1- At least half of all states and the federal government will continue to push required masks, social distancing and business / school restrictions. Despite plummeting covid infection and death rates as widespread vaccinations of the vulnerable population, the public health crisis narrative will be extended. Expect the Fauci Fearmongers to list new strains, question the full success of existing vaccines (up to 95% success) and plan for an influenza season of epic proportions. Masks will not go away until citizens refuse to comply in most environments. Restrictions on schools, places of worships and businesses will continue into next winter.
2-The economy will weaken as prolonged shutdowns hampers natural growth, travel and trade. Actions by the Biden Administration in the energy sector and federal tax policy will negatively impact corporate earnings, stock valuation and slow hiring. While some sectors will continue to grow, others will falter; impacting employment and consumer spending. Overall, consumer confidence will weaken as will the value of the dollar. We should expect high commodity prices as oil prices rise on ‘green energy’ prospects and higher gold prices as inflation ramps up. The stock market, already cooling, is likely to stumble even more. Debt levels and the true cost of covid overreaction will round out the economic dilemma.
3-Green technology will continue to gather political and corporate support, despite the realities of weather and the inability to meet peak demand. The California and Texas examples have changed popular opinion, but the options for American will diminish. With GM planning to phase out traditional gas-powered cars by 2035 and other manufacturers following suit, expect a “Cash for Gas Guzzlers” Federal Program in the near future, similar to “Cash for Clunkers”. Similarly, utility firms will be subsidized or penalized for action / inaction in the move to solar /wind / hydro power with coal, gas and nuclear falling out of favor.
4- Immigration and the border will gain significant attention as American citizens question the import of refugees during a national crisis. Concerns over competition for jobs and vaccinations have emerged and will only only increase over the course of the year. Caravans of illegal aliens will be summoned directly and indirectly by the Biden Administration. Many will be granted asylum, some will be allowed to cross illegally and a portion will be turned away as a show of “effective border control”. Illegal immigrants and children of illegal immigrants will be put on a path to citizenship.
5- On the international front, expect an emboldened Iran as they move closer to becoming a nuclear military power. North Korea, recovering from a hidden covid calamity, will resume nuclear testing. Both will be largely ignored by Biden and no action will be employed to thwart aggressiveness. Iran also has the potential to dramatically upset the world’s oil market with naval action in the Persian Gulf. Gas at $3.00 / gallon by summer could move higher if Middle East instability occurs. Most importantly, Russia will collude with no one. The actual threat in the making is Communist China which will be allowed to threaten East Asia as the Chinese tiger prepares to pounce. The third Chinese aircraft carrier will be readied for operation and Taiwan will become a greater target for acquisition. Expect America to become an equal among nations as opposed to a leader and example of free markets, civil liberties and a military force for good.
The American people voiced their concern in the November elections but have not really done so since. Displeasure with government can be expressed in many ways. Look for an action plan in coming articles.
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