Commentary: Here we are again in that time of year when predictions for the new year are being rolled out. Few people seem to pay much attention whether these prognostications ever come true or not. It’s more like people just seem enjoy trying to cheat Father Time and try to know things before we’re supposed to know them. In any case, here are some predictions for 2018 that clearly don’t require a gifted psychic or a magic crystal ball.
Prediction Number One: People will argue endlessly about everything and not a single mind will be changed. Whether the issue is how to deal with North Korea or whether Donald Trump or the Democrats are doing more damage to America or who serves the best barbeque in town, people are going to argue about it. There is something in our human nature that seems to require us to spar with each other. Maybe it’s our old animal spirit nature coming out or just a modern manifestation of enhanced egos clashing, but we’re going to argue. The fact that working cooperatively accomplishes a whole lot more than arguing ever did doesn’t seem to matter. So, look for a whole lot more of arguing.
Prediction Number Two. In 2018, look for politicians to deliver speeches written to appeal to the middle and working classes in America, and then watch those same politicians pivot to serve the interests of a different economic demographic. This has been going on for a long time, but this practice is being rejuvenated as the economic fortunes of most Americans continues to deteriorate. It’s never the fault of the political party of the speech maker. It’s always the other side. Well, since both sides are blaming the other I guess this paints a picture of who is really at fault for all this.
Prediction Number Three is related to the Second: Some people will earn more money in 2018 but it will buy less than it did before. Things continue to get more expensive, and a dollar buys less each year when compared to the year before. Fifty years ago, which is a mere blip of time in the grand scheme of things, the average home cost $25,000, a new car could be had for $2,000, a gallon of gas cost 30 cents, and you could buy twenty postage stamps for a single dollar. In 2018, you can multiply all those figures by tenfold and it still might not be enough.
Prediction Number Four: People will spend even more of their day on cellphones. Whether it is using the vacuum cleaner that sucks up useful time called social media, or buying things, or playing games, or talking with someone more while learning even less, Americans will be looking down at their hands more and more. Again, not a tough prediction to make here.
Prediction Number Five: More famous people will be accused of wrongdoing and they will suddenly drop out of sight to spend more time with the family. You’ll be surprised at the names that appear who suddenly have learned the virtues of having more quality family time at the homestead. They will also limit their time in public and have their personal attorney on speed dial while hoping that no one asks them too many questions.
Prediction Number Six: Traffic on Telshor and Lohman and Valley and North Main Street and University Avenue will get worse. Yet most people will still not use or support public transportation or the development of a passenger or light rail system in Southern New Mexico. And there will be more complaints about the little money that is currently being spent on such projects. Still, those who think that Las Cruces traffic is bad has clearly never lived in Southern California or Chicago or Dallas or Austin where sitting all day in traffic is an endless ritual.
Prediction Number Seven: At the end of 2018, someone else will make these very same predictions. And all of them will come true once again.
May everyone in Dona Ana County and around the world have a healthy and prosperous New Year. And, in between arguments, may some of our dreams come true.