Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Where Did All the Money Go?
1997 June 13

The average American is no better off today than 30 years ago. Disposable personal income reached a peak in about 1967 and has remained roughly static since then, despite considerable growth in real GNP. What happened to all the money this growth represents?

The US has been mortgaging its future at a terrific rate ever since 1933 (when there was good reason to do so). The nation is saddling its children with debt that nobody knows how to bear today, much less a generation in the future. Until the American public understands the ways in which these burdens are being accumulated, there is little chance that the situation will improve.

The US economy is highly inefficient in a number of critical areas. It is true that many goods are cheaper in the US than in Europe, at least if you only look at the price tag attached. On this basis, the US economy is a wonder of efficiency. By other measures, it is riddled with huge, well-hidden subsidies which drive up the real cost of practically everything. In the coming weeks, we'll find out where all that money went. ©
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