So many things happened in 2010 that it’s hard to know where to start. I will list the events in the order in which I think they will reshape our world. See if you agree.
- 9.8 percent of the population is recorded as out of work, but the real figure is closer to 20 percent. Are we going through a depression or a paradigm shift in the job market? Will those lost jobs ever come back, or is it going to require a totally new set of jobs that require a new set of skills like when the steel mills closed?
- The healthcare bill. Will it really drive down costs or will it run more physicians out of practice? Can you really require people to purchase insurance? How drastic will be the cuts in Medicare and Social Security? Can you require people to continue to give into Social Security when it may or may not be around in 2050?
- The national debt is now large enough to end the American way of life and usher in big-time inflation or deflation. Will the politicians get serious about cutting the budget, or will the lobbyists win out yet again?
- The Tea Party came of age. Will it become a third party? How will it affect politics in the coming year?
- Regarding WikiLeaks’ massive disclosure of classified material to the public, how much damage has been done? Will it change the discourse dramatically on how we view free speech? Will Julian Assange be classified and tried as a terrorist?
- Will BP stay the course after the oil spill that killed eleven people and ruined the lives of millions of people along the Gulf Coast? Will it survive the lawsuits? And how high can the price of oil really go?
- Regarding the New START Treaty that begins limiting the number of Nuclear weapons between the U.S. and Russia, just how many nukes is enough? And can you really trust the politicians to get anything right?
- Will the 2010 elections, changing the face of the House, put pressure on both sides to work together? Will it make much difference? (You can see my thoughts on that by how far down the ladder of events I put it.)
- Are full body scans at airports really safe? Will they be adequately maintained in a world of tight money? If not maintained, can they really burn a hole in our organs? Is it really healthy to get an x-ray every week if you travel for a living? How many more times can the terrorists win? Do you think TSA folks enjoy the patdowns?
- Will the lifting of the ban on open gays in the military change anything?
How would you rate this list? Did I leave anything out?
There are several other things I could mention, such as
- The comeback of General Motors
- Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy’s seat
- The rescue of the Chilean Miners
- The popularity of Sarah Palin
- The rise of Chris Christie
- George Clooney’s work in Darfur
- The censure (instead of indictment) of Charles Rangel
- Jerry Brown becoming the youngest and oldest governor of California
I can’t leave this post without this final comment on a personal note.
The game changer for the Easum family was my wife spending almost a month in the hospital over three different stays. She went through some 21 pints of blood during that time. I had to sign the “do not resuscitate” letter twice. If that doesn’t get a person thinking, nothing else will. She has been stable now for eight months, but she has to have someone with her all the time.
We want to thank everyone who has asked about Jan over this past year and have written notes of encouragement. Your thoughts and prayers have been much appreciated.
Now, on to 2011.
Question: What do you think have been other game changers over the past year? Share your opinions in the Comments section below.