency can compete or is willing to compete.

  3. #3 by pino on December 28, 2011 - 16:50

    1. I hope not.
    2. I am thinking you are right. Though I think Newt makes a better President, Mitt has better chance to beat Obama.
    3. True. As long as Europe doesn’t crater.
    4. They will grow again but get more violent. Only the agitators and professional protesters will last for more than a year.
    5. Wrong on both counts. Which makes me feel better if Obama happens to hold on.
    6. There is nothing centrist about Obama. -or the democrats in power–. That’s why they are leaving
    7. The Patriots are the 6th best team in the league.
    8. I hope so.
    9. I don’t think so.
    10. I don’t think so.
    11. Meh.
    12. I agree.
    13. I agree.
    14. Hmmm…
    15. Putin will not be President.
    16. True.
    17. False.
    18. I don’t think so.
    19. The world will end in 2012

  4. #4 by Black Flag® on December 30, 2011 - 19:07

    Update on point #11:

    Economists estimate a ‘30% to 40% chance of a break-up of the euro in 2012’

    Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2080188/Economists-estimate-30-40-chance-break-euro-2012.html#ixzz1i2wNnC39

    • #5 by Scott Erb on December 30, 2011 - 23:51

      UK economists always wants to think the Euro is in more trouble than it is (especially since the French and Germans are down on them lately). If by “break up” they mean Greece or a couple small countries will leave, then the odds are probably accurate. But the idea that everyone will simply go back to national currencies is extremely unlikely — it’s not in very many states’ self-interest to do so (and the cost even to states like Greece would be immense). If you look at self-interest and where power lies (with the business class and financial sector), you can bet they’ll do whatever necessary to keep the Euro as stable as possible.

      Out of self-interest I hope concern stays high until at least May when I take students to Germany. It would be nice to have a relatively strong dollar for a change!

  5. #6 by Ron Byrnes on December 31, 2011 - 01:12

    Sometimes, like Sunday afternoons in the fall/winter, we need a distraction. Aaron Rodgers, sorry. And you’re way more optimistic about North Korea than me. Here’s hoping you’re right.

  6. #7 by Ron Byrnes on December 31, 2011 - 01:14

    Updating my signature/blog link.

  7. #8 by renaissanceguy on January 1, 2012 - 01:41

    1. I think that you are right.
    2. I think that you are right about Romney, but I am not sure about Thune. I would expect Romney to choose Gingrich.
    3. If our government’s policies and actions do not change, the economy can only get worse. It might appear to get better temporarily, but only because of stalling tactics and bookkeeping magic tricks.
    4. Occupy Wall Street will fizzle out. People who are creating wealth will either get fed up with teh class warfare and “shrug” or they will fight back.
    5. From what I am seeing and hearing, both houses will have more Republicans than Democrats.
    6. “Center” is a weasle word actually meaning “left.”
    7. I do not know and I do not care. 🙂
    8. I support Maine’s right to do so.
    9. I hope that you are right. I would guess that we will take more tangible action against Iran, unfortunately.
    10. I hope that you are right. Could be.
    11. Maybe. I expect that the economic problems in the EU will get much worse, and whoever emerges as the leader will be “person of the year” for negative reasons.
    12. Probably.
    13. Probably. I hope that we do not go back.
    14. Far-fetched.
    15. Probably.
    16. Probably, and still a great reason for domestic drilling and for development of new energy resources.
    17. Maybe. Probably not so soon.
    18. Maybe. It doesn’t worry me.
    19. Sounds like a reasonable prediction. What they should conclude is that worldwide free trade is the way to go. However, they won’t.

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