New Year's Day is an arbitrary and mostly fictional marker. It is common to pretend that some clear divisor has been set between what was and what will be. But that is a fiction mainly used to peddle prognostications that turn out to be as false as the occasion.
For my part, I believe that more of the same will predominate, as always. History creeps in when we're not looking. We're told that the good times will continue, but most Americans won't know what the pundits are talking about. If times are so good, why are the majority of Americans worse off? The reality is that there has been little if any recovery over the last four years. Or eight, to give Obama his due.
More of the same: the global economy will not seize up suddenly and leave us all to starve in the dark, but it won't change much for the better, either. Wars and atrocities and inequality and rape and torture will all go on, and go on being ignored. So will the hollowing out of the American middle class, as what once were government prerogatives of a self-governing people continue to be treatied away to international corporations.
Police will continue their extra-juridical execution of lower caste young men and the streets will pulse with ineffective protests – because protesting in the streets will not change the balance of power. Dying in the streets in large numbers might, but not any time soon.
The number of Americans trying to survive without a job will continue to increase, the effective standard of living for most of the population will continue to decline. The dollar is not going away and neither is the euro; high priced oil will return as fracking starts to subside, and climate change will continue to be ignored as we not-so-slowly burn our way to oblivion. The world’s finite supplies of petroleum, along with most other resources on which our extractive civilization depends, will continue depleting while we continue our blind faith in forever.
More of the same. We'll call it progress.