This is the time of year when we look back and forward at the same time. Based on the direction of 2013, here are some of my predictions for the coming year:
1. There will be gun control of some kind. Whether back door, front door or through the patio, this administration will be relentless in its efforts to curtail our 2nd Amendment rights. As we reported, stringent Environmental Protection Agency regulations forced the closure of the last primary lead smelter in the US, which will put pressure on overall lead supplies for the battery industry — and ultimately, ammunition. Ammunition prices will rise high enough to curtail gun purchase and usage.
2. Interest rates, including mortgage rates, will start to creep up in 2014, as the Federal Reserve backs off “quantitative easing” (a reduction in its monthly bond purchases). As a result, borrowing for business expansion will become more expensive and the housing market could be adversely affected. The stock market will trend higher, but the returns will not be as great as they were in 2013.
3. Use of social and digital media will continue to grow, while print media will continue its precipitous decline. Digital magazines and newspapers, social media and individual blogs will become consumers’ primary news source accessed through mobile technology such as tablets and smart phones rather than traditional desktop computers.
4. Tensions will continue to rise between China and Japan as China launches its “blue water navy” into the Pacific. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia will become a greater force as he attempts to replicate the dominance of the Soviet Union.5. Obamacare will continue to have problems, delays and glitches. The insurance and healthcare industries, which spent over $240 million to lobby in favor of Obamacare, will expect payback in the form of a bailout – which they are virtually guaranteed because it was built into the plan, as we reported here. It will occur by the end of 2014 and will be taxpayer-funded, similar to the bank and car industry bailouts and regardless of public or congressional sentiments against it. Okay, I’ve started the list of predictions. What would you add?