The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence

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Random House, 2010 - Business & Economics - 316 pages
The Great Inflation in the 1960s and 1970s, notes award-winning columnist Robert J. Samuelson, played a crucial role in transforming American politics, economy, and everyday life. The direct consequences included stagnation in living standards, a growing belief—both in America and abroad—that the great-power status of the United States was ending, and Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980. But that is only half the story. The end of high inflation led to two decades of almost uninterrupted economic growth, rising stock prices and ever-increasing home values. Paradoxically, this prolonged prosperity triggered the economic and financial collapse of 2008 and 2009 by making Americans—from bank executives to ordinary homeowners—overconfident, complacent, and careless.The Great Inflation and its Aftermath, Samuelson contends, demonstrated that we have not yet escaped the boom-and-bust cycles common in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is a sobering tale essential for anyone who wants to understand today’s world.
 

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I don't like Reaganomics. I don't like the capitalist world that it created, with its massive and absurd inequalities in rewards for labor. I don't like the idea of medicine for profit, or the notion ... Read full review

The great inflation and its aftermath: the past and future of American affluence

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According to award-winning financial columnist Samuelson (Newsweek; The Good Life and Its Discontents), the great inflation of the 1960s and 1970s is often either a distant memory or an obscure piece ... Read full review

Contents

The Full Employment Obsession
47
The Money Connection
75
A Compact of Conviction
107
Capitalism Restored
139
Precarious Prosperity
175
The Future of Affluence
225
Glossary
253
PostWorld War II U S Business Cycles
271
Index
307
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About the author (2010)

Robert J. Samuelson is a columnist for Newsweek and The Washington Post. He began his journalism career as a reporter for the Post in 1969. He is the author of The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement, 1945-1995 and Untruth: Why the Conventional Wisdom Is (Almost Always) Wrong, a collection of his columns. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Judy Herr. They have three children.


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