Everything is caracatural here. I take a plane to see my father on his death-bed and up there in the clouds, in a raging storm, I overhear two men behind me discussing how to put over a big deal, the big deal involving paper boxes, no less.
The two salesmen are now talking about buttons, where to get them cheaply, how to sell them dearly. Another man, a weary banker, is reading the war news. There is a great strike going on somewhere — several of them, in fact. We are going to build a fleet of merchant vessels to help England — next December. The storm rages….
~Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare,
Vol. 1 (written 1939-1945)
I was watching Bill Maher’s HBO Real Time the other night, and Rick Lazio of New York, a former Republiklan congresscritter, started bragging on the Reagan economy and the job rates. And I realized that he had no clue as to what pulled the US economy out of the long post-Vietnam recession that had dragged on since Nixon, through Ford, through Carter and well into Reagan.
They tried everything. Nixon had wage and price controls, hearkening back to World War II emergency measures. Ford had “Whip Inflation Now” and I should have sent off for one of those free buttons, after he made the speech. They’re worth a pretty penny now, on the collector’s market. I remember the days when the pages of the LA free ad paper were filled with ads for unopened packs of Billy Beer [Carter, Presidential Brother] that were going for $50 and $75 in that economy. Continue reading