Reflections: This upcoming year

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By Thomas W. Ivines

This is the time of year when most make New Year's resolutions, but I'm not going to write about that. Most people don't keep them anyway.

Instead I will write about what to expect in the New Year:

Prices will continue to go up on just about everything that is of importance. Sooner or later, though, the ceiling will drop out of our economy because of inflation.

The Portuguese are a good example of that. In their time they were the greatest sea power in the world. When their economy collapsed they became the weakest sea power in the world. They couldn't send off a good rowboat let alone a seaworthy ship when they hit rock bottom.

History shows that when the Portuguese inflation peaked, their products and craftsmanship declined. Recently excavated ships prove that theory.

The first ships they built were of the superior quality. Later, when building materials and labor became too expensive, the ships degraded to less than inferior. That's when their world dominance ended, too.

Styles will change as they do every year. If there is one thing that stays the same, it is change.

With more baby boomers reaching retirement age than ever, there will be emphasis on health. Social medicine will be more in the public eye and new health products will assuredly take to the shelves.

Medical procedures that improve life in later years will certainly take notice, too.

Next year looks to be another the year for ugly cars. I think manufacturers have finally run out of new ideas. They have combined all their discarded ideas and have decided to build the ugliest cars imaginable.

Already the new models remind me of "Robocop" cars. The touted models in the movie were called SUX Supremes. Have you noticed? A few of the new cars carry the prefix, SX. Do you think there is a relationship?

Finally, we can expect new and more innovative electronics to hit the market. Cell phone enhancements will be among the top contenders, while older but still useful electronics will go down in price.

They will be the only consumer products to go down in price.

Hopefully the New Year will prosper for you. I think if we all expect that it will prosper, then it will.