Welcome to 2020-Too

By Morf Morford

By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

You are using an older version of 2020, please re-install the updated version. Shut down or reboot for full installation

If there is anything almost no one wants, it would be 2020, Version 2.

But when we hear it or say it, that is certainly what it sounds like.

With increasing economic instability impacting everything from interest rates, housing prices and inflation across area from health care to grocery prices, ever more unpredictable, record-breaking weather in just about every corner of the country, if not the world and, of course, like some annoying pop song that gets stuck in our brains, COVID, in all its iterations and updated versions, just doesn’t go away.

And, if you are looking for political division, you don’t have to look far; in the 2020 presidential election (barely over one year ago) here’s how Pierce County voted; Joseph R. Biden / Kamala D. Harris (Democratic Party Nominees) – 249,506 (53.76%); Donald J. Trump / Michael R. Pence (Republican Party Nominees) – 197,730 (42.61%).

That’s just about a 9% difference – which, in terms of numbers, means about 51,000 votes.

That’s approximately the population (not all voters, of course) of Puyallup and Sumner combined.

Our local (county) political/philosophical divide only reflects our state east/west divide (also called the Cascade Curtain) and our national nearly-equal split on almost every issue.

None of these trends are expected to change any time soon.

In fact, if anything, these movements are gathering momentum – and carrying us, and other corollary trends and circumstances along with them.

You could use the term “more of the same” but, like the phrase “avoid like the plague” that phrase has lost all meaning and relevance.

“Avoid like the plague” has proven itself meaningless in an era when many of us won’t even follow the most basic hygiene or public health protocols, and “more of the same” has a very different impact when, in weather and natural catastrophes at least, the term refers to record-breaking fires, droughts, rain, floods and storms of all kinds.

And, of course the abandonment of the term “more of the same” tells us that “the same” is barely even a remote possibility.

2022 will spend most of its energy crawling out from under the rubble of 2020-2021.

A few predictions of what will set 2022 apart

In the economy

Remote work will be here to stay, with most US business firms planning to continue all, or mostly all, remote. Robots will dominate warehouses and factory floors.

Interest rates will increase incrementally for at least the duration of 2022.

Artificial intelligence technology will be used for more and more businesses to increase employee productivity and enhance efficiency. It will enhance rather than displace human workers, and a record number of new jobs will be created. Average worker pay will increase accordingly.

Supply chain issues will largely dissipate.

Inflation will almost certainly continue.

The value of the US dollar, relative to other currencies, will certainly increase, making US goods more expensive for foreign countries.

Digital currencies will become a basic means of exchange for more and more of us.

The Federal Reserve is likely to issue a digital dollar as an alternative to coins and bank notes.

Supply chain issues inspire US companies to relocate within US borders – or at least in Mexico or Canada.

China’s economy becomes even more unstable.

Housing

Housing sales and prices will stabilize.

Construction will continue, but thanks to interest rates and shifting demand, sales and prices will become even more region specific.

Rents will go up at a higher rate than mortgages.

Home prices in some areas will rise, as prices in other areas drop dramatically.

Talking about the weather

Top of the agenda this year for policy makers will be a need to weatherproof the power grid.

Weather around the world will become increasingly intense and erratic.

As with the past few years, we can expect major unprecedented floods in parts of Europe and fires in Australia, Canada, and other parts of the world.

Energy

We can expect cyber attacks on major fuel pipeline and other systems of our power grids.

Definite increased possibility of a drone attack on this US power system.

Crime

Violent crime will continue to rise in cities and rural areas. Local governments will devote more money to their police forces in the hopes of stemming the wave of violence and thefts at local malls.

The Postal Service is about more than mail

US Post office will offer banking services at select locations where customers can cash and deposit business checks.

Time

A law is passed making daylight savings time permanent across the USA.

Finally.

Across the pond

Scotland will vote for, and retain its own independence and not join the EU.

Europe will have its own supply chain issues that will certainly influence food supplies – and prices.

Several nations in Europe begin making shifts towards cash-free societies.

The return of pop culture

Movie theaters will stage a huge comeback in 2022 with a slew of blockbusters – mostly remakes or sequels – including The Batman, Top Gun, Jurassic World, Mission Impossible 7, the Marvels and Avatar 2.

You can expect many extra features of the big screen experience from 3D to enhanced sound and special effects.

In short, they will do almost anything to get us back to the big screens.

In politics

Across the country, and across issues, a new generation, with very different priorities, will step up. This will change the public face of both major political parties.

Too strange to believe

10% of the world’s population will be wearing clothes connected to the Internet.

Social media will become even more intrusive and will begin to lose its fascination – especially among younger users.

COVID will leave as quickly as it arrived.

Shaking hands and kissing will end completely as a greeting and not return.

No matter what happens, remember that you heard it here first.

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