Again via John Mauldin, George Friedman of Stratfor offers some of his predictions for the rest of this century, "The Next 100 Years". Below are a couple more excerpts.
Poland hasn't been a great power since the sixteenth century. But it once was—and, I think, will be again. Two factors make this possible. First will be the decline of Germany. Its economy is large and still growing, but it has lost the dynamism it has had for two centuries. In addition, its population is going to fall dramatically in the next fifty years, further undermining its economic power. Second, as the Russians press on the Poles from the east, the Germans won't have an appetite for a third war with Russia. The United States, however, will back Poland, providing it with massive economic and technical support. Wars—when your country isn't destroyed—stimulate economic growth, and Poland will become the leading power in a coalition of states facing the Russians.
This next excerpt seems a little less plausible:
Today, developed countries see the problem as keeping immigrants out. Later in the first half of the twenty-first century [after the population bust Friedman predicts, as birthrates drop in the developing world], the problem will be persuading them to come. Countries will go so far as to pay people to move there. This will include the United States, which will be competing for increasingly scarce immigrants and will be doing everything it can to induce Mexicans to come to the United States—an ironic but inevitable shift.
These changes will lead to the final crisis of the twenty-first century. Mexico currently is the fifteenth-largest economy in the world. As the Europeans slip out, the Mexicans, like the Turks, will rise in the rankings until by the late twenty-first century they will be one of the major economic powers in the world.
A population bust is certainly plausible, and so might competition for skilled immigrants at that point, but I am skeptical that the U.S. will be paying to import unskilled immigrants from Mexico by the end of the century. Also, the idea of Mexico developing as an economic power is at odds with the recent report by the U.S. Military's Joint Forces Command that Mexico (along with Pakistan) is in danger of becoming a failed state (see "Among top U.S. fears: A failed Mexican state" in the January 9th edition of the International Herald Tribune). It also doesn't take into account the negative effects of Mexico's declining oil production.
The photo of the U.S.-Mexico border above comes from the IHT article mentioned parenthetically in the preceding paragraph.