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Old 12-27-2017, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,744 posts, read 1,207,954 times
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Just to realign, I said the "US Economy" was a peach. Capital superiority, Trade Surplus, Income Surplus, Technological lead...and even if it wasn't handled the way I or anyone else would have liked it, it was a position of strength.

In my living memory the US lost its last trade surplus when I was a child, and income surplus a few years later. Aside from the .com fueled fluke year, we've never been close to balancing the Federal budget, and the state and local governments just seem to back tacking on bond issue after bond issue.

I've often wondered how the world gave the US so much leeway. Why are we not being treated like Greece? To me, it's interesting to read detail that the US was quite powerful at one time economically. We still are, but nothing close to what we were then. Gains were made in many other areas to be sure, and GDP has certainly continued to rise overall, but we're no longer the strong King of the hill helping up our allies. We're the old King now that needs support and is starting to make strange decisions and getting our allies involved in wars they'd rather not be involved with.

So please, put on the blinders in terms of the huge cultural and technological gains we've made since then. I'm just talking the economics. All I'm saying is that this freaking report and the other I read in Time are so amazingly positive it's hard to believe I'm reading about the United States and not China. It would be like waking up in the UK and just realizing that 100 years ago their little island was the empire in which the sun never set.

Of course, I'm curious now on how we went from THAT to THIS. That seems to be around the time the country ripped apart and became two sides that wouldn't talk to one another. Perhaps the largresse or our bounty made it unnecessary for a time....just long enough to establish a pattern of not working with the other side, and then the rot came in. The ways to help my people, not all people. Throw in an unpopular war and a lot of drugs and Americanna gets shattered. With it broken, people look for targets the way they always do. LBJ, Nixon, Minorities and Women. The realization that we don't need to run these things for the benefit of the people as much as the benefits of ourselves. By the time I reach the fray, it's already mangled. The Titanic is taking on water and the captains are fighting over which deck needs to be flooded and which one needs to be saved.

But, then I throw myself off track. I just think that, macro economically speaking, 1968 looks like one hell of a year to be America.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,651 posts, read 1,885,330 times
Reputation: 2488
Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
Just to realign, I said the "US Economy" was a peach. Capital superiority, Trade Surplus, Income Surplus, Technological lead...and even if it wasn't handled the way I or anyone else would have liked it, it was a position of strength.

In my living memory the US lost its last trade surplus when I was a child, and income surplus a few years later. Aside from the .com fueled fluke year, we've never been close to balancing the Federal budget, and the state and local governments just seem to back tacking on bond issue after bond issue.

I've often wondered how the world gave the US so much leeway. Why are we not being treated like Greece? To me, it's interesting to read detail that the US was quite powerful at one time economically. We still are, but nothing close to what we were then. Gains were made in many other areas to be sure, and GDP has certainly continued to rise overall, but we're no longer the strong King of the hill helping up our allies. We're the old King now that needs support and is starting to make strange decisions and getting our allies involved in wars they'd rather not be involved with.

So please, put on the blinders in terms of the huge cultural and technological gains we've made since then. I'm just talking the economics. All I'm saying is that this freaking report and the other I read in Time are so amazingly positive it's hard to believe I'm reading about the United States and not China. It would be like waking up in the UK and just realizing that 100 years ago their little island was the empire in which the sun never set.

Of course, I'm curious now on how we went from THAT to THIS. That seems to be around the time the country ripped apart and became two sides that wouldn't talk to one another. Perhaps the largresse or our bounty made it unnecessary for a time....just long enough to establish a pattern of not working with the other side, and then the rot came in. The ways to help my people, not all people. Throw in an unpopular war and a lot of drugs and Americanna gets shattered. With it broken, people look for targets the way they always do. LBJ, Nixon, Minorities and Women. The realization that we don't need to run these things for the benefit of the people as much as the benefits of ourselves. By the time I reach the fray, it's already mangled. The Titanic is taking on water and the captains are fighting over which deck needs to be flooded and which one needs to be saved.

But, then I throw myself off track. I just think that, macro economically speaking, 1968 looks like one hell of a year to be America.
Amen. And it was. A thing to behold, for sure, America's economic might. And that was about the peak of it, built on the hard work, collective spirit, and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation. Oftentimes (in fact most often) the fall of empires is not due to military victory or pillage and plunder but a slower, protracted decline brought about by a macro-version of the laws of human nature. Like crabs pulling each other down as one tries to escape the bucket instead of working together to knock it over, the trappings of privilege, complacency, greed, and corruption bring down the whole thing. Like Britain, it will be a long and slow process of economic decline and loss of world standing as our relative quality of life continues to deteriorate.

No longer it is true that the younger generations have it better than the previous. In fact, I think the Boomers were the last where that was true, and they've subsequently rigged it to where they are milking the remaining economic clout of this country for all it's worth, increasingly creating a divided country of the "haves" and "have-nots" (guess which side outnumbers which?). I think nothing short of a political revolution can save it now as it's almost too far gone and there are too many in power who would like to see that remain the case. I actually feel like the difficulties the much-maligned Millennial generation has collectively endured has given them a different perspective, and one of a more progressive, altruistic, and ecologically-minded nature that could potentially be our planet's and country's saving grace if their numbers can replace the dying and retiring boomers fast enough.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:28 PM
 
6,815 posts, read 4,408,035 times
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I also marvel, as to why the US continues to do so well economically, to attract the world's investment, patent-applications, graduate students, screenplay-writers and actors, scientists, entrepreneurs and so forth. The US has become a New Switzerland - secure, prosperous, the magnet for global investment... without necessarily having to produce much on its own. From an investment viewpoint, the abiding and baffling mystery, is why has the US recovered so well since the Great Recession, while nearly everywhere else has stagnated, or at best made tepid return to its prior peak, but has attained nothing like a convincing new all-time high. And I don't mean this either to bash America, or to fawningly praise it. I just don't understand why the US Dollar is so strong, and US stock markets so buoyant.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:28 PM
 
5,146 posts, read 2,992,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShampooBanana View Post
Amen. And it was. A thing to behold, for sure, America's economic might. And that was about the peak of it, built on the hard work, collective spirit, and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation. Oftentimes (in fact most often) the fall of empires is not due to military victory or pillage and plunder but a slower, protracted decline brought about by a macro-version of the laws of human nature. Like crabs pulling each other down as one tries to escape the bucket instead of working together to knock it over, the trappings of privilege, complacency, greed, and corruption bring down the whole thing. Like Britain, it will be a long and slow process of economic decline and loss of world standing as our relative quality of life continues to deteriorate.

No longer it is true that the younger generations have it better than the previous. In fact, I think the Boomers were the last where that was true, and they've subsequently rigged it to where they are milking the remaining economic clout of this country for all it's worth, increasingly creating a divided country of the "haves" and "have-nots" (guess which side outnumbers which?). I think nothing short of a political revolution can save it now as it's almost too far gone and there are too many in power who would like to see that remain the case. I actually feel like the difficulties the much-maligned Millennial generation has collectively endured has given them a different perspective, and one of a more progressive, altruistic, and ecologically-minded nature that could potentially be our planet's and country's saving grace if their numbers can replace the dying and retiring boomers fast enough.
Oh, c'mon. You can't paint all us Boomers with the same tar brush anymore than you can the Millennials. Sharing what we had was reinvented with us and the commune concept. We remain huge contributors to the volunteer effort.


I see Millennials liking the concept in abstract but much less hands-on. "I'll donate money but don't expect me to show up and actually talk to people."


And if you are honest First World have-nots have more than any other generation in the world's history. That's why we keep getting more and more of them. Being a have-not in the Western world is a pretty good place to be a have-not.


Truth is, we can't compare, as someone else mentioned. To denigrate the past because it didn't have what we have today is an empty exercise. What we had was new to us and felt like progress at the time.


I do agree with your first paragraph. We are sensing changes in the wind and many are scrambling to get their share before all the prosperity comes crashing down. Too many have bought into the idea of us vs. them instead of cooperation. Decentralilzation and technology have helped bring that about, I think.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
5,473 posts, read 1,647,100 times
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The only reason the US economically has seemed to "decline" is because it was inevitable that other countries gained strength. Same thing with the UK 150 years ago, and so on. Someday the Chinese will be lamenting the same thing.

And remember in the 80's when Japan was supposed to be kicking our butts? Look what happened to that.

BTW that report in the OP was a report of the president. Of course it's going to paint things pretty rosy.
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Old 12-27-2017, 03:43 PM
 
9,317 posts, read 11,242,312 times
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Well, my dad bought a house in that year for $18,000, (4 bed/2 bath) which now lists for $550,000 in Whittier, California.


You could actually buy a penny candy for a penny.

Hippies were becoming popular....
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:59 PM
 
6,308 posts, read 4,765,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/econo...ports/1967.pdf

50 Years ago. The US Economy was a peach. Aside from the report Time reported that 10% of all goods consumed in the UK were from the US. The US sold 40% of Europe's autos and 80% of their computing power. Sheer capital made scale possible for the US companies that the war torn regions just couldn't catch up to...of course some may say that was only until we started diverting said capital advantage to war efforts, others may say it's actually healthier and inevitable that the world started producing its own goods. I never realized how dominant the US really was. Trade surpluses are pretty nice.

At any rate, it amazes me, the script style, the simplicity, the cause and effect. It also treats money as a finite resource. GNP growth was x, this much will be spent on the military, this much left to the private sector.

I though it was neat. Maybe you guys will too.
It was peachy that the economy was growing rapidly, but per capita GDP was $4,336. That about $32,000 in today's money, compared with a 2017 per capita GDP of $60,000, also in today's money. Try taking a nearly 50% pay cut and see how you like it.

$32,000 is about the current per capita GDP of Slovakia, Slovenia, and Portugal.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,744 posts, read 1,207,954 times
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So, some new info on the period.

Taxes were high! 22% on your first $25,000 and 48% on anything over that? Wow.

So of course I go and look at household income distribution:

60M Households total:
2.7M Under $1,000
Each thousand dollar segment (example: $1K-$2K, $7K-8K) had about 4 million households.
11.7M were between $10K - $15K
6.3M were above $15K

Median Income was $7,181, average was $8,192. Only 2.1% of the population were above the $25K mark for the higher tax rate. 8.8% of Doctorate level graduates made this money while just .4% of those with elementary school or less did.

Now this is interesting. Women head of households had a median income of just 3,024 vs 8,144 for those headed by men. Digging further into that, there's not even a category for women head of households that are married. Most were widows. Just 2 in 60 were single ladies and 1.8 were divorcees.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,556 posts, read 9,642,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
it was also the civil rights era...

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-r...ights-era.html

it wasn't all "peaches" in the US

No, it wasn't, and then there was that little Vietnam thing going on. The world was pretty sane until about 1963, and then it began to drastically change, and not for the better.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,138 posts, read 11,338,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double6's View Post
I graduated high school in 66..blue collar jobs that you only needed a high school education and could support a family on were a dime a dozen..gone, gone, gone are those days..
That's true, I graduated in 1964 and the boys who didn't go to college got jobs in as apprentice machinists or as a carpenter's helper and rented their own apartments. I got married in 1966, my husband was in the Air Force, with a family allotment we got less than $300 a month but we were paying $35 a month to rent a mobile home so we felt rich.

I don't remember ever feeling strapped financially until the 80's, but I was divorced with two kids at the time so I don't know how much to attribute to the economy and how much of it was because I was supporting a family on one income.
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