Uncertainty is a part of life. But this is ridiculous.
The world is in the midst of a "confluence of events" where several major issues are unfolding at the same time. Both the country and the world seem to be at a crossroads and anything can happen.
The year 2012 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in history that will likely determine the future course of the much of the current century.
Powerful forces that have been decades in the making are all converging.
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Cans have been kicked down the road, fights have been postponed and battle lines have been drawn. Ultimately, procrastination is a strategy that runs out of time. The bills are coming due in 2012,
Here's a glimpse into some major issues to be resolved this year.
• U.S. policy
The presidential election of 2012 will pose perhaps the most stark choice of our lifetimes. For decades the country has become more and more polarized – battling between two competing and starkly different philosophies.
The parties have drifted further and further apart with the Democrats becoming more liberal and the Republicans becoming more conservative, and the middle has continued to shrink.
This polarization has been a natural consequence of a political system that hasn't made hard choices. That is, we never had to choose between increasing education spending or going to war, or cutting taxes versus increasing spending. Politicians took the easy way out and just did both.
Instead of making tough choices, they simply came together and gave both sides what they wanted but simply borrowing the money to do it and running up the bills.
But, that way of making peace has run its course. The country is quickly going broke and can no longer just appease both sides with fiscal irresponsibility. Finally, a choice must be made.
This election will likely decide the general course forward for the United States. Will the country opt toward the big government wealth redistribution model supported by President Barack Obama? Or, will the country chose a more business friendly, pro growth and self reliant model?
The course chosen in this election will result in vastly different alternative futures.
Europe has been teetering on the brink of a debt or financial crisis for many months. So far, the European Union has been able to avoid, or delay, a full blown crisis. But, 2012 will likely be the year that determines
Europe's course and whether the EU will tip into crisis, dissolve, partially dissolve or something else.
Europe has been the biggest overhang risk on the U.S. market since the fall and the EU's fate in 2012 should have a major impact on the market.
Iran has been developing nuclear weapons for several years and most analysts believe they are extremely close. This presents a problem because that country's leaders are insane. The leaders seem to value Martyrdom above all and have sworn to annihilate Israel. There has been increasing saber-rattling in the United States and Israel, with each country swearing that Iran's inevitable trajectory of obtaining a functional nuclear weapon simply cannot be allowed to happen.
This issue may come to a head in 2012. A confrontation with Iran could have huge consequences in the market.
These are some huge issues coming to a head this year. But of course, the thing that usually seems to wreak the most havoc is the one you don't see coming. The world is undergoing a period of social, economic and political changes all at once.
2012 promises to be a year of enormous consequence that will determine the course of history. There is an ancient Chinese curse that says "may you live in interesting times."
Well, 2012 promises to be a year cursed by the ancient Chinese.
About the Author: Tom Hutchinson
Tom Hutchinson is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust. Click Here to read more of his articles. He is also the editor of The High Income Factor. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.
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