Monday, December 31, 2018

The World in 2019

The Economist is a premier magazine which has been published continuously for 175 years now. Each year in December it publishes an issue about the coming year. (Interestingly, their very first issue was released in 1843 just three months before Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, which was also published in London.) This article uses the same title as the new year issue of The Economist.
Happy New Year of the Wild Boar!
As in past years, I begin with reference to the Japanese (and Chinese) zodiac. Following the ancient 12-year cycle, this is the year of the inoshishi in Japan. In English this New Year in East Asia is often called the Year of the Pig, but there is a difference between a buta (a domestic pig) and an inoshishi (wild boar) so I prefer to call it the Year of the Wild Boar.  
In spite of largely negative connotations of “pig” in this country, those born in the Year of the Wild Boar, such as my grandson Carl who turns 12 in 2019, are said to be happy, easygoing, honest, trusting, and brave.
Politics in 2019
The biggest political question in 2019 is the fate of the U.S. President. There seems to be a strong possibility that he will be impeached. However, unless there are irrefutable “crimes and misdemeanors” documented by the Mueller report, he probably will not be removed from office by the Republican-majority Senate.
For quite some time I have thought it quite likely that DJT would resign sometime in 2019. But the credible comment has been made by several that his being in the White House is quite likely the only thing that will keep him from being sent to “the big house” (prison).
Regardless, 2019 promises to be another year of political turmoil. The Economist predicts that the year ahead “is going to be a destructive one in American politics.” That may well be their prediction for the new year most likely to come true.
The Economy in 2019
One of the repeated “predictions” The Economist mentions for 2019 is a financial recession, especially in the U.S.—but a U.S. recession would, of course, have a negative effect on most of the world’s countries.
The editor’s first point in his lead article titled “The World in 2019” is that the economic wind in America is changing and “by the end of the year it could be heading into a recession.” And his second point ends with him saying that “the good times for USA Inc won’t last.”
Sadly, I’m afraid that prediction may also come true.
And in Japan . . .
A new “era” will begin with the enthronement of a new emperor in 2019. I remember well January 8, 1989, when the current era (named Heisei, meaning “achieving peace”) began on the day after the death of Emperor Hirohito.
The year of 2019 by the “Western calendar” will be Heisei 31—and the last year of the current era. Emperor Akihito has announced his abdication of the Chrysanthemum Throne on April 30, and a new era, the name of which is not yet known publicly, will begin on May 1.
Personally . . .
I don’t have any plans for 2019 that involve being away from home, where I am content to be—sleeping in my own bed every night and taking 10-minute naps through the day as needed.
But among other things, I do plan to keep on reading at least a book a week, learning (a day when something new is not learned is a day wasted), thinking, and writing blog articles to share with you, my dear Thinking Friends.
Happy New Year to each of you!


  1. Happy New Year to you and June! You are the happiest man in the world indeed! Many many blessings to you in the New Year of 2019!

  2. I have received several email responses, but they have been mostly New Year greetings rather than comments directly related to this blog article.

    In his longer email, Thinking Friend Eric Dollard in Chicago made this brief comment:

    "The predictions you have cited are certainly plausible, so we enter 2019 with some deep concerns."

  3. Some have remarked that they thought this article was rather gloomy and unhopeful--and perhaps it is in a way. Looking at negative predictions is not very uplifting.

    However, as I wrote in response to one of my Thinking Friends, "I feel good, personally, about going into the new year--and I am hopeful that things are going to improve in the country.