October 28th, 2012
[ This first appeared a week ago in my Shift Age Newsletter. ]
In the first eight months of 2011, I made some economic forecasts relative to the global economic landscape. As a futurist, that is part of what I do, as people always ask me about the future, particularly economics. It is only fair to be accountable in this regard.
Here are some of the forecasts I made, with current commentary:
In January of 2011 I said that the growth rate of the US GDP would be 2% for the year. Well I got that one right. In January of 2012 I said that I thought this number of 2% growth would be the same for 2012. That looks to be on target as of now.
In early 2011 I started saying that the “Greek Debt Crisis” should start to be called the “death rattle of the Euro” and that there was a 50 -70% chance of the Euro going away Well, the Euro is still with us, but it is now abundantly clear, as I have written here and here that even if the Euro does not collapse, or more likely the Euro zone shrinks in number of countries, that Europe will be in for a no growth period for the better part of this decade. It is currently in recession and since growth is the only way out of the massive debt overhang, it will be a long time before Europe …
November 6th, 2011
The Eurozone is a mess. Mathematics, common sense, recognition of a changed reality, and, yes, democracy have all taken a back seat to a deep-seated, ego-related loyalty to a broken idea from the 20th century. This is one of a number of situations today where legacy thinking from the last century is propping up institutions and ways of looking at the world that will soon dissolve in the face of new forces and ways of thought of the 21st century.
In January, I started to say that we should stop calling it the “Greek Debt Crisis” and start talking about it being the potential death rattle of the Euro. In August, I suggested a 30%-60% chance the Euro would collapse. A couple of weeks ago, when the “Euro solution” was widely trumpeted in the media, people who knew of my view of the situation sent me links about it. Not so fast, I said. This is not the final answer; it is a temporary delay of inevitable further mass meetings of politicians to try to save face. There was no solution there, just an agreement to move forward and hope to arrive at one.
I have long suggested that the Eurozone should allow Greece to become the third-world country it seems to want to become. When was the last time the terms “innovation,” “strong work ethic,” or “growth economy” were accurately used in the same sentence as “Greece”? In a country where 10% of the work force is employed by the government, …
July 30th, 2011
It is time to slowly say good-bye to the “job” as it has been known in our lifetime and the lifetime of our parents. The parents of baby boomers were the first full generation that lived with the general concept of “life-long employment.” Baby boomers left college and stepped on lower rungs of a “career path.” Now, after three consecutive “jobless recoveries,” it should be clear that jobs as we had defined them are disappearing.
Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers almost three years ago, a number of people who had recently lost jobs due to downsizing, bankruptcy and lack of funding, have asked me where they should look for jobs. My answer has been consistent: become your own job.
What is it that you love? What is it that you are good at? What are your most marketable skills? What is your greatest value to the marketplace? If you stop and think about it, there should be a lot of overlap in the answers to these questions.
It is time to become the job you are. It is time to embrace being a free agent. It is time to be a one-person company. It is time to let go of the concept that there is a job out there that provides security.
As early as late 2008, I forecasted that the unemployment rate in the U.S. would push through nine percent and perhaps reach 10 percent. I further suggested that the country would stay close to these historically high levels of unemployment for …
In the last column here, I pointed out that a number of my Shift Age forecasts have come true. I wrote about several of them and how I get an odd sense of déjà vu when these forecasts become reality. In this and coming columns, I will revisit them – not to gloat, but to provide explanation, because people read and hear forecasts differently from explanations of the actual events they become.
In 2007, I forecast that humanity, and particularly the developed countries of the world, would enter the “reorganizational recession of 2007-2010.” Considering that this is a blog that looks into the future, it might seem contradictory to be looking back at this event, but by doing so, I can explain why it was accurate and why understanding it will help us better navigate and understand what lies just ahead.
The reason for the length, breadth and depth of the 2007-2010 recession was that it was a reorganizational recession between the Information Age and the Shift Age. Most economists look at recessions through the eyes of history, measuring whatever recession we are currently in against past recessions. Phrases such as “this looks to be another jobless recovery similar to the recessions of the 1990’s” or “the recovery will be on the back of the consumer – when the consumer starts spending, we will emerge from this recession” (both paraphrases) are common and represent economists looking at economic downturns purely through economic filters. That is why they have had to keep revising …
March 3rd, 2009
As a futurist, part of what I do is to present the future to audiences and readers around the world. Presenting a vision of the future, making predictions and developing forecasts is what a futurist does.
Regular readers of this column know that since last September I have presented you with a number of economic forecasts and predictions. There has been a constant flood of economic information and revised predictions in the media. Economic forecasters seem to be rushing to revise their forecasts of just a few months ago to try to stay ahead of the tsunami of bad economic news. In this environment I thought I should take a look back to see how accurate my forecasts to you have been.
I take great pride in my ability to make correct forecasts and predictions for you my readers, to the audiences I address and to the clients I advise. In this case the correctness of my predictions are, unfortunately, extremely accurate.
Last fall, in a column titled “The Collapse of …