It happens every year: noted Libertarian soothsayer Wayne Allyn Root makes his annual predictions, which he then clings to for the rest of the year, updating them if his earlier predictions fall to pieces. This year, as they have done before, Fox News is trotting him out to rally up the base, claiming his predictions in years past as evidence that, in this case, it will be a blowout year for Mitt Romney.
How his gig works is like this: He creates a ton of predictions. Then, in hindsight, he only brings up the predictions he was in any arguable way correct about.
Let us go over his predictions for 2012, taken from his website shall we?
The EU economic collapse will accelerate, with the EU teetering from crisis to crisis eventually leading to the breakup of the EU and the end of the Euro.
Instead of teetering from crisis to crisis, the EU is instead recovering slowly. The moves by both Germany and France to shore up their own economies have worried some, but so far they are working.
Japan will default on their bonds.
This prediction is decades old. “Japan is about to default” has been a common refrain from people such as Mr. Root since 2000, when George Soros fired Takeshi Fujimaki for shorting Japan bonds. Instead, the Financial Times talks about how the doomsayers of Japan’s bond market continue to prove themselves wrong, having cried wolf for 12 years now.
America will see a dramatic economic crisis as well.
This is very vague, and intentionally so. This way, if anything should happen, he can point to this as an accurate prediction. It is a classic con man tactic: put something out that can be molded into what he needs in hindsight.
A series of economic tragedies and unprecedented crises will shake America, leading to bank runs, civil unrest, rising levels of violence, unprecedented middle class fear and panic, and record sales of guns, ammo, gold & silver.
As above, too vague to nail down. There may have been a “crisis” of sorts, but there have been no bank runs and no major civil unrest, the levels of violence are actually dropping, and there has been no rush on gold and silver (with silver actually dipping in value to almost $10 per troy ounce).
The Fed and central banks across the globe react to crisis and deteriorating economic conditions with massive money-printing and “quantitative easing” resulting in inflation.
Commercial real estate will decline dramatically, resulting in record foreclosure.
The commercial market has remained stable, and nationwide foreclosures are dropping.
U.S. States, counties and cities will announce insolvency and bankruptcy in record numbers: California will be Exhibit A.
Municipal bonds have historically had a default rate of between 1-4% depending on who you ask. No unusual activity here. Even California has addressed its debt issue, with a reduction in bond issuance to get its deficits and debt under control. No state defaults, not even for California. And, of all things, it is Texas which now is in the worst debt crisis, with its debt now taking it to the third most debt-ridden state.
Unemployment will remain the #1 unsolvable problem for the U.S. economy, with potential for increases to double digits.
With the unemployment numbers now at their lowest since Obama took office, this joins the pile of inaccurate predictions.
The Chinese economy will be unmasked as on the verge of economic collapse.
Instead China continues to grow, resulting in an expanding trade war between our two nations.
The “Arab Spring” creates new governments far worse, far more radical, far more violent, far more despotic than the regimes they replaced.
While the right-wing will agree with this, those who have any common sense see democracies appearing in nations such as Egypt and Libya.
Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination in a landslide, and selects Chris Christie or Marco Rubio as his running mate.
Romney did win the nomination, but not in a landslide. They even manipulated the delegate seating to give the illusion of more support. And neither Chris Christie nor Marco Rubio are on the ticket, with Paul Ryan as the second tier of the ticket instead.
Barack Obama dumps Joe Biden from his Presidential ticket and chooses Hillary Clinton as his new running mate. Biden becomes Secretary of State.
That is, to quote Vice President Biden, “malarkey.”
A third party candidate changes the dynamics of the 2012 election — either Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party, Ron Paul, Donald Trump, or New York Mayor Bloomberg as independents.
This one turned out to be true, with Gary Johnson taking away votes from Romney in key swing states.
Just before the election, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the individual mandate, killing Obamacare.
The much maligned Tea Party springs to life and leads the GOP to major gains, including majority control of both the House and Senate.
The Tea Party is now one of the least popular groups in America.
The election follows the same pattern as the 1980 Reagan/Carter election — with the race remaining razor close until the last week.
Contrary to popular myth, the race was not close until the last week in 1980. According to records, after the debate, Reagan took his lead and stayed there. In addition, Carter’s popularity was in the 30% range, instead of over 50% as with Obama.
The GOP Presidential victory will prove Romney to be a tax raiser and spending raiser.
Strange how this is in a prediction for 2012 when, even if Romney had a victory, he would not take office until 2013.
By 2016, U.S. voters will consider a third party that truly desires to cut spending and the size of government dramatically.
Pitching the Libertarian Party, we see.
A wide range of predictions, with a low possibility of any of them happening before the year is out. Yet what will happen is that the one or two things which he can distort — in order to claim his predictions were accurate — will be brought forth in the future. Just like how he continues to claim he predicted previous elections. But even when he is right, he turns out to be wrong, predicting in 2010 that the GOP would take 8-10 Senate seats (they took 5) and 50-60 seats in the house (they took 63).
In the end, only history will show us which, if any, of his 2012 predictions come true. But as the old tale tells us, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And Mr. Root’s clock is very, very broken.