There are only eleven months left in 2007, but it’s not too late to make a few predictions for the coming year on issues we all care about.
Economists have discovered the leading cause of poverty — it’s called “not working.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fully 63 percent of working-age adults living below the poverty line in 2005 did not work at all that year. Another 25 percent from this 16-years-and-older group worked either part-time or just part of the year. Only 11.4 percent of those in poverty worked full-time, year-round. Given that 12.6 percent of Americans live beneath the poverty line, math tells us that the “working poor” make up approximately 1.4 percent of the U.S. population.
The Heritage Foundation produced a nice white paper based on the Census Bureau’s numbers. It points out that no minimum wage hike will help the 63 percent of poverty-stricken adults who just don’t work.
For all of Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) hand-wringing over the economy in his State of the Union response, we are at 4.6 percent unemployment today, and wages are rising five percent year over year. The stock market — in which half of Americans now have some stake — is up, and even with its current slowdown, housing has made millions for average Americans in the last five years. Life is pretty good right now for people who take advantage of our market. The economy is probably the only thing that saved Republicans from losing 60 House seats instead of just 30.
Predictions: The Democratic Congress will pass a minimum wage bill that forces small businesses to raise prices and cut employees, and helps Wal-Mart increase its competitive advantage. Fewer teenagers will be able to find work, and more of them will find their way to prison and eventually become Democratic voters.
The polar icecaps are melting — on Mars. It must be all of the SUV’s they drive up there.
Seriously, the discovery of Martian Warming, a happy accident of our Mars exploration, could be a confirmation that a Martian race thrives outside our perception, threatening their planet just as we threaten ours. More likely, as Duke scientists have suggested, it is a sign that “at least 10 to 30 percent of (Earth) global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxin gas released by various human activities.” Others would say it’s at least 50 percent. Either way, today’s warmer sun may have gradually increased the earth’s temperature over the last few decades.
None of this will stop environmentalists from insisting that we all ruin our lives and our world economy in order to bring about a miniscule and (by their own account) meaningless decrease in world temperatures. The Kyoto protocol’s goals for the U.S. are attainable, as long as we all stop driving cars. No problem, right?
Predictions: The Senate will block a proposed increase in corporate average fuel economy standards this year. Meanwhile, I will buy a car that runs on used vegetable oil from Chinese restaurants.
“Don’t mention the war!”
Little more need be said of the grand disaster of George W. Bush’s presidency. Unfortunately, we can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube — and now that we’ve killed Saddam, we can’t very well put him back in power.
The current government is aligned with the Shiite side of a Shiite-Sunni civil war. As my employer recently reported, government officials still insist that the insurgents are disgruntled ex-Baathists. For those not schooled in the conflict, that’s a lot like blaming the Visigoths for something happening today.
The current plan to send 21,000 troops does not excite anyone, least of all to the Republicans who will be crushed in 2008 when their president’s policy is still getting our young men killed to no apparent purpose. Unfortunately, precipitous withdrawal would hand over to the terrorists what was in 2002 an internally stable, relatively terrorist-free country.
Prediction: By year’s end, and at least three of the top Republican presidential candidates will be calling for a Murtha-esque redeployment. The un-showered hippies who descended on Washington this weekend will be back at least twice — they will remain undeterred by the fact that the best argument for the war has always been their opposition to it.
PRESIDENTIAL RACE 2008
This is the first election in which a guy with “Hussein” in his name could become president. I mean, can you imagine? What if he’s related to Saddam or something? He even attended a madrassah — the Arabic word for “grade school” — which obviously proves that he’s a terrorist.
Seriously, though, there’s never been a more wide-open race on both sides than we have right now, and it’s very important this time. With last year’s Korean missile launch, we find ourselves in danger of nuclear annihilation at the hands of ruthless communists. Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Even worse, there’s not a single candidate I like who has a prayer of winning.
Prediction: John Edwards will drop out of the race to run for President of that “other America” he’s always talking about. Tom Tancredo will be deported to Italy when historians prove that his grandfather’s documents were not in order. Five percent of the pundits will be correct about the Iowa Caucuses by mistake. Democrats will continue to oppose a national missile defense system — but don’t worry, Jack Bauer will save Los Angeles by torturing Barack Obama until he gives up the location of the bomb.
David Freddoso, a native of Indiana, is a political reporter for Evans and Novak Inside Report.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire