John Edward, a resident of Chelmsford who earned his master’s degree at UMass Lowell and who teaches economics at Bentley University and UMass Lowell, contributes the following column.
Next year will be important for the economy and in politics. I decided to go out on a limb and make some predictions for the New Year.
I purchased a crystal ball to help with writing this column. I submitted an expense statement to Dick Howe. He said he would hold off on deciding whether or not to approve it until the end of 2012.
I will start with an easy one. I predict the United States national debt will continue to grow, exceeding $16 trillion and approaching $17 trillion by the end of 2012.
Congress ignored the debt commission’s report. The “Super Committee” gave up without an agreement. In 2012, Congress will act by appointing a blue-ribbon commission with equal representation of Democrats and Republicans to study why bipartisan committees do not work. A stalemate will ensue.
I predict that in 2012 Congress will again fail to agree on a serious long-term plan to tackle the budget deficit. Political pundits will blame it on the fact that it is an election year.
On at least one day of trading in 2012 the Dow Jones Industrial Average will fall by more than 3 percent. Major news outlets will lead with conjecture on the likelihood of another recession, a possible market crash, the end of capitalism as we know it, and how you can learn more by visiting their web site.
I predict that members of Congress who say they are serious about balancing the budget will continue to oppose allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Tea Party supporters, who insist on a balanced budget, will continue to say little about corporate tax breaks that cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year — this despite the original Boston Tea Party forming in opposition to a corporate tax break.
On at least one day of trading in 2012 the Dow Jones Industrial Average will go up by more than 3 percent. Major news outlets will lead with conjecture on a new era of economic growth, the launch of a bull market, the validation of free-market economics, and what people like you are saying about it in their non-scientific poll on Facebook.
I predict the gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of us will continue to grow. In 2012, inequality will become more extreme for incomes, wealth, justice for all (who can afford it), access to health care, access to financial services, and the ability to influence the political process.
20th Century Fox will announce that they will start production in 2012 of another sequel to the movie Wall Street. Of course, the studio will produce this installment in 3-D with Dolby Digital surround sound and will only show it in theaters with stadium seating. The tag line for the original was “greed is good.” For the new sequel, it will be “if you cannot afford to see this movie you must be lazy.” read more »