December 29, 2006

Predictions We’re Holding People To: Part 1 (Rich Karlgaard)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 1:01 pm

The Trends Research Institute didn’t do so well on its 2006 predictions, and is issuing generally vague ones for 2007. So I looked for a prognosticator willing to stick his neck out with specific predictions for next year, and found Rich Karlgaard at Forbes (requires free membership that may be available now to non-subscribers).

I went to Karlgaard in early January to effusively praise his “World’s Worst Disease” column. Even though it was the beginning of the year, I called it the Business Column of the Year (requires free membership). 51 weeks later, I believe it remains at the top of this year’s heap. Here’s how it starts:

(The world’s worst disease is) …. not cancer or AIDS or avian flu; it’s a monstrously flawed idea. The sickest thinking–and the source of most of human misery throughout the ages–is based on the following beliefs:
• The Earth is running out of resources;
• People consume more than they contribute;
• Wealth is a zero-sum distribution game.

History overwhelmingly refutes these ideas; otherwise, humankind would still be living in caves, sharpening spears for the hunt.

It gets BETTER from there.

Anyway, here are Karlgaard’s predictions for 2007:

- U.S. economy grows at 3%-plus.
- Global economy grows at 4.5%-plus.
- American stocks do well.
- Global stocks do better.
- Big Tech has another good year.
- Web 2.0 inflates to bubble status.
- Bargains emerge in U.S. residential real estate.
- Tiny jets begin to ship.
- Hockey and soccer gain popularity.
- The New Orleans Saints win Super Bowl XLI.

I like all of them except the last.

His final prediction (not listed above) is a lock — FORBES magazine will turn 90.

I’ll come back to these at the end of 2007 to see how Karlgaard did. I suspect he’ll improve on Trends Research’s performance.

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