Opinions & Letters

Looking into the crystal ball for 2012

 | January 15, 2012

If you think 2011 was a tough year for dictators and their ilk, stay tuned for what’s upcoming in 2012. This power to the people, Arab spring, occupy something, protestor as Time’s Man of the Year, democratic movement will resonate with unintended consequences. This will actually affect even us in pampered New North America (a.k.a. Canada) since the Americans have borrowed themselves into Debtor Nation Numero Uno. National debt there now is north of $15 trillion, a number so incomprehensible that those of us still having trouble identifying with a million can only be stage struck to learn that the European Central Bank is thinking about releasing $648 billion into some Euro bailout package but seems to be having trouble finding the funds to do it. No kidding! There are 7 billion people on this earth now and by the time we hit 9 billion souls mid-century, there are going to be lots of fights between nations and people trying to grab what they believe is their fair share.

I’d love to predict a year in which the United Nations actually are. Unfortunately, mankind, for whatever reason, is clearly devolving along cultural and civilizational lines.

“Democracy” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya will be the tipping point. Popular opinion there supports more religion and less business. Their economies, already bleeding cash, are going to crash. The unemployed will react angrily as they now realize the futility and go afield. Closest place: Europe.

The old Gal Europa ain’t what she used to be. The short work weeks, long paid vacations, perk filled, anything goes lifestyle that once was glamorized can’t pay for itself anymore, never mind feed and house tsunamis of migrants from even more failed states just across the water. Fewer workers will have to work harder to pay for other people’s benefits. The already unsustainable welfare state model simply has no hope of paying entitlements for even its own citizens.

We can see this happening here too. The recent sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jays and Raptors by the Teacher’s Pension Fund shows how having 1.5 workers paying retirement benefits to each retiree cannot work. Our Canada Pension Plan needs topping off because it’s headed in the same direction. We now have, in many places around the world, people getting more from the state than they’re producing for it. The majority will democratically vote for more of the same but it’ll be a matter of the mind writing cheques that the body can’t cash.

Revolutions don’t happen because of high ideals like fairness and justice, but because of economic privation. Because economies are collapsing, humans will fight and it will be ugly. 2012 will be an interesting and bloody year. Have a good one while you can.

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