Top Ten Trends for 2014: A Tale Of Two Cities
Although Gerald Celente forecasts future trends any time he sees them, and he usually sees them long before others do, he makes a special effort at the beginning of each new year. In that respect, this year is no different, because he has but his forecast for 2014 are vastly different to those in previous year,
Celente says that in his 33 years of forecasting trends, the Trends Research Institute has never seen a new year quite like what they see for 2014. A few years ago, they forecast hardship and bad things for the world economy, and there is certainly more of that on the way, but with some differences.
They expect severe economic hardship and social unrest, counterbalanced by deep philosophic enlightenment and personal enrichment. It is like the Charles Dickens story of "A Tale Of Two Cities," "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us..."
The Trends Institute says a series of dynamic socioeconomic and transformative geopolitical trend points are set to align in 2014, whether we are ready or not.
Sometimes their forecasts miss the expected date. The US Federal Reserve and world central banks secretly pumping tens of trillions of dollars into the failing financial system postponed their 2010 financial collapse prediction. Depending on where you stand, that could be a good thing or it may be bad. The takeaway from that experience is to be aware that the system can be manipulated - with varying results.
The Trends Research Institute not only publishes the trends they see, but also the answers are written in their Winter Trends Journal.
March Economic Madness
With unforeseeable manipulation aside (or good governance, depending on your view) Celente forecasts that by the end of the first or second quarter of 2014, an economic shock wave will rattle world equity markets.
Celente says there is a Chinatown in almost every country, and certainly on every continent. You only have to look around to see the Chinese global buying binge, buying land, farms, commodities, production and production capability. The Trends Research Institute says this buying binge is currently in its early growth stage, and that it will noticeably accelerate in 2014.
"From coal mines in Zambia, to Borscht Belt resorts in New York, to factories in Italy, and to farmlands in Ukraine, a seemingly endless variety of Chinese development projects are being incubated around the world. If there is a deal to be had and a need to be filled, Chinese players are increasingly at the front of the line."
- The Trends Research Institute
Celente says "wealthy investors, college graduates without jobs, skilled and unskilled laborers will be migrating out of their overpopulated, congested and highly polluted nation to foreign shores."
Wake Up Call
Celente says the first Great Awakening in the USA "provided the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual ammunition that ignited the American Revolution." The Great Awakening 2.0 forecast for 2013, has started. He says the next stage is The Wake Up Call, and "It will be loud and distinct."
Celente says The Great Awakening 2.0 was triggered by political incompetence and ineptness. US citizens have very little faith in their government and their political "leaders." US citizens are not alone in this, and the same distrust and disdain is seen all over the world, because the political class has stopped listening to the people who elected them. Because the politicians have stopped listening, they may not hear the Wake Up Call, Celente says. No matter whether they hear it or not, in many places, there is "an angry public that has lost everything and has nothing left to lose."
Seniors Own Social Media
Social media and social sharing have taken huge steps in the past two years. According to the Trends Research Institute, seniors are the fastest-growing user segment in social media. Their forecast for 2014 says the retail, business, political, health and entertainment industries are expected to evolve aggressive strategies to engage seniors, because it is expected to result in a robust economic benefit.
This could lead to technological and product advances that impact nursing home life, political campaigns, causes and many other areas.
Populism is a megatrend that is already sweeping Europe, and it will soon spread throughout the world. European populist movements seek to regain national identity, break free from the euro and the domination of Brussels, which dictates austerity through the EU, ECB and IMF. Celente says these movements will not only bring down ruling parties, but build new ones.
Quoting Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, the Trends Research Institute reports the biggest risk to the status quo in Europe is the prospect of "the most 'anti-European' European Parliament ever." He also said "The rise of populism is today the main European social and political issue ... To fight against populism, in my view, is a mission today in Italy and in the other countries."
Afraid of the rise of populism, Spain has passed new laws that restrict public demonstrations and impose police-state measures to stamp out dissent.
Trouble in Slavelandia
The people who get the work of the country done are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. While the stock market soars and total personal wealth rockets ever higher, there is a growing underclass, who are effectively slaves, who spend their lives working, but are still unable to take care of their own needs. Celente calls them "the have-nots in Slavelandia."
Celente says the combination of multinational companies and austerity-prone governments created low-paying service jobs and reduced hours engineered to evade corporate responsibility, "are making it tough for the working poor, a group that now includes debt-burdened and underemployed college graduates and seniors as well as the traditional underclass."
"Nearly half of the requests for emergency assistance to stave off hunger or homelessness comes from people with full-time jobs. As government safety nets are pulled out from under them - as they will continue to be for the foreseeable future - the citizens of Slavelandia will have no recourse but action. The fast-food worker strikes of 2013, seeking a higher minimum wage, were just a mild taste of what is to come."
The New Altruism
Thankfully, there is a brighter side in the trends forecast - selfless concern for the wellbeing of others and an interest in the common good. "As despair quietly takes more prisoners, Doing Good will be recognized as the key to escape."
The Internet will come to the rescue, making donations of money, time and talents so easy that people will be able to enact their better natures. "Be they Boomers in renaissance or populists in revolt, people will discover and expand the humanist side of globalism and act accordingly."
Private Health Goes Public
Your health data is important. It is important to you and your healthcare providers. Unfortunately, now all your healthcare information is in a database, it is wide open to exploitation. Never mind that the government says it is safe - it isn't - and the government may exploit it in much the same way as multinationals and hackers can.
Your health data has been progressively mined, assembled and made accessible to a widening group of interested parties.
While signing up for the Affordable Care Act brought some attention to this developing trend, around the globe, data on individuals' health status, behaviors, prescriptions and even their genetic indicators have been funneled to a wide range of databases. Those databases have many purposes and a growing number of hands on them.
The positive and negative implications of this trend are equally powerful. Individuals and their health care providers can more easily tie vital physical data with worldwide medical databases to anticipate and potentially prevent disease. But, in the wrong hands, the data can be used to exploit, damage and take advantage of individuals and their families.
- the Trends Research Institute
The Boomer Renaissance
Boomers have been changing the world, just as it changed them, for some time now, but Celente says that 2014 will see "growing evidence of this Boomer Renaissance, accentuated by waves of self-guided entrepreneurism that alchemizes commerce, survival and self-actualization into a new world and self view."
Governments around the world have mismanaged their economies, overspent using borrowed money and now they are asking retirees to work longer to support themselves. Seniors are living longer, and although they may be tired, they generally have more energy than their grandparents and their parents had at the same age. Celente says "What you might not realize is how these factors are compelling Boomers to unearth potent creative energies not only to survive, but to realize potential that evaded them in traditional work roles."
Digital Learning Explodes
The internet has been seen as a transport system for educating the world, but it always takes time for new ideas to take shape. So far, there have been successes and failures, but in 2014, Celente says there will be great improvements.
"Across the entire educational spectrum, online learning will expand to include not only course instruction, but also a wealth of real-life learning experience, with considerable participation by the skills-hungry business community."
"For individuals, educational institutions, industries, small businesses and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the implications are enormous. From traditional degree-based education to very specific micro skills-based learning, this trend line explodes."
The Trends Research Institute's Winter Trends Journal breaks down the implications of these trends, for individuals, business professionals and a range of industries.
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