If you’d asked me if this could be done in under 5,000 words while still remaining accurate, I would’ve quickly said NO WAY and then been very very wrong. Go read this. Set aside the few minutes it will take and go read this.
This is a short story about what happened to the U.S. economy since the end of World War II. That’s a lot to unpack in 5,000 words, but the short story of what happened over the last 73 years is simple: Things were very uncertain, then they were very good, then pretty bad, then really good, then really bad, and now here we are. And there is, I think, a narrative that links all those events together. Not a detailed account. But a story of how the details fit together….
The biggest difference between the economy of the 1945-1973 period and that of the 1982-2000 period was that the same amount of growth found its way into totally different pockets.