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Generations & the 4th Turning

Date: 09-30-08
Host: George Noory
Guests: Neil Howe, David Blume, Captain Kelly Sweeney

Historian and speaker Neil Howe discussed his work on generations and how they shape history, as well as the twenty year cycle of crisis facing the U.S. He cited different archetypal generations that tend to repeat in the same order, shaping American history since the 17th century. Currently we have: 'G.I.s' (born from 1901 to 1924),'Silent' (born from 1925 to 1942),'Boomers' (1943 to 1960),'Gen X-ers' (1961 to 1981), andMillennials (1982 and beyond).Each of these generations embodies different characteristics that are a product of their time, and what preceded them, he explained.

Each group turns a corner on the generation before them, and Howe has categorized four repeated cycles or "turnings," that each last for around twenty years. We are in the midst of the 4th Turning, a time of enormous public risk and upheaval, said Howe. Among the predictions he and co-author, the late William Strauss made back in 1997 about the 4th Turning:

  • fiscal crisis
  • tax rebellion
  • global terrorism leading to the curtailing of civil liberties
  • a national strike
  • Wall St. panic
  • a new communicable disease with mandatory quarantines
  • anarchy in Russia, and the rebirth of the Czarist empire.

In the 4th Turning, the Millennials will come to the forefront with their civil service, community building, and group orientation, he noted. To some extent, we've already seen this with the US military, he added.

Iranian Ship Incident

First half-hour guest, Capt. Kelly Sweeney discussed the recent case of Somali pirates boarding an Iranian ship and becoming sick. This has lead to suspicions that the ship may contain materials used for chemical or biological weapons. More here.

Gas Shortages

Appearing in the latter half of the first hour, of the first hour, alternative fuel consultant David Blume commented on recent gas shortages in the Southeast. While the problem has been blamed on weather-related disruptions, he suggested the oil companies could be experimenting with what people will put up with, and what they can get away with.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Tuesday September 30, 2008

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