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June 18, 2010


John Terry's Chocolate Orange

There are likely to be such parallels with just about any decade anyone cares to mention.

Martin Meenagh

I tend to agree with JTCO above. However, just three points spring to mind; the nineteen seventies represented the end of rebuilding from the war, and the beginning of the adjustment to a loss of European and American supremacy; derivatives, credit infrastructures and new oil supplies, like those in the North Sea, postponed the crisis. They also allowed an additional weakness of over-indebtedness to develop, and technology accelerated some of the social changes that were on the cards, like greater anomie and decollectivisation, anyway. Now, derivatives have run their course as a machine for postponing reckoning; oil is, for various reasons, under pressure or running out; and Asia is not only back to where it was for most of human history, but taking Africa with it.

So we are back to the future after the bender, in an odd kind of a way, except with more plural, more tolerant, more solipsistic and infinitely more selfish and denuded societies. It will be interesting to see what happens next....

Charles Wheeler

" A particular manifestation of social democracy has collapsed"

You could more cogently argue that 'a particular manifestation of neo-liberalism has collapsed'. What we are experiencing is the inevitable result of three decades of rising inequality (masked by debt-financing), reckless deregulation, and the creeping privatisation of public services in the wilfully misguided belief that markets are the solution and government/regulation the problem - a view held as much by New Labour as the Tories and Orange Book Liberals. It seems perverse to lay the blame at the door of social democracy!

john malpas

" the area of Leicester is now better off" -- maybe but what of the people that lived there then. How many displaced etc.


I suspect you might find that many areas of Britain where Ugandan Asians did not settle are also much better off than they were in the 1970s.

What I suspect you mean is that the now-Asian areas of Leicester are now better off, relative to the remaining non-Asian areas of Leicester, than they were in the 1970s when there were few if any Asians; and that the increased prosperity of the Asian areas has also benefited the non-Asian areas. It would be good to see these things proved, rather than asserted.

Though I think you might find it difficult, logically, to prove that the increased prosperity of the Asian areas has equally benefited the non-Asian areas.

Tom Addison

"Of course, there are tons of differences: inflation’s much less of a problem now, and Manyoo won’t get relegated"

True, but another big team might get relegated, Liverpool. Please oh please get relegated.

Serious Implications

Seventies vs. now:

1. High interest rates then, low now.
2. High inflation then, low now.
3. Boomers moving into peak earnings and consumption then, empty-nest Boomers moving into retirement now.
4. New sources of cheap oil coming online then (North Sea Oil, Alaskan oil, Pemex), falling oil reserves now.

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