American Politics & Economics: The Seventies vs. Today
By Bryan Caplan
I’m too young to remember much about the politics and economics of the Seventies. From books, though, I get the impression that American political economy was in complete disarray: high inflation, high unemployment, crazy price controls, regulatory explosion, crushing taxes, loss of central bank credibility, vague talk about Central Planning. I suspect that people will look back on our era in much the same way. The list of ills will vary a bit, but the phrase “complete disarray” will frequently appear.
Question for those older and wiser than myself: When you were actually living through the Seventies, did public policy and the overall health of the economy seem worse than today? The same? Better? When you answer, try to avoid hindsight bias; I want to know how the situation looked to you at the time.