The year that was 2016

happyMixed feelings dominate bidding good bye to the old year and ringing in the new. For the first time in my memory, I have seen negative sentiments towards the outgoing year and doubts about what the new year will bring in.

The year saw the loss of a lot of big names who meant something to most people. David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and of course Princess Leah. I don’t recollect a single year where we did not lose some celebrity or other. Reminds me or the story of a sorrowful disciple asking Buddha to get back her dead son, Buddha gave her a bowl and asked her to fetch water from any house that has not had a death. So let us take this in our stride and move on. On the brighter side, we will soon find out if a new talent or a great soul was born in 2016.

The big news however is the impending climax of events started with the attack on the World Trade Centre followed by claims of Yellow cake leading to invasion of Iraq, subsequent chain of events that led to most of the carnage and exodus of refugees to Europe with death on the high seas. The churning of the society in Europe as a result and the raise of the Right wing. Ironically the incoming president in the USA points to intelligence failure (Yellow cake) to refuse to believe both CIA and FBI about Russian hacking claims. We need to watch the space to see if it opens a new chapter of despair or closes this cycle of events.

Only time will tell if we are going into another cycle of boom and bust. After languishing for a decade, the American economy has posted recovery as per latest statistics. The policies of the incoming leader is counter to the direction Canada and other countries are on with regard to Energy, trade and Environment. As we ring in the new year, these opposing forces will clash and while it can be assured that the top 1% will not suffer, it holds a mixed bag for the world middle class and the young college graduates looking for a job.

What will happen if Apple, GM and other majors are forced to make in USA and a 35% tax imposed if they do not? Will they start manufacturing abroad and export to USA with 35% tax and still make profit? or will they pay higher wages and manufacture in USA and sell at a higher price? What does this do to the Walmart model? All interesting questions and potential case studies in future business and economics classes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked how he felt about the current situation and he said that if you look at the earth from far away in space, you realize how insignificant we are in the scale of things. The fact is that our actions impact the environment, we may become extinct but Earth will continue to exist in one form or other. So I am not going to worry about Earth but for the sake of humanity, in the new year, regardless of what any one does, I will continue to be hopeful and make environmentally responsible consumption choices.

Who knows, 2017 may be surprisingly full of happiness and greatness!! Happy new year!

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