The Next 7 Years: 2010 – 2017

The Next 7 Years: 2010 – 2017
Dear Readers:
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and all of you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year — a year filled with epiphanies, satori moments, recovering investments, renewed faith and energy, and love. That was the friendly component of this bulletin, and I am glad to offer it. What follows is about trends to watch during these next seven years. At the very end there is an embedded video which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter of this article.
The years 2010 – 2017 will be pivotal, and will be marked by the tempest and challenge of change and an altered perception of reality. Unlike Nostradamus, I will not present you with mysterious quatrains. I do not possess the gift of clairvoyance — but I do have the ability, as you all do, to connect the dots and to draw a line. This is more extrapolation than ‘second sight’. But then, I have come to believe that what we term "supernatural" is more often than not merely the temporarily unexplainable.
1. The "invisible" longer-term health hazards associated with wireless communications (electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, microwaves), as well as those associated with proximity to electronic cabling and utility wiring will be revealed to the public, and a number of opportunistic class action lawsuits (in the true John Grisham fashion) will emerge from the ether faster than you can say ‘mesothelioma‘ or ‘Konigsberg and O’Shaunessy, attorneys fighting for your rights‘. Companies involved in the development and sale of radiation shielding for homes and workplaces will begin to thrive, and the telecomm industry lobby will not be able to keep the legislature from enacting all manner of safety laws. You can anticipate that the EPA and other government agencies will increase in their influence and prominence;
2. Cloud computing will begin to displace sales of many types of "utility software" and hardware. Firms like Microsoft will be beseiged and have their sales volume eroded by fragmented entrepreneurial competition from cloud computing service providers and innovators. It may well be time to Google "Cloud Computing";
3. There will be an increase in both the number and types of electronic devices being surgically implanted (like the pacemaker, for example) in the Human population to assist the heart and other organs with their functioning;
4. Obesity will continue to affect an increasing percentage of the population, but there will be tremendous resistance to addressing the issue as a full-blown (no pun intended) pandemic because of the widely and deeply-held perception that all obesity is associated with gluttony, laziness and other "controllable" character flaws. It will continue to be in the headlines, but it won’t warrant the wearing of wristbands and ribbons like the ones associated with breast cancer and some of the other "real" and better-established diseases which are better entrenched in the media;
5. China will be the most economically and politically influential sovereign power in the world;
6. The severity and fatality of many diseases and chronic conditions currently treated with medication or transplantation will be dramatically reduced with genetic engineering, stem cell-based organ regeneration, and some rudimentary applications of nanotechnology. A number of physiologically-caused emotional illness will be treated or become treatable in this manner as well, and the companies which manufacture anti-depressant drugs (especially SSRIs and SNRIs) will be hurt by declining sales of these staples and by the inevitable rash of attorney-driven class-action lawsuits which will spread like a psoriatic inflammation;
7. Gold, in both its physical form, and in the form of claims secured, backed or collateralized by the metal will become an increasingly large percentage of investment portfolios and as a store of value due to increased fears about the volatility and intrinsic value of other investments as the consumer world shakily emerges from the recession sometime in 2012, and begins to reinvigorate itself in a classic self-fulfilling prophesy…except there will not be as much rejoicing as there will be caution and a few uears of attempted moderation;
8. Both large corporate and governmental excesses will continue, unchecked and essentially unchanged. The public’s memory is short, and the immediate monetary gratification of the porkers in the executive suites and boardrooms will far overshadow any pangs of conscience or concerns about the longer-term effects of these unproductive expenditures at the expense of stakeholders and the tax-paying public;
9. The "Green Movement" will continue to gain momentum, legislative and public support, financial backing, media coverage and lobbying strength;
10. There will be a worldwide resurgence of interest in the occult, astrologically-based predictive systems, psychic phenomena and in dimensions theorized, but as yet, unproven;
11. There will be an increasing acceptance of the notion of Internationalism and transnational entities (mostly conglomerates and diverse combinations) will increase in size and number.
12. The demography of the industrialized nations (especially that of the United States) will change radically as more immigration into these countries takes place to absorb the capacity and demand left unaddressed by the many skilled workers, businesspeople and professionals who will be leaving these floundering giants to find employment in Asia and South America.
13. People throughout the English-speaking world will still be superstitious about the number thirteen (13). I am not certain how it is spelled, but I believe that this particular superstition-based fear is occasionally referred to as tristadecaphobia. There are times when I wish I hadn’t poisoned my editor (kidding).
As an added bonus, I have embedded a YouTube Video Player with a performance of Sofrito (O Mi Shango) by Mongo Santamaria. If the video does not appear, just click this link to receive the same thrill. He is one of the understated ambassadors of Afro-Cuban (Latin Jazz) music from Havana to the United States. Listen and become entranced: