Every year I create a list of educated guesses as to what the next year holds. Every year I come up with my best attempt at a fair analysis of my guesses for the previous year. This is my analysis that I posted at my WordPress blog of 2008’s predictions.
Now that 2008 is well done with, we can look back and see how well I did. I try every year to be fair with this. Let me know what you think in the comments. I will give myself a percentage rating on each. I have shifted the original colors to straight black and my rating of each to red. I have not changed any of the content from the original posting. However, I was appalled at my usually impeccable spelling/grammar. I have improved those errors.
Here are the prediction categories
There will be increased use of words like “recession,” “stagflation,” and the continual election favorite “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.” Technically, “recession” and “stagflation” both require 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Neither of which will be even possible for much of 2008. These are mostly thrown around to make people feel a) that they are really struggling financially, and b) that we need to get the republicans out of power.
Having said that: the economy really doesn’t look good. And the picture is that it is going to get much worse before it gets better. Unfortunately, we might be in for “the perfect storm” economically, and the funny thing is that all of the countries we have helped financially won’t lift a finger for us. Gas will be through the roof, and people will here suggestions about ideas from the 1970’s. Some will actually bring these ideas up as possible solutions. Anyone in their right mind will laugh at this (at least anyone who actually remembers the late 70’s). The cost of everything will increase. In categories like groceries it will raise up to 50%.
I gotta admit I did better on this than I could have even imagined, really. Gas was through the roof through much of the year. Gas prices went up sharply for 6 months of 2008 starting in March (after I blogged this). You can see the evidence from the government statistics here. The crash of our economy has been particularly striking and perfect-storm like, although all of this clearly started in the media before a recession was even clear. Of course, regardless of your political standpoint, it was clear to all the Obama and the Democrats were pushed hard by the media, and the poor economy was a perfect example. As just a silly example, remember that Time magazine featured Barack Obama on its cover all the way back in October 2006 as “The Next President.” This was well before anyone had announced their candidacies, and directly in the middle of Bush’s term. If we look at just 2008, Barack was on Time’s cover 10 times, while McCain was on its cover only 5 times (and 3 of those were shared pics with Obama). Even Hilary was on the cover more than McCain. You can search here. I know that this isn’t a proof, but it is pretty clear who the media was for. Fairly, I have to give myself a 9 out of 10 on this one (90%). I used a complicated, convoluted method of figuring. I did well with the gas, the economy, the inflation, the 70’s ideas were trumpeted enough for a full 10.
I am really undetermined on this one. First of all, the terrorist leaders aren’t stupid (OK, they do live in caves and believe that killing masses of innocents is pleasing to their god). They know that a terrorist attack before an election will heavily weight it to the Republicans, and they prefer the Democrats in office (if you don’t believe me, read some of Osama’s own words, or even Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, or Mahmoud Imanutjob in Iran). Having said this, they actually do want for their to be chaos and war. They don’t want peace. So, they may secretly prefer a hawkish leader to one who will automatically Dhimmify the US. Don’t count out possibilities in Europe, and China though. The Olympics are coming up, and they love doing evil at the Olympics. It is a terrorist crowd-pleaser. There are some things going on in Europe that look favorable to their goals as well. Keep an eye on that. I would bet there would be significant terrorism somewhere this year. I don’t know where it will be. Sorry conspiracy fans and “truthers,” chance of it being planned by Bush 0.0% (you can’t believe he’s an idiot and the most evil genius in history at the same time. One or the other folks). There is also a 0% chance of it postponing or calling off the American election. If it happened on an election day, it could be postponed by up to a week or two, but only in that event.
There were plans in China for terrorism that were stopped by the government. Examples here. There was no terrorism, of course. And it was a great Olympics. There wasn’t much of a prediction here, though. I only give myself 2 out of 4 (50%).
I predict that there will be serious financial issues for at least one major American music company, possibly a TV or movie one as well. I don’t mean like a change in a CEO. I mean like on the level of a bankruptcy. It could be one of the biggest stories of the year.
Hmmm…well, there were a ton of bankruptcies this year. A lot of media companies had really really hard times. Many big newspapers are in serious financial straights. There is recent news that some studios may be in serious trouble. However, of all the big financial problems, the TV, movie, and music industries did not crumble yet. I give myself 1 out of 4 (25%) for this. One because the media companies ended up really hurting. It seems weird to think how clear I was on the financial crumble, despite missing this one pretty bad.
People will be watching, listening to, and buying less of each of these. You will hear about it off and on throughout the year. Part of it is due to the economy. Part of it has to do with the fact that you can’t keep feeding people cafeteria food and expecting them to keep coming back. Those industries are fueled mostly by money accessed by teenagers. Teens disposable income will be one of the first things to go in the ’08- economy.
Nailed this one. Overall music sales are down significantly worldwide. Digital music is up, following the digital trend. Proof here. Movie revenue dropped 6% over 2007, which is very significant. Video game sales did not drop, but increased. I do not believe that this points out that families had the same disposable income, as this would be nearly impossible to believe. Instead, it just points out that despite the economy, people are still ruining their children. I give myself 4 out of 5 for this (75%).
I will NOT GUESS who will win. I will only say this. It is going to be difficult for any republican to win (much more for John McCain). The only thing that will give us a chance will be to focus on these three things: 1) Immigration-no we don’t have to say “kick them all out,” but we do have to end a racist policy of fomenting a permanent slave class so that we can have manicured lawns and cheap raisins. Rampant illegal immigration is also a major cause of economic and crime problems. Americans are sick of it. 2) Leadership on the environment. Congrats Repubs for picking a losing issue. Global warming is a stupid red herring issue. It doesn’t matter if the planet is warming (as far as our energy issue is concerned). It does matter that we are polluting, buying petroleum at scalper-prices from folks who’s goal is our complete destruction, and oil will not last forever. If a Repub gave a “we choose to go to the moon…” speech about getting off all foreign oil, he could win. 3) A sensible plan for economic issues like health care, etc.
There are other issues, but these are the big 3
This only would have been a real prediction if any of the Republicans had followed any of these issues. They did not. They lost big. I really should get some credit for this one. The logic isn’t perfect but, I gave 3 prescriptive positions to possibly win. None were taken. Repubs lost big time. Therefore I should get some credit. I won’t give myself any, though. 0 out of 0 (o% or 100%, depending on how you see it). This was intended to be closer to commentary than prediction anyway.
Kosovo is not going away. Look for news about Russia to be big throughout ’08. The Bear has a new leader, look for power plays and a resurgence big time. The new superpowers will be Russia, China, and the US. The US will get it from both sides. China and Russia will cooperate and will continue to use the Middle East as a proxy against us even though they will secretly be stabbing each other as they try to get oil.
I did a lot better at this one than it first appears. Russia did grab power majorly in 08. They were the big kids on the block politically, next to the US and China. We are definitely the big 3. What I did get wrong was Kosovo. The big Eastern block showdown in the former Soviet satelites was Georgia. I do get partial credit on that one, though. Kosovo did go away, but Georgia was a huge 08 story, and the reasons why were the reasons that I predicted Kosovo. Russia just picked her battles differently. This is the arguable case, as far as the ratings go. I give myself 6 out of 8 (75%). We could argue about the Russio-sino oil questions, although that one will play itself out differently. I lost a point because the decrease in oil for now moved that battle later on in history, although I hadn’t intended that one to reach fruition in 08 certainly anyway. I lose a point for the wrong Eastern European country, too. Stratfor has a great article they did in late 08 that nailed the reasons I knew Russia would end up with a brief western-front war.
This year will be the global year of Ryan support and people from all over the world will send Ryan checks for thousands of dollars each. Ryan will also win a major beauty contest that he didn’t even enter.
Here is hoping this will come to fruition next year! I give myself a 10 out of 10 for this one, just cause I want to :P….just kidding. No points. None intended.
So let’s look at how I did: Out of a possible 31 points for 08, I got 22, for a total percentage of 71%. I did much better statistically in my 07 predictions, but I am still proud. Calling the “perfect storm” of the economy with the impact on media was huge, coupled with the Russian power grab and Eastern Europe trouble, I think that my 71% is deceptively low. It is so hard to look at my accuracy now that we know what we know. 2008 was a big big year as far as news. I think 09 will be just as so. Try to re-read my 08 predictions with the mind you had in January of that year, and it is pretty creepy. I really am not as arrogant as this sounds, though. I am just trying to be honest in my evaluation. It isn’t usually my guesses, anyway. I mostly just compile what I feel are the most credible evaluations of news, trends, and forecasts.