In the spirit of the famous Simon/Ehrlich bet, here are some predictions for 2023. Any takers?
1. Real GDP growth will average less than 2.5% per year over the next decade
2. The Gap - as measured by NAEP 8th grade math scores among black and white students nationwide - will be greater than 0.9 standard deviations.
3. California's performance on the 8th grade math NAEP will not improve relative to the U.S. mean (in standard deviation units) over it's 2013 performance.
4. The price of oil - despite decreased demand - will be no lower than the average price during 2013.
5. The Social Security revenue estimates of the CBO with regard to the 2013 Comprehensive Immigration Reform act will prove to be too optimistic (as a % of GDP). The CBO estimates of the immigrant population in the U.S. as of 2023 will prove to be too low.
6. The share of total income earned by the bottom 20% of American families (measured in terms of family income) will be lower than it is today; this will also hold true for wealth.
7. Neither Libya nor Egypt will have a functioning democracy.
8. Average global temperature, as measured by the GISS, will not be lower than today.
9. The per capita GDP of Brazil, measured in $PPP, relative to that of Switzerland in terms of dollar difference, will not be improved.
The last one is a bit of a sucker bet in that "dollar difference" implies absolute difference between Switzerland and Brazil, not a relative percentage difference. For example, say that per capita GDP in Switzerland is $50,000 and in Brazil is $20,000. (I'm exaggerating to make the arithmetic easy.) If Brazil goes up 20 percent to $24,000, while Switzerland goes up 10 percent to $55,000, then Ziel wins.
I'd be worried about losing on California's NAEP scores relative to the rest of the country. I suspect the long term trend is that California will become increasingly Asian while shedding blacks and Hispanics to places with lousier weather. But how soon (if ever) that mechanism will impact NAEP scores is something I'd have to look at recent numbers closely before I'd want to bet on it.