Predicting the future from 2022
Saturday January 1, 2022
For the third year in a row (2020, 2021) I consider what might happen. I continue to mostly imagine current trends continue, and throw in some extra stuff for fun.
By 2023 (1 year from now)
- Omicron is the last major Covid variant, but supply chain and workforce issues continue to be hard all year.
- Democrats become minorities in the House and Senate in 2022 US elections.
- Queen Elizabeth is dead. (Recommended by Tonia.)
- Inflation carries on around 5%.
- S&P 500 closes above 5,000.
By 2027 (5 years from now)
- Democratic candidate wins presidency in 2024 US election.
- Inflation around 2%.
- Global population exceeds 8 billion for the first time in 2023 (predicted by the UN).
- Total population between 8,221,264 and 8,333,078 (low/med predicted by the UN).
- S&P 500 closes above 7,000.
By 2032 (10 years from now)
- Texas has non-zero state income tax and plenty of climate and infrastructure things to spend on.
- Zendaya wins an Oscar.
- At least one European nation has something identifiable as UBI.
- Total population between 8,445,932 and 8,687,228 (low/med predicted by the UN).
- S&P 500 closes above 9,000.
By 2042 (20 years from now)
- The US effectively has UBI, but it isn't called that. Maybe a patchwork of policies.
- At least one international advertising campaign intended to encourage immigration to the US by ameliorating the reputation of unemployed Americans.
- Total population between 8,769,695 and 9,315,508 (low/med predicted by the UN).
- S&P 500 closes above 15,000.
- I think global population growth will be slightly slower than the medium variant predicted by the UN. Covid might contribute a little, but I think this is mostly from efforts like Bill Gates's, possibly Belt and Road, and general technology and modernization.
- Climate change continues. More fires, more floods, more droughts, more storms. Climate action continues to be nominal.
- It keeps being easy/easier to fake things.
- Lots of cheap/low-quality stuff.
- The value of direct human relationships/trust stays very high/grows. Elite college education keeps getting more valuable.
- Inequality continues to grow.
- Extreme poverty continues to decline; the bottom of the range is higher than previously. In some places, there may be UBI eventually.
- But the gap between the bottom of the range and the top grows.
- More legalization of drugs.
- There will continue to be more real problems with not having enough people to work than there are with having too many people put out of work by technology.
- “The middle class is precarious.” To what extent is downward mobility present? acceptable? desirable? To what extent is/should mobility be like a ratchet: only upward? The idle rich are not generally admired as virtuous, I think, but people also really dislike it when their children are worse off than they are/were (or if they're those children). What will be the long-term trend? What level of wealth should anyone have to “earn”? (Inspired by Emilie.)
- Infant (and child) mortality is dramatically down and will likely continue to get lower. The first-order effect is obviously good. What are the second-order effects? Does the decrease in infant mortality contribute to any population health effects?
Reviewing past predictions
I was a little crazy in 2021. Depending on the level of generosity in interpretation, I was somewhere from 1/4 to 4/4 on one-year predictions. None of my longer-term predictions have materialized. Still no aliens.
From 2020: Hong Kong seems to be pretty well controlled by the mainland now.