Future Forecast: 2020

Future Forecast: 2020 (always a work in progress)

Background: The 2020 forecast, as with all writings in the online log are the result of observations of information provided to the public via the news media, government, and public organizations. Observations are not intended to provide opinions. Further information on the research process can be found by selecting the “research category” in the online log.

References linked-to in this forecast provide a view of changing dynamics over decades and centuries. Current decision-makers rely on available information and must apply their knowledge (experience) and wisdom to possible cause and effect of their actions. Decisions made at one point in time may cause unintended consequences decades later.

The forecast is limited to three areas of concern for national and international relations, and the summary. Areas of concern are:

1). Commerce, 2). Impeachment, 3). Negotiations, and 4). Summary.

Process: Passive nonparticipatory observation research based on horizon scanning.

Forward:

1). Commerce

The national and international focus may be shifting from armed conflict to economic confrontation and cooperation trough bilateral free-trade agreements.

The United States balance of trade continues to accrue a net deficit of around $500 billion a year. Most of this debt is the result of previously unrestricted imports into the U.S. from China as a result of most favored nation (MFN) status assigned. Trade deficits began escalating in 1998 and continue to this day with a total imbalance of over $9,000,000,000,000. Current trade negotiations with China appear to be an attempt to reverse and normalize trade relations. Additional trade agreements between the U.S. trading partners are ongoing.

A similar economic imbalance exists between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), resulting in Brexit. The UK government formally announced withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC).

Weapons of warfare, territorial disputes, and intimidation appear to be applied in negotiations to achieve or maintain economic status. Nations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), may be violating the principle of the agreement by developing and testing weapons through third party nations to support this effort, possibly North Korea and Iran.

Commerce Notes: Throughout history, nations with surplus wealth have turned to importing goods and services, including employing foreign military services as protectors and servants. In so doing, agents of importing and exporting nations develop profitable relationships facilitating trade. Eventually, wealthy importing nations become dependent on this arrangement for goods and services and experience a loss of wealth, worker skills, access to raw materials, national and international logistics capability for shipping, commerce, and communication. Essentially, importing nations become economic colonies of other nation(s) which are reluctant to give-up their advantage without conflict.

Internally, the result of unbalanced trade in importing nations may lead to the eventual fall of the government, as with Rome and the British Empire. Although the internal issues with Rome do not appear lockstep with current U.S. or UK scenarios, they are the gradual movement from independent economic strength to dependent weakness and increased taxation. “Give the people a circus,” socialism and downfall. 

The chief benefactor of current U.S. trade policy is Chinese economic reform. Originally, the U.S. moved to grant China MFN status to open-up markets and assist in creating a western style economy in China. However, the result has been for China to give preferential treatment to businesses owned or controlled by the Chinese government, thereby gradually eliminating private ownership and prosperity. Internationally, China continues to manipulate currency exchange to maintain and increase government wealth to expand in acquiring mineral resources worldwide, develop the military, and expand territorial claims, all fueled by globalization, a wrong turn in history.

2). Impeachment

The central and time-consuming issue for the U.S. is attempted impeachment of the president by congress. Observation indicates internal review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) may conclude mindless, unbalanced and corrupt activities by a combination of lawmakers and public servants who may be working in concert, effectively destabilizing and paralyzing the charged functions of lawmakers and public servants.

The Constitution and Guidelines for Impeachment

Interactive Constitution made by the National Constitution Center. Full Text

The Question: Is there factual supporting evidence of activity by the president, identified in the Constitution, requiring impeachment? Or, is there factual evidence of intent by lawmakers, government servants, foreign powers and/or outside influences to overthrow the government?

Treason: 18 USC Ch. 115: Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities. (expansive reference)

Treason as defined in Article III, section 3 of the constitution. “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Treason in criminal law?

Overthrow: Removal from power; a defeat or downfall. “plotting the overthrow of the government.” (possibly through a series of interconnected events).

Synonyms of Treason: treachery · lese-majesty · disloyalty · betrayal · faithlessness · perfidy · perfidious · duplicity · infidelity · sedition · subversion · mutiny · rebellion · high treason·

Impeachment Notes: Impeachment is a seldom used  power of congress. Two presidents, one senator, the Secretary of War, and fifteen judges have been impeached since 1798. What remains to be experienced is the question “can congress be impeached, and by whom?” Many would respond to the question with, yes, at the ballot box. However, should issues addressed in the Inspector Generals (IG) Report bear fruit, and upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) Report identify criminal activity, will it be treated as NOT political, but criminal? 

Do the synonyms of treason above apply to conduct of the House of Representatives during the recent impeachment process? Is it acceptable to say that the process was “just political?” Does the U.S. House of Representatives have immunity from the scales of justice, while then requiring the scales of justice apply in the U.S. Senate? It appears some believe so. 

3). Negotiations

On the national and international scene, at any given time, on any given issue, there will be visible and unseen participants with a stake in the outcome of a negotiation. Central issues in active negotiation at any time can be trade agreement with China, nuclear nonproliferation treaty, space exploration, immigration, conservation, healthcare, deficit spending, responsibilities of congress and many more.

Underlying negotiations are unseen participants at a support level or outside controlling authority, such as the world trade organization (WTO). Negotiations, in this sense, form a complex set of participants seen and unseen which can essentially hold the primary issue hostage from making progress and successful completion. (refer to the online log “research category” success with complex issues and systems). The concept of controlling global trade and attempted world government by the EU is depicted in Twitter streams hierarchy of EU participants that may also impact global negotiations.

Further compounding issues in negotiations may be “models of collective behavior” and “the madness of crowds” effect which have potential implications. The most common problem can be the combination of “undue influence” and collective behavior which may explain party-line voting in government. As an example, all members of the one party fall inline behind the speaker’s objectives regardless of the rationality of the issue. Such a move shifts the issue at hand to personal, non-legislative activity. Influence of this nature occurs in national and international negotiations in business, government, education and industry.

Negotiation Notes: Negotiations may be misdirected to provide personal gain from change of ownership of assets which are not the property of negotiators. Politicians may have authority to create trade agreements, however, may also set in motion detrimental outcomes for citizens, while at the same time realizing personal benefitsfor their actions.

The difficulty facing negotiators from an international perspective. even when the intent is genuine and above board, is the inability to predict long-term outcomes. (Henry Kissinger discuses U.S.-China ties at the New Economy Forum in Beijing. A history dialog with implications for the future. The content of the message is the lesson. Always view negotiations from the perspective of the other party, and today, from the interests of their counterparts). The coming cold war with China.

4.) Summary

2020 appears to be a year of continual sparring by political parties for position in congress and local government.

Deficit spending (borrowing money beyond tax and fee revenues) continues, currently around twenty-six trillion dollars . . . with no end insight for increased deficits. Moving towards socialism.

Governments are underwriting profitable businesses by deferring or eliminating taxes, and subsidizing other costs. Moving towards socialism.

Deficits, which are not allowed in many states, will require additional increases in taxation or deficit borrowing to cover expanded social programs. Moving towards socialism.

Candidates campaigning for elected positions are suggesting government pay for medical care and education for all. Moving towards socialism.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly applied to reduce costs by replacing labor with automation. This has been forecast to temporary raise wages for high-tech computer programmers and information science employees. Forecast also leads to lower incomes for the same high-tech employees in the future as AI and ML routines are employed, reducing the demand for human programmers.

China is developing social reforms, competing technical skills, and an engineering base that exceeds that of the U.S.. Chinese new economy forum. Mostly financed by excessive exports to the U.S.

Observation Notes:

Comments on impeachment are not included in the summary at this time.

2020 may be a turbulent year for many reasons beyond the three areas of concern identified above:

Negotiations with North Korea, China and Iran have not proven to be reliable. Frequently, if not always, broken promises.

Financially, below zero interest rates exist in some global markets, and the stock market has become more of a hustle than an investment arena. Yes, the market has risen significantly and may be the result of hyping sweetheart stocks, while heavily shorting others . . . is it time for caution?

Always a work in progress.

Future Forecast: 2016

It is presidential election time, and a wide-range of highly qualified and experienced candidates are vying for the position. With this as the backdrop, campaign 2016 offers many controversial viewpoints for voters to debate before decision day and voting.

Call it the hot potato game, bread and butter, and a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Why is this future forecast the “hot potato game?” Well, everywhere on every issue, people, groups, companies, and governments want to champion and own winning objectives. Each is trying to wrestle ownership from the other.

The bottom line is about having their bread buttered. What is buttered bread? It goes like this:

A person, group, company, or government starts with knowledge in some area which is their expertise . . . “bread.” For the perceived value of their bread, they receive money which is . . . “butter.” There you have it, bread and butter.

Continue reading

Future Forecast: 2015

Key issues the country is debating are in relation to the charges of government: national security, economics, and welfare of citizens. The issues at hand are identified in Future Forecast for 2014 and have made little progress towards resolution over the past year.

At the center of the stalemate in resolving issues are arguments, yes arguments in the public theater of the press, and the halls of congress, wherever there is a camera or microphone. The rational debate appears insufficient on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The arguments are over which branch of government is or is not full-filling obligations of their respective offices.

Continuing Forecasts:

In the New Rules Category:  U.S. Economy and International Trade is the root cause of most minority unrest in the streets, and will continue. It is a failure of ethics to the point of being an “unethical fantasy.” How the congress of 1996-2000 could convince itself that it was more important to place the welfare of Chinese workers ahead of U.S. citizens is totally baffling. Unless it was related to campaign financing. Commission on China 2014 Annual Report.

The last update of 2014 takes into consideration the continuing imbalance in international trade with China of around $30 billion a month. The administration may remark about the $2 trillion in annual exports but ignores the delta . . . the lost opportunity costs.

That is another $720 billion trade deficit since 2012. The result, given roll-over in the economy is over $2 trillion more in lost GDP and $1 trillion more in lost tax revenue and fees. Bringing the total lost GDP over the period to $22 trillion and $11 trillion in lost tax revenue and fees as a result of discontinued domestic production.

It is highly likely that considering the cost of government-provided unemployment insurance, food stamps, and medical care alone when added to the cost of import goods, well exceed the cost of locally produced goods and services. Additional consideration should be given to the lost opportunities to learn and gain self-confidence.

Additional Forecast Items:

Given the serious nature of the trade issue, and the impact foreign goods and services have on national security, no other item will be addressed in this forecast.

The leadership of the nation has taken on a business graduate school mentality. That is, it has adopted the concept of disintermediation, a concept intended to reduce costs by eliminating steps in the process of manufacturing products and providing services.

However, rather than containing disintermediation within the sovereign territory of the U.S., it has been extended to foreign governments . . . placing the U.S. in a position of subordination to, and reliance on, the “ethics” of foreign powers.

In the case of China, it is responsible for the twenty-two trillion-dollar loss in potential GDP; eleven trillion-dollar loss in tax revenue and fees; and provided the funds to expand the Chinese military. That is to say, in an indirect way, the U.S. is threatening the security of the Pacific nations.

The U.S. has given up sovereignty of shipping and raw material markets to communist and socialist nations in the belief that somehow, this will benefit financially through reduced costs . . . which have increased costs via required government subsidies to an underemployed citizenry . . . and returned the U.S. to the definition of a colony . . . of China.

Check the labels on all merchandise in retail stores, supermarkets and origin of eighty percent of medicines. Not to mention the automotive and aircraft industries. Yes, some is good, however, becoming dependent on external sources is not.

NOTES:

1. Originally, disintermediation referred to banks giving up the concept of low-interest loans to customers . . . in favor of investing directly in the securities markets . . . for higher returns. Investing in securities is a speculative endeavor. The crash of 2008 consisted of “unethical transactions of a fantasy nature,” by using increasingly higher return rates on poor quality securities and off-the-books bets by market makers.

These bets were against the very securities they were underwriters on. This resulted in TARP and in the final analysis, the bad bets were passed to the citizens in the form of increased interest payments on the national debt.

2. Some will say addressing the trade issue will cause a trade war . . . currently, there is a trade war created by an inept U.S. congress of 1996-2000. And, it is destroying the nation.

For the benefit of citizens at large, a thumbnail description of “who is who” in the process of law-making and enforcement is listed below:

President of the United States of America (POTUS): The Executive Branch

The oath of office of the president of the United States. Before entering Office, the newly elected president will take the following Oath or Affirmation.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) Presidential Oath.  that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress.

United States Congress: The Legislative Branch

Congressional Oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me god.

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution Grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.

United States Armed Forces: The Department of Defense:

Armed Forces Oath: I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department’s headquarters is at the Pentagon.

NOTE: In relation to oaths listed above. There is

In relation to oaths listed above. There is a separation of church and state, however, the words “So help me God” in oaths is in relation to adherence to “ethical” behavior in the performance of charged duties, a quality that is expected without mentioning for a sitting president. Think of it as the ethics contained in the ten commandments . . . do unto others.

Ethics:

Normative ethics is distinct standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, how one ought to act, morally speaking.

(Unethical: lacking moral principles; unwilling to adhere to proper rules of conduct; not in accord with the standards of a profession.)

Fantasy

Something that is produced by the imagination; an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world.

Law:

A system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statues), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedent (normally in common law jurisdictions).

Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process.

The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

Future Forecast: 2014

Usually there are observable activities that can be used as a basis for future forecasts. At this time, both nationally and internationally, activities indicate a continued state of flux between decisions to take future activity, something positive, to a state of retrenching. Notice there is no comment that any decision would be perceived as positive or negative. Moving forward or retrenching on current issues could both be positive or negative. The comment “much to do about nothing” seems to be the motto of Capitol Hill.

Nationally, interpretation of opposing sides regarding the State of the Union Address indicates the same issues of the economy, social security, national security, employment, immigration, healthcare, NSA spying both nationally and internationally, IRS actions, illegal drug trade, legalization of drugs, global warming, and political corruption remain undeterred. There is a stalemate between all branches of government over solutions. Government seems to have reached a point at which it does not control or understand the legal environment it has created. And, activity at the Supreme Court may not be providing outcomes that are conducive to a stable society . . . is it law for the sake of the profession . . . without consideration of the majority? If so, what will occur . . . a state of the minority opinion . . . turning societal mores and beliefs upside down? In today’s terms, it appears to be a game of Survivor where the weak eliminate the strong.

Internationally, taking it as the world turns: Korea is still a major powder keg; China is increasingly challenging its Pacific neighbors over territorial rights; Philippines conflict with southern territories has temporarily subsided with acquiescence of economic control to the rebels; South-east Asia is in turmoil over immigration into Australia; the entire area from India thru Africa is in a state of clandestine or open warfare; Europe from Italy thru the United Kingdom is experiencing major internal strife resulting from immigration, dictatorial governments and political corruption; Scandinavia is beginning to reject support for immigration; South America is in flux over the drug trade and dictatorial regimes; Mexico is a failed state, period; the United States is anything but united for all the reasons in the preceding paragraph.

What are the main drivers in the current national and international situation? And, is there evidence of resolution?

Main Drivers: Economics . . . the control of land and resources; people with skills to build economies; pursuit of personal and political power. Although statements regarding rights and freedom for individuals may be presented, they are a means of control in pursuit of economic ends and power. The robber barons of the day are more likely to be cooperating and coordinating political entities, elected or not.

Evidence of Resolution: Destabilization . . . resolution of one area in conflict in Korea, Philippines, China, South-East Asia, India thru Africa, Europe, Netherlands, South America, Mexico and the United States requires the majority to relinquish to the minority opinion and interest (as in ownership). The more liberal (socialist) appear to be striving for conservatism . . . and the conservative appear to be striving for socialism. Maybe the Polar Regions will also shift . . . and indeed the world will be standing on its head!

It is clear that the United States alone cannot prevent the clashing of forces. The question is can the United States protect its own turf in the future without the use of massive destructive force? The Future Forecast of 2014 and forward may be cloudy with showers to follow.

One issue is clear, the current situation is not one based on religious beliefs. However, it is one wherein the current robber barons may exploit for control. Are the robber barons wearing the cloak of socialism and religion falsely?

Future Forecast: 2013

Final Update:

Are President Obama’s stated objectives in the State of the Union Address achievable? Yes, however, not by any means pursued by any administration since 1974.

The sequester is a subset of the fiscal cliff. As President Obama has stated, it’s a “complex” situation.

However, it may not be as complex as thought. It may be straight-forward and the complexity may be the mental manipulation attempted to ignore the obvious. Procrastinators and addicts are always looking for an alternative to get the next fix for whatever their habit may be.

Economist Richard Wolf appeared on the Bill Moyers Show and discussed capitalism hits the fan. Identified as central to the current economic situation are two camps of economists; those employed by essentially unproductive entities such as government, and those employed by businesses that must produce a profit. A similar association regarding economists was discussed on the Ken Prewitt show on 2/25/2013.

Essentially the discussion is this:

Economists employed by government entities have little commercial experience and rarely suffer consequences for incorrect projections. Economists employed by commercial businesses must produce fairly accurate projections as profitability in operations can only be achieved through a balance of market demand and supply produced by their businesses.

Economists in the government sector are frequently inaccurate, and the timing and direction of their projections can be wishful and years-off. Missing projections can have a significant impact on decisions made by business to invest or disinvest.

Economists in the commercial sector are usually more accurate out of a necessity for the business to survive and profit. Missing projections by a few pennies per share on a quarterly earnings report can move the value of the stock down markedly.

How do the two camps differ in interpreting data:

Government economists receive relatively historical (dated) information. Reports to the government are essentially from external entities, and may be on employment, sales and revenues based on daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Government generally fails to report accurately or timely on internal activities.

Commercial economists can receive real-time reports on their business activities and adjust as needed. They also use the same external reports government receives to assess the impact of government and competitors business, labor and other resource availability in making decisions.

Review of the current problem through definition and a graphical example:

1). The Federal Reserve has a normal function of controlling growth in the economy to between 3-4% annually. This range is expected to provide for limited inflation in the gross domestic product (GDP) while at the same time providing additional tax revenues to support government programs.

Maintaining a 3-4% growth rate in a normally balanced economy is achieved by varying the interest rates through the availability of money for lending in the banking system.

2). Unfortunately the economy can vary between expansion and contraction and tax revenues will also vary. However, government budgets are based on expansion at the tops in GDP growth. Declining tax revenues occur when the GDP contracts. This is a normal business cycle effect.

Contraction of revenues creates a shortfall in funds available to support previously passed legislation. The net effect is to cause government to borrow to close the gap. The result then becomes a compounded rate producing an ever growing deficit.

3). The abnormal and artificial growth rate in GDP achieved as a result of the Clinton administration’s actions of locking U.S. trade changes to the world trade organization (WTO) via the permanent normal trade relation (PNTR) with China, wildly inflated the rate of GDP growth.

This action significantly increased the sum of tax revenues available for long-term commitment to government programs. Since this growth rate was based on sub-prime borrowing, it could not continue indefinitely, and severe contraction in GDP and tax revenues followed.

The net effect was to significantly increase the compounded rate of government borrowing to cover previously passed legislation. The deficit had expanded beyond ability of GDP and tax revenues to overcome.

Graphic: CBO – Revenues and Outlays as a percent GDP

Comment on the chart. For the period of 1974 – projected 2021 average outlays exceed average revenues. The exception being the period of 1996 – 2004, during the period of boom and bust in the housing market (sub-prime lending), the failure of which caused the collapse of the economy.

Note 1: Locking the U.S. to the WTO prevented the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration from taking decisive action regarding trade inequities. The result is $20 Trillion lost in GDP and $10 Trillion lost in tax revenues.

Note 2: Over ten million jobs have been lost over this action. When the cost of unemployment insurance, food stamps and other assistance is added to the price of imported goods and services, the total cost of imports well exceeds the cost of domestically produced goods and services.

Some will say that total exports have increased significantly. Yes, this is true. However, the trade gap continues at nearly $500 Billion annually, which equates to a loss of $2 Trillion in domestic GDP and $1 Trillion in lost tax revenue.

In this respect, the Clinton economy was a myth.

Refer also to:

For a complete and confusing definition of the fiscal cliff

Future Forecast: 2012

The 2012 forecast is the result of an assessment of the economic environment. The forecast can be viewed as a report card on progress over the past three years with varying degrees of success. Possible scenarios for the coming twelve months and beyond will certainly challenge all the professional skills of leaders in business, government and academia.

Business as usual will not suffice. With President Kennedy it was a race to the moon. The coming challenge could well require an effort many times that expended in the race to the moon, and in a shorter time span. To put it in terms many understand . . . final exams are tomorrow morning and the students have yet to look under the cover of the textbook.

Did someone say: “We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it?” Just saying . . . “Leadership is an essential element in every major effort” . . . just saying.

Supporting Posts: For a clear understanding of the current situation, refer to previous posts under the “New Rules” Category:

  • U.S. Economy and International Trade.
  • Economics for Politicians.

Future of the U.S. and the Economy – 2012

Think it over . . .

Nations with a successful economy also have a strong science, engineering and manufacturing base for commercial purposes.

The definition of a successful nation is one that can provide economic growth, control raw materials sources, and project power to prevent or reverse incursions by a major nation, group of nations, or a variety of terrorist organizations.

Merely having a limited manufacturing capability and relying on imports does not provide real economic growth. Additionally, it limits a nation’s independence by forcing it to rely on a show of force, in place of a mutual understanding the capability exists. A limited nation will always have the need to make force visible, thereby ensuring confrontation.

There are three main levels of consideration:

1. Science and engineering professions to perform the necessary research activities and resultant designs for industry; and

2. The necessary source of raw materials to support research, and build the capital equipment required for research labs and factories; and

3. The transportation and logistics infrastructure to move the raw materials from their source to the factories and then to the markets.

Understood and Acknowledged:

Level one (1) is clearly a major concern and discussed daily by business, government and academia.

Level two (2) is severely impacted in a negative way. With reliance on the import of finished products, raw materials are moving to exporting nations for manufacture. Control of raw material sources has been lost by the U.S. In many instances, this loss has been to nations who do not have the best interest of the U.S. in mind.

Level three (3) is severely impacted in a negative way. Without the need to move raw materials to factories, or finished product from the factories to the markets, the transportation and logistics infrastructure has been seriously diminished.

Notes:

a. It is the transportation and logistics infrastructure that create the need for, and provide the funding for roads, railroads, airports, waterways, pipelines and the manufacture of equipment required to support and maintain them.

b. The loss of employment in levels 1-3 has resulted in negative income from taxes and fees for the various levels of government to provide infrastructure and public services.

Systems for designing and producing consumer products provide the training ground for scientists and engineers to hone the knowledge and skills necessary to support medicine, space and national defense.

Regarding professional knowledge, the level of expertise necessary to develop support for medicine, space exploration and national defense is of a significantly higher degree than that of consumer products and enhance the development of consumer products.

The Far East is becoming the major center of science, engineering, raw material accumulation, and manufacturing of consumer products. The next natural and historical phase for the Far East is building a successful military to project power internationally.

The result for the U.S. economy has, and will continue to be, further devaluation of the currency, loss of international influence, and less productive activity for citizens of a socialist society dependent on government support . . . support for which there is a diminishing source of revenue.

The cycle of power can be traced in sequence form the Far East . . . Middle East . . . Europe . . . U.S. . . . and now the cycle appears to be repeating.

The big questions are:

Will the new power base of the Far East respect the territory of the U.S.?

Will they project an adversarial relationship as they have throughout history?

Will the U.S. pay ransom through extended military aid?

In the interim . . . while waiting the military expansion of the Far East, the U.S. economy may become more like that of France. More service sector jobs with less real income, higher levels of underemployment, and lower levels of knowledge and skill requirements.

* The current underemployment scenario may actually be the normal as the U.S. becomes more of a Socialist culture.

For a clear understanding of the current situation, refer to supporting posts under the “New Rules” Category:

  • U.S. Economy and International Trade.
  • Economics for Politicians.

Future Forecast: 2011

Original publication date: January 2011

Essentially the 2011 theme is as follows: Indications are that progress identified in previous “Future Forecast” postings continues.

There is a caveat to achieving economic success in 2011 and forward. The caveat is the ability and willingness of national, state and local governments to acknowledge and accept the trade deficit is the systemic root of all revenue and employment problems.

Simplistic statements that the U.S. must concentrate on the pursuit of creating advanced technologies while off shoring the production of common products and servicesis head-in-the-sand reasoning.

Job creation and economic prosperity require industrial activities at all skill levels and product and service needs.

Failure to achieve progress is experienced most frequently in activities constrained by standards intended to ensure a certain level of achievement. In reality, these standards become a resistance level to progress.

Notes:

1. Shortfalls in hiring eventually lead to reductions in efficiency; reduced profit margins, lower than achievable GDP, and unrealized revenues from taxes and fees.

2. Mild inflation is appearing across all production sectors in the form of increased costs for the inputs to production: materials, equipment, qualified personnel. National and international logistics costs are in place for inflation.

3. Consumers are experiencing increased costs for core staple items in the form of increased prices and/or reduced packaging sizes.

4. Clothing costs have increased dramatically. Most sale items are fully priced. EDV (Every Day Value) items, a term applied to the logic of fixed pricing, represent highly elevated pricing.

5. Global competition is appearing via temporary shortages of fresh vegetables and fruits.

6. The position of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve may be overdue for a change. At some point of continued effort and resultant stress, the message may be overcome by the presentation.

Future Forecast: 2010

Original publication date: March 2010

Future Forecast for 2010: The following predictions are based on trends in government.

Note: The forecast published on March 17, of 2009 has become fully active and continues in total for 2010.

Conformity to the will of a central government was considered a danger to the foundation of freedom and the survival of the nation. For that very reason, the founders limited the powers of the federal government, or so they thought.

Since sympathizers supporting the King of England helped load furniture of the vanquished on ships in Boston harbor, there has been continual movement away from the intent of the founders, largely influenced by European sympathizers.

A central banking system, although not provided for by the constitution, was created under an “elastic” interpretation of federal powers. Essentially, the constitution could be stretched in any direction deemed necessary to tax citizens to fund activities, and activities could be added as deemed necessary. Initial funding for the central bank was achieved through the sale of shares purchased mostly by states of the Old World. (See Alexander Hamilton)

Free education for all citizens became a central issue. “Democracy cannot succeed without an electorate competent to inform itself.” The concern was that “brats” might grow up, fall under the spell of false prophets, and vote away their property rights. Less than fifty years after ratification of the constitution, June 21, 1788, the public system of education began to emulate the European model. (See Horace Mann)

America has replaced the British Empire as the protector of the land where the sun never sets, and become the customer of the protected. Since World War II, this outcome has allowed Europeans to increase their commercial enterprises and investments while reducing their own defense efforts by relying on American presence. America has become the Beat Cop of the World at the expense of the lower and middle class.

Government, business, industry and education have advanced and improved the quality of life in America. However, they have recently returned to their status as eighteenth century problems once again. Deficits caused by unbalanced trade, ineffective education, squabbling government and fiscal incompetence are not a new phenomenon.

What are the future consequences?

1.     Political Implosion: At best, the efforts of Washington can be summed up as designing a roadmap to nowhere. By all appearances and certainly outcomes, the combined accomplishments of the house and senate will leave the country as a neutered house pet.

The rugged individualism that created America is considered offensive to the wimps, pimps, potheads, Hollywood pornographers, child molesters, illegal aliens, and socialist apologists that the Washington elected seek to keep them in office.

The train is leaving the station, the boat is leaving the pier and many in Washington will be on their way home. Have heart, the citizens will keep the soup kitchen open for you.

2.     Wall Street and Washington Reprisals – Hollywood Fiction Movie: Hollywood and international playwrights may create fictional movies about a malicious software program installed in the NYSE. The program might track trading patterns of brokerages selling naked short stocks. Add some intrigue that the program blocks covering the naked shorts and the brokerage collapses bringing down Wall Street and the banking system.

Spice it all up with some hookers, drugs, and billions of dollars in forged treasury bills laundered through international banks to purchase legitimate stocks. There are likely to be many inputs from editorial writers . . . could be a hit movie in the international market . . . could even become a squeal or international TV series.

The cast of characters may consist of lawyers internal to government agencies with the responsibility of overseeing the market, but instead, using intelligence reports to manipulate it for personal gain. Add hacking pools sponsored by international governments accessing friend and foe databases through hardware and software back doors originally designed for monitoring international correspondence by citizens.

3.     Law Enforcement and Justice: After decades of social activism frustrating law enforcement and the courts by a growing pool of lawyers seeking riches, it will become too expensive to uphold the law and administer justice. This will result in an ever-increasing release program for inmates.

To cover deficit spending, government will resort to adding exorbitant fines and fees that do not provide any service or value to the daily life of citizens. Children will continue under threat of violation by deviants whose rights are of more concern than those of children.

4.     Citizen and Employee Rights: The health of citizens is of paramount importance as a resource to the viability of the country. Preventive care beginning at an early age will enhance health and reduce the cost of future care. Effective education will be recognized as a necessity . . . the operative word being effective.

Health care and educational facilities will be matched to the need of programs. Gold-plated and unused facilities will be eliminated and campus recreational facilities will be unlocked for citizen use after school hours. These facilities will be monitored by full-time law enforcement where necessary.

5.     International Trade Reversal: The need to balance global trade will be acknowledged as an effective way to establish full employment, communication and trust between countries and communities. Unbalanced trade deprives one community of wealth while providing excessive wealth to another.

The current unbalanced trade relationship creates hostility and conflict. Given all costs, many imported products are more expensive than American manufactured products. When employees do not earn health benefits from their work, the government is the last resort. This is much more expensive.

6.     Western Manufacturing Growth: The importance of maintaining AMERICAN manufacturing capability across all possible product lines where the resources and technologies are available will be recognized. Where these product lines have been off-shored, they will return and be produced domestically as well. These activities will be financially viable under a balanced trade approach.

Manufacturing creates the need for four additional jobs outside the factory, whereas service activities create the need for only two additional jobs. It is in the interest to national security of a nation that support structures of transportation and industrial marketing accompany this effort. This is the only approach that will result in a balanced budget in the future. The prospect of increasing exports to balance trade is unreasonable.

7.     Commodity Redirection: Raw materials required for manufacturing will be redirected to new AMERICAN factories. This change will help to offset the current attempt to lock-out AMERICA from mineral resources, support the national security initiative, and provide employment in the logistics and transportation areas.

8.     Commerce Department Mission Change: Traditionally, the commerce department has supported industry and facilitated export and import efforts. The department mission will be updated to include maintaining a balance between import and export values.

This area of imbalance has cost AMERICA over twenty-five trillion dollars in GDP and twelve trillion dollars of tax revenues in the past fifteen years. Had a balance been maintained in this area, there would be no unemployment, tax revenue shortfall or budget deficits today.

9.     Academic Programs Repurposed: Business and law education programs will need to change their focus from creating and managing independent business activities, to include an understanding of how a nation creates and maintains wealth thorough a nation centered initiative. The current approach does not include an effective method of ensuring a balance between the value of imports and exports, maintaining balanced trade or supporting national security capability.

10.    Military and Merchant Marines Redeployed: America’s military are currently stationed in many countries that may have the ability to provide for their own defense. This approach does provide a basis for building-up a deployed force quickly. However, these deployed support forces deplete the resulting number of combatant forces available.

Current congressional logic regarding force manning is debatable. By all appearances, congress seems to believe money in the form of pay solves all problems. The constant redeployment of forces to combat zones is not desirable or reasonable. A much larger force is necessary if AMERICA continues efforts in the current mode.

America has virtually no merchant marine force, instead, relying on foreign transport. This may seem to be a cost savings, however, is not in the interest of national security. There are always studies that support disintermediation in logistics channels based on cost. These studies do not guarantee the capability when needed in a national emergency.

Curious Observation: How AMERICA, with an almost daily financial and logistics reporting system, could allow the accumulation of trade deficits over a period of years, without action; may well be a case study for decades  to come.

The comment “We didn’t see it coming” may become a mystery of the ages equal to the building of the Pyramids of Egypt.

You be the judge.

Future Forecast: 2009

Original publication date: March 2009

Future Forecast for 2009: The following predictions are based on trends in government.

The original intent of centralized government was to support citizen activities of building the nation. However, government has evolved to directing citizen activities through laws and mandates which control, rather than support citizens building the nation.

This trend has created a need for money to support government activities. In addition to the many taxes imposed, government has spent money held in trust for social security and borrowed additional money carried as debt to be paid in the future.

The issue is that since government has shifted from supporting citizen activities to directing and controlling citizens, the list of government initiatives grows without the money necessary to pay for them.

What are the future consequences?

1.       Nationalized Health Care: All premiums paid to private insurance companies will be paid to the government and the individual citizen will pay tax on the supposed benefit as income. The result is that all citizens, those who can pay and those who cannot pay will receive marginal health care.

2.       Government Sponsored Euthanasia: The Nationalized Health Care program will go broke from the cost and inefficiency of government management.  To compensate for the shortfall, limits will be placed on treatment based on age. The threshold for pulling the plug will be lowered as age increases and could reach too old for minimal standards of basic health care.

3.       Uptick Rule: The rule will be reinstated to stabilize stock prices. With the uptick rule, sellers can only borrow and sell short if the price has ticked up, and not borrow to sell when stock prices are already in a decline. This activity will generate more tax revenue via day trading and capital gains of rising values.

4.       Mark-to-Market: The rule will be removed to limit bank paper losses. Currently, if the market value of an investment falls below the book value, the investment is recognized as a loss. Removing this rule will decrease write-offs and increase tax revenue.

5.       Inflation and Stagnation: Shortages in products and services will result from production shutdowns and inventory depletion, accompanied by high unemployment. This will result in higher prices, increased welfare payments and higher taxes.

6.       Growing International Conflict: High unemployment rates will lead to internal conflicts. Governments will blame trade partners for bad economic decisions which impact their citizens. Cause for this problem has been a long-term imbalance in trade causing some economies to lose wealth while creating artificial and unsustainable growth and wealth in other nations.

7.       Commodity Shortages: Unbalanced trade between nations will result in commodity shortages in nations importing finished goods.  This shortage is a result of commodities being controlled by, and going to the nations producing goods, and weakens national security of nations importing finished goods.

8.       Growing Trends in Monarchy: According to Wikipedia, there may not be a concrete definition of monarchy as a form of government, however, monarchs have a common theme “absolute power over the citizen” and sometimes they may be called dictators. Citizens in many nations are becoming “more” subservient to religious and political leadership. As an example, Russia has a form of shared monarchy with two political elite, while Cuba and Venezuela have a single form of monarchy. The US appears to be entering a shared monarchy with centralized government exercising absolute power over the citizens.

9.       Freedom of Speech Ending: Citizens are cautioned regarding the use of language terms, the settings in which specific terms can be spoken, and the inference about what citizens are thinking based on the terms they speak. The press joins in censorship, limiting the scope of their research based on these same controlling guidelines.

10.   Law Becomes Experimentation: Citizens and elected representatives are increasingly ignored by the appointed cabinets and hierarchy of monarchs at all levels, state and nation. Major courts have failed to consider the outcome of their actions and ignore and change constitutional laws based on the taste of their last latte.

Curious Observation:  The growing trend in monarchy, law experimentation, and ending freedom of speech are enabled as a result of the prosperous nation built by the citizens . . . a process which is being reversed. What are the future consequences?

The consequences are most likely higher rates of inflation, higher taxes, poor health care, international conflict, diluted Chinese investment, diluted senior citizens savings, and eventually destroying the new monarchy.

You be the judge.