Friday 02 Dec 2016

2013 Prediction Scoreboard
AJ Robinson

A year ago, I posted a story called “Predictions for the Future,” in which I did just that: made predictions regarding the upcoming year, 2014. Now, as the year ends, I thought it appropriate to look back over my predictions. How did I do?

This spring was brief and summer was very hot, one of the hottest on record. There were droughts throughout the Midwest United States. Crops and livestock did wither, and many people suffered heat stroke.

Europe also felt the summer blaze; the young and the elderly endured the worst of the heat. There were many deaths from heat-related troubles. The Global Climate Change naysayers did pooh-pooh all of our weather troubles as merely a slight climate shift, even as the seas did get warmer and glaciers continued to retreat.

Fall was warmer than normal, but winter is still uncertain. One thing is for sure though: it is shaping up to be very intense. Already, we have some major storms, with some followed by unseasonal warming trends. It was in the 70s in New York City right before Christmas. Yet, “FOX News,” as further confirmation that everything is fine, touted every severe blizzard as busy as usual.

There were actually several mass shootings over the course of the year and this is one prediction I truly wish had not come true. True to form, people did weep and wail about the dead, but Congress, also true to form, did nothing. On the national front, I was unfortunately correct: several states and communities loosened gun control laws and thus added to the bloodbath.

The GOP did continue to push for laws that prevent women from controlling their own bodies and passed a slew of new laws to keep anyone other than rich White males from voting. Yes, they the GOP remains mystified as to why they’re not reaching other demographic groups. Yet, at the same time, people continue to vote for Republican candidates, which I still can’t understand.

The GOP continued to call for massive cuts to the public sector, and they’ve blamed the president for every single failing of; well, everything. I imagine every instance of the US not winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics will elicit a similar response. Fortunately, there weren’t any huge natural disasters like Katrina. There were forest fires and tornadoes, but at least there were personnel to deal with those situations.

Corporate profits sharply increased, along with the stock market. Wages for average employees have continued to go down. The richer get richer and the poor get poorer.

I guess I had a good batting average for 2013. I wish that wasn’t the case. It’s not good to win because people lose.

The coming year will see more of the same. The 2013 Congress will already go down in history as the least productive ever! They passed fewer bills than any other Congress in decades. Well, here’s my number one prediction for 2014: that its Congress is even less productive. Many people feel the coming election will force the GOP to do something, anything, on some important key issues, but I’m not optimistic.

The GOP operates in a bubble that allows them to ignore what the people need and want. Witness their actions on gun control, immigration, minimum wage, unemployment and many other matters. No, I fear the GOP will spend much of 2014 grumbling about the same thing: healthcare.

Oh well, maybe the American voters will finally wake up and throw the bums out. As with Congress actually doing something, I’m not optimistic. There’s even talk of the GOP re-taking the Senate! I hear that and I sadly shake my head.

Are people dumb? Who knows, that’s something my crystal ball won’t reveal.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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