Author Topic: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?  (Read 11920 times)

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« on: August 16, 2014, 07:46:12 PM »
I recently read that the stock market was flat/ stagnant between 1962 and 1982.

Lately I have been reading much about "the end of growth," and how "this time it's different" in terms of robots going after white collar jobs and not being able to create new kinds of jobs fast enough, or some people becoming permanently unemployable because of skills needs changing.

What was the rhetoric back then? I have heard about "economic malaise" in the 70's. Anyone have some perspective to share? What was it like to have no growth for 20 years?
Thanks.

oldladystache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 784
  • Age: 76
  • Location: coastal southern california
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 08:23:11 PM »
I was 17-37 in those years.

I remember in 1968 and 1969 thinking things were about to come crashing down, but they didn't.

Then in the 1970s we had serious inflation, but it never got to a runaway level and most people pretty much took it in stride.

For some of those years many engineers were unemployed, and my husband was an engineer, so I worried a little about that. But his company was trying to hire a few good engineers and couldn't seem to find any. Husband carried home a huge stack of resumes one night to go through and see if there were any good prospects and there were very few. Even I could tell by looking at them that they weren't worth interviewing. That made quite an impression on me. And my husband stayed well employed the whole time.


mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 08:33:35 PM »
Was it that there was a mismatch of skills in the labor market? Employers say that all the time these days. Always seemed to me like they just don't want to train anyone, and don't really want to hire anyways.

What happened in 1968 that made you think things would come crashing down? Assassinations? Economy? What would that have meant for you, or was it a vague feeling?

oldladystache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 784
  • Age: 76
  • Location: coastal southern california
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2014, 08:52:11 PM »
The Soviets were really scary in those days, and we were competing to see who could blow up the whole world first. And the Viet Nam war was going strong.  There was a lot of anguish about the war. Many young men went to canada to avoid the draft, and most of the citizens had a lot of sympathy for them. I suppose it was a combination of many things that caused the feeling things were bad.

I never understood the unemployed engineers thing. I suspect it had to do with the fact that there had been such a shortage of engineers a few years before so too many people decided to be engineers. And most of them weren't very good. The earlier engineers were better because they loved what they did. The later ones were just in it for the money they hoped to make and since they didn't really love it and they hadn't played at it as kids they just didn't meet the same standards.

If there was unemployment in other fields I wasn't aware of it.

In those days we worried about the coming ice age, not global warming. And we didn't have 24/7 news live from around the world. We had to wait for them to bring the film back from the war and get it developed before we could see it a few days later. And of course, no internet. Amazing that we managed to survive without the internet, and we didn't even miss it.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3317
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 10:00:54 PM »
What was the rhetoric back then? I have heard about "economic malaise" in the 70's. Anyone have some perspective to share? What was it like to have no growth for 20 years?
Thanks.
Stocks were dead, gold and uncut diamonds were the investments of choice.

Inflation was a killer-- in 1982 I had a checking account that paid 10% interest.  By 1981 that idiot at the Federal Reserve had raised interest rates to something like 20%.  Everybody was joining neighborhood/workplace bartering networks.

The military was going through the post-Vietnam "hollow force".  Everyone outside the military was sure that it would collapse because the draft had ended.  Everyone in uniform was a lot happier that they didn't have to deal with draftees.  We had plenty of problems with operating funds, maintenance funds, racism, alcohol, sexual abuse, and rampant drug use.  I attended official Navy training on how to help your shipmate survive a LSD flashback, and on large ships there were a number of places where officers did not go without a Marine escort or in groups of 3+.  There were rumors that we were going to have to submit to urinalysis, but they'd never get the authority for that invasion of privacy.

When the 1980 administration decided to get serious about the Cold War, at one morning muster I found out that my pay had been raised by 25%. 

When driving during 1973-1984, you didn't let your gas tank get less than half-full (especially on long road trips) because you were never really quite sure whether you'd be able to fill the tank at the next gas station.  If your car was 10 years old people then were amazed that you could keep it going that long-- or sorry that you couldn't afford to trade up.  Body rust was a huge problem. 

I disagree with your "no growth" assessment.  There was plenty of growth, but it was very lumpy and unevenly distributed.  I had more part-time employment than I could handle in high school, and I had military skills.  Wages were losing to inflation, but people with skills were getting promoted to higher salaries.  People who knew computers were gods, especially the Atari, Commodore, and Apple geeks.  People were still investing in stocks and earning dividends, but that was hard.  Even though the 1973-74 recession was brutal, most of the time you could find optimistic investors-- even if it was just gold coins.  A lot of assets were in short-term CDs, corporate bonds, and Treasury bonds because inflation was so high.

Nobody rang a bell in 1982 to signal the beginning of the bull market.  Everyone was sure that the country was going to continue to lumber along through some sort of ugly transition from our former industrial might to a new computer economy, hopefully one with lower inflation.  Nobody had any faith that a bull market was underway, and 1987's Black Monday was just the end of a "secular bull".

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2205
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 10:37:10 PM »
I was a child in the 70s. My parents came to the US in the 60s as immigrants. I guess it couldn't have been too bad because they and the rest of the family that also came were able to get their lives going in the US during that time (or, it could just be that they are all very badass).

I do remember sitting in a line of cars waiting in a gas line. My mom would let us out of the car to play around since we were antsy little kids.

I also remember my older cousins really getting into the disco thing and would do disco line dances (I guess a bit off-topic, but interesting).

I remember seeing Jimmy Carter on the TV a lot but I wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying. As an adult, I've learned he was trying to get us to wear sweaters a lot?!?!

We took a big road trip up the east cost of the US in 1976 for the bicentennial so I imagine the gas lines were gone by then or else we wouldn't have taken that trip. I'm not sure what time period exactly in the 70s that happened, but I am guessing the first part of the decade.

I do remember the crash of 1987, as a friend of mine's uncle who was a stock broker got shot and killed by one of his clients that came to visit him at the office. So tragic...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 11:22:25 PM by Daisy »

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4988
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2014, 05:49:00 AM »
We had very little money, and inflation was the big concern. The price of bread just kept going up every week, I remember that so clearly. Cornmeal was cheaper than wheat flour, so we ate a lot of cornbread and expanded the garden every year through the 70s.


Fuel shortages and prices were a concern; we didn't take any long road trips during that time and were very careful about fuel for going back home at Christmas (about 90 miles away). Had to be sure there was enough to get there and get back before setting out because there was no certainty of getting more, at least not in '73.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3757
  • Age: 39
  • Location: South Carolina
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 07:52:16 AM »
I was born in '82, but always blow off the idea that "this time is different".   Just go look at the old time Magazine covers....

http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19811019,00.html

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 08:54:26 AM »
wow, that period seems so much worse than now.

Joggernot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Gulf Coast, TX
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2014, 09:15:14 AM »
The interest rate on my first house mortgage in the early 70's was 17%.  Best I could get as a first time buyer in high inflation days.  Refinanced to 9% a couple years later.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3317
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2014, 10:57:50 AM »
wow, that period seems so much worse than now.
Um, yeah, it really was.

I've mentioned it before on this forum, but I recommend a library copy of "The Way We Never Were". 

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2014, 11:40:27 AM »

Inflation was a killer-- in 1982 I had a checking account that paid 10% interest.  By 1981 that idiot at the Federal Reserve had raised interest rates to something like 20%.  Everybody was joining neighborhood/workplace bartering networks.


Wait, what? Volker ("that idiot at the fed") raised the interest rate to get rid of inflation-he caused/lengthened a recession to do it, but he did in lower inflation (which you could argue created the bull market). Is there another narrative that I've missed?

http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/44

Best,
Mr. PoP
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 11:42:18 AM by plantingourpennies »

surfhb

  • Guest
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2014, 12:32:44 PM »
I think people tend to forget that this country has gone through and survive much worse civil, political and economic crises  then now.    Yet the market has still avg a very healthy 7-8%

You crazy kids are so spoiled!  ;)

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 10
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2014, 12:40:35 PM »
Some scary times, like the Cuban missile crisis and Kruschev at the UN, pounding his shoe on the desk.  Also, civil rights movement, Viet Nam War, hippie life, Democratic convention in Chicago, Kent State, inflation, gas shortages, whew!  My uncle kept checking his DuPont stock, and was worried for his retirement.  My dad did make some money on his money market account, mutual funds, and a house flip. 

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3317
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2014, 03:17:50 PM »

Inflation was a killer-- in 1982 I had a checking account that paid 10% interest.  By 1981 that idiot at the Federal Reserve had raised interest rates to something like 20%.  Everybody was joining neighborhood/workplace bartering networks.


Wait, what? Volker ("that idiot at the fed") raised the interest rate to get rid of inflation-he caused/lengthened a recession to do it, but he did in lower inflation (which you could argue created the bull market). Is there another narrative that I've missed?

http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/44

Best,
Mr. PoP
Thanks, it's very rare that someone feels my sarcasm is so subtle, but maybe I'll use more quotation marks next time.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2014, 06:35:42 PM »
my take away is that life goes on, unless you're murdered...

SewingmyStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2014, 11:56:52 PM »
I graduated from college in 1978.  Inflation was the major concern.  By 1979 the starting salaries for the new graduates were higher than what I was making, because our semi-annual raises couldn't keep up with inflation.  We bought our house in 1980 and got a special interest rate because was in a redevelopment area - 9.34%.  Here in Texas, the late '70s and earlier '80s were boom years and the mid to late '80s were the bust.  We were out of sync with the rest of the country.

One of things that really strikes me is how worried everyone was in the '70s about the rise of Japan.  They were taking all our jobs and we were told we needed to learn Japanese because that was going to be the language of business.  Basically, many of things you hear about China today. 

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 10
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2014, 07:33:37 PM »
The Psy-Fi Blog mentioned this article:  http://www.businessweek.com/stories/1979-08-13/the-death-of-equitiesbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice  It traces a lot of economic history, I think, pretty well. 

RapmasterD

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: SF Peninsula
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2014, 09:00:01 PM »
Adjusted for inflation, the stock market has been flat/stagnant since 2000.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4391
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 09:21:25 PM »
Oh sweetie, you're going to get a lot of "I walked miles to school in the snow storms when I was a kid" stories, haha.So here they come.

When I went out job hunting, with a newly minted professional degree, it was 1979. Unemployment was 10%. I really have no idea what the Dow was because I didn't have any money to invest.

My father said "you will take the job that is offered to you" and fortunately, the job I wanted (had a few interviews) is the job I was offered but it was 1200 miles away. That' was ok with me. Back then if people didn't move for their jobs, they might not get one. I didn't care about leaving family and friends, I was ready for adventure.

I made $11,500, I guess that was $5.50/hr. My rent was, I'm fairly sure, $250/month plus phone plus utilities.After a couple of years I was interested in buying a house. A cute little old 2 BR 1 bath historic house ran about $45,000 and the assumable interest rate on one of those I looked at was--get this--14%. ack!
Farmland was pretty high in Iowa and my parents inherited and then sold a farm, and that paid for my brother's college degree. Silver was sky high, I remember my mother saying that her flatware (she had multiple family sets) was worth as much as their modest ranch house. Probably an exaggeration but that's approximate.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 09:25:44 PM by iris lily »

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2014, 09:51:27 PM »
Anyone remember the fuel embargo (which quadrupled the cost of a barrel of oil almost over night) and shortages and the rationing - even numbered plates could get fuel on one day and odd numbered plates on another - and the lines that stretched for a mile sometimes? I was too young to drive then (early 1970's I think) but remember it well.

Unemployment at over 10% (with some areas having over a 25% unemployment rate), interest rates at over 20%, the Savings and Loan collapse of the 1980's (which is believed to have cost the taxpayers over $160 Billion in bailout money), The Great Inflation of the 1970's followed by the recession in the 1980's, Stagnation, the housing market bust in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Vietnam War, Iran Contra, Iran Hostages, race riots, equal rights, gay rights, womens rights, cold war, and on and on.... I went into the Coast Guard right out of high school (late 1970;s) so didn't have to worry much about the future economy and job market. Heck even Reagan, and later Bush, gave us all a nice fat raises!

From Wikipedia: The peak of the recession was in November and December 1982, when the nationwide unemployment rate was 10.8%, highest since The Great Depression. As of 2013, it is still the highest since the 1930s
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 11:58:58 PM by Spartana »

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2205
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2014, 10:32:15 PM »
I remember the Cold War drills of hiding under our desks at school.

I grew up in humid and hot South Florida. Believe it or not, we didn't have air conditioning in my school during the 70s. I remember the big day they installed ceiling fans when I was in 8th grade, because I wrote the article for the school newspaper on it. I titled it "How do you spell relief - C E I L I N G   F A N S" (I love thinking back on my clever title many times - I guess I peaked in creativity in 8th grade though ;-) ). That is reference to the Rolaids commercials of the day (trying to help out the young-uns that don't get the reference).

Well anyways, I went to Catholic school and the nuns would always threaten to turn off the fans if we misbehaved. We had a lot of hot afternoons in class. Although at the time it seemed normal since we never had A/C at school. I tell you, these kids nowadays don't know how easy they've got it! ;-)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 10:41:25 PM by Daisy »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8343
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2014, 11:09:04 PM »
Adjusted for inflation, the stock market has been flat/stagnant since 2000.


picking arbitrary start/end points over time is an easy way to manipulate any stat... the royals were undefeated for a 10 game stretch this year.  still the longest stretch in baseball but less that 1/16th of the season... and arbitrary stat with fixed endpoints can produce any result you want it to .. barring you pick the start and end date....

in the words of dayton moore "I feel like we won the world series"


Lian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2014, 11:13:24 PM »
I remember some extreme frugal living in the '70s - most people we knew struggled, but that could just have been the lower middle-class lifestyle of the place and time and not typical of the '70s. I was aware of gas shortages, but it was just the same ole.  I was an adult in the 80s. Waited tables and worked low wage office jobs.  Minimum wage was a little over $3/hr! Managed to save some for college.  Denver at that time was dominated by the oil and gas industry. When it went bust, it took down the regional economy. Graduated from college into that bust economy in the mid-80s.  Took me ten years of more low wage jobs to get a 'career' type job with benefits and a 401k.  Many people I know from that time didn't get a career going until they were in their 30's.  We just couldn't figure out why we weren't living the yuppy life - we only saw it on TV.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8343
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2014, 11:17:00 PM »
since Aug. 15, 2014 the stock market has been sub inflation levels.

i like this... lets pick more random dates and state what would have happened.

since today the royals are completely defeated from yesterday...


dcheesi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2014, 06:13:38 AM »
Adjusted for inflation, the stock market has been flat/stagnant since 2000.


picking arbitrary start/end points over time is an easy way to manipulate any stat... the royals were undefeated for a 10 game stretch this year.  still the longest stretch in baseball but less that 1/16th of the season... and arbitrary stat with fixed endpoints can produce any result you want it to .. barring you pick the start and end date....

in the words of dayton moore "I feel like we won the world series"
It felt more than arbitrary several years ago when I looked at my 401k, after ten years of investing, and realized that it was worth no more than the sum of my contributions. Obviously that's just a point in time, but it was mighty depressing. Since then we've gone through another crash that wiped out all of my gains for a second time.

I'm rational enough to not let it faze me, but many others aren't. And of course if I had been in withdrawal for those years, I'm not sure how I'd feel...

Tetsuya Hondo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: 1960's Tokyo on the Bad Side of Town
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2014, 07:52:37 AM »
Thank you OP for asking this question and thanks to you old, broken down, balding/gray haired bastards for responding (I kid because I love) and providing a little fresh air and perspective here.

I get so frickin tired of hearing people - especially those that are relatively new to this planet - bitch and moan about how bad things are or how things are going to hell in a handbasket, a mindset that is the product of a superficial understanding of history. Things have always been going to hell... and yet, on the whole, things manage to keep getting a little better.

I'll gladly take our current times, with all their shortcomings, over any other in human history.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3317
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2014, 11:24:19 PM »
I get so frickin tired of hearing people - especially those that are relatively new to this planet - bitch and moan about how bad things are or how things are going to hell in a handbasket, a mindset that is the product of a superficial understanding of history. Things have always been going to hell... and yet, on the whole, things manage to keep getting a little better.
To which I heartily recommend a library copy of "The Mindset List":
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/04/02/book-report-the-mindset-list/

Note that the author offered a free autographed bookplate to anyone who asked him for one...

surfhb

  • Guest
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2014, 12:11:17 AM »
I get so frickin tired of hearing people - especially those that are relatively new to this planet - bitch and moan about how bad things are or how things are going to hell in a handbasket, a mindset that is the product of a superficial understanding of history. Things have always been going to hell... and yet, on the whole, things manage to keep getting a little better.
To which I heartily recommend a library copy of "The Mindset List":
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/04/02/book-report-the-mindset-list/

Note that the author offered a free autographed bookplate to anyone who asked him for one...

That looks like an interesting read....Thanks!

Basenji

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
  • Location: D.C.-ish
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2014, 05:34:28 AM »
Love this thread. My dad would marvel at my 2.85% 30 year mortgage. The splitlevel my parents bought in 1970 had a crazy 10+% rate. And the clothes, ugh the clothes!

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2014, 09:20:03 PM »
thanks to you old, broken down, balding/gray haired bastards for responding
Yep, they occasionally let us out of The Home to doddle on over to the internety thingamabob so we can post to you young whippersnappers about just how darn hard we had it back in the day! Heck we didn't have any fancy-smancy lattes, it was Sanka, Ovaltine and Tang!  Try surviving on those :-)!

Actually I think that every progressive era's hard times are a bit easier then the generations before (as I'm sure our parents and grandparents and even great grand parents who lived thru things like WWII and the Great Depression will attest). Seems that there are many more safety nets in place then there were in the past that makes it easier to survive a major downturn. Hard to envision the kind of breadlines and massive poverty and unemployment they had during the Great Depression when there were no safety nets in place at all, and then compare it to our 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, TARP, social relief, etc.. Lots of help that didn't exist in grandpappy's day - or even in pappy's day.

Now it's time to hop on the Lil' Rascal Scooter and get back to The Home. I hear they are having mashed peas and prunes for dinner. Now where did I pput my keys? Where in tarnation are my glasses, hearing aids, dentures and Depends Personal Protection underwear? Umm....what were we talking about again?

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3317
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2014, 10:41:40 PM »
And the clothes, ugh the clothes!
One day historians will prove that the entire oil crisis was caused by the fashion craze for polyester disco shirts.

And leisure suits.  And four-inch-wide ties. 

SewingmyStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Were you an adult between 1962 and 1982?
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2014, 06:58:46 PM »
And the clothes, ugh the clothes!
One day historians will prove that the entire oil crisis was caused by the fashion craze for polyester disco shirts.

And leisure suits.  And four-inch-wide ties.

And the clothes were much more expensive than today's clothes (in adjusted dollars) because they were mostly made in the USA by people earning at least minimum wage.  You also needed dressier clothes.  I was required to wear a dress or skirt at my first job.  Pantyhose were mandatory.