Inequality and the Vietnam War

I dug up this interesting Op-Ed in the NYTimes archive (from 1995, so 26 years old today!) which descibes the “pivot” between the 60s and the 70s (a sort of “good to bad” that is referenced elsewhere too), and posits Johnson’s decision to hide the cost of the war from the public as the origin of everything that followed.

Johnson’s policy set the stage for and began the inflation of the 1970‘s, which was made worse by the irrational economic policies of President Nixon and the unsound ones of Jimmy Carter. The dollar lost nearly half its purchasing power in the 1970’s. This resulted in massive shifts of wealth toward upper-income groups, who are the owners of businesses and property. The real income of the lowest 20 percent income class declined substantially, while before 1967, income distribution among classes had been very stable.

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