Monday, September 19, 2011

The Golden Age That Never Was ...



(right-click to open image in separate window)

And the Plastic Age of the last 30 years.

Note that the great "prosperity" of the Reagan and Clinton years was produced by

a) debt

b) women joining the workforce

I'd hazard a guess that the Thatcher, Major and Blair years would have paralleled this pretty closely.

7 comments:

James Higham said...

And will now go down due to all the parachutees in key roles.

dearieme said...

The yanks did very well while the rest of the world was bombed flat or groaning under a socialist yoke. They did less well afterwards. It may be that was partly because of the terrible damage done by LBJ (expensive war, extravagant welfare state, and no tax increases to pay for them) and by Nixon (accommodated LBJ's folly by cutting the dollar's link to gold). But since so much was changing by so much, it's none too certain that one can just point the finger at the Pres of the USA and say "it's all your fault!". Not least, because US laws are passed by the legislature not the Pres.

Clifford D said...

Yes, that is right. Prosperity in the western world was an illusion. Now, all that is left is debt. Lots of it.

This IMF video gives some idea of how much debt the west is carring:

debt levels in advanced countries

Debt levels are now higher than at any time since the war. The scale of the adjustment needed is massive.

The west is so screwed.

Laban said...

Not all the West, though. FTSE directors are still trousering massive increases despite a decade of declining share prices. Non performance related pay.

Anonymous said...

I think under Thatcher debt descreased.
Not sure about Major but under Blair it went up.

Anonymous said...

ah, this isn't you having a laugh is it Laban.
On the BBC "Nick Clegg warns of 'long, hard road' on economy"
It has 1200+ comments, and one of the 'Editors picks' is this!
"One scary policy is the 'power to the people, less at Westminster'.

The Government is to govern.People aren't smart enough to look after themselves."

Anonymous said...

It's not just women going out to work, it's also free and easy credit. My parents did not ever have a credit card in their whole lives, and neither did most of their friends and relatives. When I was growing up, only a few rich people and those who traveled on business had credit cards.

The free and easy access to credit cards allow us to live beyond our means and thus maintain the illusion of ever-increasing prosperity.

-An Observer