Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A new era dawns, unfortunately

My wife says this blog needs to be less of a downer. She says I delve into heavy topics too often, and should stay on the lighter side.

Personally, I feel I have about the right balance of the pollyannish and the apocalyptic, but please let me know if you think otherwise.

The problem is that, despite wanting fervently to believe that every day, in every way, we're all getting better and better, reality has a way of reaching out and pulling me back in, dammit.

For example, right now I am reading a column by Thomas Friedman, who I happen to think is about the most insightful and articulate observer/prognosticator on the scene today. That mostly means I usually agree with him.

Anyway, Tom says, "Welcome to the lean years."

He thinks that the "greatest generation," the folks who won WWII , and then created the most prosperous period in modern history, have been succeeded by us, the "grasshopper generation" that spent its time, "eating through the prosperity that was bequeathed to us."

Now, after 70 years in which leadership was mostly about "giving things away," we are in a new era when leadership will be about "taking things away" because they can no longer be afforded.

It's been an amazingly long party --- decades of increasing services, while putting much of it on the cuff. Now there will be a very unpleasant hangover.

At the end of the day, economics rules.

I promise you something funny tomorrow. Honest!

UPDATE: The theories of Strauss and Howe, to which commenter Francie refers, are explained here.

1 comment:

  1. You jogged something in my memory. This morning I remembered 'The Fourth Turning'. Probably don't need to tell you, but according to Straus and Howe we are in the 'Unravelling'- the time of econonic & social collapse. I forgot about that theory when things started to look up last year. Now I wonder. I do believe they said each turn lasts about 20 years. Yikes!!