True, yet it always seems complicated to me. One’s individual context looms large, as does our focus. If we’re talking about historical macroeconomics, then I’d say the U.S. is close to the end. Debt and unfunded liabilities = over $1 million per taxpayer. How is this going to go? Nobody has a crystal ball, but it’s going to end ugly. How good is a system if it’s unsustainable?
What were “the good times”? Many people look fondly backward to the post-World War II era, through 1966 or so. Yet for women and minorities it was often not so good.
The 1970s was rather a ‘down’ decade, yet even with inflation a lot of people were doing well - picture union factory employees like within the autoworkers and steelworkers. The unions were a huge force in restraining the excesses of capitalism. The pendulum swings - we have less than 1/3 as many union workers now, versus the peak, on a percentage basis. This is true of human psychology and markets in general - it is a progression from one extreme to the other.
1980s and 1990s - back to the general “good times” feeling. I think people not only got used to having things be ‘good,’ but also internalized the expectation that things always get better and better. Incredible deficit spending by the government reinforces this.
A little more of a mixed picture in the new millenium. Yet we still lead a charmed life, economically - very low interest rates, the U.S. Dollar still functions as the reserve currency of the world to a large extent, we’re the “market of last resort” for much of the world, as well - it’s in the interest of many exporting countries to keep us propped up.
The future - there’s a lot of potential out there for some serious disruptions.