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

by Samuelson, Robert J.

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Summary

The Great Inflation, argues journalist Samuelson, was the worst domestic policy blunder of the postwar era and played a crucial role in transforming American politics, economy, and everyday life--and yet its story is hardly remembered or appreciated. From 1960 to 1979, inflation rose from barely mor... Full description

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Summary: The Great Inflation, argues journalist Samuelson, was the worst domestic policy blunder of the postwar era and played a crucial role in transforming American politics, economy, and everyday life--and yet its story is hardly remembered or appreciated. From 1960 to 1979, inflation rose from barely more than 1 percent to nearly 14 percent--the greatest peacetime inflationary spike in this nation's history. It had massive repercussions in every area of our lives. The direct consequences included Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, stagnation in living standards, and a growing belief that the great-power status of the United States was ending. The end of high inflation in the brutal 1981-82 recession, engineered by the Federal Reserve under then-chairman Paul Volcker, triggered economic and social changes that are still with us. The stock market and housing booms were both direct outcomes; American business became more productive--and also much less protective of workers; and globalization was encouraged.--From publisher description.
Physical Description: xxii, 309 p. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 271-300) and index.
ISBN: 9780375505485 (alk. paper)
0375505482 (alk. paper)
Author Notes: 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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