The Storm Before The Calm by George Friedman

The Big Idea: Tumultuous times in the 2020’s will clear the way for calmer times beginning in the 2030s.

The kind of mutual rage and division we see in America today is trivial compared with other times in U.S. history.

The American president has little power compared with European prime ministers.

At the moment, a series of deep structural changes are taking place in the United States.

The economic system is undergoing a fundamental shift driven partly by an excess of money and limited opportunity for investment.

Results in a massive decline in productivity growth.

The glue that was holding American society together has weakened and will continue to decline throughout the 2020s.

This is not the first time this has happened.

There are two major cycles in American history.

One is the “institutional cycle,” which has transpired approximately every eighty years.

The second major cycle is the “socioeconomic,” which has occurred approximately every fifty years.

The 2020s will be one of the more difficult periods in American history.

Each of these American socioeconomic cycles ended in a period of confidence and prosperity.

I am predicting an intensely difficult period of time between now and when the next phase of American history begins in the early 2030s — and the period of confidence and prosperity that will follow it.

The white industrial class believed that both the technocracy and the federal government had turned against them, their economic problems, and their cultural values and ideology.

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. This made no sense to the rest of the party or to the technocracy, both of whom believed that America not only had retained its greatness but was enhancing it.

Trump does not represent the transition to the new era. He is instead the first tremor who appeared decisive to his supporters and frightening to his opponents.

The most important fact to bear in mind is that the United States was an invented nation; it didn’t evolve naturally from a finite group of people over thousands of years in one indigenous region, as did, for example, China or Russia.

The regime, the people, and the land combine to give the nation agility most other nations lack.

America actually refuels itself from the crises, re-forming itself with a remarkable agility.

In the fourth institutional cycle as I see it the technocratic approach will be dramatically modified to permit the intent of government to be rationally administered by each level, similar to a military commander’s intent.

Universities will have to cut extravagant costs.

The core problem of the next sociopolitical cycle will be demographic.

Therefore, the need is for a massive revolution in biological research applied to medical care.

Second, a health-care system must be created that does not follow the current federal model of ultra-centralization and ultra-complexity.

Therefore, the traditional family will be redefined. The hunger for companionship is still there and asserting itself constantly.

In this, there will inevitably be a return to the past. Or more precisely, moving the computer into its limited place re-creates the past.

The tax on higher incomes will surge at the beginning of the sixth cycle. Just as tax cuts drove the microchip economy, so they will, in the 2050s, drive the transformation of medical care.

The children of what are called millennials will be the ones who revolt against the previous generations’ rootlessness. They will be the ones who find computers and the Internet old-fashioned and creating powerful family ties modern.

Imperial wars exhaust the homeland. A mature national strategy minimizes conflict.

The new technology that will exist will be one that extends healthy life expectancy.

The United States is becoming more mature by the nature of demographics.

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