Predictions for 2021
Well, it’s that time of year when foolhardy folks make predictions for the rapidly approaching 2021, so here goes.
1. For four years, Republicans have been as quiet as dead mice about Trump’s increasing the national debt by almost $7 trillion with his huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. In 2021, GOPs will start howling non-stop that those deficits are President-elect Joe Biden’s fault.
2. While Trump’s corporate tax cut from 35 percent down to 20 percent is permanent, the small tax cuts for individuals will start shrinking in 2021 (Why, yes, just after the 2020 presidential election) and expire in 2025. When Trump’s true believers see their taxes go up as a result, they will furiously blame the “tax increase” on President-elect Joe Biden.
3. As of this writing, the USA is listed as having almost 15 million COVID-19 cases, far more than any other nation. With our huge base of infected people, health experts expect COVID-19 to still be very bad in early 2021 before vaccination becomes widely available. (Perhaps some of our more reality-challenged citizens will finally catch on that masks and social distancing reduce deaths, but I’m not counting on it).
4. In 2021, Trump’s true believers will blame the still-high death toll on President-elect Joe Biden.
5. When global average temperature numbers are compiled in 2021, 2020 will prove to be the hottest year since records have been kept.
6. It will be hotter still in 2021.
7. Although total world investment in energy was down 20 percent in 2020, Forbes Magazine states that the last five years’ return on “green energy” was 200.3 percent compared to a return of 97.2 percent on fossil fuels. In 2021, there will be more investment in green energy than in fossil fuels.
8. In 2021, it will become more apparent whether 2019 was indeed the peak year for oil demand, which has dipped sharply this year and is unlikely to quickly recover. The people concerned about this possibility are not Neti-pot snorting tree-huggers but petroleum executives.
9. In 2021, New Mexico’s fundamental political/economic battle will become more overt: Who will cling to the sinking ship of fossil fuel and who will work to speed up the transition to New Mexico’s abundant solar and wind energy resource? Petroleum junkies will ignore battery technology and keep talking about how the sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow 24/7.
10. Prince Harry and Megan Markle will not move to New Mexico even if she gets a part in a Netflix production.
Laura F. Sanchez
Thank you, Ralph Mims
Ralph Mims, the economic development manager for the village of Los Lunas, retired at the end of December.
Over several years, Mr. Mims has worked diligently and with much success in enticing a variety of businesses to move to Los Lunas. He has had a direct hand in negotiations to draw Facebook to the village, as well as coaxing manufacturing firms and various retail establishments to set up shop or open outlets in Los Lunas.
While politicians appear in the photo ops and are interviewed by the news media, insuring they receive credit for the successes, it is employees like Mr. Mims and other local government employees in municipal governments and the county government who get the actual work done.
Without people like Mr. Mims and Los Lunas Public Works Director Michael Jaramillo (another highly-effective employee of the village), the mundane tasks of local government would be more difficult to accomplish.
This is just an observation that while there are always problems, including dealing with a pandemic, taxpayers are fortunate that many public employees toil away, frequently without much thanks or recognition and often for less pay than what they may deserve.
So, here’s a toast to our public employees, and especially to Mr. Mims as he departs, and a thanks for all that he has been able to accomplish for the village of Los Lunas.