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Live Like 2408 In 2008 II

May 7, 2008
Let me ask you an important question: How do you see your life in 2035?

If we see light at the end of the tunnel,
It's the light of an oncoming train.

- Robert Lowell

If you are over the age of 60, you may assume you won't be around in 2035. Read on anyway. I have some surprises for you.

If you are younger than 60, you might focus on threats and describe your life in 2035 in dire terms after looking at where certain trends might lead:

-Epidemics of new diseases kill hundreds of millions every year, and you live in isolation to avoid that risk.

-You are divorced . . . for the fourth time and are broke because of the divorce settlements.

-Like billions of people, you are clinically depressed.

-Suicide bombers are a daily threat in your community.

-Air pollution is so bad that simply breathing is the equivalent of a ten-pack-a-day cigarette habit in 2008.

-The government in your country has just repudiated any obligation to provide pensions or health care for the elderly. You'll be working until the day you die.

-Your income declines by 5 percent every year because of competition for jobs from poor people in Africa working in outsourcing organizations.

-Gasoline sells for $25 a gallon, and you usually walk to the store to buy your groceries.

-Interest rates are 15 percent and climbing because of governments being virtually bankrupt.

-Housing prices just dropped by a third in the United States because the government stopped allowing income tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

Are these events possible? Let's look at each in terms of history and current trends:

-If we travel back to the time of the Black Death in Europe, we realize it's possible for every third person to die from an epidemic in a matter of a few years. Today more than one-third of the adults are infected with HIV in parts of the world where few can afford medicine. Without a medical breakthrough, a third will die well in advance of the life span expected when they were born.

-The divorce rate has been climbing for some time; as people live longer, the number of divorces someone may experience will increase. Those who are divorced are more likely to divorce again if they remarry.

-Clinical depression is one of the fastest growing diagnoses; hard times could accelerate the trend.

-Today's version of suicide bombers are a relatively new phenomenon: What's new about this threat is that wealthy people are raising hundreds of millions of dollars to support the rapid growth of this activity. If wealthy people start raising billions for this purpose, you've got a real problem: Recruit and train 100,000 suicide bombers each year, and you will soon create daily fear all over the Earth.

-There are already places where air quality is so poor that it's like breathing several packs of cigarettes a day: This circumstance could worsen in places like China with more industrialization and motor vehicles. Chinese pollution is increasingly being experienced all over the world.

-Politicians and actuaries tell us that no country in the world will be able to afford its current pension and health-care promises to the elderly because of declining birth rates producing fewer people to tax to pay for the benefits and longer lives for the elderly.

-Asia is already starting to lose manufacturing jobs to Africa; can other types of jobs be far behind?

-We are close to peak oil production; only rapid price increases will limit consumption after oil production begins to decline.

-Before stopping pension and health-care benefits, governments will have borrowed as much as they can, leaving them with enormous debts to service. With poor credit ratings for these supposedly safest borrowers, general interest rates will go through the roof.

-A virtually bankrupt government will have no choice but to seek new forms of revenue: Home mortgage interest and property tax deductions will provide massive new income for the U.S. government. Without those tax deductions, many people won't be able to afford the payments and taxes on the houses they live in. Massive selling will depress home prices permanently relative to where prices would have been with those tax deductions.

Gloomy scenarios are nothing new; people have been predicting worldwide disasters for centuries. But unexpected progress can happen, averting disasters or lessening their impact.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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