Economic Outlook 1980: Living With Limited Resources

The economic difficulties of the 1970s caused by limited resources suggested the 1980s and '90s would be even worse.

| January/February 1980

  • economic outlook - Fotolia
    In the view of some commentators in the 1970s, limited resources promised a dire future.

  • economic outlook - Fotolia

It was one of those typically outrageous (and, as he would say, " ree -dickle") situations that Walt Kelly used to whip up so effortlessly and so often back in his 1950's and 60's Pogo comic strip.

Albert the Alligator (as usual, all sly innocence and blustery awkwardness) had somehow let an old-fashioned push-type lawn mower get away from him, and the infernal machine was speeding—completely out of control, and chopping up everything in its path—down a steep hill with half the inhabitants of the swamp in panicky hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, a very dignified gentleman insect of some sort—splendidly turned out in his Sunday best—was quietly taking his young-bug son for an afternoon walk and nature study ... and, naturally enough, that perambulation was taking place at the exact bottom of the very same slope that the rapidly accelerating lawn mower was rocketing down.

Eventually, of course, the strolling gentleman insect's concentration upon the studied pearls of wisdom that he was passing on to his child was broken by the screams and hoots and hollers and stampeding footfalls and grinding clatter of the menagerie and runaway machine that were bearing down upon him.

It was a classic single take. The serenely unruffled gentleman bug casually glanced up ... his eyes instantly bulged out in total disbelief... and then, before sprinting away with his hands over his ears, he blurted out what was quite obviously the first thought that popped into his head: "BEHOLD, CRANEPOOCH, MY SON!... A VERITABLE THUNDERING JUGGERNAUT!"  

And that's just about where our so-called government, business, and labor "leaders" are right now: They're all serenely strolling along, hand in hand, unperturbably and unceasingly exchanging outdated pearls of wisdom from the 50's and 60's ... just an instant before the runaway lawn mower of the 80's and 90's thunders over them.

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