Neil Howe foresaw that 2020 would be time of crisis for the U.S. — back in the 1990s.
As scholars of demography and generational trends, Howe and his colleague, the late William Strauss, observed that every generation of Americans fits a particular archetype that influences the personality and practices of subsequent generations.
Think of the G.I. Generation — “The Greatest Generation” — who rose as one to victory in World War II and engineered America’s postwar economic boom; the Silent Generation, who never quite escaped from the G.I.’s long shadow; the postwar wave of baby boomers and Generation X, who trumpet the “Me Generation” of individualism and self-determination; and collectivist-minded millennials, born between 1982 and 2004, who came of age during two major economic recessions and ongoing financial insecurity, and who with each passing year hold the keys to the nation’s future.
Howe and Strauss concluded that every 70 to