Book Review – 2030 – From My Daughter’s Reading List

The full title of the book is 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks.  That’s right the actor turned author writes his first novel in 2012 and it is a winner.  The allure of the book for me though was the fact that a year ago my 21 year old daughter was reading this book with me while on vacation.

My daughter loaned me the book this year.  I was intrigued to read something different, very futuristic and fiction different, not my typical genre of reading.  I know Albert Brooks as an actor and she knows him as an author; from what a different place we even start reading this book.  She said she really enjoyed the book and that it was odd because in 2030 she would be my age now – in her early 40s.  Now I was more compelled to read this book that was making my daughter look at me for me, a person in their 40s, not just her mother but her mother as part of a specific generation at a specific age.

2030 Book Jacket and Albert Brooks photo

2030 Book Jacket and Albert Brooks photo

2030 Summarized

The book paints a picture of the future where cancer has been cured in 2015 and so many aspects of aging and appearance can be controlled by drugs (imagine fit, healthy and beautiful retirees).  The population is living on and the number of ‘olds’ is greater than the younger generations so disproportionate that the imbalance obviously uncomfortable to begin thinking about.  In the 2030 in the book I will be in the right generation, the one young enough to have it all with the right medication and live strong but be retired and if social security lives on a ward of government health care and my retirement savings.  My daughter’s generation will despise me.

How does a young generation have joy or any ability to find work when no one needs to or wants to retire?  Where is housing available and then even remotely affordable for anyone who is young when it is filled with those who live on?  Where is the joy in the future of life when the past won’t die?

I never stopped to think about my daughter at 40.  I was very busy thinking about her at 25 (living on her own, being successful and happy, etc) and her sister getting through high school.  What was I doing being role model of any sorts as I was working but not sharing where I came from or where I wanted to go.  The book helps me to realize the vast differences of the generations and the influence of the laws in our nation by those with buying power and voting ability.  No wonder so many wanted to vote for the change named Obama in 2008.

The Internet is full of cities looking to design their future in 2030.  Countries are working to keep pace in development projects and create a plan for the year 2030.  Check out Ray Hammond’s 278 page document that outlines his version of 2030. Mutual funds are available with the name 2030 so you can neatly stock your retirement money away if you are targeting to retire in that decade.  Those born in 2012 when this book was written will have 2030 on their high school jackets and diploma’s if 12 years of primary learning remains the norm.

Personal Insight

My daughter provided me some great reading as well as insight into what interests her and the differences we have in perspective.  I recommend Albert Brooks’ book.  He demonstrates that the slightest single big change can have a butterfly like affect on everyone’s future.  We are not immune to changes in the future.  Like the iPhone I do not have it defines me as a non Apple adopters and puts me in my own class regardless of my reason for not having that type of phone.  I am defined by the technology because of my passive nature to it.

What is that next thing that will define us?  Who will the ‘us’ be and how much influence will that group hold?

Where are you planning to be in 2030?
Live strong, live on.