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History Suggests That Entitlement Era Is Winding Down
Townhall.com ^ | January 14, 2013 | Michael Barone

Posted on 01/14/2013 3:25:07 AM PST by Kaslin

It's often good fun and sometimes revealing to divide American history into distinct periods of uniform length. In working on my forthcoming book on American migrations, internal and immigrant, it occurred to me that you could do this using the American-sounding interval of 76 years, just a few years more than the Biblical lifespan of three score and 10.

It was 76 years from Washington's First Inaugural in 1789 to Lincoln's Second Inaugural in 1865. It was 76 years from the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865 to the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Going backward, it was 76 years from the First Inaugural in 1789 to the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which settled one of the British-French colonial wars. And going 76 years back from Utrecht takes you to 1637, when the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay colonies were just getting organized.

As for our times, we are now 71 years away from Pearl Harbor. The current 76-year interval ends in December 2017.

Each of these 76-year periods can be depicted as a distinct unit. In the colonial years up to 1713, very small numbers of colonists established separate cultures that have persisted to our times.

The story is brilliantly told in David Hackett Fischer's "Albion's Seed." For a more downbeat version, read the recent "The Barbarous Years" by the nonagenarian Bernard Bailyn.

From 1713 to 1789, the colonies were peopled by much larger numbers of motley and often involuntary settlers -- slaves, indentured servants, the unruly Scots-Irish on the Appalachian frontier.

For how this society became dissatisfied with the colonial status quo, read Bailyn's "Ideological Origins of the American Revolution."

From 1789 to 1865, Americans sought their manifest destiny by expanding across the continent. They made great technological advances but were faced with the irreconcilable issue of slavery in the territories.

For dueling accounts of the period, read the pro-Andrew Jackson Democrat Sean Wilentz's "The Rise of American Democracy" and the pro-Henry Clay Whig Daniel Walker Howe's "What Hath God Wrought." Both are sparklingly written and full of offbeat insights and brilliant apercus.

The 1865-1941 period saw a vast efflorescence of market capitalism, European immigration and rising standards of living. For descriptions of how economic change reshaped the nation and its government, read Morton Keller's "Affairs of State and Regulating a New Society."

The 70-plus years since 1941 have seen a vast increase in the welfare safety net and governance by cooperation between big units -- big government, big business, big labor -- that began in the New Deal and gained steam in and after World War II. I immodestly offer my own "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan."

The original arrangements in each 76-year period became unworkable and unraveled toward its end. Eighteenth-century Americans rejected the colonial status quo and launched a revolution and established a constitutional republic.

Nineteenth-century Americans went to war over expansion of slavery. Early 20th-century Americans grappled with the collapse of the private sector economy in the Depression of the 1930s.

We are seeing something like this again today. The welfare state arrangements that once seemed solid are on the path to unsustainability.

Entitlement programs -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- are threatening to gobble up the whole government and much of the private sector, as well.

Lifetime employment by one big company represented by one big union is a thing of the past. People who counted on corporate or public sector pensions are seeing them default.

Looking back, we are as far away in time today from victory in World War II in 1945 as Americans were at the time of the Dred Scott decision from the First Inaugural.

We are as far away in time today from passage of the Social Security in 1935 as Americans then were from the launching of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Nevertheless our current president and most politicians of his party seem determined to continue the current welfare state arrangements -- historian Walter Russell Mead calls this the blue state model -- into the indefinite future.

Some leaders of the other party are advancing ideas for adapting a system that worked reasonably well in an industrial age dominated by seemingly eternal big units into something that can prove workable in an information age experiencing continual change and upheaval wrought by innovations in the market economy.

The current 76-year period is nearing its end. What will come next?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: entitlementattitude; entitlementprograms; medicaid; medicare; socialsecurity; welfare
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1 posted on 01/14/2013 3:25:12 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Ironic that LBJ’s attempt to end poverty may end up being the reason for a coming level of poverty never before seen in this country.


2 posted on 01/14/2013 3:31:06 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Kaslin

These guys thought that sometime around 2000, the US might face some enormous crisis -- I don't know, maybe some big terrorist attack in a major US city -- and that this traumatic event would usher in a generation of heroes who would transform this country and achieve miraculous things.

But sometimes things don't go as one might hope.

3 posted on 01/14/2013 3:34:08 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: Kaslin
"The Barbarous Years" by the nonagenarian Bernard Bailyn.

Nonagenarian. The man is 90 years old, quit calling him names.

4 posted on 01/14/2013 3:41:28 AM PST by Graybeard58 ("Civil rights” leader and MSNB-Hee Haw host Al Sharpton - Larry Elder)
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To: Kaslin
The current 76-year period is nearing its end. What will come next?

Secession II

5 posted on 01/14/2013 3:46:10 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Kaslin

We’ve already run out of other people’s money. Now they are simply printing up new money. Next, we’ll have a monetary collapse. I’m not really seeing an upside here.


6 posted on 01/14/2013 3:46:41 AM PST by Hoodat ("As for God, His way is perfect" - Psalm 18:30)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The heroes are arising,but they are either generally met by disdain or worse by the powers that be.Look at what they did to Sarah Palin, Allen West Herman Cain, or the tea Party in general.


7 posted on 01/14/2013 4:13:47 AM PST by jmcenanly ("The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Tacitus, Publius Cornelius)
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To: Kaslin
The current 76-year period is nearing its end. What will come next?

Sulla.

Demos has had its chance.

8 posted on 01/14/2013 4:17:38 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: Hoodat
"Next, we’ll have a monetary collapse. I’m not really seeing an upside here."

And this is the only thinig which will "wind down" the entitlement state. Until then the government will continue to spend more and more of the imaginary capital it creates by sheer fiat.

9 posted on 01/14/2013 4:30:10 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Kaslin
In the colonial years up to 1713, very small numbers of colonists established separate cultures that have persisted to our times.

That's because they came from separate cultures in different parts of England, as described more fully in the later-referenced Albion's Seed.

10 posted on 01/14/2013 4:33:51 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: jmcenanly
"The heroes are arising,but they are either generally met by disdain or worse..."

I believe many elected Republicans are worse than RINO's - they are actually Democrats a la Bloomberg. We've been duped.

11 posted on 01/14/2013 4:35:02 AM PST by NoExpectations
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To: jmcenanly

Perhaps...but those good folks and others like them are still around. The time will come. I am willing, and I aim to be part of it. Sometimes you can’t fix stupid...until stupid has run out of all other options.

For me, I will also be plugging in to the Heritage Foundation. My hope is that Jim DeMint and others like him can develop effective strategy for taking on the Left. Currently, we play whack a mole with these people..many on the “R” side. That has to change.


12 posted on 01/14/2013 4:36:37 AM PST by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: circlecity

I don’t understand the reasoning here. The entitlement state will wind down after monetary collapse? Why? Wasn’t the Cloward-Piven strategy to do just that in order to expand the Welfare State? Won’t capitalism be blamed, as always? Didn’t Germany go Nazi and Russia remain in bondage after hyperinflation and the idiotic deliberate attempt to destroy currency, respectively?

Why should I expect less government following collapse? What, there has to be an economy to feed on for there to be Leviathan? We have no concept of how much there is for the state to eat. There were governments in the previous century which literally murdered the productive classes and slithered on for decades.


13 posted on 01/14/2013 4:51:03 AM PST by Tublecane
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To: Tublecane

“I don’t understand the reasoning here. The entitlement state will wind down after monetary collapse? Why? Wasn’t the Cloward-Piven strategy to do just that in order to expand the Welfare State?”

“Why should I expect less government following collapse?”

Maybe terminology is the issue. As you stated, history has shown that once their strategy succeeds, the welfare state will consume its own, until just enough useful idiots are left to provide for not government, but a dictator.


14 posted on 01/14/2013 5:20:56 AM PST by Carthego delenda est
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To: Tublecane

Well. That’s a buzzkill.

I do agree with your reasoning. As long as they have a collaborating mainstream propaganda machine, the zombies will continue to vote these career politicians into power.


15 posted on 01/14/2013 5:21:44 AM PST by Toadman (To anger a Conservative, tell a lie. To anger a liberal, tell the truth.)
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To: Carthego delenda est

The Cloward-Piven strategy is not full proof. It is a gamble for the communists who believe once the system completely breaks down a communist regime will “naturally” follow. That might not happen....


16 posted on 01/14/2013 5:27:58 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Tublecane

It will collaspe, expect it.


17 posted on 01/14/2013 5:32:49 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Tublecane

Communism tried that, and lasted all of a year. South Africa, btw, something like 90+ percent of all the productive land and interest-bearing economy is still possessed by white people.

It simply, cannot, be done.


18 posted on 01/14/2013 6:08:23 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: ClearCase_guy; Kaslin

Beat me to it.

Secula, a period of about 80 years amounting to a long lifetime within which there is a High, an Awakening, an Unraveling and then a Crisis. Usually the Crisis is preceded by an Economic Crisis. Each of the four turnings last about 20 years and come in the order listed. There are usually only distinct boundaries at the culmination of the Crisis stage when war is declared and ended.

And so it has been through the history of this nation and its forebear’s since the 1400’s.

Wars go on through the Secula but not all wars are Crisis. WWI was not a crisis to the U.S. it had gone on a long time before we gave it our 20 months, Korea, Vietnam etc. were punctuation marks in the Awakening and ushered the Unraveling.

There are generational changes corresponding to the Turnings. Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist. Artists are being born now. Boomers are Prophets. Each generation has consistent characteristics that are linked to those who raised them and the time they were raised of course.

Because the Secula is equal to a long life most of us will live to see all four parts of the cycle but from different perspectives of course.

You need not buy into all this book has to say but it is very thought provoking. For an intro the authors maintain a web site.

Nothing happens by chance. There is a pattern.


19 posted on 01/14/2013 6:18:11 AM PST by Sequoyah101
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To: ClearCase_guy
But sometimes things don't go as one might hope.

I was going to point out here that some Freeper had pointed me to "The Fourth Turning" in response to my own little "70 year itch" theory that every 70 years (give or take) something big happens that changes the direction. Perhaps it was you. Anyway, I read it. Interesting stuff, they say 80 years. If you look at their website forums though you'll find that most of the posters there are dreaming of the day a communist dictator finally rises and sets this country on the right footing, so they are probably quite pleased with the way things are going.

20 posted on 01/14/2013 6:23:23 AM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: Tublecane

Wasn’t the Cloward-Piven strategy to do just that in order to expand the Welfare State?

***
It is my understanding that the Cloward-Piven paradigm is to be employed as a strategy in which the welfare state is expanded to unsustainable limits with the goal of collapsing our economic system. Their ultimate goal is to sweep away our entire system of free enterprise and our political structure and replace it all with their Marxist utopia.


21 posted on 01/14/2013 6:29:19 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: Tublecane

Wasn’t the Cloward-Piven strategy to do just that in order to expand the Welfare State?

***
It is my understanding that the Cloward-Piven paradigm is to be employed as a strategy in which the welfare state is expanded to unsustainable limits with the goal of collapsing our economic system. Their ultimate goal is to sweep away our entire system of free enterprise and our political structure and replace it all with their Marxist utopia.


22 posted on 01/14/2013 6:30:06 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: Jim Noble; Avoiding_Sulla

Despite his flaws, Sulla gave the corrupt Republic an opportunity to redeem itself from the democratic excesses of the Gracchi and Marius.

Romans preferred the Imperial route.


23 posted on 01/14/2013 6:36:03 AM PST by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
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To: Kaslin

Sorry if I pay into something then I want what I paid for. If the government does not want to pay me my social security then they can refund all of the money I paid into the program right now. Anything else is theft...


24 posted on 01/14/2013 6:58:04 AM PST by ColdSteelTalon (Light is fading to shadow, and casting its shroud over all we have known...)
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To: Bigg Red
I think that is an accurate description of the "plan". Going back quite a long ways, the Socialists have embraced the concept (perhaps originally voiced by Bakhunin) that "The destructive urge is also a creative urge."

You create a beautiful building? I blow it up and create a pile of rubble -- we are both creators, aren't we?

I believe that a lot of the Cloward-Piven folks are focused entirely on destruction, and pretty much act on faith that when the dust settles, some sort of communist utopia will be quickly and easily put together. They aren't working on the plan to implement that vision -- they just assume it will all work out. They key thing is to destroy that church, the family, and the free enterprise system: these things are impediments -- once they are removed, the communist utopia will "naturally" follow.

25 posted on 01/14/2013 7:01:07 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: Kaslin

Almost every other national need has been set aside to provide more money for Obama’s wealth redistribution.

He had $900 billion dollars in stimulus money that was supposed to be spent on “shovel ready” infrasturucture improvements. Instead it has just disappeared down Obama’s wealth redistribution toilet.

When money is spent on infrastructure the nation benefits znd has somethng useful to show for the expenditure. When money is spent on Obama-Phones, freebies for illegals and other moocher handouts it disappears immediately and the next day there is nothing to show for it except the same moochers crying “More! More!”

The moochers and their political overlords in Washington will not let entitlement programs die. They will destroy the country first - and that is exactly what they are doing.

The only way to get Obama’s Free Stuff Army off the dole will be to pry the EBT card fromm the moochers’ dead hands after Obama finishes his quest to drive the country into a total apocalyptic collapse.


26 posted on 01/14/2013 7:03:30 AM PST by Iron Munro (I Miss America, don't you?)
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To: Tublecane
"I don’t understand the reasoning here. The entitlement state will wind down after monetary collapse? Why?"

Because it will be impossible then. Nobody will be willing to provide the "entitled" with goods or services in return for worthless government script.

27 posted on 01/14/2013 7:19:32 AM PST by circlecity
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To: ColdSteelTalon

SS was/is nothing more than a tax disguised as a retirement benefit.

If it were truly a retirement benefit only, then the payments would stop once a beneficiary got back what they had paid in plus some interest.

After that point is passed, it’s welfare, pure and simple. And it really should be called such.


28 posted on 01/14/2013 7:29:25 AM PST by randita
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To: Iron Munro
When money is spent on infrastructure the nation benefits and has something useful to show for the expenditure.

Perhaps this is just a quibble, but I believe the statement above is too simplistic.

If there is a bridge in my town, and a civil engineer studies it and says "This thing is going to fall down sometime in the next 10 years", then some politician may go seeking $10M to fix the bridge. The end result would be that we spend $10M, we improve the infrastructure, and the nation goes on as before with no appreciable benefit of any kind.

I recognize the value in avoiding a bridge collapse, but building new highways, new canals, developing a transcontinental railroad -- there are infrastructure feats which quite definitely benefit the nation. But in the modern world, the federal government spends billions of dollars to patch existing infrastructure and the benefit to the nation is quite negligible.

Now -- if politicians argued in favor of this, saying "potholes are bad" or "we don't want that bridge to collapse" then I think this at least would be honest. But Obama definitely doesn't do this. Obama explicitly says that we will grow the economy and create millions of jobs by fixing potholes on Route 84. I'm sorry: economic growth does not occur that way.

29 posted on 01/14/2013 7:31:30 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

Yes we paid it but while we were not paying proper attention our govt stole it. Now, if we are going to receive it, the govt will have to steal it from our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.


30 posted on 01/14/2013 7:37:48 AM PST by fatrat (extremely extreme right-wing radicalized veteran)
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To: headsonpikes

I am pro-Sulla.

VERY pro, now. And it’s not just Obama. Congress is worse.


31 posted on 01/14/2013 7:56:06 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

“Sorry if I pay into something then I want what I paid for. If the government does not want to pay me my social security then they can refund all of the money I paid into the program right now. Anything else is theft...”

You are quite right in your comment. Unfortunately, my guess is that most of us on SSA have gotten (or will get) more back than we contributed (that’s why Obamacare is set up to hasten us all to our graves). We can thank the RATS and RINOs for having spent our money buying votes instead of investing it to grow our retirement nest eggs. SSA was a bad model. But it was made totally unsustainable by the Congress!


32 posted on 01/14/2013 8:39:56 AM PST by vette6387
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To: ColdSteelTalon
ColdSteelTalon said: "... then they can refund all of the money I paid into the program right now. "

No problem. Do you have change for a million-dollar bill?

33 posted on 01/14/2013 9:47:07 AM PST by William Tell
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To: ClearCase_guy

...key thing is to destroy that church, the family, and the free enterprise system: these things are impediments — once they are removed, the communist utopia will “naturally” follow.

&&&
I think you have described their plan quite accurately. And they have been quite successful with much of the destruction phase. It still boggles the mind to see the enormous social changes that have occurred in my 65+ years on this earth.


34 posted on 01/14/2013 10:55:33 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: Kaslin

Riiiiiiiight....just like the “Era of Big Government is Over.”


35 posted on 01/14/2013 10:57:20 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: JCBreckenridge

Communism tried what? Russians gave up a war in the midst of being invaded, very nearly did destroy their currency, dispossessed property owners of all kinds, and like I said literally murdered entire classes of people based on the fact that they owned, maybe, a single cow. They lasted 70+ years!


36 posted on 01/14/2013 4:18:45 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: Bigg Red

I think there goal was simpler and modester. They wanted a guaranteed minimum income. Which we might kinda sorta unofficially already have, for some at least, but you have to jump through hoops and maybe commit fraud. Their dream was, say, $20,000 a year, no questions asked. You don’t feel lille working, go tell em you wanna get yours. Here’s your money, sir, no questions asked.

Certainly they would’ve pushed for more once they got it, but that was the stated goal of the Overwhelm the System strategy.


37 posted on 01/14/2013 4:24:29 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: ColdSteelTalon

You didn’t pay anything into any system. There is no system. There’s just taxes and expenditures. It was already theft, if it is theft, but no moreso than any other tax you paid. Except maybe for the legitimate functions of the state, if there are any.


38 posted on 01/14/2013 4:27:38 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: circlecity

Nobody will be willing? That’s what guns and jails are for. Tell me, did Germany emerge from its monetary disaster—worse than what we should expect, probably—with smaller or bigger government?


39 posted on 01/14/2013 4:29:51 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: ClearCase_guy
A whole new generation has appeared on the scene since they wrote those books. The "Millennial Generation" stopped being born in 2005.

Today's babies are the "Homeland Generation" who are supposed to be like the Silent Generation of the 1950s or the "Compromise generation" that fumbled the slavery issue.

We may not actually see the Millennials step up and do the right thing. They are the ones moving back home because of the bad economy.

Of course a lot of the "GI Generation" had to struggle with the Depression before really coming into their own, but maybe, as Strauss and Howe said of the Progressive Era cycle, a hero generation just won't emerge.

It was a fun theory in its day, but I wonder if the history that's happened since the books were written hasn't started to unravel the theory.

40 posted on 01/14/2013 4:40:58 PM PST by x
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To: Tublecane

War Communism lasted all of a year. They tried 100 percent confiscation and redistribution by the state. After that - the black market took over.

It’s simply not possible to overcome human nature.


41 posted on 01/14/2013 4:42:19 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: x

Ahh, it’s good to see the boomers writing us off already. :)


42 posted on 01/14/2013 4:45:07 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: JCBreckenridge
Who are you calling a boomer?

Strauss and Howe (who were boomers: sadly, Strauss died at 60 in 2007) weren't really being empirical when they came up with their theories about Millennial. According to their scheme a hero generation would emerge, so they assumed that the Millennials (or Generation Y) would be it.

But I guess the question is whether the millenials really are all that different from Gen X. Girls reminds me way too much of the slackers of 20 years ago. Whatever gains were made by stepping up after 911 may have been lost by this lousy economy.

But I don't know if the early millenials who came of age ten years or so ago and young people coming out of school now are similar or are going to turn out the same.

43 posted on 01/14/2013 5:03:03 PM PST by x
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To: Tublecane
"Tell me, did Germany emerge from its monetary disaster—worse than what we should expect, probably—with smaller or bigger government?"

I think that "probably" is a big assumption. The size, complexity and global nature of the current mess is uncharted territory - how long can it continue on sheer inertia alone until the inescapable laws of math and economic gravity causes a crash the likes of which the world has ever seen? Or could that even happen? I don't think anybody really knows the answer to this and, on the sheer size of the numbers alone, the stakes are frighteningly high.

44 posted on 01/14/2013 5:54:30 PM PST by circlecity
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To: JCBreckenridge

Are we talking about overcoming human nature? Maybe you can’t turn everyone into 1984 automatons. But you can perpetuate and grow the Welfare State despite economic meltdown.

So the Bolsheviks stutter-stepped out if the gate, and even Lenin realized they needed free market reform. Relative reform, that is. But is that what this thread is about? They never got to 100% textbook Marxism, therefore the entitlement programs here must soon fail? Huh?

Something—the Whites, the laws of economics, the indomitable human spirit, whatever—prevented them from achieving total communism. But whatever it is they switched to, be it Stalinist gangsterism or making suckers out of the West by getting them to subsidize their failures, lasted 70+ years. And it was far, far worse than what we have now.

My point was even with collapse the Welfare State can grow bigger than we can imagine. The Soviets buttress rather than contradict that argument.


45 posted on 01/14/2013 6:06:15 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: circlecity

Okay, set aside the “probably” argument. Weimar Germany’s hyperinflation is the worst monetary disaster of modern times I think everyone agrees. It also heavily contributed with the global economic meltdown which spawned the Great Depression, which was possibly the biggest economic disaster in human history. I absolutely agree with you that things could get worse, but it remains that the future is only a possibility and Germany in the 20s and 30s was real.

Point is, they emerged with bigger government.


46 posted on 01/14/2013 6:11:04 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: circlecity

Okay, set aside the “probably” argument. Weimar Germany’s hyperinflation is the worst monetary disaster of modern times I think everyone agrees. It also heavily contributed to the global economic meltdown which spawned the Great Depression, which was possibly the biggest economic disaster in human history. I absolutely agree with you that things could get worse, but it remains that the future is only a possibility and Germany in the 20s and 30s was real.

Point is, they emerged with bigger government.


47 posted on 01/14/2013 6:11:18 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: Tublecane

Despite Hitler’s rearmament programs, and the bob-bons occasionally dropped into their hands, the German people were pretty downbeat when Hitler started his war in 1939. That’s because too many of them were still lived on boiled potatoes. Dictatorships like Hitler’s Germany and Castro’s Cuba stay poor.


48 posted on 01/14/2013 6:35:14 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Tublecane
"but it remains that the future is only a possibility and Germany in the 20s and 30s was real."

Oh, the future is an absolute certainty. The only question is what's it going to look like. ;-)

49 posted on 01/14/2013 6:53:24 PM PST by circlecity
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To: Tublecane

“They never got to 100% textbook Marxism, therefore the entitlement programs here must soon fail? Huh?”

The point being that 100 percent marxism is not just in theory impossible to acheive, but in reality, impossible to acheive. That is the point. No matter what the state does - there will still exist a black market. The state can greatly hinder the operation of capitalism, but it cannot be destroyed. Far from it.

“And it was far, far worse than what we have now.”

True, it can get worse. But capitalism will never die, no matter what the state throws at it.

“even with collapse the Welfare State can grow bigger than we can imagine. The Soviets buttress rather than contradict that argument.”

Several problems with this. One, the Soviet Union fed off the West and the Communist block - transporting wealth from the people of eastern europe to feed the Communist state. Two, generous donations from the west also fed the communist state. No such alternative exists for America. This is what the Russians get that America does not. Once the welfare state collapses here, that’s it. It’s not coming back - the iron laws of the marketplace dictate that not only is the welfare state going to collapse - the state is going to shrink in response. How long will it take? That’s a good question. Demographics DOOM the welfare state - there are simply not enough young people to get the whole show going. America has been greatly sustained through immigration - but that is going to dry up soon as well. That leaves one outlet - conquest of large areas of north america (which isn’t going to happen, because again, no young people), and two, eventual collapse. Collapse is coming, but it will take 20 years to get here.


50 posted on 01/14/2013 10:04:26 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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