That '70s Show

by Don Boudreaux on December 30, 2007

in History, Myths and Fallacies, Standard of Living

Joel Kotkin, always thoughtful and provocative, does a nice job in today’s Washington Post advising us denizens of the first decade of the 21st century not to take our fears too seriously.  Here are his opening paragraphs:

The country is in a funk. Oil prices are at record highs, and the
dollar is plummeting. Foreigners are buying out leading U.S. business
assets. Environmentalists say the world is headed toward an ecological
crackup of biblical proportions.

Today’s headlines? Well, yes. But for those of us old enough to
remember, they could just as easily be bulletins from one of the
grimmest decades in recent U.S. history: the ’70s.

That decade, when all the promise of the 1960s fizzled into
disappointment, holds up a mirror to our contemporary pessimism. Then
as now, Americans felt uncertain about the present and insecure about
the future. But we found a way out of the gloom — and if that decade
is our guide, we’re likely to do it again.

I came of age in the 1970s, and I agree with Kotkin.


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