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The Good OId Days Weren’t All That Good, Economically Speaking

Written by Gary North on September 19, 2015

“When you shoot from the hip, you risk blowing off an important appendage.” — North’s law of instant criticism

Recently, I wrote an article on how the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency in the Commerce Department, underestimates the tremendous economic improvements that Americans have enjoyed since 1970.

I posted it on GaryNorth.com. Then I posted it on Tea Party Economist. Next, Lew Rockwell posted part of the article on his site, with a link back to GaryNorth.com. So, it got a lot of readers.

I received a few emails thanking me. But then I received a critical response. This email is typical of those people who dwell in the past. It was clearly written by an old-timer. He may even be my age. These people think the good old days, economically speaking, were good — better than today. Put differently, they do not recognize that the free market has made the whole world richer, and with the world, Americans are richer. No, no, no, they insist. Things were good in Richard Nixon’s first term. Really good. Better than today, even.

This is from Mark, as in “missing the.” We read this:

Improved cars and appliances sounds like the hedonic CPI quality adjustments criticized as a distortion of the real cost of living by most Austrian economists.

The lack of conservative publishing outlets probably was a reflection of the steady increase in incomes from 1946-1970, and the fact that the country was much less polarized. Especially since at that time foreign policy was believed to be mostly non-partisan, and we were only a few years into the culture wars, it just wasn’t that important who won elections, so there was little interest in alternate sources of information.

Private education may be better, but it’s also much more expensive, pretty much out of reach for people in the lower half of incomes. Probably because public education is so much worse. Christian values may be part of the learning environment in some private schools, but, for those values, parents stuck with the public schools are out of luck.

You didn’t address the, in my opinion, most significant difference. Before the late 1960’s, there was much less of the lawlessness, violence, hostility, and vulgarity in society that we take for granted today.

I love to receive emails like this one. They make possible responses like this one.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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