Michael Barone posted an article in the Washington Examiner on Saturday entitled, “History suggests that era of entitlements is nearly over.” Wow. Is that a promise? Mr. Barone points out that you can actually divide American history in 76-year periods.
The article points out:
It was 76 years from Washington’s First Inaugural in 1789 to Lincoln’s Second Inaugural in 1865. It was 76 years from the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865 to the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Going backward, it was 76 years from the First Inaugural in 1789 to the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which settled one of the British-French colonial wars. And going 76 years back from Utrecht takes you to 1637, when the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay colonies were just getting organized.
The article points out that the reason for change in each 76-year cycle was that the original arrangement became unworkable. We are now more than 76 years away from the passage of the Social Security in 1935. The entitlement society is in the process of going broke, and people are beginning to look for alternatives to big government programs. It will be interesting to see what happens next.