Friday, July 15, 2011

It Has All Been Foreseen

Could the current debt ceiling standoff herald a key turning point in American history? Check out this scenario laid out in 1997 by Generations authors William Strauss and Neil Howe:

An impasse over the federal budget reaches a stalemate. The president and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The president declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The president threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics.

—Strauss and Howe,  The Fourth Turning
p. 273
Strauss and Howe argue that American history repeats itself on a four-generation cycle, and since the early 1990s they’ve been warning us to expect an historic turning point right around now. They predict a cataclysm on the scale of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression / World War II. They call it the “Fourth Turning.” Depending on who wins the conflict, this crisis and its aftermath will define the course of American history for the next four generations.

Thanks go to Cthulhu, Destroyer of Worlds for staying on top of this.

1 comment:

Lord John Whorfin said...

I remember reading that, too.

But I figured when the Red Sox came back to beat the Yankees in 2004 and win the Series, that was likely what Strauss and Howe were talking about with the Fourth Turning.

But perhaps Cthulhu has a point -- those details were pretty specific.

If they had written "Dogs and cats living together," I would be even more impressed.

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