Forecasts, Newton and the Eternal Optimist

By Tony Moorby January 20, 2021 413

Forecasting in this current state of affairs would be about as useful as a chocolate fire screen! I willingly observe that businesses have to plot their intended paths and that can only be achieved with information that’s current and accurate. Fortunately, we have huge computing capabilities to help identify and deal with some of the market zigs and zags. But as they say: “All the best laid plans of mice and men…”

We’ve all witnessed the power of Mother Nature to alter the course of all kinds of events from the local effects of tornadoes to the ongoing global pandemic.

The likeliest forecast to make is that things will get worse before they get better.

From politics to plague, I don’t believe we’ve seen the worst of things yet. Our economy has gutsily pulled through with sustenance from various quarters, not the least of which has been fueled by the innovative thinking on the fly of many business sectors. The government too has chipped in, no matter how curmudgeonly.

Newton’s third law of motion says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction; it applies to other disciplines too – economics, politics (now that every voice, no matter how small or distant, can be heard as presently and loudly as any other), international diplomacy has its tit-for-tat routines and so on. I’m not going to rattle on about politics one way or the other. Expressing opinions these days invites the wrath of Khan from hitherto quiet corners.

Our new administration is going to be taxed (!) to find ways to refill coffers, as someone will have to pay the piper for helping people through the pandemic.

The economy probably won’t sustain growth unaided for a while yet and inventory pipelines for all kinds of materials are draining and will take time to recoup their normal levels. My buddy is a builder and told me this morning that lumber prices have gone up by as much as 120 percent in six months.

There is enormous distrust in diplomatic relations all over the globe. It’ll take time though to turn the commitments into viable policies that will suit mutual global stability and growth. Every country has its individual ways of dealing with the pandemic, for instance and it’s a case of ‘let’s fix ourselves first’ before being able to help others.

Even in a country as sophisticated as ours we can’t come up with an equitable and auditable routine to vaccinate the population. The distribution systems and methods are as varied as the amount of people involved in their oversight. I emailed my doctor’s office to get some idea of a schedule of availability, bearing in mind that I don’t want to jump the queue but do have some conditions that may render me more susceptible. I got back a page full of gobbledygook that looked like it had been lifted from a government document that told me basically that they had no more idea than the man in the moon and that I should keep in touch with my pharmacy. That’s not difficult as I take enough pills to fill a maraca!

This all sounds very pessimistic coming from an eternal optimist, but I realistically believe that we have to start thinking a little more alike – take on a wartime mentality – to get things to turn around quickly. That won’t maintain so long as folks feel that their freedoms are being thwarted by the necessity to wear a mask.

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 17:12