December 17, 2011
“Wake-Up Call” Trend: The Decline of America trend is nowhere near bottom, and the worse is yet to come.
One year later: “Worse” has happened, as the country piles up more and more debt, politicians are gridlocked, paralyzed in some perpetual political traffic jam of inaction.
“Crack-Up 2011” Trend: Teetering economies will collapse, currency wars will ensue, trade barriers will be erected, economic unions will splinter…
One year later: The Sovereign debt crisis threatens both the European Union and Euro, currency wars are underway and the US and China are trading trade barbs.
“Crime Time” Trend: No job + no money + compounding debt = high stress, strained relations, short fuses. Hardship-driven crimes will be committed across the socioeconomic spectrum by legions of the on-the-edge desperate who will do whatever they must to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.
One year later: Thieves are stealing copper piping and cables, cooking oil and temple donation boxes; “Criminal recycling” is flourishing; in 2011 a record number of cyber crimes is reported to the FBI: more than 23,000 per month.
“Screw the People” Trend: As times get even tougher and people get even poorer, the “authorities” will intensify their efforts to extract the funds needed to meet fiscal obligations.
One year later: In the two-tier American justice system, the long arm of the law only reaches down to the low hanging fruit. Banks are slapped with slap on the wrist fines for billion dollar crimes, and like Jon Corzine, no crime time. But swift justice is readily dealt out for small time crimes. From closing down lemonade stands operating without a license to swat teams busting raw foods cooperatives, in America, Justice means “just us!”
“Students of the World Unite” Trend: “University degrees in hand yet out of work, in debt and with no prospects on the horizon, young adults and 20-somethings are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.”
One year later: Occupy Wall Street is just one of the scores of worldwide student protest movements, some of which have proven powerful enough to bring down governments.
“Crackdown on Liberty” Trend: A national crusade to “Get Tough on Crime” will be waged against the citizenry. And just as in the “War on Terror,” where “suspected terrorists” are killed before proven guilty or jailed without trial, in the “War on Crime” everyone is a suspect until proven innocent.
One year later: TSA strip searches of little old ladies; Obama backs bill “authorizing indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens.”
“Journalism 2.0” Trend: With its unparalleled reach across borders and language barriers, “Journalism 2.0” has the potential to influence and educate citizens in a way that governments and corporate media moguls would never permit.
One year later: Aleksey Navalny, an imprisoned young Russian blogger/Twitterer with some 200,000 followers, is “credited with mobilizing a generation of young Russians through social media, a leap much like the one that spawned Occupy Wall Street and youth uprisings across Europe this year.”
“Cyberwars” Trend: The demonstrable effects of Cyberwar and its companion, Cybercrime, are already significant – and will come of age in 2011. Equally disruptive will be the harsh measures taken by global governments to control free access to the web, identify its users, and literally shut down computers that it considers a threat to national security.
One year later: Iran proudly displayed a sleek, white U.S. drone that was used for spying on Iranians; Iranians were able to capture what US military officials privately told Bloomberg was a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 by hacking into its security code; PayPal shuts off service to WikiLeaks.
Gerald Celente is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently called “The Collapse of ’09.”
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