Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Predictions Revisited

Exactly one year ago I made eleven predictions. So it is time for me to face up to cold, hard reality and see how accurate I was:
Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.
Oops. I thought McCain was too "maverick-y" for the Republicans.
Barack Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and will be elected President.
Yay! I got these two right! A year ago it looked like Hillary would be the Democrat's choice, but I figured she wouldn't because as many people hated her as liked her.
Pro football will have a major "athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs" scandal.
Oil prices will go over $100 per barrel at least twice.
Yup. I didn't expect them to stay above $100 per barrel for most of the year, though.
Troop levels in Iraq will go down until the November elections. Immediately after the elections, another troop surge will be proposed.
Yes, and No. Troop levels in Iraq have been slowly declining this year, but there's no talk of another surge in Iraq. I'm not even going to give myself half-credit for the talk of a "surge" in Afghanistan, because I had no idea that would happen (I thought the Iraq surge would be a failure, but it looks like it worked).
Around 200,000 people in Massachusetts will still not have health insurance at the end of 2008 (down from 500,000 without health insurance in 2006).
According to the Urban Institute, the number is about 170,000; I'm going to call that close enough (rounding to the nearest 100,000...).
The increase in the minimum wage will mean fewer teenagers working during the summer of 2008.
Yup, it looks like teen unemployment is way up, beyond the base level of unemployment being caused by the recession.
Inflation-adjusted "total compensation" (wages plus benefits) will be up more than 1% for all income brackets over the year.
The numbers aren't in yet, but it looks like I'll be wrong on this one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it looks like total compensation will be up something like 3% in 2008, which is less than inflation*. Interestingly, it looks like government workers are doing a little better (their total compensation will increase something like 4% in 2008).

And my wrongest prediction of 2008:
The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl.
Go Giants?

So, overall I give myself a score of 7 out of 11 correct. Maybe I'll do better this year...

* Update, 30 Jan 2009: The inflation numbers are in: "Core" inflation was just 2.2% last year-- overall inflation (including food and energy) was NEGATIVE last year. So if you didn't get fired, you're actually better off than you were a year ago (and my prediction that inflation-adjusted total compensation would be up was correct).

1 comment:

Matthew Cornell said...

Well done! I predict 2009 will be a great year for your prognostications!