Due to recent cutbacks
and until further notice,
the light at the end of the tunnel
has been turned off.

-- Unknown

If you are over the age of 55, you may assume you won't be around in 2030. Keep reading. The odds favor you being here then … unless you are already over 70. Even so, you may want to know what your descendants will face.

If you are under 55, you might see threats ahead and describe 2030 in pessimistic ways due to your sense of certain troubling and deteriorating trends:

-Diseases maim and kill more multitudes every year, and you live in a cave to avoid contamination.

-You just got divorced … for the seventh time and you are paying alimony and child support for 47 people, despite being a woman.

-Like almost everyone else, you continually take anti-depression meds.

-Terrorists launch daily attacks in your neighborhood.

-You smoke cigarettes to filter out the even-dirtier air around you.

-Your nation has stopped paying pensions and providing subsidized healthcare.

-Your buying power slides by 10 percent annually due to increased competition from floating factories located where the north and south icecaps used to be.

-Gasoline sells for $105 a gallon, and you can’t remember the last time you could afford any.

-Interest rates have reached 27 percent and are climbing due to all governments being broke.

-Housing prices just dropped by 35 percent in the United States due to the government stopping income-tax deductions for interest and property tax payments.

Are such events possible? Here are some observations based on history and current trends:

-During the Black Death in Europe, every third person in some communities died during just a few years. Today, in some places a larger percentage of adults than that are infected with HIV or AIDS.

-For some of the people who do live longer, the number of divorces they experience will increase. That’s because when divorced people remarry, they are more likely to divorce.

-Experiencing depression is increasingly common. During difficult economic times, the trend accelerates.

-It’s easier than ever for terrorists to assemble explosive devices and detonate them from afar, enabling a few miscreants to launch extended reigns of murder and mayhem.

-Air pollution alerts occur more often around the world. With more vehicles and manufacturing, nonsmokers in some places are already being involuntarily exposed to the equivalent of what a chain smoker voluntarily intakes.

-Economists and demographers tell us that public-pension and health-care benefits are unaffordable for supporting the rapidly-expanding elder population.

-Jobs continually shift to lower-cost and lower-tax locales. What could be lower cost than locating where there is no country, so that zero taxes are paid? Desperate unemployed people may go to work anywhere, seeking just to gain shelter and food. Witness the low pay that most employees on cruise ships receive.

-Peak oil production may have been reached, and most nations will allow rapid price increases to ration the supply for just those who can pay the most.

-Before stopping benefits and payments, governments will increase their borrowings to the maximum … causing their interest rates to rise. If these “safest” borrowers are paying high interest rates, most others will also pay more.

-Governments lacking sufficient money to remain solvent will raise tax rates until taxpayers are crushed under the burden. Without income-tax deductions for homes, many people won't be able to pay the interest charges and taxes for their houses. Desperate selling will decrease prices as long as a higher percentage of income is paid in taxes.

Gloom-and-doom scenarios have long been with us, such as the predictions of mass starvation proclaimed during the last few centuries.

Where do some of these pessimistic scenarios go wrong? They usually don’t take into account the roles of learning, making improvements, and sharing of valuable information. Today, more than ever, such ways of overcoming harmful trends are likely to be effective in overcoming negative influences.

In this regard, let me share with you what one of my favorite futurists, Dean Alan Guinn of Rushmore University, observed:

“We live in what will be seen by future generations as the beginning of a golden age of learning, a time when it is easier than ever to assess opportunity, appreciate better ways of creating success, improve upon past patterns of success, cooperate more effectively with others, and successfully seize more large-scale opportunities.

“Cutting-edge methods will make learning faster, easier, and more valuable, enabling learners to seek and achieve higher goals. Social media, for instance, enable more effective forms of cooperation that few are, as yet, fully applying.

“Be sure to learn how to accomplish more. I’ve often joked that you can now learn about a subject one day, decide how to apply it the next day, and be into implementation the following morning.”

Will you let pessimism guide your into inaction … or will you build a better future after learning how to develop and apply new insights? The choice is yours. Others count on you making the right decision.

What are you waiting for?

Author's Bio: 

Donald W. Mitchell is a professor at Rushmore University who often teaches people who want to improve their business effectiveness in order to accomplish career breakthroughs through earning advanced degrees. For more information about ways to engage in fruitful lifelong learning at Rushmore University to increase your effectiveness, I invite you to visit