"The post–World War II economic expansion, also known as the postwar economic boom, the long boom, and the Golden Age of Capitalism, was a period of economic prosperity in the mid-20th century, which occurred mainly inwestern countries following the end of World War II in 1945, and lasted until the early 1970s. It ended with the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, the1973 oil crisis, and the 1973–1974 stock market crash, which led to the 1970s recession."
Economic recovery from the Great Depression and of WWII, a period in which demand for goods and services exploded, many social changes took place. Women filled the labor gap during the war and many happily returned to homemaking while many others remained in the paid labor force but at unequal pay. Race issues began to explode as returning African- and -Asian American military personnel returned home no longer willing to put up with segregation and Jim Crow laws. 1968 Was a dreadful year with riots, sit-ins, marches and protesters of all varieties joining in resistance to unfair laws, policing, and economic segregation.
By 1971, the "Nixon Shock", the unlinking of money from gold, meant money was printed based on nothing. When USA needed money, it was printed. The consequence is volatility.
The Bretton Woods Agreement, a system of monetary management created the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world's major industrial states. In 1971, the USA unilaterally terminated convertibility of dollar to gold, thus ending the Bretton Woods Agreement. Officially, the $ became "fiat currency", backed by nothing more than a promise to pay.
What is unclear is how one can fulfill a promise if there is nothing to back it up. Due to excess printed dollars, and negative U.S. trade balance, other nations began demanding fulfillment of America's "promise to pay" – that is, the redemption of their dollars for gold.
These and other major shifts in policy brought the end to the Golden Age of Capitalism and economic decline continues at an accelerated rate.
By all means, do the necessary research, find the necessary information to make your graph and prove your point, otherwise you have no evidence to undermine ours.
Well, do it. We are waiting, patiently, for your proof. So far, we have had name calling, insults, no evidence that you can produce what you want to produce. You use Excel. You look up the raw data. You make the chart.
If you give us one more blast of "bullshit," "liars, damn liars, and then there are statistics," "fucking," "It is pretty easy if you know how to use Excel," I am going to block you from this site.
You have made your point several times and it is very clear to me.
Jedi, you are far more patient than I. The next question is, does the general voting public realize this?
The answer is a resounding no, and there is the biggest problem. I had to really pay attention and find all the right people to listen to until one morning I was watching "Up with Chris Hayes" and he brought out the L-curve graph, showing how wealth in this country is quite evenly distributed amongst the 99%, until you get to the top 1%, so the graph looks like a backwards L. It's insane, but people don't realize it or what it means, they are so complacent with what they have and don't realize what complacency causes. I had a nice discussion with an older gentlemen who seemed much more informed than your average person, and he was trying to get a handle on the whole thing to, and he said to me that he thinks the Occupy people have got it wrong, but that it's likely the top 20% or so that have so much more than everyone else, and I responded, "actually I would take things in the other direction. It's not even the top 1%, its more like the top 0.1%, that is who the government is working for, who the economy is working for, who has bought the government and runs the country". I think I struck a chord with him, but your point is the real one - people don't know this stuff, this is why Occupy is purposeless and headless, people know there are deep systemic problems in the country but they don't really know just how to frame the issue.
"About 12.5 million people are still unemployed, and a record 88.4 million people are considered "not in the labor force," according to the BLS. The labor-force participation rate -- the percentage of the work-age population either working or looking for work -- dropped to 63.6 percent, the lowest since December 1981."
This means that the percentage of the work-age population that are unemployed and not even looking for work is 36.4%?! On top of the 8.2% unemployment rate?? That would mean that 44.6% of our working-age population is unemployed? This doesn't sound right to me. Maybe John is right about by math skills after all :-D. Could someone help clear this up for me? I know real unemployment is higher than the unemployment figures the US government provides, but I thought the number was way lower, closer to 12-13%? I suppose if there are a lot of stay-at-home parents, this could help explain this nearly 45% figure... Help me!
I think now those previous numbers must just be wrong. Or maybe the sentence was constructed horribly wrong. It just doesn't make sense. Here is another quote from a different article I am reading by Paul Krugman:
"If you think about it, however, this standard definition of unemployment misses a lot of distress. What about people who want to work, but aren't actively searching either because there are no jobs to be had, or because they've grown discouraged by fruitless searching? What about those who want full-time work, but have only been able to find part-time jobs? Well, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tries to capture these unfortunates in a broader measure of unemployment, known as U6; it says that by this broader measure there are about 24 million unemployed Americans--about 15 percent of the workforce--roughly double the number before the crisis."
So there's the real unemployment number, 24 million unemployed which is 15%, nowhere close to 44.6%, and not even close to the 36.4% the previous article implied were unemployed. So much confusion!
Sentient Biped sent these referrals and illustrates so powerfully what I am trying to convey, I am resending for you to see.
The World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems.
Preventable Deaths for selected countries, 1997-1998 and 2002-2003, Issued 2008
HEALTHY LIFE EXPECTANCY (HALE)
List of countries by total health expenditure (PPP) per capita
While it's certainly true that the gain in wealth, income and influence had disproportionately gone to the needle at the tip at the apex of the summit of the iceberg (is that enough metaphors?), we need to distinguish between wealth and consumption.
Example: suppose that you are a young single person without dependents, and you earn $25K/year. You spend all of your income on consumables (rent, food, health insurance, clothes, transportation,...). Now suppose that instead of $25K, you earn $35K - but spend as if you only earned $25K. At $35K, you'll be paying higher taxes, so say that that leaves $7K net annually to invest. And you invest, and invest and invest... for decades... because you have that disposable income. Even with the lousy stock market that we've had in 2000-2012, your setting aside that cash would build a not insignificant net worth. So then you have two people in essentially the same income category (is there that much difference between $25K/year and $35K/year), but with vastly different financial net worth.
The point of this thought-experiment is that comparatively slight differences in income vs. consumption compound to large difference in realizable wealth. Yes, part of the reason for our growing wealth disparity in America is poor policy, rapacious corporatism and lopsided societal values. That is all true. But the other part of the wealth disparity is that poorer people consume all of what they earn, while wealthier people have excess cash for investment.
So what's the point? The point is that we have less disparity of consumption than disparity of wealth. Of course, poorer people consume less than wealthier people. But the consumption-ratio is less steep than the income ratio. Millions of people in what is sometimes called the lower-middle class have less financial security than their parents had, but simultaneously they are living more sumptuous lifestyles. Not too many decades ago, having enough food every day to eat to satiation was a relative luxury for most people. Today it is a luxury only for the most destitute.
So, yes, in many ways 1945-1970 was a golden age. But maybe it was a historical anomaly, and today we are witnessing not a contemptible abuse but an unavoidable reversion to the mean?
Michael OL, I agree, consumption is part of the problem! Production creates many products, advertising allows the public to know available products, credit cards and second mortgages on homes, and using up savings make it possible for buyers to acquire goods and services. Then a slump occurs, workers laid off, mortgage payments get behind, credit cards interest rates go up, home foreclosures and bankruptcies occur, more lay off, more downward spiral.
Living within our means, creating backup savings, depending less on money economy, having less stress and more fun becomes possible.
These downturns occur regularly, like clockwork, because they are the result of design that supports unwise decisions. An effective and efficient monetary system can be designed that prevents these boom and bust events. Gosh, people have been writing about this for centuries. OOOOPPPPSSSS, here comes another depression.
seems like ever since the PC (tech in general) the accountability has run rampant and jailed countless frauds.. while the taxpayers foot the police bill. nah mean!?
Wow, absurd stuff. Thanks Write4U.
Write4U excellent example. I like the idea of "Cost of Lifestyle Adjustment". Your point B. about working and social security and the difference for "unearned income" needs to be addressed. I like your input.