Predictions for 2020


Last year, I made several predictions for 2019. Below, red annotations report the accuracy of each prediction.

·       US stock markets will fall more than 20% from their 2018 highs. This prediction was off by about 45% - the markets rose rather than fell.

·       President Trump’s enjoyment of chaos, erratic behavior, dishonesty, and narcissism will continue to destabilize US and world politics. Accurate.

·       The loyalty of President Trump’s base will erode and his base diminish in size. Many of Trump’s policies harmed his base, as I forecast, but this did not erode the loyalty of his base.

·       President Trump’s legal problems will escalate. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump; he now awaits a Senate trial.

·       Brexit will happen. The Conservatives did call an election. They scored an unexpected, overwhelming victory. Brexit is now inevitable.

·       The US will tighten border security, especially with Mexico, but will not build a border wall along the southern border. Accurate.

·       Trump, a man of few bedrock convictions, will find shifting toward the political center tempting as a means to achieve legislative results. This partially occurred, e.g., with respect to family leave.

·       Global warming will increase. Accurate.

·       No major war will erupt. Military tensions between China and its Pacific neighbors will increase. Minor wars will continue on all continents except Antarctica and Australia. Accurate.

·       The US opioid epidemic will continue uninterrupted. Opioid related deaths will increase. Accurate. I did not foresee the shift toward increased methamphetamine use.

·       US unemployment will gradually begin to increase as the decade long economic expansion slows and then begins to contract. Accurate.

·       There will not be any major news stories regarding religion. The Roman Catholic Church, however, will continue to deal with its clergy sex abuse scandal. Accurate.

Here are some of my predictions for 2020:

·       The Senate will fail to convict Trump; he will finish his first term in office.

·       The presidential election will be hard fought. Trump’s base will remain loyal. The Democrats, at this time, lack a charismatic candidate who can easily defeat Trump. The race will turn on a handful of battleground states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida. The outcome of the election will hinge on events that occur between now and November.

·       Democrats will hold on to a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives; Republicans will continue to control the Senate in 2021.

·       The stock market’s decade long bull market will end.

·       No real improvement in U.S. relations with Iran and North Korea will occur.

·       U.S. military troops will remain deployed across the Middle East (Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan).

·       Global warming will happen faster than science has predicted. Global efforts to reverse climate change will remain chaotic and ineffectual. Consequently, the number of extreme weather events will increase.

·       Domestic terrorism and hate crimes will increase in Europe and the U.S.

·       Pope Francis will persevere in his efforts to liberalize the Roman Catholic Church. The United Methodist Church will split over the issue of full inclusion of non-heterosexuals.

·       The number of homeless persons in Hawaii will increase, a small indicator of growing economic inequality in the U.S.

·       Laws limiting a woman’s access to abortion will continue to proliferate among the states.

·       Laws decriminalizing or legalizing recreational marijuana use will also continue to spread across the states.

·       Federated Department Stores, including their Macy’s flagship chain, will move closer to becoming the next Sears as ecommerce continues to marginalize traditional retailing and stores.

·       The U.S. judiciary will apply the brakes to reliance on “alternative facts” and government policies that ignore scientific evidence.

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