Posts Tagged ‘2018’

Every January 1st we have an opportunity to look back on the previous year and then have an chance to identify what we want to change in the new year. It is like a time to start anew, a point where we can begin fresh. It is also a time that we make resolutions. The majority of these will be broken within the first month but at least we feel compelled to make them. Every once in a while a resolution is maintained and by the end of the year we can feel satisfied that what we started we completed. The first of the year also allows us to prognosticate; try to forecast what the year ahead has in store for us. This week it is my turn to take a look at what 2018 has in store while at the same time look at my 2017 forecast and identify my wins and loses. I do my forecast hesitantly as I am a born optimist and this will certainly skew my look at the upcoming year.
Last years forecast: “We will be having a new president. That is a given. The transition of power from the present administration to the new administration will be displayed for the press as being tranquil but behind the scenes there will be attempts to make the next four year somewhat rocky. This will not succeed and overall, we will have a successful transition of power and the new president will move into the White House and we will witness a new approach to running the country. This approach being more a corporate management style instead of a political controlled style such as we are currently being governed.” I hit on this. So far this is what we are witnessing. For 2018 we will see the country looking differently at the leadership style of our somewhat unconventional president and America will begin to both understand and migrate accept his style.
Last years Forecast: “The stock market will have ups and downs but we will break not only the DOW 20,000 barrier but also the 21,000 barrier. This will happen when it is discovered that regulations that have been strangling America for many years will be getting removed, tax reform proposals are under legislative change and the EPA will be absorbed into the Department of Energy thus providing a more amicable relationship between energy and environment.” Partial hit on this. The stock market is on track to hit 25,000, amazing! Regulations are being suspended or removed at a huge rate. Tax changes have just taken place and more will eventually come in 2018. The EPA is still with us but has had much regulation authority curtailed.
Last years Forecast: “Unemployment will be at or below 4.5 percent. Also wages will be rising and inflation will increase to 1.5 to 2.0 percent. This will prompt the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates three times at .25 percent each.“ Hit on this. The unemployment rate is actually at 4.1 %. The 2018 forecast will be for an unemployment of 3.9% or lower. There will be a large number of jobs created and filled but the reduction in the unemployment rate will be slow due to people that had given up on finding a job returning to the job market. This is a big win for the country. Inflation rate is at 2.17% and may rise to 2.5% in 2018; however, some of the upward pressure on inflation brought on by a lower unemployment rate will be offset by better cash flow for companies due to reduced corporate taxes. The Federal Reserve did raise it’s rate three times and we will see another three and possibly a fourth rate increase in 2018.
2017 Forecast: “Immigration reform will be going into place. There will be no mass eviction of undocumented workers a.k.a. illegal immigrants. Instead, law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement of existing laws and illegal immigrants arrested for felony crimes will be getting deported instead of going free onto the streets. Workers that are working and performing a service for the United States in a non-harming manner will be allowed to remain in the country on a documented worker program. The wall will be going up by the end of 2017 but it will not all be a solid fence. Many of the areas will be controlled by technology with quick deployment teams composed of Border Patrol agents standing by to intercept the illegal aliens via a rapid deployment model. If a deported immigrant is captured back in the country the immigrant will not be deported but will be incarcerated instead.” Partial Hit. We have not had a major deportation. Train loads os immigrants have not poured south full of immigrants. There has been a major crackdown on illegal immigrants that are breaking laws, other than immigration laws, within the country. The physical wall has not gone into construction but prototypes are being evaluated and contracts will soon be let. Many new border patrol agents have been hired and in 2018 we will see increased efforts to secure our Southern border. Some physical wall parts will be erected and more sophisticated methods of border control will be introduced. The United States Justice department will accelerate its’ efforts to bring law breaking illegals such as MS 13 to justice. The U.S. State Department will put more pressure on countries whose illegals are causing gang related trouble in America.
2017 Prediction. “Syria will still be in a civil war and the refugees who only want to find a place to keep from dying will be plagued by being branded by association of a few terrorist wreaking havoc across Europe. Trump and Putin will come to an agreement to allow a free base zone for the refugees to live. America will threaten to pull out of the U.N. and this will lead to the development of a huge area designated for the refugees in Syria. The camp will be located in Syria and will be funded and supported by the U.N. The Syrian civil war will continue but ISIS will take major casualties as a more coordinated coalition will fight the terrorist organization. ISIS will develop different methods of attach against the West and Internet Hacking will take on a new meaning as ISIS probes the major networks of the world.” This was a miss. The civil war did not end. No safe zone is in place. While America did not threaten to pull out of the U.N. it has now threatened funding reductions to countries that propose opposition to moving the embassy to Jerusalem. While the civil war remains in effect in Syria, ISIS has been greatly diminished and Russia is beginning a pullout of Syria.
2017 Prediction. “Unfortunately, Iranian relationships will get no better and the Israeli/Palestinian situation will have little improvement. I would love to be proven wrong on these issues but see little chance of this happening.” Hit. There will be little improvement in 2018 either. The U.S is now understanding what they signed up for with the nuclear accord and Iran got the better part of it. With the current administration rescinding the agreement there will be no improvement in relationships between the countries. Truth be known, had the County remained status quo there still would have been no improvement in relations. The only thing that the Iranian leadership understands is power and America is not prepared to go to war to prove a point to Iran.
2017 Prediction. “American companies will be finding more value in staying in America and not moving off shore. Coercion by the Federal government plus a better tax structure plus a more agreeable work force will cause companies to bring jobs home while corporate America will opt to remain in America.” Hit. When a company such as Broadsoft announces that it will be locating TO the United States, it is apparent that the tide is changing for corporate America and for America in general. The tax structure changed last week and more companies will repatriate to America.
2018 Prediction. The single biggest threat to the American growth juggernaut will be North Korea. There is no telling what that silly twit in North Korea will do and how we respond to the Korean situation is equally an unknown. My prediction is that China will come to grips with the Korean situation and exert pressure on North Korea to show moderation. An outside prediction is that so much pressure is exerted on the country and Kim Jong-un displays even more bizarre behavior and he is ultimately assassinated.
Overall 2018 will be a great year for America and this will spill over to the rest of the world; but then again I am an optimist.

Advertisements

For the past several years I have been quite outspoken about various directions in our great nation. that were alien to the original principals of the country. These directions were counter to the individuality of the people that built our nation and how various new government actions were actually working to thwart the growth of our magnificent country. Though no actions that were done by the country’s government was vindictive toward any group of individuals in America and while governmental actions were meant to help the country by providing immediate help; the overstepping of government in its’ programs caused societal distress in the long run and damaged the ability of society to advance our country.
I had written about government regulations and how they were strangling the ability of the American to be creative and curtailed the individualism that founded and grew a great land. America is one nation made of people that are fiercely individualistic. We fight together as a unified nation when threatened. We believe in states rights and fiercely defend these rights. Examples of how we view our states rights are how we cast our votes in the various states, how we implement our game laws and of course who we cheer for on a chilly Saturday night football game in the fall. Federal regulations begin with a problem that needs to be fixed to benefit the majority of the country. The problem is that when a regulator walks through the door it is hard to get him out. More and more regulations are put into place and we find that instead of curing a problem, the ever-increased regulations begin to strangle the industries that originally held the problems. The excessive regulations then become the problem and growth is stymied while the working environment becomes more and more stressful as we try to run a business while traversing a gauntlet of paperwork, restrictions and bureaucratic reporting.
Things have changed for America. In 2017 fourteen major regulations that have been repealed are expected to have major financial impacts to the United States. Repealing these regulations are expected to save 3.7 billion dollars in government costs, 34.8 billion dollars in industry costs and reduce paperwork by over 4 million manhours. This is a sizable amount of human labor that can be used and will be used for meaningful work that produces goods and services for a hungry nation. It has been recently identified that 496 regulations will soon be completely withdrawn while another 389 will be suspended pending investigation. This is great news for a country weary from the burden of over regulation. There is one warning though. We must insure that we don’t take too much license to deregulate the country and leave certain important parts of our nation exposed to unsafe conditions or exposed to potential future adverse events.
When the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was enacted there was one blatant requirement of the act that disturbed me. This was the part of the act that required everyone to participate in the program or be fined for not paying into the program. If a person is young with no health problems, they were mandated to purchase the Obama Care insurance. If they did not participate, they would be fined. This is not only forcing people to purchase a federal program but it is forcing individuals to pay the government for something they do not need. This was removed last week.
I have been vocal over the years about corporate taxes and how they have to come down so that American companies to be competitive on the world market. Over the last decade we have stood by and watched as companies have packed up and moved to other countries due to the American tax structure. This is not just relocating manufacturing facilities to reduce manufacturing costs. This is moving corporations to not to have to pay high corporate income taxes. Last week corporate taxes were reduced to a point that America can be more in line with the rest of the world and once again become competitive. This will not be the end either. We can expect other countries to lower their tax base and again in the future the Unites States will revisit its’ tax structure and other tax reductions at the corporate level may become a necessity.
So where will these changes lead our great nation. Will the decreased regulations and tax reductions be a Christmas gift for our country or will this actually be the Christmas Grinch? Next year will tell and then I will see if I end up with egg on my face. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. I am predicting a good one for our nation and the world.