Sunday, February 22, 2009

5 Predictions for (the Remainder of) 2009

Ok so I'm a little late to the game to make predictions for 2009, seeing as how we're already nearing the end of February, but what the heck, I'm gonna do it anyway...

Here are trends that I think will become readily apparent in 2009:

1. Fewer people buying bottles of water. It's long been assailed that buying bottles of water is essentially a waste. The water in these bottles is often just tap water, and the markup for these bottles is incredible. (Consider: a gallon of water from the tap costs somewhere in the realm of 1/2 a cent. Meanwhile a 12 oz. water bottle can easily cost a buck in a vending machine or *gasp* $3.50 at a sporting event.) I think people will finally catch on to the scam at hand, now that budgets are getting tighter in an ugly economy and because of the green movement that discourages consumers from buying bottles that take up energy/resources to make. Bottles of water will certainly be needed, such as for emergencies, or traveling, and the like, but I think we'll see the demise of people spending gobs of money on these bottles for daily use.

2. More scrutiny on personal finances. It is quite obvious that people across the country need to focus on where their money goes. With the 2008 stock market crash, the Bernie Madoff pyramid scheme, the mortgage market mayhem, and hosts of other financial debacles that have unraveled, it goes without saying that we need to collectively take better care of our money. Buying cars on a whim is already a thing of the past, as we have seen with the rapid decline in auto sales, but even more abstract measures, such as determining how best to allocate one's 401(k) plan will take up a lot of Americans' time this year, and for good reason. These issues have been ignored for way too long and it has come back to bite us.

3. A decline in interest in what celebs do. This is just a personal hope of mine, anyway. How ridiculous is it that there's such a massive industry based around following celebrities around to see what they're wearing, where they're shopping, or what their kids are up to? To me this is a sickness and proves that too many people have way too much time on their hands. And what irks me is when these minor happenings (not to be confused with actual real-life events) make the local or national news. Not to be morbid, but unless there's blood, sickness, or death involved, there's no reason to be discussing a celebrity's life on the evening newscast.

4. An increase in hard work. This economy will, metaphorically speaking, separate the wheat from the chaff. The people willing to give their best efforts at their jobs will ultimately come out of this recession in relatively good shape. The folks who just cruise on by or lose motivation will miss a tremendous learning opportunity and fall behind... be it financially, socially, or emotionally. Hopefully more people fall into the former category than the latter category. A lot of people made a lot of money without truly earning for a long time, but that will certainly change this year.

5. Decline in sporting attendance. While sports are relatively recession-proof, (even in bad times, people need an outlet, as the theory goes), I have a hunch that this may be the year where people relax their passions for watching pro sports. Let's face facts here... hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off each month, and meanwhile athletes are landing contracts of 10, 20, 30 million dollars a year. Personally, I'm tired of spending gobs of money to support these skyrocketing sums. And when you hear that the ever-popular NFL is laying off people in its home office, that sends me a signal that all is not well in the sports world.

There you have it. 5 predictions for the remainder of 2009. Knowing my history of making predictions, chances are I'll be dead wrong on all of them, but whatever, it's a blog, not stone.

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