I read Neil Howe years ago and his arguments have always stayed in the back of my mind. I never considered myself much of a gold bug or a fan of Ron Paul, but in my study of James Grant's the Money of the Mind I can see how these cycles of credit boom and bust have reoccurred since the nation began peeling away the discipline of the gold standard. The only difference between the S&L crises and today's is that it is exponentially larger. The only way it could have become that much larger is with further loosening of credit standards which requires an inflating of the monetary system. We are living out the consequences of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and Nixon's breaking of the last vestige of the gold standard. What that means in reality is something we'll have to live through, but S. America has provided us with plenty of examples of financial folly. Their examples are worth studying.
Simple Minded wrote:Ehud,
I think Prechter is a good observer of social trends/zeitgeist, but what is the cause, and what is the effect is always arguable. I also think the Neil Howe's description of a four generational cycle, and the collective personalities of each generation area also interesting. The other multi-generational theme that comes to mind is the concept of the jubilee, of which I have only sparse knowledge.
But being the Simple Minded person that I am, I think it is easily explained by the death of personal responsibility, and the prevalence of the entitlement mentality. Two side of the same coin really. Again which is cause and which is effect? IMO, it is occurring thru out the Western Hemisphere, is it just "spoiled bratness" for lack of a better term. What is harder for wealthy parents than to instill a work ethic in their children?
When a large percentage of the population has been trained to believe in "square circles" and "free lunches," sustainability of anything is in doubt. Bank balances, credit, etc are only symptoms of the larger delusion.
Diana West's book The Death of the Adult comes to mind.
I work for AREVA, positioning yourself next to a nuclear plant is a good idea. The rural areas will remain civilized much longer than the urban areas. Zeitgeist will determine the value of a Mercedes or a Rolex more than anything else.