The Country That Was

From Derek Leebaert’s cold war book, The Fifty-Year Wound, a brief portrait of America in 1963—of the nation, in other words, just before Lyndon Johnson enacted the Great Society:

With unemployment around 4.5 percent, the average hourly wage was $2.14 in an economy in which a family of six could be well fed on $30 a week. For 10 years, inflation had averaged 1.3 percent.

An amazing 96 percent of Americans believed that their standard of living would keep improving.

Riochet Sunday morning essay assigment: In no more than 200 words, explain how we went from there to…here.