IMHO here is why the US economy is in the shape it's in. 5 simple milemarkers.
1964 - The last year SILVER coins are available. Dollar bills known as "Silver Certificates" redeemable for the precious metal are ordered discontinued.
Circa late 1968 early 1969 - American moms, usually home tending the house and kids, suddenly take on part-time jobs
1970 bra burners and women's rights advocates begin to taste the equality they sought - now women can get fulltime jobs alongside men. Corporate America seizes the opportunity: it took a few years to tweak it, but that second fulltime income turned from a bonus to a neccesity in a few short years. Mom would never stay home again.
1971-2 The first big oil crisis, along with the Arab Oil embargo and gasoline rationing gets Detroit automakers on the ball: building fuel-efficient cars. Oh, how soon they forgot...
1990's ...or did they? GM introduces a wonderful electric car, which they later recall, crush and abandon the project because nobody can make much money off it once it's in consumer hands, unlike the "new Volt" which will not only cost you plenty to "charge up" but could end up driving electric rates triple what thay are today, not to mention collapsing the national electric grid.
I don't count the so-called "poison mortgages" in my list because had the oil speculators and ethanol nuts not conspired to drive prices of gasoline and food off the chart, everybody in one of those sub-prime mortgages would be doing okay. Not fine, but okay.
Tags: economy, crisis