No, We're Not Entering a Recession!

A History Lesson

When I joined the Air Force in 1971 we were in a bad recession. It was really difficult to find work. One of the guys I went in with joined because he was married with a new baby, and no jobs were to be found anywhere. I'd been working at a drive in theater since 1968 when jobs were plentiful.
There was no inflation, because you ordinarily don't have inflation during a recession; only a fool raises his prices when everybody is out of work. But in 1973 when I was stationed in Thailand, OPEC hit and doubled the price of oil.
Nixon was being impeached for Watergate as oil and gasoline prices soared. The soaring oil prices caused the cost of all transportation to skyrocket, and the transportation cost is passed on to the consumer.
Before resigning in disgrace, Nixon instituted wage and price controls, which made inflation worse for working people and ran some businesses into bankruptcy, further depressing the economy but having no or little effect on inflation.
The only president who never won a single federal election became President. America was lucky that he stayed in office such a short time. Unfortunately, the next president wasn't any better, making the recession worse with his talk of “malaise”.
Reagan was elected and made life much worse for most working people when he signed the Republican congress' bill that slashed the Capital Gains Tax, saying “a rising tide lifts all boats” despite the fact that lowering taxes on the rich isn't a rising tide, it's welfare for the wealthy. The tax cuts unleashed an orgy of hostile corporate takeovers that cost some people like me a good part of their wages and cost others their jobs.
The inflation and recession didn't subside until Clinton was elected, when oil prices stabilized and we had an economic boom. After his second term, Bush Jr, a failed oil man, was elected, along with his oil man Vice President.
Gasoline had quadrupled in price in the two decades between 1970 and 1990, rising from a quarter to a dollar per gallon. The oil men more than quadrupled the price again in less than half the time. But this time, it didn't cause much inflation, but crashed the economy towards the end of his second term. People had been making a choice between buying gasoline to get to work or paying the mortgage and lost their homes.
Meanwhile, banks; actually, all big business, had gotten greedy enough to shed all semblance of morality and ethics and came up with a foolproof scheme: make mortgages available to people who looked like they could barely afford them, collect mortgage payments as high as rent would be while leaving taxes, repairs, and costs all up to the borrower, than foreclosing at the slightest mistake. That gave them the property they had loaned money for, worth more than they had loaned. It was a racket.
Bush and Cheney had inherited a balanced budget and a booming economy with low unemployment, and left a historically huge deficit and a crashed economy. Luckily, the next president, unlike the previous, was a patriot who actually wanted the nation to do well, and avoided another Great Depression.
Eight years later the Democrats nominated the absolutely worst presidential candidate there was, who lost the election to a man historians say was the fourth worst president, who did almost nothing about the world wide pandemic that had raged. States' governors did his job for him and closed the country down, as leaders world-wide had done.
Nobody drove much of anywhere, all around the world, and gasoline prices plummeted. Oil companies shut down drilling and refining. Unemployment was sky high because almost all the factories and all the bars and restaurants and most stores closed.
Vaccines and anti-virals were developed and the pandemic waned. But we had a shortage of everything because nothing had been made for over a year. Shortages cause rising prices. The pandemic bust ended and we're now in a historic boom, better than anything I've seen in my seventy years. For the first time in my life, there's a labor shortage.
It's almost impossible to have a recession during times of no unemployment, but inflation is guaranteed.
Something very similar happened a century ago, with the “Spanish Flu”, which was far less deadly than Covid. When that pandemic started, World War One was raging.
Here's the interesting bit: when the 1920 pandemic ended the “Roaring Twenties” started. Stop talking about recession and start talking about the second Roaring Twenties.
But in another decade, we'll probably be in deep economic straits like 1930.

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