While governments in Canada and the United States are moving the minimum wage rates higher there won’t be any wage increases for public sector workers, middle class types and me.
Prediction: An increasingly smaller middle class and I will continue to wonder if I am actually lower middle class or if I need to start referring to myself as a new income class called upper lower class.
Facebook is losing the young people and the middle aged women will get bored soon too. Facebook is expanding to try and become more than just the Facebook site but buying other computer chatting and photograph sharing sites.
Prediction: The stock price will fall. It is time for profit taking. If you are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg you should be a good captain and go down with the ship. No matter how much much Facebook falls apart Zuckerberg will never be a poor man because he, very sensibly, married a doctor.
Russia is suddenly the biggest wild card in the world economy and Putin is thrilled about being such a big sh#* disturber. China is in a big mess but still hiding it reasonably well but they can’t hold on forever. The Canadian and American economies are not slowing down but they are not speeding up.
Prediction: Interest rates will stay steady and unnaturally low for the rest of 2014 but then will begin an artificially slow rise in 2015. If things get crazier in Russia then all bets are off.
Natural Resources We Need To Move And Stay Warm
Propane, natural gas and electricity rates have all had recent rises in costs but the future will be even worse.
Prediction: More people at food banks and soup kitchens because they have to pay so much more to stay warm and keep the lights on. The rest of us will have to make cuts in other areas to keep our personal budgets balanced. That means less disposable income for shopping and eating fast food so less minimum wage jobs will be needed.
With rises in natural gas, propane and electricity rates. All of those are necessary to produce and process food at every step.
Prediction: a slow but steady rise in food prices and a rise in poverty rates in Canada and the USA.
Archie Will Be Reborn For A Little While
The Archie comic book franchise is killing off Archie this spring. Like many different versions of print media comic books are struggling. This is a desperate publicity stunt and will be followed, at some point in the fall, by Archie’s sudden rise from the dead. Maybe he is reborn and maybe he was just in the witness protection program but it won’t stop the future.
Prediction: the end of Archie in print form sometime in 2015
Hackers cost banks, businesses and governments millions if not billions of dollars in stolen funds every year and it costs millions if not billions to keep them out of computers they have no business messing with.
Predictions: Businesses will begin to dump the responsibility for the losses on the clients who don’t change passwords or who share PINs with family members.
:Any one with children who are uncertain about their career future should consider computer security as a great career path.
Buying Power Of The Dollar
While the minimum wage will rise all prices around it will rise as well. Utility costs and food costs will increase. Look for rises in fast food prices as good indicator of where things are headed.
Prediction: While minimum wage earners will see a rise in the amount of their pay cheque they won’t actually see much increase in their buying power. They may have more but everything will cost more. The rest of us will be paying more and not making more so the buying power of the dollar will be lower.
My Bottom Line
The end of my HELOC is nearing and I will move to being frugal to service debt to being frugal to save for my retirement.
Predictions: I still won’t lose that 20 pounds I really need to lose. That may not be a financial prediction but it is probably very accurate.