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It's not a "nearly impossible coincidence," but a cause-and-effect relationship -- the business cycle is *generated* by political action, so naturally it reflects political terms of office.
The coincindence refers, I think, not to the mere reflection of business cycles on political terms of office, but rather the chapter of the book (dont have my copy handy) where the mathematical average of the long and short business cycles equals the terms of the US Senate and House respectively, and the average of these two, produces the exact term of the executive. That's a hell of a coincidence, if he's right. On the other hand, he doesn't provide any math to back this up. Many parts of the book do this, mention a cool idea and fail to provide any hardcore backup. Grrrr!
I admit I haven't picked up my copy yet but I did a little research because I am unfamiliar with the CW on business cycles. The Dept. of Commerce's NBER tracks GDP as a business cycle (http://www.nber.org/cycles/...
) Here the mean cycle is of 55 months. Close enough to be the long business cycle parallel of a 6 year senate term. I am not familiar with what inputs are used for determining the so called short business cycle. However, the US constitution definitly sets out the terms of Representatives at two years, the presidency at four and of Senators at six years.
Steve, this what I found fascinating...The 'theory' Williams presents in this section is that political incumbency should match the business cycles and average out. and in a 3-branch government, it has to be done basically the way Williams describes... But the fact that America in fact matches up, or looks similar, is a mere happy coincidence, and shows like so many other parts of the Book, that America tends towards justice and perfection in so many ways...The book's fictitious court finds theoretical injustice in America, but has to look pretty damn hard to point it out, and in doing so, makes most other countries look disgustingly unjust. The Irony of Williams' Title! Love this Book. Everyone should read it. The effort required to criticize America theoretically, is so immense that the criticisms equate to immense praise.
El Pres, just like before, you gotta read it on the esoteric level...(thats ok, tho, Steve still needs to get the book! PS, you'll love it Steve!) But folks, for the 1000th time, Williams isn't the court in the book!!! The court is just a character, so is Antigone, so is The U.S.--Williams is none of them, he's only the puppeteer. And that's the beauty of it. A character suggests a political theory of election cycles. What are we to do with this? Figure out what that means in the context of this work of fiction. (Wanna know Williams' secret? He writes like Yasunari Kawabata!)