2017 Predictions

It’s here! It’s finally here! That’s right, here is my annual prediction post. Last year’s post can be found here. Reading it over, I’m surprised to see I got a lot of them right or at least close enough to pretend I was right.  Looking back on it, I was ahead of the curve on what was going on with Trump in the election. I also got the Fed strategy right, but the timing a bit off. I was hilariously right about the North Koreans and the Muslim diaspora into Europe. In both cases, those outcomes were so obvious there should be a penalty for not getting them right.

On the down side, the Red Sox did not win the World Series and the Patriots did not win the Super Bowl. Even worse, the Yankees did not go 0-and-162. Looking back, the one area where my predictions are never right is in the area of sports. That’s not a surprise as I actually care about sports. The rest of the stuff is just what I do between watching my teams play sportsball. But, The Olde Towne Team had a good year, a great Hot Stove Season and the great Tom Brady is leading America’s Team to another title this year!

So, what are the goat entrails telling me this year?

Part of the return to normalcy in America will be Washington reacquainting itself with economic matters. Trump knows he needs something big to goose the economy and give his presidency a boost. The way forward on that is to start with a big sweeping tax reform package. Given the make-up of the House, expect a package that simplifies business taxes, cuts the corporate rate and offers a big bag of goodies for companies that make stuff and employ people. That means big deductions for capital expenditures like machine tools and heavy equipment.

The signs also point to an effort at peeling back a thick slice of the regulatory state. Trump is a guy who remembers the Reagan years and he knows the impact of deregulation had on the economy. He’s also a guy who has spent his life dealing with government functionaries enforcing bureaucratic regulations. Republicans have been plotting a big rollback for over a decade and now they have their shot. ObamaCare is an obvious target, but look for this to be part of a larger rollback of regulations in an effort to boost the economy…

This is the year we see the floor fall out of the climate change rackets. Most Americans think global warming is nonsense and one of those Americans is Trump. There will be a concerted effort to depoliticize the climate science business by running off some of the fanatics and opening the field back up to sensible skeptics. The main driver will be turning off the money spigot to the fanatics and shifting funds to the honest science.  When the money goes away, the grifters go away…

The problems in the Chinese political economy will become more obvious to western policy makers as the boom times come to an end. There’s not much left the US can outsource to China, even if there was desire to do it. The Chinese know this and they have been feverishly trying to adjust by boosting domestic consumption. The trouble is it will require a vast restructuring of the Chinese society. The ChiComs are not intimated by such a task, but that does not make it less daunting.

China has a lot of smart people, but they have never figured out how to protect themselves from tyrants. That’s the limit on economic growth. When the government can arbitrarily take your property, there is no incentive to invest, unless you have political power. That breeds corruption and it breeds a bandit mentality. That’s the challenge for the ChiComs and what will stymie their efforts to move from a mercantile economy to a market one. This is the year when the problems start to become obvious…

Syria, Turkey, Iraq and maybe even Jordan become less stable over the next year as the West cannot agree on a coherent policy for the region. One reason for the chaos is no player has the resources to impose its will on the rest. The Russians have enough to keep Assad in power, but not enough to wipe out the Saudi and GCC sponsored rebels. The Saudis can keep the kettle boiling, but they cannot do much more without the US. Israel is happy to see her enemies fighting with one another so they will not be pushing for a resolution…

The alt-right will fall prey to infighting and squabbling and slowly burn itself out over the next year. The fighting between Cernovich, Treadstone and Spencer has all the familiar features. On the one side will be the guys who dream of riding their fame as rebels to positions within the establishment. On the other will be those who see legitimization as treason. One side goes one way, the other side goes the opposite and the “movement” splinters and dissolves. This is a common dynamic in radical politics and it will happen with the New Right…

Gene editing will become a very serious topic of conversation among the chattering classes. Ten years ago, no one in science really thought it was going to be cheap and easy to edit the human genome anytime soon. All of a sudden, CRISPR/Cas9 promises to make genetic engineering a reality. Researchers have already done things like edit bone marrow cells in mice to treat sickle-cell anemia. The Chinese have used this technology to edit the genome of human embryos.

We’re still a long way from creating designer humans, but the path is suddenly open to solving a whole host of diseases. The Chinese will rush ahead with human testing, but the West will most likely start on more mundane things like creating disease resistant plants and treatments for insect borne viruses. Tinkering with mosquitoes so they no longer can carry the Zika virus has fewer moral obstacles than tinkering with humans. Even so, the brave new world begins this year…

The coming Trump immigration push will reveal that we no longer have two parties, but one party with two sides, one on each end of the immigration issue. Paul Ryan will lead the open borders wing in opposition to Trump and the nationalist wing. This will be seen as the first steps in the great realignment of the parties as a big chunk of people currently in the GOP camp begin to make their way over to the Democrat side. American politics will begin to resemble Israeli politics, where one issue divides the parties…

That’s it for this year. It has been a banner year for the blog, adding tens of thousands of new readers and many new commenters. I appreciate everyone taking the time out of their day to read and respond.

Happy New Year to one and all.

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Ironbear
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Happy New Year’s Z-Man.

Here’s hoping that yours is a good one, and that you keep being inspired to write up and post more of the occasionally odd, sometimes weird, and generally pithy and spot on observations on our culture and politics that’s been your habit to date.

Timbotoo
Guest

Mr Z, your New Year list contains many interesting possibilities, however I think that the chance that President Trump will push for energy self sufficiency opens the door to influence the dynamics in the Mid East. Just to see the Saudi economy weakened would be a fine thing.

Aggie
Guest
It’s a nice idea, but the US is not going to double its hydrocarbon production any time soon (we import more than half of what we consume). The only way we’ll become energy independent is by figuring out how to split the atom in a safely cost-effective and well-regulated way. Take your choice: Doubling production is more challenging than one might think, especially if it includes doubling refining and distribution capacity (pipelines). Transforming power generation away from hydrocarbons is too. Either one is 20 years to put into effect if everyone is on board, minimum. I vote for splitting atoms!… Read more »
Member

I predict Steve Bannon will start reading the Z Blog and steal a lot of Z’s ideas, leading to an even greater America. Happy 2017 to all.

Member

Steve Bannon is a better man than that. Kinda a cheap shot to imply he would steal anything from anyone. Just sayin.

Member

It wasn’t meant that way at all. Just a compliment to Z. I love Bannon.

George Eliot
Guest

Going to be a banner year for earthquakes and volcanoes.

So here’s to the San Andreas fault! Happy New Year!

Member

And after all, our problems are all very, very first world.

Happy new year to all.

Nori
Guest

Our soon to be ex-POTUS and his Iranian-born pet slapweasel are not going to retire quietly. They are very,very angry,and mean to punish the Dirt People for our insolence. PE Trump is well aware of this and so are the highly competent adults he’s surrounded himself with,so there’s that. The Pacific Ring of Fire has been far too lively lately;we may see that long-predicted West Coast natural disaster to add to the mayhem. That being said,I do believe we have real,genuine hope for a better 2017 and beyond, Happy New Year to Z and Z World.

Nedd Ludd
Guest
Happy New Year Z, I think you’re right on your “climate change” prediction… It will be sweet to see this become ‘unsettled’ science, as it should be. The “alt-right” label is already finished, thanks to Spencer and his Roman salute idiocy. Perhaps the ‘patriot-right’ would work, but I’m happy with ‘America-First!’ label. The Middle East will remain an 85 average IQ / cousin marriage disaster – So no change there, now or ever. Same, or worse goes for Africa. I predict we’ll also see some real changes on gun regulation Two nights ago, on the PBS Newshour they had an… Read more »
Yankee Girl
Guest

I wish I could double-dare/emphasize your comment re: ME IQ disaster! Stupid-o disaster. I hate those bastards.

Jeff Brokaw
Guest
Sportsball predictions are fun but kinda silly, with injuries, off-the-field stuff that none of us know about, season-to-season ups and downs that nobody could possibly anticipate. That’s why they play the games, I always say. I was hoping for a Red Sox matchup so that the Cubs could beat the best – but the Indians intervened on Don’s behalf and we had to beat them instead, LOL. Happy New Year to you and all your readers, Zman. Great blog. Been reading it for 2-3 years now, discovered via American Digest. Your essays are very well done, always interesting, well written… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Like to add to the list. Us dirt people are ascendent, what happened with this election and the insurgent uprising it represents is barely a beginning. There is something happening, it is difficult to define. But I sense a zeitgeist which has to ferment some more like a batch of high gravity home brew. I got a funny sense of these things. This Great Fuck You is going to get a head of steam, it will become manifest, lot of people that have had enough of the political and elitist scum running things, are going to get hit upside the… Read more »
thor47
Guest

I sensed a zeitgeist once, and managed not to get any on me.

Doug
Guest

Sounds like you have a cognitive dissonance syndrome problem. Might want to get a shrink to check it out before you turn into a SJW, or worse.

thor47
Guest

Doug, minor quibble: if the world won’t be the same, the event which changes it will have to be pivotal, won’t it?

Doug
Guest

Your quibble is your afraid of any change, and afraid of anyone who isn’t, and think your a smart ass who can hide behind his own bullshit.

thor47
Guest

That is why I’m here, to merely stand in awe of visionaries like you.

Doug
Guest

Your here to spread doubt, discontent. You enjoy it.

Wilbur Hassenfus
Guest

Here’s another problem China hasn’t overcome yet:

https://aeon.co/essays/what-chinese-corner-cutting-reveals-about-modernity

I’m not bullish on China. They’ve been flopping around helplessly for centuries. I’m no population geneticist, but I f Europe could selectively breed itself out of barbarism (never mind introgressing themselves back to it), perhaps China may well have done the reverse. IQ isn’t the only heritable cognitive trait.

CRISPR scares the living daylights out of me. Nobody is competent to do that stuff responsibly, and the people running the show these days are delusional religious fanatics whose central expression of faith is to enact policies that are known to be disastrous.

A.T. Tapman
Member

I wonder how we will be betrayed, again. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Doug
Guest
Betrayal? Betrayal is the modus operandi of the political elite. Obama told us “Russian election interference”, talk radio and “fake news” were the deciding factors in how about 120 million people voted. OK, riiiight. That’s from the guy whose only job is to protect the interests of the people. A guy who along with his ilk will do anything to hide and distort the truth they where found illegitimate by 120 million people who withdrew their consent. It used to be called will of the governed. I think it is become peaceful, lawful, legitimate resistance to tyranny at this stage.… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member
Well, Trump appeared to be the real thing. I too had to question and look a long time at his creds before jumping on the bandwagon. Even if he is a plant by TPTB, he did a masterful job of posing as the proverbial duck … walking, talking, quacking, looking like one. But the truth of the matter is what choices to we have, really? Everyone now likes to do their BDS and take “W” behind the woodshed. But the alternatives were Gore and Kerry. And this time, it was the hideous Hillary. For an “alternate” view of the election/campaign,… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
If the immigration issue remains and emerges as the single large issue of our times, we the people have one that one already. The reason is that a huge proportion of the anti-immigration population takes that position passionately and deeply, as a part of their personal philosophy and basic understanding of the world. IMO, many of the pro-immigration folks don’t believe it deeply, it is more of a piece of a Progressive laundry list that they parrot and rattle off. Also, as mentioned by Z in a different context, a big chunk of the pro-immigration movement is fanned by checks… Read more »
In Voice
Guest
It doesn’t matter that much what recent immigrants (legal and illegal) want. The key to blocking immigration is the mainly white upper middle class. Some, mainly in southern California and New York City, are emotionally committed to mass immigration. But you are probably right that the great majority of “nation of immigrants” believers are like the majority of people everywhere — their opinions are based on what they imagine will be approved by their friends, acquaintances, and bosses. The so-called Overton Window is shifting and that is likely to continue in 2017, as immigration restriction becomes a little bit socially… Read more »
thor47
Guest

Thank you, zman, for your work, and for taking comments. Best wishes to all for a prosperous New Year, however you may need it.

kokor hekkus
Guest

“Syria, Turkey, Iraq and maybe even Jordan become less stable over the next year as the West cannot agree on a coherent policy for the region. One reason for the chaos is no player has the resources to impose its will on the rest. ”
I strongly disagree, because I believe Trump will withdraw all support for the jihadist groups, and the Syrian/Iranian/Russian forces will drive them out of the country within a relatively short period after that.
A Happy and prosperous New Year to all!

kokor hekkus
Guest
“China has a lot of smart people, but they have never figured out how to protect themselves from tyrants.” China has a “shame” culture, not a “guilt” culture. Anything is fine if you get away with it. Hence poison put into baby formula, organ harvesting, the extermination of endangered species and innumerable defective or counterfeit products being sold everywhere, especially Amazon. This is short term thinking, and tyranny is fully consistent with such. Hence also the huge number of wealthy Chinese buying property in and/or moving to the West. China is looking at financial collapse, which the Regime is only… Read more »
vje
Guest

“China has a “shame” culture, not a “guilt” culture. Anything is fine if you get away with it

Maybe, but all the Chinese I know have a money culture. Anything goes as long as you can make a buck off of it.

Ideas about moral responsibility to the larger society and the like are completely absent in China and Asia (ex. Japan).

Generally speaking, Chinese only recognize moral duty to family, and perhaps close friends. It’s completely acceptable to scam or just ignore the interests of everyone else.

james wilson
Guest

Chinese are schizo, being xenophobic while at the same time all classes share the same instructions for their children–get out when you can. Nobody trusts the State, or ever has. They have good reason not to, but it may be their curse to never understand why. That is not to say that the West has not lost in mind, but that the Chinese never found theirs.

Member
I live in a college town with a lot of wealthy Chinese students. There are two driving Maclarens. Several years back an apartment manager told me that many leave their stuff when they go home. One even left a Porsche that he was allowed to keep when it remained unclaimed. During that conversation I told him that I’d read an article that said that because of the one child policy there would be about fifty percent fewer Chinese between 18 and 24 years old within the next 8-10 years. Yesterday I found out that there are two thousand fewer Chinese… Read more »
Severian
Guest
From your 2016 predictions: “2016 will be the year the liberal media turns on the Clintons, even if it scuttles the Democrats chances of winning the White House.” Do you think that will happen in 2017? I would’ve predicted 2016, too, but I badly underestimated how all-in the Left was on Hillary (…which I can’t for the life of me figure out, why they’d go all-in on that particular awful shrew, but that’s a puzzle for another day). But now that she’s lost, how many goons are still willing to Arkancide Clinton critics? The only way I can see that… Read more »
Dan Kurt
Member

@ Severian “not saying I believe all the “pizzagate” nonsense”

Don’t be too fast to dismiss PIZZAGATE. Read: The Franklin Cover-up https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071PLZX8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Dan Kurt

Heartlander
Guest

Thanks for the tip. The book sounds legit. I just ordered it on my Kindle.

Jamesg
Guest

I hope with the attack on regulations, tax cuts, etc., the new administration does not forget our government-financed media. NPR and PBS should be stripped of all tax-supported funding ASAP.

I’m disappointed that Trump never mentioned this in his campaign.

Member
There are no votes to be gained in mentioning it in the campaign… only outrage from the left and media. It will be up to the Congress to initiate defunding those things. Trump will likely let it be known that he’s willing to sign legislation cutting those things. Congress is going to play games. Trump has a LOT on his plate and few allies. It’s going to be Reagan all over again, except this time, Trump at least knows how Reagan got very few of his initiatives through, so Trump should do better. We’ll see.
Miss Marple
Guest

A few well-timed rallies calling certain people out in their homo states should apply a lot more pressure than these guys are used to. The Twitter account is also quite handy.

I don’t think the Congress really understands what they’re dealing with. Many Trump-supporting sites I go to are fully expecting Ryan et al to drag their feet, and they are gearing up for the fight.

Should be a very interesting spring!

Mike Martin
Guest

Another great year of Z posts will transition into an even better year of Z posts.

Oh, and as Geddy Lee sang, “the changes aren’t permanent, but change is.”

Happy new year to Z and the commenters.

Marina
Guest
I will be curious to see what happens with the birthrate in this country, though 2017 may still be too early to tell. There’s this lefty lie that the only way to get more Americans is to import people, but Israels Jewish birthrate is up by 0.1 children/woman in the last year alone. Secular Israeli Jewish women manage about three kids EACH, and the religious are way higher. It turns out that babies can be easily made domestically, with widely available materials! Who knew? IIRC, Trump’s tax plan allows parents to take fairly generous tax credits for the labor of… Read more »
Shelby
Guest

Marina; I am exhausted just reading your comment. Bless you, I hope your family realizes how fortunate they are.
All of you out there stay safe. Be aware of your surroundings and in control of your faculties.
Have a happy new year.

Marina
Guest

It’s the best damn job I’ve ever had. Even with the vomit. I’m a very lucky woman.

LetsPlay
Member

God bless you. Mom’s everywhere … whose efforts go largely taken for granted. Just like Dad’s too.

Soviet of Washington
Guest
A Happy New Year to Z-man and all readers/commenters. I’d like to hope that this is the year the bottom falls out of the climate change racket. But the lead story on the local rag (I’d cancel but haven’t convinced the Mrs. yet ) was that some state govt commission here in the Soviet has decided that carbon emissions in 2050 or some such pulled-out-of-their-a** date need to be reduced further. This despite a massive repudiation of a carbon tax initiative on the ballot in Nov and the 1%/Yr state population growth rate. How the political columnist can write this… Read more »
alzaebo
Guest

As ‘public’ pensions look worse and worse, I predict the Compliance Empire will strike back.
Bigly!

ColoComment
Guest
“The Chinese know this and they have been feverishly trying to adjust by boosting domestic consumption. The trouble is it will require a vast restructuring of the Chinese society.” The trouble for the Chinese is that to boost domestic consumption, they have to encourage & support a Chinese “middle class” that has discretionary income to spend on the “stuff” that China manufactures. Unfortunately for the Chinese leadership, that also compels some level of acknowledgement of property rights, and contract and product liability law, and all the other accoutrements of a “bourgeois” society. It’s my impression that, in general, the Chinese… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Very interesting point Z makes about China running out of US industries to hollow out. Back in the pre-China days of ordinary competition it was an accepted aphorism that ‘growth covers a thousand sins (of management)’: These ‘sins’ always showed up in the business cycle downturns*, making them worse because you had to adjust everything while under fiscal pressure. You were prevented from correcting obvious process errors, deferred maintenance, removing marginal performers, etc. because if plan was not achieved, you were going to be the scapegoat, regardless of whose fault it was. Only when meeting expectations was clearly impossible, could… Read more »
Member

Happy New Years, everyone. Don’t let the bastids grind you down!

LetsPlay
Member

Happy New Year’s All. My best regards to a great group of people!

Ken Eiler
Guest

Happy New Year, Z-Man, and to all the commentariat here! Keep up the great analysis.

Member

Tom Brady leading America’s Team? OK, I can take that more easily than I can the idea of “America’s Team” being the one with Satan’s Pentagram on the helmets.

LetsPlay
Member

Or the forty-whiners giving Kapernickdick an award for “courageous” action. Doh?

Member
Happy New Year, Z, from a loyal reader. On your predictions: It will be interesting to see if Trump can keep his nerve on the climate stuff. In financial terms, it’s a proposition which will require a very high initial investment (it’s a sacred cow for the Left, so scaling it back will occasion much high-volume apocalyptic rhetoric about how Trump is dooming us all), but has an enormous potential for payoff over the long term. My sense is that redirecting climate research funds would be extremely painful — at first. But as some of the more fanatical voices begin… Read more »
james wilson
Guest

The Chinese have their own new year, so why not be flexible? Ours began November 8.

Jackson
Guest
You are overthinking the Alt-Right thing. All the momentum is with the radicals, the Alt-Lite is going nowhere. Milo is a ridiculous shill, and is actually a living refutation of the Alt-Right’s ideals (a gay Jew to lead traditionalist movement, anyone?). Cernovitch is a self-promoting type that the Patriot right has seen so much of. He may survive with a niche sort of like Alex Jones has, and be taken about as seriously. The real center of the Alt-Right is white nationalism, as it has always been. Spencer invented the term, and successfully reclaimed it from all others with his… Read more »
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