I picked up a used copy of The Fourth Turning (1997) as I had read some reviews, positive and negative, and for the price figured it was worth it. I won’t go into the entire premise of the book, as the reviews on Amazon give a good overview, but I find the recommendations from 1997 to prepare for the predicted crisis in the first decade of the millennium (now) most interesting:
Once the Crisis catalyzes, anything can happen. If you are starting a career now, realize that generalists with survival know-how will have the edge over specialists whose skills are useful only in an undamaged environment. Be fluent in as many languages, cultures, and technologies as you can. Your business will face a total alteration of market conditions: Expect public subsidies to vanish, the regulatory environment to change quickly, and new trade barriers to arise. Avoid debt or leverage investments, including massive student debt. Assume that all your external safety nets (pensions, Social Security, Medicare) could end up totally shredded.
Related to my post of the Cuspers going into small business are some recommendations for this generation (AKA: 13ers):
The Fourth Turning will find other generations with lives either mostly in the past or mostly in the future, but it will catch 13ers in “prime time”, right at the midpoint of their adult lives. They must step forward as the saeculum’s repair generation, the one stuck with fixing the messes and cleaning up the debris left by others.
President Obama campaigned on this fact and even Prime Minister Harper has had to discard some of his conservative principles and get down to the messy job of repair. Both are members of this generation. The Crisis is here and there’s lots of work for all of us to do.