Comparing economic cycles to the rise and fall of party preference

I will apologize in advance that this post will not be thorough or well documented. I rarely get to say this, but I’m busy. Still, I wanted it out there so you could reply and help me think it through.

Saturday night the spouse and I watched Iron Lady, a movie about Margaret Thatcher. (The movie was good and I’d recommend it.) It was a flash from the past for both of us. He graduated college in 1980. The economic climate was very similar to that of today. There was historical footage inserted into the film that brought back a lot of memories.

It got me thinking – How many years has that been? Then I searched the internet for 35 year economic cycles and found this:

Right there, under my nose, someone agreeing with my idea and coming up with a method of measurement.

But then I recognized the bottom point around 1980 was the surge of conservatism at the time. I think we are seeing it again in 2012, which is another bottom point in comparing the DJIA to the price of gold. Are the two related?

I played with the chart a bit in comparison to presidential leadership, and while it seems to be holding true for the last couple of cycles, there was a very long stretch in the beginning of the previous surge where Democrats led the way. So it’s not accurate to say Republicans lead during the up side and Democrats take the down slope. It looks more likely that I can conclude a significant transition does take place, though, in political leadership during the peaks and troughs.

Ok, not terribly fleshed out, but that should give you enough to peak your interest if you are so inclined. We all know I love charts. We may have talked about economic wave theory before, but more along the lines of Kondratiev which advocates a generational cycle of about double this one. My conclusion remains that there is something to be gleaned by acknowledging these cycles. It does seem mankind is terribly resistant to learning from his own history.