Predictions often tell you more about the predictor than the predicted. There’s a fine line between making prognostications and drawing up a wish list… And I’m going to cross it.
No, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the 2020s. But, really, neither can anyone else. No offense to the wise soothsayer in the rest of this issue. They may even be on the money. However, the future always contains a large measure of “unknown unknowns.” Our brilliant savants are drawing up wish lists too, even if they’re doing so unconsciously and with a lot more knowledge and expertise than I have. Me, I’m going to come right out and admit that all I can do is hope for flying ponies and candy-flavored rainbows…
My predictions may not be useful, but at least they’re cheerful instead of just right or wrong.
Would you rather hear from a sugar-coated ignoramus or a know-nothing who just sucked on an Altoid? Would you rather visit a seer who smiled into her crystal ball or a fortune-teller who examined your tea leaves and shouted, “Go away! Do not cross my palm with silver! Get out! Get out!”
For a limited time only, you can get a FREE copy of the new research report from the experts at Stansberry Research… which will show you next year’s biggest investment stories, and the firm’s highest-conviction stock for the year ahead. Click here for your free copy.
Thus, my forecast for the next decade is… sunny weather!
Starting with climate change… It’s happening. But what if it turns out to be a good thing? I live in rural New Hampshire. We could use a month less of winter. In fact, we could use six months less.
True, rising sea levels may put New York and Los Angeles under six feet of water… But let’s accentuate the positive – New York and Los Angeles under six feet of water. And global warming may make Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia too hot to be inhabited. Bonus.
Donald Trump talking about buying Greenland might be crazy. But crazy is not the same as wrong. Go long on beachfront property near Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk – soon to be known as “The Riviera of the Frozen North.”
The cultural climate will change, too. The social media fad will pass. One day we’ll all wake up thinking, “Whose bright idea was it to put every idiot in the world in touch with every other idiot?” Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Instagram will be the mood rings, Nehru jackets, Cabbage Patch dolls, Pet Rocks, hula hoops, and attempts to stuff a record number of people into a Volkswagen Beetle of the 2020s.
Everybody will return to chatting over backyard fences, calling on the phone just to say hello, and sending postcards from vacation trips – “Weather is here. Wish you were beautiful.”
As a result, Big Tech will go the way of the Big Three automakers, and Michael Moore’s 2029 feature film will be about lives of economic desperation in Cupertino, California.
Speaking of automakers, the self-driving car will turn out to be a flash in the pan. By the time self-driving car software gets smart enough to know how to negotiate America’s traffic jams, it will be smart enough to know that only an idiot wants to negotiate America’s traffic jams. The self-driving car will refuse to leave your driveway. A great excuse to – always – work from home!
Then, because we can’t go anywhere and are watching too much TV, the celebrity index will crash. “Personalities” and “Boldface Names” have already been vastly oversold. There’s an enormous glut in this market. Just open a copy of People or Us at random, point a finger at a pictured celeb, and ask yourself, “What is this person celebrated for?” I’ll bet you don’t know, and I know I don’t…
Plus, fame is a commodity that’s grossly overpriced. Take Kylie Jenner for example, whoever the heck she is. (I vaguely recalled that she was some kind of Kardashian with her former dad now being her other mother, or something like that.) So I Googled her. (Which I won’t be able to do later this decade because Google’s parent company Alphabet will be in Chapter 11 along with Studebaker-Packard.)
Kylie is 22. Kylie started her own makeup company. Kylie’s net worth, according to Forbes magazine, is $1 billion. That’s a lot of lip gloss… The entire market capitalization of Revlon is only $1.29 billion. There’s going to be a big sell-off in Kylie and all the other Kylie-alikes. Supposedly famous faces will face a major downturn – a bear market among the barely recognizable. The trouble is, how do you short a celebrity? (Never mind that many of them are surprisingly short in person.)
How else will the 2020s be different?…
In a development possibly related to celebrity devaluation, DC and Marvel finally run out of superheroes to make lousy movies about. Major studios are forced to turn to Harvey Comics. Richie Rich, Baby Huey, Little Audrey, and Sad Sack are given superpowers.
Major league sports, now lacking star players, return to being just games the way they were supposed to be all along. Everybody plays for the fun of it and the losing team has to buy beer for the winning team.
Meanwhile, baseball – which until the 2020s was operating on geologic time with innings measured in eons – finally gets speeded up due to the institution of a few simple rules: Each team gets one pitcher who has to pitch the whole game. No one is allowed to visit him while he’s on the mound. He gets only 25 seconds per pitch to check the base runners, adjust his cap, rub his nose with the back of his glove, and scratch himself in places where he shouldn’t in public. Also, the home plate umpire is given only half a dozen baseballs. When these have been popped into the stands or knocked over the fences, the game is done.
Baseball games, however, don’t seem to be any faster. This is due to extensive recreational marijuana use in the bleachers and, for that matter, the outfield.
As U.S. recreational marijuana use increases to the point that it’s nearly universal, cannabis production, distribution, and marketing become America’s largest industry… as measured by an interview with a flying pony on Bloomberg Markets.
Mike Bloomberg (surprisingly short in person) was accused of attempting to buy the 2020 U.S. presidency. In 2024, he actually does… although he only has to pay $9.95 because that’s all the office is worth after the Democrats get done trashing it – one way or another.
Pizza delivery becomes America’s second-largest industry.
President Bloomberg’s attempt to regulate flying ponies fails in Congress, but by a narrow margin because congressional representatives have the munchies and pizza has just been delivered to the Senate cloakroom.
Peace comes to the Middle East (see climate change prediction above).
Israel uses its Iron Dome technology to supply the entire country with air conditioning.
Speaking of which, dress warmly… When any of my predictions come true, hell will freeze over.