The Tango Lesson Essay

2057 words - 8 pages

12. Write an essay discussing the impact of inflation upon American politica= l history in the 1970=92s.Inflation played a substantial role in the direction American political hist= ory took during the 1970=92s. The effects of this economic phenomenon touche= d every sector of American life, and its impact was felt by all Americans. D= uring this era, the economic outlook, political ideologies, cultural assumpt= ions, and fundamental social arrangements of the past were completely disman= tled and changed. In their place a new, insecure, and anxious generation was= born, bearing with it altered attitudes regarding voting, taxation, spendin= g, saving and borrowing money. The creation of this highly suspicious and th= rifty society created a population that was fearful for its future, and furt= her, unsure of the government that had let it down. This generation grew to=20= lose faith and trust in existing forms of government. As the decade drew to=20= its close, people began to rely on private business, entrepreneurs and the f= ree marketplace to stimulate progress in the economy, rather than the govern= ment that once took care of such matters. Finally, inflation significantly a= ltered the roles of and the dynamic relationships between American citizens,= the government and money.During the Nixon administration, America experienced an era of slow economic= al growth known as stagnation. This phenomenon characterized by a period of=20= increased prices of goods and interest rates as well as slowed production an= d increasing unemployment, baffled economists. Stagnation was an unprecedent= ed form of inflation with which economists had no experience in battle. As a= result of the economists=92 inability to contend with this stagnation, it b= ecame the task of the government itself to devise an original plan to combat= the conundrum. After little debate, Nixon and his staff adopted the =93New=20= Economic Policy=94 that involved theories of Keynesian Economics that the ad= ministration had earlier avoided. Under this new agenda, Nixon instilled gov= ernmental price/wage controls, abandoned the existing monetary policy of ba= cking US dollars with gold, adopted a =93floating=94 value of currency rathe= r than a fixed one, and cut social spending. Although these methods tempora= rily brought down inflation (in time for Nixon to win the 1972 election in a= n electoral landslide), it soon was on the rise again and continued to incre= ase and cause economical destruction until the late 70=92s and into the earl= y 1980=92s. Various factors contributed to the onset of this new kind of=20= inflation. First, the amount of money flowing to overseas markets as exports= far exceeded the amount of foreign currency coming into the country as impo= rts. The resulting trade deficit ravaged the American economy. As the US dol= lar began to waiver in the international market, foreign investors stopped b= uying dollars only to begin investing in other nations. This...

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