Recent U.S. Decades Ranked by Problems
The
19th Century Ended with Monarchs in Control of Europe, 
Government Social Responsibility Growing and Increased US Immigration.       

Decade Grade

Terrible 
Events

Bad 
Events

Not Good Events

Rest of the Story

1930-39
1A
Great Depression
Dust Bow
l
 
 
  Keynes won the battle with classical economists
or did he?
1940-49
1B
War II4  

Cold War5

Marshal Plan rebuilt Europe and also helped U.S economy. Truman Doctrine hoped to contain
fears about communism.
1910-19
3A

WW I4
Flu Pandemic

Measles3

 

Labor Unrest
Red Scare

Progressive Era continued as US slowly accepted social responsibilities including hookworm  parasite elimination which made southern workers and students more productive.
1960-69
3B

Vietnam War
4 Assassinations
Social Unrest


Cold War
4  

 

 
War and Segregation Turmoil 
dominated the decade.
1950-59
5

Korean War4
Asian Flu

Polio 
Epidemic
3 

Cold War5
Race Turmoil

2 Small Recessions 
Red Scare

Economic Expansion grew the middle class.

2000-09
6

 

Two Wars4
 Recession

Terrorism

Voters accepted Two Tax Cuts and Medicare D expansion but not the increased federal debt.
1900-09
7A
 

Social Unrest
Sever Recession

Yellow Fever Epidemic3 

Progressivism began a movement away from Oligopoly Power toward Public Social Responsibility.
US Yellow Fever
3 eliminated.
1970-79
7B
Stagflation   Watergate
2 Oil Crises
Iran Hostages
Elderly were Hurt by Inflation 
and an Inadequate Safety Net.

1980-89
9
 

 Recession
AIDS
3  

  Ronald Reagan Cut Taxes. Deregulation Era Began,  Middle Class Wages Stagnated, Home Equity Loans Replaced Home Improvement Loans, Government Debt and Future Liabilities Exploded.
1990-99
10

AIDS3  

    A Flat World and Free Trade Continued Middle Class Wage Stagnation. 
1920-29
11
   

Small Post 
WW I Recession

Economy Expanded as Wall Street and
Business Helped Rebuild Europe.
2010-14
?
  Great Recession Ended Quickly as Government Printed What Could Be Money, Health Care Expanded, Many Already With Government Subsidized Health Insurance2 Abhorred Changes.

Given Fewer Recent High Problem Decades, Why Are People So Apprehensive?

Current US Political Economy Controversies Explores This Question.

1The devastating effects of wars on the human condition make them the most terrible event. The devastating effects of unemployment on the human condition make it the second most terrible event. Prepared by Walter Antoniotti  2Company Paid Tax Free Health Insurance, Medicare Over Budget, Veterans Health Care, Medicaid, Hospital Must Help Uninsured with Cost Paid by Society            7/21/15
Send Suggestions to antonw@ix.netcom.com   more footnotes on page 2    Visit 20th Century Decade Evaluation
Return to http://www.textbooksfree.org/Political%20Economy%20Book%20Summaries.htm 
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3Health Problems
1902 Scarlet Fever deaths peaked at close to 5,000 and then slowly dropped thanks to penicillin.  
1905 Last Yellow Fever epidemic killed 20 in US as misquote control eliminated cause. 1936 vaccine ended disease.
1916 Measles 12,000 mostly children died. Vaccine finally eliminated most cases by early 1980's.
1918 Spanish Flu 500,000 died in US. This could have been the cause of the post WW 1 recession.
1921 Diphtheria 206,000 cases, 15,520 deaths, mostly children died.
1953 Polio 57,628 cases with 21,000 paralyzed Vaccine followed and Polio is now about gone. 
1957-58 Asian Flu  70,000 died in US.
1968-69 Hong Kong Flu 34,000 died in US.
1985-95+ AIDS killed ten to twenty thousand per year in 1970's.  Annual  deaths peaked at 41,699 in mid 1990's 
and then they quickly dropped due to super drug development and availability. Total US deaths were  658,507. 
By the 1960's
Measles, Mumps,  Rubella and a 1995 Chicken Pox vaccines made childhood safer and more enjoyable
as did seat belts, infant safety seats, bicycle safety helmets, and 1962 began the era of government sponsored child protective services.

 

4U.S. Cost of War
Nineteen-month World War 1 killed 116,516 from all causes with 204,002 wounded in action. The resulting  peace treaty severely penalized Germany and divided the Ottoman Empire among the winners. These winners continued their 19th Century Western Colonialism, which planted the seeds for Arab Unrest.

Four year World War 2 killed 405,399  from all causes  
with 670,660 wounded in action. Losers were not punished.  Russian Bear having suffered
26.6 military and civilian deaths used their newly occupied eastern European territory to provide a protective buffer.

Three year Korean War killed 36,574 with 103,284 wounded in action. South Korea remained free. Japan felt safe and used a small defense budget to build industrial capital and rejoined the developed world.

The very long Vietnam War2 killed 58,220 with over 
153,303 wounded with few important positive results.

As of 12/31/14 Afghanistan War killed 2,312 with 20,026 wounded with few important positive results.

As of 5/29/12 Iraq War killed 4,425 with 32,223  wounded with few important positive results.

5Cold War 
After WW 2 the Russian Communists seized power in Poland, closed access to Berlin and the Western Allies countered with an airlift. Russia exploded an atomic bomb. Communists won the Chinese Communist Revolution.

The 1950-53 Korean War had UN forces fighting against North Korean Communists invaders.

Russia exploded a Hydrogen bomb, put down revolts in Poland and Hungary, and launched 2 Sputniks.  

The 1956 Suez Canal Crisis caused tension between Western allies.  

Military and political advisors wanted to use nuclear weapons in the Korean War against China and again wanted them used against China in reference to Taiwan and Formosa. Ike didn't listen. The US 1960 U-2 Spy Plane Incident  ended the Eisenhower Administration's chess game with Communism and it also ended the very brief Paris Peace Conference.

JFK didn't listen to his advisors who also wanted to use nuclear weapons in relation to the 1961 Cuban Missile Crisis. A more peaceful blockade settled the crisis.

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Recent Bailouts
1975 New York City $1.3b paid back + interest
1979 Chrysler Motors $1.5b paid back + interest
1982 Oklahoma-based Penn Square Bank $65m
1984 Continental Illinois Bank bailout $14b
1980's Savings and Loan Bailouts $124.6b [2]
2009-10 Great Recession TARP cost $24b, Detroit cost $16b Positive results GM and Chrysler workers kept their jobs. Quick action by two administrations helped create a quick US economic recovery while Europe still
dilly dallies.  At 2% additional economic growth per year the higher GDP is worth about $300 billion/year.

Determinates of U.S. Individual Well-Being
1) Society's accumulations are key to the well-being of its citizens. 
    Think how the public safety net has steadily increased since the
    1930's and the successes of the federal Children's Bureau
.
2) Scientific achievements have continuously added to citizen well-being.
    Think disease control, smart phones, streaming audio/video, Gillette
    Stadium...
3) Personal Income which is a function of nature and nurture has
     increased continuously if not always rapidly. Think Russia, China, 
     and Europe's really slow recovery from the Great Recession  ...