The Fourth Turning Explained – Boomers vs Millennials Generational Crisis (Neil Howe Grant Williams)

GRANT WILLIAMS: In recent years, the world
has seemingly been steadily pulled apart by forces either too subtle or too momentous
to discern. Tensions have risen, conflict has increased
all around us, and investing has become more complicated than ever. Much of that conflict seems to stem from a
generational change, as the baby boomers begin to retire, and draw a curtain across their
time in power, and the millennial generation begins to challenge the status quo. Everything we see unfolding today was predicted
by Bill Strauss and Neil Howe’s masterpiece, The Fourth Turning. And so today, I’m traveling to Great Falls,
Virginia, to spend the day with Neil, and to try and understand what the raging generational
battle for power in America and beyond might mean for the world in the years to come. Well, Neil, thanks for having me out to this
fantastical corner of the world. It’s so beautiful out here. Driving out here from DC, it reminds me of
Connecticut, where I used to live. And I have such fond memories of the trees. And just the perfect time to come here to
talk to you about the changing of seasons. Because so much of what’s gone on in the world
today is being built around politics, and you can see the generational forces at play. And I thought, who better to come and talk
about this stuff because I’m trying to get a handle on it is very difficult. So thanks for agreeing to come to spend some
time to kind of pick through this stuff. NEIL HOWE: Well, Washington, DC, is an interesting
city. Unlike many countries, our political capital
is not our commercial capital. And so what it means is that you really don’t
have to drive very far outside DC. Were you amazed? GRANT WILLIAMS: It was incredible. It’s like, 25 minutes, and you’re– NEIL HOWE:
And you’re out in this bucolic wilderness out here. GRANT WILLIAMS: So New York, not so much. NEIL HOWE: Not so much. Connecticut, a little bit further away further
away. GRANT WILLIAMS: A little further away. But look, we’re here in the center of the
political universe at what is an extraordinary time to be alive and to be watching this whole
thing unravel, perhaps unfold is a kind of term for it. So I really want to talk to you about the
cycles of the generations, which you Will Strauss wrote this amazing book, The Fourth
Turning, on which I’ve recommended and bought countless copies for people. I’m a big reason for that thing [INAUDIBLE]. But it’s such an important read. And so what I’d love to do is just get some
background on how that project came about, how your interest in this whole thing developed,
because it’s extraordinary. NEIL HOWE: Well, it dates back many years. I mean, you know, Bill Strauss and I, who
coauthored Generations and The Fourth Turning, and a number of other books as well on different
generations– we actually did a book on generation x that came out in 1993 called The 13th Gen–
Abort, Retry, Fail– an interesting one. And then a book on the millennial generation,
Millennials Rising in the year 2000. But the two of us met in the 1980s. And we started our first book, Generations,
which was in some ways, the foundation book of this whole project. We had a different way of telling all of American
history. It was an absurdly ambitious idea. We wanted to tell all of American history
as a series of generational biographies. And we were amazed– we looked, no one had
ever done that before. No one had. You know, everyone tells history as the history
of everyone in every age bracket every year, right? So it’s typically midlife people, because
they’re the leaders and the parents, right? So it’s typically people in their 50s. Well, in 1851, they were all doing this, 1852,
they were all doing this, you know? But if you think about– and I often characterize
this as looking at age on the y-axis and time on the x-axis– we don’t live horizontal lines. We all live diagonal lines, right? We grow older as time goes on. And no one had ever written a history following
the diagonal, following the life as we actually live it. GRANT WILLIAMS: Which is hard to believe. NEIL HOWE: It is kind of amazing to believe. And so here’s why it was so challenging. Because history is written about these different
age groups, we had to like, break everything down and reassemble it. So we had to take for instance, Abraham Lincoln’s
generation. We had to look at, well, what were children
doing in the 18 teens and ’20s. What was youth doing in the late 1820s, you
know what I mean? And what were old people doing in the 1860s
and ’70s or ’80s. And reassembling all the parts in the one
collective lifespan, what we call a generation. And so what we found, after following this
method, is that, yes, different generations have completely different collective experiences
they learn completely different life lessons from what they’ve been through. Typically, one generation who’s involved in
a war, the next generation of children during the war and take a completely different set
of lessons from that experience. GRANT WILLIAMS: But was it war that tended
to be the most common shaping force until I guess, the boomers? NEIL HOWE: Say that the two most extreme kinds
of moods that are very important in shaping generations would be on the one hand, not
just wars, but constitutional crises. Things like the Civil War, where you’re not
just fighting a war, but you’re also kind of reconstituting all of government, and settling
enormous political issues that everyone’s involved in. And on the other hand, are something that
we’ve had a whole school of historians pay attention to. And these are awakenings. These are religious and spiritual revivals. And moments at which we revive the culture. So our story gives as much attention to the
history of religion and culture as it does to the history of politics, and war, and nation
reshaping from kind of the statesman point of view. But here’s the next thing we found– and that
was the most exciting. It was the thing that kind of changed our
book. Was that not only of these generations each
different from each other. But that these differences followed a pattern. And that, to us, was incredible. Meaning that certain kinds of generations
from a total pure personality point of view always followed other kinds of generations. And that, in turn, when you think about generations
obviously are shaped by their location and history what’s happening– so if there’s a
pattern of generations, that almost implies a pattern to history itself. And that connects it back to something that
people of often observed about American history. Not just American history, but much of modern
history, and certain areas going back even to the ancient world, as well, that there
are interesting patterns of history. One thing we see in American history, for
example, is that we’ve seen this regime changing political sort of total wars for dominance
in sort of the Anglo American history about every 80 to 100 years. In the American context of course, this goes
from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution to the Civil War to World War II
and the Great Depression and where we are today. GRANT WILLIAMS: Right. But just going back to this project, when
you talk about this great realization that history went in cycles, was this something
that having found it then changed your entire outlook? Or is it something you were almost looking
for and then found, and managed to look drop that onto history? NEIL HOWE: It’s interesting– we weren’t looking
for it. Our original project was simply to write about
how different generations lead the country differently as they become leaders, and endow
the country with different things. Are concerned about different things. We did not go into this thinking there was
primarily interested in any kind of cycle is this. The cyclicality, the rhythm of it was really
serendipitous. It was just discovery. If you look at how humans look at history,
there are basically three different ways that people look at time, social time. One is chaotic. Anything can happen anytime. It’s just random. There’s no progress, there’s no regression,
there’s no anything– just prepare for anything. And that’s a very obviously, kind of a nihilistic
point of view. It’s hardly a philosophy. It’s just sort of that’s kind of the dark
side. That’s what you don’t expect, right? It’s an acknowledgment of unpredictability. And I’d say from Generation X, I get a lot
of that. Just skeptical of everything. But I would say the two key ways of actually
bringing order to history as opposed to acknowledging randomness, is thinking of history as a cycle
and thinking of it as linear. And I would say that view of history as progressive
is now a big competitor to the cyclical view. And I’m not– I’m not opposed to progress
at all. But here’s one our central thesis of our book–
and we talked about this in Generations. We also talked to it again in The Fourth Turning. And that is, interestingly, as we believe
in linear history, we can iron out all those cycles. Weather cycle, forget it. I’ll stay inside. You know, dark-light cycle– no, we’ve got
lights. You know, we’ll just illuminate everything. So all of those nasty cycles we can smooth
that with technology. But interestingly, what we found is the more
we try to smooth them out, the more we often exacerbate the very kinds of cycles we’re
trying to solve. And I mean, a great example is the business
cycle. GRANT WILLIAMS: I was just thinking exactly
that thing. NEIL HOWE: There was no business cycle in
pagan times. GRANT WILLIAMS: Right. NEIL HOWE: Well, why? Because business cycles are always technology. You’re building things that last. You have a capital cycle that lasts over time. Your optimism at this point results in investment
in that point. We didn’t have this problem before you had
industrial. So in other words, our effort to build things
that last over time actually give rise to cycles, right? We have traffic cycles. You have consumer products. GRANT WILLIAMS: You have business cycles. We desire to smooth out those cycles. It’s fascinating to me, because as I said,
it’s so clear when you look at history, that these cycles exist. And so what is it that drives us to try and
smooth them out? NEIL HOWE: Control. Hubris. GRANT WILLIAMS: But particularly with reference
to the business cycle, because this is key, I think. It’s picked up pace since the ’80s with the
Greenspan Fed. This idea of hubris and control. And I’ve never met Alan Greenspan, but I’ve
met plenty of people that have. And when you mention the word hubris, it’s
something that resonates with every description I’ve had of him as a person. And this idea that we can control this. We can control a naturally occurring cycle
that is built upon the hopes, and dreams, and mindsets of however many people there
are inhabiting the Earth at the time are contributing to that business cycle. Surely, that’s completely fallacious? NEIL HOWE: Well, you know, I certainly think
it is. And I say this– the broader you construe
the cycle, the more fallacious it is. In other words, there’s some narrow sense
in which you may be able to control the cycle. But typically, what happens is more broadly
construed to give rise to– because the very act of hubris means that you’re very overconfident
at doing that will lead to something else that will go wrong. Everyone fusses over the Fed– the Fed and
central banks. Well, the yield curve, the steepness, and
the inversion is all the Fed. No– forget central bankers. Just look at the real dynamics of the business
cycle. What happens after a recession? Lots of liquidity. Still lots of fear. Interest rates are certainly lower than year
end. But suddenly, people being acquiring new confidence. People start issuing a lot of new long term
debt, because they have new long term projects. They have projects during the most recent
recession they weren’t doing, they got to catch up. So you can imagine quickly. And then people will invest in those things
because near-term rates are really low. These rates are much bigger, they’re going
to make more money. And it looks like that’s not going to change
for a long time. So everybody locks in. And so you can imagine– and as this thing
begins to speed up– so you know, more confidence begets more confidence. You’ve got more people get employed, more
people start spending. You get all these positive feedbacks. And then ultimately, you have credit expansion
that comes along with it, then people begin to fear inflation that’s coming along with
that. That also pushes up the long end of the credit
market. So the point is that you can see how early
on in the business cycle a steep yield curve is what you expect. Then go to the end of the business cycle. What happens? All that risk is built and all the instruments
now. Everyone’s already employed. And everyone begins to feel that today is
actually much better than the future, right? And so everything begins to tip this way. And as it tips this way, of course, then banks
go out of business, or they can’t really do much because there’s not they can’t transform
maturities anymore. So there’s nothing really in it for them to
land. And I often tell people, one interesting way
to actually track the steepness of the yield curve is a very simple indicator that the
conference board tracks. And you could look at it on any Bloomberg
terminal. It’s just take what consumers think about
the economy today minus what they think about the economy six months or a year down the
road. Early in a business cycle, much better tomorrow
than today. Late in the business cycle, much better today
than tomorrow. And that exactly tracks this steepness of
the curve. Central banks just accentuated, which is actually
a great case of us trying to stop the cycle by accentuating the cycle. GRANT WILLIAMS: Exactly right. But this is really interesting. When you talk about that, and you describe
the business cycle so simply as, clearly, we all kind of innately understand that that’s
how the whole thing works. The very idea and the hubris– I mean, you
picked the exact word– of inserting a body to try and manage that to what? To soften the downturns. OK, but to your point, we’ve been through
all these downturns, they always end in exactly the conditions you describe, which is the
green shoot is the spring into the summer. It all happens. So to this idea that we need that body in
there to do that– and more importantly, in the context of today, given what they’ve done,
the damage they’ve done to that business cycle– because what they’ve essentially established
is all those conditions that you described happen at the end with low rates, and people
were able to borrow money– they forced that upon a world that wasn’t really ready for
it. Because it hadn’t gone through that cleansing
process post ’08. How much damage do you think that does to
the cycle? NEIL HOWE: I’m kind of the amen chorus here. I mean, I think it accentuates it. And you know, Hyman Minsky, who became very
popular, I think, after 2008 in the GFC kind of kept it in the closet for many years. GRANT WILLIAMS: Paul McCulley brought him
out the closet. As only Paul can. NEIL HOWE: There you go. But I think he really put a lot of focus on
the notion of confidence itself. GRANT WILLIAMS: Yeah. NEIL HOWE: And the notion of– in other words,
low volatility. And the idea of risklessness in itself encourages
risk. And so you really see in that framework, almost
the necessity of one aiding and abetting the other. Now to go from this business cycle context
to a larger generational context, you can see what the analogies are, right? Imagine an entire generation raised at a time
without conflict, without risk. What kind of lives are they likely to lead? What would they assume that the prior generation
didn’t assume? And that’s why generations are important. Our location in history shapes our attitudes,
our behavior. And the key for us is acknowledging how that
shaping young is going to shape how that generation behaves the rest of its lives. And one of the fascinating keys here– and
this is really to bring into focus– you know, boomers is that this kind of generation is
so much of a pattern throughout history. Certainly through American history. These generations raised just after a crisis,
invariably come of age during the great awakenings. And late in life as senior leaders take the
nation into and through the next crisis. And that’s how to tie history together. And by the way, it’s a great way to teach
history. GRANT WILLIAMS: One of the big reasons that
I wanted to come here to talk to you was the fact that we seem to be at another one of
those junctures. You know, everything you’ve just described
is in place. And as lovely as your porch is, and as beautiful
as it is here, we’re this close to DC, and there’s so much I want to talk about– that
coming together of two generations in politics and what it might mean for us. So I think we should maybe head into town
into, the Big Smoke 25 minutes away, and talk about some more. As secluded as it is, Neil’s house was just
a short ride away from DC. And that ride gave me a chance to ask him
some questions unrelated to finance and politics. Tell me how a sun kissed California boy ended
up here on the east coast. NEIL HOWE: I grew up in a family of scientists,
physical scientists. GRANT WILLIAMS: Right. NEIL HOWE: So they were all astronomers and
physicists, biologists. And you know, rebel that I was, I was interested
in religion, culture, other things. Go straight here. And that naturally tended to draw me to the
east, ultimately, for graduate school. And you know, everyone who’s interested in
culture, and the humanities, and the liberal arts tend to be on the east coast. California really has not much of a reputation. I mean, social science, yeah. Particularly, quantitative social science. But sort of a deeper qualitative stuff– no. No, that really doesn’t happen in California. So that drew me out here. And then one thing led to another, right? And I got to know people out here. And then the big media centers are added,
the book publishers are all– I mean, you understand. It’s all out here. And then ultimately, Wall Street is out here,
right? So everything’s out here. GRANT WILLIAMS: And why DC instead of New
York? NEIL HOWE: Because of policy. So I did a lot of policy stuff. And a lot of the data that comes out of the
census, and the Fed, and everything– it just kind of drew me down here. I actually originally came down here for a
short lived periodical on the Fed, believe it or not. There was a periodical called the Fed Fortnightly. GRANT WILLIAMS: They suck us all in at some
point. NEIL HOWE: And I came down here and I was–
I just stayed here. And that’s where I started working on it. GRANT WILLIAMS: Do you ever get the urge to
go back to the west coast? NEIL HOWE: I often go back, and ultimately,
I would like to spend a lot more time back on the west coast, yes. GRANT WILLIAMS: So tell me about Great Falls. We’re off to see Great Falls. NEIL HOWE: So where I live is– actually,
where we were on that porch was only actually, a few hundred yards from the Potomac River. So this whole area is a set of parks along
the Potomac River, the south side of the Potomac River, the Virginia side. And as you get down here, right along the
Potomac on the south side, called Great Falls National Park. And you know, it’s a national park, you know? What do you say. It has like, funny guys with the– GRANT WILLIAMS:
Yogi Bear. NEIL HOWE: With those kind of Yogi Bear hats,
and they charge a fee to get in and all that. But it is a real gem. And you will see here, it’s quite remarkable. When it floods here, it really floods. GRANT WILLIAMS: Make sure to get the painting
accurate, folks. Do you think I can pass for an interagency
senior? Lifetime pass for senior– that’s optimism. NEIL HOWE: I refuse. GRANT WILLIAMS: That’s kind of– The various
turnings identified by Neil and Bill Strauss are naturally reoccurring phenomena, which
once discovered, are as predictable as the seasons. But within them, there’s a great deal of unpredictability. So how do we determine where we are within
the broader cycle? NEIL HOWE: So Grant, I wanted to bring you
here, because there’s something about this image of nature with that restraint that says
something about the cycle we’re all familiar with, which is the seasons. GRANT WILLIAMS: Yeah. NEIL HOWE: And when we think about periodicity
in history and cycles in history, we sometimes think about physical inorganic cycles. Like a planet revolving around the sun. And that can be solved analytically. I mean, we know exactly how long it takes. It’s an equation with a solution, with a determinant
solution. But most of the cycles we see in nature are
organic. They’re indeterminate. These are what we now call in the rubric of
kind of modern mathematics, modern social science– we call them complex systems. And they have what are called strange attractors. That is to say certain periodicities, we don’t
really know why they exist, but they do. Now here we have the different changes in
the seasons obviously related to the tilt of the Earth as it revolves around the sun. But we see many other kinds of periodicities
in nature. We don’t entirely understand all the complex
systems. You think of the molting of a sparrow, you
think of the bedding of a flower. You think of just respiration as we take our
breaths. All kinds of hundreds of feedback, biochemical
and otherwise, that are determining how that’s going to happen. We can’t predict that absolutely. It has no finite solution. But you kind of know. All that has to happen in a certain order. And it has a certain rough periodicity, or
else, you, Grant, stop living, right? So that’s how many natural systems are. And I think that when we look about cycles
in social life in history itself, we’re looking at the same kind of system. You just kind of have to observe it and find
the strange attractors. And I do think that a lot of the work that
bill and I have done on you know, turnings, and generations, and linking these longer
kind of social mood cycles, are of that nature. We can look at the drivers behind them, and
we can look at all the various manifestations in war, and religion, and community, and risk
taking, and all the various phases they go through. But being able to deduce them in advance from
the sort of molecular organization of the universe? No, we can’t do that. And we probably never will. It’s probably undoable, right? GRANT WILLIAMS: You know, you made the point
to me earlier about the fact that it’s unknowable when spring will start. But there’s a period there between winter
and spring, where you can see the changes happening. You just don’t know until you’re in it. When you take that and drop it on top of generations,
what does that mean? What does that mean, that gray area in between
one and the start of another? NEIL HOWE: Well, you know, this is kind of
my response to people who constantly say, well, you know, if this were true, can you
tell me exactly what year something is going to be? And that’s the point– you can’t. Is the same way you can say, yeah, there’s
going to be a spring, but I can’t tell you exactly that it’s on April 7 that we’re going
to get a 76 degree day. And it’s exactly the same here. You also can’t tell exactly when a generation
will be cut short. You can’t tell exactly what kind of historical
events will occur. But what you can do, clearly, is you can say
that in January, it’s going to be called. And in June, which it’s already going to be
soon, it’s going to be really warm. GRANT WILLIAMS: Well, what’s interesting is
with the spring, if you say to someone, you know, I can’t tell you exactly when, but I
know spring is coming, they’ll believe you, because they have the experience of years
of spring. But I’m sure if you tell them something–
oh, your theory is nonsense. NEIL HOWE: Well, that’s the problem. And so what you really have to do is you have
to analogize, which is what I do all the time. Look, it’s like that. But here is the interesting point about a
generational cycle, which lasts 80 to 100 years. Every era we’re entering is an era in which
everyone who last experiencing it is disappearing. GRANT WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. NEIL HOWE: Well, that’s critical. GRANT WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. NEIL HOWE: That means you’re constantly losing
the generation that was last there, right? Right now, what have we been missing? The GI Generation, the greatest generation. We have all these ceremonies all the time. My god, we miss their valor, the big think
generation– they’re going to make all of this country do big things together. We miss them. Well, that’s because we’re moving into an
era where the new generation is going to replace the role as junior citizens, as the senior
citizens fade away. And that’s exactly what we don’t remember. So this is a constant lesson. You know, each awakening arises when no generation
remembers the last awakening. GRANT WILLIAMS: The turning from winter to
spring– I know what that looks like. What does a third and fourth turning– what
does that look like? NEIL HOWE: First, it’s a worsening of the
unraveling. So individualism, which everyone loves in
a third turning, a lightly governed America, a deregulated America, kind of a flourishing
America in its individuality– GRANT WILLIAMS: Entrepreneur culture. NEIL HOWE: Kind of the Ronald Reagan America,
which I think in many ways, lasted you know through the ’90s. I mean, that basically I think all the way
to the ’90s bubble, and on into ’00s. I mean, it was really this– it was the era
in which Generation X was coming of age, right? And really defined Generation X. And I think they take pride in that still
today. You know, they are the generation of individuals,
they’re all resilient, they’re all using their own self as a resource. They don’t care what other people think. All of that, right? What happens is that begins to fray, and it
begins to degrade, and it begins to get harsher and more distrustful. And anything that has to do with community
is kind of devalued, right? And you begin to have these enormous social
fissures– rich and poor, young and old, ideological fissures, identity politics, all the rest. Until finally, society becomes ungovernable
and becomes ripe and vulnerable for the next systematic crisis. Whether it’s the GFC, or whether it’s I think
next time around, I’ll be even worse– particularly given kind of the demographic and debt stresses
we now face. But at that point, suddenly then, the real
key point of the fourth turning, and in the middle of the fourth turning, is when one
side just takes over, right? That’s when everyone re-establishes community
again. And you know, the losers are just pushed out
to one side. I mean, look at the Civil War– that was a
fourth turning. GRANT WILLIAMS: Right. NEIL HOWE: We’re sitting here right at the
divide of the Civil War right here. You know, that was– these are Yankees are
on this side, these are confederates on this side. Well, what happened? I mean, the South was a pariah for two generations. I mean, the South suffered an enormous decline
in wealth and income. I mean, it took the south many, many decades
to ever recover. The generation that actually is in the most
difficult position is the generation in mid-life during the fourth turning. That’s you, Grant. That’s Generation X. GRANT WILLIAMS: Listen,
I feel that already. NEIL HOWE: Because you guys are already invested
in the old regime. You see, when you’re young, you either already
have joined the new regime, or you can quickly shift, right? But you guys already invested. This is why John Adams, and George Washington,
and all of these what we call Liberty generation Americans who are in mid-life during the American
Revolution. Had such a existential sense of risking everything,
because they couldn’t go back, right? All of their lives, their property, their
sacred honor– it was all on the line. And the younger generation– like millennials
today– incredibly optimistic. I mean, all the younger generation of Jefferson,
and Hamilton, and Monroe, and Madison, and Jay, and all those guys– they knew the American
Revolution was going to win. But you know, John Adams is sitting there
fearful. You know, my god, this is never going to stick
together. Because the younger generation– because again,
they’re young, right? They’re going to adapt. They can still change. They can fit into whatever happens. GRANT WILLIAMS: So what happens to that? I mean, let’s use the millennial generation
as an example. That younger generation comes through full
of hope, full of optimism, who happen to be at the center of this fourth turning with
all the chaos, and destruction, and turmoil– what tends to happen to them? How does that optimism– does it save them? Does it get changed? NEIL HOWE: Oh, it saves them, because it’s
combined with a couple of other things. One is community and risk aversion. So there’s belief you don’t trust the individual,
you trust the group. GRANT WILLIAMS: Which we’re seeing everywhere. NEIL HOWE: Which we’re seeing everywhere. And risk aversion, because you risk it. Remember- – millennials, have been told they’re
special since the time they were born. And that means especially take care of yourself,
because everyone expects great things from you. And everyone– you know, your parents, and
teachers, and public officials all love you, and really care about you. And so why take risks with yourself? Fourth turnings are so often seen as destructive. I mean, wars, financial panics is one. GRANT WILLIAMS: That’s how I think of it. NEIL HOWE: Well, yeah. Of course it’s destructive. You know, all this wealth is being uncreated,
being torn away. All of this just obvious destruction of the
old order. But it makes room for the new order. It makes room for the young. And one lesson about history is that one of
the things that winter does, is it kills everything back so new things can grow. That’s why we have forest fires- – so new
plants have space to grow up. That’s why it suddenly floods down here. It does the same thing through the Rio Grande. Why? So that clearing out all the junk. So I think that’s one very important point
to remember. Forth turnings, although obviously painful
for everyone, painful for everyone who particularly is invested in the old order, serve a very
necessary, almost biological function. GRANT WILLIAMS: That’s the word. We talk about institutions, and we’re going
to go to a place that is filled with not just American institutions, but global institutions,
a lot of which were set up after the war. NEIL HOWE: Absolutely. GRANT WILLIAMS: So let’s head into town, because
there’s a lot more stuff to see and talk about, for sure. NEIL HOWE: Let’s go to the nation’s capitol. GRANT WILLIAMS: All right, let’s do it. In the next episode, Neil and I traveled to
Washington DC to look at some previous fourth turning, and try to understand what lessons
history has to teach us about how these momentous events changed the world. NEIL HOWE: Look at this monument, you say,
this is the birth of a golden age. But there’s one thing we forget. All the golden ages of history always start
with a huge crisis. GRANT WILLIAMS: And along the way, we’ll talk
with a man who’s been at the very center of previous generational change in Washington,
Dr. Harald Malmgren. HARALD MALMGREN: It’s not something WE think
about, but we are edging towards highly concentrated power in the hands of few. For me, it’s oligarchies. I mean, we’re looking a lot like Russia.

80 thoughts on “The Fourth Turning Explained – Boomers vs Millennials Generational Crisis (Neil Howe Grant Williams)

  1. Get Real Vision Premium for only $1 for 3 Months here:
    No more waiting for the content to make it here weeks or even months after it was shot and no missing out on insights and information that move markets. Better yet…. No advertisements! Join today!

  2. This is the first episode in a 3-part series. The second episode will be published at 2PM EST on Oct 31 and the third episode will be published on Nov 1 at 2PM EST.

  3. Human life span will peak with the Boomers and GenX and then start to regress. Millennials will not live as long as their parents. How can they, when they are under near constant financial stress compared to the Boomers who lived a worry-free existence pretty much their entire lives? (Yes yes, there was Vietnam, which only impacted the elder half of the Boomer cohort and which was easily avoided by the middle class and up).

  4. Thanks Grant Williams and the Real Vision team 🙏👍🏻 You guys have created something fantastic here (thank you Neil for your knowledge as well!!)

  5. moronials for the most part are lazy and angry with their only work ethic being getting their parents to keep supporting them

  6. I don't worry about generations of America. I worry about generations of immigrants, who have no skin in the game and are here to take, take, take welfare and self interested benefits from Democrats and welfare. Protect yourself.

  7. History is the 4,000 year chronicle of the 1% elite seeking free stuff, with no labor, and no skin in the game. That sums up 4,000 years of history. Elites change. The 99% change. The 1% elites feeding on the 99% NEVER CHANGES. It's always the same old wine in a brand new bottle. Protect yourself.

  8. Very "intellectually stimulating" but . . . what's it got to do about the "price/[availability] of rice"/beans to the working parents in "timbuku"? Answer: NOTTA! Hunkered down in yur comfortable digs for however longer long yur "security" decides it's "reciprocal".

  9. The lesson is still not clear.

    So are they expecting something bad to happen?

    Or is he saying that life as we know it is cyclical?

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Pluto is going through Capricorn. 2008-2024 The last time this happened was around the time of the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.

  11. this is a really cool concept for a interview/video. hard to do when guest and host aren't irl long term friends, but closest to it. I think this captures the essence of what rv is trying to accomplish.

  12. The story of the United States has ended when the people tolerated mass 3rd world immigration. We're currently living in the hallowed out corpse of a dead nation but we don't even know it. Increasingly the generations that follow Gen X can only be considered American in name-only and so the story ends with them.

  13. You've got to realize that the "cycles" you refer to are inherent to under-regulated capitalism's booms and busts and bond maturity, right? Pining philosophically about the pitfalls of hubris and the increasing amplitude of risk and risk aversion doesn't provide any useful progress. No mention of debt, debt service, and/or derivatives? But, "seasons" ,"mood changes", and ideological fractures are most important? Somewhat clever camouflage for laissez-faire capitalism.

  14. False statement at 23:50. If that model/theory were true, then from this moment to 6mon from now, day and night would have to flip. Because every 6mon, the opposite side of our "planet" would be facing AWAY from the sun. And if science can get something like THAT wrong, and teach a false theory as a fact, then you can bet that 99% of everything taught in school is complete BS. Now that's REAL science. We do not live on a spinning globe with a tilted axis spinning around a sun 93mil miles away.

  15. The currency is the problem. Manifest so much to dwarf debts. Let the market crash. People move to gold. Confiscate gold again to back currency. Redistribution of wealth. Reset. But first few years of depression or war to get people on board. Make it so bad people will agree.

  16. Boomers stole the economy out from the youth. They bailed themselves out, rather than take the loss. They now expect the youth to pay for their pensions.

  17. Time to shut down social security. Solve the Boomer and housing crisis all at once. Workers will have more money and the boomers living in a nice house off of a fund they raided in the eighties will finally reap what they've sewn.

  18. If we allow social security to persist the boomers will successfully have robbed the Millennials. Then when us Millennials request our entitlements social security will be cancelled immediately.

  19. the Wikileida page lists the crisis that Gen Z face as
    Great Recession
    War in Terror
    Climate Change
    Trump Presidency

    ok, the last two are completely political. the crisis Gen Z face have not occurred yet, and that is going to be the collapse of Marxism (socialism) as the promises of government crumble to dust.

    Gen Z is poised to become extremely anti government and populist in the wake of the collapse of Marxism.

  20. The millennial generation is literally the opposite of what this guy states. They're incredibly negative, hate this country, want everything given to them, are lazy, and lack a sense of community.

  21. Wow, you've put together a really beautiful looking video. Love this style – interesting conversation and great scenery. Very enjoyable.

  22. I like all this talk about cycles, however most people are failing to consider the biggest cycle of them all that’s going to F us. That would be the solar cycle and the crash in agriculture that will follow. It’s actually already starting and it’s going to get much much worse. The 11 year solar cycle and solar minimums also have a huge impact on people themselves, how they feel and how they act. It’s much bigger than most people realize. It’s also closely tied to the timing of every market crash we’ve had. Just saying

  23. Look around next time you are in a restaurant. Notice all the responsible old people. Also, notice that the only young people that exist are only there to serve the responsible old people.

  24. 29:54 not confederates, they are Rebels fighting against the United States of America. The South was broken long before the war started.

  25. America right now is one of the most decadent Nations that has ever existed and it would behoove us to be struck hard by other nations to wake us up potentially killing off tens of millions of our population as a wake-up call to each and every single individual in this nation in every culture and every race and every religion should be shaken out of their beds and awoken in order to give us a new promise for a new century unfortunately it will require a vast amount of blood and those who are on top right now will be hunted down and hang and tortured until death as they did in Generations past and those on the bottom will finally be given the freedom and the ability to rise up where is now with bureaucracy and legality they are chained to the floor of this beautiful prison Without Walls nevertheless suffering as we are chained to the floor

  26. here's the thing about the doom and gloom crowd and yes i have read the 4th turning. they are wrong 90+ % of the time and often try to pull on that pattern recognition part of the human brain. it happened here, here and here so it must happen here thinking…..but it doesn't. economies don't die of old age and collapses don't just happen because of time. 01 happened from a tightening fed and sky high PE's it was a value correction. 08 happened from a lot of legerage and half mil loans to unemployed people on a frequent basis. this cycle can easily continue as world governments just inflate and print. sure fiat loses power but unemployment stays low and we continue on.

  27. It's difficult for me to believe that you can place all of these intelligent people together and watch them share their informative opinions on history, culture and the future, all while remaining blind to the looming elephant in the room. All of the past events and behavior they are discussing is the history of people who are ethnically European. These people will be minorities in America just 20 years from now. They are not interchangeable biological units that can be swapped out at any time to achieve the same result. Past history and talk of turnings will eventually become irrelevant, because the ethnic people who created this history will be lying under the tombstone of demographic destiny.

  28. If we blame the “boomers” for bankrupting America and stealing the future of the following generations….aren’t we talking about our parents and grandparents? Were they really that lazy and evil, or is it easier to just blame someone else. It’s not like your parents or mine were setting policy in Washington…

  29. On the road with Grant Williams – That makes my sunday. Always an enjoyable ride filled with great insights. Thank you Grant!

  30. What a waste of my valuable time listening to this video, stop interviewing "academics" and pick some real market "players". Martin Armstrong was the original Cyclist in my opinion, everyone else is copycat versions in one form or another w/o the actual background in money management to stand up to an acid test. Millenials got brainwashed and indoctrinated into a system created by the Boomers. No blame game really, life is full of Cons, and no excuse if Millenials for the the Con….($50k education loan to become a teacher at pre K, unwillingness to work part time jobs to gain experience in real life, eating processed food day in day out, etc/etc)

  31. My grandparents and WW 2. My father and the Korean War. My generation and the Vietnam War. And. And. And. No society, no culture, no civilization, no country can survive endless war and endless war-mongering. The people go nuts. And where we are today.

  32. I watched Louder with Crowder (halloween) and there was cultural revival on open display. The street latrines of coastal blue citues tells us what will be replaced in the next couple of generations.

  33. Horrible greed mummies need to die already. This is about basic survival, half the US population is struggling in abject poverty/homelessness while these incredibly selfish monsters sneer from atop their mountains of money. Every time I see a Boomer I loudly proclaim “Choke to death on your greed swine!” Rich white boomers have all the money and all the power, they MUST be held accountable for this nightmare they have created

  34. "Millenials are incredibly optimistic"- lol, not if you're even remotely right leaning, religious, or traditional. Even the lefty ones imagine the end of the world via "climate change" and imagined facists. We had optimism until mid-2010's.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *