28 Dec Predicting 2024
The most recent Leap Year (2020) came with an unexpected pandemic that killed more than one million Americans, hospitalized more than six million, and disrupted the lives of all. The Leap Year before that saw the unexpected election of Donald J. Trump. Leap to your own conclusions on that one. Before that, it was the unpredicted Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Great Recession of 2008. We could keep going with past surprises.
It is Leap Year again, and, clearly, nobody can tell you exactly what to expect in the next 12 months. This post will leap in and try. Some of these predictions require a leap of faith, other events leap out as more likely, and yet others may result in you wanting us to take a flying leap.
The Forward Leap
It may be a good thing the world has an extra day to work with in 2024, because there will be a lot of Election Days needed. As The Economist calculated recently, over half of the world’s population will be electing leaders in the coming year, with up to 4.2 billion voters in 70 countries headed to their polls. In addition to the United States, major places such as India, Mexico, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and South Africa will be holding elections. Even Russians will vote on whether to retain Vladimir Putin as president, although that one is not expected to be truly democratic.
Across the world, it will be the American elections that people will be watching most fervently. Will the presidential race be Joe Biden against Donald Trump? Each is about the only opponent the other has any chance of beating, and we still think both parties will wise up and realize that. As Principle Based Politics thought last year, when Messrs. Trump and Biden see they are not wanted, we still think they will take themselves out of the race to avoid embarrassment.
If it is Trump versus Biden, who will win? We still predict Biden, but we are getting less sure about that all the time. Anybody else who runs as a Republican would beat Biden, and almost any non-Biden Democrat would defeat Trump. Therefore, we still predict the next president will be a first-timer.*
*Our only other political prediction for 2024 is that there will be at least one very interesting new federal candidate in Minnesota. (In writing, this is what we call foreshadowing.)
In the Middle East, Israel’s battle against Hamas surely will end at some point in 2024, although the war still could well continue, especially if Iran continues to fund other groups to attack Israel and other friends of America. The war in Ukraine will get worse before it gets better, but we predict (again) that it will end within a year. As for Taiwan, we do not think it will be invaded by China in 2024.
Despite turmoil around the world, we suppose the Summer Olympics in Paris will go forward as planned. We do predict significant talk about national boycotts of and bans from the Olympics, however, although none will actually occur.
Revisiting 2023 Predictions
We are not even going to try to leap to our own defense on some of last year’s predictions. Leaping off the page as wrong were our forecasts of a recession caused by inflation and unemployment. While high prices did persist and go even higher, so did the stock markets, employment, wages, and America’s GDP. We could note that many other prognosticators also expected a 2023 recession. The old joke is that economists have predicted nine out of the last five recessions – meaning they often are too eager to forecast one. Now everyone is predicting a “soft landing” economically. Watch out; maybe that foretells a depression.
Equally wrong was our quantum leap in predicting that “Donald Trump will pull out of the 2024 presidential race, and Joe Biden also will end up not running.” On that one, we sure hope Principle Based Politics was just premature, not wrong.
Nor did the Ukraine War end, either through Vladimir Putin’s ouster internally or his death, as we wrongly thought.
Worst of all (kidding!), Minnesota professional teams won zero league championships in 2023. In that regard, the best thing that happened was the Twins finally won a playoff game; in fact, they won three. Nonetheless, there was no parade in Minneapolis.
You do not need to leap to your feet and applaud – especially given how wrong we were on the above predictions – but Principle Based Politics did get a few things right about 2023.
First, in politics, the newly-seated Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives did initiate various investigations rather than get much done with legislation on important issues. Now there even is a formal impeachment inquiry.
In world affairs, India did pass China as the most populous country, which did turn out to be the least of China’s problems. China had a tough year economically, and it may have peaked, as we suggested.
On to 2024. Our advice to all: leap into action. Get involved in the caucuses and primaries early in the year to positively influence the outcome of the many 2024 elections.