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rosy predictions for 2009


Ah, the challenge of positive, upbeat predictions for 2009 is a fun one. I’m game. While some accuse me of being doom-and-gloom, you can see here that I really am quite upbeat and optimistic.

Pre and post teens stop getting trivial junk from every trip their parents make to town. Parents stop making trivial trips to town. Over 1/3rd of the people who used to, now stop making 5-day-a-week trips to work as their jobs disappear. Demand for automobile fuel declines by around 50%, as does the air pollution it caused, traffic congestion and the disproportionate consumption of fossil fuels by the USA.

High school student parking lots approach empty. Gone are the late model Mustangs and Accuras that were previously the badge of the spoiled teen. The few older cars that are parked there were bought and paid-for by industrious teens who demonstrate strong work ethics and productivity in jobs they hold afternoons, evenings and weekends.

Cell phone ownership and usage plummets. Instead of five twelve-year-old girls walking in the mall with three of them talking on the phone to someone elsewhere, all five are mowing lawns, babysitting, stocking shelves, doing laundry and otherwise finding themselves in useful, productive roles.

Twelve year old boys find they can actually have fun and transport themselves pedaling bicycles instead of off-roading their dirt bikes, riding their electric skateboards on sidewalks or demanding that mom drive them three quarters of a mile to Billy’s house.

Bicycle repair and rebuilding has a resurgence. Due to a more realistic exchange rate, new Chinese bicycles cost more than repair costs on used bikes. Pre and post teens find themselves in awe watching some silver-haired old man in the neighborhood actually make a non-functioning bicycle ride-worthy again.

Over 90% of the “body art” and “body jewelry” shops close with the remainder staffed exclusively by owner-operators who have side-businesses or employed mates to keep food on the table.

Consumer electronics dies as a familiar term, along with the businesses who specialized in the concept.

Unhappy marriages die long overdue deaths. This will be primarily women leaving weak marriages. Far too many men have been getting paid working for some extraneous organization and driving a TV remote with the remainder of their hours. Without the job, they become baggage. They better be dang pretty baggage, or develop some useful attributes in a hurry. The women who have been doing the cooking, cleaning and management of the household could easily rebel under the weight, particularly if those women gain or retain income-producing work.

The extended family will enjoy a resurgence. No longer will grandparents be able to afford their communities where nobody under 55 is allowed to live. No longer will young couples afford the suburban ranch-style home where nobody over 55 lives and fleets of school buses segregate the kids by age to haul them to mass indoctrination centers an hour away. Families will learn to get along better with each other and share resources, including homes.

As a related aside, in my past life on the left coast I noticed that every time there were gatherings in the park of large, multi-generational families playing croquet, volleyball and watching over joyful heaps of little kids, it was ALWAYS a Hispanic family. Those parks were built a generation or two earlier by Anglos who used them exactly the same way, but forgot how in the ensuing years.

Boarding houses will come back. While government-licensed and subsidized child care in the home will probably disappear, sharing a spare room or two with boarders will be a way many choose to make ends meet. Some of those vagrant ejected ex-husbands will find gainful employment and enter into a business contract to get their laundry, cooking and home needs taken care of.

While official “unemployment” figures paint an unhappy picture and real unemployed people run about triple those, barter will have a resurgence. People will trade goods and services in transactions that are both on mutually agreeable terms and bring a much more personal interaction to both individuals and their exchanges.

The problem of obesity in the USA will dramatically shrink. 😉

The popularity of gardening and home canning will skyrocket. This will bring friends and families together in wonderful ways as they produce and put-by food that is far and away healthier than what they have been buying and consuming for the last decade or more.

I’ll end my rosy view of 2009 with this popular little rhyme:

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than any place else on earth