Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kurt Anderson and America's Reset

As Jesus Jones noted in their hit song "Right Here, Right Now," we are in the midst of "watching the world wake up from history." While the pop hit from the early 90s focused on the fall of communism in eastern Europe, Kurt Anderson's "Reset" is a calm, reflective meditation on the end of the bubble economy/bubble society that began in the 1980s and has finally and resoundingly ended after a near decimating crash. While Anderson is not big on specifics in terms of what the end of the party will bring, he is hopeful that America, and the world, will be moving into a more rational, pragmatic world view on issues of health, wealth, and well being.

As far as a predictor of trends and guru of solutions, the books of Matt Miller are more detailed and prescient. But Anderson's book is a nice short meditation, strong on hope and belief in American's ability to respond to the current crisis and be the better for it. Granted, Anderson's book was written and published during Obama's honeymoon period - and notably prior to the rage of the town hall meetings and the audacity of Joe Wilson's "You lie." However, knowing the generally moderate views of middle America, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Anderson's insight and hope for a more rational and simplified future in America society is on the horizon.

As we decrease our "lottery-winner" expectations of an early retirement in our McMansion based on our unrealistic mutual fund projections, Americans may begin to downsize their purchases and simplify their lives. More rational plans for education reform and immigration reform and health care and finance and materialism could potentially lead to a calmer, happier society.

The book is a nice, easy read - big on hope and brevity. A nice reflection.

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