“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
Old School Is Cool
America The Beautiful
December 21, 2006 Rhinebeck, New York – As 2006 comes to an end, The Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, has released its “Top Trends for 2007.” The Editor and Publisher of The Trends Journal is Gerald Celente. USA Today, CNBC and other news media call Celente one of the best trend analyzers in the business. His annual trends lists have accurately forecast several American and world events.
For example, in his 1997 book, Trends 2000, Gerald Celente warned that the Soviet black market could literally “blow up” in the world’s face if Russian-made suitcase nukes were sold to terrorists. He also predicted the 1998 financial collapse in Southeast Asia that caused great turmoil in United States and global markets. Before the American military attacked, Celente warned that a move into Iraq could be disastrous. He also saw the danger in growing Third World populations where animals and people live closely together. In that human and animal closeness, new viruses and bacteria can emerge and cause pandemics like the 1918 swine flu. Soon after Celente’s trends warning, millions of chickens in Hong Kong had to be slaughtered to prevent the new and lethal H5N1 avian virus from spreading in poultry.
Now a decade later, bird flu has spread around the world and Iraq seems to be spiraling out of control into complicated civil war, which might bring Iran, Syria and Saudia Arabia into a full scale regional conflict. The world is obsessed by terrorist threats, possible nuclear attacks and what will happen to economies if a nightmare explodes? While the United States is struggling to pay for the Iraq war and to maintain its weakened influence in world affairs, other nations such as China are leaping forward with economic vigor. In fact, at the top of Gerald Celente’s Top Trends for 2007 is “Chinamerica.”
Gerald Celente, Editor and Publisher, The Trends Journal, Rhinebeck, New York:“As we all know, the 20th Century was called the “American Century” and it really did belong to America. After World War II, there was no one to rival the United States. We found out the Russian Bear was really just a flea-bitten old dog. Their strength was boosted artificially by the CIA and other organizations because when the Iron Curtain came down, it was apparent that it was only the United States that was the world heavy weight, economically and militarily.
As we enter into the 21st Century, the situation is changed. China is moving into the position of becoming within a decade the world economic heavy weight and they are going to be a military contender. The irony of all this is that China is becoming more like the United States and the United States is becoming more like China was. Let me explain. Today in China, the energy, the enthusiasm, the zeal of a people who have been freed from enslavement – first by foreign powers and then by dictatorial governments – have now been set free. It’s kind of like America in the 1950s – the entrepreneurial spirit, the boom time, the feeling that they can achieve anything – a Can Do attitude.
Conversely, in the United States, the situation is reversed. The Can Do spirit is gone. Entrepreneurism is very difficult to achieve in a society where the cost of entry into business is so high because of all of the government regulations and restrictions. It’s very hard for a small entrepreneur to get started without having almost $100,000, particularly in the retail field. So, it’s very hard to breakthrough.
Then again, you have a reversal of roles. In China today, they are encouraging the entrepreneurs who think for themselves to become what they can become. In America, what’s happened? Well, look at who gets the tax breaks. These aren’t matters of opinion. These are matters of fact. The top people get the tax breaks.
Who gets the big loans, the guarantees, the tax write-offs and all of the amenities when a big company moves into an area? They give it to the Big Company in America. They don’t give it to the small guys. Do you want to build a stadium? We’ll give you all the grand tax breaks and money that you need – but you can’t give it to the little guy! A big real estate developer now, according to the Supreme Court of the U. S., can come into your community and take your home away from you! Under the laws of new eminent domain, the city or state can say, ‘No, it’s a better economic deal or benefit to give it to the Big Guy than the Little Guy.’ So, the centralization, the Big Corporate Big Brother has now become what used to be in China has moved to America.
You look at what is happening with China again, very reminiscent of the old U.S.A. They are moving into Africa, developing huge rail projects in places like Nigeria. They are moving into South America.
PART OF THIS WHOLE ISSUE OF THE DECLINING AND CONTROVERSIAL INFLUENCE OF AMERICA NOW ON THIS PLANET IS ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR TRENDS: ‘MEDICAL TOURISM.’ CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT FURTHER?
They call it ‘medical tourism’ because people in the United States are going to foreign shores to get medical treatment. Right now, the major part of the business is in dental, surgery and cosmetic surgery. It’s because the prices abroad – just as the prices abroad to get manufacturing done are so much cheaper. Well, the same is true with medical tourism. People can go overseas and get that hip replacement, knee replacement, whatever it might be, for a fraction of the cost in the States.
In the United States, we have some 44 million people without health insurance. So, when you need medical treatment, where do you go? You go to the same place that the (pharmaceutical manufacturers) are going – offshore. This trend is just beginning. They are estimating in 2007, about 750,000 people will be going abroad for surgery of some kind. We think it’s going to continue. We think it’s just the beginning of the trend. Also, when we are looking at comparable health facilities, a lot of these countries when you compare them to the U. S. in standards, they win, place or show.
Actually, when it comes to post-operative care, they out-rank the United States in terms of how they treat the patient afterwards. So, this is going to be a huge business.
AS YOU ARE DESCRIBING THIS TURNING TO OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD FOR AMERICANS TO GET CHEAPER MEDICAL CARE, YOU HAVE ON YOUR 2007 TRENDS LIST, ‘SYSTEMIC RECESSION.’
Yes, the economy is only going to get worse in the United States. We all know the numbers and the numbers don’t lie. Here are some of the numbers:
- The median household income in the United States is 5.4% below what it was in 1999. That’s like a $3,000/year loss after inflation.
- The gap between the rich and the poor is the widest in the United States compared to any other industrialized nation.
- So while you might see growth in the U. S., according to the numbers. In reality, the paycheck-to-paycheck, every day worker is losing ground.
- Even a college graduate today is earning more than 3% less than they did five years ago.
So by every measurement, the average American family is already in a recession. Then we look at the engine that pulled the United States out of the 2001 recession and that was the housing market – the big housing bubble.
Now that bubble has burst. People borrowed against their homes with home equity loans and now they have to pay them back. By every indicator, you name it, housing construction in the United States and the real estate business is in a recession.
So, we’re going to see a long-term recession that’s just going to keep eating away, eating away at the American consumer. It’s just how they are saying today: “Is there a civil war in Iraq?” Well, you don’t need them to tell you. You talk to the average person, they are in recession. They are borrowing money just to pay off their debt.
MEANWHILE, WALL STREET KEEPS BLASTING THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE BECAUSE WALL STREET IS GOING UP. YET, THIS SEEMS TO BE AN UNDERSCORE OF THE HUGE DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE TINY MINORITY THAT USE WALL STREET AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT ARE LOOKED AT AS SORT OF HAMSTERS IN THE ECONOMIC CAGE. THAT IS, I THINK, A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF WHAT YOU CALL AS A 2007 TREND IN THE UNITED STATES AS THE ‘PLANTATION ECONOMY’?
That’s right. Just like the old antebellum south. That is the folks on the plantation who own it are doing fine. It’s never been better! But for the rest of the folks working on the plantation – it’s not like the old Walt Disney movies singing ‘Zippity do da’ as they go to work every day. We see the reality in the figures and the figures don’t lie.
And look at the gap between the CEO and the average worker. When I began my career in the late 1960s, the differential between the CEO and the average worker was about 25:1. Today, the ratio is over 400:1. All of the economic cream is going to the top and the rest of the folks are just working on the plantation. They are getting fed. They have their housing. But they have to work longer and harder than ever before.
By the way, that’s a fact. The average American worker is working longer and harder than ever before – 180 hours more than they were about twenty years ago. We are working nine full work weeks longer than the Europeans. And we are falling behind in every measurement – whether it’s education, health care. You name it, quality of life standards, the United States ranks about 14th in the world.
37th in health care
43rd, I believe, in infant mortality
27th in longevity.
So, things aren’t that good on the plantation.
Old School Is Cool
PEOPLE KNOW THAT THINGS ARE WRONG, THAT PRIORITIES ARE WRONG, THAT THEY ARE STRUGGLING TOO HARD, THAT THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO BE IN CONTROL NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, NO MATTER WHAT THE VOTE IS. IS THAT WHY ON YOUR TOP TRENDS IN 2007 THAT YOU’VE GOT ‘OLD SCHOOL IS COOL’?
Yeah, partially. There are a lot of people understanding that things aren’t so great today. You look at poll after poll – and this is not looking back with rose-colored glasses – they are saying the 1950s and 1960s was a much better time in America. And the facts bear that out. The United States – the equality levels were much greater, as far as economics go.
The wealth effect between the very rich and very poor is the widest in the U. S. of all the major nations, with the exception of Mexico and Russia. So, people are looking back to the Good Old Days.
We’re finding it also in music and movies and we’re seeing a lot of young people going back to find jazz greats that they are emulating and learning from. So, we think we are on a course of change here and that we’ve bottomed out at the worst and we’re starting to move toward the better.
YET, LOOKING BACK NEVER SOLVES THE CRISES OF THE PRESENT. THAT IS A QUESTION ON SO MANY PEOPLES’ MINDS TODAY: HOW DO WE CHANGE THE UNITED STATES? HOW DO WE PUT THE POST-9/11 GENIE BACK IN THE BOTTLE AND RETURN THE UNITED STATES BACK TO AN ENTREPENEURIAL, FREER SPIRIT IN WHICH IT IS NOT TURNING INTO SUCH A CLASS NATION? THAT LEADS TO ONE OF YOUR BIG TRENDS IN 2007 AND THAT IS THE QUESTION OF EMERGING INTERNET CANDIDATES.
That’s right. It all ties together. How can we do it? It’s very simple. Think for yourself. That’s our motto. When you turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, they are all telling us how to think. Or they are bringing experts on, ‘General, what do you think? Oh, Senator, what do you think?’
What do I care what he thinks? There is enough information out there for me to make up my own mind. What’s happened is that the internet has become the new Alexandria Library – that famous library that was built by Alexander, The Great around 300 B. C. that was burned down seven hundred years later. It’s said it held all the ancient wisdom of the world.
Now, the internet is holding that ancient wisdom again. Rather than the half a million books that the Alexandra Library held, today the internet has billions of books and trillions of pages. You can find the information and decide for yourself what is fact and what is fiction. We’re going to see, we believe, an internet candidate that is going to run outside the Two Party system.
By the way, the latest CNN/Gallup poll came out. Only 15% of the people have any high regard for Congress. That’s how low it is right now. People are looking for a new way and an internet candidate with an internet party, we believe is going to emerge in 2007, going into 2008. The difference with this campaign is: it’s not going to be about the personality. It’s going to be about the principals and facts and what the platform is. We think it is going to be the beginning of a third party movement in the United States.
HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO ANOTHER TOP TREND IN 2007 ON YOUR LIST THAT YOU CALL ‘TECHNOTRIBALISM’?
We call it ‘technotribalism’ because you already see it with places like MySpace.com and FaceBook and so on. Not only are people communicating around the world with each other and forming little cliques, but also a stream of consciousness, a belief system. We believe that the technotribalism is going to unite people in ways, via the computer, that we’ve never seen before. They are going to have a very strong voice in organizing and bringing people together to bring changes that they want: negative, positive, whatever the changes might be. They are going to be able to ally a lot of forces.
We have to put the whole internet into perspective. When I wrote Trends 2000 – it first came out in 1997 – words like ‘portal’ and ‘e commerce’ did not exist. When you go back into the end of the 20th Century, it was only like 17% of the people even had internet access! This trend is just being born. The internet – as long as it’s free and not controlled by governments and we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future – we’re going to see a peoples’ revolution that won’t be able to be stopped. We think technotribalism is the foundation of that.
DO YOU THINK THAT ONE OF THE ISSUES ON YOUR TOP TREND LIST IN 2007 WHICH YOU CALL ‘RE-UNITED STATES’ – PUTTING THIS COUNTRY BACK TOGETHER SO IT IS NOT SO 50/50 DIVIDED AS RED VERSUS BLUE. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU SEE GROWING OUT OF THE TECHNOTRIBALISM?
Absolutely! It’s definitely part of it. But it’s also the issue of people thinking for themselves. When you look at what happened in the mid-term elections and you analyze the results, it was a repudiation of not only the Republican party, but of the hypocrisy of the evangelicals, Christians that got caught with their pants down and crystal meth in their pockets! Also, with Congressman Foley – the hypocrisy and corruption.
But the public did not go to the Democrats because they think they are so great. People just went somewhere else. What we see in the ‘re-United States’ is that the people are not split between parties. The people are looking for direction. The split comes about because the two parties hardly look different to the American people in practice. So, the United States is very united and we think a populist kind of candidate – a uniter in the truest sense who represents the people rather than the special interests, you will see a country that will go in large percentage for one candidate – if that candidate speaks to the people rather than the special interests.
Isn’t it amazing that we have this huge enterprise – the largest enterprise in the world by 2.5 times any other GDP (Gross D Product) and it’s being run by politicians who are incompetent people because of their political position?!
Who in business would hire someone in politics to run their operation? They would insist on having somebody who is the most competent to do the job and the least political. We hire the most political and least competent to run the country. That’s the change we’re going to start seeing – competence over politics.
America The Beautiful
I THINK THE MOST SURPRISING TITLE ON YOUR LIST OF 2007 TRENDS WAS SEEING THE WORDS, ‘AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL’ IN LIGHT OF EVERYTHING ELSE WE’VE JUST DISCUSSED ABOUT THE DECLINE OF THIS COUNTRY. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY YOU ARE SEEING ‘AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL’ OUT OF ALL THIS CHAOS?
I travel around the world. People want to love America. Most people really don’t want to hate this country. They still look at it as what it used to be. It used to be a beacon of democracy before we began acting like China and barging into peoples’ homes, throwing them in jail, locking the door and throwing the key away! People want to look up to America. If America gives them a reason, they will love America. The anti-Americanism is only paper-thin and a lot of it has to do with the last six years. With the last election, as we monitor the world news, there is a very favorable flow moving that wants people around the world to look back to America for truth and justice and an American way of coming here and being able to excel and achieve your dreams. People from developing nations still look at America as the land of opportunity.
THE QUESTION IS: HOW DO WE GO FROM WHAT SEEMS TO BE DECLINING INERTIA IN THE UNITED STATES AND TURN IT AROUND INTO AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL, AGAINST FORCES SUCH AS CHINA AND OTHER COUNTRIES THAT WOULD LIKE TO DEFEAT US?
I don’t know if China would like to defeat us, or other countries. I think they want to be left alone and they don’t want to be told what to do, just like we would not like an occupying country to come in here and tell us what to do. Americans have to get over this thing that we can go around the world and police the world. The Iraq war shows that we can’t. We don’t have the numbers to do that.
The nation could change when the people change. We believe, as I mentioned earlier, that the internet is the Alexandria Library 2.0. They say that after the Alexander Library was burned down in 415 A.D., it was the onset of the Dark Ages because all of that ancient civilization wisdom and knowledge was lost.
We are gaining that knowledge and when the younger generation – their first language is Word. They are computer, they are attached to it. Kids do papers and look for the facts. They are bypassing the media. They are bypassing the textbooks. They are looking for the facts (on computers). When people have more facts at their hand, more information, they can decide what is fact and what is fiction. When people start learning more, when people start thinking for themselves, which is our only path to freedom. Freedom of the mind, freedom of the soul and freedom of the spirit.
When people start thinking for themselves that we believe will be the beginning of a Renaissance and we think we are at that early stage right now.
We think a new cycle is being born. This new millennium is more than just a calendar change. It’s the Global Age and in the Global Age, all things are connected. Americans are breaking out of the habit finally of thinking we are the center of the universe and that we are the only ones that know what’s good for everyone else.
We think the United States is going to start getting its house back in order and that the people are going to become more active. As a matter of fact, that’s going to be one of our next trends in the next Trends Journal that will be out in a couple of months. This is the Baby Boomer’s last chance. The leading edge of the Baby Boomers have become a parody of everything they hated when they were young. If you believe in existentialism, or whatever your religion, karma, whatever it might be – the whole idea is to leave this Earth on a high note. Whether it’s the Koran, the Bible, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad – there is no salvation for the hypocrite. The Baby Boomers are now hitting into their sixties and are looking at the hypocrisy of the lives they are living compared to the lives they said they were going to live.
We think that leading edge of the Baby Boomers, the first wave, are going to start changing course and demanding a change in society and they are going to become active again. There are a lot of intelligent people with high ideals and the finances to do it. The Renaissance happened because the wealthy contributed to the artists. They are the ones who made it happen – the wealthy. We think the wealthy Baby Boomers in their late years are now going to start putting their money where their mind was when they were younger and had the ideals for a better life.”
For further information about previous trend predictions, please see the Earthfiles Archives:
- 02/03/2006 — Trends 2006
- 12/31/2000 — Top Trends 2001
- 01/02/2000 — New Trends for 21st Century
- • 01/03/1999 — Trends in 1999 with Gerald Celente
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