A Futurist Scorecard
Recent events and news stories have had a familiar feel to me. It is because many of them had been part of my predictions for 2007 that I published here in January. When something I can see happening in the future actually happens, in a way it has already occurred for me. For example, I have been on the record, and telling anyone that asks since January that not only would gasoline climb over $3 a gallon this year, it would also set the all time record, set in 1981 of $3.11 in inflation adjusted dollars, and that is many cities the price would climb over $4 a gallon. Well all that just happened.
This and other recent stories made me want to go back and publicly take a look at the 11 specific predictions I made the first week of January. I will just quote the first part of the prediction, since the full language can be read here.
- The â€˜middleâ€™ will reassert itself, politically and economically. Clearly this is happening in Washington D.C. where a consensus move to the center is occurring, in large part due to the Democratically controlled Congress. Also, last month while the discount chains such as Wal-Mart were announcing discouraging earning reports and predictions, department stores, the middle of the market reported revenue and earning upticks.
- The U.S. residential real estate market will essentially go sideways for the entire year. Well, year to date that is certainly true. There will not be a national up swing in this market until 2008.
- The price of gasoline will jump over $3 nationally and $4 in a number of cities. Yes.
- The U.S. stock markets will continue to rise, though there will be more volatility and greater variability in stock markets globally. Well, the Dow Jones Industrials is in the 13,500 range and the S&P 500 is around 1525, both up substantially from the first of the year. Also, there has been some very volatile days of trading and variability from national market to market â€” remember the Chinese market meltdown at the end of February?
- Private equity will continue to dominate the marketplace with an increasing number of mega deals. Letâ€™s see, Chrysler, Equity Office Properties Trust, TXU; it seems that almost every week there is a multi-billion dollar private equity deal being announced. It is changing the face of big business.
- The current Internet boom, Internet 2.0, will continue to grow, with continuing new innovation as the number of households with broadband access crossing the 50% threshold. The 50% threshold was crossed by the end of the first quarter and the current indications coming from Madison Avenue during this â€˜upfrontâ€™ season indicate a healthy, well into double digit growth of on-line advertising.
- Food Safety will continue to be a front page issue. Absolutely. Think of the pet food contamination that left thousands of pets dead in the U.S. courtesy of China. Contaminated catfish from China has been taken off the market in the South, and, in April alone, the FDA turned back 257 Chinese import shipments, while at the same time admitting that only 0.9% of imported food shipments entering this country are inspected. CNN is currently running a major series on dangerous food.
- The Iraq War will increasingly be regarded as one of the major blunders in the last 100 years of U.S. foreign policy. Uh, any questions?
- The Bush Administration will be the first second term presidency in recent memory to not have a positive bounce in its final two years. Scandals, investigations and unpleasant revelations will increase. While there is still time for this prediction to be wrong, the Bush Administration seems to be working to make this prediction very true.
- Populism will become ascendant. Listen to Barack Obama, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Richardson for starters.
- There will be a noticeable increase in optimism about the future. This is harder to gage. There is palpable optimism in the political arena as people start to see that there will be a change in government next year and that the country now has a bi-partisan debate for the first time in seven years. I personally see the beginning of a shift toward more optimism as we begin to embrace efforts to confront and deal with the major issues of the world, rather than staying in the fear based bunker we have lived in for five years.
I am proud of the fact that my predictions are proving to be quite accurate. Regular readers of this blog deserve nothing less. The truth is that while most people are absorbed in their lives to a degree that prevents them from contemplating trends and the future, it is what I do. I am always looking ahead, and looking at current dynamics and charting where they might take us. A regular reader of www.evolutionshift.com said to me recently: â€œMost people live in the past and are concerned about the present. You David live in the present and think about the future. Thank you for doing the research and thinking for me.â€
My pleasure, glad to be of service.