"For all of [Americans'] interest in controlling and often thwarting change, this stagnation cannot and will not last forever. In all systems, pressures build for change, and the more we shunt aside or postpone those pressures, whether through segregation, poor mobility, political dysfunctionality, sluggish productivity and debt-financed economic growth, or a general disengagement and miasma of spirit, the stronger they become. Eventually, we will see the latent tensions building and begin to understand that changes can be postponed but not avoided. Ultimately that means that our current dilemmas will continue until they reach their breaking points. Sadly, there isn't any 'fix' above and beyond waiting for some parts of our current institutions to crumble away and eventually be replaced.

"I argue that in the longer term, social change will boil over once again, in uncontrollable ways, or, to borrow a phrase from urban economist Richard Florida, America is headed for a 'Great Reset.' A Great Reset is what happens when you postpone change for too long, and it is like opening up a valve on an overheating engine; there is a sudden rush of outward force, and not always in a pleasant or orderly manner. In medieval times, for instance, the Catholic Church sought to shut down a lot of theological dissent. For a while this worked, but eventually the result was a far-reaching and fundamental process known as the Reformation, which had major political, economic, and religious ramifications for centuries.

"As for the present day, unpacking the ongoing trends suggests that many of them cannot continue or will not always converge in a peaceful fashion; rather they will explode into some major revolutions farther down the road. The first very visible indication of the Great Reset was the financial crisis of 2007 - 2008, which punctured old myths about the efficacy of the American financial system and revealed that the country is on a fundamentally lower path of economic growth. Many individuals cannot expect to find a good job at all.

"The further playing out of this Great Reset will . . . involve a major fiscal and budgetary crisis; the inability of our government to adjust to the next global emergency that comes along; impossibly expensive apartment rentals in the most attractive cities; the legacy of inadequate mobility and residential segregation; a rebellion of many less-skilled men; a resurgence of crime; and a decline in economic dynamism, among other social and economic problems. Eventually stasis will prove insufficient and big changes will have to come, whether we like it or not.

"And this is another reason why our current, relatively happy, change-avoiding world is not an entirely comfortable proposition. We may not welcome all of the fairly radical changes that are to come sooner or later, but we're postponing have to deal with them in favor of short-term comforts.

"We have created the complacent class. We own the concept and indeed we are the concept. It is in fact our greatest but also our most dangerous innovation. Someday we may break it too."