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What will the new normal look like in 2013?
Old 01-06-2013, 05:30 AM   #1
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What will the new normal look like in 2013?

Interesting article in today's NYT :

"The economy may be coming back, but the question for many businesses is what the new “normal” looks like. Will shoppers spend as they did in the credit-bubble years? Or has the Great Recession scared them into prolonged stinginess? Early evidence suggests a mix. What is clear is that the big changes are just beginning."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/what-will-the-economys-new-normal-look-like-in-2013.html?_r=0

What are your main predictions for 2013 ?
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My 2013 Predictions
Old 01-06-2013, 06:01 AM   #2
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My 2013 Predictions

Energy prices decline
Gold increases until debt ceiling crisis, then declines for the year
Housing recovery continues
Double digit returns in stock market
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:29 AM   #3
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7-8% unemployment. Sad. $1T deficits. Sad.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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What are your main predictions for 2013 ?
There will be many convincing arguments made during the year that one day soon the sun will no longer rise. Talking heads and experts with lots of charts and tons of data will show this to be true. My only prediction is the sun will continue to rise each morning despite all this.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:33 AM   #5
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Pure awesomeness in every direction. That's my prediction for 2013. Wait, that's my prediction every year! Even if I'm wrong, I'm still happy. Works every time.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:58 AM   #6
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There will be many convincing arguments made during the year that one day soon the sun will no longer rise. Talking heads and experts with lots of charts and tons of data will show this to be true. My only prediction is the sun will continue to rise each morning despite all this.
This.

Standard and Poor's raised Greece's credit rating last month. Greece. Remember Greece? Didn't some people predict Greece would vanish in a puff of smoke? Even today I read someone trying to make some silly connection between the US and Greece with Greece in their analogy representing a place where the sun doesn't come up, people don't make love anymore, there aren't any children playing, etc. A bunch of babies were born in Greece yesterday, which indicates to me that even in the depth of its fiscal crises people still make love. Life goes on.

Now to be fair: (A) We don't want to face Greece's problems, but Greece actually has problems to face rather than being a non-entity - rather than being a place where zombies pick at mud for sustenance as some people try to make it sound. And (B) There are places in the world that aren't much better than a place where zombies pick at mud for sustenance, but the US (at least) isn't heading in that direction. There are proprietary priorities in various directions that challenge the US in various ways, but those pressures will literally vanish long before we ever get anywhere close to the depths of hell. The US simply has far too much going for it that these hellish places simply don't have.

I do have worries... (A) I worry about not having enough money to live comfortably in retirement until my hopefully peaceful death at an age high enough that I feel that I lived a full life and at an age low enough that I don't feel that my body has outstayed its welcome. (B) I worry about how I've been crafted by society to live a certain way that may end up taking too much away from those who come after me. (C) I worry about not leaving what I feel is a rather meaningless rat race experience behind long enough before I die to give me the chance to reinvent myself (a third time) to become what I need to in order to live a satisfying, fulfilling, vital retirement, and I worry about being successful in that reinvention.

So I do have worries... but I also realize that even in the worst cases of those three sets of scenarios, the first of the three - the money scenario - is the least of my concerns. There are people who live on Social Security. I don't know how, but they do. Maybe I'm being naive but I really don't see this country getting to the point, within any foreseeable future, where people like me will be found dead on the streets each morning - dead from starvation, exposure, etc. Indeed, the only vector I see as a major challenge for our nation right now is precluding people dying unnecessarily early due to inadequate health care - everything else is just noise - everything else I see our society working toward (financially) are just trivial optimizations to foster luxury, rather than anything addressing basic needs necessary to live a satisfying(-enough) life.

The sun rose again today. As long as we can eventually address the high cost of health care, or at least keep poking at it so that the situation doesn't turn critical, then I'm sure the sun will rise again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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Pure awesomeness in every direction. That's my prediction for 2013. Wait, that's my prediction every year! Even if I'm wrong, I'm still happy. Works every time.
You and Freebird are two of the most optimistic people on er.org. You do much to balance out the curmudgeons
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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You and Freebird are two of the most optimistic people on er.org. You do much to balance out the curmudgeons
Awww, so kind of you to say!
My fellow mods will probably say I'm just as cranky as the next person, but I just don't know how worry and hand-wringing ever really solves anyone's problems, especially those on a more than personally solvable scale (like politics).

And you know, people are awesome! Most of them anyway, and karma eventually gets the other ones.

And I love the raccoon! I feel that way sometimes!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:43 AM   #9
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Awww, so kind of you to say!
My fellow mods will probably say I'm just as cranky as the next person,
Cranky? Our Sarah is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day .. with a snake.

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And I love the raccoon!
+1
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #10
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Cranky? Our Sarah is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day .. with a snake.

+1
Lol, thanks for responding to my giant spin cast "fishing" for compliments!
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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What are your main predictions for 2013 ?
Death, taxes, and change.

Some things never change...some things do... - YouTube
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #12
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Lol, thanks for responding to my giant spin cast "fishing" for compliments!
We just want to be invited to one of your legendary parties
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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Interesting article, not earthshaking. I like Sarah's prediction better and it's proven correct more often than not despite all the past "evidence" to the contrary.

No predictions, but I hope Americans will be smart enough to avoid over leveraging themselves like per 2008 ever again. We'll see.

And repeating myself, but I think most Americans are underestimating the impact mobile technology (smartphones, tablets, etc.) will have on us, both in scope and pace of change. There will be losers among product & service providers as a result, but there have been other recent threads on this topic.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:11 AM   #14
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No real prediction just an observation.

Everyone has a "worry box." I like to picture it as this little (or big) physical box sitting right in the pit of the stomach.

For those of us with a small worry box - and it sounds like Sarah and Freebird have a small box - there are worries, but they aren't many and we don't tend to dwell on them.

For those with a BIG worry box, the box is filled to overflowing and can cause so much anxiety that pharmaceuticals are used just to sleep! I've lived with one so have first hand experience. They can't control it and it makes it worse when we say "stop worrying!" because they can't.

The media feeds on those with a big worry box. It sells papers.

So my prediction - great things will happen, horrible things will happen but we'll continue to figure out how to live our lives in the very best way we can with the conditions we've been dealt.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Pure awesomeness in every direction. That's my prediction for 2013. Wait, that's my prediction every year! Even if I'm wrong, I'm still happy. Works every time.
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Cranky? Our Sarah is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day .. with a snake.
+1 I love Sarah's outlook on life.

The media will make sure that we are terrorized, horrified, depressed, and looking for the worst possible outcome in any situation. It's up to us to find balance in life by looking for the best, and appreciating it if/when it happens.*





*(which sometimes calls for a "Wheee!!!", and sometimes just a contented smile)
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
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So I do have worries... but I also realize that even in the worst cases of those three sets of scenarios, the first of the three - the money scenario - is the least of my concerns. There are people who live on Social Security. I don't know how, but they do. Maybe I'm being naive but I really don't see this country getting to the point, within any foreseeable future, where people like me will be found dead on the streets each morning - dead from starvation, exposure, etc. Indeed, the only vector I see as a major challenge for our nation right now is precluding people dying unnecessarily early due to inadequate health care - everything else is just noise - everything else I see our society working toward (financially) are just trivial optimizations to foster luxury, rather than anything addressing basic needs necessary to live a satisfying(-enough) life.
+1, Bicker. Awesome post. This is just how I feel.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #17
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During the bubble shoppers were spending more than they made. Hopefully we won't return to that!
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #18
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During the bubble shoppers were spending more than they made. Hopefully we won't return to that!
The average middle-class consumer is pretty well tapped-out. That's because wages have not increased since the 70s (when inflation is factored in). With 70% of the economy based on consumer spending, I expect the economy to remain flat for a long time. Just look at a graph of wealth distribution in this country, and you will see where all the money is (the top few %). I don't expect that to change anytime soon, either.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #19
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2013 is going to have an entirely new normal outlook for me!!!! Feb. 1st I'm RE!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:11 PM   #20
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Well, we will just have to wait to see where the US economy is heading, but as I am fortunate to enjoy a fairly good living standard as do many people here, if it comes down a bit, it wouldn't kill me.

So, I am not really worried in that sense, but I still like to take some guesses at where things are headed to make investments. So, I have shifted some equity positions towards certain foreign markets for that reason.

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A bunch of babies were born in Greece yesterday, which indicates to me that even in the depth of its fiscal crises people still make love. Life goes on.
I dunno. Babies are born everyday all around the world. And die too. Birthrates tend to be high in impoverished countries. When people have nothing else for entertainment, they make love.

Does the above statement make me a curmudgeon?
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