20 years ago, we read a book called Generations which charted 4 recurring generational cohorts through American history.
From the preface:
This book presents the "history of the future" by narrating a recurring dynamic of generational behavior that seems to determine how and when we participate as individuals in social change - or social upheaval. We say, in effect, that this dynamic repeats itself. This is reason enough to make history important: For if the future replays the past, so too must the past anticipate the future.
Obviously, of particular interest to us were the cohort generations (Reactive generations) of the Gen-Xers (in the book, the 13ers as it was the 13th generation since the nation's declaration of independence). The common trait or characteristic of the cohorts of the Gen-Xers was that though they got off to a rocky start, it was this generation that was asked to make the sacrifices and tough decisions to guide America through turbulent times.
It was interesting to note that the previous cohort to the Gen-Xers contained F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Irving Berlin and Eugene O'Neill of the "Lost Generation" that fought the moral crusades of Prohibition and the Palmer Raids "with bathtub gin and opulent sex" but then matured into the generation also of FDR, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman that guided this nation through the dual crises of the Great Depression and WWII.
As we read this in our mid-twenties as a much popularly-maligned member of Gen-X, we wondered what history would hold in store and what avenue of redemption would be presented for us to lead. 20 years on, we think it's becoming clear what this crisis is going to be if it is not at our door step already. To ignore it is to be blind to the facts and to do nothing about it would be simply a massive moral failure.
Folks, the Gen-Xer-in-Chief, Paul Ryan (via KT):
B-Daddy has great break-down of Ryan's budget proposal, here.
We never got all the way through the book so we may need to dust off that book again to see how things turn out.