Here is my 12th annual list of predictions for 2012.
Prediction: U.S. economic growth (GDP) will improve from 1.7% in 2011 to over 2%.
Prediction: Small business optimism – based on the NFIB survey – will improve from recent record lows.
Prediction: Small business growth plans, currently held back by a dam of uncertainty, will break through and set up 2013 as an expansion year. If Obama is reelected, the breakthrough will still happen, but to a lesser degree.
Prediction: Unemployment remains above 8%, due to real estate challenges, anti-business policies and rhetoric, technological advancements and structural unemployment (millions unprepared for 21st century jobs).
Prediction: “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” from “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Colerage. With millions unemployed, expect reports of skilled jobs going unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants.
Prediction: The European Central Bank’s (ECB) unprecedented three-year loans to EU banks may prevent a financial melt-down, but not a prolonged European recession.
Prediction: Iraq will prove unworthy of the precious price paid for its self-determination.
Prediction: Iran will hold oil markets hostage against threats to its nuclear plans.
Prediction: Geo-politics (Iran) and election year politics (jobs and trade) will cause Congressional Democrats and President Obama to agree to the construction of the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas.
Prediction: Behavior of the Occupy Wall Street participants will increasingly look more like anarchy than reform.
Prediction: Once a leading indicator of the economy, Wall Street will continue to be merely a leading indicator of itself.
Prediction: The Supreme Court will rule against the individual mandate in Obamacare, as it violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause prohibiting the government from mandating citizens purchase a product.
Prediction: Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.
Prediction: I’m doubling-down on my 2011 prediction that Joe Biden will not be on Obama’s 2012 ticket. Desperate people do desperate things.
Prediction: Barack Obama will be a one-term president.
Prediction: Republicans will retain majority control of the House of Representatives.
Prediction: Democrats will lose control of the U.S. Senate.
Prediction: Alabama’s defense will defeat LSU’s defense in their rematch in the BCS Championship Game.
Write this on a rock…2012 will be a defining year for America and planet Earth.
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.