Part 1 http://wp.me/p4bXEi-o5
What a crazy time! We arrived a short time before the election of President Obama. While every day the news was full of stories about banks collapsing. Not small banks, but big famous ones. Banks that I had actually heard of! It’s funny how you learn all this stuff when you travel in time, since you really can’t do much more than hang out at the library and read stuff. Travelling back into your own life time can cause real problems. Lets just say its best to hang out where you won’t be.
Soon the economy was shedding jobs like a cold weather dog in the springtime. So I decided to figure out when things were “good” as the first order of business. Perhaps we can get back to what worked? After reviewing all types of conflicting data it seemed that the peak of the US economy was around 1964. The country had recovered somewhat from the shock of Kennedy’s death, the Beatles took a mixture of musical influences and changed music by loosening the boundaries of all those influences, creating a mosaic that succeeded in both the pop and artistic realms. What the Beatles were doing was creating/reflecting a template of how large-scale economic prosperity can work. But, other things were blowing in the wind. It was a peak prosperity time and still all was not well. Bob Dylan fronted the movement of the beats into a larger cultural movement pointing out the failures and false assumptions underneath the surface of all the wealth. There was an uneasiness brewing about this Viet Nam business. But overall economically, the country was bursting at the seams. The Middle Class was bigger than ever, unfortunately it was mostly made up of a white male single wage earner. Usually they were vets of the WWII, and whether they attended college, they could all afford to send their kids to college on a single paycheck. Civil Rights laws were being passed and the President also took on poverty as a problem to be eliminated, just like polio in the 50’s!
So, what went wrong? As I looked up various articles and books on the subject I discovered a bunch of reasons. Some said it was the introduction of women into the workplace, nearly doubling the labor pool chasing the same available dollars to pay labor. Others said it was the unions. It was said they got greedy and kept striking for more pay, and even more benefits. Again, the idea was that they reduced the available dollars for non-union workers. Finally, a large contingent picked up the grumbling of some economic Conservatives who felt that welfare was too generous, taxes were too high, and government was getting too big. As the 60’s progressed each one of these arguments gained followers.
None of them really made much sense to me., but all of them seemed to have a whiff of truth to them. Perhaps we are looking at this wrong? Maybe if I figure out when the Middle Class stopped growing the answer might become obvious.
Just a side note about reintegrating your body when you come back from a time travelling trip. Recent events of your travelling self sort of melt from your memory. I recall betting a lot of money on the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2013. Now if I can just recall where I stashed the winnings! Damn.
Still recovering .
Part 3 is coming soon!