Are you ready for a wild 2013? It should be a very interesting year. When the calendar flips over each January, lots of people make lots of lists. They make lists of "resolutions", but most people never follow through on them. They make lists of "predictions", but most of those predictions always seem to end up failing. Well, I have decided to put out my own list of predictions for 2013. I openly admit that I won't get all of these predictions right, and that is okay. Hopefully I will at least be more accurate than most of the other armchair prognosticators out there. It is important to look ahead and try to get a handle on what is coming, because I believe that the rest of this decade is going to be extraordinarily chaotic for the U.S. economy. The false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity that we are enjoying right now is not going to last much longer. When it comes to an end, the "adjustment" is going to be extremely painful. Those that understand what is happening and have prepared for it will have the best chance of surviving what is about to hit us. I honestly don't know what everybody else is going to do. Many of the people that don't see the coming collapse approaching will be totally blindsided by it and will totally give in to despair when they realize what has happened. But there is no excuse for not seeing what is coming - the signs are everywhere.
So with that being said, the following are 50 bold predictions for 2013...
#1 There will be a major fight between the Republicans and the Democrats over raising the debt ceiling. This will be one of the stories that dominates news headlines in the months of February and March.
#3 No matter what "fiscal deals" the Democrats and the Republicans make in 2013, the federal budget deficit will still end up being greater than a trillion dollars for the fifth consecutive year.
#4 The credit rating of the U.S. government will be downgraded again in 2013.
#5 The Federal Reserve, along with major central banks all over the globe, will continue to wildly print money.
#6 There will be more criticism of the Federal Reserve in 2013 than at any other time since it was created back in 1913.
#7 The term "currency war" will be used by the media more in 2013 than it was in 2012.
#8 The movement away from the U.S. dollar as the primary reserve currency of the world will pick up momentum. This will especially be true in Asia.
#9 The economic depressions in Greece and Spain will get even worse and unemployment in the eurozone will go even higher in 2013.
#10 A financial crisis in Europe will cause officials to grasp for "radical solutions" that will surprise many analysts.
#11 The unemployment rate in the United States will be higher by the end of 2013 than it is now.
#12 The percentage of working age Americans with a job will fall below 58 percent by the end of the year.
#13 At least one "too big to fail" bank will fail in the United States by the end of 2013.
#14 By the end of the year, more people than ever will understand what "derivatives" are, and that will be because they have caused major problems in the financial world.
#15 We will see the beginnings of another major housing crisis before the end of 2013 and foreclosure activity will start rising once again.
#16 We will see another new wave of "tent cities" start to go up in communities around the nation before the end of the year.
#17 There will be another major drought in the United States this upcoming summer and there will be widespread crop failures once again.
#18 The massive dust storms that we have seen roll through cities like Phoenix in recent years will become even larger and even more intense.
#19 Traffic along the Mississippi River will be significantly interrupted at some point during 2013. This will be a very negative thing for the economy.
#20 Food prices will soar in 2013. This will especially be true for meat products.
#21 In some of the poorer areas of the globe, major food riots will break out. Governments will have trouble containing the civil unrest.
#22 There will be more genetically-modified foods in our supermarkets than ever before, and more Americans than ever will reject them and will seek out alternatives.
#23 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in 2012 was about $3.60. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in 2013 will be lower than that. Yes, you read that correctly.
#24 The number of vehicle miles driven in the United States will continue to decline in 2013.
#25 The Dow will end 2013 significantly lower than it is right now.
#26 When the final statistics for 2013 are compiled, U.S. share of global GDP will be less than 20 percent for the first time in modern history. Back in the year 2001, our share of global GDP was 31.8 percent.
#27 The U.S. Postal Service will continue to experience massive financial difficulties and will lay off personnel.
#28 As violence in our public schools becomes increasingly worse, more Americans families than ever will decide to home school their children.
#29 The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress will make an all-out attempt to pass gun control measures in 2013. When their efforts on the legislative front are stalled somewhat by Republicans in the House, Obama will use his executive powers to further his gun control agenda.
#30 One of the cities with the strongest gun laws in the nation, Chicago, had 532 murders in 2012 and it is now considered to be one of the most dangerous cities on the planet. By the end of 2013, the murder total in Chicago will be above 600.
#31 There will be an increasing amount of tension between state governments and the federal government. The issue of "states rights" will move front and center at various points in 2013.
#32 CNN will continue to sink to horrifying new lows. Piers Morgan will end up leaving the network before the end of the year.
#33 The number of Americans on food stamps will surpass 50 million for the first time ever at some point during 2013.
#34 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2013 will be well over 300 billion dollars.
#35 The phrase "made in China" will increasingly be viewed as a reason not to buy a product as Americans become more educated about the millions of good jobs that we have lost to China over the past decade.
#36 We will see increasing cooperation between the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico and border restrictions will be loosened.
#37 There will continue to be a mass exodus of families and businesses out of the state of California. The favorite destination will continue to be Texas, but Texas residents will become increasingly resentful of all of these new transplants.
#38 There will be some truly jaw-dropping examples of violence by parents against their own children in 2013. Many of these stories will make headlines all over the nation.
#39 The percentage of Americans that are obese will continue to rise and will set another new all-time record in 2013.
#40 There will be more war in the Middle East in 2013. But it will only set the stage for even more war in the Middle East in 2014 and 2015.
#41 U.S. troops will be deployed in more countries than ever before in 2013.
#42 Volcanic eruptions and major earthquakes along the Ring of Fire will make headlines all over the globe in 2013.
#44 The peak of the solar cycle in 2013 will cause significant problems for satellite communications.
#45 The U.S. government will put more resources into the surveillance of the American people than ever before, but most Americans won't mind all of this surveillance because they have become convinced that it is important to give up some of our liberties for more "security".
#46 Our infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, sewers, electrical grids, etc.) will be in worse shape by the end of 2013 than it is now.
#47 The percentage of "two parent households" in the United States will continue to decline.
#48 "Political correctness" will reach ridiculous new heights during 2013, and more Americans than ever will start to rebel against it.
#49 There will be more anger at the wealthy in 2013 than at any other time in modern history.
#50 There will be some shocking political scandals in Washington D.C. in 2013. We will see some high profile resignations by the end of the year.
Once again, please keep in mind that I do not expect to be 100% correct about all of these things. I am just trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together just like everyone else is.
But I do hope to have a better track record than most of the other people putting out lists of predictions at the beginning of this year. So save this list and let's revisit it at the end of the year.
Do you have any bold predictions of your own for 2013? Please feel free to share them by posting a comment below...