In this sad screed, Paul Krugman says he remembers the economic good old days of the 60's, sustained for a generation by social norms that favored equality, strong labor unions and progressive taxation.
That's strange. I seem to remember rampant inflation, labor unions demanding and receiving an almost automatic 10% wage hike plus benefit increases annually, strikes that shut down the steel industry, the automotive industry and the transportation industries. I remember buying shoddy cars made of shoddy materials and assembled in a shoddy manner.
I remember hundreds of thousands marching in the streets against, well, whatever. I remember riots that killed hundreds and did billions of dollars in damage in areas that have still not recovered. I remember a president assassinated, his brother murdered, the greatest American civil rights leader murdered, a president threatened with a gun, a presidential candidate paralyzed for life by a would be assassin, and another president shot and near death. I remember John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
I remember when the United States was the world's leading manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks, ships, televisions, VCR's, radios and bluejeans. All of that is gone, now, and gone forever. I remember when "made in Japan" meant cheap products not likely to last through the end of the month. I remember when Honda imported his first cars to California. The drive shafts were bicycle chains and they couldn't make it up the hills in San Francisco.
I remember fighting to no better than a draw in one Indochinese country where 34,000 Americans died. I remember fighting in another and ignominiously withdrawing with 55,000 Americans dead. I remember sending men to a neighboring communist dictatorship to free its people, then withdrawing support at the last instant and allowing them to die on that country's beaches. I remember more than a hundred of our people held hostage for a full year and all we could do about it was send more men to die in a middle eastern desert when they crashed their helicopters into one another.
How many mass produced bluejeans are Made in USA, today? None
How many televisions are mass produced in the USA, today? None
How many VCR's are mass produced in the USA, today? None
How many DVD players are mass produced in the USA today? None
How many of the giant cruise ships are Made in USA, today? None
Who makes the best cars, trucks and buses in the world today? Japan
Who makes the best and cheapest steel in the world today? Japan
I remember when my country was shown no respect whatsoever, militarily, politically or economically. I remember when my country did not deserve any respect whatsoever, militarily, politically or economically. I remember when I was ashamed of my government and ashamed of my country, ashamed to be an American.
Who has the most feared and respected economy in the world, today? USA
Who has the the most feared and respected military in the world today? USA
Where do they have to go when there is trouble that needs fixing? USA
Who is the first one they look for but the last they want to meet? USA
I say that our Great Recovery began in 1980.
Linked to: QandO, Attaturk who disagrees (how old are you?), Tom Maguire with some history, Brad DeLong, Kos how old were you in the 60's and 70's?, Reading the World, http://www.stardel.com/eg/2005/06/10/losing-our-country-new-york-times/, Masson, BluecollarBlog, AbamaBlog, TruckandBarter, Media in Trouble, TakeItPersonally, Suburban Guerrilla, Daisy Cutter, Lifelike Pundits, Art of the Blog,