With less than a week before the New Year, I wanted to share with you three pitfalls we face in 2013.
But first let me brag: I am batting 1,000 as a prognosticator regarding the end of the world.
Two years ago this week, I wrote What Would You Resolve To Do If The World Were To End In 2012?.
In it, I said: “I don’t give a whole lot of weight to the Mayans and their calendar, even if they did build a great empire. If they really had a crystal ball you would think they would have been forewarned that the Spaniards were bringing smallpox to the Yucatán in the 16th Century and they wouldn’t have let themselves be enslaved to relatively few soldiers wearing funny hats and riding strange animals.”
I felt the odds were on my side since people have been predicting the end of the world long before Michel de Nostradamus started writing his prophecies in 1550. Besides, if I was wrong and the world had ended last week, who would be left to give me a hard time? It was a good bet.
As for my three predictions regarding what is going to happen in 2013, I think they are almost as assured.
No. 1: Gridlock
The Nation seems as divided today as it was during the Vietnam War.
This was hit upon two weeks ago by retiring Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who used his final Senate floor speech to urge Congress to put partisan rancor aside to break Washington’s gridlock.
“It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” said the Democrat-turned-independent, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”
After 24 years in the Senate, Lieberman said he wished Washington could erase gridlock because it stands as “the greatest obstacle” to finding compromises to the Nation’s problems.
Lieberman might has well have said that he wishes there really were a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny.
Just ask the editors of Newsday who ran an opinion piece last month titled “How Barack Obama benefits from gridlock in Washington,” which stated:” Every lobbyist in Washington knows that whoever can advocate that the government do nothing or defer a matter until later has the advantage.”
The fight in Washington next year will be about money. It is a war of attrition, much as World War I was. Neither sides of the aisle are going to do anything other than hang on until a real transformative President is elected (hopefully from the GOP). That means there will be scant compromise by the people we have elected who are supposed to oversee what is best for the Nation and not what is best for them.
No. 2: Greed
The investment scams being orchestrated by Wall Street institutions, especially investment banks, are of the magnitude of which the robber baron industrialists of a century ago could not have dreamed.
Washington is so afraid to let the other shoe drop in the ongoing recession that they have given big banks carte blanche permission for them to continue their reckless lending and investment practices regardless of the long-term consequences to the Nation.