1977 Economic Outlook

Learn about the 1977 economic predicaments the country was and still is trying to solve.

| July/August 1977

1977 London Economic Summit

The newspapers and TV news reporters all proclaimed the May 7 — 8, 1977 London Economic Summit a great success. The leaders of the U.S., Canada, West Germany, Japan, France, Italy, and Britain — we were sagely informed — unanimously agreed that all seven countries favored economic growth without inflation. (How those leaders proposed to bring this about at this time — or to turn water into wine or repeal the law of gravity — was not revealed.)    

Interestingly enough, however, none of those glowing stories quoted Horst Schulmann — Chief Adviser, Directorate General II, Economic and Financial Affairs, European Economic Community — who predicts that, despite rosy Summit press releases, the European community won't be able to meet even its currently modest goals for growth and employment. As a result, says Mr. Schulmann (and, again, despite Summit pledges of trade cooperation), more and more countries in the months ahead will desperately try to stay financially alive at each other's expense by restricting imports and promoting exports.

This, of course, will not work and it's just a matter of time until the "strong" (those with "only" 4-to-6 percent inflation) and not-so-strong countries of the West go down the tubes to join the other nations that have already been transformed into communist satellites. "In a few years," states Herr Schulmann, "the United States won't have to worry about relations with Europe. It will be dealing with an extension of the Russian Empire."

Those newspaper and TV features on the London Economic Summit — which did such a wonderful job of telling us that Jimmy Carter stole the show with his down-home admission that he "has a lot to learn about economics" — also completely overlooked the real story of the meeting: the fact that it was held at all.

Back in the "Good Old Days" before the printing press money crowd gained control of most of the world's governments, there simply was no need for such grandstand plays to reassure the planet's peons that "someone's doing something" about the earth's (politically created) economic ills. It was 31 1/2 years between the major economic conference held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in July of 1944 and the one held in France, November 15 — 17, 1975. But in just the following year and a half, the world has witnessed two more Economic Summits (one in Puerto Rico in June of 1976 and the second in London this past May) ... and still another is planned for early next year (these things are currently being staged more often than class reunions), probably in Germany.

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