Ryan's Reviews > 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America

2030 by Albert Brooks
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Aug 16, 11

Read from July 27 to August 16, 2011

I enjoyed this book, and found it to be an easy ready, told in a style that the pages seem to just flow by without even realizing how far into the book you are. It is the story, of course, of the year 2030 in America. In some ways, it isn't so different from the present, but in others the difference is at once striking and a bit horrifying.

Many of the problems and issues that we are facing now, Medicare crisis, the national debt, China, and the role of technology, are ballooned to epic proportions by this point, with little having been down to solve or alleviate them. Brooks does a nice job of keeping all of the futuristic developments realistic. I can't think of even one futuristic development that seemed implausible because it was too far of a leap forward.

The main crux of the story centers on two different dynamics. The relationship between retired persons, a segment of the population whose growth has skyrocketed because of huge medical advancements, including the cure to cancer, and those still in the workforce; And a terrible, record-setting earthquake that levels Los Angeles and forces America to turn to China for incredible amounts of assistance in order to repair the city.

The young/ old dichotomy is the real takeaway from this story, in my opinion. In the book, young people are so strapped for cash and are so overwhelmed by the burden of supporting the burgeoning retirement generation that some radical groups begin targeting "olds" in terrorist attacks and there is a general resentment across the nation against the olds and the way their lives have been lived as opposed to the way their children will live. Essentially, as Brooks puts it, this is shaping up to be the first time in American history that a generation will be worse off than their parents, and that generation is not ready to accept that in silence.
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07/28/2011 page 20
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