Master class policy and budgetary forecasting

 I think there is a belief that the only way to do forecasting is with some econometric
models or mathematical models—I would say that is not the case. Admittedly you need
data to make some projections about the future (exactly whether we are addressing the
near-term or long-term future is not always clear). Anticipating, projecting, forecasting are
part of policy-making. If we anticipate (based on available data) a big surge in senior
citizens as an age cohort as a percentage of the overall population, then we need to
address issues of caring for them before that day arrives. If we can document population
trends moving to a certain area or state, that previously was not well populated, then
addressing population-related problems before they hit is simply good policy foresight.
Notice, that this type of thinking is not requiring an econometric model or a mathematical
model—but it does require being able to look at data and use it in ways that can help with
reasonable forecasting. This first assignment addresses readings that raise issues associated
with forecasting—an introduction to the issue.  
Based on these readings how do you look at forecasting.  
1)  should be double-spaced and a minimum of five pages  
2) I do want you to discuss specifics from the readings. Notice that you can begin to look
at different aspects of forecasting, such as using demographics.