Sunday, January 4, 2009

'Jane! Stop this crazy thing!'

We are living in the future, it's just not the future anybody predicted:
When I was a kid, the future was supposed to be filled with flying cars, orbiting space cities and endless free time; instead, we work more hours than ever, drive internal combustion cars on crumbling, congested freeways and endure endless cuts in airline service. Meanwhile, Web searching, handheld GPS systems and online shopping -- the technologies that have, in fact, changed our lives -- came more or less out of nowhere.
I'm lousy at making predictions. I was one of the first ones to call John McCain's defeat (see also here and here) but that was Oct. 2, after the McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan, and more than a week after the idiotic Sept. 24 bailout stunt, so there was ample evidence that the election was effectively over. As late as Sept. 22, I'd warned against a GOP panic, although later that same day, Steve Schmidt lashed out at the New York Times, which ought to have been recognized as proof that Schmidt knew the election was over.

But in terms of long-term trends, I'm blind as a mole. After the 2004 election, I had no foreboding of the GOP meltdown that began in 2006, simply because the events that caused that meltdown hadn't happened and couldn't be predicted. The Abramoff scandal? The Foley scandal? The blundered mishandling of Social Security reform? The mad push for amnesty? None of that was on the radar in November 2004, and so it was impossible to see the disaster coming.

The same thing is true of the Obama administration. A lot of my Republican friends seem demoralized, as if there is no hope of effectively opposing The One and his agenda. But I figure there's at least a 50-50 chance the Obama presidency is going to be a political disaster on the order of Jimmy Carter (or the first two years of Clinton), and thus am quite sanguine about the future. However, the only prediction I'm willing to make is that the Obama economic plan won't work, because it can't. Keynesian theory is demonstrably false, and so the one safe prediction is that the economy won't improve so long as Keynesian policies are pursued.

1 comment:

  1. the one safe prediction is that the economy won't improve so long as Keynesian policies are pursued

    It is a safe prediction so long as you believe that the state of the economy is entirely determined by government policy.