Yet another year of upheaval and uncertainty bites the dust!
And not a moment too soon. I’m ready for a better year. I bet you are, too. I’m not asking for a lot.
- A year when gas prices go down— and home prices go up— would do.
- A few moments without screeching from the crumbling foundations of civilization would be nice.
- If a cable TV or cell phone offer I could understand came my way, well, it couldn’t get much better than that…
- I’d even settle for a week of news embargo on Kim Kardashian.
Alas, my crystal ball says none of that will happen.
In America we refer to years like 2012 as election years. But on a Chinese calendar they would be known as “The Year of the Clowns.” In country and western music terms it is a year whose theme song could be “Ten with a 2”— you know, Kenny Chesney’s song about going home at 2 with a 10 and waking up at 10 with a 2.
So expect that 2012 will be another year of indelicate surprises. Here are my Fearless Forecasts.
The Rise of The Replacement Party.
Tired of the Republidem and Demorep impasse, a new party will arise with no platform and a single purpose: Replace all Incumbents by voting for any candidate who is not currently in office. Bumper stickers are already available, witness “Fight Organized Crime: Don’t Reelect Anyone” on Amazon. The website Zazzle offers a broad selection: “Save America: Re-Elect No One!,” “Recycle All Incumbents”, “Stop Repeat Offenders: Just don’t re-elect them” and “Help Stop Narcissism: Re-Elect No One!”
Europe Will Be Sold To the Highest Bidder.
This won’t happen in a single transaction, of course, but as it becomes increasingly clear that Europe is destined to become an under populated theme park with a tragically low occupancy rate for its castles and palaces, there will be takeover bids and distress sales. Disney will jump start the trend by buying Monaco, inspiring nations to make larger acquisitions. Turkey, once rebuffed by the European Union, will offer to buy Greece, taking the country off the hands of frustrated German and French lenders. Germany, which has always wanted someplace warm to go, will buy Italy. Wall Street will speculate on which country Apple will buy with its ever-growing cash hoard.
The National Association of Upside Down Homeowners
will be created. With at least one home in six financed for more than its market value, the owners are one of the largest unorganized special interest groups in America. With many not paying on their mortgages and hoping for a short sale, one of the group’s first actions will be to create a short-sale home exchange program so that members can move from one area of the country to another.
The Illegal Immigration Problem Will Be Solved
when Arizona, frustrated by the federal government’s inaction, passes a law that legalizes immigration and taxes it. The tax revenue will be enough to improve state finances while suppressing illegal immigration. Border states will be delighted with their new revenue source. Non-border states will lobby Washington for a special Federal Offset for the revenue opportunity they lack. Arizona governor Janice K. Brewer will observe, “If you can’t beat ‘em, tax ‘em,” but the program will fail as rising taxes end immigration to the state.
A Radical Post Office Reorganization Plan
will be offered. Since the Postal Service has lost nearly $20 billion over the last 4 years and is planning to cut mail deliveries, an aspirant politician will recognize that we’re all tired of chicken in every pot. Instead, he will offer “a tablet in every home,” noting that $20 billion is about $177 a household— nearly enough to provide an Amazon Fire at retail for every household in America, more if they buy the weird tablets on sale for $77 at Fry’s. Small Postal Department vehicles will be auctioned off as collector items. Small post offices will become popular as retro neighborhood bars. Stamp collectors will make a killing as the supply of new stamps disappears.
Meditation Will Boom.
The new fans of meditation won’t be picky about whether it is Zen or Transcendental. Meditation (or medication) will be the only way to escape social media.