Making Predictions in the Age of Social Media — It’s a Whole New Ballgame

Posted: Jan 28, 2014 12:01 AM
Making Predictions in the Age of Social Media — It’s a Whole New Ballgame

When it comes to making official predictions for the year ahead, I always make my prognostications in a bar with a few close friends. Although it may seem strange that a national columnist and radio talk show host would be so reticent to share their predictions with the world — as it seems that every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the mainstream media makes their prognostications known to all — I’ve been in the economic spotlight for more years than I care to remember and I now realize that with emails, text messaging, social media, and the NSA, crystal ball pontifications can be replayed as if they were just made. No longer can someone hide behind the statement, “Well, that’s not what I really said.” Nevertheless, after much angst, I decided to break my rule and share my friendly bar room banter with the world as I believe that 2014 will be a watershed year and a little bit of independent clarity would be needed.

This past Thanksgiving (I didn’t even wait until the New Year), I conveyed a laundry list of happenings that I felt and believed were truly inevitable. Included in my anticipated list of financial and geopolitical events was “assassinations.” In order to avoid having you believe that I’m encouraging such action as I’m most assuredly not, careful wording needs to be done here.

However, when a father in Tunisia sets himself on fire because he was unable to feed his family, and a retiree hung himself in the Greek Square because governmental policies had taken away his dignity and his ability to cloth and shelter himself and his wife, it seemed to me that it would only be a matter of time before anger was directed toward the so-called ruling class. History tells us, especially in Europe, that passions can be provoked to the extent that blame is ultimately leveled. As this happens, the ruling elite take action and thus the recent assassination of Suthin Taratin — the leader of the opposing political party in Thailand — comes as no surprise. What also came as no surprise was liberal New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s recent comment regarding “poisoning” (symbolically, I think) the Tea Party. On the other hand, poisoning rodents is done for the express purpose of killing them, so it would appear the good senator and Thai leadership have made my 2014 predictions come true a little sooner than expected.

By the way, Chuck, don’t I remember you vilifying Sarah Palin for something about “crosshairs?”

Darn that social media, it remembers everything!