THE GREAT RECKONING by James Dale Davidson


How the World Will Change in the Drepression of the 1990's
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 Tough-minded socioeconomic forecasts that, while in the alarmist tradition of Ravi Batra, Harry Browne, Adrian Day, etc, afford genuinely thoughtful perspectives on an arguably uncertain future. This time around, Davidson (founder of the National Taxpayers Union) and Rees-Mogg (ex-editor of the London Times) largely eschew the pitches for their investment advisory services that marred their Blood In The Streets (1987), sticking instead to what they call megapolitical analysis. Using this big-picture approach, the authors predict a deflationary depression for the global village by the turn of the century, if not sooner. Among other bleak outcomes, their epoch-spanning audit projects that the US will soon go the way of post-WW II Great Britain, with Japan tumbling after in relatively short order. The cold war was hot in economic terms, they point out, meaning its windup promises to create substantive dislocations in domestic as well as offshore markets. At a minimum, for example, Davidson and Rees-Mogg anticipate an end to de facto subsidies for the dollar. Concurrently, they assert, a secular trend to disorder has been gathering momentum throughout the world. At the local level, they predict, this drift could make New York like ``a Gotham City without Batman.'' In the meantime, the welfare state is at grave risk as overextended industrial powers find themselves unable to replenish depleted financial resources with a real-estate crash in full force. Indeed, the authors insist that elected officials will probably deem it imperative to reduce the ``unsustainable burdens of transfer payments....'' The bottom line is chaotic and lawless during which those who can will flee metropolitan centers for exurban areas where they can live in peace and prosperity. A conjectural scenario that's as closely reasoned as it is deeply disturbing.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-66980-X
Page count: 574pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991