The 2020s will be the time when China truly emerges as a great power directly competing with America for global supremacy. Because of this, alliances will start to take shape such that some countries, especially in Africa and maybe Latin America, decide their futures are with China.
Indeed, the single biggest story of the 2020s will be the rise of China and the countervailing responses of other countries.
The other big question aboard is the potential of a black swan event, such as the coronavirus pandemic was this year. And speaking of the virus, people who think life will get back to normal by the summer are sorely mistaken.I fear the economic repercussions of a government strategy of closing down and destroying businesses will be felt at least for the first half of the decade. People underestimate how easily governments can destroy economies and how hard it is to restart those economies.
Technological changes over the next decade will be monumental and transformative. From developments in oil and gas to getting potentially safer nuclear reactor systems, we could see a revolution in energy that would have massive economic implications.
We will see unprecedented advances in computers and artificial intelligence that will play a growing role in our health care system. Robotics and the right artificial intelligence can already learn more about a patient and perform surgery better than human doctors.
We should also expect to see a revolution in military technology, such as drones, which will dramatically affect how we plan for military contingencies.Some of these developments, bolstered by a surge in computational power, are going to enable relatively small countries like Iran and Venezuela to pose more of a threat than most people would have thought possible 20 or 30 years ago.
The gray world will also expand, and by gray world I mean all of the illegal criminal actions and behaviors that are the underside of the global economy — human trafficking, drugs, weapons and illegal finance.
In America, our educational system is in crisis and will reach a boiling point. Our system of enormously expensive colleges and universities is fundamentally flawed. The student loan program essentially indebts the future to the present.