A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Five Big Trends to Watch in 2015

from Nick Gillespie at Time.com:
Here are five trends that grew in 2014 and will continue to gain steam this year-- and through the rest of the decade.

1. The end of America as a destination country

Illegal immigration to the United States peaked in 2007 and legal immigration peaked even sooner, in 2006. Part of the reason for the decline is our persistently rotten economy and part of it is our stupid business climate (see below). But a big part of it is that other countries offer better chances for growth and opportunity for migrants and natives alike.

2. The end of America as a business destination

Burger King didn't move from Miami to the Great White North because it likes snow all of a sudden. It did so to save millions in taxes. The U.S. corporate tax code and related regulations (many stemming from Sarbanes-Oxley, the Bush-era rules passed in the wake of Enron's collapse) make it easier and smarter for investors to start companies elsewhere or move all or part of their business. Despite widespread agreement among many Republicans and Democrats in the federal government, there's no reason to believe that any meaningful reform will take place any time soon.

3. Cheap and abundant energy changes everything

Massively proliferating energy from fracking, shale oil, improved green technologies, and other sources makes everything cheaper for everyone in the world. The price of a barrel of oil has dropped 40 percent since June and has been on the skids for five years.

4. Cultural elites take it on the chin

It's a very different world-- filled with very different conversations-- when the audience can speak back to whomever it wants.

5. The death of brand loyalty, especially in politics

Brand loyalty is dead in most consumer products-- does anyone still come from a Chevrolet or Ford or even Mercedes family?-- and it’s shot in politics too. Trust in government and politics, which is at historically low levels, has led to rapid swings in control of Congress and shrinking affiliation with either the Democrats or Republicans. That's another trend that shows no sign of slowing down in 2015 and beyond.
The details of each are here.

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