A few weeks ago I was reviewing my retirement funds, and my mother's savings, and I realized how important current political and economic policy was to my investment plans. So I sketched out these charts, and they looked like something out of a science fiction novel. So here they are. One for W. Bush re-elected, and one for a Democratic presidency. Sorry for the PDF; I don't have a better tool for high-quality graphics. They are at least small.
Looking them over, what strikes me is the similarity between the outcomes. Things are harder if W. is re-elected, to be sure, but the state predicted by 2012 is very similar. The long-term outcome is dominated by environmental problems and the slow process of world federation.
"The result, clearly, will be an ugly, bitter campaign - probably the nastiest of modern American history. Four months ago it seemed that the 2004 campaign would be all slow-mo films of Mr. Bush in his flight suit. But at this point, it's likely to be pictures of Howard Dean or Wesley Clark that morph into Saddam Hussein. And Donald Rumsfeld has already rolled out the stab-in-the-back argument: if you criticize the administration, you're lending aid and comfort to the enemy. "--Paul Krugman
Help! I think I've fallen into a Ken Macleod novel! I just finished Engine City), third in the Engines of Light trilogy. There is something wonderfully insouciant about plausible science fiction novels which start out in flying saucers from Roswell and have gods (of a sort) in them.