A majority of Americans struggle daily to stay afloat on a sea of red ink, perpetually threatened by wave after wave of debt. This hasn't always been the case. The phenomenon can be traced back to 1978, when the US economy was sailing into dire straits.
The cumulative impact of the Vietnam War (which coincided with a large tax cut), the persistent misallocation of capital and the Arab oil embargo of 1973 created a lasting economic malaise that, by the middle of President Jimmy Carter's tenure, generated severe stagflation. Read more.