Monday, January 03, 2005

What's in store for 2005?

The world enters a new year, and this blog enters its fourth month. My record as a prophet is not too good already, but this seems like a good time to stick my neck out a bit farther.

Social Security reform is dead for the present. There will be some more shouting and wailing, maybe even Congressional hearings, but nothing will come of it this year.

Tort reform is dead.

Immigration control is not going anywhere, either.

The housing market will slow significantly if it doesn't collapse altogether. At the very least, trendy urban areas that have seen annual appreciation 15% or higher for the last few years will see declines and the rest of the market will show prices remaining nearly flat.

Depending on how bad the housing situation becomes, unemployment will be flat to slightly higher.

The dollar will continue to drift lower relative to the euro. It would plunge, but things aren't that good for the euro either.

The new Palestinian Authority leadership will find something on which to agree with the new grand coaltition government in Israel just to make sure the US taxpayer keeps propping up both sides in this interminable conflict. But, whatever it is will not lead in any significant way to a permanent resolution of the conflict.

The Iraq election will take place in about 80 to 90 percent of the country. The business of drafting the constitution will go forward with some sort of appointed representation for areas where elections could not be held.


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