Sunday, August 12, 2012

Party Like It's 1978 (Musical Tribute)

Click to enlarge.

1. Start with total annual wages and salary accruals.
2. Add in the annual change in total credit market debt owed.
3. Adjust it for inflation (June 2012 dollars).
4. Adjust it for population growth.
5. Ponder the real price of oil (June 2012 dollars).
6. Party like it's 1978.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


Who Struck John said...

Keep in mind, the next year brought the Iranian revolution. With recent stories out of Israel, next month might bring the Iranian-Israeli War out of the shadows and into the headlines.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Who Struck John,

As an added bonus, we had a recession in 1980 *and* another one in 1981.

Good times.

Mr Slippery said...

An in-depth look at the 1978 ELO tour.

Now THAT is a real fan.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

The ELOAT (Electric Light Orchestra Aptitude Test) is brutal. You'll need five #2 pencils or they won't even let you in the door, lol.

Who Struck John said...

It is one of the peculiarities of human nature that we say "good times" when we really mean "sucks to be you".

Stagflationary Mark said...

Who Struck John,

"Well, that's just great."

And what makes us use sarcasm and irony in the first place, when we could just as easily be literal and unambiguous?

It's an interesting read.

Stagflationary Mark said...

And there are lots of ideas. Some argue that ironic language is the language of failed expectations; it’s a fact of the human condition that things often don’t always turn out as planned, and language needs to capture and highlight that ironic sense of life.

That seems true. In my opinion, ironic language seems perfect for describing our economy. Sigh.

Troy said...

Krugman demonstrating last week that he still doesn't Get It:

"Some background: many economists believe that the overhang of excess household debt, a legacy of the bubble years, is the biggest factor holding back economic recovery."

The "overhang" we have is just the bottles and puke strewn around after the party we held for ourselves 2002-2006 ended in 2007.

Hmm overhang . . . hangover. We need more debt to get this party going again!

Japan actually passed their 10% sales tax thing. Not going to do much good for their economy, but it's a move in the right direction I guess.

Glad I don't own real estate in Japan, if they keep beating money out of the working class home values there are going to collapse.

Troy said...

That seems true. In my opinion, ironic language seems perfect for describing our economy. Sigh.

The stupid thing, as we all agree I think, is that this is really a Jetsons economy.

Comparing the quality of life one can enjoy now compared to the 1980s is instructive.

Technology has really advanced in many areas.

Now, unfortunately, productivity hasn't advanced much in energy, health, education, or housing -- we're still paying a lot for the goods and services from those sectors.

Same thing for defense, alas.

real per-capita defense costs

FRED ftw, as usual

Troy said...

Deflation in what we want, not what we need, LOL

there's that cynicism again! And I was trying to be affirmative!

Stagflationary Mark said...


The stupid thing, as we all agree I think, is that this is really a Jetsons economy.

In some ways, we do (and have used the analogy more than a few times in this blog). In other ways, not so much.

George Jetson

Once, George complained of his heavy work load- having to push a button for one hour, one day of the week!

In real life, a computer can now do that job.

Often, Mr. Spacely will fire George in a fit of anger, only to hire him back by the end of the same episode.

In real life, those fired tend not to be hired back.