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Anti-projections for 2011

There are many lists out there for projections for 2011. I have decided to do the anti-pattern of a projection (the anti-projection?) with a discussion of what I think will occur and what I would rather see happen in 2011.

  1. Facts finally trump lies cleverly told and sold. I published a piece on the neologism ‘Agnotology,’ a word to describe the purposeful sowing of lies by special interest groups create confusion and suppress the truth. I fully expect that the number of lies told by people in power in order to support policies will only increase (e.g. WMD, ‘how could we have known,’ death panels, deregulation is good for you, …) I hope, in my anti-projection, that in 2011 the American people will wake up and smell the lies. Americans have been known to be ultimately practical, fact based; but somehow in the past 30 years Americans have become ideological and blinkered. My wish is that people begin to believe in the facts, not the opinions of powerful speakers.
  2. Main Street gets what it needs. The tendency for Wall Street to get what it wants is unmistakable over the past three years (three decades!). While the things that have made America good have been squandered. Middle class prosperity, jobs, decent home-ownership, education and health care have all been made worse over the past 30 years.
  3. Tax increases on the wealthy. There are two ways of dealing with the deficit: cut spending and raise taxes. It has become obvious that the Republican preaching of tax cuts and subsequent spending cuts as the solution are meant to starve the beast of the government. The problem is most people want and need government to insure safe food and drugs, clean water, roads, bank stability, public education, security and the protections of justice. Obama has no credibility or cojones to raise taxes to balance the budget. It will take a new Nixon to increase taxes to where good government in the USA is again possible.
  4. Citizens and non-citizens are given the care of the state. The power of the state can be used for good or for ill. In a democracy the people are the real deciders of how the state and its citizens and non-citizens interact. It is clear that the current vilification of illegal immigrants, immigrants in general and the branding of citizens who dissent as terrorists is leading toward using that power of the state to incarcerate political undesirables.
  5. The Free Market meme dies. Markets have never been free, but this myth will not easily die. It is, of course, used as a shorthand for positive policies favoring deregulation, maximization of corporate profit, union busting, outsourcing, high pay for financial traders, Western political hegemony and American exceptionalism. In everyday discourse it is often used magically by people to ward off having to think through consequences of these policies. My anti-projection for 2011 is that citizens of the USA will think about what they want from government and vote for good government to deliver it.
  6. The Homeland meme is discredited. When George W. Bush created Homeland Security and politicians started using the term Homeland for the United States of America, I cringed for my country. Der Heimat was one of the most noxious memes in the ideology of Nazi Germany. It was the excuse for the Anschluss with Austria and the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland. The use of the closest English term for my country appalled me. What is wrong with saying the USA or just America? (Apologies to my Canadian friends.) What is wrong with the earlier term National Security?

My anti-projections for 2011 will most probably not occur, but I can be audacious enough to still hope.

I wish you happiness, health and prosperity in 2011.

Originally published on Spirit in Business.

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