Back in the day, there was a long-haired, long-sideburn
ed hipster named Alan Greenspan
, and he was chief economic advisor
to "Smilin'" Gerald Ford
. The following exchange may or may not have occured. I ask you, the reader, to decide for yourself.
EC. WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE
Enter Alan Greenspan and Gerald Ford.
Alan Greenspan: Hey, chief. What's happenin', maaaaaaan?
Gerald Ford: I'm just kind of down today, 'Span.
AG: Why down, you hip cat? Times are groovy! I smoked eight bowls just an hour ago!
GF: Alan, the year is 1974, and today is October 8. Our nation faces rising inflation, high rates of unemployment -- up to and including 7%, the highest since the Great Depression! -- and high energy use. Today I'm 'sposeda propose something to fix this. I've gotta do something for the American people who voted me into this highest office. Well... so to speak.
AG: Well, have you considered that it could be your staunch conservative stance, and that you oppose measures like government-sponsored public works projects and favor "supply-side" economics, which may one day be named after a successor to you who acts in those monkey films you love so dearly.
GF: Alan, why don't we start up a campaign to Whip Inflation Now? The acronym is WIN -- and that's what Americans do when we band together against double-digit inflations. Don't whip kids, whip rising prices.
AG: Good thinking, Gerald. Let's kick this pig.
Whip(ping) Inflation Now was something everybody was in favor of, but we weren't sure of the means to get to the ends. The general consensus today is that it was entirely ineffective. Consider it something like waving a dead cat at Old Faithful to get it to erupt. Old Faithful erupts, therefore it worked, right? Inflation were down to acceptable rates after a few administrations; say, a few years before the recession in `92. Interest rates simply can't hold up at high rates for very long. Eventually, like the Spanish Flu, it just runs out of steam.