World View: Egypt's Terrorism Escalates with Attack on Tourist Bus
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Egypt's terrorism escalates with attack on tourist bus
- The 'New Frugality' versus the 'New Criminality'
Egypt's terrorism escalates with attack on tourist bus
A terrorist bomb exploded on a bus carrying 33 tourists in Egypt Sunday. The explosion killed the Egyptian bus driver and three South
Korean tourists. The attack took place in the Red Sea resort town of
Taba, in south Sinai, just before the bus was about to cross over into
No one has yet claimed credit for the attack, but it's suspected that
the perpetrators are the al-Qaeda-linked Sinai terrorist group Ansar
Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis or Champions of Jerusalem), which has
claimed credit for several major terrorist bombings in the past.
Terrorist attacks have been increasing since the army coup that ousted
president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 of last year, with Ansar Jerusalem
claiming credit for many of them, but up until now the targets have
been security targets and personnel. This is the first terrorist
attack since 2008 on tourists. Tourist visits to Red Sea resorts are
an important source of income for Egypt, and it's feared that Sunday's
attack begins a new escalation designed to destroy Egypt's economy.
Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters
The 'New Frugality' versus the 'New Criminality'
Neil Howe, who along with the late William Strauss founded
generational theory in the 1980s, says in Forbes that analysts in the
national media are wrong to blame the decline in labor force
participation on the aging population, since the Boomer generation is
actually increasing its labor force participation and is the only
generation currently to be doing so.
He suggests another explanation: That Generation-X has a new social
mood, an enduring "New Frugality," of spending less, working less, and
buying cheaper. According to Howe:
Xers also prefer to do things for themselves. They
don’t trust others to get the job done right and consider paying
others for services they could perform themselves inefficient. Why
buy something new when you could employ crafty DIY tactics for
half the price? Why pay nannies to look after your kids while you
work to be able to afford their services? And why work law firm
hours at today’s high marginal tax rates, when you’ll just have to
give more of your money back?
He adds that since mainstream analysts' assumptions are wrong, their conclusions are wrong as well:
Pundits keep offering theories about when America
will return to pre-recession spending, GDP growth, and employment
rates. But if Xers continue to work and spend according to a New
Frugality ethos, these milestones will remain
Howe's point is that, because of generational factors, the global
financial crisis is far from over, and the economic growth that
politicians are counting on is not going to happen. This is a point
that I too have been making for years, and it's backed up by the
Velocity of Money chart that I posted last month:
Velocity of Money, 1959-2013 (St. Louis Fed)
The velocity of money has been cratering since the financial crisis
began in 2007, and it means that people aren't spending money. This
is propelling the economy into a deflationary spiral.
However, there's another side to the "New Frugality," and that's the
It's easy to forget how much criminality there's been in the last
decade, since the Gen-Xers came to power. There was the creation and
sale of trillions of dollars in fraudulent mortgage-backed securities
by thousands of bankers – not a single one of which has gone to jail.
Analysts on CNBC lie constantly about stock valuations. There isn't
even a pause any more. The lying is just part of the culture. That's
criminal activity if anyone cared. (See, for example, "14-Apr-12 World View -- Wharton School's Jeremy Siegel is lying about stock valuations" from
earlier this year.)
Then there's the Gen-Xer-in-chief in Washington. Does anyone, even
his supporters, believe a word he says any more? Yet it doesn't matter. As I've said, if President Obama picked up a gun and shot and
killed Michelle, then the New York Times and NBC News would blame it on the
Probably nothing is worse right now than Obamacare. Each day, it
destroys another part of the economy, just as Bashar al-Assad's barrel
bombs destroy innocent people's neighborhoods in Syria. But it
doesn't matter to Obama.
This is the standard Nomad archetype/Generation-X nihilistic paradigm:
Destroy everything so that you can start over with a blank slate, also
sometimes stated as "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet."
The Gen-Xer-in-chief believes that if enough of the medical insurance
industry is destroyed, then Obamacare will survive, and his name will
go down in history for government medical insurance.
All of these are examples of massive criminality that's been going on
in the past decade, which would have been completely unthinkable a
decade earlier, when the people of the Silent generation were in
The "New Criminality" is the mirror image of Howe's "New Frugality."
If CNBC analysts lie with impunity about stock valuations, and Obama
lies with impunity about Obamacare, then it's impossible to trust
anyone, and you have to do everything for yourself, which is what Howe
says about Gen-Xers. I know that's the way I feel, and I'm not a
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