« Consumption Inequality is Also Growing | Main | Links for 4-25-14 »

Thursday, April 24, 2014

'Will 2014 end up like 1914?'

Larry ("The Numerologist") Summers:

Will 2014 end up like 1914?: 2014 is a year, if you think about it correctly, of anniversaries. It is the 100th anniversary of 1914, a moment when the world mismanaged itself and reaped the legacy of its mismanagement in as terrible a way as has ever occurred. ... Seventy-five years ago the year was 1939. It had been thought that the war that began in 1914 was a war to end all wars. ... Fifty years ago it was 1964. ... 1964 was months after the assassination of President Kennedy. It was the year that saw the United States’ entry into Vietnam. ... Twenty-five years ago it was 1989. It was the year that in a historical sense the 20th century ended. ... A totalitarian ideology and empire was defeated without a shot having been fired. ...
So, if you believe in numerology, if you believe in centuries and quarter centuries, this is a remarkable year. History does not repeat itself, it has been said, but it does rhyme. If you think about the challenges that I have described, that sometimes were met well and sometimes were met poorly, echoes of many can be heard today. ...
I would suggest last that history teaches that no individual nation can be a guarantor of the stability of the system. It is only through the cooperation of nations, through the establishment of institutions, through the legitimacy that comes from convocation and dialogue, that firm and clear lines can be drawn...
My impulse to government, in a sense, came to me as a young child watching the first president who impinged on my consciousness, John F. Kennedy. He said, “Man’s problems were made by man. It follows that they can be solved by man.” There is no reason why the darker parts of history ever need to be re-enacted... It lies in our hands, as concerned citizens, to shape what somebody in 2114 will say when they reflect on the past hundred years.

    Posted by on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 10:07 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (37)


    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.