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Somebody asked me -- or was I talking to myself again? -- isn't it time to come up with those famous predictions for the new year? Of course, whoever, or whatever, it must be about time; there are very few days left in 2018. Hooray! We've had about enough of this year. This, by the way, is being started before last week's paper was in the mail.

To get back on track, the idea of making predictions for the new year seems harder than past years when it was very easy to go into the annual trance and come up with some doozies (whatever that is). So ... I decided not to look into the crystal ball that no doubt would match the usual correct number of corrects. Figure that one out. Eighty percent correct is pretty good, don't you think? Whoops! Got that 80 percent turned backward -- 08 percent.

Just got word that the deadline for this week's paper is actually last Wednesday, the day after Christmas. So the above will do and it's probably best that any predictions can wait until the government opens up a bit.

My only comment is the up-and-down by extremes in the stock market are very little affected by the Federal Reserve which should have been raising interest rates at least a couple of years before it did. A quarter raise is nothing compared to the instability throughout the world and the uncertainty in our own government that is blasted from every direction, to say nothing of tweets and know-it-alls.

Interest rates for the past 11 years haven't even begun to keep up with inflation. I read an item in "Time Magazine" in early October that suggested parents train their kids to get jobs and put some of their earnings in savings accounts to help pay for college expenses. Fat chance. Every dollar saved in savings accounts, according to Time's idea, would be losing money for the saver. What a learning process for a college-bound kid... Do you remember decades ago when kids were encouraged to save dimes, quarters and an occasional dollar from Grandma? Twenty dollars saved during the past 10 years would be worth little more than half that now.

'Nuff for this week ... just had to get that off my chest. Big stockholders can weather storms, but the little guys too often are the losers. Let's see if getting the interest rates and the bond market adjusted will allow it to compete with the stock market.

High credit card interest rates haven't helped the situation either. Remember a few years ago when you wanted to borrow a bit from a bank to buy something you needed -- not wanted? It was handled in a very honest way. To heck with the 14 to 18 percent interest rates that can get a card owner in the ditch before he or she knows it.

Maybe next 'cuff will include a prediction or two. One may probably point out my economics are all wet, but I'll still live with that idea.

Dodie Evans is the former owner and longtime editor of the Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/02/2019

Print Headline: Predictions for '19?

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