By Amy Cooke

Are the ’70s back? Hopefully not the fashion, but I’ll take the music. Tube socks with short shorts are a bad look for most people. Yet the world would be a better place if we listened to a little more “Saturday Night Fever” and Yacht Rock.

Two things I had hoped we’d never relive from that decade: politics and the economics. Increasingly, it’s looking more like we haven’t learned the lessons of history. Recent polls show that 80% of voters believe America is headed in the wrong direction. Economic insecurity and political polarization have infected the country and appear harder to cure than COVID.

Watergate was a national embarrassment as well as a shocking criminal enterprise. Solid investigative journalism and federal officials who put the country ahead of political power followed the money and exposed the crimes. People were held accountable. President Richard Nixon resigned, and top officials from his administration went to prison, deservedly so. The country could heal.

Today we have the Russia collusion hoax. It’s worse than Watergate because of the damage done to institutions beyond the executive branch. Years of investigating and millions of taxpayer dollars later, we finally find out what many suspected. Hillary Clinton ordered it.

According to testimony from campaign manager Robby Mook, candidate Clinton approved fabrication of the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and handed it to an eager press that never bothered to confirm it. The fake news was reported as true. The campaign also peddled it to the FBI, providing cover for media to keep reporting it as if it was legitimate.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board opined, the fake Russian collusion story “disgraced the FBI, humiliated the press, and sent the country on a three-year investigation to nowhere. Vladimir Putin never came close to doing as much disinformation damage.”

I doubt Americans will see much, if any, justice for what’s been done to them. The media won’t come clean. It’s unlikely Clinton will be held accountable in any serious way. Washington, D.C., lacks the political will to clean house at the FBI and CIA. It proves that for some, the end justifies a by-any-means-necessary method of operation. No wonder Americans have so little regard for or faith in elite institutions.

As for the economy, turn on any cable news outlet. You’ll probably find an economist making comparisons between current economic conditions and those of the 1970s. Baby Boomers remember all too well the wretched economy, stagflation, and its descriptive data point – the misery index. There’s real fear that ’70s-style stagflation will rear its ugly head soon.

Stagflation is the combination of persistent high inflation and unemployment, coupled with slow economic growth.

Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary for President Clinton, wrote recently, “The Fed’s current policy trajectory is likely to lead to stagflation, with average unemployment and inflation both averaging over 5 percent over the next few years — and ultimately to a major recession.”

One indicator economists watch is the price of oil. In the ’70s, the OPEC oil embargo on shipments to the United States resulted in high prices, long gas lines, and rationing. High crude oil prices helped push inflation to over 14%. To fight the “Great Inflation,” the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to a record 20% in December 1980.

Today, inflation is nearly 8%. Last time I went to the grocery store, butter was $7.49 a pound and half a loaf of bakery bread was $3.99. Shelves are bare, especially if you’re searching for baby formula.

Taken together, President Biden’s reversal of President Trump’s energy independence doctrine and war in Ukraine has sent crude prices soaring. According to AAA, the average price nationally for a gallon of gas was a record-high $4.986 a gallon on June 10. J.P. Morgan analysts predict we’ll see a national average of over $6 before the end of summer. It was $3.04 one year ago.

If what economists like Larry Summers are predicting comes to fruition, Americans are right to be worried. We’re in for some pain that won’t be resolved in a 30-minute TV show.

Amy Cooke is CEO, John Locke Foundation and Publisher of the Carolina Journal. This piece first appeared in the June-July print edition of the Carolina Journal.

(19) comments

David Collins

But ,but , but how can all this be true ? Did not our dear leader just say that we are on a strong foundation with the strongest economy he has ever seen ? Don’t believe the lies about shortages and other ills because he has the vision and leadership to propel us to greater heights than one can imagine . Envy of the world we will be .

All because of me !


Listen to one of Hunter's interviews from his laptop. He's a drugged-out spoiled brat nut who's never had a real job. He says his father will do whatever he tells him. They're both loose gear and always have been. This is what 81 million fools supposedly elected? Obviously, there's more than the two of them calling the shots but whoever they are aren't any better so we're in a dark place with no way out thanks to the crooks and fools that put us here.


Biden’s disapproval rating on inflation is over 70%. You know you are doing a terrible job when you are doing worse than Jimmy Carter on inflation (which killed Carter’s presidency).


As an interesting side note, both the Jax daily news and the new bern Sun Journal ( both owned by gannet) Have announced they will no longer print letters to the editor, instead we will see only editorials from John Hood of the Locke foundation, and local politicians like the recent one from our own DR. Greg Murphy. The reason cited is that opinions from the public are " too divisive" and you can do that on social media instead.

It seems like the lockstep/ group think in eastern NC is almost complete.

Perhaps its time for another editorial about Cancel Culture and how conservative's voices are being silenced?


Bungles and obama get credit for keeping carter alive. He could have died has the worst dem President in modern history.


History has more then one perspective. Inflation began in Nixon admin, continued through Ford, and then Carter. The bigger nail in carter's coffin was the Iran hostage crises. 2 term Obama will likely get a thumbs up from history, since he brought the economy back from the " too big to fail" housing market crash, that like other crashes ( s&l) was directly caused by gop deregulation of banking and financial services deregulation. Our current situation certainly has no origin in 12 yrs of juicing the stock market with national debt does it?

David Collins

Have you read a Tideland News editorial lately ?


Yes I have, I read all the local papers, the news and disturber, the post the nut and I randomly select city papers with a Google search. While the editorial bent of the CCNT is quite clear, they always print criticism of their editorials. It is no hyperbolic exaggeration to say the ccnt and their sister publication the tideland news are the last free press available in Coastal Carolina. I am not sure when a different opinion became such a threat.

I am sure that when you cease to print differing opinions you stop being a journalist, and become a propagandist.


Agreed about CCNT. It appears they pretty much let everyone post their perspective.


Talk about accountability. When a reporter asked JB why he had't sanctioned an oligarch that did business with his son the response was a blank stare.


He said it when he was "running" and he hasn't changed yet blaming everyone and everything but himself for fossil fuel shortage. Excon-Mobil had a good reply. Guess another blank stare.


Good reply? ExxonMobil Mobil suggested Jones act waiver and lower fuel specs could help. Hmm even more profit,loss of American shipping jobs, and ever more watery fuel.

80 Billions in profit, despite no actual shortage. Let's blame one pipeline for this situation. Clearly the " pipeline" that's what ExxonMobil said


"Kiddo, look me in the eyes. I guarantee you I'm going to destroy the fossil fuel industry", or words to that effect. Now, he's looking/begging all over the world for oil but destroying it here to please who? Brilliant stuff. Guess Hunter is to blame since he's the smartest guy he knows and Hunter says he will do what he tells him.

David Collins

To be sure you don’t really believe this one pipeline thing . While it is not a big cause it was the first shot . All those leases not acted upon . Gee wonder why . Start with the EPA and all their over the top rules preventing any exploration followed by endless court suits by the new deal greens . No new refineries have been allowed to be built for years by the same crowd , for the same reasons . Biden’s well publicized and recorded pledge to shut down the fossil fuel industry in the US . Sure there is more but what the heck .

The Jones Act . Protective action to serve US Shipbuilding Industry , the unions , and grossly overpaid US union crew members , at the time , that sail on those US ships . Foreign ships with crews that were paid much less were flooding the market bringing prices down . Best of intentions on the surface but history is littered with good intentions .

Oil producing countries see what old bungles and crew have done , so they just arbitrarily raise prices to test what the markets will take . They are not stupid . They get it , unlike many here . And old bungles just rattles on blaming everything and everyone else for his dumb moves .

80 billion in EBTA profit . They have not the ability to spend any of that pretax profit on drilling and refining because of the idiots in DC will quietly not allow it in spite what worms for brains says . Bungles’s big lie .


Old Joe has made it difficult for us to produce oil and gas and then he gets mad at oil companies for the supply shortage. And he’s really ticked about his poll numbers.

Just wait for it: long lines at the gas stations and rationing.


LOL, big oil is worried about "the pipeline" the one that funnels billion in profits from the pockets of the American consumer into their coffers. And the congress turn their backs and blame everything but corporate greed, while cashing the Pac donation checks. The faithful will repeat what they are told, " they need that money for drilling and refining.. And the band plays on, cha ching, cha ching.

David Collins

So now we have switched meanings for “ the pipeline “. Either or , sounds like the same pipeline that funnels billions in profits from the American consumer into the pockets of various companies throughout the US and the world . Seeing how profits pay salaries , benefits and yes dividends to investors , which are then taxed for supposedly the benefit of all , what is the problem ?


No doubt when things are going their way they make a profit. Do things always go their way and does drilling and refining cost them anything? JB has done plenty to make things bad for them and consequently for us. But no worries his and his ilk's green agenda will solve our energy needs.


Excuse me? Watergate is a national embarrassment, but not the act of a President of the United States trying to subvert democracy and fueling an insurrection? We want to relive the 1970's? Really? Listen to the music of the movie "Saturday Night Fever?" Yep, what an inspirational story. Every talking point in this piece is a continual regurgitation of right conspiracy theories. The oil industry is far more complicated than it's "Biden's fault." But that takes a lot of homework to understand, which, as a matter of fact, Ms. Cooke, did not do.

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