The new year always brings the promise of new things being just on the horizon. The world is a volatile place today, with shifting economies, the continued presence of Islamist terrorism around the world, and the Great Game of competition between nations seeking diplomatic, strategic, and economic advantages around the globe.

Everyone is a prognosticator and soothsayer in the new year, so we are going to jump into the deep end on this as well. Looking at the world we see considerable economic challenges and security issues but we don’t think the world will explode into war either. Here are some predictions we are willing to make for the year 2022.

In the early stages of COVID panic, Florida closed its beaches on advisement that this would reduce the spread of the virus. It was later shown that a warm, sunny beach may be the best place to avoid infection.

Domestic Affairs

The political climate in this country remains deeply divided and contentious.  We believe that Republicans will regain the House and Senate in 2022.  This would effectively render President Biden a “Lame Duck” for the last two years of his term.  Legislative and budget priorities will be set by Republican majorities, while Biden retains veto power over new legislation.  This will require both parties to work together on the things they can agree on.  In doing so, the House and Senate would be able to pass legislation with veto-proof majorities

The spread of COVID-19 and varients will continue in 2022, what may change is the way we deal with these new variants.  Prior to the vaccine the strategy employed was one of containment and prevention.  With the introduction of vaccines and now new drugs that can effectively eliminate the risks of hospitalization and death, the government has been slow in moving to a strategy of testing and treatment of COVID cases.  Currently, the CDC is still focused on just new cases rather than the much more important metric of hospitalizations and deaths which reflect on our ability to treat the sick after infection.

We also think it’s dawning on the government, finally, that mitigation measures proposed by the CDC  aimed towards stopping the spread of the virus ignored the second and third-order effect these policies had on society and our economy overall.  In ways both large and small these myopic policies not only failed to prevent 800,000 Americans from dying from COVID but did serious harm to the economy and the mental, physical and economic wellbeing of the population.

Economically, the United States has once again shown itself to be incredibly resilient to market chain disruptions, inflation, rising interest rates, and increased competition globally.  Supply chain shortages will slow economic growth but not trigger a recession here.  The concern is whether prevention measures again COVID in other countries will trigger recessions in their economies that will be felt here. We do not believe a recession will happen here in 2022 but is possible in 2023,

Getting this country back to work requires employees to return to their jobs. About one-third of workers have not yet been vaccinated. state and federal mandates requiring workers to be vaccinated will be in the way of full economic recovery and we predict they will be dropped under pressure from businesses trying to get their employees back.  As the number of COVID variants increase(even as they decrease in lethality) it will prove impossible for the government to endlessly require new vaccinations and boosters for employees to stay on their jobs.

A significant demographic shift is going on in this country right now, as people relocate to other states. Their destinations tend to be those states with a low tax, business-friendly environment that have sensible COVID restrictions in place. Upwards of one million people moved to Texas, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia in 2021. As they say, “People vote with their feet.” This will continue.  The people who moved first tended to be those with the cash in the bank to buy a new home immediately, those that will follow this year will be those who need more time to find a new job and sell their current home. The increasing ability to work from home will also help drive this demographic shift to the South and Western states like Arizona and Nevada.