It’s Not the 1930s. It’s the 1970s.

Unless you’ve been glued to Second Life or some computer game the past six months, you’ve noticed all the talk about how current economic crisis is like the 1930s.

Okay. Sure. But it feels to me more like the 1970s. I was in my early 20s then, and the economic chaos — inflation, deflation, stagflation, younameitation — hit hard. I worked two, three jobs at a time and barely kept pace. (And I was single with no dependents and no debt. I didn’t have a mortgage, a credit card, or even a checking account.) (Not trying to make you feel sorry for me; just trying to provide a sense that everyone struggled.)

Anyway, here’s what I remember most about that decade: Reading newspaper interviews with people in their fifties and sixties who’d been laid off and believed, and assumed, that they would never return to work.

Their pessimism was probably not misplaced. The nation’s economy underwent a profound transformation and whole industries, and the jobs attached to them, vanished. That’s why all those steel plants litter the landscape of the upper midwest: they shut down and never reopened.

I’ve believed for some time that that’s what’s happening now, and finally, today, I find some evidence. Read it and ponder . . .

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