It is always a precarious undertaking (if not an experience in futility), to predict future econo/political developments at the new year's outset. In reviewing some of the predictions previously made by some highly-regarded, and well-publicized financial gurus, the batting average of predictions have more often than not turned out to be more error-ridden than on the mark.
Therefore, any economic predictions are best based on the reality of existing positives and negatives, as the new year is ushered in. While "White House" direction can have a marginal influence on the intensity of ups and downs that will be facing the world and U.S. economies, the major factors now in place will overwhelm the major decisions pronounced by the new Administration. These are:
- The dangerous geopolitical instability emanating, especially from the Middle East.
- The $20 trillion U.S. Treasury debt that has doubled in the last eight years, showing no signs of slowing down, after the worst budget deficit in fiscal 2016 (ended September 30), despite record tax collections, and major cuts in military spending.
- The continued pre-occupation with climatological purity, that has crushed coal production for domestic and export use. A continued commitment to this exaggerated focus could mean a negative for fossil fuels in general (coal, oil, and natural gas), which have vaulted the U.S. into the world's leading position of that sector.
- The continued loss of production-related jobs, which the outgoing Administration has mitigated with the greatest expansion of "food stamps" ever witnessed in the American nation's history.
- The breakdown in the limitation of hundreds of thousands of displaced Middle East refugees, and the spreading of sanctuary cities, which could seriously undermine the already precarious national security.
- The extension of regulatory restraints, such as those enforced by the hard-fisted Environmental Protection Agency. These have exerted major additional costs on businesses and the production of potential commodity conversion. This outgoing Administration's emphasis on "regulation expansion," plus "Obamacare" have seen more small businesses shut their doors than the creation of additional startups than ever before witnessed.
The rectification of previously cited negatives would have to be altered dramatically in order to open the door to greater U.S. opportunities, in all categories, that are readily available to a nation that overshadows all others in its future potential.
Q: What US econo-political directions will 2017 bring?