Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Obama Predictions

I will try to look back on this in four years to score my accuracy.

Economy - Initially he may have some positive impact/effect. But short-lived, as remaining derivative credit defaults, commercial real estate, and reduced manufacturing demand remain in the coffers to be deleveraged. I'm going to go with pundit predictions that 2010 will be when things gradually get better, but slowly. Infrastructure improvement programs are the wildcard (good side) as is international conflict (on the bad side).

Health Care - Major impact. I'm expecting sweeping reforms to insurance, entitlements, tort and things like hospice care. Veterans affairs should see marked improvement, as well as low income services. Not sure what the dwindling middle class will see.  Probably more walk-in clinics in our future.

Telecom - I don't expect much beyond some limited Internet expansion (read: wireless), but it may take a back seat to security and other issues. Semiconductor markets will ride the general economic curve since they are not seen as worthy of special consideration compared with telecom markets.  Hardware and software vendors will ride the bus with everyone else.

Security / Defense - I expect a shift of focus from large-scale products (planes, tanks, ships, and subs) to intelligence and mobile weapons systems. Aircraft Carriers and supply ships may be an exception.  Information services may see an uptick, but I'm skeptical it will be anything more robust or worthwhile than the NMCI fiasco.

Legal System - I expect significant reforms to laws which would lower prison demand for non-violent crimes. Minimum sentencing laws could be relaxed as well.  Going to prison for an ounce of pot may be reconsidered.  People do less time for outright fraud than most drug offenses.

Education - I expect some reforms to higher education to make it more accessible and affordable across the board.  Compensation programs for volunteer work may become viable. I don't expect to see any relief for those already being squeezed to repay bloated student loans.

Manufacturing / Housing - 2009 will suck, but not as severely as 2008. If he enacts infrastructure improvement programs along the scale of FDR, Truman, or Ike, it could be a lucrative era but only when those come to fruition in full swing in 2010 or later.

International - I expect improved relations with many countries like Cuba, Iran, and the Middle East in general. Some relations might see added strain after the first year. Such as China (differing civil rights views), Russia (energy issues and NATO expansion), N. Korea (nukes), Saudi Arabia (imperialist leadership vs populist views).


Nothing is certain, obviously. Distractions, known and unknown, can and will change the game at any point. This will be as true going forward as it was for shaping and defining the previous administration. Had it not been for 9-11, who knows how the Bush era would have been. Any, or all, of the following issues will likely shape the next four years and beyond:

Mexico. Afghanistan. Korea. Iran. China. Russia. Venezuela. Taliban. Al Qeada. Rednecks. Corporate leaders with a pro-republican agenda. Nut job groups. Additional economic strains.

Here's to the next four years - cheers!

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