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2011 Predictions Scorecard
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maxomai
Every year since 2002, I have made a series of predictions about the coming year; every year since 2003, I have scored myself on how I did. Last year, I made ten predictions. You can see the original post on LiveJournal here or DailyKos here. Although I missed, entirely, the one of the biggest stories of the year (the Arab Spring), and got the Republican primary exactly backwards, I managed to call the biggest story of the year.

My predictions for 2011 were as follows:


  1. The Iraq mission will end this year.

  2. The GOP Presidential race will come down to Sarah Palin and an establishment anti-Palin candidate

  3. Obama will not face a serious primary challenger

  4. Bank of America will be the biggest villain of 2011

  5. There will be huge layoffs in the public sector

  6. The DJIA will surpass 13,000

  7. Unemployment will remain above 8%

  8. Inflation will remain below 10%

  9. The ACA (health care reform) will survive the year intact

  10. Auburn will win the National Championship game



Follow me down the rabbit hole, dear friends, and let us see how I did:



  1. The Iraq mission will end this year.

    This Happened, and the President has been making a great show of it. As well he should: most Americans think that our getting out of there is a fantastic idea. It also, by the way, makes sense to end this particular adventure as a deficit reduction measure. What he's not saying...what, really, almost nobody is saying...is that the President really wanted to keep troops in Iraq for as long as he could, because his defense advisors believe that Iraq is not capable of standing on its own against rebellion or invasion. Nonetheless, the Bush administration negotiated this timeline, the Iraqis refused to change it, and so the Americans, except for a small force at the embassy and a few thousand mercenaries, are out. Nobody is more relieved than I. I'm 1 for 1 so far!


  2. The GOP Presidential race will come down to Sarah Palin and an establishment anti-Palin candidate

    This did not happen. It's not just that Sarah Palin declined to run; it's also that I got the dynamic exactly backwards. I figured that the Tea Party and other firebrand conservatives would throw their support behind a single, perfect candidate, and the establishment would try to find someone who wouldn't lose badly. Instead, the establishment has thrown their support behind Mitt Romney; the Tea Party and firebrand conservatives are trying to find a single, perfect candidate, who wasn't somewhere between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama politically just eight years ago. They haven't had much luck. Michelle Bachmann turns out to be a complete idiot. Rick Perry had one of the worst brain farts I've ever seen in a Presidential debate. Herman Cain turned out to be a philanderer. Newt Gingrich couldn't stand up to scrutiny either. Now, Ron Paul, ignored by the media and the Republican electorate all these years, is finally surging...but it might not be enough. Paul might win in Iowa, but Romney is still the most likely candidate to win the nomination. Which, in a way, makes perfect sense -- Romney is the only one who's polling well enough in head-to-head match-ups against Obama to be a credible threat. 1 for 2.


  3. Obama will not face a serious primary challenger

    In fact, this was never in the cards. The Democratic establishment would never have allowed it, even if progressives were angry enough to force the issue; and progressives are, by and large, happy that the President finally seems to have found his balls. 2 for 3.


  4. Bank of America will be the biggest villain of 2011

    I've been nervous about this prediction all year. In December of 2010, I thought Wikileaks was going to be the big player of 2011. They would release a huge cache of dirty laundry on Bank of America and make them about as popular as Joseph Stalin. That all changed in February when the Arab Spring became a much bigger story. Then came the death of Osama bin Laden, and I was sure that would be the big story this year. Then came the overthrow of Libya, and I was again sure that the Arab Spring would dominate the conversation again. Then Occupy Wall Street came along .. the energy of the Arab Spring, directed at our own dictators, the plutocrats that actually run the United States. Thus, every big bank, and not just Bank of America, became the enemy. By sheer luck, I managed to get this one right. Kinda. 3 for 4.


  5. There will be huge layoffs in the public sector

    As of the end of November, there were 180,000 jobs lost in the public sector. That's police, fire fighters, teachers, EMT, and other jobs that are critical to keeping you and me safe. That's more than three times as much as any other sector of employment. Meanwhile, non-government payrolls are soaring. What is really hurting the economy now is government spending cuts. 4 for 5.


  6. The DJIA will surpass 13,000

  7. Unemployment will remain above 8%

    Here's what I wrote about this a year ago:

    What we have today is a bifurcated recovery. The unemployed and the elderly are getting decimated by the job market and medical costs, respectively, and they’re about ready to stage an armed revolt. But the employed and the not-so-old are doing just fine — as is reflected in consumer spending. Basically, the better off you are now, the better the recovery is treating you. While private sector hiring will continue to grow, it will be offset by massive Tea Party-driven public sector layoffs (see above) at all levels. Unfortunately, the private sector jobs will increasingly either require lots of somewhat specialized skills, or no skills at all, and so wage deflation, and with it the continued destruction of the post-WWII middle class, will continue.


    That pretty much is exactly what happened last year, complete with the revolt. However, the DJIA never surpassed 13,000, primarily because of concerns that Europe will have the same problems in 2012 that the United States had in 2008. 5 for 7.


  8. Inflation will remain below 10%

    It's fashionable these days for the American right to plive in fear of hyperinflation. It's happening right now, NOW they tell us, and if we don't drop fiat currency for the gold standard, we are doomed, doomed! Well, I'm putting that to the test. The most conservative definition of hyperinflation is that it represents a doubling of prices in the space of three years or less. In order for that to happen, we need an inflation rate of a little less than 26% for three years in a row.

    This year's inflation rate is about 3.4%. At this rate, it will take over twenty years for prices to double.

    6 for 8.


  9. The ACA (health care reform) will survive the year intact

    And, so far, it has .. although a Supreme Court challenge is in the works for 2012. 7 for 9.


  10. Auburn will win the National Championship game

    As an Oregon fan, I would have been happier if this prediction had failed to come true. Cam Newton is now playing professional football, and is just freaking amazing. Meanwhile, Auburn is nowhere the team it used to be, and Oregon is still going strong. 8 for 10.


I find these so interesting.

I love it when people go back to these things and update.

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