I-Phones, Iraq War, and Granite Counter Tops
What do these items have in common, they all were attempts at getting the feel good feeling back after the 72 year economic cycle topped in 2000. Granted they tried in their own ways and the I-Phone was surely the most useful. The Iraq war as an attempt to show how tough we were as a country as well as an attempt to ramp up industrial activity by waging an off balance sheet war was surely a failure. And granite counter tops, well they give your friends something to show off when you visit them.
We have talked about the 72 year economic many times before in this blog. Some believe that it exists because it is close to the lifespan of people and history repeats because most are dead when the same thing comes around again. It might be one of the few things economic that I have some strong core belief. The two areas of dispute with the cycle are whether the last big cycle started in 1929 or 1932 and whether you break up the cycle into four quarter cycles of 18 years and two half cycles of 36 years, or you break it up into 6 smaller cycles of 12 years and three bigger cycles of 24 years each. At this point I rather lean to 1929 as the start and the six 12 year segments.
Using that view I can rationalize that around 2000 was the top of the economic major cycle and early 2013 is the end of the first segment. Here I go out on a limb to try and make sense of things but here is what I feel at this point. 2000 to 2012 was a period of disbelief, that things would not continue like they had in the 1988 to 2000 period. 2013 to 2024 will therefore be a period of reconstruction, a period when the old order will be replaced with a new order. Yesterday I said consumption, especially discretionary consumption will start taking a backseat to a more solid base as the core economic movement. The time when we were willing to suck up junk and send jobs to the rest of the world will have to come to an end.
Yesterday the NYT had an article that to me signals the end of that first generational segment that has seen corporations ride the consumer wave and suck up the wealth and income of the country.